STUDIES IN ESCHATOLOGY
IN BOTH TESTAMENTS
SUPPLEMENTRY DISCUSSIONS UPON SYMBOLICAL NUMBERS, THE DEVELOPMENT
OF PROPHECY, AND ITS
THE NATIONS, THE CHURCH, AND THE KINGDOM,
AS SEEN IN THE APOCALYPSES OF ISAIAH,
EZEKIEL, DANIEL, CHRIST, AND JOHN.
* * *
the many widely-read students of prophecy in our country in the latter part of
the nineteenth century, I would say that there were five who could be called
outstanding, scholars of unquestioned ability and deep insight into the Word of
God. These would be Dr. Samuel H.
Kellogg (1839-1899), for some years Professor at Western Theological Seminary,
Allegheny, Pennsylvania; and then Dr. James H. Brookes (1830-1897), of St.
Louis; Dr. E. R. Craven, who wrote the exceedingly rich notes on the Book of
Revelation in the American Edition of the Lange Series of Commentaries, pastor
for many years of the Third Presbyterian Church of Newark, New Jersey; the
Reverend George N. H. Peters (1825-?) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and
for most of his life living in Springfield, Ohio; and Dr. Nathanael West, the
author of the learned volume for which this stands as a Preface. Of these five men, all but Mr. Peters were
members of the Presbyterian Church. Such students of prophecy, of such depth of
learning and insight into the Holy Scriptures cannot be found, I regret to say,
Dr. Nathanael West was one of those who, like Peters and Craven, never made any of the more important American Biographical Dictionaries. As far as I know, not even a sketch of Dr. Nathanael West has ever been attempted before for any printed volume. For many of the details of his various pastorates, which I am about to name, I am deeply indebted to my friend, Miss Helen Harris, of Princeton, New Jersey, who very kindly traced the pastorates of Dr. West, from the beginning of his ministry until his retirement, in the rich Presbyterian historical material available in the Library of Princeton Theological Seminary.
West was born in
West’s pastoral history is not one which could be called ideal in one area, and
that is, that he held eight different pastorates within a period of
thirty-three years, six of them within a period of eighteen years. He was pastor of the Second Presbyterian
Church of Brooklyn, New York, 1860-1868, and then became a Professor in the
Danville Theological Seminary, teaching there from 1869-1875. This latter would have seemed to be the ideal
labour for one of his gifts for research and investigation, but he returned to
the pastorate in 1875, ministering for not much more than a year in the Lincoln
Park Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati.
I have no record of where he was or what he was doing from 1876-1883,
practically eight blank years. In 1883,
for a pastorate of not much more than a year, he was the stated supply at the
Westminster Church of Detroit. For less
than a year, 1884, he was the stated supply of the Central Church of
Louisville, Kentucky, and then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of St.
Paul, in 1886. This was, I believe, the
last pastorate which he held, though he was only at this time sixty years of
age. The minutes of the General Assembly
for this period list him as a Minister Without Charge, from 1887 to 1904. Though his membership remained in the St.
Paul Presbytery, from 1900 he was a resident of
is one more item about the personal domestic and professional life of Dr. West
that will be of great interest to many who know anything about the history of
may we turn to a brief consideration of the part Nathanael West played in the
development of prophetic study in our own country in the last half of the
nineteenth century. Mr. West became
active in early Prophetic Conferences, and took a very important part in the
one held in
As an illustration of the vast extent of Dr. West’s
knowledge of the prophetic literature of the Continent, one might point to his
reference to a work by Dr. Christian
August Crusius, De caelo per Adventum
Christi cammoto, published in 1757. Kant
characterized Crusius as “the clearest
philosopher, and second to none in the promotion of philosophy in our age.” Yet, as far as I have been able to discover,
there is not a copy of this work by Crusius in any library in
The volume of which this forms a Preface is a very difficult work to read, and at the same time, in many ways, the most learned work on this aspect of Biblical prophecy ever to appear in the English language, i.e., on the subject of the Millennium and the symbolic significance of Biblican numbers. I think one would do well, if I may make a suggestion here, to begin possibly with the second part, and then go on into the book as far as one wishes, possibly skipping for the time being, Part Three, then resuming one’s reading of Part Four, and continuing down until Part Eleven, and then go back and read, I would say, Part One and the other chapters one has skipped. If one wishes to read continuously, then he must decide to give very serious consideration to every single sentence of the earlier pages, so as not to be lost in the rich material and profound arguments which Mr. West develops. I need say nothing more about the volume itself.
last work which our learned author published was a volume now very rarely come
upon, Daniel’s Great Prophecy, the Eastern Question of the Kingdom. This was published in
One does not have to agree with all of the author’s interpretations in recognizing this work as a major contribution to the understanding of some of the deeper aspects of Biblical prophecy.
- Wilbur M. Smith
* * *
A profound interest in the word of divine prophecy has become general in our day, among a vast multitude of God’s children, and is the necessary result not only of the great principle of free investigation set in motion by the Reformation of the 16th century, but of a special prediction that, “in the Time of the End,” it should be so, Dan. 12: 4, and of the fact that the End of our Age is fast approaching, Matt. 24: 32-40. Eschatological questions have stepped to the front, in connection with apologetics and polemics in defence of Christianity, and this character of the first Age of Christianity repeats itself. Among these questions, are the deepening apostasy of Christendom from the pure truth and the ancient faith, the rapid extension of missions, restoration and conversion of Israel, the Antichrist, the coming of the Lord from heaven, the judgment of the church and the world, the resurrection from among the dead, the binding of Satan, and the millennial reign. Educated men, as well as devout souls of humbler pretension, begin to see, as never before, that not only “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy,” Rev. 19: 10, but that the prophetic page is a word “more sure” than ocular demonstration, or audible voice from heaven; “a lamp shining in a dark place, whereunto they do well to take heed, until the Day dawn, and the Day-Star,” - the phosphor of millennial glory, - “arise upon their hearts.” 2 Pet. 1: 19. The nearer the End of the present Age, the more are their eyes directed to those facts of the Scripture where the “Last Things” are the theme, and the more do their hearts begin to breathe the prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus!” There is an unusual “searching” after the “what time and the what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ, who was in the prophets, did point to when fore-testifying the sufferings of Christ, and the glories after these.” 1 Pet. 1: 11. Hence the almost fabulous increase of prophetic and apocalyptic literature, in our day, and deep exegetical investigation in reference to the “Last Thing”; new volumes daily pouring from the press, in an uninterrupted stream. It is one of the predicted “Signs of the Times.” Dan. 12: 4.
is not to be denied that a large part of the professing church, swayed by its [false] teachers, is indifferent
to these themes, and to this phenomenon, and regard the word of prophecy as
unprofitable, and its unfulfilled part as unintelligible. This also is a “Sign of the Times,” Isa. 29: 9-12, even as
the concurrence of these two contradictory facts, the increase of apostasy and
extension of missions, constitute another “Sign.” Matt. 24:10-14. A false spiritualizing, allegorizing, and
idealizing, interpretation has contributed to rob the predictions
concerning Israel of their realistic value, failing to discriminate between what is
common to Jew and Gentile alike, in the one spiritual salvation which comes to
all, and where “there is no distinction,” Acts 15: 9; Rom. 3: 23, and what is peculiar to literal Israel, as
the people bringing salvation to the world, and ordained in the future, as in
the past, to a distinguished place in the [millennial] kingdom of God. As a result of this false lure, “blindness in part”
has happened to the Gentiles until Israel is saved, a blindness that affects
all eschatological questions, and has brought the Church, in many places, to
regard the doctrine of the pre-millennial coming of Israel’s Messiah as a “Jewish fable” not to be believed. Eschatology is assigned to a back seat, and the
Voice from heaven that summons all to “hear what the Spirit saith to the churches,” and
commands a blessing on “him who readeth and them who hear the words of this prophecy,”
- the preacher and his congregation, - is disregarded. Rev. 1: 3; 2: 7. [Multitudes
within] The Church does not understand the present age, nor its relation to the coming
These pages re-assert, upon the ground of God’s word alone, - redundant with its justifying proof, - that Doctrine of the Pre-Millennial Coming of Christ, which, in the apostolic and old-Catholic Church, was, for 300 years, “the test of orthodoxy,” and formed a chief article of faith and hope. They profess to demonstrate the revelation and the designation of “the 1000 years,” in the Old as well as in the New Testament, and more repeatedly in the former than in the latter. Hence the title of the book: “The Thousand Years in both Testaments.” Two “Parts,” are devoted to this theme. The “Supplementary Discussions” in their separate and more numerous “Parts,” are auxiliary to this main purpose, sweeping the wide compass of Scripture from Moses to John, discussing the great question of symbolical numbers, exhibiting the vital organism of all prophecy, and illustrating the perfect unity of the whole word of God. The writer ventures to hope that the severe, and hitherto perplexing problem of the 70 Weeks of Daniel and which, when understood, displays a complete scheme of prophecy, divine purpose, course of history, and relation of Israel to the Nations and to the Church, from the Exile down to the Second Coming of Christ, has at length reached a satisfactory solution. Where Greek and Hebrew terms appear, the English letter has been used, solely for the sake of the ordinary reader. The discussion is wholly exegetical and critical, for the reason that the writer desired to give to many earnest seekers after truth, a biblical foundation in the terms of the Holy Ghost Himself, for a precious doctrine which, with some, is more a matter of sentiment than of knowledge. The views of distinguished men are freely reviewed, and distinctly approved or condemned. It is one of the virtues which characterizes all great investigators, like Augustine, Hengstenberg, Keil, and Kliefoth, that the very clearness of their utterances, serves only to expose the fundamental error which vitiates their otherwise matchless and meritorious work.
any one, reading these pages, dream that the writer, by adhering to the literal
and realistic interpretation, i.e. the grammatical and historical, as opposed
to the false systems just named, has robbed the “Church”of her inheritance in the promises of God,
it is enough to answer, Man! thine hour is not yet come! “Salvation is from the Jews.” The Old
Covenant at Sinai, and the New Covenant at
are preliminary thoughts. Our present
Age, occupied with evangelizing the Nations, belongs to the “Times of the
Gentiles,” when Israel is under foot, and will be followed by
another in which Christ’s Kingdom will be Israel’s Kingdom, Gentile supremacy
over Israel having passed away, and Israel once more placed in their historical
position and relation to the Nations, as a converted people, holy to the
Lord. In Abraham’s seed, collectively, all Nations shall bless
themselves. Such is the realistic interpretation
These truths are enforced, in these pages, by constant textual reference, and also by ample quotations from men of eminent scholarship and piety, than whom the Church enjoys none greater. The quotations could have been multiplied a hundred fold. Their presence is meant to refute the foolish statement, so often made by persons of superficial attainment, or improper bias, that the learning of the Age is opposed to the pre-millennial view. Nothing is more seriously erroneous. The reader will judge whether he can name, as scholars, anywhere, men superior in learning, authority, influence or true devotion to the cause of Christ, or worthier to be trusted than the shining lights hereinafter cited. The appeal must, however, be made, in the last as well as the first instance, to the written Word of God.
How imperfectly so vast and difficult a theme as “The 1000 years in both Testaments,” has been handled, in these pages, the writer is painfully aware. The problems involved are among the most intricate. It is a comfort to know that, as the evening of our Age approaches, “there shall be light,” and “the wise shall understand.” God will raise up faithful men to add still better demonstrations of His truth, until the time arrives when, as the great Bengel said, not only Old Testament prophecy, but the Apocalypse, will become so clear, that both will be taught to children as “parts of their juvenile instruction.” If the time bestowed upon these pages, and the use made of the toil of other men, shall enable any of God’s children to catch a glimpse of the glory of His word, and the grandeur of His way, or confirm their faith and hope in the literal realities of the Sacred Prophecies, and lead them to look beyond themselves, to the Coming [Millennial] Kingdom, and its bright rewards, and to work, do, suffer, wait, watch and pray for its approach, neither the hours nor the labour will have been in vain.
my dear brethren in the ministry, and others, noble men and women, all “one in Christ,”
who have assisted to bear the burden of publishing these pages, and but for
whose counsel and encouragement the pen had many times dropped, not to be
re-lifted, and especially to my brothers Dr. L. W. Munhall of Germantown, Pa.,
and Professor Dr. W. G. Morehead of Xenia, O., I desire, here and openly, to
express my sincere and grateful acknowledgments. In the day of recompense, their service will
not be forgotten! Nor will the deep
interest of my dear brethren Drs. Brookes of St. Louis, A. T. Pierson,
Philadelphia, Pa., Erdmann of Asheville, Erdmann of Morristown, Duffield of
Princeton, S. H. Kellog and Parsons of Toronto, W. Parlane, Esq. of
Collingwood, S. P. Harbison and Joseph Albree of Pittsburgh, Pa., Hon. J. W.
Baldwin of Columbus, O., and Benjamin Douglass, Esq of Chicago, fail of its
reward. To my faithful friend Hon. Henry
Hastings Sibley, L.L.D. of
commit this work to the providence of God, - for whose glory it is written, -
casting my, little loaf upon the waters, expecting to find, - perhaps not “after many days,”
- that it has contributed to instruct, strengthen and cheer, some of God’s dear
children in their journey Kingdom ward.
May His blessing go with it, pardoning whatever is amiss in conception,
argument or expression, and opening the hearts of some to receive whatever is
according to His will. In the hour of affliction we learn more of God’s word, and God’s way,
than in a whole age of sunshine and prosperity, and it is well to remember that
the prophecies were spoken first in that moment when Israel’s night was the
darkest. Paradoxical indeed, it was then
the light was the brightest, the promise the sweetest, and the devotion the
deepest. So will it be again. Israel will be able to say, when emerging
from the last great tribulation, as when returning from Exile to build the
“The Lord hath chastened me sore,
But not abandoned me to death.
The Lord is God. He hath given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords,
EVEN TO THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR!”
Affliction, Light, and Consecration, these are the best handmaids of a true interpretation.
- NATHANIEL WEIST.
* * *
THE THOUSAND YEARS IN BOTH
Common error as to “the thousand years,” 1. Van Oosterzee, Augustine’s maxim, 2. Eschata, 3. Partial and Plenary Fulfilment, 4.
A. The Kingdom and Prophecy, 4.
B. General Distribution of Time. Pre-Exile Prophecy, 11. 0lam Habba, 0lam Hazzeh. One End, One Advent, Two Ages, 12. Isaiah’s Brilliant and “Everlasting” Age, 13, 14. The Rabbis’ “Immortal Age,” 14. Schematism of the Ages and End, 15.
