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Isaiah Questions

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Question #1:

On Isaiah 52, very good point about Christ being the reason why those who see Him are appalled and why it is hard to apply these words to Israel. I thought if it was correct to take the כַּאֲשֶׁר from verse 14 as having it's apodosis in verse 15 - which is how the NASB and the NIV take it ("as He was disfigured... so He will sprinkle the nations") - but although this is not untenable, the contrast in your translation ("He will arise on high, be lifted up, and be greatly exalted, (14) to a proportional degree that many had [previously] been appalled at Him") is better and clearer. I asked about the "inhumane" interpretation of Unger since he made a point in his commentary that "or many other human beings have been abused physically in a crueller sense", but I gather from your answer that this is how you take the verse - that when it comes to our Lord's appearance (and so in the physical sense), He suffered more than anyone ever did?

Response #1:

My translation:

(13) Behold, My Servant will embrace the truth. He will arise on high, be lifted up, and be greatly exalted, (14) to a proportional degree that many had [previously] been appalled at Him. For His appearance had been marred beyond human [likeness], and His form more than [that of any] other man.
Isaiah 52:13-14

The fact that His appearance was exceptionally marred certainly leads us to assume that His suffering was greater than what others have endured because no one else could have tolerated such a level of abuse.  An important thing to keep in mind, because what He suffered in bearing the least sin of the least guilty person in the history of the world was exponentially harder - and He died for ALL our sins.

Question #2:

Do you agree with Keil and Delitzsch that it’s penitent Israel speaking in this chapter, Isaiah 53?

Response #2:

This key chapter is much more about our Lord than it is about Israel. For a full translation of the context and commentary, see the link: "The seven trials of Christ" in BB 4A

Question #3:

Isaiah 53:4 (NASB)
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

NIV SB: punished by God. With a terrible disease (see Ge 12:17; 2Ki 15:5). People (Israel in particular) thought the servant was suffering for his own sins.

Why does the note say “with a terrible disease”? Our Lord did suffer for us, but not through literal disease?

Response #3:

This refers to the Lord bearing our sins which are symbolized by disease for obvious reasons, also in the gospels. Disease and sin are one and the same, symbolically. Clearly, He was not afflicted with disease: He bore our sins. Therefore when people who were seriously ill (and serious illness often results in death) touched our Lord and are healed, it is a graphic picture of the illness being taken on by Him – and that surely symbolizes His bearing all of our sins on the cross so that we might be saved from death through faith in Him (analogous to the person sacrificing laying his hand on the head of the animal about to be sacrificed).

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we might die to sins and live to righteousness. By His wound you are healed.
1st Peter 2:24

Question #4:

Isaiah 53:5 (NASB)
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

healed. Here probably equivalent to "forgiven" (see 6:10; Jer 30:17; see also note on 1Pe 2:24).

Do you agree that “forgiven” is here meant by “healed”?

Response #4:

Yes. As disease represents sin, so healing represents forgiveness. Here are some links on that:

Disease a counterpart of sin symbolically

Disease representing sin

Question #5:

Isaiah 53:8 (NASB)
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

Good point by Unger quoting Hengstenberg that “By oppression and judgment” are a hendiadys for “by an oppressive judicial sentence”. Keil and Delitzsch propose a different rendering of this verse to what most versions have because the locative meaning they assign to min here:

But the local sense, which is the one most naturally suggested by luqqach (e.g., Isaiah 49:24), is to be preferred: hostile oppression and judicial persecution were the circumstances out of which He was carried away by death.

What do you think of that?

Response #5:

(8) By repressive judgment He was taken away, and who gave any thought to His posterity? For He was cut off from the land of the living. He was punished for the transgression of my people. (9) And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked (pl.) and with a rich [man] in His deaths (sic). Not for any violence that He had done. Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
Isaiah 53:8-9

The back half of the following verse, Isaiah 53:9, is referring to Christ's sinless perfection, so that the execution referred to in Isaiah 53:8 is clearly unjust and not coming as a result of anything deserving of it. Thus this perfectly reflects and predicts the unprecedented gauntlet our Lord has to run even to get to the cross so as to bear our sins (see the link: "The Seven Trials of Christ").

Question #6:

Isaiah 59:19 (NASB)
19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west
And His glory from the rising of the sun,
For He will come like a rushing stream
Which the wind of the Lord drives.

