The Old Testament Promise


George Eldon Ladd



Our earliest Gospel introduces the ministry of Jesus with the words, "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand'" (Mark 1:14-15). Although the burden of Jesus' message was the Kingdom of God, he nowhere defined it. It is not recorded that anyone asked him what "the Kingdom of God" meant. He assumed that this was a concept so familiar that it did not require definition. To discover what the Kingdom of God meant to Jesus' hearers, we must first survey the Old Testament promise and then the Jewish interpreta­tions of that promise in the apocryphal literature. It is not our pur­pose to trace the history and development of this concept,1 but to analyze the prophetic hope as background for the New Testament message. Our concern is with the questions: How did Judaism interpret the Old Testament hope? What are the differences between the prophetic and the apocalyptic messages? How was Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom related to the prophetic and the apocalyptic traditions? Was he a prophet or an apocalyptist? Therefore, we shall attempt first to analyze the prophetic hope of the Kingdom to determine its outstanding characteristics and then to see how the apocalyptic writings modified the Old Testament hope.

Although the expression "the Kingdom of God" does not occur in the Old Testament, the idea is found throughout the prophets.2 God is frequently spoken of as the King, both of Israel (Exod. 15:18; Num. 23:21; Deut. 33:5; Isa. 43:15) and of all the earth. (II Kings 19:15; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 46:18; Ps. 29:10; 47:2; 93; 96:10; 97:1 ff.; 99: 1-4; 145: 11 ff.). Although God is now the King, other references speak of a day when he shall become King and shall rule over his people.3 This brief glimpse of the idea of God's kingship provides the outline for the entire Old Testament concept. While God is King over all the earth, he is in a special way the King of his people, Israel. God's rule is therefore something realized in Israel's history. However, it is only partially and imperfectly realized. Therefore, the prophets look for­ward to a day when God's rule will be fully experienced, not by Israel alone but by all the world. Our main concern is with the King­dom of God as a hope. Indeed, Bright defines the Kingdom of God as the rule of God over his people, and particularly the vindication of that rule and people in glory at the end of history.4


The first and outstanding characteristic of the Old Testament con­cept is that it is theocentric and dynamic. It is the rule of God. Furthermore, the emphasis is not upon the state of affairs or the final order of things but upon the fact that God will rule. The state of affairs to be finally introduced is but the inevitable result of the final vindication of the divine rule.

The centrality of this abstract or dynamic character of the King­dom of God is illustrated by the fact that the Hebrew word malkuth bears primarily the dynamic rather than the concrete meaning, and refers first to a reign, dominion, or rule and only secondarily to the realm over which a reign is exercised. Even when malkuth is used of human kingdoms, the primary reference is to the rule or reign of a king. We frequently meet the expression, "in the ... the year of the kingdom of ..." i.e., of the reign of a certain king.5 Back of the actual reign of a king stands the authority which he exercises. When we read that Solomon's "kingdom was firmly established" (I Kings 2:12), we are to understand that his authority to reign was settled. The kingdom of Saul was turned over to David (I Chron. 12:23), i.e., the authority which had been Saul's was given to David; and as a result of having received regal authority, David became king. When the "royal position" (malkuth) of Vashti was given to Esther (Esther 1:19), she received the authority to be queen. This abstract idea of malkuth is evident when it is found in parallelism with such abstract concepts as power, might, glory, dominion (Dan. 2:37; 4:34; 7:14).6

When malkuth is used of God, it almost always refers to his authority or to his rule as the heavenly King. "They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom and tell of thy power. . . . Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations" (Ps. 145:11, 13). "The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all" (Ps. 103:19).
The dynamic concept of God as King is closely related to the con­cept of God who visits his people to accomplish his royal purposes among men. This is vividly illustrated by the so-called "enthrone­ment" psalms.

Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns!
Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity."
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth. Psalm 96:10-13

The cause of rejoicing is not the fact that God sits enthroned as King in the heavens, exalted high above the earth, but that God will come and visit the earth to judge men and to establish his rule effectively among men who do not now acknowledge it. This note of the King coming to rule is re-echoed in Psalm 98:8-9:

Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
to rule the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.7

This idea of "the God who comes"8 is one of the central char­acteristics of the Old Testament teaching about God, and it links to­gether history and eschatology. The whole history of Israel, from the birth of the nation at Mount Sinai to her final redemption in the Kingdom of God, can be viewed in light of the divine visitations. God visited his people in the wilderness to call them into being and thus became their King.

The Lord came from Sinai,
and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran,
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand. . . .
Thus the Lord became king in Jeshurun. Deuteronomy 33:2, 5

This initial coming of God was described as a mighty theophany. When the creator God visited the earth, his creation was shaken be­fore his power and glory.

Lord, when thou didst go forth from Seir,
when thou didst march from the region of Edom, the earth trembled,
and the heavens dropped,
yea, the clouds dropped water. The mountains quaked before the Lord,
yon Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel.
Judges 5:4-5 (Cf. Psalm 68:7-8)

In the concluding prayer in Habakkuk, the author consoles himself in the face of evil times by the recollection of God's wonderful visita­tions in the past, particularly when "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran."

The mountains saw thee, and writhed. . . .
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation. . . .
Thou didst bestride the earth in fury,
thou didst trample the nations in anger
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people,
for the salvation of thy anointed. Habakkuk 3:3, 10, 11,12-13

This is obviously poetic language, but it is not merely poetry. When God visited Israel at Sinai, the Jews believed that the place literally was shaken. A quake shook the earth and the mountain echoed with thunder and flashed with lightings. There were also a fearful divine fire and a long trumpet blast which were more than ordinary phenomena (Exod. 19:16 ff.).9

This description of the initial theophanic visitation at Sinai re­flects a theology of the relationship of God to his world and his peo­ple. God is transcendent above the earth; yet he does not remain aloof in heaven but comes to visit his people to bless and to judge. The world is God's creation, and as such it is by nature finite and transient, standing in a relationship of subordination to God. These descriptions of the shaking of the earth when God comes reflect not only the glory and majesty of God but the utter dependence of the creation upon its creator.

Similar language can be used in a purely poetical manner to de­scribe the wonder of any divine deliverance from danger. When God's servant was in despair of his life, he called upon the Lord. God heard him and enabled him to escape. However, the psalmist praises God for his deliverance as though a mighty theophany had occurred.

