Your Questions

Your Questions Jan. 29,2007

Question: In the OT there is a few verses that use the term day of vengeance, Isa 34:8;61:2, 63:4 and Jer 46:10. To name a few. Do these speak of ad70? Have you written on that at all if so maybe u can point me to an article.

Answer:
There are generally speaking two beliefs concerning the Day of the Lord references, the Day of Vengeance references, etc..
 
1.) There is the futurist view that says all Day of the Lord, and all Day of Vengeance references allude to, and predict the final "end of time" event.  In other words, the Day of Vengeance predictions did not, in reality, have anything to do with the time and places that the context seems to indicate.
This demands that those taking this position ignore the time references in many of these prophecies that said the Day was near. Further, they have to ignore the fact that in many of the O.T. references, the Day was very specific in its focus, i.e. Edom, Tyre, Babylon, Assyria, etc.. Finally, they have to ignore the fact that the language used to describe the Day of Vengeance in so many of the texts simply cannot be taken literally, as they try to do, without creating impossible scenarios. For instance, in Isaiah 34, the cosmos is described as being destroyed, yet earth still exists. However, the dust of the earth, and even the water in the streams turns to pitch and burns day and night forever. Then, however, the wild animals live there, and weeds grow up!
 
2.) The second view is that the O.T. references to the Day of the Lord / Vengeance were all references to kingdoms, people and cities, etc. that were the objects of Jehovah’s wrath, and that He was bringing invading armies, or even "natural" disasters on them as an act of His divine wrath. So, when Edom was destroyed by the Babylonians, (circa 583 BC. see Malachi 1:2), .in the Day of the Lord’s wrath, or when Babylon was destroyed by the Medes in the Day of Vengeance (Jeremiah 46–Daniel 5), this identifies the Day as God acting in history. Those events describe and define the language of the Day of the Lord for us therefore, when we read of that Day in the N. T..
 
3.) What all of this means is that the O.T. establishes the precedent and pattern for the use of the Day of the Lord terminology and language. On the one hand the O.T. writers use highly metaphoric, apocalyptic language to describe those contemporary events. Then, and this is critical, they predict the last days Day of the Lord! Significantly, they never tell us that the ultimate Day would be different in nature and definition from the Day of the Lord as defined in their day.
So, what that means is that there is no justification for changing the well attested use of the language in the O.T. The language of the Day of the Lord is never used literally in the O.T., so, when the N. T. writers use the language in the identical manner as the O.T., we should never seek to make that language literally in the New. This is especially true when the N.T. writers tell us that the Day they were predicting the Day foretold by the OT prophets.
 
Here is a hermeneutical question that far too few seem to grasp or even think about: "If a N. T. writer cites, quotes, and utilizes the O.T. language that is demonstrably metaphoric, upon what basis do we make the use of that language in the N. T. a prediction to be interpreted literally? Where do we get the right to change consistently metaphoric, non-literal language to a prediction of a literal event, when the writers never indicate that they are radically changing the consistent use of the language?
 
Well, I hope that this helps somewhat. Thanks for writing and keep in touch. Incidentally, I have an extended discussion of the Day of the Lord language in my book The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, that is available from my site, if you care to investigate this issue in-depth.

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