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"The word of the Lord concerning the nations" (Index Thread)

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posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 03:50 PM
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“The word of the Lord which came to the prophet concerning the nations”- Jeremiah ch46 v1

The Old Testament is the story of the relationship between a religious community and their God.
This is a relationship which cannot last longer, of course, than their existence as a people.
So their understanding is that he is active in preserving them as a people.
His will is to protect them against their most destructive enemies, and also to give them confidence in being protected against their most destructive enemies.
That is the function of all these prophecies “concerning the nations”.
Taken as a whole, they offer a double message. On the one hand, these enemies will be overcome. On the other hand, these enemies will be reconciled and will become part of the community of God’s people.

The collected prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel include large sections of prophecy about the neighbours of Israel, and further samples can be found in most of the other prophetic books.
In this series, I broke them down by country;
Viz.
Egypt
Assyria
Babylon
The Medes and the Persians
Edom
Tyre
Damascus
With one final thread on the climax of all these wars;
The Last Battle

With the exception of that last theme, all these prophecies are about Old Testament history, not about later events.
I see in forums questions like “What does Biblical prophecy say about the United States?”
That kind of question, about the United States or about any other modern country, can be answered by two more questions;
“Was their army attacking the kingdoms of Israel and Judah during the sixth or seventh centuries B.C.?”
“If not, why on earth should the prophets of that time have anything to say about them?”

The application of Biblical prophecy to modern politics is a complete misunderstanding of its purpose.
These prophecies are largely about the adversaries of Israel. They are written for the benefit of the Israelites of the prophet’s own time. These people are looking to see God’s help in the immediate future, and a fulfilment occurring many centuries later would not meet their need..
That’s why most of the prophecies are fulfilled at the time, on the point that matters most, viz. “This enemy of God’s people will not prosper”.
Only a small proportion of this material deals with the end-times, and the information available paints a much less detailed picture of the end-times than people like to imagine.

So the main purpose of this form of prophecy is to inspire faith and hope in God’s people, giving them confidence in God’s determination to preserve his people and protect them from their adversaries.
We get the most value out of these prophecies, in our own time, if we allow them to inspire in us that same hope and confidence in the saving and preserving power of God.


edit on 11-6-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 03:51 PM
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Prophecy as a joint enterprise

There is a story in Acts which may throw some light, incidentally, on the way that Biblical prophecy works.

Paul was on his way back to Jerusalem. We know from his letters that he was delivering the money collected in the Greek-speaking churches for the benefit of “the poor”. One of the stops in his journey was the house of Philip the evangelist in Caesarea.
“While we were staying for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us he took Paul’s girdle and bound his own feet and hands, and said ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit; So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this girdle and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles’” (Acts ch21 vv10-11).

The interesting point about this prophecy is that the details are slightly inaccurate, as compared with what happens later in the chapter. It is true that Paul ends up “in the hands of the Gentiles”, but the Jews themselves do not arrest him and hand him over in the way described.
The story we read is that the Romans take him into “protective custody”, in the first instance, when he is attacked by the mob outside the Temple.
The inaccuracy is remarkable precisely because Luke takes no notice of it. He does not think it matters. He simply reports the flawed message, taking it at face value as coming from a prophet.

One way of accounting for the discrepancy would be to suppose that God was not responsible for the detail of the way the prophecy was reported.
Instead, he supplied the basic thought in the mind of Agabus, which the prophet then expressed in his own way.
The basic thought would be something like “Paul in Roman power- Jews at fault”.
The error creeps in when Agabus translates that thought into words, influenced and led astray by his knowledge of what happened in the arrest of Jesus.
So this is prophecy as a joint enterprise, combining the contributions of God and man.

When we look at the prophetic books of the Old Testament, it is evident that every prophet is speaking in his own “voice”. Each man has his own, individual, way of saying things.
This gives a reason for supposing that Old Testament prophecy in general is a “joint enterprise”, in which God supplies the broad ideas to be communicated, and the prophet himself then puts them into his own words.

In the case of the “prophecies against the nations”, the basic message would be God’s promise that the named adversaries of God’s people would be overcome. In the long-term, at least, they would not be allowed to prevail.