C. Exile Prophecy, 15. Two Ends, Two Advents, Two Resurrections, Two Judgments, Three Ages, 15. Schematisrn, 16. Development of Olam Habba into Our Dispensation, and the following, in Daniel’s Apocalypse, 17. Further development, New Covenant, New-Born Israel, 18. Ezekiel’s Apocalypse, the Glory, 18. The Millennial Age, Gog, 19. Schematism of Three Ends and Four Ages, 19. Each End brings Resurrection, judgment, and a New Form of the Kingdom, 20. No Third Advent revealed, 20. Total AEleology and Teleology of Prophecy 20.
D. Sub-Distribution of Time, 21.
E. Post-Exile Prophecy, 31. Haggai’s Oracle, and the “Glory,”
A. Different Names given in 0. T. to the “Thousand Years” of John’s Apocalypse, 35. The “Day of the Lord” is the “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ,” 35. Germs of the Millennial Age, 35. “Little Apocalypse of Isaiah,” - Isaiah 24: 21-23, the Rov Yamim or “Multitude of Days,” 36 Antichrist judged, Satan imprisoned at the beginning of the Rov Yamim, and loosed at their close, 37-39. Isaiah’s “Multitude of Days” are John’s “Thousand Years,” 39. Resurrection of the Righteous at the beginning, Resurrection of the Wicked at the close, of the “Multitude of Days,” 39. Veil taken from the Nations, 40. Auberlen, 40. Nagelsbach, 41. Weber, 41. Crusius, 44. Orelli, 46-48.
B. The Apocalypse of Ezekiel; Ezekiel 38: 8; Rabbim Yamim, or “Many Days,” 49. Dry Bones, Gog, 50. Ezekiel’s and John’s pictures compared, 52. Old Testament Boundaries of the Millennial Age, 55. Schroeder, 56. Riehm, 57-59. Pastor Koch, 60.
C. Leolam, Forever; its Absolute and Relative senses, 60-64.
D. Hosea 3: 4, the Yamim Rabbim, or Many Days for Lo Ammi and Lo Ruhamah. Abiding alone! The Two Days. The Third Day, or Millennial Glory, 64-71.
E. Moses and the
F. The Psalter; Messianic Days; the Millennial Psalms; Delitzsch, Binnie, Herder, Tholuck, Crusius, 74, 75.
G. Summing up of the Old Testament names for the 1000 years. Formula of the total AEonology, 76, 77. The Combination of the Old Testament Eschata by John, 76-78. Anglo-Israelism, 79.
I. Scriptural terms, “Chiliast, Ravyamist,” Bengel, Auberlen, Delitzsch, Harnack. “Jesus was a Chiliast.” Irenaeus, Justin, “Heresy;” Our Hope, 80-82.
J. Israel in the Apocalypse of John, 82-85. The Eschatology of the Old Testament is that of the New. The Prophets, Christ, Peter, Paul, John, all one, 82-87.
A. The Objection; “Symbolical Numbers don’t count.” Bunsen, Kliefoth, Milligan, Briggs, 91, 92.
B. General remarks. Augustinian view, spiritualizing interpretation, 93, 94. Vitringa, 94. Bad logic. Symbolism and Schematism, what? The “figure of a figure,” 95. Prophecy a Chronometer, 96. Symbolical Numbers do count; are literal as well as symbolical, 97-99.
C. The Numbers 6 and 7. “Ideas” in numbers, do not vacate their chronological value; 666 the Monogram of Antichrist, the Anti-Sabbath Beast, 99-102.
D. The 70
Weeks of Daniel, framed on the Law
of the Sabbath. Septennial Cycles, Jubilee,
E. The 69 Weeks.
Demonstration of the Messiahship of Jesus, involved in the question as
F. The 70th
Week. The agonies of calculation.
THE 1260 DAYS, OR 3 AND A HALF YEARS
(1) Perplexing questions, 152. Clearing the Way. Occur under 4 different forms, in O. and N. Testaments, and literal in both, 153. Their Source and Seat in Dan. 9: 27, Are the 70th Week divided into twice three and a half years, or twice 1260 days, equals 42 months, equals “time, two times, and half a time,” 154. (2) Belong to the last Antichrist, still future. Dan. 9: 26, 27, is the frame of John’s whole Apocalypse from Chapters 4- 19, 155, 156. (3) Where the various time-designations of the 70th Week occur, 156. All equal, not all identical. Hofmann wrong, 157. Are not the 2300 evening-mornings; Auberlen wrong, 158. The “Two Wilnesses,” and their relation to the first 1260; the “Great Tribulation,” and its relation to the last 1260; the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of Antichrist, 159, 1 60. (4) They are literal and exact, are 1260 days, not 1260 years. Importance of this, 161. The year-Day Theory, Guinness, Birks, both in error, 161-163. Their position compels us to make the 70 Weeks equal 176,000 years, 164. Indefensible absurdity of the double-reckoning of the Year-Day interpreters, 165. Error to be repudiated at once, 166. (5) A “Time” never means a “Day”` in prophecy. Scripture is clear, 167. Decided testimony and demonstration, by Ewald, Orelli, Kuper, Pusey, Leathes, Drummond, against the Year-Day Theory, and in favour of recognizing the law of Sabbatic Sevens, or Sevens of Years, in the 70 Weeks, 167-169. (6) The Reformers justified, notwithstanding their error as to the Year-Day Theory. Exclusivism, 170, 171. Our narrowness, Typical History, Astronomy, M. Cheseaux, 171, 172. Reconciliation of Preterism, Presentism, Futurism. Leibnitz. “Shaped to suit.” Jesus a Preterist, Presentist, and Futurist, 173, 174.
THE CAUSE OF ERROR
A. Error in our
false mode of computing the
70 sevens, unbrokenly. The error schematized, 175-177. Rabbi Isaac’s decision
as to the Christian failure, 177, 178.
Repeating the 7 sevens. The
Septuagint’s 77 sevens, 173, 179. Hitzig and the Athnach, 179.
The 7+62+1 are separate and independent periods, and not to be computed unbrokenly, 180. The a
guo B. C. 536 retained. Excess of 57
years to be accounted for, 181, 182. Characteristics of the three
periods 7+62+1,183. The 70 Sevens are exclusive of all affairs except Jewish, 183. Solution of the Mystery, by
rejection of the false assumption,
184. Two Intervals, one
between the 69 and 70; another between the 7 Sevens themselves Proof of this, 185-189.
The Restoration a Double Period designated by specific names, 190, 191. DIAGRAM of the 70 Sevens and Intervals, 192. The Characteristics and
History. Maccabees. “Wandering Jew,” 193, 4. The 70th Week certain to
be literally fulfilled upon
B. Location of the 70th Week, erroneously, 201. Perplexity as to the last three and a half years, Hengstenberg, Drummond, Auberlen, Leathes, Briggs, Pusey, 202, 3. Palliating considerations, 203, 4.
C. New Testament Development of the 70th Week, (1) in the Olivet Prophecy, and (2) in the Apocalypse of John, 204-209. “Genea” means the Jewish Race, as such, 209.
D. The Three Great Prophecies Schematized, 200. The Prophecy in Daniel, in general. Predictions as to the Colossus, Beasts, Syrian Antichrist, 70 Sevens, Antiochus, Ptolemies and Seleucids, 209, 210. The “One Week” in Daniel Schematized, 211. The “One Week” in the Olivet prediction, 212. The “One Week” in John’s Apocalypse, 213. Van Oosterzee’s beautiful word, 213, 214. The “One Week” in Paul. Magic lantern, 214. The Two Nagids, 214.
E. End of the 70th Week, in the fulness of its Events, 214-216. The Hallel, 216.
F. The 2300, 1290, 1335 days. The “Thamid” and Antiochus, 217. “Palmoni,” the Wonderful Numberer; a quo and ad quem of the 2300, 218. “Evening Morning,” what? The critics divided, 219. Dates of Daniel’s Visions, 220. The 70 Weeks not cut off from the 2300; their relations, 221-225. True rendering of “HIGBIR BERITH, “Make a firm Covenant,” 222-224. True rendering of Dan. 12: 6. “When an End is made of Breaking in pieces the power of the holy people,” 225-227. Relation of 2300 to 1290 and 1335 days, 225, 6. The Angel Dismissing the Prophet, 226-228. Schematism of the 2520, 2300, 1260, 1290, and 1335 days, 229. Concluding caution, 229-232.
Jewish Christian Church of the End-Time, 233. The Sun-Clothed Woman, 235. Sheltered 1260 days. The Cithara-Players on the glassy sea, 236.
National Christianity the result of Israel’s Conversion, 236,
The 144,000 the same in Rev. 7: 1-9, and 14: 1-5. The Contrast between the 144,000 and the Countless Company. Discussion of the question, 238-241.
THE 1000 YEARS
A. Proofs of their Historic Reality; commensurate with certain Old Testament expressions, which are pre-formative, 255-259. Delitzsch, Orelli, 259. Briggs, 260.
B. Development of the 1000 years in the New Testament, 26o. Christ, in the Synoptists, and Fourth Gospel; the concealment of the 1000 years; the suspicion of it, 261-262. Juxtaposition of events in discourse is not co-existence of events in occurrence, 263. First Resurrection in John 5: 25. Gebhardt, 263. The Error in our Creed-Statements, 264. Prof. Leathes, 264.
C. Two Great and important Passages, the Stronghold of Post-Millennialists, Dan. 12: 1-3, John 5: 25-29, considered, 265. No such doctrine as that of a “simultaneous and universal resurrection” found in the Bible, 265. True rendering of Dan. 12: 1-3, 266-268. Critical Note on the passage, 268-269.
D. The Passage, 1 Cor. 15: 23-28, a third and important one; two Ends and the 1000 years between, 268, 9.
E. Further Proof
of their Historic Reality; grammatically parsed, 269, 270. Hengstenberg,
DeWette, Glasgow, the Hebrew “Yom,” 271. Struggle of
Post-Millennialists to fix the a quo of the 1000 years; (a) at the First Advent, - Augustine, 272; (b) at
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE 1000 YEARS
A. General VieW, 286‑294. Cost of
War, Note, 287.
B. The 1290 and 1335 days, 201. Interval between the destruction of Antichrist and the full Redemption of Israel, 205.
C. Relation of
the Risen Saints to
D. Dischiliasm refuted. Habitat of the Risen Saints, not “over,” but “on,” the earth; Hofmann, DeWette, Delitzsch, Kliefoth, 298-300. The
E. Further Confirmation that the Risen Saints are not retired into heaven; Isaiah, Daniel, Christ, Paul, Jewish teachers, Gemara Sanhedrin, Orelli, Mede. 303-306.
F. Extent of the Transformation of the Planet, at Second Advent. Cosmical Process, Geology, 306. Locomotion of the Risen Ones, “Heaven Open, the Angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man,” 306-308.
Three Great Parties in the Millennium;
H. The Effect on
the Nations, when
I. Mode of Life among the Risen Saints, Saadias, Bechai, Abarbanel, Maimonides, Our Lord, 319. Neither marry nor die; are “equal to” sexless angels; are “like” our Lord, 320. “Flesh and Blood,” “Flesh and Bones,” 321.
J. Millennial not Eternal, 321. False construction of “Until,” 322. The Bride, and the Outside Nations, and Kings. “The Lamb, is the Lamp,” 322. Absolute End of the Ways of God, 323.
IDEAL THEORY OF NUMBERS
A. Last Resort of Post-millennialism, 324. Three great anti-chilliasts: their failure, 324. Kliefoth against Post-Millennialism, and in favour of “Potentiated Ecumenicity” Symbolic magic to get rid of Pre-Millennialism, 325-327. Time means Space, and Years mean Victory, 328. Woe to Ariel! 329. Irenaeus, Lactantius, Volck, Luthardt, on symbolic numbers, 330.
B. Professor Milligan of Aberdeen; his Book on the Apocalypse; a fusion of Augustine, Hengstenberg and Kliefoth, 331. Happy look of the round number 1000, and sad look of the broken-backed 3 and a half. . Ecumenical yet Temporary War potentiated up to 200,000,000, but Ecumenical and Eternal Peace potentiated only up to 1000, 332. Backlying reason for 3 and a half, and 1000, found in Sabbatic and Jubilee law. The 1000 years are 10 jubilees doubled, 333. Professor Milligan’s absurditics, 333. Answered, 334. Hume revived in Professor M.’s objections 335. Augustine, Tertullian, Bacon, 336, 7. What “Neum Yehovah,” “saith the Lord,” means, 337. Fair interpreters, 337. No shuffling, and no robbing, 338.
Relation of Prophetic Numbers.
Prophetic Numbers the cosmic offspring of Sun, Moon, and Stars, 339.
The Hierarchy of the Heavenly Lights; they are (1) Time-Measures, and (2) Event-Indicators; have imperial
and hermeneutical offices; “rule” literally, 339, 340, Are a part of
prophecy in the sky; given for “Seasons and
Times,” and “Numbers and Signs.” 340. The Patriarchs, Joseph, Joshua, Hezekiah, 341.
The Eastern Magi and the Birth of Christ, Astrology, 341. “Sign”
D. General Summing up, and Conclusion, as to the Prophetic and Symbolic Numbers,‑and the “Idea.” 347, 348.
THE TESTEMONY OF THE SYNAGOGUE
A. The 1000 years literal, the Duration of the Kingdom, 349-354. Various Rabbinical calculations as to Messiah’s temporal reign, 354-357. Double- Messiah, 357.
B. The Beginning of the 1000 years, dated by the Rabbis, from (a) close of the 70th Week, 358; (b) overthrow of ten-kingdomed Roman power, 360; (c) destruction of Antichrist, 363; (d) resurrection of the faithful dead, 364; (c) Israel’s repentance, 370; (f) advent of Messiah in the clouds, 378.
C. The End of the 1000 years, fixed by the Rabbis. Two views, with reference to Gog and Magog, 375. (1) the war-march of Gog is pre-millennial, 375. (2) It is post-millennial, 376. Confusion of Gog with the Antichrist; Discrimination, 377. The “Evil spirit” in Ezekiel 38: 10, is the “Satan loosed,” in Rev. 20: 7. John clears up all. Volek, 378.
THE APOCALYPSE OF JOHN
A. The Jewish Book, 380. Lord Bacon, the Higher Critics, 381. Briggs (note), 382._ Device of the Greek fathers to escape Chiliasm, 382. Keim, Drummond, 383. Doctrine of the 1000 years common to Jewish and Christian Church, alike. Ewald, Gebhardt, Bleek, Dorner, De-Wette, Boehmer, Wunsche, 384-387. Maitland thanks Jerome; charge of “Judiazing”; counter-charge of “Heathenizing,” 388. The Apocalypse seals the Jewish faith as true, 388, 389.
