The faith of Israel initially looked to its culmination in the covenant of Abraham and entering the promise land as the chosen people, its salvation; but the major prophets defined the final goal of God’s purpose in history as “the Day of the Lord.” On that day, according to prophetic writing, they expected a direct and universal act of God. The eschatological age of salvation was to follow this designated day of judgment in which (1) God’s will is without question. (2) All nations will serve the God of Israel, (3) and learn His will. (4) A time of peace and justice spreads over the world, (5) also, peace in nature.(6) God’s people are secure, (6) and prosperous. (7) and the law of God will be written on their hearts. Their several exiles, occupations and subsequent dispersion tested these beliefs and late prophecy in Israel elevates the Davidic king as God’s representative who will rule in righteousness at the last day and end the persecution of a proud nation.
- Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Dan. 9:24
Although the book of Daniel is a minor read in the Hebrew Tanakh, it was written BC and the prophet does lay out belief in the Kingdom of God
- And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Dan. 2:44
and the expected resurrection of the dead
- And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Dan. 12:2
through the agency of the Messiah or Son of Man. The teachings of Jesus extend the faith of the Old Testament, flesh it out, so to speak. The Apostle Paul, Pharisee of Pharisees, explains in Acts 23 that the Pharisees (legalists) believe in the resurrection of the dead and angelology and the Sadducees (temple worshipping skeptics) do not. What else could be said, except that Roman domination of Israel just before the birth of Christ produced a period of heightened expectations of divine deliverance from oppression.
Return to Eschatology contents page