When the prophet is expressing this promise in words, it is characteristic that he adds more detail.
It may be taken for granted that the downfall will come through war. That is the most effective way of achieving the desired result. It would be assumed by the prophet as the “normal” and most probable cause.
Knowing the current political scene, the prophet may also venture to name the other nation’s most prominent adversary as the immediate cause of their destruction.
Since “everybody knows” what happens in war, the description of the forthcoming war may be fleshed out in detail, with full confidence that the description won’t be far off the mark.
For example, the walls of a city will be attacked, in war, by the soldiers of a besieging army.
The walls and buildings of a conquered city will probably be destroyed.
A defeated population will be mistreated to the point of captivity or death.
All these details are predictable, if war is carried to a successful conclusion, so they are included in the message as delivered by the prophet.

Another characteristic of this form of prophecy is that the promise will be expressed emphatically.
The details of the enemy’s downfall may be amplified with relish, as an assurance to the prophet’s beleaguered people.
The need for emphasis leads the prophet into hyperbole. He cannot contemplate half-measures. The destruction of the adversary’s power must be total. If it is a city, the city will be depopulated and occupied only by wild beasts, and this depopulation may last “for ever”.

In modern times, the wording of these prophecies may be open to criticism.
For example, some of the projected details may be inaccurate, as in the story of Agabus.
One famous instance is the assumption that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would be the nemesis of Tyre and Egypt, which turned out to be a wrong guess. In the case of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar himself was only the second guess, as Isaiah admits (ch23 v18).
Again, there may be objections to the tone of exultation which frequently accompanies the description of the other party’s downfall, expressing a very human sense of relief that a dangerous enemy is being removed from the scene.

If my theory is correct, though, criticism of the detailed wording of prophecy is criticism of the human contribution to the joint enterprise.

I’ve made use of the “joint enterprise” concept on other occasions.
When I was considering the “social laws” of the Pentateuch, I worked on the premise that these laws had a mixed origin. They rested on a stratum of human law, but they were modified human law. In order to understand them, it was necessary to discern the difference between the human contribution and the effects of God’s influence.
In fact everything that God’s people do is arguably based on a similar combination of God’s influence and human fallibility. That should certainly be evident in the history of the church.
Our task, therefore, is to try to disentangle these two threads, in order to identify more clearly which elements in the tradition have permanent value.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 03:52 PM
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My encounter with Individualist

Once when I was a student (and still an atheist), I was intercepted outside the gates of the college by an amateur prophet who used the name “Individualist” on his literature. He pressed upon me a couple of sheets which had been run off on a duplicator (ask your grandfather about duplicators). He told me, more than once, that he had written to the Foreign Office and the Foreign Office had replied, though he did not tell me what they said. One of the sheets, indeed, carried the hand-written comment “The F.O. answered this!”, and also “Avoid Jehovah’s Witnesses- set you trap!” The message being offered to the Foreign Secretary was about the imminent impact of Biblical prophecy on foreign affairs. The Individualist believed he was demonstrating from scripture, especially from Ezekiel, how the might of the Soviet army would soon be moving south and invading Israel, causing our age to end in confusion. One of his articles was written in 1964 and predicted this event for1970; the later one postponed it into 1974. In fact the first deadline was already six months out of date, and the world now knows that the Russian invasion missed the second deadline as well. So much for Biblical prophecy in the modern age.

His approach was combining two faults.
He was applying prophecy to specific modern peoples, which I’ve already described here as a mistake.
And he was making predictions about specific times, a practice criticised in the older thread
The futility of date-setting
These two faults are frequently seen together, because they are both inspired by an impatient anxiety to know more details about the “end-times” than God or the Bible are willing to provide.

I think our real information about the end-times is limited to three things;
1 God's enemies will make one final devastating assault on his people.
2 When that happens, he will deal with it (in his own time).
3 When the first thing happens, our task is to remember the second thing, and respond with faith rather than despair.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:00 PM
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dont take this the wrong way, but maybe you need to get out more...?



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm
This is my "out". I've got enough material for a few more years yet.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:06 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: TzarChasm
This is my "out". I've got enough material for a few more years yet.



sounds like you are going places in life.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Man you are so brainwashed into dogma

God is real but everything works completely differently

Bible is a book for children.

Don't you think God would be more impressed if you asked for real information about the system of creation

Ask as an adult

Grow up



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: RotterKirch
Your comments do not relate to the topic of the thread, so I won't concern myself to offer a reply.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:19 PM
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Please I beg of you

Start asking yourself question about prophecy and free will

Start thinking like an engineer

How would you help God create a system with a purpose and yet preserve free will of the subjects

Is it even possible ?