From his temple he heard my voice
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet. . . .
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire. . . .
Then the channels of the sea were seen
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. Psalm 18:7-15

In such a psalm, the imagery of the visitations at Sinai is applied in purely poetic terms to a visitation of God by which he enables his servant to escape the threat of death. Such theophanic language can be used to describe historical judgments upon his people. Micah foretells the utter destruction of Samaria (1:6) and of Jerusalem (3:12) in symbolic language.

For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place,
and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the mountains will melt under him and the valleys will be cleft,
like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. Micah 1:3-4

Some writers interpret these words as a secondary eschatological in­terpolation; but no compelling reason prevents us from understand­ing them in their context as a symbolic portrayal of God's judgments in history, even as Psalm 18 describes symbolically God's deliverance of the individual.

The final salvation is frequently described as a divine visitation. Zechariah foresees "a day of the Lord" when all nations will be gathered in battle against Jerusalem, when "the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations." "Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him" (Zech. 14:3, 5). Israel will be "visited by the Lord of hosts" (Isa. 29:6) and delivered from her enemies. "Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you" (Isa. 35:4). "And he will come to Zion as Redeemer, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord" (Isa. 59:20). God's coming will also mean judgment. "For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity" (Isa. 26:21; cf. Isa. 2:21; 63:1-6; 64:1 ff.; 65:15-16; Zeph. 3:8; Zech. 14:3). This final coming of God will mean the salvation of the Gentiles as well as of Israel. "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you" (Zech. 2:10-11; cf. Isa. 66:18 ft.).

Back of this language is a distinct theology of the God who comes. God who visited Israel in Egypt to make them his people, who has visited them again and again in their history, must finally come to them in the future to judge wickedness and to establish his Kingdom.

Israel's hope is thus rooted in history, or rather in the God who works in history. It is widely recognized that the Hebrew sense of history is unique in the ancient Semitic world. The other Semitic religions were nature religions and did not develop a sense of his­tory; but the Hebrew faith developed an interest in history because of its concept of God whose activity was to be experienced in his­tory.10 The fundamental ground of the Old Testament hope is its faith in God who reveals himself dynamically in history. "There is no sure ground for hope in a future whether for mankind or for its individual members, which does not involve faith in a God who reveals Himself in history, and is the guarantor that the revelation will be vindicated. Such a God was Yahweh in the faith of Israel, and such a conception was unique in pre-Christian times. . . . The Biblical conception of the Kingdom of God is unique because it springs from a unique conception of God Himself."11 God is both Israel's King and the King of all the earth, ruling over all. However, there are special times of visitation when his royal purposes find concrete expression, the most important of which will be the final visitation to consummate his will and to bring salvation.


It follows that Israel's hope of the Kingdom of God is an escha-tological hope, and that eschatology is a necessary corollary to Israel's view of God. The older Wellhausenian criticism insisted that escha­tology was a late development which emerged only in postexilic times. On the basis of this assumption, the authenticity of escha-tological passages in the pre-exilic prophets was discounted. Recently the pendulum has been swinging in the other direction and the fundamental Israelitic character of eschatology recognized.12 An in­creasing number of scholars can be cited who recognize that it was the concept of God who had been concerned with Israel in redemp­tive history which gave rise to the eschatological hope.13

Some scholars object to the use of the word "eschatological" to describe the Old Testament hope. They insist that eschatology, properly speaking, cannot exist apart from the idea of a great drama of the end time in which the age of this world ends and a new eternal age of salvation is introduced.14 In other words, "eschatology" requires the idea of the two ages, and this idea, according to J. Lindblom, is found in the Old Testament only in Isaiah 65-66.15

This raises the much debated question of the nature and defini­tion of history and eschatology. The discussion is confusing because of the diverse use of the terms "eschatology" and "apocalyptic" made by various scholars. Mowinckel, following the view of Volz and Bousset, has given classical expression to the theory which finds two entirely diverse types of hope in Hebrew-Jewish literature, one na­tive to Hebrew thought and the other emerging from extra-Hebrew influences. Perhaps the terms "prophetic" and "apocalyptic" are best suited to designate these two types of hope. The "prophetic" hope is rooted in history. God is the Lord of history and will bring history to a consummation on this earth. The Kingdom will be achieved within history by historical events which will see the rise of a Davidic king who will rule over a restored Israel, bringing peace to all the earth. This truly Hebraic prophetic hope is historical, earthly, and nationalistic in that the messianic salvation is accomplished through Israel.

This prophetic hope was not realized. The return of the Jews to Palestine from Babylon did not produce the Kingdom of God. In­stead of God's rule, Israel suffered the rule of one evil nation after another. This led to despair for the coming of the Kingdom within history. History appeared to be so dominated by evil that it could no longer be thought of as the scene of God's Kingdom. Therefore the prophetic hope for an earthly kingdom within history was dis­placed by the apocalyptic hope of a kingdom beyond history. This transformation arose in part under the influence of Persian and Iranian dualism. History was doomed. The Kingdom would come only by suprahistorical powers breaking into history and inaugurat­ing a transcendental nonearthly order. The earthly Davidic Messiah is replaced by a heavenly transcendental Son of Man who is to come with the clouds to initiate the new order.16 These two types of eschatology—the prophetic and the apocalyptic—are not the result of a natural development but are two different kinds of thought. Mowinckel considers any effort to unite these two eschatologies to be "a retrograde step in historical scholarship."17

A confusing factor in this discussion is, as we have already indi­cated, the different use of terms by these several scholars. Mowinckel, although he uses the term "eschatology" to describe the early Jewish hope, insists along with Lindblom that eschatology properly speak­ing requires some sort of dualism involving a catastrophic transfor­mation of the present order (see p. 53, n. 15). He speaks of the "early Jewish hope" and insists there is no preprophetic or prophetic eschatology. On the other hand, Bousset, Volz, and Bultmann use the term "eschatology" of the early nationalistic hope. Bultmann distinguishes between nationalist and cosmic eschatology; and Bous­set uses the term "apocalyptic" for the dualistic view which Mo­winckel calls eschatology. It is not clear how Mowinckel would distinguish between eschatology, properly speaking, and apocalyptic eschatology. For clarity's sake, we shall follow the Bousset-Volz-Bultmann terminology rather than Mowinckel's, and consider as a proper eschatology those prophetic views which conceive of the final consummation of God's salvation within the framework of history.18

This concept of two different kinds of eschatology, one earthly and the other dualistic, leads to the question of whether or not the Kingdom of God is to be conceived of within history or beyond history. Some scholars have argued that for history to have real meaning, the Kingdom of God must be realized within history and must be produced by strictly historical events. If the Kingdom of God can be achieved only by God breaking into history from out­side history, then history itself really has no goal. We may recognize the hand of God in history, but this belongs altogether to the realm of faith and interpretation. God works in and through history and never breaks the nexus of historical causation. God can be seen in the evolutionary processes believed to be at work in history.19

According to this modern terminology, the so-called prophetic eschatology is "within history" while the apocalyptic eschatology is "beyond history," not simply because the Kingdom itself will be beyond history but because it can be achieved only by a catastrophic inbreaking of God, not by historical events.