The NASB translates the words “For He will come like a rushing stream” as referring to the Lord, but Unger translates and interprets differently as referring to the regathering of Israel.

Response #6:

The first half of the verse refers to the regathering, but the second half to the events that precede it and are a predicate to it, namely, antichrist's invasion of the land at Armageddon. Here's my translation:

Although the enemy (i.e., antichrist) will attack like the River (i.e., the great Nile or Euphrates; cf. Dan.11:22; 11:26), the Spirit of the Lord will put him to flight.
Isaiah 59:19

I talk about this often mistranslated verse at the link.

Question #7:

Isaiah 14:9 (NASB)
9 “Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come;
It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth;
It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.

How could there be those to meet the beast when he will be the first in the Lake of fire? Maybe torments is on the way to the Lake of Fire in terms of Hades' geography?

Response #7:

Isaiah 14 has a triple application: 1) the historical, contemporaneous king of Babylon; 2) the beast; 3) Satan. In terms of #1, this is literally true; in terms of #2/3, it's effectively true even though they get there first.

Question #8:

I thought the historical, contemporaneous king of Babylon ended up being a believer (Nebuchanezzer) so he wouldn't be going to torments.

Response #8:

The specific (near) contemporaneous king is not identified (Isaiah wrote well before the Babylonian captivity); I don't believe it to be referring to Nebuchadnezzar. The third king of that dynasty was the one from whom Daniel refused to receive any rewards. But it is also possible that this refers to one of the contemporary Assyrian kings who plagued Israel. They ruled Babylon at the time and had that title (and would in that case be receiving it in Isaiah as preview of the Babylonian captivity). In any case, this passage (Is.14:3-23) shows us the fate of all – whether the devil, his son, or human beings – who oppose the Lord and plague Israel (or persecute believers in general, for that matter).

Question #9:

Isaiah 49:6
And He said, "It is too small a thing for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob and to restore the sanctified ones of Israel. Therefore I have appointed you as a Light for the nations, to be My [instrument of] salvation to the ends of the earth."

Is the Father emphasizing how much more difficult the first advent was then the second advent in this verse?

In Jesus our Lord and Savior,

Response #9:

On Isaiah 49:6, well the cross was the most difficult thing in the history of the world – to an infinite degree. No difficulties in the second advent since our Lord is God as well as man, and since the time of His voluntary limiting of Himself (kenosis) to endure the cross is over – He has been glorified.

But I think this verse is a prophecy of the fact that our Lord is Savior of the entire world, and that His light would spread far and wide beyond Israel unto the gentiles (as has been happening throughout the Church Age).

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
John 1:9 ESV

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Isaiah 63:17(NASB)
17 Why, O Lord, do You cause us to stray from Your ways
And harden our heart from fearing You?
Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.

Why would Isaiah in his prayer make such a statement? God gives sinners over to their sinful ways only to the degree that they are unwilling to yield to His will, as it was the case with Israel. Isaiah certainly knew that and yet produces a statement which seems to attribute the failure of the nation to the Lord.

Response #10:

This is a collective prayer on behalf of the entire nation of Israel, all of whom were supposed to be believers. It's not something that could/would be said or prayed about an individual Christian today. All of Israel was supposed to be believing in the Lord and closely following Him – and yet such was not the case; but Isaiah (and some others) WERE closely following Him. How is that possible in regard to "God's son", the nation as a whole? Certainly, Isaiah had not used his free will to turn away, and yet the "son" was largely in rebellion. This is Isaiah's way of expressing all that without falsely indicting himself and others who were doing their job, so to speak. I think the only way that Isaiah could have expressed things the way that we would today, as members of Christ's Church and individually so rather than through birth in the nation of Israel, would have been to discard this collective stance and indict the rebels directly. But he was called as a prophet of Israel and was given this approach by the Spirit.

Question #11:

I have a question, sir. What is Isaiah 3 talking about exactly? Is that eschatology, that is, what will happen during the Tribulation or another example of prophetic foreshortening?

