PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY › Forums › Forum › Isaiah 2:4 is NOT evidence against Preterism.
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March 26, 2020 at 2:36 am #14672adminKeymaster
“Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Why Isaiah 2:4 is NOT evidence against Preterism.
Isaiah 2:4 is often used as evidence for futurism because of its prediction of peace among nations. However, the verse that immediately precedes this prophecy mentions people coming to the Temple (presumably to celebrate the sacred feasts) and practicing the Law. Isaiah 2:3 cannot be a future prediction as the Temple no longer exists and the Law had been fulfilled. Therefore, the peace mentioned in the following verse cannot be in our future. Isaiah 2:3-4 reads,
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
What does Isaiah mean when he says, “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore”? Let us assume we are Americans living in 1972 and I say, “There will soon be no more war.” Most Americans would probably correctly understand this to mean that the Vietnam War would soon be over. It is also possible that some could understand this statement to mean that there would be an end to all future wars forever. When Isaiah says, “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore,” he is saying the exact same thing: “There will be no more war.” This verse could be interpreted to mean that there will be no more war anywhere ever again, or it could just mean that a particular war, most likely the war with Babylon in the sixth century B.C., would soon be over. Because Isaiah mentions the existence of the Temple and the Law it is not possible to understand this peace in a sweeping and universal manner without running into substantial exegetical issues. Therefore, Isaiah 2:4 must just be predicting the end of one particular war and the peace that would naturally follow. Rather than being evidence against Preterism, Isaiah 2:4 actually appears to be evidence against futurism.
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