Not all scholars have been convinced by this analysis. We are fortunate in having two different studies of this problem which come to strikingly similar conclusions. Stanley B. Frost has made a de­tailed study of Old Testament apocalyptic; and whether or not one follows his critical treatment of the prophetic writings, his con­clusions about the form of the future hope are impressive. Frost finds four different concepts of the future in Hebrew-Jewish thought which he labels the Better Age, the Golden Age, the Future Age, and the Age to Come. The first or Better Age is a purely "historical" expectation of a good time which will arise out of the normal flow of events bringing peace and prosperity to Israel in terms of ordinary experience. This was the popular expectation in Amos' day and is not really eschatological but preprophetic.20 The fourth type—that of an Age to Come—is a transcendental order of a suprahistorical world. This view Frost finds only in the later development of Jewish apocalyptic, not in the Old Testament. The hope entertained by the prophets is that of a Golden Age (Amos, Zephaniah, Jeremiah) or of a Future Age (Ezekiel). The Golden Age results from "a cataclysmic irruption into history, and its finality is such that there are no after-effects. History is indeed at an end. Life continues, certainly, and in this world, but it is an entirely new quality of life."21 The Future Age involves an even greater contrast with the present order, but it is still existence on the earth and not in a transcendental heavenly realm.

T. C. Vriezen comes to the same outline of development inde­pendently. He describes the four types of the future hope by the terms "pre-eschatological," "proto-eschatological," "actual-escha-tological," and "transcendental-eschatological." The hope of purely historical earthly blessings was the popular hope of Amos' day and is pre-eschatological. The transcendentalizing eschatology is that of a developed dualism but is not found in the prophets, only in post-canonical writings. The "proto-eschatology" of Isaiah and his con­temporaries is "historical and at the same time supra-historical. It takes place within the framework of history but is caused by forces that transcend history, so that what is formed is a new order of things in which the glory and the Spirit of God (Isa. 11) reveals itself."22 "Actual-eschatology" is found in Deutero-Isaiah and differs from "proto-eschatology" in that the contrast between the older and the new is more distinct.

These two analyses indicate that the hope of a kingdom which would issue in a renewal of the world and which could be introduced only by suprahistorical forces, i.e., by the direct act of God, is firmly rooted in the pre-exilic prophets. This may be called a truly escha­tological hope, for it will mean the Eschaton—the age of the con­summation of God's redemptive purpose. As scholars like Lindblom have insisted, there is therefore no reason why eschatology by defini­tion must involve the doctrine of two ages.

The Israelites of Amos' day looked for a kingdom which would arise within history and be effected by historical forces. The popular expectation was that of a day of success, blessing, and prosperity for Israel when the glory of David's kingdom would be restored and Israel would achieve complete victory over her foes. This is the only Old Testament concept of the Kingdom which is strictly "this-worldly" and "historical"; but it was not shared by the prophets.23 In fact, Amos condemned this as a false view. The Day of the Lord will be darkness and not light, judgment and not vindication, wrath and not blessing (Amos 5:18-20). The Day of the Lord which Amos announced will bring a disruption of the physical order, i.e., a cosmic catastrophe caused by God himself. Under the weight of divine judgment, the earth will be shaken and turned to chaos. The whole earth will become a sea, rising and falling like the Nile. The Day will even witness a heavenly catastrophe. The sun will go down at noon shrouding the earth in darkness at midday (Amos 8:7-9; 9:5-6). That more than natural disasters are indicated is evidenced by the fire which first devours the sea and then the land (Amos 7:4). This is no uncontrolled forest fire but "apocalyptic" fire.24 Some scholars see no more than poetic fantasy in this language,25 but others recognize real eschatology. "This is not to be dismissed as poetic exuberance. What Amos seems to envisage is convulsions of nature on something like a cosmic scale. It is genuine eschatology."26 Frost is convinced that Amos does not announce a day rising out of history but an eschatology involving a cataclysmic irruption into history which will bring history to its end.27 Both John Bright and Walter Eichrodt28 believe that even the popular expectation of the Day of Yahweh is eschatological, i.e., involving an inbreaking of God into history to judge his foes and to establish his rule.

If this interpretation of the eschatology of Amos is basically correct, we must conclude that the earliest prophetic eschatology expected the Day of the Lord to be a catastrophic visitation of God, breaking into history to manifest his rule in judgment as well as in salvation, and involving a disruption of the present order of both history and nature. These elements are even more clearly portrayed in another early prophet, Zephaniah. Koehler, who recognizes only casual cosmic elements in Amos, sees Zephaniah as the first true prophet of the judgment of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will mean the destruction of the whole earth, including all its creatures. Nevertheless, a remnant escapes unharmed to enjoy God's ultimate salvation.29

From this brief survey of two of the pre-exilic prophets, an im­portant point emerges. The prophetic expectation cannot be de­scribed as "historical" or "this-worldly" in the sense that it looks for the Kingdom of God to be the product of historical forces. The source of God's Kingdom is suprahistorical; God himself must visit his people. Even in the oldest conceptions, God's kingship could come to pass absolutely only at the cost of a great change which would mark the end of the present state of things and the estab­lishment of something new. "There is no eschatology without rup­ture."30 In the careful words of H. H. Rowley, the Day of the Lord was conceived "as the time of the divine breaking into history in spectacular fashion. While God was believed to be always active on the plane of history, using Nature and men to fulfil his ends, the Day of the Lord was thought of as a day of more direct and clearly manifest action." The prophetic predictions "were of a future not causally linked with the present."31 History will not produce the Kingdom, not even history as the instrument of the divine activity. Only the direct visitation of God can bring the divine purpose to its consummation and transform the present order into the Kingdom of God.

