Gentile Pilgrimage

Okay, so I’m getting a little more enthused about the book The Coming Millennial Kingdom. Each chapter is an essay by a different author. The chapter I just read is Evidence from Isaiah 2 by John H. Sailhamer, who I’ve never heard of. But this chapter he’s written is just great.
He starts off by giving three different interpretive approaches to Isaiah 2:2-4. The first is Historicism, which in this case, is a historical within the framework of Isaiah’s lifetime. This means that the elevation of the temple mount as described there occurred during Hezekiah’s reign as Judah experienced liberation by God from her enemies (Isaiah 1-39). The second is A-Millennialism. Sailhamer chooses Johannes Coccejus who used both the spiritual sense and the literal sense. He is very careful not to erect a straw man in painting Coccejus’ views. He points at that Coccejus was looking for literal interpretation when seeing Christ and Christ’s kingdom within Isaiah 2:2-4 and coming to the conclusion that it is being fulfilled during the church. For Millennialism, he cites Franz Delitzsch, which I’ve really been thinking about getting some of his stuff.

The author of this essay quotes from many and various sources showing how his views stand up against others. But his views are very clearly explained and reasoned out from the text itself. What are they? He believes this arrangement can only be future, and that, a literal future. He breaks the passage up into four categories, #1- Zion’s Preeminence Above All, #2- Gentile Pilgrimage to Zion, #3- Yahweh’s Judging of Nations, and #4- Final Destruction of Armaments. After examining each section and what they mean, Sailhamer then examines what the entire passage must mean from several points of view. In each point of view, he demonstrates how this must be a future arrangement here on earth, decidedly in what we know as the millennium.

This author also sets Micah 4 alongside the Isaiah 2 passage comparing and contrasting different points for emphasis. I was ecstatic when I saw that he had a section on Gentile Pilgrimage referring to the millennial period. I made a comment one time about pilgrimage during the millennium and it was dismissed by a very knowledgeable scholar. His section made me realize that my suspicions were not unfounded. In this examination of Gentile pilgrimage, he mentions Isaiah 18:7 and 19:16-25. I’d really like to talk to this guy about his views on these passages.

I wasn’t that impressed with this book at first, but it’s starting to pick up now. Maybe I should have just waited until I was all the way done before I started blogging about it, but I wanted readers to know how I felt at the beginning so that they wouldn’t be surprised when picking up the book themselves. I would probably recommend the book at this point, just for this chapter. Hopefully there will be a couple more good chapters that I haven’t gotten to yet. Up next is Walter Kaiser. I’ve heard he’s quite the man when it comes to Old Testament exegesis. We’ll see.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman
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