B. Relation of the 1000 years to the Second Part of the Apocalypse, 389. The 6th Seal opens the “Day of the Lord”
which precedes the 1000
years, 390, note. The Double-Episode, 391. The 6
Trumpet-Judgments. Apostate Christendom, 392. Israel recalled, in the Crisis, 392. The Programme in Chapter 11 shows the 70th
Week. Kliefoth, Kubel. The Dramatis
The Angel of the Covenant. The “Two Witnesses.” Vision of
C. Relative and Absolute Ends, 414. The Ultimate Glory no result of human endeavour, 415, 416.
THE 1000 YEARS IN EZEKIEL
word on Ezekiel, Chapter
37, Briggs, 417. Proof-text
for a literal Resurrection, 418.
National Resurrection, 418. Jerome and the “Visco Famosissima,” 419. Jerome’s Canon of Interpretation, 420. The
Great Change of interpretation in 4th century, 421. Ambrose, Augustine,
“spirit of the age,” Eusebius, 422-424. Orelli, note, 424. Ezekiel, chapters 40-48,
the favourite retreat of
Post-millennialists, considered, 424. Are
a picture of restored
OUR PRESENT AGE - THE
idea of the Christian-State a
false lure. Optimism,
Pessimism, 439, 440. So-called Christian Civilization, is that of the Christianized Beast, 440,
441. The Christian Stale unknown to
prophecy; Kubel, Bleek, Auberlen, Hahn, 441, 442. The Harlot
POSTSCRIPT TO PART 11
Correcting the false conception of the
Perspective of New Testament Prophecy, 461.
David Levi, Isaac da Costa, Bishop Hooker, Vitringa, Roos, Sir Isaac Newton, 462.
Condemned by Dr. Delitzsch, 463.
EXTRACTS FROM EMINENT AUTHORS
1. Double Jury of Scholars on Revelation 20: 5. “The First Resurrection.” Volck, Rinck, Fuller, De-Wette, Lammert, Bengel, Kliefoth, Christlieb, Lange, Steffann, Rothe, Gresswell, Elliott, Stuart, Alford, Starke, Birks, Mede, Hebart, Van Oosterzee, Gill, Seiss, Lechler, 465-471.
2. The 1000 Years in the Apocalypse, by Professor Bleek, 472-480.
3. The 1000 Years in the Apocalypse, by Professor Yon Ewald, 480-487.
4. Delitzsch, Orelli,
and Lister, on Exalted
SOLI DEO GLORIA.
* * *
THE THOUSAND YEARS IN BOTH TESTAMENTS
It is a very common opinion, widely spread throughout Christendom, and in most cases believed to be true, that “the thousand years” of which John speaks in the Apocalypse, Rev. 20: 1-7, are mentioned nowhere else in the sacred Scriptures. The doctrine of a millennial kingdom on earth, introduced by the advent of Christ in His glory, is a Jewish fable without support from the word of God. A deeper study of the sacred volume dissipates this false prejudice and reveals the fact that, not only are “the thousand years” of which John speaks found everywhere in both Testaments, but that next to the eternal state, the millennial blessedness of God’s people on earth, and of the nations, is the one high point in all prophecy, from Moses to John, the bright, broad tableland of all eschatology. The prejudice against the study of a theme so sublime and far-reaching, and occupying so much space in the revelation of God has been pleased to give us, is as remarkable in our age, as [Page 2] it is inexcusable, although by no means surprising. To use the words of Prof. Van Oosterzee, “We cannot be surprised that the inner discrepancy between the modern theological philosophy and the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures should perhaps, on no point come forth so clearly, and apparently so irreconcilably, as precisely in reference to the doctrine of the ‘Last Things’ – Eschatology. Here, especially are the terms, ‘Jewish conception,’ ‘oriental garb,’ ‘poetic imagery,’ ‘accommodation to the narrow ideas of the age,’ etc., etc., the order of the day, and the doctrine of the consummation of the ages is ordinarily regarded as a moderately insignificant appendix to some philosophico-dogmatic system. In Scripture, on the contrary, it is distinctly presented in the foreground, and for the believer it attains, with every year and every century, increased significance, so that what for a time seems to be an appendix, becomes eventually the main question!”*
[* Person and work of the Redeemer, 450.]
Every faithful student of the Scriptures, unbiased by false theories of interpretation, will attest these words as true. What we find in the New Testament as its outcome in respect to the ages and the [coming Messianic] kingdom, has already lain in the bosom of the Old Testament from the beginning. The closing part of the New Testament is but the full flower of which the opening part of the Old Testament was the precious seed, the kingdom one and the same, in essence, all the way. Nothing appears in the latter revelation that was not hid in the earlier, nothing in John that was not in Moses. This is what Augustine meant by his golden maxim, “Novum Testamentum in Vetrere latet, Vetus in Novo patet.” “In the [page 3] Old Testament the New is concealed; in the New the Old is revealed.” We shall find “the thousand years” in many places of God’s word, long before the Rabbis ever had a being or a name.
We shall be obliged in this investigation to make use of what men call “technical” terms, in order to save circumlocution. We speak of the “Last Things.” The Greek term for this is “Eschata,” and by these are meant what should “come to pass,” not in the “latter,” as oftentimes King James’ version has it, but in the “last” days, as Moses, Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Peter, Paul and John, preferred to have it. If we study the eschatology of the Old Testament, we will find the Eschata there identical with the Eschata of the New Testament, and the Eschatology [i.e., the teachings of last things] of both Testaments the same, only the New is more developed than the Old. Such is the organic and genetic character of revelation and of prophecy that if “the thousand years” are not in Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets, they have no right to be in John. To understand the prophets it is necessary, however, to understand the Apocalypse, and to understand the Apocalypse it is necessary to understand the prophets. The one is light to the other, and reciprocally. In order to attain a clear conception of Old testament prophecy and its fulfilment, we must combine both Advents of Messiah, remembering that the first only brought the partial fulfilment of the prophetic word which yet awaits the second in order to secure its plenary accomplishment.
Joel’s prophecy as to the outpouring of the [Holy] Spirit in the last days, and of the great
and notable day of the Lord, with all its terrestrial and celestial phenomena,
the final redemption of Israel, and the transfiguration of the Holy Land, was only incipiently and partly [page 4] fulfilled
to a few, an election out of Israel, at the first coming of Christ, and awaits
a far larger fulfilment at His second appearing. So the prediction
of Amos, in reference to the
dispersion and sifting of Israel the “Sinful Kingdom,”
and God’s visitation of the Gentiles, “after this,” to
take out of them a people for His name, met a partial and pre-cursive
fulfilment in the first calling of the Gentiles to the knowledge of Christ, in
the days of the apostles, as James in the first council at Jerusalem assures
us. We see that by comparing Acts 15: 13-18 with Amos 9: 8-12. But there is to be a grander fulfilment still in coming days, when, now
that a Second Dispersion and Sifting of Israel has occurred, since James spoke,
there shall be a fullness of the Gentiles “after
this,” also, and finally the fallen Booth of David, or
Israel’s proper Kingdom, as the prophets picture it, will be re-erected with the fullness of Israel converted to God, and the
glorious millennial age heave into view. So it is with reference to
Isaiah’s Redeemer coming to
THE KINGDOM AND PROPHECY
From first to last, the kingdom of God on earth, its inception,
progress, conduct, and consummation in glory, is the one theme of Old Testament
prophecy. To this end were the converts with Christ,
Adam, [page 5] Noah,
The division of the Davidic kingdom into two, laid the ground for all the prophecies concerning the “Kingdom of Israel” and the “Kingdom of Judah,” i.e., the ten-tribed Israel, called “Ephraim,” and the two-tribed Israel, called “Judah,” as distinguished from “all [page 6] Israel,” or the twelve-tribed Israel, an election from those children shall one day form the national nucleus of the millennial kingdom.
The catastrophe that brought destruction to
As a further help to our investigation, it is necessary we should
know that the
The six pre-exile prophets form a connected chain ending with
Nahum. Of these, Isaiah is the chief,
his radius of vision spanning all horizons, near, remote, and between and
losing itself in the breast of eternal glory.
He sees all things, however, in one divine perspective, one divine
light, one divine picture, Messiah the centre of all,
It is among the “Eschata,” or “Last Things,” the things to “come to pass in the last days,” or “End Time,” that we
find the Millennial Age. It lies, as we
shall see, between the “Yom Yehovah,” or “Day of the Lord,” which, in the New Testament, is called
“The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ,” and the endless age of the “New Jerusalem” in the final “New heaven and earth.”* It is bounded by two distinct judgments, one
at the opening, one at the close of the Millennial Age, the opening judgment
being that of the Nations, and of all powers, terrestrial and
super-terrestrial, opposed to Christ and His reign, as only by a judgment upon
[* Keep in mind: the “New heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 1: 1), is an entirely new creation after this earth is destroyed by fire.]
To understand this, however, it is necessary to know first, the manner in which the prophets divided the whole course of time, and the way in which the ages and ends are represented in prophecy, as also the relation in which the Eschata stand to these ends and ages, first in pre-exile prophecy, and next in exile prophecy.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION OF TIME.
And first, as to the division of time, in pre-exile prophecy. The whole course of time,
from the creation of the heaven and earth to the re-creation of the same, is
divided into two great ages, the bisecting epoch between which is
called the “End.”
In this End is placed the “Yom Yehovah,” during which the
personal self-revelation of Jehovah in glory, for the deliverance of
[* See Rev. 2: 7, 10, 11. cf. Rev. 2: 23b; 3: 1, 15, 16.]
The character of this Messianic age is painted in colours the most
gorgeous and brilliant in the prophets, even as it is sung in strains the most
inspiring, in the Psalms. When the Lord
has come and brought salvation with His own right arm, and Jacob’s tribulation
is past, everything puts on a new appearance.
Under the New Covenant, sin is pardoned through Messiah’s death, the
gospel is preached, the Gentiles are gathered, the [Holy] Spirit is poured from on high, and streams of knowledge, holiness
and life, perpetually overflow. Showers
of blessing continually fall. The [redeemed] people are all righteous, and the righteous shine. The City of
If we represent, in schematic form, the manner [page 15] and ends as seen, in general, in pre-exile prophecy, the diagram will stand thus:
[Pre-Messianic Age.] <<<>>> [Advent. / End.] <<<>>> [Messianic Age.]
That is, two ages and one end between, the last age the everlasting one, or age that has no end.
Let us come now to speak of exile prophecy. Here we find a marked difference from all
preceding prophecy, in respect to the ages and the ends, and the disposition of
the Eschata. Events that stood together in one picture, in
the earlier prophets, begin to be parted here.
The hints in Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah, of such a possible development,
and of which we shall speak later on, receive now their true significance. We learn how the great epochs of
Something new has occurred. The synthesis of ends and ages in pre-exile prophecy gives place to their analysis in post-exile prophecy. The one end parts into two, each part closing itself up again, the space between becoming that an intermediate age, though still foreshortened, the age that is endless lying behind the last of these ends. Instead of two ages and one end, as in pre-exile prophecy, we have three ages and two ends, schematized thus:
[Jewish Age.] >>><<< [1st. Advent. / End.] >>><<< [Christian Age.] >>><<< [2nd. Advent. / End.] >>><<< [Millennial Age.]
At the end of the pre-Messianic or Jewish Age Messiah comes, but
not in glory. He is “cut
off,” and there is “nothing
for Him” - no kingdom in the form predicted, no crown. He is rooted out by a violent death, and
But this is not all.
Ezekiel develops the ends and ages still more than Daniel does. He has nothing to say of the first Advent, as
Daniel has, and nothing of the Antichrist.
He has nothing to say of the missionary proclamation of the Gospel, or
But the peculiarity of Ezekiel is this, that even to this coming
[Jewish Age.] >>><<< [1st. Advent. / End. ] >>><<< [Christian Age.] >>><<< [2nd. Advent. / End.] >>><<< [Millennial Age.] >>><<< [White Throne. / End.] >>><<< [Endless Age.]
What to us is now the “world to come,” will be to its own inhabitants “the present world,” even as our present age was the world to come, to pre-christian Judaism. As time wears away, and the future comes to make the present, then glides into the past. Olam Habba becomes Olam Hazzeh, even on the other side of the Second Advent. In other words, the Messianic or everlasting age, which, in pre-exile prophecy, was [page 20] but one age following Messiah’s one Advent, and which in Daniel became two ages, by reason of the clear separation of the comings, has, in Ezekiel, become three ages by reason of the new end introduced: so making four in all, if we begin with the Jewish Age, viz.: (1) The period of Old Testament times; (2) the Church-historical period; (3) the Millennial Age of Israel in the kingdom; and (4) the Eternal State or New Jerusalem in the “New Heaven and Earth.” The end of the Jewish Age brought resurrection, judgment, and a new age succeeding. The end of our present age will do the same. The end of the Millennial age will do the same. In each case the kingdom receives a re-establishment in new form. There is a re-creation [or restoration]. A personal advent of Messiah marks the close of each age, save the Millennial. No third advent at the judgment of Gog and Magog is intimated in Ezekiel’s nor even in John’s Apocalypse, for the final resurrection and the judgment of the wicked, into which the judgment of Gog extends itself, for the reason that no second departure of Christ from His people is revealed. As in the Old Testament, so in the New, the last judgment is perspectively covered and connected with the judgment at the second coming of the Son of Man.
Such is the entire development of the ages and the ends in
prophecy, - the Biblical AEonology
and Teleology - from Genesis to Regenesis; the whole time prior to the first
coming being regarded as the pre-Messianic Age.
Our own age is a parenthetic one.
The age next beyond that of our own is that of
THE SUB-DISTRIBUTION OF TIME
The Scriptures give us not only the ages and the ends, but also a
sub-distribution of prophetic and historic time, from the period of the exile
or blotting out of the visible kingdom of God on earth, down to its
re-establishment, i.e., from the time
of Israel’s subjection to the Gentile power to the time of Israel’s redemption
from the same: or until the “mystery of God” concerning Israel’s blindness and
rejection, and Israel’s new sight and recovery, is “finished,” under the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Beyond that we find no sub-distribution, save
the judgment on Gog already mentioned, and which, in connection with Isaiah 24: 22 and Isaiah 65:17, extends itself to the final resurrection and judgment, and the
New Heaven and Earth. The
sub-distribution we refer to is found first of all, in the vision of the great
metallic image, or Monarchy-Colossus, Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream (B.C.