This means that our modern way of speaking of the Kingdom in history or beyond history tends to obscure the biblical perspective. It makes too sharp a break between history and eschatology. In the Old Testament, the cleavage between history and eschatology is never radical. The God who will manifest himself in a mighty the-ophany at the end of history has already manifested himself during the course of history.32 The final visitation may be properly called eschatological, for whatever form of existence results from this final visitation, it is conceived of as final; i.e., it brings God's redemptive purpose to its ultimate consummation.


Although the Old Testament hope may be characterized as an eschatological hope, it also remains an earthly hope. The biblical idea of redemption always includes the earth. Hebrew thought saw an essential unity between man and nature. The prophets do not think of the earth as merely the indifferent theater on which man carries out his normal task but as the expression of the divine glory.33 The Old Testament nowhere holds forth the hope of a bodiless, nonmaterial, purely "spiritual" redemption as did Greek thought.34 The earth is the divinely ordained scene of human existence. Furthermore, the earth has been involved in the evils which sin has in­curred. There is an interrelation of nature with the moral life of man;35 therefore the earth must also share in God's final redemption. The human heart, human society, and all of nature must be purged of the effects of evil, that God's glory may be perfectly manifested in his creation.

This is true of the most advanced picture of the future in the Old Testament. "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind" (Isa. 65:17; cf. 66:22). A new universe is to be created which will replace the old. This is no new thought but is the summation of a whole aspect of prophetic theology.36 But the new order in Isaiah is that of a new earth, and the description in these chapters of life in the Kingdom is one of material blessings.

Back of the eschatology is the prophet's view of the earth and man's relation to it. The earth is something more than the mere stage of human existence. Man and the world together belong to the order of creation; and in a real sense of the word, the world participates in man's fate. The world is affected by man's sin. The world was designed to reflect the glory of God and to provide the setting for a happy life; but because of sin, evil has infected the world. This intimate relationship is sometimes expressed poetically. Because of human wickedness, "the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and even the fish of the sea are taken away" (Hos. 4:3). The divine judgment falls not only on man but on the world. This how­ever is not merely poetry but reflects in poetic form the prophetic interpretation of the world and evil.

So radical is the effect of sin in the world that the final redemp­tion can be achieved only by a mighty visitation of God. The blending of this idea of the need of a sin-cursed creation for redemption with the concept of the transcendence and glory of God provides the particular form of the eschatological visitation.

When God visits men in history, the earth is shaken (see p. 45); and when God finally visits the earth, both for judgment and for salvation, not only will human society be shaken but the very struc­ture of the world will be disrupted. "The heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment" (Isa. 51:6). God will punish the wicked for their iniquity and the heavens will tremble and the earth be shaken out of its place (Isa. 13:13). God will vent his indignation upon the wicked nations; then "all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fade away, as the leaf fadeth from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig-tree" (Isa. 34:4). At the prospect of judgment, the land will tremble, it will rise and fall like the River of Egypt, the sun will be darkened at noonday (Amos 8:8-9). God will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land as well as all the nations (Hag. 2:7). As redemption in­cludes the transformation of the earth, so will God's judgment fall not only upon the nations of men but also upon the world. This is no mere poetic symbolism but concrete realism.37

The dissolution of the natural order is not designed to accom­plish its destruction but to make way for a new perfect order arising out of the old imperfect one. God will create new heavens and a new earth (Isa. 65:17, 66:22) where there will be untroubled joy, prosperity, peace, and righteousness. The final visitation of God will mean the redemption of the world; for a redeemed earth is the scene of the future Kingdom of God. The prophets again and again look forward to the deliverance of the creation "from the bondage of corruption," and the description is often couched in simple physi­cal terms. The wilderness will become fruitful (Isa. 32:15), the desert will blossom (Isa. 35:2), sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isa. 35:10). The burning sands will be cooled and the dry places be springs of water (Isa. 35:7); peace will return to the animal world so that all injury and destruction is done away (Isa. 11:9); and all this results because the earth becomes full of the knowledge of God (Isa. 11:9).

The question arises of the extent to which such language is to be taken literally or symbolically. We have already discovered that the language of divine theophany which looks back to God's visitation at Sinai can be used poetically both of visitations to deliver his serv­ant from personal danger and of historical visitations to bring judg­ment upon an erring people (see pp. 50 ff.). Does this not give us reason to interpret all such language about the eschatological shak­ing of the world, collapse of the heavens, etc., as poetical language used to depict the indescribable glory of the final theophany? The importance of this question can be seen by the fact that this termi­nology provides the conceptual material for the "apocalyptic" of the New Testament eschatology38 with its view of a cosmic catastrophe bringing this age to a close and introducing the age to come. Is such language anything more than traditional language of Old Testament poetry used to describe the majesty of God?

It is impossible to deny that a poetical element exists in such "apocalyptic" language. The fact that this theophanic language can be employed in an altogether symbolical manner to assert the glory and majesty of God and his transcendence over his creation (Ps. 18; Mic. 1) should warn us against any wooden literalness of under­standing. However, the theology which underlies this terminology makes it equally impossible to reduce this language altogether to poetry. The theophanic language describing the eschatological visita­tion sets forth not only the glory and majesty of God and the sub­ordination and dependence of his creation upon its Creator; it is also an expression of a profound theology of creation and man's place in creation. Man is a creature and as such stands in a real solidarity with all creation. Both man and nature are dependent upon God for their very existence. However, man stands apart in that he was created in the image of God and therefore enjoys a relationship to God different from that of all other creatures. This does not mean that man will ever transcend creaturehood. Indeed, the very root of sin is the unwillingness to acknowledge the reality and the implications of creaturehood. The fact that man is a physi­cal creature is not the measure of his sinfulness and therefore a state from which he must be delivered. Rather, the acceptance of his creaturehood and the confession of complete and utter depend­ence upon the Creator God are essential to man's true existence. Man only truly knows himself and realizes his true self when he realizes that he is a creature and accepts the humble role of one whose very life is dependent upon God's faithfulness and whose chief joy it is to serve and worship his Creator. The root of sin is found in the purpose of man to transcend creaturehood, to exalt himself above God, to refuse to give his Creator the worship and obedience that are his due.