1 See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, 2 the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, 3 the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. 4 I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. 5 People will oppress each other-- man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. 6 A man will seize one of his brothers at his father's home, and say, "You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!" 7 But in that day he will cry out, "I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people."  8 Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. 9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. 10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. 11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 12 Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.  13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. 14 The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: "It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.  16
The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. 17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald." 18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. 24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. 25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. 26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.
Isaiah 3:1-26 NIV 1984

Response #11:

On Isaiah chapter three, like chapter two, this is a warning to Isaiah's contemporaries about what will happen for not responding to the entreaties by the Lord made in chapter one. In terms of its prophetic application, this is all another case of the "day of the Lord paradigm" (see link), wherein the prophet compares near term coming events to that far term event of all events, the Tribulation, Armageddon and the Second Advent (compare Is.2:20-21 and 3:7, 3:18 with Is.13:6). There was a spiritual response at this time, so that the king of Assyria was not allowed to completely destroy Judah, and Jerusalem was spared; later on that would not be the case and the king of Babylon would destroy the city and remove the nation (temporarily); in the end, these terrible things will happen and complete fulfillment will result, just before the Day of the Lord.

Question #12:

Isaiah 31 is still the Day of the Lord paradigm? I think I know this story. Historically, this was when Assyria was threatening and an alliance with Egypt was sought. I think I may be conflating it in my head with the time of Jeremiah's prophecy too. But it is a picture of the time the last days when Israel will look for help from Eschatological Babylon just as she did here with Egypt, only this time Assyria is Eschatological Rome and the Antichrist. The end is that the Lord will rescue Israel with a mighty deliverance that overthrows both Assyria and Egypt. Have I got this right, sir?

Response #12:

That's it. Assyria in Isaiah 31 represents the worldwide horde of the beast's armies (Babylon having been destroyed at that point).

Question #13:

9 You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! 10 In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. 11 Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists. 12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines 13 and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers-- yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry. 14 The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks, 15 till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. 16 Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. 17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. 19 Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, 20 how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Isaiah 32:9 - 20 NIV 1984

This is a warning about the Tribulation and a promise of the Millennium in type, is it not? It often jars me when Isaiah appears to have finished prophesying about judgment and restoration using the Day of the Lord paradigm only to have him swing back and start over again. That is what he has been doing here, isn't it?

Response #13:

Indeed. It is typical of prophecy generally to do this, that is, to look forward not only to coming judgment but also to deliverance for the remnant who may be suffering by association on account of the sinfulness of their contemporaries. Something for us to keep in mind today in Laodicea too: however bad things get before and during the Tribulation, there will be deliverance in the end.

Question #14:

For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
Isaiah 45:4 NKJV

This is a very vivid example that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, isn't it? Here He says that He chose and called Cyrus well before he was even born for the sake of Israel.

Response #14:

Some of those of Israel at the time certainly did love the Lord (but far from all). Isaiah presents an idealized picture here which focuses on the good and omits the bad. That is certainly legitimate. God loves the good in Israel just as He abominates the bad.  It certainly is a wonderful example of the fact that the plan of God is perfect and all-inclusive – even when we would not be able to see that without His help.

Question #15:

Isaiah 41.  The first half or so of this chapter made me think of Armageddon and the Millennium. But the latter half confused the whole progression for me. What is the Lord speaking of here? Who is the one that comes from the North and calls on the Name of the Lord? Who is the Lord speaking to in 21 - 22 and 23 - 24? I assume that in the latter He is addressing the idols that the people He is speaking to in the former had preferred. Am I right? And what is the connection between the two halves of the chapter (1 - 20 and 21 - 29?

Response #15:

Isaiah 41: here we have Cyrus as a type of the Messiah subduing the nations.

The enemies of the Lord including the people of Israel who fail to respond positively to these prophecies are the ones addressed by the Lord later in the chapter.

Question #16:

"Who raised up one from the east?
Who in righteousness called him to His feet?
Who gave the nations before him,
And made him rule over kings?
Who gave them as the dust to his sword,
As driven stubble to his bow?
Who pursued them, and passed safely
By the way that he had not gone with his feet?"
Isaiah 41:2-3 NKJV

Could you explain this passage to me? Is this our Lord Jesus Christ Who comes from the East? Does the bit about "a way he had not been traversing with his feet" refer to the miraculous manner (perhaps flight or "apparition"?) in which He will travel to destroy the armies of Antichrist?

Response #16:

This is again speaking of Cyrus the great, but Cyrus is a type of Christ, so this it is a fair application to be reminded of our Lord's glorious destruction of the enemies of Israel on the grand day to come.

Question #17:

Isaiah 42: 1 - 9. This is prophetical foreshortening, isn't it, sir? It appears to me that both advents are condensed into what looks like one here.