604) eighteen years before the destruction of Jerusalem (B.C. 586), that image
being a symbol of the Gentile power standing on Israel’s prostrate body; or, if
we combine the visions of Daniel with those of Ezekiel, then the Colossus
stands erect in the midst of Israel’s national graveyard – “Habbikah Melcah Atsamoth” – “the valley full of bones, and very dry,” - and
remains standing, while national Israel remains dead, until that image is
overthrown. In short, that Colossus
represents a series of four Gentile empires, appearing and disappearing in
successional order, - four different forms or phases of the one God-opposed
world-power, as it comes in contact with Israel; from the time of the
Babylonian Empire down to the Cloud-Comer from Heaven to overthrow the
world-power, erect His kingdom on its ruins, and restore the lost sovereignty [page
22] to Israel. The vision of the four-empired image and its
fate was given to humiliate the monarch’s pride and inspire afresh the sinking
Again, the same distribution of the period of Israel’s national
sepulchre and corruption, the high Colossus standing as the tombstone, with a “hic jacet Israel,” as it were, upon its breast, is given
to Daniel in a new vision of four beasts (B.C. 541) forty-five years after
Jerusalem’s fall, - a vision parts of which were expanded two years earlier
(B.C. 539) under the symbols of the Ram and Goat. The design of the beast vision was not merely
to show how differently from men God looks upon the phases of the world power,
they regarding the world-kingdoms as the concentration of all material wealth,
splendour, and might. He regarded them
as predacious beasts, but also to allow a further development from the symbol
of the ten horns which would have been unnatural in the ten toes. Careering on through Babylonian,
Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires, down to the last outcome of the Roman
power, divided, lost, and yet revived and reappearing in the “Little Horn,” Gentile power shall wend its way - Israel still
underneath its feet, - until the Mountain-Stone strikes the Image in its toes,
and the Cloud-Comer smites the Horn on its head, the one sent whirling like the
chaff to the wind, the other tossed, living, [page 23] to the flame, while Israel, resurgent
from the grave, appears a mighty host, and wields the empire of the world. The radius of prophetic vision reaches to the
Second Coming of the Son of Man. Till
Once more. Still another
sub-distribution of the same stretch of time is given in the celebrated prophecy
of the “Seventy Weeks” (Chapter 9),
the last week [page 24] of which is eschatological, since it
follows the interval that follows the Roman or second destruction of Jerusalem,
consequent upon the national rejection of Messiah “cut off” by the Jews, - a week divided into two
equal periods of three and one-half years, or forty-two months, or 1,260 days
each, during which we have the rise, reign and ruin of the last Antichrist, the
“prince that shall come” (Nagid
Habba), the “Desolator” (Meshomen),
who perishes beneath the outpoured vials of divine wrath. It is of supreme importance to recognize this
fact. The 70th of Daniel’s
seventy weeks is not immediately sequent upon the 69th week at whose close
Messiah was “cut off.” The Jews nailed the “King of the Jews”
to the cross, and while at the First Advent the kingdom came in its spiritual
inward power on the day of
Pentecost - a “tasting
of the powers of the world to come,” - it was postponed in
its outward, visible and glorious part,
as a polity and public sovereignty, until Messiah’s Second Coming; and this
because of Israel’s unbelief. This is
the sun-clear statement of prophecy. The
70th week stands in the midst of the Yom Yehovah,
or day of the Lord. It precedes the
Second Advent, the destruction of Antichrist, the Resurrection, and
[* Auberlen Der Prophet Daniel, 141.]
Thus do the visions of the empires, beasts, and [page
27] seventy weeks, concur
harmoniously and, with their corresponding intervals, span the course of ages
from the Babylonian time down to the Second Advent. All, without exception, overleap the interval
The contrary view which makes a “figure” of
the Second Advent, would break down the whole Apocalypse of John which is built
up, line for line, on Old Testament prophecy, and the words of our Lord in His
Olivet discourse, and puts the crown and consummation on
If we sum up, therefore, the result of our study, the whole
subject will shine out with a clearness equal to the brilliance of the
noonday. What we have is the
development, in prophecy, of God’s [Millennial and
Messianic] kingdom on earth, by means of
A word here must suffice.
Haggai sees the final glory of the Messianic kingdom and connects it
immediately with the
In the clearest manner Zechariah
distinguishes Two Advents, two Ends, and the Millennial Age following the
second, but without Gog and Magog at its termination. He sees Zion’s king coming meek and lowly
riding on a colt, 9: 9, then
pierced with cruel hands, Jehovah’s Fellow smitten by the sword of justice, 13: 7; 12: 10. As a result of this, he
sees the “Suspension of the Covenant of
God with Israel,” not
God’s Covenant of Grace, which is eternal, but the “Suspension of the National Covenant of God with Israel as a People,” (Delitzsch,
Hofmann, Kohler, Auberlen, Luthardt, Godet, Wright, Pember, Anderson, Seiss,)
by the breaking of the two staves of “Beauty and Bands,”
Zech. 11: 7-10, [page 33]
Israel’s existence as a covenant Nation forfeited, because of Israel’s
rejection of Messiah, until the time of Israel’s penitence, travail, reunion,
and resurrection, Micah 5: 1-3. Ezekiel 37: 1-28. He sees Him again descending on the Mount of
Olives in His Majesty, with all His “holy ones” for
We come to Malachi, the last of the prophets. As he stands nearest the First Coming of
Christ, and in the midst of deepening apostasy, the “Glory” retreats into the background, night comes on with the storm
attending, and the picture of
1. “Olam,” “Ever.”
The word “Olam,” “Ever,” does not, of itself, and by fixed necessity, always denote the
annihilation of time, but as frequently, in Hebrew usage, denotes simply unbroken continuance up to a special epoch in history,
or to a certain natural termination.
It has a relative as well as an absolute sense, a finite as well as an
infinite length. It means “Here” as well as “Beyond,” and applies to a kingdom that comes to
“an End,” as well as to one that has “no End.” For this reason, a great
World-Period, or Age, are called “Olam,” and in World-Periods, or Ages, are
called “Olammim,” and in order to express infinite time,
the reduplication is used, “Ages
of Ages,” “Olammim Olammim.”
It is therefore a false conclusion to say that because the term “Le Olam,” “Forever,” is
applied to the Messianic kingdom, therefore the Hebrews contradicted
themselves, when they assigned to it limits at the same time. Messiah’s kingdom is Temporal and also
Eternal, and in both senses, Olamic. The bondsman’s free covenant to serve his master lasted “forever,”
but that only meant “till Jubilee.” The Levitical economy was established to be “forever,”
but that only meant till “the time of reformation.”
The Christian Church is “forever,” in its
present form, but that only means “till He comes.” True to this view, the Jewish Teachers ever
held to a
* 4th Ezra, VII. 48. **Baruch, XLVIII.
[This important scriptural truth is repeated in the following (PART 2)]
* * *
ISAIAH 24: 21-23.
A. It remains now to speak definitely of the different times given to the Millennial Age in the Old Testament, and point out the passages where John found his “1,000 years.” In this we shall admire still more the unity of both Testaments, and learn that John understood the prophets better than most of his expositors. It will fasten upon us the conviction that the New Testament “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ” is but the Old Testament Yom Yehovah, in which the Lord reveals Himself for the redemption of His people, and that the Eschata in that Apocalypse are only what we elsewhere find in Old Testament predictions, in the words of Christ Himself, and in the utterances of His Apostles; and that in all these Eschata Israel still holds his place, as in all the prophets, and still waits the promised glory in the Millennial Kingdom.
While what we have said concerning pre-exile
prophecy is true, there are yet not wanting intimations, or, if we may so call
them, “Germs” of the later [page 36] development of the ages and ends we find in exile
and post-exile prophecy. These belong to
the organic nature of prophecy, and in them we find the names of the age which
John describes as “the 1,000 years.” Apoc. 20: 1-7. There is a text in what is known among
scholars as the “little Apocalypse of Isaiah,” a section consisting of chapters 24-27. It is found in Isaiah 24: 21-23. Referring to Yom Yehovah, or Day of the Lord, in which
Messiah comes to hold judgment and restore the kingdom to Israel, the prophet
says, It shall come to pass, in that day, that the Lord shall visit upon (punish)
the Host of the High Ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the
earth. And they shall be gathered
together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in
prison. And after a multitude of days - Rov Yammin - they shall be visited
(released for final judgment). “Then shall the moon be
confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount
Zion, and the glory shall be in presence of His ancient ones,” The “Day of the Lord” is, as already seen, that which closes our
present age, the day of the Second Coming of Christ. The judgment predicted in the preceding
context is that of the proud nations, and
The time when this dejection of Satan and his legions occurs is said to be “in that day,” the time when Michael stands up to fight for Israel, Dan. 12: 1; Rev. 12: 7, the time when, in the vision of John, “the angel, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand, laid hold of the dragon, the Old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut and sealed it over him that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished, after which he must be loosed for a little season.” Rev. 20: 1-3.
The time of this casting down of Satan and his hosts from their aerial mansions to earth, is that mentioned also in Rev. 12: 7, 8, 12, 13, when the dragon, in great rage, having but “short time” to work upon earth before he is sent to the abyss, “makes war with the woman, and with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.” That is, it is the time of Israel’s conversion, Rev. 12: 7-11, the time of the close of the testimony of the two witnesses, the end of the first three and a half years (1,260 days) of Daniel’s 70th week; in short, the beginning of the great tribulation, Rev. 11: 7, 13: 12, at whose end Satan is imprisoned in the abyss, Rev. 20: 1-3. And this time of the judgment upon “the Host of the High Ones on High,” is the time of the judgment of the “kings of the earth on the earth,” or Antichrist and his armies, who are destroyed at the close of the last three and a half years (1,260 days) at the Second Coming of Christ from “Heaven [page 38] opened,” Rev. 19: 11-21. There is nothing clearer than that the visions of John, in the text referred to, are the companion pieces of the prophecy of Isaiah just quoted. The judgments upon Antichrist and his armies, and upon Satan and his hosts, are identical in Isaiah and John, and occur “in that day,” the day of the Second Coming of Christ.
But this is not all. The imprisonment of Satan and his demonic powers is not their final judgment. The prophet speaks of a reckoning “after” this. He fixes the duration of the imprisonment at whose close the reckoning comes. He defines the length of that duration as a “multitude of days,” Rov Yamin. He says that “after” this long period which follows Antichrist’s overthrow and Satan’s captivity, the final reckoning shall come. “After a multitude of days they shall be visited,” or as the verb here properly means, “they shall be looked after for final retribution.” This implies, as is admitted, their future unchaining and letting loose again. “They do not escape from prison, but are released, or let out, to meet their final award.” In this, all scholars agree. To this, corresponds the account in John’s Apocalypse, Rev. 20: 1-7, where we read that “After the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison” to play his old game. As, after his casting down from the heavenlies, and before his imprisonment in the abyss, the “short time” of 1,260 days was allowed him to assail the saints, so between his release from prison and his final casting into the lake of fire, he is allowed “a little time” in which to muster the nations, and make his last effort against the Kingdom of God. This we read in the Apocalypse of John who separates the events Isaiah combines in one general expression. The demonstration is inductively [page 39] complete that the definite period of time called Rov Yamin, by Isaiah, or the “Multitude of days,” is identical with the period called Chilia Ete, or “the thousand years” by John. The judgments which precede this period are the same. The “First Resurrection” which occurs at the same time, also; the resurrection of the faithful dead, as is clear from Deut. 32: 39; Ps. 49: 14; Hos. 13: 14; Isa. 25: 8; 26: 14, 19; Ezek. 37: 12; Dan. 12: 1-3; 1 Cor. 15: 54, 55; Rev. 11: 18; 20: 5. And the time of these judgments and this resurrection is the Yom Yehovah or “the Day of the Lord,” in which the “Lord Himself” visibly reveals His person to effect these events. The succeeding long period of the “Multitude of Days,” or “The Thousand Years” is the same. And the judgments at the close of this period are the same. What confirms this all the more is the fact that unless the “visiting” of the imprisoned Anti-christian hosts, at the end of the “Multitude of Days” involves their resurrection - the resurrection of the wicked unto final judgment - there is no text in the Old Testament that does. Isa. 24: 21, 22, is the only passage; since Dan. 12: 2, properly translated, speaks only of the resurrection of the righteous.*
[* That is, those whose personal righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees; it is not a reference to the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus. Matt. 5: 20; 7: 21.]
But that Isaiah 24: 22 does involve the resurrection of the wicked, at the close of the “Multitude of Days,” is clear from this, that John interprets Isaiah’s prophecy by his own vision of the resurrection of the wicked at the close of “the thousand years” which, as we have seen, are identical with the “Multitude of Days.” It stands exegetically fast, that John’s Millennial Age is Isaiah’s “Multitude of Days,” dating from the Second Advent; that epoch of time which runs into the age following; the epoch when Israel is redeemed, and nationally restored; when Jerusalem, [page 40] the “beloved city” becomes the middle point of the Millennial Kingdom during “the thousand years,” Rev. 20: 9, and “the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, even in Jerusalem, and glory shall be in presence of His ancient ones.” Isa. 24: 23.
It is the time when, as the context in Isaiah
shows, the sleeping saints of God are raised, the veil is taken off the
It will perhaps, assist our understanding, to see how this exegesis of the passage in Isaiah, so little understood by many, is supported by a scholarship than which none better can be found. “The binding of Satan,” says Auberlen, “is, like the thousand years, peculiar to the Apocalypse, although, strictly speaking, Isaiah prophecies the same thing in chap. 24: 21-23.”* Better still are the words of Nagelsbach upon the passage: “The prophet’s eye here sees what will take place at the end of the world. The invincible extra-mundane heads of the worldly powers, as well as their earthly visible organs, will, according to the prophet, be collected as prisoners in the pit, and shut up in it. But not merely the binding of these angelic and worldly powers, but their being let loose for a time, is also announced. Only by a brief obscure word, perhaps not seen through by the prophet himself, does the prophet intimate this. We would not, perhaps, have understood this word, if the New Testament revelation, which is nearer the time of the fulfilment, did not throw light on this dark point. It declares expressly that, after a thousand years, Satan should be loosed from his prison. Rev. 20: 7. Isaiah [page 41] uses here an indefinite announcement of time, ‘After a multitude of days.’ And an indefinite verb, ‘pakad,’ stands here as in Isa. 23: 17, of a ‘visiting’ which consists in a looking again after some one who, long time, has remained neglected. Jer. 27: 22. The word is here taken in the sense of a visitation for judgment, as is seen in the place in the revelation by John.
* Der Prophet Daniel, p. 330.
“The letting loose of Satan is only the prelude to his total
destruction, Rev. 20: 10. Then follows the last, highest, and grandest
revelation of God. The earth becomes now
what it ought originally to have been, but was hindered from being by the sin
of man, the common dwelling place of God and men. The heavenly
* Dr. C. W. E. Nagelsbach, in Lange, on Isa. 24: 11-23.