Salvation for man does not mean deliverance from creaturehood, for it is not an evil thing but an essential and permanent element of man's true being. Salvation does not mean escape from bodily, creaturely existence. On the contrary, ultimate redemption will mean the redemption of the whole man. For this reason, the resurrection of the body is an integral part of the biblical hope.39

The corollary of this is that creation in its entirety must share in the blessings of redemption. There is no Greek dualism or Gnosti­cism in the Old Testament hope. The world is not evil per se and therefore a realm from which man must escape to find his true life. When God created the world, he saw that it was good (Gen. 1:31). The goodness of nature has indeed been marred by sin. The earth is cursed for man's sake, bearing thorns and thistles, and condemn­ing man to a life of sweat and toil. This does not, however, suggest any intrinsic moral evil in nature. It does not mean that creation has fallen from goodness to evil, so that it has become offensive to its Creator. The world was created for God's glory (Ps. 19:1); and the ultimate goal and destiny of creation, along with man, is to glorify and praise the Creator (Ps. 98:7-9). The world is not a temporary stage upon which man acts out the drama of his mortal existence; neither is it the reality of sin and evil from which man must be rescued. The world was and remains God's world and there­fore is destined to play a role in the consummation of God's redemptive purpose.

However, the curse which lies upon nature because of man's sin means that it cannot be the scene of the final realization of God's Kingdom apart from a radical transformation; and the new age of the Kingdom will therefore be so different as to constitute a new order of things. The Kingdom cannot be produced by the normal flow of events but, as Stanley Frost has insisted, only by a cataclysmic irruption of God into history; and the resultant order will be some­thing which is concrete and earthly and yet at the same time supra-mundane. As Eichrodt has said, "the expected world-order is different in kind from the present one, and this long before the expressions 'the present age' and 'the age to come' had been invented."40


The hope of the Old Testament is also a historically orientated hope. By this, we mean to say not only that the establishment of God's reign is seen as the consummation of his working in history, but that the ultimate eschatological hope is directly related to the immediate historical future. The modern mind is interested in chro­nology, in sequence, in time. The prophetic mind usually was not concerned with such questions but took its stand in the present and viewed the future as a great canvas of God's redemptive working in terms of height and breadth but lacking the clear dimension of depth. The prophets usually saw in the background the final escha­tological visitation of God; but since they primarily concerned them­selves with God's will for his people in the present, they viewed the immediate future in terms of the ultimate future without strict chronological differentiation and thus proclaimed the ultimate will of God for his people here and now.

A strictly analytical approach might try to separate these two elements in the Old Testament perspective—the hope of the im­mediate future, and the hope for the ultimate consummation—and to set one over against the other as two different kinds of hope. Such a critical analytical approach would only serve to obscure the Old Testament perspective. The prophets have a single hope which encompasses both the immediate historical and the ultimate escha­tological future. The reason for this (to us) strange lack of chrono­logical concern is the theocentric character of Israel's hope. Their hope was not in the future but in God; and the God who would act in the near future to further his redemptive purpose would also ultimately act to bring his purpose to its consummation. Therefore, the prophets usually have a single, though a complex, hope.

Another way of expressing this perspective is to say that the future stands in tension with the present. Eschatology is not an end in itself, standing in detachment upon the horizons of time. Escha­tology finds its significance primarily in its relationship to history, for both are concerned chiefly with the will of God for his people. The prophets usually took their stand in the midst of an actual historical situation and addressed themselves to it. They proclaimed God's will for the ultimate future, that in its light they might pro­claim God's will for his people- here and now. The immediate future is interpreted in terms of God's ultimate purpose. The hope of the Kingdom was not a subject for detached study or for speculative conjecture. Nor was it even a subject of importance primarily for its own sake. The prophets were not philosophers or theologians; they were preachers of the will of God and were burdened for the relationship of Israel to God. This does not mean that the predictive aspect of prophecy should be minimized so that the prophets be­come little more than moralists.41 Prediction played a large and im­portant role in the prophetic message. The question is that of the prophetic center of gravity or focus of concern. This was not the future per se but rather the will of God and the fate of his people, especially in their present experience. God who will ultimately bring his people into the Kingdom is the God who is now concerned with them and their present sinfulness.

This historical concern is everywhere manifest. The prophets usually name themselves and address their oracles to Israel or Judah, sometimes dating their oracles by the year of the ruling king. Their main objective is to interpret the present in light of the future. Their oracles are shot through with references to historical persons, events, and nations. When specific future events are predicted, the prophets' main concern is to tell Israel how to act at that time in view of the divinely ordained future.

The prophets often anticipate a divine visitation in the immediate future; therefore, they speak of the Day of the Lord. Amos' con­temporaries entertained bright hopes of political security and eco­nomic prosperity, which they called the Day of the Lord. Amos shattered this shallow nonreligious hope with the announcement that the future holds disaster rather than security. Judgment will fall upon Damascus and the neighboring peoples; but it will also fall upon Judah and Israel for their sins. Fire will destroy Jerusalem (Amos 2:5), and Assyria and Egypt will raze Israel (3:9-11). This will be a divine visitation (4:12). "The Lord roars from Zion and utters his voice from Jerusalem" (1:2). It is therefore the Day of the Lord (5:18-20). God had indeed visited Israel in Egypt; and for this very reason he must bring a corrective judgment upon them (3:2).

Yet as Amos gazes into the future, he sees behind the impending event a further visitation: the eschatological Day of the Lord. The future holds a day of universal judgment (Amos 7:4; 8:8-9; 9:5), and beyond that a day of salvation when the house of David will be revived, the earth become a blessing, and Israel restored (9:11-15).42

These two visitations, the near and the far, or, as we may for convenience call them, the historical and the eschatological, are not differentiated in time. In fact, sometimes the two blend together as though they were one day. Isaiah 13 calls the day of the visitation of Babylon the Day of the Lord. The Lord is mustering a host for battle (13:4-6), he will stir up the Medes against Babylon (13:17). Therefore, men are to "wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!" (13:6.) This historical Day of the Lord is painted against the backdrop of the eschatologi­cal Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will bring disaster to the earth and a disruption of the heavenly order (13:9-13). Judgment will fall both upon the world of nature and upon men (13:7) when God punishes the world for its evil and the wicked for their in­iquity (13:11). Here is a picture of universal judgment. The Day of the Lord is the historical judgment of Babylon; the Day of the Lord is the eschatological judgment of mankind; but the two are seen as though they were one day, one visitation of God.

