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Thread: What is the Preterist take on Ezekiel 36-39? If fulfilled in the past, when?

  1. #11
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    I should have clarified that I meant prophetic history.
    Ah!

    I believe that prophecies can just be a sign of God's omnipotence and control over history and have no real spiritual significance further than that.
    For example?

    But you guys don't even accept that in relation to Israel, do you?
    A) who are "you guys"?
    2) Not sure I understand the question

    And, keep in mind, there's a distinction, I think, between the secular State of Israel and the Biblical Israel.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcav8tor View Post
    Ezekiel 36 to 39 describe a series of events to take place in "the Last Days," (Ezek. 38:8. 16) beginning with the restoration of Israel as a nation (which took place in 1948) after a worldwide dispersion.

    Futurists believe this was to take place after Israel became a nation again, and that the invasion described is yet to take place (perhaps in our day, perhaps even in the near future). As Preterists do not appear to believe Israel today has anything to do with this prophecy or future events, then I assume they must picture a past fulfillment. I would be interested in when this allegedly took place, and how the details of these chapters were verified (ie. the burial site of Hammon-Gog and the town of Hamonah of Ezek. 39:11 and 16).
    Ezekiel 37 seems to have been fulfilled by St Matthew 27.51-3.

    This passage in Acts 15:

    12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me.14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.
    15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

    16
    “‘After this I will return
    and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
    Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
    17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
    says the Lord, who does these things’[b]—
    18 things known from long ago.

    quotes verses 16-18 from the Septuagint of Amos 9.11-12. This indicates that James, or Luke, or the Jerusalem church, or the NT Church, or all four, saw the OT prophecies of restoration as being fulfilled in the community founded by Jesus, and not as being fulfilled, at some unknown future date, for national Israel AKA the descendants of Abraham through the Twelve Tribes “according to the flesh”. Such a belief would agree with the use of OT passages to describe Jesus, His Ministry, and His Identity. That raises the question, if passages from Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah and other Prophets were seen as applying to, or fulfilled in, Jesus; why would passages in Ezekiel not be read in the same way ? The “last days” began long ago:

    1 Peter 1:

    17Since you call on a Father who judges each one’s work impartially, conduct yourselves in reverent fear during your stay as foreigners. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was known before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in the last times for your sake.

    1 John 2.18:

    Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

    The other references, especially in the Gospels, that treat “the last days” as future, are either uttered from the perspective of an earlier period, like the Ministry of Christ, or can be seen as referring to the period in which SS. Peter and John wrote:

    https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=last+times


    https://biblehub.net/searchnt.php?q=last+days

    As for Romans 4 & 9-11, those can be reconciled with Acts 15 on the supposition
    that the promises of restoration to Israel in the OT were made with the Christian Church in mind as the “Israel of God”;
    and that the Israel “according to the flesh” for which St Paul would have been glad to have been cast away was the national Israel;
    and that the Church, by being grafted on to the “stock” of Israel was the nucleus of a new, restored Israel “according to the promise”, to which in God’s good time Israel “according to the flesh” would, and will, be ingathered.

    Israel is not being deprived of anything - on the contrary, God’s promises were and are being fulfilled, and even the rejection of the Gospel cannot thwart God’s Purpose. Israel may as it were have gone AWOL; but God Who can raise up children to Abraham from the stones, does so by founding an Israel that consists of those who accept the Messiah sent to Israel.




  3. #13
    tWebber
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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Granted that the scriptures presented above indicate "the last days" began in Christ's day and continue into our future, I'm still trying to sort out how Preterists find fulfillment of the following:

    Ezekiel 39 (NET)

    9 “‘Then those who live in the cities of Israel will go out and use the weapons for kindling—the shields, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears—they will burn them for seven years. 10 They will not need to take wood from the field or cut down trees from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons. They will take the loot from those who looted them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them, declares the sovereign Lord.
    11 “‘On that day I will assign Gog a grave in Israel. It will be the valley of those who travel east of the sea; it will block the way of the travelers. There they will bury Gog and all his horde; they will call it the valley of Hamon-Gog. 12 For seven months Israel will bury them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and it will be a memorial for them on the day I magnify myself, declares the sovereign Lord. 14 They will designate men to scout continually through the land, burying those who remain on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. They will search for seven full months. 15 When the scouts survey the land and see a human bone, they will place a sign by it, until those assigned to burial duty have buried it in the valley of Hamon-Gog. 16 (A city by the name of Hamonah will also be there.) They will cleanse the land.’

    I have no problem understanding how this could take place literally in the future, but where are these places on the map if this invasion of Gog and Magog occurred literally in the past?