And even better still is the comment of Weber on the passage. After showing that the context the prophet predicts
(1) the judgment on the earth, and
plagues on men in general, in the end time, to which the sixth seal in the
Apocalypse refers; (2) the judgment
on the world-city or Babylon of the future; (3) the final judgment on Jerusalem and all who deal treacherously
with Israel’s remnant, he continues thus: “The Lord will hold ‘in that day,’ another judgment. He will ‘visit the Most High Ones in the height, and the kings of the earth
on the earth.’ The earthly and heavenly powers, who have
deceived mankind into apostasy, shall receive their punishment. They shall both be visited on that same
day. The host of [page 42] the high ones on high includes the angels of the nations and kingdoms of
which Daniel speaks, 10: 13, 21; 12: 1, and John, Rev. 12: 7. They have exercised over the nations a
God-opposing influence, and shall be judged with them. What the punishment of these aerial powers is
we are told. They shall be thrust into a
pit, as prisoners are into a dungeon, and ‘after a multitude of days,’ shall be visited. A time comes when once more they shall be
released and allowed to begin their earlier practice of deception. But it shall not continue long; for, after a
brief last conflict, that
* Dr. J. W. Weber, Der Prophet Jesaia, pp. 216, 223.
These extracts might suffice to show the meaning
of the prophet, and vindicate the Apostle John from the empty charge made so often,
that he was indebted to the Apocryphal legends and literature of the Rabbis for
his conception of “the thousand years!” But there is a
testimony yet more sublime than all the rest, which ought here to be
produced. It is the comment of the
childlike, deeply devout, and gifted man, Dr.
Christian August Crusius, Professor of Theology in Leipsic forty years
during the last century (the successful antagonist of Leibnitz), a man of whom Bahrdt said, “He is the greatest
philosopher and richest thinker of our times,” and of whom Kant said he felt it an honour to be allowed to testify that “he is the clearest
philosopher, and second to none in the promotion of philosophy, in our age.” In his work, “Decaelo per Adventum Christi
commoto,” A.D. 1757, he says, “With the gradual development of the
* Rev. 15: 4. (Quoted by Delitzsch Bibl. Proph. Theologie, pp. 123-138)
From the last commentary on Isaiah, we venture to quote the following admirable words by Prof. Von Orelli of Basle – words that will be welcomed by all: “Not the angelic host ministering to Jehovah is here intended,” says Orelli, “but the host of the spirit world accountable to Jehovah, and which like the possessors of earthly power, is subject to His judgment. The figure is that of the arrest of State criminals who at first, without regard to the extent of their demerit, are thrown into prison, then afterward, at the day of judgment, are dealt with according to the measure of their guilt.” “The world-judgment here presented, is pictured as a cosmical catastrophe, like the deluge, which once swept away mankind, but yet more fruitful of good. The earth shall altogether lose its hold, and be broken under the weight of its sin. The judgment shall not merely strike the rulers of the earth, but shall reach the super-earthly powers, also, who are not blameless before God. Between these, and the sinful world-powers there is a close connection, as the book of Daniel shows, and which is here asserted through the fact that they both are judged together. As common criminals, these highest rulers shall be ignominiously arrested and imprisoned in order that, after a long time, they may receive their sentence which shall be pronounced by the Lord enthroned on Mount Zion, and His glorious judgment host there assembled. Sun and moon shall lose their splendour in token of His great indignation against the world, while His people, redeemed on Mount Zion, dwell in the clearest light, [page 47] their elders deemed worthy to behold the glory of God; so that, according to chapter 4: 5, 6, and far more gloriously than in Moses’ time, Ex. 24: 9, 10, they shall be permitted to enjoy, permanently, the protection of the Shekinah-Cloud as the residence of the Lord who has now taken to Himself the sovereignty of the world.”
“After this world-judgment, in which Antichrist and his hosts are destroyed, as also Satan and his legions judged, and both imprisoned in the abyss, and Israel is redeemed and delivered, comes the blessed time of the ‘Multitude of days,’ the Millennial Age,” on which Orelli remarks, “then following this judgment, comes the Triumphlied of the redeemed, chap. 25, as at chap. 12, an exalted echo of Israel’s song at the Red Sea, Ex. Chap. 15. To all nations who do homage to the Lord in the end of the days, and undulate like swelling billows to the holy mountain to worship there, the Lord Himself will prepare a wondrous feast of joy. It shall be to them a divine surprise when now He takes away the covering which, long enough already, has veiled the eyes of the nations. They shall behold Him as the Dispenser of all life and grace, and taste how good He is to those who bend before His majesty.
“By a second act of almighty love and power, not less miraculous, He will abolish death with all the woe that wrung from man uncounted tears, and lift the curse which, from the beginning, has weighed so heavily upon the human race. Here is, indeed, the end of the ways of God with men, of which the New Covenant in Christ, the Risen One, has unveiled the aim. As the remnant of Israel, so also the remainder of mankind, spared through the judgment on the nations, shall be destined to unexpected blessedness by Him the All-Merciful [page 48] One, and this shall be, of itself, the most beautiful apology for Israel, while the pride of Gentile power, the odious rival of God’s people, shall be crushed forever.”
And in conclusion, on chapter 26, the last of the “Little Apocalypse of
gives us this: “The songs of victory which first we heard far off in 24: 14, and were next intoned
* Orelli, in Strack-Zockler’s Kurtz Komm, Der Proph. Jesaia, pp. 86, 89-93.
Such is the exposition of the contents, in part, of the “Little Apocalypse” of Isaiah, by Orelli - a picture of the World Judgment at the Second Advent and of the Millennial Age, the “Multitude of Days,” the “long time” following that judgment; a period of blessedness opened by the restoration of Israel, the judgment on Antichrist and Satan, the resurrection of the faithful dead, and the revelation of the glory of Christ to the nations, the companion piece of John’s Apocalypse, chapters 19 and 20. It is not possible to place the Millennial Age before the coming of Christ, except by an open contradiction of the Word of God.
B. EZEKIEL 38
An exile passage also claims our attention, in
proof that “the
thousand years” of John’s Apocalypse are found in the Old Testament itself. It is the strangely introduced yet
significant prediction concerning “Gog and Magog,” in Ezek. 38: 8. It comes
upon the reader suddenly, as an independent prediction of judgment due to Gog “after many days,” and stands isolated,
as it were, in the text. It seems to be
a parenthetic expression. It is a brief
oracle, and yet it is the one word on which John’s whole representation of the
order of the Eschata is pivoted, in the
twelth chapter of his Apocalypse. “After many days - Rabbim Yamim - thou shalt be visited.” The verb (tippakedh) its tense form and import are the same
as in Isaiah
24: 22; 29: 6, not merely a testing by
divine judgment, but a destruction. Smend’s rendering “Thou shalt be mustered,” and the rendering “Thou shalt be commissioned,” [page 50] are insufficient. The
verb imports here judicial visitation for destruction. What the prophet here predicts is Satan’s last
attempt, through Gog and Magog, in the latter years, against the
The time of the visitation on Gog is said to be “after” these “many days,” which belong to “the later years.” (1)
The terminus a
of these “many
years” is Israel’s
restoration, conversion to Christ as a people and a nation, and the
repossession of their land;
the epoch of the resurrection of their
faithful dead, an event included in the promise made 37: 12, as is proved by Deut. 32: 39; Ps. 17: 15; 49: 14, 15; Hos. 13: 14; Isa. 25: 6-9; 26: 14, 19; Dan. 12: 1-3, all of which passages refer directly to this same epoch,
and fore-announce the literal
resurrection of Israel’s faithful dead, [page 51] and non-resurrection of the wicked “at that time,” and “in that day.” All this we have in chapter 37. It is the terminus a quo. It is the same epoch, also, of the judgment
upon Antichrist and his armies, and upon Satan and his angels, that we find in Isaiah 24: 21, 22; Daniel 12: 1; Revelation 12: 7-9; 20: 1-3. (2)
The period, or age, that follows this terminus a quo is plainly the Rabbim Yamim or “many days,” whose glory, peace and
blessedness are described in chapters 40-48, which are the expansion of 38: 1-28, and of what Isaiah has predicted; Isa. 2: 2-5; 11: 6-9; 24: 23; 25: 6-9; 40: 1-22; 61: 4-11; 62: 2-12; 65: 17-25; 66: 20-23. They are the period “after” Israel has been “gathered out from many
nations,” “brought back from the sword,” is “dwelling safely, and at rest,
in unwalled villages having neither bars nor gates,” - God alone their
protection, - abundant in wealth and all possessions. Exekiel 38: 8-12, 14. They are the period
of the new indwelling glory in New Israel, chapters 40-53; of the New Service following the
entrance of the Glory in the Temple, which He makes the place of His throne and
of the soles of His feet, 44-46; of the life and healing to the land from the flowing of the
temple waters; and of the splendour to the city whose name is Jehovah Shammah, “The Lord is there!” 47-48. (3) The terminus ad quem of these “many days” is expressly said to be the judgment on Gog,
precisely as John makes the judgment on Gog to be the close of “the thousand years.” Rev. 20: 7. “After many days thou shalt be
visited.” The termini in Isa. 24: 22, and Ezek. 39: 8, are, therefore,
identical. The passages are parallel,
supplementary, and mutually explanatory.
The character of the “visitation” at the end of the “many days” is the same in both. The parties [page 52] “visited” are different, but this
is due to the fact that Ezekiel’s prophecy is an advance upon Isaiah’s word,
and brings to light new things occurring at the same time with those of which
Isaiah speaks. In Isaiah, the parties
visited after “many days” are Satan and his angels let loose from their imprisonment, and the
Anti-Christian wicked raised from their graves for the last judgment. In Ezekiel, they are the living nations
outlying on the extreme borders of the glorified
If we turn to John’s Apocalypse we shall find his
Amid the vast variety in the unveiling of the
word and plan of God, the unity remains the same from age to age. The ends and ages are the same in the New as
in the Old Testaments. The Advents there
are the Advents here. Antichrist there
is Antichrist here. Gog there is Gog
here. The judgments there are the
judgments here. The resurrections there are the resurrections here. The power, the kingdom, and the glory there
are the power, the kingdom, and the glory here.
And the times of the Gentiles first, and the times of
In John, we have the period of “the 1,000 years.” Their commencing date, or terminus a quo, is identified with that
in Isa. 24: 22, and Ezekiel 38: 8. The Eschata that open “the 1,000 years,” prove this. We have (1)
the gathering, sealing, conversion, and restoration of
Chapters 10, 11, and part of 12, introduce us to Ezekiel’s
From what has been said it must be clear that the
* Schroeder on Ezekiel, in Lange, 376, 350. ** Ibid 363
So Schroeder speaks. And we add that, if indeed, as is the fact, the binding of Satan precedes the judgment on Gog; if it occurs at the Second Coming of Christ when the resurrection from the dead takes place; if Israel’s political resurrection precedes this personal one; if “Leolam,” “forever,” is used in its qualified sense as equivalent to “the thousand years” of John, the “long time” or “outstanding” period, next preceding the consummation of the kingdom and the world; if all this is conceded, then it is hard to see how any who accept these conclusions could find relief from their force, by resort to the allegorical, spiritual, or symbolical theories of interpretation. The relations of the events must, at least, remain the same, and the “Many Days” must come in between the Second Coming of Christ and the judgment on Gog. If, moreover, we allegorize one event, to be consistent we must allegorize all. This wrecks the whole prediction, and denies the vast body of literal Scripture elsewhere with which it stands connected.
Riehm, as an exegete, though
seeking to avoid the literal interpretation of prophecy in reference to
* Riehm, Messianic Proph. 110, 210.
Clearly, then, even according to Riehm’s view, the [page 59] “many days” in Ezekiel, are the period of Israel’s blessedness in the Messianic
Kingdom on earth, and are bounded at their opening, by the “first judgments” which bring deliverance
to Israel and the establishment of Israel in the Messianic kingdom on earth,
and at their close are bounded by the “destruction of Gog.”
The period between these different and separated judgments, which stand
a “long time,” when “a thousand years,” and Micah, Ezekiel and
John, herein agree. The millennium
announced by John is only what the prophets, pre-exile and exile, have
foretold, and the duration of which they measure by the “many days” between Israel’s
introduction, by means of the Messianic judgment, into the kingdom established
in the Holy Land, and the final overthrow of Gog. Micah, as well as Isaiah, forecasts “the thousand years” of John. Not before, but only “after the thousand years,” when Gog is judged, is
the ultimate glory of the kingdom. In
other words, the view of the total End-Time, in the widest and most comprehensive scope, as seen
by the prophets, and embracing the perfect victory of Messiah for Israel’s
complete deliverance and complete establishment of the kingdom of glory on
earth, in the latter days, is represented as that of two great acts or phases
of judgment between which lie the “many days” of Ezekiel which are “the thousand years” of John. In other words again, the “End of the Days” of which Ezekiel and
Isaiah speak, in the texts already referred to, is the end of “the thousand years,” the “end” which Paul has in view,
in 1 Cor. 15: 34, when Messiah’s victory
is complete, and, all rule, authority and power being put down, and [page 60] death itself destroyed, the kingdom is
surrendered to the Father, and God is all in all. 1 Cor. 15: 24-26. The harmony and
unity of Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel, Paul and John, herein, are both demonstratable
and indestructible. Their testimony to
the location of the
* Das tausendjuhrige Reich, p. 65.
C. LEOLAM. FOREVER
In the extract from Schroeder, quoted above, it
was said that the term “Leolam,” “forever,” Ezek. 37: 25, 26, 28, applied to the duration of the times of
A better knowledge of the usus loquendi, and of the term “forever,” would render this, like
many other similar objections, impossible.
Schroeder is right, therefore, as are Kliefoth, Oehler, Kuper, and many others, when saying that Ezekiel’s Leolam, Forever, in 37: 25, 26, 28, is the equivalent of John’s Chilia Ete, or “one thousand years,” in Rev. 20: 1-7. Isaiah’s everlasting age concealed in its bosom all the relative ages of the great development, and their termini, even as Joel’s prophecy was “generic” and contained the two judgments of the double end, the judgment on antichrist and the nations, and the judgment on Gog. And in the whole development, all things are connected with temporal and terrestrial relations. From first to last, even in the New Testament, the ages and the ‘kingdom of the heavens’ are associated with our planet. Nowhere in the Old Testament, as nowhere in the New, can our popular idea of “an end to the world,” as the terminus where Time and Eternity meet, or Time passes into Eternity, and “our planet is no more,” to be found. Such conceptions are unbiblical, Manichean, Origenistic, Shakesperean and pessimistic. The “hills of Olam” abide for ever and forever. Materiality is glorified, not annihilated, in God’s Kingdom. The creation is recreated. A new heaven and earth supplant the old, and this begins with the “many days,” “the one thousand years.”
