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The Millennium In The Old Testament

Saturday, December 6, 2014 18:06
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(Before It's News)

THE MILLENNIUM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Isaiah 11:6-9 KJV 

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  (7)  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  (8)  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.  (9)  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 

This Isaiah scripture is describing the millennial reign of Christ’s earthly rule.  People and animals will live in harmony as it was in the garden of Eden.  Genesis begins with God and his creation of animals and humans living in safe fellowship with each other.  The millennium appears to retain many of the same features.  All animals will live peacefully together and children will not be harmed by an animal or any part of creation.

The prophet Hosea also speaks of the animal gentleness  transformation.  He also adds that death and war making utensils will be broken and their need will be eliminated.

And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.  (Hosea 2:18 KJV)

Children are mentioned, so it will be presumed that human beings procreate and have children.  Will people age?  Jesus stated in Matthew 22:30 that in the resurrection people are as the angels and do not marry, but that statement may be referring to the eternal age after the 1000 year reign of Christ.  This appears to be a new truth not disclosed elsewhere in Scripture. It implies that sexuality was originally part of God’s will for creation but not for eternity. 

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.  (Matthew 22:30 KJV)

Injury and destruction will either be done away with or will not be allowed to occur.  The holy mountain of God in verse 9 may refer to the entire earth.  The colon (:) does not appear in the original Hebrew.

The remainder of Isaiah 11 may speak of other assorted millennial concerns, but are not pertinent for this writing.

Zechariah 14:8-11 KJV

And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

Supernatural living waters (water that heals?)  will flow from Jerusalem both north and south for the entire year (if there is a year). 

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. (Psalms 46:4 KJV)

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.   (Joel 3:18 KJV)

The Lord has always been the king over the earth, but in that day everyone will know and acknowledge that fact.

The mountainous area around Jerusalem will be a flat plain.  Geba is a city about six miles north of present day Jerusalem and Rimmon is south of the city but the exact location is uncertain.  The area of the rebuilt Jerusalem will apparently be raised or lifted up to an unknown height.  This topological height increase is forecast  by other prophets.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  (Isaiah 2:2 KJV)

But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  (Micah 4:1 KJV)

Verse 11 reiterates that peace and safeness with no destruction will be the order of the millennium.

Zechariah 14: 12-15 would most likely be considered as wrath of God or Armageddon verses and will be omitted for this commentary.  This may be another example of a topical presentation rather than a chronological one.

Zechariah 14:16-21 KJV

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  (17)  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  (18)  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  (19)  This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  (20)  In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.  (21)  Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

This scripture (14:16) makes the claim there will be earthly inhabitants who will survive the last plagues of God and it may be they will procreate and have children.  It would seem they are required to go to Jerusalem once each year to worship the Lord and participate in the feast of tabernacles (or booths). 

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  (Isaiah 2:3 KJV)

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.  (Zechariah 8:20-22 KJV)

In the Pentateuch the feast of booths was a celebration for thanksgiving for the harvest.  Non-Israelites were welcome to participate.  It was also a time of provision for the poor (if poverty is a millennial factor) and a reading of the word of God.

Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.  (Deuteronomy 16:13-14 KJV)

During this time period all should know the truth of God and Jesus Christ.  However, there appears to be some who are not concerned and would rather follow their own purposes.  God knows there will be individuals who refuse to worship and they will be punished with no rainfall.  The people of Egypt are specifically indicated  as a group with behavioral problems and they will be punished with not only a lack of rain but a plague as that of the time of Moses.

God will smite the heathen.  Definition of Heathen: One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism or Christianity.

The word “heathen” only appears in the KJV with others translating the word as “nations”.  The questionable Hebrew word is (goy) which is supposed to refer to a gentile or an individual of a nation other than Israel, but I suppose anyone not a Judean is a heathen to a certain ethnic group or religion.

The phrase “Holiness unto the Lord” was inscribed on the high priest’s hat but it will be placed on the bells of horses and perhaps other places as well such as pots and bowls.

There shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

According to Greek dictionaries, this can apply to any unholy person who is not a member of the covenant people but it can also refer to a merchant or trader.  The literal translations of Phillip and Greene translate the word as “trader”.  If sacrifices are resumed in the millennial temple this scripture testifies there will be no merchants or traders to sell or trade merchandise.  Currency or a unit of trade is never discussed for the millennium in my knowledge.

 

Isaiah 65:17-25 KJV 

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  (18)  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  (19)  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  (20)  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  (21)  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  (22)  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  (23)  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.  (24)  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  (25)  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

As discussed above, millennial prophecies seem to discuss two different aspects.  One is an enhanced earthly reign of Christ and the second is the eternal state.  Isaiah 65: 17-19 speak of the eternal state occurring after the 1000 year reign of Christ.  This earth and everything it contains will be destroyed.  The book of Peter remarks that the heavens and elements will be melted and burned up at the day of the Lord.  The day of the Lord may not only mean the wrath of God, or this could be an extra or extended meaning of the phrase.  (And I could be totally wrong).

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  (2 Peter 3:10 KJV)

However, God will make all things new, perhaps a re-creation.  The phrase, “new heavens and a new earth”, is a common apocalyptic literature concept (example 1Enoch 91:16) according to several commentators.  Bob Utley stated that, “The earth will return to its pre-Genesis chapter 3 glory and purpose.” 

