Eschatology 201 Guidelines

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Without turning this forum into a 'hill of foreskins' (Joshua 5:3), I believe we can still have fun with this 'sensitive' topic.

However, don't be misled, dispensationalism has only partly to do with circumcision issues. So, let's not forget about Innocence, Conscience, Promises, Kingdoms and so on.

End time -isms within orthodox Christianity also discussed here. Clearly unorthodox doctrines, such as those advocating "pantelism/full preterism/Neo-Hymenaeanism" or the denial of any essential of the historic Christian faith are not permitted in this section but can be discussed in Comparative Religions 101 without restriction. Any such threads, as well as any that within the moderator's discretions fall outside mainstream evangelical belief, will be moved to the appropriate area.

Millennialism- post-, pre- a-

Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, and Preterism, or just your garden variety Zionism.

From the tribulation to the anichrist. Whether your tastes run from Gary DeMar to Tim LaHaye or anywhere in between, your input is welcome here.

OK folks, let's roll!

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His days shall be 120 years

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  • His days shall be 120 years

    Scripture Verse: Genesis 6

    1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are flesh; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

    © Copyright Original Source

    In my endless quest to destroy preterism here and help lead seekers to the truth, I have routinely mentioned the notion of "double fulfillment" of prophecy. Even if aspects of preterism were true, they were missing the "bigger picture" the texts (and therefore God) meant to convey. But in a twist on Upton Sinclair's famous quote...:

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

    It is difficult to get a preterist to admit something when their comfort depends on their not understanding it. If all the bad things didn't happen to the Jews, that means they might have to face bad things. God forbid! It's much more preferable to declare with their lips that they love Jesus without the hassle of actually having to prove it during a period of testing for the church (which is what "tribulation" means).

    So I hope to make the point more explicitly by illustrating a glaring example of "multiple fulfillment" of prophecy in the highlighted verse.

    First for a bit of scholarly exposition...:

    "The pun, or 'word play,' has a somewhat dishonorable reputation in Western literature.
    Although Shakespeare (Fig. 2.1) was particularly fond of it (using over 3,000 in his plays),36 Samuel Johnson (Fig. 2.2) disparagingly called it the lowest form of humor. 37

    Indeed, we usually think of a pun as a witty, but trivial, turn of phrase, best used in slogans or
    newspaper headings. However, in the Ancient Near East, 40 and particularly in Ancient Egypt, a pun (more properly called paronomasia 41) had more serious purposes, functioning not just as a simple rhetorical device, but as a formal framework for producing an understanding of the world and transmitting theological knowledge. 42 As early as the Pyramid Texts, 43 plays on words formed multiple layers of meaning, alluding to mythology, explaining etymologies, and creating associations between the seen and unseen worlds.44

    Word plays occur in both religious and secular literature, but they were especially popular during the Graeco-Roman period. During this time, the hieroglyphic writing system reached its height of complexity, with a ten-fold increase in the number of signs and the values that they could hold.45 This expansion of the scribal "playing field" facilitated the creation of expressions functioning on multiple phonetic, semantic, and visual levels. Combining a desire to elaborate and systematize Egypt’s religious heritage 46 with a tendency to elaborate and refine, 47
    the scribal schools produced masterpieces of textual creativity.

    Although often appearing in Egyptian stories, as shown by Hintze,
    53 word plays and figures of repetition occur most frequently in religious literature, as Schott demonstrated in his study of Egyptian myth in 1945. 54 He showed that they function not only as literary devices, but also as a means of connecting cult and myth, which in some cases even influences the creation of the myth itself. He observed that the masterly use of this technique became such a characteristic of divine speech, that 'im Wortspiel wird die Welt erschaffen'an idea realized in the Memphite Theology, in which creation lay in the mouth of the god. 55"
    The Theology of Hathor of Dendera: Aural and Visual Scribal Techniques in the Per-Wer Sanctuary, Barbara Ann Richter

    "For Casanowicz, paronomasia represents a number of devices that involve the manipulation of sounds, and “wordplay” is one of these devices. Alliteration and assonance are the aural effects of paronomasia and not themselves types of paronomasia. A close look at the section on “Play upon Words” reveals that he includes examples of other devices classified differently by later scholars. Moreover, Casanowicz understood paronomasia as an elevated element of style.