    If there is no literal interpretation, what is the allegorical meaning of these actions and places? And on what basis can we be assured that any allegorical fulfillment is valid? 7 years to burn weapons as fuel - means what? 7 months to bury the dead bodies - means what? Names of non-existent burial grounds and the nearby town - mean what? If all this is somehow in the past, shouldn't there be some agreement as to the meaning?

    And if you rule out today's "secular Israel" as being the focus of this prophecy, and you rule out "Biblical Israel" as no longer existing, then exactly which "Israel" is it that Christ is going to return to save at Armageddon? If you try to replace "Biblical Israel" with the Church, then how do God and Magog invade the church from the uttermost north? And what are we to make of the burial site, nearby town, etc?
    Last edited by xcav8tor; 09-01-2019 at 05:56 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcav8tor View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Granted that the scriptures presented above indicate "the last days" began in Christ's day and continue into our future, I'm still trying to sort out how Preterists find fulfillment of the following:

    Ezekiel 39 (NET)

    9 “‘Then those who live in the cities of Israel will go out and use the weapons for kindling—the shields, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears—they will burn them for seven years. 10 They will not need to take wood from the field or cut down trees from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons. They will take the loot from those who looted them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them, declares the sovereign Lord.
    11 “‘On that day I will assign Gog a grave in Israel. It will be the valley of those who travel east of the sea; it will block the way of the travelers. There they will bury Gog and all his horde; they will call it the valley of Hamon-Gog. 12 For seven months Israel will bury them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and it will be a memorial for them on the day I magnify myself, declares the sovereign Lord. 14 They will designate men to scout continually through the land, burying those who remain on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. They will search for seven full months. 15 When the scouts survey the land and see a human bone, they will place a sign by it, until those assigned to burial duty have buried it in the valley of Hamon-Gog. 16 (A city by the name of Hamonah will also be there.) They will cleanse the land.’

    I have no problem understanding how this could take place literally in the future, but where are these places on the map if this invasion of Gog and Magog occurred literally in the past?

    If there is no literal interpretation, what is the allegorical meaning of these actions and places? And on what basis can we be assured that any allegorical fulfillment is valid? 7 years to burn weapons as fuel - means what? 7 months to bury the dead bodies - means what? Names of non-existent burial grounds and the nearby town - mean what? If all this is somehow in the past, shouldn't there be some agreement as to the meaning?

    And if you rule out today's "secular Israel" as being the focus of this prophecy, and you rule out "Biblical Israel" as no longer existing, then exactly which "Israel" is it that Christ is going to return to save at Armageddon? If you try to replace "Biblical Israel" with the Church, then how do God and Magog invade the church from the uttermost north? And what are we to make of the burial site, nearby town, etc?
    Upon reconsideration, a strictly literal interpretation is unlikely (unless we're talking post-nuclear winter or something, and we revert to Bronze Age civilization). The "seven years" and "seven months" are certainly symbolic. The Church IS "Biblical Israel" - see Rom 11 (the olive tree). That doesn't mean Jews can't be grafted back in. I can't tell you what the passage means - all I can do is rule out obviously faulty interpretations.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Upon reconsideration, a strictly literal interpretation is unlikely (unless we're talking post-nuclear winter or something, and we revert to Bronze Age civilization). The "seven years" and "seven months" are certainly symbolic. The Church IS "Biblical Israel" - see Rom 11 (the olive tree). That doesn't mean Jews can't be grafted back in. I can't tell you what the passage means - all I can do is rule out obviously faulty interpretations.
    The “literal interpretation” is the one intended by the original human author (whatever authorship may mean in a given case). In that sense, passages like Ezekiel 38-39 are to be “taken literally” - even though the events described are fantasy. The literal truth of Rev 12 is, not that a Great Red Dragon will fall down from the skies, but that satan and his power will be overthrown. The fantastic details of the texts in these books are not the theological meanings intended by the sacred authors, but are the vehicles of the meanings intended. This distinction between vehicle and meaning is not a reason to disregard the letter of the text - because the letter is what gives access to the meanings and their vehicles. So the concept of “literal meaning” is a bit more complex and ambiguous than is sometimes realised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
    The “literal interpretation” is the one intended by the original human author (whatever authorship may mean in a given case). In that sense, passages like Ezekiel 38-39 are to be “taken literally” - even though the events described are fantasy. The literal truth of Rev 12 is, not that a Great Red Dragon will fall down from the skies, but that satan and his power will be overthrown. The fantastic details of the texts in these books are not the theological meanings intended by the sacred authors, but are the vehicles of the meanings intended. This distinction between vehicle and meaning is not a reason to disregard the letter of the text - because the letter is what gives access to the meanings and their vehicles. So the concept of “literal meaning” is a bit more complex and ambiguous than is sometimes realised.
    The concept of 'literal meaning' is rather less complex when one sticks with the actual meaning of 'literal'. Words don't mean what we think they should mean.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

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