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 Vol. 6, No. 2 

February 2004

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

typewriter The Recent Return of Jews to Palestine

By Louis Rushmore

[Isaiah 11] VV 11 and 12 seems to me like a reference of the bringing back of the Jews to their country. But did this happen during Jesus' lifetime? It started with Zerubbabel in 538 BC. And in the time of Jesus, ther were still tensions between Judah and Samaria. (v13). And what about military actions of the reunited Israel against  the neighbouring nations? (v14)? What does "that day" mean. Is it necessary a short period of time, during Jesus' ministry? ~ Pedro

The context of Isaiah 11:1-16 constitutes one of many Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament predicting the establishment of the kingdom (or church, Matthew 16:18-19; Ephesians 3:10-11) of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-7 are similar Messianic prophecies. The commentator, Albert Barnes, observed regarding Isaiah 11: "I may add, that nearly all commentators have referred this to the Messiah; and, perhaps, it would not be possible to find greater unanimity in regard to the interpretation of any passage of Scripture than on this" (CD-ROM).

Further, Isaiah 11:1-16 is figurative language. Though some, especially premillennialists, may want to construe all or part of this and similar passages as literal language, to do so would be an abusive interpretation of Scripture and of the type of language employed in that part of the world when it was written. "This description of a golden age is one that is common in Oriental writers, where the wild beasts are represented as growing tame; where serpents are harmless; and where all is plenty, peace, and happiness" (Barnes). "The idea of the renewal of the golden age, as it is called, is much the same in the Oriental writers with that of the Greeks and Romans: the wild beasts grow tame; serpents and poisonous herbs become harmless; all is peace and harmony, plenty and happiness" (Clarke).

There is no justification for accepting part of the passage as figurative (respecting the prophesied establishment of the Messianic kingdom) while construing part of the passage as literal (respecting the repopulation of Palestine with scattered Jews). It is all figurative and any similarity (through human self-fulfilling efforts based on national pride or misconceived notions) is coincidental and irrelative to the Scripture at hand. The closest to a justified, literal fulfillment of the return of real Jews to Palestine in keeping with Isaiah 11 and similar prophecies is in Acts Two when the kingdom or church was established. At that time, 15 different nationalities of Jews were represented when the first recorded Gospel sermon was preached (Acts 2:9-11), some of whom would comprise the 3,000 converts (Acts 2:41).Image

Works Cited

Barnes, Albert. Barnes' Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Clarke, Adam. Adam Clarke's Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1996.


Image How long did Job suffer? years, months days and did Job first wife die or just marry again.

The Bible does not specifically address your questions and commentators make few suppositions regarding the duration of Job's affliction or details respecting Job's wife. Consequently, we have nothing to divulge regarding Job's wife (i.e., whether she died or was the same wife by which Job fathered more children, whether Job married another woman). However, following are three citations that reason Job was about 70 years old when the calamities struck, supposing that to his life was added a double portion of what he already attained, comparable to the doubling of his former possessions, excepting his children (and wife).

His life was long. What age he was when his troubles came we are nowhere told, but here we are told he lived 140 years, whence some conjecture that he was 70 when he was in his troubles, and that so his age was doubled, as his other possessions. (Henry)

The supposition that he was about seventy years of age when his calamities came upon him, is not an unreasonable one. (Barnes, Albert)

After his affliction, Job lived 140 years, just about double his former years. (Strauss)Image

Works Cited

Barnes, Albert. Barnes' Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition. CD-ROM. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991.

Strauss, James D. The Shattering of Silence: Job, Our Contemporary. Bible Study Textbook Series. CD-ROM. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1976.


By Louis Rushmore

Image If "God" knows what we are going to do in advance, then "free will" is a myth, since we're not free to not do something that we are going to do---and that "He" knows that we are doing to do. The only way that there could be free will is if "God" doesn't know everything and the end of all things from the beginning, but then, "He" isn't omniscient. You can't have it both ways! If "He" knows everything, then "He" is responsible and to blame for what we do because "He" put us here, in spite of "His" knowing what we would do. ~ John D. Partin

It is not convenient to briefly respond to a barrage or spread of complaints against God by an apparent agnostic or atheist, but we can adequately address those complaints one at a time as opportunity presents itself. We choose presently to respond to the faulty reasoning respecting the freewill of God.

First, the complaint against God's freewill is merely an assertion. Obviously, there is no allusion to biblical references since the complainant discounts God, the author of the Bible, as credible. Therefore, a feeble attempt at reasoning away God's freewill, and God himself, relies on one's mere affirmation, as though that is authority enough.

Second, the horns of a dilemma is supposed respecting the interference of God's omniscience with man's freewill, whereby it is concluded that God cannot exist. Again, we are asked to rely for proof of the assertion on the mere affirmation of the complainant.

No evidence is supplied to bolster either affirmation! I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the complainant, though his attempt at philosophical gymnastics is slightly amusing. The proposed scenario reminds me of an incident in my life, and I never realized that I was on par with God.

Once from the vantage of a hillside overlooking an industrial site, I observed the activation of railroad lights and crossing arms for a train that was about to exit a warehouse. I heard the noise associated with the crossing and the train engine's horn. On the other side of the building, around a blind corner, I also observed a semi truck barreling toward that crossing, apparently oblivious to the approaching train. It became apparent to me as the train emerged from the building and as the truck neared the blind turn, at which it would encounter a blocked crossing, the truck and the train would collide.

The train won that encounter! I saw the inevitable, but I did not make it happen. Similarly, God with his omniscience can peer into the future and see what will occur without being personally responsible for making it happen.Image

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