    'Paronomasia in the Old Testament is, like all other embellishments of speech,
    an element of higher style, that is, of the poetical and prophetical diction. In the
    historical books, except in the poetical passages embodied in them and the
    plays on the etymology of proper names, cases in which it occurs are few and
    far between. It is everywhere merely a casual, not an organic, element of dic-
    tion. Hebrew poetical style hardly differs from the rhetorical; both have in
    common all the peculiarities which distinguish them from the lower style.4'

    Casanowicz’s method and categories were largely adopted by scholars, 5 though they contextualized them by employing more familiar contemporary nomenclature.6

    Compare Casanowicz’s approach with Janus Glück’s 1970 article on “Paro
    nomasia in Biblical Literature.” 7 Noting the lack of a comprehensive taxonomy, Glück attempts to provide one. His classification offers six types: equivocal pun, metaphonic pun, parasonantic pun, farraginous pun, associative pun, and assonantic pun. 8 Additionally, some of the categories he provides group together quite different devices. Under the metaphonic group, Glück includes the repetition of the same root with a different vocalization, a category excluded from Casanowicz’s definition. Glück’s treatment of parasonancy is broad enough to include “the replacement of a word in the sentence by a new and unexpected one.” 9 Also unlike Casanowicz, his category assonantic treats assonance as a type of paronomasia, rather than as the aural effect of paronomasia. 10 However, in keeping with Casanowicz, Glück regards paronomasia as a flourish of high style.

    'In contrast with modern rhetorical concepts and with classical usage generally,
    the biblical paronomasia is no pun but an integral part of the elevated diction of
    the Bible.... Biblical paronomasia seems to be an inseparable part of the word-
    magic, the subtle eloquence of the Bible.

    As mentioned, a prominent use of "puns" in the Bible is present in names: Adam means "man", Cain means "acquired" and Eve "acquired" him from God, Seth means "appointed" and God "appointed" him as a replacement for Abel.

    The underlined and bold is why Moses, who was "educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22), did not consider himself an eloquent enough--and therefore fit--representative of God to the Israelites (Exodus 4:10).

    So displaying His mastery of speech through the use of "puns" such as double fulfillment is another means by which God displays His divinity and right to rule.

    The "120 years" of the verse under discussion has at least a threefold application:

    1. 120 years from the time God warned Noah of the coming Flood
    2. Mankind's lifespan would thereon be limited to 120 years
    3. The history of "fleshly" or "corrupt" man would amount to 120 Jubilees or 6,000 years

    1. We know there was at least 100 years from the time God warned Noah to the time of the Flood from these verses:

    Scripture Verse: Genesis 5

    32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Scripture Verse: Genesis 7

    6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Scripture Verse: Genesis 11

    10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.

    Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Scripture Verse: 1 Peter 3

    20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

    © Copyright Original Source

    2. Lifespans began to taper off after the Flood from the several hundred before to the 147 of Jacob (Genesis 47:28) after and to modern times where despite the occasional person who lives to 120+, the upper average is no more than 120.

    3. The use of "yom" and "shaneh" for days and years, respectively, in Genesis 6:3 have "poetic", non literal parallels:

    Scripture Verse: Joshua 24

    31 And Israel served the Lord all the days [yom] of Joshua, and all the days [yom] of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Scripture Verse: Ezekiel 22

    4 you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days [yom] to a close, and the end of your years [shaneh] has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Scripture Verse: Ezekiel 40

    1 In the twenty-fifth year [shaneh] of our exile, at the beginning of the year [shaneh], on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year [shaneh] after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was on me and he took me there.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Critically here, shaneh is used two different ways: in the normal way meaning year and to describe the Jubilee "year" which began on the tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 25:9).

    Scripture Verse: Ezekiel 4

    4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days [yom] you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days [yom] as the years [shaneh] of their sin. So for 390 days [yom] you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

    © Copyright Original Source

    The famous "day for years" principle, establishing that "periods of time" can be interchangeable prophetically speaking.

    Scripture Verse: 2 Chronicles 36

    20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years [shaneh] were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.

    © Copyright Original Source

    One year per sabbath year (one for seven). The Israelites had not been observing the Biblically mandated sabbath rest year (Leviticus 25:4).

    Scripture Verse: Daniel 9

    24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

    © Copyright Original Source

    The language is intentionally ambiguous here. The "sevens" refer to two different periods of time dealing with 'sevens', the Sabbath rest years and the Jubilee years (seven periods of seven years, Leviticus 25:8). So 483 years (considering the rest of the context of Daniel 9) to the coming of the Messiah and 70 Jubilees or 3,500 years until the prophecies were fulfilled.

    But not 3.500 years from the time of Daniel (roughly 500 BC), but rather 3,500 for "your people" (referring to the Jews/people of Abraham) to fulfill their purpose/prophecy. Assuming Abraham was called in roughly 1500 BC, 3,500 years brings us to roughly now.

    The fact that Daniel's prophecy clearly deals with Jubilees also lends support to the fact that Genesis 6:3 does. 120 Jubilees - 70 Jubilees = 50 Jubilees. 50 Jubilees should correspond to how much time there was before Abraham's time to the creation of man if the theory holds. 50 Jubilees = 2,500 years. 1500 BC - 2,500 years = 4000 BC, the traditional date for the creation of man.

    So when Jesus uses ambigious language like "this generation" and "soon" and "quickly", it's meant to be ambiguous because it covers multiple fulfillments. Rather than displaying confusion, it displays His mastery over language, history and time. He is the Word of God.

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