Zephaniah describes the Day of the Lord (1:7, 14) as a historical disaster at the hands of some unnamed foe (1:10-12, 16-17; 2:5-15); but he also describes it in terms of a worldwide catastrophe in which all creatures are swept off the face of the earth (1:2-3) so that nothing remains (1:18). Yet out of universal conflagration emerges a redeemed remnant (2:3, 7, 9), and beyond judgment is salvation both for Israel (3:11-20) and for the Gentiles (3:9-10).

George Adam Smith describes Zephaniah as "the first shades of Apocalypse."43 A strict analytical and critical treatment of this prophecy tries to separate the historical from the eschatological and to attribute the latter to a later tradition. Norman K. Gottwald thinks that Zephaniah thought of a historical disaster, but the later development of the theme carried it into suprahistorical realms where the sacrifical feast became part of the events of the end of the world.44 However, this severe analytical treatment sacrifices an essential element in the prophetic viewpoint: the tension between eschatology and history. We must not try to force the prophets into twentieth-century thought-forms. They were able to view the immediate historical future against the background of the ultimate eschatological goal, for both embodied the coming of Israel's God to judge and to save his people. The focus of attention is the acting of God, not the chronology of the future.

Joel prophesies the visitation of the Day of the Lord as a fearful plague of locusts and drought (1:4-12) and also as a universal eschatological judgment (2:10-11; 3:11-15). It is practically im­possible to determine where the description of the natural disaster ends and that of the eschatological enemies begins. Beyond judg­ment is salvation. Israel, endowed with the gift of God's Spirit (2: 28-29) is seen restored to the land, enjoying the blessings of a redeemed earth (3:16-21). Whether Joel is an early or a late book, this tension between eschatology and history is an essential element in the prophetic perspective.

In all of these prophecies, history and eschatology are so blended together as to be practically indistinguishable. Sometimes, however, the eschatological Day stands in the background on the distant horizon.45 "In the latter days" Isaiah sees the final era of righteous­ness and peace (Isa. 2:2 ff.). "In the latter days" Israel will turn to the Lord and David their king (Hos. 3:5). "In the latter days" Israel will be restored, only to be assailed by the evil hosts of Gog (Ezek. 38:16). "The days are coming" when God will restore the fortunes of Israel with security and blessing (Amos 9:13 ff.). "The days are coming" when a righteous Branch will spring forth from David to execute justice and righteousness; Judah will be saved and Jerusalem dwell securely (Jer. 33:16). "The days are coming" when God will make a new covenant with Israel and with Judah, writing his law upon their heart and bringing them into a perfect knowledge of himself (Jer. 31:31 ff.). "At that time" God will restore the fortunes of Judah among all the people of the earth (Zeph. 3:20). "In that day" God will visit the earth in judgment (Isa. 2:20 f.). "In that day" God will restore his people that they may serve the Lord and David their king (Jer. 30:8 f.). "In that day" God will reign over them forever (Mic. 4:6 ff.).

This indefinite terminology is used also of historical visitations in the nearer future;46 and this fact serves only to emphasize the ten­sion between history and eschatology. God is the Lord of history. His lordship is manifested by historical visitations for judgment and deliverance and by an eschatological visitation for final judgment and deliverance. God is the King who comes and who will come. The future is related to the present because both present and future visitations are acts of the same God on behalf of his people. The present is viewed in light of the future; and the proclamation of the future visitations of God, both historical and eschatological, are designed to bring God's people into conformity with the divine will in the present.

These several aspects of the Old Testament hope are closely in­terrelated. This can be splendidly illustrated by the words of Edmond Jacob:

Although the cosmic aspect holds an important place in Old Testament eschatological concepts, it is not the determining factor: the idea of the end of the world is always secondary to that of Yahweh's coming and Yahweh does not come because the world is going to end, but his coming brings, among other things, the end of the world or more exactly the end of an age, which will be followed by a new period of the world. And as Yahweh is the God who creates life, the catastrophic aspect of eschatology could never be the last word of his coming. The essential place is occupied by the notions of a new creation and restoration. That is why the cleavage between history and eschatology is never radical, for on one side the God who will reveal himself by a grandiose theophany at the end of time has already manifested himself and does not cease manifesting himself in the course of history; and on the other side all historical events are already charged with eternal significance.47



A final characteristic of the prophetic promise is its ethical empha­sis. Israel always stands in an ethical tension between the present and the future. The future is a day of hope and promise only for those who are faithful to God; and therefore a constant ethical demand is laid upon Israel to turn from her sins and to submit to God. The main objective of prophecy in the recital of past history and the prediction of future events is the ethical and religious demand made upon Israel to get right with God in the present. Indeed, long passages in the prophetic writings are devoid of both historical recital and prediction but challenge Israel with the immediate will of God. When the future is portrayed, whether in terms of judgment or redemption, it is to enable God's people to repent and so avoid the threatening judgment and to be encouraged by the divine promise of blessing for righteous conduct.

This ethical character of prophecy may be pointedly illustrated by the profound ethical and religious concern of the most "apocalyptic" portions of the Old Testament. Ezekiel is frequently criticized for his narrow nationalism and fantastic apocalypticism. Yet he has been characterized as one of the greatest spiritual figures of all times48 and is included by Waterman among the greatest ethical prophets.49

To be sure, Ezekiel's primary eschatological concern is with Israel's future. Israel regenerated and purified (Ezek. 36:25-27) is to be restored to the land (11:17-20) and the two kingdoms to be re­united (34:23 ff.; 37:24 ff.). Under the rule of a Davidic king (34: 23; 37:24-25) with a restored temple (40 ff.), she will enjoy the blessings of a universal, eternal kingdom of peace and righteousness (37:26-28; 36:28-30). This however is not really "particularism," for participation in the Kingdom is grounded on moral and religious principles and not upon the fact of Israelitic descent. Ezekiel taught as perhaps no other prophet the freedom and responsibility of the individual (11:17-20; 18:23, 30-32; 33:11). No man would be a recipient of God's blessing because he was a member of the chosen people. Even,' man was personally responsible to God and would live or die not because he was an Israelite, but because of his right­eousness or his sin. While Ezekiel may not have made the applica­tion himself, such a teaching certainly suggests implicitly a universal religion. By this emphasis, Ezekiel laid "the foundation of all moral living."50