D. HOSEA 3: 4.
Another expression, similar to those already noted,
is found on Hosea when predicting God’s watchful care over Israel in their
dispersion and lonliness; - [page 65] the time of Lo Ammi and Lo Ruhamam - “Not my people,” and “Not my beloved;” the time when harlot Israel, divorced from God,
yet separated from idolatry, is still in desolation and concealment and
providentially preserved for God. Hos. 1: 6, 9, 10; 2: 20-23. The words of punishment and grace are the
alike remarkable. “Thou shalt abide for me
many days - Yamin
Rabbim. Thou shalt not play the
healot. Thou shalt not be any man’s wife. So will I also be for thee!” God’s pledge to the sinful Jewish Church, to
* Messianic Prophecies, p. 61. [** See Acts 7: 4, 5.]
If we ask what these two historic days are, we can only say again, with Delitzsch, “The prophecy refers to the people, after the second day of whose death a resurrection day follows.” Rom. 11: 15. “The two days of their death are, in the history of fulfilment, the Assyrian and Babylonian exile, and the Roman exile, in which the Jewish people still are.”* That is, the first day of Israel’s national death is the Old Testament [page 67] period of Israel’s destruction as a nation, the people carried captive, Jerusalem destroyed, the Temple gone, the land depopulated, and the outward kingdom blotted out; the second day is the New Testament period, with the like catastrophe repeated, the first day reaching to the First Coming of Christ, beginning with a new dispensation, the Roman or second day reaching to the Second Coming, the total period being the time of Israel, as a nation, in the Valley of Dry Bones, the Monarchy-Colossus still standing unstruck.
*ibid, p. 62.
Then comes the “third,” the resurrection day, in whose “morning”
[* That is, redemption in the sense of being set free from confinement as disembodied “souls” by the opening of the “Gates of Hades” for the holy dead, presently resident “in the heart of the earth,” (Matt. 16: 18; Matt. 12: 40; Luke 16: 23; John 14: 3. cf. John 3: 13; 2 Tim. 2: 18.).]
What Hosea gives us here, at the beginning of the third day, is precisely what Moses gives us, Deut. 32: 39; and David gives us, Ps. 49: 14, 15; and Isaiah gives us, 25: 8; 26: 19; and Daniel gives us, 12: 1-3; and Ezekiel gives us, 37: 1-28; and John’s Apocalypse gives us, 11: 11, 18; 12: 5; 10: 11; 20: 4-6. [page 68] Then after these mighty events that mark the end of our present age, or end of Israel’s second day of national death, comes the Millennial Age of Israel’s blessedness, pictured beautifully, as the times of perennial reviving and refreshing, the age of Israel’s Dew, and Blossoming, and Lily growth, and deepening roots like the Cedar tree, and spreading branches like the olive tree; the age of blessing to the Nations, when they, too, dwelling under Israel’s shadow, shall revive as the corn, and bloom as the vine, and be fragrant as wine of Lebannon; and Israel, all holy to the Lord, will have no more to do with idols, but, unwithering, like the fir tree, bear holy fruit to God. Hosea 14: 4-8.
The demonstration, then, is clear, inductively.
from the Assyrian captivity down to the Second Advent of Christ. During this whole period
These two vast periods, taken together, cover,
therefore, the whole time from the Assyrian captivity to the Last Judgment and
the final New Heaven and Earth. The age
next before us is that of the “Third Day,” the “Sabbatism” of the world. Not at
the First Coming of Christ was Hosea’s prediction fulfilled, as is clear [page 69] from John’s
Apocalypse, where, under the sixth vial, the Euphrates, beyond which the ten
tribes roved into concealment among the nations, is “dried up” to make way for the
return of Israel, under the care of the princes from the sun rising. Rev. 16: 12; 2 Kings 17: 6; Isa. 11: 16; 24: 16; 66: 19, 20; 41: 2, 25; Zeph. 3: 10. It is
true that the terms “Afterward” and the “Last Days” are standing eschatological formulae for the whole Messianic time
covered by Isaiah’s everlasting age, as well as for the time next preceding the
“Yom Yehovah,” or “Day of the Lord;” and that, as is clear
from Joel and Peter, they include the first as well as the second appearing of
Messiah. Isa. 2: 2; Joel 2: 28; Acts 2: 17; the outpouring of the [Holy] Spirit on the day of
Pentecost, as well as the still future outpouring predicted by Paul. Rom. 11: 27, and parallels; Isa. 59: 21; Ezek. 36: 24, 25; and both which are wrapped up in Zechariah’s
oracle, Zech. 12: 10-14; 13: 1, 6. Compare Rev. 1: 7. But it
is equally true that whatever conversion of Jews occurred on the day of
Pentecost, or of any Israelites since, it is only the initial, not the final,
redemption of that people, since Israel, as a nation, is still cast away, not
gathered, their house desolate, and their land still trodden under Gentile
feet. The “afterness of the days” is the end-time at the
second coming of Christ. It refers to
the epoch of
But Moses demands a hearing. The Prophets have said nothing on this great matter
that even Moses had not already said before them. Let it be enough, just here, to say that
Moses himself defines the time during which
Listen to the “Song of Moses,” Deut. 32: 39-43. It predicts
* “ANI-HU” (I AM HE) is the covenant name of Christ, in the Old Testament, Deut. 32: 39; Isa. 43: 10; 46: 3, 5; 48: 12. It is the name of the Second Person of the Trinity (1) making Himself equal in Essence with God (HE), while yet asserting a distinct Personality. It is the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, of the Word of God, and is the ground of John’s Logos doctrine. John 1: 1. He who here speaks, to Moses, is the personal “Word of God,” who appears as the diademed Rider on the White Horse, Rev. 19: 11, and as the Angel of the Covenant, or Maleach Habberith, coming, the second time to Israel, to wake His people out of the Valley of Dry Bones, and appearing with solar-face, rainbow-crown, His shoulders in cloud, and His feet in pillars of fire, Rev. 10: 1, and swearing the same words to John that He swore to Moses. It was ANI-HU who dwelt in the Pillar of Cloud by day, and Fire by night. It was ANI–HU who spoke to Moses in the “Bush.” It was ANI-HU HAMMIDDABBER, I AM HE, the Speaking One, a motto Stier has taken for his “Words of Jesus.” It was a name asserting the deity, eternity, personality, majesty, and real presence and glory of Christ, in Old Testament History. ANI-HU is the “Alpha and Omega” in the Apocalypse, Isaiah’s “Immanu-EL” or “With-us-God.” The Christ who talked to Moses upon the same subject, and in reference to the same time.
F. THE PSALTER.
Nor is the Psalter silent. All the sweet singers of
What is the 97th Psalm but a catalogue of the
nations whose individuals are put on the burgess roll as born citizens of
G. SUMMING UP.
If we sum up the results of our investigation, we
shall find that the Spirit of Prophecy has furnished us various time-designations
which span the whole development of the
1. Rov Yamin. Multitude of Days. Isa. 24: 22.
2. Rabbin Yamin. Many days. Ezek. 38: 8.
3. Yom Hashshelishi. Third Day. Hos. 3: 4, 5.
4. His Days. Psa. 72: 7.
5. Leolam. Forever. Ezek. 37: 25, 26, 28.
6. Chila Ete. Thousand Years. Rev. 20: 1-7.
All descriptive of the same period of time,
bounded [page 77] on each side by the same events, the
period between the Second Advent and the
destruction of Gog, or between the binding and loosing of Satan. It is important to observe that the “Many Days” of Hosea, are a very
different period from the “Many Days” of Ezekiel, and the “Multitude of Days” of Isaiah. The former are the “Times of the Gentiles,” the times of the
Colossus, the Four Beasts,
And what we find further, is that no prophet of
the Old Testament gives a complete, but only a partial picture of the End-Time,
even as neither Christ, nor any Apostle does, but that the work of John, under
the guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy, was to combine the [page 78] Eschata of Joel, Amos,
Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah; in short, the Eschata
of all the prophets, and arrange them in their temporal order and succession,
supplementing by one prophet the partial picture of the End drawn by another,
until all the Eschata fall into their places, as they shall occur in history,
so furnishing to us one grand tableau of the End Time. This is what the Holy Ghost did with the seer
in the “isle
that is called
It does seem strange that any student of God’s
word should doubt, for one moment, the truth that blazes everywhere so clearly
in the Old as well as the New Testaments, viz., that the Second Coming of
Christ precedes the Millennium. And it does seem criminal that such an
unreasoning prejudice should exist in the minds of any against the use of the
term as Spiritual as are the terms “Baptism,” “Baptist,” “Episcopalian,” “Presbyterian;” words which the objectors themselves have
chosen to consecrate as the names of their several denominations, and in which
they glory. How unreasonable is man’s
opposition, even to God’s own word! “Man would,” as Bengel says,
“take the very words of God out of His own mouth!” We coin the word “Millennialist,” in Latin, from the
words “Mille” and “annos,” which are simply the
Roman equivalents for the Greek “Chilia Ete” of John in Rev. 20: 1-7, the English translation of which is a “thousand Years.” It is Scriptural. We coin the word “Chiliast” from these same
inspired words. It is as Scriptural a
term, as is “Baptist,” [page 80] “Presbyterian,” or “Episcopalian,” or “Christian,” and as “Orthodox” as any of these! It
means that he who wears it believes that the “Day of the Lord” in which Christ comes precedes the Millennium. The Advent is before the Millennium.
That is, he is a “Pre-Millennialist.” It
denies what the Scriptures everywhere deny, viz., the fiction of a pre-advent Millennium. With equal justice, we might coin the word Ravyamist from the Hebrew terms “Rov Yamin” and “Rabbim Yamim,” in Hosea, Isaiah, and
Ezekiel, there used to denote the same truth.
Every prophet was a Ravyamist. He believed in a period of time, “after” Messiah’s Coming to
judge the Nations, in which Israel, re-gathered, redeemed,
restored, renewed, resurrected, and renationalized, should enjoy the Messianic
glory in the kingdom on earth - a period of time called “Many Days,” or as John has it,
and prior to the Last Judgment and the final New Heaven and earth. And Christ Himself
was a “Ravyamist,” or, as Auberlen somewhere
truly says, “Jesus was a Chiliast.”
All the Apostles were the same. All
the early Apologists for Christianity were the same. Can we imagine when we hear such a man as Delitzsch say, “I am a Chiliast,” and “Chiliasm was the faith of the early Church,” and when also we hear the greatest modern patristic
scholar, Harnack, say, “Chiliasm is
inseparably associated with the gospel, and this is its defence,” that these men are either heretics or foolish? On the contrary, that great martyr and
the most learned man of his time,” catalogued and held as “Promoters of heresy,”
and even of “blasphemy,” all who denied the
Chiliastic faith which, in their day, was the “test of an orthodox church.” It is a proposition
no honest critic dare deny [page 81] that, if the early
church, having such teachers as Irenaeus, Justin, and others of the same
apostolic faith and influence, and knowing what Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Daniel,
Ezekiel, Zechariah, John, our Lord, and His Apostles, had taught, had not been Chiliastic in her creed, she ought to have been so, and her failure
to have been so would have convicted her as recreant to what Moses and the
Prophets, and Christ and His Apostles, had revealed of the course of history,
and the outcome of God’s kingdom on earth. It
was impossible, however, that, standing next to Christ and His Apostles, and
with the Psalms and Prophets in her hand, the Jew nationally cast away yet only
for a time, and the Gentile erect on Israel’s grave, and even persecuting the
church itself, she could have been anything else than she was in her creed, and
the proof is perfect, and increases more and more, with every fresh
investigation of the early history of the church, that, only by means of apostasy from the Word of God,
did she surrender for the sake of opulence and power, money and prosperity,
extension in the empire, and freedom from fagot and flame, that blessed truth
whose defence from Moses and John, God has made the mark of a faithful, a suffering, and
a witnessing church. And, surely, if the
pious Hebrew held the Hope of Christ’s Coming to judge the nations, restore
Israel, and set up His Kingdom on earth, as the only Hope for the world’s
redemption, the only way by which gentile politics and power could be overthrown,
the Antichrist destroyed, and the faithful dead awakened to share the promise
of the kingdom, much more ought it to be our Hope, bound up as it is
with our own deliverance, as well as the deliverance of Israel, and the final
glory of the world. What a stupendous absurdity, in flat
contradiction to [page 82] every prophet, that
the Millennial Age will come prior to the “Yom
Yehovah,” or “Day of the Lord,” in which Messiah appears for
A closing word is demanded as to
A glance is enough to confirm this. John has nothing here the prophets have
not. He has nothing Christ has not, for
the Apocalypse was given him of God, and does not mean a literary production,
or book, but the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1: 1), as He comes the second
time, in the clouds of heaven (Rev. 1: 7), and to His
Covenant people, Israel of Old Testament Prophecy, to fulfil the word of His
promise to them, to deliver them, to restore their state, and give them the
kingdom. He comes, indeed, to
judge the professing Church and the world, but He comes to Israel as the “Malakh
Habberith” or “Angel of the Covenant” the “Lord Himself;” and “Who may abide the day of His Coming, or stand when
He appeareth?” (Rev. 7: 17; 7: 1-8, Malachi
3: 2-4). John has nothing, the Apostles have not. His Eschatology is the same as that of Peter
and Paul. Peter binds
If we combine all these in one picture, what we shall get as a result is Antichrist destroyed, Israel redeemed, the [faithful] saints raised [‘out from the dead’], the Inheritance glorified, all at the Second Coming of Christ, and the Millennial Interval between that Coming of Christ to assume the kingdom and the remote End when He shall have surrendered the Kingdom of God, even the Father, having abolished all rule, and all authority and power, and annihilated Hades and Death, “that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15: 24-28. In short, we get precisely what John has given us in the Apocalypse, with this difference, that, whereas Peter and Paul discuss the points separately, John discusses nothing, but combines all in a total tableau of the End-Time, glowing under the highest light of the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. And so [page 87] will every student of God’s word find it, if only he comes to that word with an humble heart, free from prejudice, and false theories of interpretation, and prays that God will open his eyes to see light in God’s light alone, accounting all other light as but darkness. Blessed book is the Bible, the living word of the living God, one word from beginning to end, the work of one infinite mind, full of the wonders of wisdom, love and power! And from Moses to John, the Eschatology is one, because God’s plan is one, the “Thousand Years” in John, following the Second Advent, and preceding the Last Judgment, being the very Interval Paul himself has acknowledged in 1 Cor. 15: 24, and none other than that period of time, called by Hosea, the “Third Day,” by Isaiah a “Multitude of Days,” and by Ezekiel “Many Days” - in every case, in both Old and New Testaments, associated with the Glory of Israel in the Kingdom, and the redemption of the Nations, accomplished at the Second Coming of Christ. The holy penmen mutually supplement each other. The Lord open the eyes of His Church to see it, love it, and teach it, and to Him be the glory forever.