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.  (2 Peter 3:13 KJV)

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.  (Isaiah 42:9 KJV)

Verse 18 may imply that God will create a new Jerusalem (not the one that descends from heaven) but it may only mean that the city’s inhabitants will be continually rejoicing and full of joy.  There will be no more hurting or pain thus a lack of weeping and crying.  There will be no more infant deaths and old people will have their lifespan extended to the fullest.  No one, not even a child, will die before reaching one hundred, and anyone not reaching the age of 100 will be considered cursed.  These longer lifespans may refer to those of the Genesis beginning.  It could be that the recreation alluded to in several prophecies may refer to an atmosphere similar to the original creation.  The NET bible issues a clearer translation than the KJV.

Never again will one of her infants live just a few days or an old man die before his time. Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred, anyone who fails to reach the age of a hundred will be considered cursed.  (Isaiah 65:20 NET+)

 

Zechariah 8:3-13 KJV 

Thus says the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.  (4)  Thus says the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.  (5)  And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.  (6)  Thus says the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? says the LORD of hosts.  (7)  Thus says the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;  (8)  And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.  (9)  Thus says the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.  (10)  For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbor.  (11)  But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, says the LORD of hosts.  (12)  For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.  (13)  And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

Some may have noticed that the majority of Old Testament scriptures concerning the millennium can be found in the books of Isaiah and Zechariah.  Only the major precepts will be covered for this Biblical passage. 

The Lord will dwell in Zion specifically in Jerusalem which will be called truth along with the holy mountain.  In the city will be old men and women, boys and girls playing, and it will be marvelous to the Lord.  All of the Lord’s people will be brought back to the land.  The temple will be rebuilt, people will have occupations, and the Lord will not exact retribution on the people.  Agriculture will be bountiful with plenty of moisture for the growth of crops and trees.  Anti-Semitism will be unheard of as will all racial and cultural prejudice.

The passage from Isaiah 66:18-24 is divided into two ages or eras.  The 66:18-21 exert is an enhanced earthly reign of Christ and the second 66:22-24 is the eternal state.

The Millennial State:  Isaiah 66:18-21 KJV

For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. (19)  And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.  (20)  And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.  (21)  And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. 

According to the Utley Commentary:  This is a reference somehow to the gathering of the nations. They seem to come for hostile purposes against the people of God (i.e., “survivors”). But, in God’s defeat of them some come to believe in Him. Then God sends them as a sign, to their own nations as evangelists. And, wonder of wonders – the heathen respond to the message and come back to God at Jerusalem to worship and He even makes some of them into priests and Levites.  This section, Isa 66:19-24, is absolutely shocking in its universal thrust. This has caused great consternation and uncertainty among the rabbis, but in context, it is obviously the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise of Gen 3:15; Gen 12:1-3.

Utley’s understanding is as good an explanation as any other, and there is no reason not to accept it.

Verse 20 is one of several texts that speak of the Gentile nations bringing gifts and offerings to Jerusalem or temple.  Gentiles (nations / non-Judeans) will qualify as priests and for the office of Levites (not ethnically).

 

The Eternal State:  Isaiah 66:22-24 KJV

(22)  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  (23)  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says the LORD.  (24)  And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Verse 22 is a reiteration of Isaiah 65:17:  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 

and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Verse 24 is the basis of the later Jewish conception of Gehenna as the place of everlasting punishment. Gehenna is the Hebrew word Ge-Hinnom (Valley of Hinnom), the Old Testament place where human sacrifices were offered to Moloch.  Afterwards it became a receptacle for filth and refuse, and Rabbinical tradition asserts that it was the practice to cast out unclean corpses there, to be burned or to undergo decomposition.  Jesus may have referred to this scripture several times in the Gospels.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell (Gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched:   (Mark 9:43 KJV)

Hades is not the final place of the unrighteous dead. Hades will be emptied of all dead before the great white throne judgment of God. So hell is going to be empty. But whosoever’s name is not found written in the book of life will be cast in the lake of fire. The second death may be Gehenna or the lake of fire.  The word Gehenna does not appear in the KJV and most other versions.  It does appear in the Restored Holy Bible, Young’s Literal, and Phillips Literal.

The wording of the Isaiah verse is quite similar to that of Rev 19:17-18, but the Revelation phrase concerns the finality of Armageddon.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  (Revelation 19:17-18 KJV)

Considering this is a description of the eternal state, it would appear this may be referring to the aftermath of the final Gog-Magog destruction led by Satan at the end of the millennium.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  (Revelation 20:9 KJV)

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

(Revelation 20:14-15 KJV)

 

Old Testament Prophetic Highlights of the Millennium: 

Animal life will be tame, peaceful, and docile.

Living waters will flow north and south from Jerusalem.

The land from Geba to Rimmon (6 miles north and south of Jerusalem) will be a plain.

There will be no more destruction.

All inhabitants will visit Jerusalem once each year to celebrate the feast of Booths.

The house of the Lord will contain no merchants or traders.

All animals will eat grass and straw.

Children should live 100 years.

There will be no theft of property, either by individuals or a government.

Agriculture will be bountiful with no lack o moisture.

All Israelites will be located and brought to Israel (or the former Davidic kingdom area)

 

 

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