Isaiah 24-27 has such a catastrophic, i.e., apocalyptic, type of eschatology that many critics hold that Isaiah could not have written it but that it must have been written much later, even as late as the third century b.c. Yet the prophetic ethical emphasis is dominant. When God visits the earth in wrath (26F20 f.), a great catastrophe of judgment will fall upon the physical order (24:1, 17-20) and a new order of blessing will emerge (27:2-5). God will then spread a rich banquet for all people and will remove from them the veil of mourning (25:6-7). "He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth; for the Lord has spoken" (25:8). However, this promise is not extended to Israel as such but only to a regenerated people. Judgment is to fall upon both priest and people (24:2) because the laws, statutes, and covenant have been violated (24:5). Salvation is to come to Judah (24:23), but only to a Judah which has become a righteous nation and keeps faith (26:2). In the Kingdom, a remnant of the nations which has escaped the great catastrophe brings homage to God. All antagonism comes to an end; Zion becomes the center of blessing for all the world.51 George Adam Smith was right when he said that these chapters "stand in the front of evangelical prophecy. In their experience of religion, their characterizations of God's people, their expressions of faith, their missionary hopes and hopes of immortality, they are very rich and edifying."52

These illustrations drawn from the most apocalyptic strata of the prophetic writings suffice to demonstrate that the primary concern of the prophets is ethical. They are sensitive to the sin and the faithlessness of Israel. They see God's judgment falling upon Israel both in the present historical situation and in the future eschato-logical day. They foresee a restoration, but only of a people which has been purified and made righteous. Their message both of woe and of weal is addressed to Israel that the people may be warned of their sinfulness and turn to God. Eschatology is ethically and religiously conditioned.

Perhaps the most significant result of the ethical concern of the prophets is their conviction that it will not be Israel as such that enters into the eschatological Kingdom of God but only a believing, purified remnant. This remnant concept points up the basic ethical character of the Old Testament hope and is of great importance for the New Testament concept of the church and Israel.53

The Israel of the restoration which will experience the final salva­tion will be only a fragment or remnant of the nation as a whole. Amos likens the Israel of the past to a brand plucked from the burning, and the Israel of the future will be like a few scraps of a sheep saved from the lion's mouth (Amos 3:12). Isaiah named one of his sons Shearjashub, "A remnant shall return" (Isa. 7:3; see 11: 11-16). Micah uses the phrase, "the remnant of Jacob," as practi­cally synonymous for Israel (Mic. 5:7-8). Jeremiah foretells the reign of the righteous Branch of David when Judah and Israel shall be saved; but this saved Israel is but a remnant of the flock which has been scattered afar (Jer. 23:3-6; see also 31:7).

This future Israel will consist of a believing and faithful remnant. It is difficult to decide whether the prophets anticipate the restora­tion as a result of the repentance of the remnant, or whether their restoration to the land is the ground of their repentance. In any case, the restored remnant will be forgiven of their sins (Mic. 7:18-19) and will turn to the Lord (Isa. 10:20-23) in mourning and repentance (Zech. 12:10 ff.). Isaiah likens the destruction of a faithless nation to a fallen tree. There remains standing, however, the stump of the tree; "the holy seed is its stump" (Isa. 6:13). "In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the blood stains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning" (Isa. 4:2-4).

The redeemed of the future will experience the eschatological salvation not because they are Israelites but because they are faithful, holy, righteous. Back of this expectation lies the deeper concept, seldom explicit in the Old Testament but constantly implicit, that the true Israel is of the spirit rather than of the flesh. In fact, the entire Old Testament history illustrated the Pauline statement that "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel" (Rom. 9:6). Only the remnant of Noah and his family were saved from the flood. Isaac and his seed alone inherited the promises given to Abraham. Joshua and Caleb alone of all Israel entered into the promised land. Elijah was told of seven thousand faithful who had not bowed to Baal. Jeremiah distinguishes between those who are circumcised only in flesh and those who are circumcised in heart (Jer. 4:4; see also Deut. 10:15-16). Here plainly is the concept of an Israel within Israel, of a spiritual Israel within national Israel. As the faithful people within the faithless nation, the remnant does not constitute a separate people. It does, however, as John Bright has pointed out, constitute a "church" within the nation. A distinc­tion begins to be made between the physical Israel and the true Israel, between the actual Israel and the ideal Israel.54 The distinc­tion rests not upon nationality or cult or race, but upon faith. It is fundamentally a spiritual relationship.

The Israel which will experience salvation is the "church" rather than the nation, the spiritual rather than the physical Israel. The national and physical elements are not sloughed off, but they are subordinated to the spiritual factors.

There is a close relationship between the ethical concern of the prophets and their eschatological perspective. The prophets were not primarily concerned about the time of the eschatological re­demption, nor were they primarily concerned with that redemption in itself. They were concerned with the state of God's people in their day and with God's will for his people. It is because of this ethical concern that they have a perspective which, to the modern critical mind, seems confused and even erroneous. Frequently, the prophets sound a note of imminence which, from the point of view of analytic chronology, seems quite wrong. They speak of the near­ness of the Day of the Lord (Isa. 13:9; Zeph. 1:7, 14; Joel 1:15, 3: 14; Obad. 15) as though the end of the world lay immediately ahead.

In the Old Testament, this note of imminence is an essential element in the prophetic perspective and must not be forced into modern ideas of chronology but must be interpreted in its own setting. The Day of the Lord for the prophets was both the im­mediate act of God expected in history and the ultimate eschato­logical visitation. The prophets did not usually distinguish between these two aspects of the Day of the Lord, for it was the same God who would act. The two events are viewed as though they were one.

Furthermore, the prophets were not primarily concerned with the question of chronology but with the ethical impact of the future upon the present. Therefore the warning of the nearness of the Day of the Lord is more a note of ethical exhortation than it is a chronological reference. The question of whether they were guilty of a chronological error is therefore the wrong question and fails to appreciate their way of thinking. God did act. The Day of the Lord did come; and yet, the Day of the Lord continued to be an eschato­logical event in the future. This tension between the immediate and the ultimate future, between history and eschatology, stands at the heart of the ethical concern of the prophetic perspective. For the important thing is not what is going to happen and when it will happen, but the will of God, who is Lord of both the far and the near future, for his people in the present.