* * *
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VERY IMPORTANT NOTES
[Selected by the editor from Nathaniel West’s “Supplementry Discussions”]
1. “Olam,” “Ever.”
The word “Olam,” “Ever,” does not,
of itself, and by fixed necessity, always denote the annihilation of time, but as
frequently, in Hebrew usage, denotes simply unbroken continuance up to a
special epoch in history, or to a certain natural termination. It has a relative as well as an absolute
sense, a finite as well as an infinite length.
It means “Here” as well as “Beyond,” and applies to a kingdom that comes to “an End,” as well as to one that has “no End.” For this reason, a great World-Period, or
Age, are called “Olam,” and in World-Periods, or Ages, are called “Olammim,”
and in order to express infinite time, the reduplication is used, “Ages of Ages,” “Olammim Olammim.” It is therefore a false conclusion to say
that because the term “Le Olam,” “Forever,” is applied to the Messianic kingdom, therefore the Hebrews
contradicted themselves, when they assigned to it limits at the same time. Messiah’s kingdom is Temporal and also Eternal, and in both senses, Olamic. The bondsman’s free covenant to serve his
master lasted “forever,” but that only meant “till Jubilee.” The Levitical
economy was established to be “forever,” but that only meant till “the time of reformation.”
The Christian Church is “forever,” in its
present form, but that only means “till He comes.” True to this view, the Jewish
Teachers ever held to a
*4th Ezra, VII. 48 **Baruch, XLVIII.
MILLENNIAL, NOT ETERNAL
That the Millennial Age is
not the Final Age is made clear in both Testaments.
The kingdom of 1,000 years stands in relation to an Age beyond its own
limits, the Endless Age. It is a
false construction if the word “Until” in the
expression “Until the 1,000 years are finished,” Rev. 20: 3, 5, 7 to say that the end of these years is the end of the
of Christ, or of the blessedness of Israel, or of the Risen Saints’ reign
with Christ, or of the distinction between Israel and the Nations, or between
the Holy City and the outside dwellers.
Even after the Judgment of the “Great White Throne,”
and the surrender of the Messianic Kingdom to the father, the priestly co-regency
of Christ and His saints still exist.
There is still a dominion of Christ and His Bride, “the
2. MODE OF LIFE AMONG THE RISEN [AFTER DEATH]
As to the mode of intercourse between the glorified and un-glorified, there are many vain speculations. We only “know in part,” and time will bring the answer to our various askings. The whole discussion binds itself to our conceptions of the Resurrection-Body, - what it needs, and what its functions, are. From the very first, the Jewish teachers were embarrassed here, and much divided in their views. The later Jews are not more clear. Saadias and Maimonides maintained that “they who rise in the resurrection, eat, drink and marry, and their bodily members serve them, for these are not in vain and they die again.”* It was an ancient view, and founded on the cases of the resurrection of the son of the Shunamite, and the son of the widow of Zarepta, “both whom,” says Saddis, “ate and drank and doubtless took wives.” On the other hand, Bechai and Abarnanel maintained that “they who rise in the resurrection neither eat, nor drink, nor marry, for there is no further need of these, after the resurrection, nor do the risen righteous ones return to dust again. They have their bodies, in which the fleshly functions have ceased, as in the case of Moses, when in the Mount with God.” ** Our Lord corrects both these views when, confuting to the Sadducees, He replies that “they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (Olam Habba) and the resurrection out from the dead, - [therefore, they cannot return again to the death state and remain in Hades until the millennium has ended, - Ed.] - neither marry nor are given in marriage, NEITHER CAN THEY DIE ANY MORE; for they are equal to the angels, - [that is, able to ascend to heaven or descend upon earth; and therefore able to rule in both spheres during the Millennium, - Ed.] - and are sons of God, being sons of the RESURRECTION.” Luke 20: 35, 36. Saadis and Ben Maimon said that the Risen “eat, drink, marry, die.” Bechai, Abarbanel, Talmud and Cabbala, aver they “neither marry nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more,” but says nothing as the “eating” or “drinking.” What he teaches is that the children of the resurrection are as the sexless angels. Beyond the fact that Lazarus ate after his resurrection, John 12: 1, 2, remains the fact that our Lord Himself, after His resurrection, had a tangible and visible material body, already free from the limitations of His former humiliation, and possessed of resurrection-life, and yet “ate” food in Jerusalem and at the shore of Galilee, Luke 24: 30, 41, 42; John 21: 12, and not only promised to the Twelve to “drink of the fruit of the vine, new in the Kingdom of God,” Matt. 26: 29, but “appointed” them “a Kingdom,” in which, said He, “ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” Luke 22: 29, 30. We can grossly carnalize this, on the one hand, and as ethereally spiritualize it on the other. The fact remains that the Resurrection kingdom is “ON THE EARTH,” and that the “children of the resurrection” have material bodies, adapted to spiritual uses, and free from certain physical functions. While we must shun an Ebonite Chiliasm on the one hand, we must equally avoid a Gnostic Chiliasm on the other, and not rob corporeity of its rights in the resurrection, or dissolve, under the idea of “Glory,” the resurrection body into a gauzy texture ballooning in the sky. Such a conception is foreign to the whole word of God. The risen ones shall have a human body, like their Lord’s, know each other, and be known, and live in relation to the saints UPON the earth, and to the Nations. Their mode of immorality and intercourse are not revealed. It is enough for us to know that not more difficult is the faith of Christ’s companionship with His disciples during the 40 days next following His resurrection. It is enough to know that Death is robbed of his empire, and that, as Professor Milligan himself admits in his able work on the resurrection, our lord’s body was a true spiritual, glorified body, immediately upon His rising, and not first after His ascension, and that our bodies are to take the form and equality of His. Equal to the “angels” we shall be, in one respect. Like “Him,” we shall be, in another. As both, in all. “Flesh and blood” cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, because “corruption” cannot “inherit incorruption,” 1 Cor. 15: 50. And yet “flesh and bones,” pervaded by the [Holy] Spirit, and made incorruptible, is what our Lord’s body was in His resurrection, Luke 24: 26, a “glorious body,” and “like” which – not “equal” to which – ours shall be at His coming. Phil. 3: 21. In such bodies, the Risen Saints shall have fellowship with the unrisen in the Millennial Age. For the rest, our curiosity must be restrained, and will be, if we listen to the Angel’s voice to Daniel, “Go thy way, Daniel, till the End shall be!” Inquire no more. Be content with what is already spoken. Leave the unrevealed future to God. Sure we are of one thing. “We shall behold God’s face in righteousness,” and “be satisfied when we awake with His likeness!” Ps. 17: 15. Even so, Lord Jesus!
*Eisenmenger. Eut. Jud. II. 943.
** Ibid 495.
... “The Lord’s Advent is not to annihilate the existence of the
Nations, as such, but to overthrow their politics and rule, and scatter both
like chaff, and then transfer the sovereignty to
(1) The Risen saints – [That is, the resurrected ‘faithful’ dead or the “accounted worthy” from both Testaments, for,
“apart from us they (the afore mentioned Old Testament saints) - should not be made perfect,” Heb. 11: 40. – Ed.].
(2) New-Born Israel in the flesh,
(3) The Favoured Nations in the flesh.
... Such is the clear representation of the whole word of God. Earth is beginning to realize the “pattern shown in the Mount,” and prepare for the full accomplishment in the final “new Heaven and Earth,” at the close of the 1000 years. The Nations are the Fore-Court of the Temple; Israel and their Holy Land, are the Holy Place; the Holy City and the Risen BRIDE are the Holiest of All; no veil existing. To the perfect realization of this, all things are tending. The invisible is the source of all Realities, and what has been in history is the Beginning and Type of what will be, only in greater perfection. David’s kingdom shall be restored, and among the “sure mercies” to David is the gathering of Israel, and the resurrection of the faithful [dead] to enjoy that kingdom together; and therein all Christians -[whom our Lord will ‘account worthy’]- shall share, at Messiah’s Second coming.
... As to the alleged “incongruity of the glorified among the unglorified,” and “how they will live,” and “what they will do,” and “what their condition,” and “daily occupation,” – questions revived by Kliefoth, and repeated by others, though raised and answered ages ago; and, further, “will there be flies, and bees, and mosquitoes, in the Millennial Age,” as still others have sportingly asked; and, yet others again, as to “the habit of nature” – they all belong to that same unbelieving spirit, and cast of mind, that made a Socinus, some Schoolmen, and later profane wits, inquire “whether our Lord rose from the grave with His digestive organs?” “Whether,” as Cleopatra wanted to know, “the Saints will rise with raiment”? and “whence came the raiment our Lord wore when He rose?” and so, conclude, from all, to a denial of the literal resurrection of the body. Such inquisition, it becomes us to repel, with force, and rebuke into silence, holding, in spite of a thousand questions all men can ask and none can answer, in reference to every doctrine of Scripture, that it is far more Christian to believe what God has spoken, and give him the glory, as “Doer of wonderous things,” than it is to idealize the prophecy, to suit our vain thoughts, and land ourselves at last into open rejection of the Word of God.
The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vain. Painful to the last degree is the ever-recurring style of objection we meet with in certain writers, as “It is unreasonable?” “How remote from reasonable probability!” It is “Inconceivable,” “incredible,” and “far from probable,” and everything the mere natural man can object to the supernatural. We dismiss it all with the divine words, “O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” “Should it be a marvellous thing in my eyes, saith the Lord?” “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.” “The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!” “It is the utterance of Jehovah, Doer of these things!” It must be so, as God has said. As to the Risen Saints, we know what their perfection is, and how near they are to Christ. It is the righteous man raised [out] from the dead, who is the perfect man, ordained to dominion, in the “Age to come.”
“Whoever is familiar with the writings of the prophets, and has devoted himself with loving attention to the same, will soon discover the right road along which he can safely pass through all the apparent labyrinths of the Apocalypse. If we renounce our own thoughts and imaginations, we shall have no difficulty in finding the meaning of God. The way of simplicity is the way of Truth. And if we do not forget that Jesus Christ is not only the confession of our faith and love, but also of our hope, so shall He be to us the Key of all prophecy. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.”
* * *
I have said in Part 1 of the previous discussion that “The Thousand Years,” in John, are a measure of time, and that the formula 70 years Plus 70 weeks of years, plus the Interval between the 69th and 70th weeks, plus the Thousand Years, plus Gog’s “little season,” spans all prophetic chronology, from the Assyrian captivity and Judah’s exile, down to the final New Heaven and Earth.
A. THE OBJECTION
I desire, now, to consider the objection made to the above view, in modern times, and to-day so popular with our spiritualizing and idealizing expositors, an objection which forms the last refuge of post-millennialism, already driven from the field by exegesis, viz., that prophetic numbers are purely and only symbolical, [Page 92] ideal, and void of all chronological value. They are neither mathematical, nor arithmetical, but wholly schematic and symbolical, belonging to the outward ideal form of the prophecy, but not to its inward, real, essential content. In this way, the thousand years are either dissolved or identified with the “ideas of eternity and ecumenicity.” To calculate even the 70 years of Jeremiah, or the 70 weeks of Daniel, is a “folly,” since these numbers represent no particular measures of time but only abstract ideas and relations applicable to all times. So Bunsen, in his “Hippolytus,” saying, “What has the Holy Ghost to do with counting years, and months, and days?”* To the same purpose Dr. Kliefoth in his recent “Christian Eschatology,” speaks. His maxim is “Symbolical numbers don’t count” - and “The number 1,000 (equal to 10x10x10) as the potentiated ten number, expresses the idea of absolute, all-embracing ecumenicity, and we should remember that the Scripture repeatedly denotes by this number, a thousand years which are as one day, and one day as a thousand years, before God”** In like manner, Prof. Milligan of Aberdeen in his work on “The Revelation of St. John,” and following Augustine and Kliefoth, remarks, “If we interpret the thousand years literally, it will be a solitary example of a literal use of numbers in the Apocalypse, and this objection alone is fatal.”*** Once more, Prof. Briggs, holding the same view, says, “We claim that all prophetic numbers are symbolical, and that none of them are to be taken as exact or literal. The efforts of interpreters to determine from the numbers of Daniel the interval to the First Advent, [Page 93] have ignominiously failed. Their efforts to measure the times of the Apocalypse, and indicate the time of the Second Advent, are worse than ridiculous. Those who indulge in such follies are blindly labouring to undermine and destroy Hebrew prophecy and the Bible itself, of which it is an essential part.” ****
* Hippolytus II. 286.
** Christliche Eschatologie. 216. *** Revelation
B. GENERAL REMARKS
In general, and on the whole subject, it must be said, first of all, that this idealizing view - even granting all that may be justly said against the well meant but mistaken reckonings of many of the ablest and most devoted servants of God - men like Luther, Bengel, Newton, Elliott, who gave their lives to defend and not undermine Hebrew prophecy - is not the view entertained by ninety-nine out of a hundred scholars who have written on the subject. The theory that divests prophetic numbers of their chronological exactness, and makes them mere signs, or counters, of “abstract ideas and proportions,” is repelled by the overwhelming majority of writers on prophecy, in our own time. It sprang from the Augustinian view of the thousand years, which, as a spiritualizing and allegorizing protest against a gross, crass, Chiliasm, swung its reacting pendulum to the opposite extreme, interpreting “Israel” as the “New Testament Church,” the “Church” as the “Kingdom,” and “the thousand years” as “all the years of our Christian dispensation.”* Just there was the fons et Origo of this hermenentical delusion, a view repudiated by all expositors - save the allegorizers and idealizers who follow Augustine - ever since it received its [Page 94] death blow in that famous critical conclusion of Vitringa, viz., “Nothing remains, therefore, but to date the commencement of this Millennium from those times in which the empire of the Beast terminates,”** i.e. at the Parousia, or Second Advent of Christ. The only possible escape from this is to spiritualize the “Parousia” itself, and make it mean an invisible Advent of the Holy Ghost in showers of reviving upon the Church, after the manner of Whitby, so inventing a spiritual Parousia a thousand years before the literal Parousia, that is, a millennium before Christ returns to judge the world, redeem Israel, raise His saints, and assume the Kingdom. Yet, even here, the thousand years are held to be a measure of time, although indefinite, and placed wrongly this side the Second Coming of Christ.