Response #17:

This is the reaction of those who oppose the Lord and who will then be subdued by Cyrus. Again, it is paralleled by what will happen when the Lord returns.

Question #18:

Isaiah 42: 10 - 16. This speaks of Armageddon, right, sir?

Response #18:

Cyrus is a type of Christ, so yes in that regard.

Question #19:

Isaiah 42: 16, 18 - 20. I don't really get the "blind" and "deaf" appellates. Is this like how our Lord Jesus told the Pharisees that they were really blind because they thought that they could see so that it is only those who confess that they are blind who really see? So the blind and deaf here are believers? But if so, is verse 20 a rebuke or what to these believers?

Response #19:

Blind and deaf in the first part of the verse is referring to the absolute dedication of the Servant of the Lord who is intent only on fulfilling the Father's will; "But you" in verse 20 switches focus back to the Lord's enemies. That is not clear in many translations of the passage.

Question #10:

Isaiah 42: 22 - 25. This is the Great Persecution out of which we are delivered at the Return Of The King?

Response #20:

This is a reference to coming contemporary judgment on Israel at that time (but it certainly also applies to Israel's experience during the Tribulation).

Question #21:

What exactly does Isaiah 42: 21 say in the context?

Response #21:

NKJV is good here:

"Remember these, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!"
Isaiah 42:21 NKJV

This is a clear appeal by the Lord for Israel not to be like those who follow idols (in the previous verses) but to remember the special relationship they have with the Lord.

Question #22:

Isaiah 27:1: Who or what is the dragon that lives in the sea?

Response #22:

This is the beast and also the devil, the beast is slain at Armageddon, the dragon is dispatched at the end of the "Day" after the Gog-Magog rebellion (a case if prophetic foreshortening with the two events blended).

Question #23:

It seems like this chapter, Isaiah 27, is speaking of the Second Advent. Is it?

Response #23:

Yes. From CT 1:

Is.27: then Armageddon and the Messiah's reign as a paradigm for His deliverance from Assyria

Question #24:

Why does verse Isaiah 27:4 say "I have no wrath" in NASB?

Response #24:

This represents the situation after all of His enemies have been put down: the Warrior is ready for action, but there is no longer a need because all of His foes have now been vanquished.

Question #25:

Isaiah 28:  Could you explain this chapter to me? I think that it is a Day of the Lord paradigm but I don't understand all of it.

Response #25:

This is the Northern Kingdom of Israel's impending judgment as an antitype of tribulational judgment – meaning that this is about Israel (the ten tribes) on the point of being invaded by Assyria, and Isaiah uses the Day of the Lord paradigm to warn them of the impending judgment by making the comparison to antichrist's future invasion.

Question #26:

Isaiah 29:1. Does Ari mean "Lion" in Hebrew?

Response #26:

Yes. But in this combination it seems to have also the alternative meaning of "altar-hearth" so that the Lion of God becomes the place of sacrifice (this is based upon the Moabite stone inscription), namely, of the armies of antichrist surrounding Jerusalem.  Compare:

The sword of the LORD is filled with blood,
It is made overflowing with fatness,
With the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
Isaiah 34:6 NKJV

Question #27:

Isaiah 29:6. Who is the "you" in NASB here? Is it the enemies and ruthless ones just mentioned? Or is it Ariel?

Response #27:

This is the rebellious nation which suffers the penalty for rejecting their God (both contemporary and eschatological during the beast's invasion prior to Armageddon). Cf.:

I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle. The city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.
Zechariah 14:12 CSB

Question #28:

Isaiah 29:9 - 16. What does this part mean?

Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer. 10 The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers). 11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to him, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I can't; it is sealed." 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I don't know how to read." 13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." 15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?" 16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?
Isaiah 29:9 - 16 NIV 1984

Response #28:

This is the description of the rebellious nation both at the time and during the Tribulation, confused for lack of truth because of their own poor decisions, rejecting the prophets sent to them contemporaneously, rejecting Moses and Elijah and 144,000 sent to them eschatologically.

Question #29:

The sinners in Zion are afraid;
Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Isaiah 33:14 NKJV

Is this a reference to the baptism of Fire?

Response #29:

It certainly foreshadows the fiery reception ALL sinners who reject Him are going to have from Him whenever He chooses to deal with them (cf. Deut.4:24; Heb.12:29).