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:28 PM
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Naw, these days we need ya postin here, man.....Flagg

The U S A is Manasseh.....Britain a kingdom of nations......Ephraim

Mannasah is the little lion that is the daughter of the mother lion



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

See my thread

You often hear a cliche, there is a difference between theory and practice

Your threads are all theory

Mine is real life experience

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY
I'm not sure that kind of system works either, though.
For what it's worth, Manasseh was the elder son who got supplanted by Ephraim (that was the point of Jacob switching the blessing), so it could be argued that those two names should be the other way round.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 04:56 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
I think our real information about the end-times is limited to three things;
1 God's enemies will make one final devastating assault on his people.
2 When that happens, he will deal with it (in his own time).
3 When the first thing happens, our task is to remember the second thing, and respond with faith rather than despair.


"his people"

Absolutely the height of human arrogance and hubris to think God has chosen one set of people of the remaining. The lack of humility is just stunning. This is why the world is so effed up.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
In New Testament terms, "his people" means all those who want to belong to him.
There is a lot more humility in accepting that status than there is in being proudly independent.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

It's not about whether or not anyone is proud to be an individual, but the idea of a God only choosing a select people to be "his people" is exclusive and smells of human influence. God is not small, yet time and time again we see humanity trying to force God into their box.

That being said, we're all children here struggling to figure out which end is up and I believe no person on earth is more worthy than another for "saving". Obviously my own opinion on the matters that belong to God, are moot, since that's all they are...opinions. It's a shame that we can't assert our opinions as opinions instead of truth. A lot more could be conveyed if all that was conveyed was not a matter-of-fact in the minds of those preaching it; that is also part of being humble.



posted on Jun, 11 2017 @ 09:35 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: GBP/JPY
I'm not sure that kind of system works either, though.
For what it's worth, Manasseh was the elder son who got supplanted by Ephraim (that was the point of Jacob switching the blessing), so it could be argued that those two names should be the other way round.

Yes starred that....

The descriptions are there.....and it gets into details, huh...

Cool,thread here, buddy

Mainly Britain had the nations covered so widespread that the sun never went down on the soil

And I see it in four other places talkin Ephraim mainly....I'm scouring for Mannassas but don't find much.....CROSBY STILLS NASH album.....he....he



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 12:07 AM
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Thank you for that. Their are one's, me, that look into the ways of despair and can attest to the horrors in the deepest, recesses of man's heart.

Doth the mourning for the earth begin?

Turbulent times are here and now and evident across the globe. To not believe this is likened to a sheep, lost in the midst's of wolves.

Is the armor up to spec?
Sleep comes with nightfall, for surely there is no Light. You will be awakened with Faith.
Righteousness has frowned upon this earth, for there is no Strength left to withhold her gaze.

Bless you Op.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 12:48 AM
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a reply to: Aedaeum




It's not about whether or not anyone is proud to be an individual, but the idea of a God only choosing a select people to be "his people" is exclusive and smells of human influence. God is not small, yet time and time again we see humanity trying to force God into their box.


God is all, which includes small.





That being said, we're all children here struggling to figure out which end is up and I believe no person on earth is more worthy than another for "saving".


That is why the message was spread as far as we could take it.



Obviously my own opinion on the matters that belong to God, are moot, since that's all they are...opinions. It's a shame that we can't assert our opinions as opinions instead of truth.


They will not be able to understand what you talk about. Blinded by the ways of the world. Believers in only themselves, they would try to be gods unto themselves.





A lot more could be conveyed if all that was conveyed was not a matter-of-fact in the minds of those preaching it; that is also part of being humble.


Trying to teach as if to understand God, but lacks the faith needed to do it.

I can only present to you the truth. It is up to each of us.to understand it for ourselves.

It is better to approach someone with a level of wanting to understand, than to be an accuser.






edit on 12-6-2017 by 3daysgone because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 12:51 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015




"his people" Absolutely the height of human arrogance and hubris to think God has chosen one set of people of the remaining. The lack of humility is just stunning. This is why the world is so effed up.


They will mock you, for my name's sake.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 12:53 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm



dont take this the wrong way, but maybe you need to get out more...?


They will try to entice you and make lite of you.



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