* De Civitate Dei. xx: 7. “Mille annos pro annis omnibus hujus saeculi”- “a thousand years for all the years of this present age,” i. e., from the First to the Second Advent.
** Anakrisis Apoc. 884: “Ergo, nihil superesy alind quam Millennii Hujus initium in iis figendum esse temporibus in quibus Imperium Bestia terminatur.”
On the whole subject, then, and in general, it must be replied that, even granting that prophetic numbers are symbolic and schematic, it does not follow that they have no temporal value. The fact that they represent an “idea” - and no one denies this - does not prove that they do not represent an “time” also. Grant that the thousand years are either “more or less than ten centuries,” still they are a measure of literal historic time. To conclude that, because they are not just ten centuries “exactly,” therefore they have “no chronological value,” is, first of all, an illicit assumption, and, next, an illicit conclusion, insufferable even in ordinary reasoning. It is as intolerable to infer that, because they are not “exact,” therefore, they are not “literal” as it is to assume, at the start, that [Page 95] they are “not” exact. The framework is a part of the building, and not mere abstract form. These numbers, moreover, represent not only time, but quantity or magnitude, and character or quality. Symbolism is, indeed, the representation of great ideas or truths in sensuous concrete forms; as, for instance, in the opening Christophany of the Apocalypse, the Seven-Sealed-Scroll, the Seals, Trumpets, Vials, the Smoke-Altar, the Censer, the Swallowed Book, the Sun-Clothed Woman, Harlot, Ten-Horned Beast, Cithara-Players on the Glassy Sea, etc., etc. Yet, notwithstanding this, the very forms in which the truths here signified, are clothed, are realistic, denote historic fact, and are a part of the essential contents of the prophecy itself.
Still more. Schematism is different from Symbolism. That represents the general, or abstract ideal, in sensuous concrete forms. This represents, not the general, or abstract ideal, in any sense, but the concrete real itself in individualized, precise, and definite form. Here the ideal and the real are one. The Symbolism and the Schematism are the same. The form and reality, the sign and thing signified, are inseparable. Such are the Locusts in Joel and John’s Apocalypse, the Two Witnesses, the Little Horn or Eighth Head, the Dragon, that Old Serpent, the diademed Rider on the White Horse, etc., etc. Here belong, also, the prophetic numbers, which are both schematic and symbolic, and therefore literal as well as ideal; the 70 years of Jeremiah, 70 weeks of Daniel, “time, times, and a half,” or three and a half years twice taken, the two halves of the one week in Dan. 9: 27, the 1260 days, the 42 months, the 10 days, 5 months of locust torture, the one quarter part killed under the Seals, the one third part under the trumpets, the one tenth part of the city fallen, the 7,000 perished the 144,000 sealed out of Israel, the 1,600 furlongs, the monogram of Antichrist, 666. All these are schematic [Page 96] and symbolic indeed; but to infer that they are not measures of historic time or locality, or import no literal character or quality, is to accuse the Spirit of Prophecy of the “folly” charged on its interpreters. On their face these numbers denote, not only ideas, but time, and we are told that holy men of old “investigated what the manner of the time here signified was.” 1 Pet. 1: 11.
The Holy Ghost might have schematized by lines geometrically, as well as by numbers arithmetically, had He chosen so to represent the ages and the ends, the seasons and the times. In any case, His numbers or His lines, while representing “ideas,” represent also literal realities in time and space, historic entities, and must so be taken. We are not to explain the symbol symbolically! The figure of a figure is not interpretation!
PROPHECY A CHRONOMETER
prophecy is itself, and by necessity, a divine measurer of time, is organically
bound to history, and connected with a calendar by which the Times and Seasons,
the ages and the ends, have been regulated in the past, are so now, and will be
in the future. It serves the Watchman of
the night as the starry heavens serve the astronomer, or the traveller familiar
with their aspect and their motion. It
shines as “a light in a dark place.” He who has learned to read the prophetic Dial
may yet not see distinctly, nor tell precisely, what o’clock it is in the
Kingdom of God, “to-day” or “to-morrow.” But
he can know
if it is midnight, or the cock crowing.
He can tell
if he is nearing sunrise, and “the morning cometh.” The Baptist and our Lord Himself, thought so when they cried, “The Time [Page 97] is fulfilled. Repent. The
The divine chronometer that ticks God’s ages on the face of prophecy may indeed express, in Pythagorean way, “abstract ideas,” but it also measures off the “ages and ends,” the “seasons and times,” the “time and the manner of time,” in the progress of the Kingdom of God. It has a wondrous Calendar attached, and, if we take the figures of the Virgin, the Lion, the Lamb, the Leopard, the Bear, the Ram, the He-Goat, the Ten-Horned Beast, the Dragon, the Two-Horned Prophet, it has a curious Zodiac as well. At any rate, it explains the past, the present, and all coming time. The prophetic numbers are all grounded, as Leyrer and Crusius both discerned, in “the cyclical relations of a higher order of things than we yet see,” but the laws of which work on a greater or smaller scale, yet always in the same analogous proportion. Plato knew that God geometrizes. Daniel knew that God chronologizes. In like manner, He ponderizes. Science is but his many-coloured mantle. History is but His footsteps. He works everywhere, and does all things “by number, measure, and weight.” Somehow or other, with all their symbolism, the 6 days of creation and the 7th of rest, lie at the basis of all history, are made the types and measures of literal time, and even of days of 24 hours, each. And this, just because they were literal periods of time themselves, and equal periods, if we may judge by the record.
entire visible world has its roots in the invisible. The unseen is the source of all realities,
and the mind of God is behind all. The
trouble is not with God’s chronology, but with our “ideas”
of it. Because we have made to
ourselves 300 different chronologies, [Page 98] we conclude that “all
prophetic numbers are symbolical,” and a “symbolical
number don’t count!” Stephen knew enough to tell the
Sanhedrim that the 400 years of
Israel’s bondage in Egypt were prophetic numbers, and so far from dwelling on
any symbolic meaning they had, he took them as “exact
and literal.” and as proof of the truth of God’s predictive word. Acts 7: 6, 7; Gen. 15: 13, 14. No otherwise did Daniel regard the 70 years
predicted by Jeremiah, full as they were of symbolism. For both prophets these were “exact and literal.” Dan.
9: 2; Jer. 25: 11, 12; 29: 10. And when Hosea says, “After two Yamim, He will revive us (Acts 3: 19-21) in the third Yom we shall
live in his sight (Isa. 26: 19; Eph. 37: 12; Dan. 12: 2),” Paul understands him to mean two great
measures of time, followed by a third Yom, whose morning is introduced by the Appearing of
Jehovah Himself, bringing outcast Israel’s “reception”
and “life from the dead.” Rom. 11: 15. And
this, notwithstanding all symbolism hid in the terms and the mystic relation of
On the contrary, the prophetic numbers are symbolical only because, first of all, they are literal. The four hundred years did begin and end. The seventy years did begin and end. The one thousand years shall begin and end. All are spoken of in the same way. The seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, did begin and end, and so much of Daniel’s prophecy is completed. Messiah did come “after threescore and two weeks,” and “seven weeks.” “After,” “until,” “unto,” in answer to the question, “How long?” and “O my Lord, When?” are chronological, although Professor Milligan thinks that “the word ‘after’ is not to be used in a chronological sense, but rather with the force of subordinating the secondary to the primary effect(!)*” just as Professor Fairbairn thought the word “first” in the “First Resurrection,” had “no temporal significance,” but only meant the “greatest,” - or the “most important!” Four is symbolical only because it is literal - the four corners of the earth. Three is symbolical only because it is literal, - the three persons of the Trinity. Ten is the same, only, because it is literal, - completion only because the 9 digits are exhausted. And Twelve is symbolical only because God gave to Jacob 12 sons to become the heads of the 12 tribes, the chosen people. So are the 6 and 7 symbolical only because God worked six days and rested the seventh. The entire Calendar is the same. The law of the Sabbath underlies it all.
* Revelation of John 212.
(C) - TIIE NUMBER SIX
Prophetic Numbers are indeed symbolical. No one denies this. We know that the sacred 7 is so, and lies at the basis of the Sacred Calendar of the Jews, and also the Civil Calendar of the Christians. It points to the “Rest,” the “Sabbath” of God. It symbolizes that Rest to which all believers come, even now, first in their souls by faith; a Rest to which they shall yet come, soul and body together, and the “sign” of both which is the 7th day rest of the Christian Sabbath, now. The 6 is no less symbolical, just because literal. It is a secular number grounded in the 6 days’ work of creation which preceded the 7th of rest, the 6 days [Page 100] commanded of God for man’s toil, but in which the unbelieving and ungodly, still secular in soul, and pressed with worldly care, abide without a Sabbath. They remember not the 7th to keep it holy. They have no peace, no rest. Their souls have never ceased from their work, as God did from His. The 6 can never give the 7. The World can never bring, or give, God’s rest. If the Kingdom of God and His Christ has 7 as its holy signature, the Kingdom of Satan and Antichrist has 6 as its signature; an earthly kingdom, carnal, restless, and unsabbatized; the rule of worldly-minded men, without a sign of sanctity, or covenant between themselves and God; a Godless, Christless kingdom, and a Godless, Christless nation, wherever found. It is the atheist’s mark. It is the apostate’s sign. It is the seal of anti-Christianity, in league with civil power; the 10-horned “Beast,” who would blot the Heptad from the Calendar and put the Decade there, profane the 7 and consecrate the 6 and 10. We see the symbolism of it in Dan. 3: 1, where the Golden Image of the Babylonian King was reared upon the plains of Dura, “66 cubits high.”
“Ideas,” indeed, are here, but literal numbers too,
and literal measures also. If the number
6 denotes the compass of the World-Time, the number 66 denotes the breadth and
height of the World-Power in the Babylonian’s day; 6 multiplied by 10; the
number and the symbol of a secular completeness. It is all the world wants. It expresses all. It means negation; no God, no Sabbath, no
religion, save the world’s religion; no Rest for man or beast; no
heaven; no hope; no immortality. It was the symbol of the Babylonian monarch’s
empire over the then civilized and cultured world; an empire with its feet on
* See Martensen. Christian Ethics, 352-356.
Note on “666.”
Irenaeus found 666 in the word Lateinos written Greekly. The Benedictines saw it in Romiith, the Roman written Hebrewly. The Protestants
found it in Vicar of the Son of God, written
Latinly, Vicarius Fillii Dei, on
the Pope’s tiara. The Catholics found it in the word Luther, and both Catholics and Protestants
found it in the name Mahomet, while Pagans see it in the word Messias, Messiah. Modern
critics find it in the words Nero Cesar written Hebrewly, although it is known John wrote in Greek. Some Germans
see it in Callos Kaiser, the
Gallic Caesar, i.e. Napoleon, while some Frenchmen see it in Bismarck, the German autocrat. Ebrard
sees, in 6, the number of the Roman World-Power,
i.e. the 6th head of the Beast. Rosch sees the 6 as the sign of the
secular 6 days. Hengstenberg, after Vitringa,
sees an allusion to the 666 sons of Adenikam, Ezra 2: 13, - the self-exalting Lord! But better than all, Hofmann, Auberlen, etc.,
hold that the future alone will reveal it.
(D) - THE SEVENTY WEEKS.
That the 70 Weeks of Daniel are measures of [Page
103] definite literal time, and not
mere symbols of ideas, cannot be successfully denied. Ever since God rested from His creative work,
the number 7 has not only borne a sacred Sabbatic value, but has been a measure
of exact time, and the septennial division of time has been the peculiar
characteristic of sacred history and prophecy, alike, and continues repeating
itself down to the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
Whatever chronology men may devise, its supreme test in relation to all
the events of Israel’s history, and to all prophecy concerning Israel’s future,
must be the Sacred Calendar of Sabbatic Years and Jubilees, established through
Moses, by divine authority. All Hebrew
chronology resolves itself into Cycles of Sevens, great or small, and Daniel’s prediction
conforms itself, of set purpose, to this “law of the
Week,” “law of Seven,” “law of the Sabbath,” and “law
of Jubilee.” That law determines
not only the whole period of the 70 Sevens, or Weeks, but the formal
subdivision into 7 plus 62 Plus 1. Plainly the 70 years’ Captivity, foretold
by Jeremiah, were determined by that law.
These years are a series of 10 Sevens, 7 multiplied by 10 equals 70,
each year, in the series, answering to a septennial period, or period of 7
years in Israel’s history under the monarchy; i.e. each year of the
Captivity representing a Sabbatic Year (or every 7th year), which Israel had violated in past time, refusing to give the “Land” its covenanted “Rest”
from cultivation. The “7 Weeks” of prophecy, i.e. the first subdivision of the 70 Weeks are, as Sir Isaac Newton quickly saw the “compass of a Jubilee,” i.e. 7 multiplied by 7 equals 49 years, ending not only in a Sabbatic,
but in a Jubilee year, year of Israel’s atonement, release and return, and full
redemption; and, in this case, as the history of fulfilment [Page
104] shows, including the dedication
of the Wall of rebuilt Jerusalem. The “62 Weeks” next following the 7, are “62 Sevens,” or 434 years, these two subdivisions added
together, making “69 Weeks,” or “Sevens,” i.e. 483 years, ending with the
Advent of Messiah. So speaks the Angel
Gabriel, who revealed the prophecy to Daniel, and was called the Angel of the
Advent, uttering the oracle, and uttering its fulfilment also: “From the issuing of a word to restore and to build
final goal of prophecy is
sub-distribution of the 70 Weeks, and the prediction of the great events
connected with them, prove these weeks to be literal measures of time, and not
mere symbols of abstract ideas. The numbers “count.” He “counts”
who fixes termini “from” one event
“to” another. He
chronologizes and arithmetizes, who writes “unto” and “until,” and the events connected [Page
107] therewith prove that the figures
The 70 is at least not 71, 7 is not 9, 62 are not 26, and 1 is not
4. And, that time is involved, the lapse expressed by “unto” and “until,” and the
question, “how long,” and the
words “measured off” or “decreed,” sufficiently
declare. And, that the “Sevens” or “Weeks,” are
literal Year-Sevens, each Seven being Seven Years, and not Seven “days put for Years” is proved by the reduction of the
last Seven to twice three and a half years through its reduction to twice
1,260 days, and by the nature and number of events predicted. It is of the first importance
however, to observe that the prophecy of the 70 Weeks relates to the fortunes
of the literal Israel, and to Israel as a nation, and is an answer to prayer
and anxious investigation of the prophets concerning Israel, and the salvation
promised, through Israel, to the world [in the “Age” to come].
The prophets had spoken of a
suffering, and of a glorious Messiah, and of