Question #30:

Isaiah 33:14 - 16. This puts me in mind of the impossibility of sinners being with God in eternity. His very being would be too uncomfortable a companion to have, wouldn't it?

Response #30:

Anyone contemplating and more particularly confronted with the perfect purity and righteousness of God would be terrified – while still in this sinful flesh (cf. Is.6:5).

Question #31:

But there the majestic LORD will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
In which no galley with oars will sail,
Nor majestic ships pass by
Isaiah 33:21 NKJV

Is this literal?

Response #31:

This verse compares the Lord, Israel's Protector, to an uncrossable river protecting her; it also foreshadows the literal river of living water that will emanate from Mount Zion during the Millennium (link) as well as the crystal waters of life in New Jerusalem (link).

Question #32:

Again, this chapter is another example of the Day of the Lord paradigm, isn't it?

Response #32:

Yes; from CT 1: Is.33: the destroyer destroyed (contemporary Assyria and Babylon; future Babylon of the beast): in other words, the predicted destruction of Israel's enemies at that time foreshadow the destruction of antichrist and his armies at Armageddon.

Question #33:

Dear Bob,

In Isaiah 13, "The Burden of Babylon" (which I prefer to "Oracle" though that's probably more accurate) I'm getting a mixed understanding. Much of what is written would seem to apply to ancient Babylon, yet it also seems to apply very much to end-times Babylon -- which is likely us.

If the reference to hyenas is accurate, that would point, I would think, to an ancient fulfillment. If hyena and jackal are generic translations of canines in general, (dogs outside?) it could easily apply to us in the end times. Wolves and coyotes would certainly be active and enjoying the many deaths during the end-time.

The question is: how should I understand this -- as an ancient prophecy fulfilled, an end-times prophecy or a dual prophecy that applies to both. Much of Isaiah points to the end-times which is
part of my confusion.

Also, given the tension between Iran (which I understand to incorporate much of the ancient Persian empire - Iranians today in the US consider themselves Persian) and the US today, the destruction of the USA by "Medes" begins to look reasonable.

I'm unsure of who the "tall smooth skinned people from the north would be" if not Canadian and/or Scandinavian. Certainly the Persians or Medes weren't - at least as they appear today. Many Russians don't fit that description, either.

A corollary question: when we're commanded to leave, what becomes of those who can't because of disability or illness. Are they (or we) the ones destined to die?

I pray this finds you well and surviving the current hysteria. I hope your technological burden is easing, too. No need to answer this until if or when it's convenient. Put it off until more pressing needs are resolved.

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #33:

I explain this phenomenon – and this particular passage too – in CT 1 under "Hermeneutic Issues" (at the link). In a (small) nutshell, OT prophets frequently used the end times as a point of comparison with contemporary events, drawing an analogy between God's judgment, restoration and replacement in the future (Armageddon, 2nd Advent, Millennium) and His impending dealing with the nation of Israel at the time of writing – to get their attention and to explain things to them (and to us later).

As to "flee Babylon", nothing is impossible for the Lord. It's always possible to come up with unlikely hypothetical scenarios which would complicate His promises. Here's one: He's promised deliverance from Egypt and He leads Israel out but then . . . they are faced with an impassable sea and a pursuing army they can in no way fight off! So their goose is cooked – except of course that nothing is impossible for the Lord.

I have faith that this and all other impossible hypotheticals are nothing for the Lord.

I'm getting by. Teaching online however is tough. Five days before we started I didn't have a clue about how to do it. Now things are going pretty well – for the one out of five of my students who's really playing along. In my Latin 102 class today when I started calling on the 11 out of 23 participants, about half of them didn't answer: "Ryan? Ryan? Use your chat function if your mic is down. Ryan?" and so it went. So they logged in then went off to play hooky. Well I have a hard core of about half a dozen who seem to be paying attention and every day is different. On Wednesday they seemed to be all over it, chatting up a storm. If people use their mics it's a problem anyway because inevitably there is a lot of feedback since they have old mics or are using old phones or just from the nature of the thing. The upper Latin class is nice because everyone shows up!!! One older student has no computer / internet so she calls on my cell phone which I lay between mic and speakers. It works but it's not a multi-year solution! I'm twice as tired after teaching four in a row online than I ever was in person face to face. And for some reason ten minutes in between classes while I'm walking from building to building is plenty, but here at home it's a blink of the eye. So I for one will be VERY happy when/if things go back to normal, but we're online until the end of the semester here.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.


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