1. See J. Bright, The Kingdom of God (1953).
2. P. Volz in Festchrift fur Georg Beer (A. Weiser, ed.; 1935), p. 72.

3. Cf. Isa. 24:23; 33:22; 52:7; Zeph. 3:15; Obad. 21; Zech. 14:9 ff. See also G. von Rad in TWNT, I, p. 567.
4. The Kingdom of God (1953), p. 18.
5. See I Chron. 26:31; II Chron. 3:2; 15:10; Ezra 4:5; 7:1; 8:1; Esther 2:16; Jer. 52:31; Dan. 1:1; 2:1; 8:1. (This is not exhaustive.) In some places, malkuth is translated "reign." See II Chron. 29:19; Ezra 4:5, 6; Neh. 12:22; Jer. 49:34.
6. We must also recognize that malkuth can be used to designate the realm over which a king reigns. See, e.g., II Chron. 20:30; Esther 3:6; Dan. 9:1; 11:9; Jer. 10:7. This fact will be important in the analysis of the New Testament concept.
7. S. Mowinckel has interpreted these enthronement psalms in terms of a New Year's festival with an alleged annual "enthronement" of Yahweh, after the analogy of ancient eastern myths of the death, resurrection, and enthronement of the chief god. See Psalmenstudien, II (1922); He That Cometh (1956), pp. 80 ff; W. R. Taylor and W. S. McCullough in IB, IV, pp. 502 ff. However, as Snaith has pointed out, this interpretation rests upon certain religionsgeschichtliche presuppositions rather than upon historical knowledge or sound exegesis. See N. H. Snaith, The Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament (1944), pp. 1&-19; C. R. North, The Old Testament Interpretation of History (1946), pp. 121-125; and especially N. H. Snaith, The Jewish New Year Festival (1947), pp. 204 ff.
8. See Georges Pidoux, Le Dieu qui vient (1947), for a study of this theme.
9. There is no evidence of volcanic activity at Mount Sinai. See J. Morgenstern in JR, I (1921), p. 241. For this reason, W. J. Phythian-Adams assumes that the site of Horeb is in Midian, cast of the Gulf of Akaba. (The Call of Israel [1934], pp. 140-154).
10. See M. Noth, Gesammelte Srudien zum Alten Testament (1957), p. 249.
11. H. W. Robinson, Inspiration and Revelation in the Old Testament (1946), pp. 32 f. Quoted by permission of the Clarendon Press.
12. See O. Baab, The Theology of the Old Testament (1949), p. 179; P. Volz, in Festschrift fur Georg Beer, A. Weiser, ed. 1935), p. 76; I. Bright, Int, V (1951), pp. 3-26.
13. Set G. E. Wright, IB, I, p. 372; God Who Acts (1952), p. 51; J. Bright, The Kingdom of God (1952), pp. 29 f.; A. C. Knudson, The Religious Teaching of the Old Testament (1918), pp. 352 ff.; G. Pidoux, Le Dieu qui  vient (1947), p. 51; E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament (1958), pp. 317 ff.; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (1961), I, pp. 498 ff.; H. W. Robin­son, Inspiration and Revelation in the Old Testament (1946), pp. 28-33; T. C. Vriezen, An Outline of Old Testament Theology (1958), p. 229.
14. G. Holscher, Die Ursprunge der judischen Eschatologie (1925), p. 3.
15. See J. Lindblom, The Servant Songs in Deutero-Isaiah (1951), p. 96; S. Mowinckel, He That Cometh (1956), p. 125.
16. See W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im spathellenistischen Zeitalter (1926), Chaps. 12, 13; P. Volz, Die Eschatologie der Judischen Gemeinde (1934), Chap. 23. It may also be found in W. O. E. Oesterley and T. H. Robinson, Hebrew Religion Its Origin and Development (1937), Chap. 39; R. Bultmann, Primitive Christianity in Its Contemporary Setting (1956) pp 79-86; and especially in S. Mowinckel, He That Cometh (1956), Chaps 8-10
17. S. Mowinckel, He That Cometh (1956), p. 267.
18. J. Lindblom later admitted the legitimacy of the term "eschatology" in StTh, VI (1953), pp. 79-114. He recognized the fact of two ages, if not the terminology, in the pre-exilic prophets in Prophecy in Ancient Israel (1962), pp. 360, 364, 367. Fohrer recognizes a prophetic concept of two ages, but not in a dualistic sense. See Georg Fohrer, TLZ, LXXXV (1960), col. 401-420.
19. See C. C. McCown, in HTR, XXXVIII (1945), pp. 151-175 for an excellent statement of this position.
20. S. B. Frost, Old Testament Apocalyptic (1952), pp. 48, 114, 236 f.
21. Ibid., p. 48.
22. T. C. Vriezen, "Prophecy and Eschatology," Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, I (1953), p. 222. A very different development is found by C. Steuer-nagel in Festschrift Alfred Bertholet (W. Baumgartner, et al., eds.; 1950), pp. 478-487. He discusses the development in terms of national, individual, and universal eschatology.
23. T. C. Vriezen, op. cit., p. 226; S. B. Frost, Old Testament Apocalyptic, p. 237.
24. See A. C. Knudson, The Religious Teaching of the Old Testament (1918), p. 359.
25. J. Lindblom, StTh, VI (1953), p. 102.
26. C. R. North, The Old Testament Interpretation of History (1946), pp. 126 f.
27. S. B. Frost, op. cit., p. 48.
28. f. Bright, The Kingdom of God (1953), p. 60; see also "Faith and Destiny," Jnt, V (1951), pp. 9 ff.; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (1961), I, p. 479. Kuhl thinks Amos expected the end of the age (C. Kuhl, The Prophets of Israel [1960], p. 63). For a very different interpretation, see J. D. W. Watts, Vision and Prophecy in Amos (1958), pp. 68-84.
29. L. Koehler, Old Testament Theology (1957), pp. 222 f.
30. E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament (1958), p. 318.
31. H. H. Rowley, The Growth of the Old Testament (1950), p. 179.
32. E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testament (1958), pp. 318 f.
33. Adam C. Welch, Kings and Prophets of Israel (1952), pp. 254 f.
34. Cf. J. Pedersen, Israel, Its Life and Culture, I-II (1926), p. 334.
35. H. W. Robinson, Inspiration and Revelation in the Old Testament (1946), pp. 30 f.
36. Cf. J. Skinner, The Book of the Prophet Isaiah XL-LXVI (1917), p. 240. This is the apogee of the concept of a transformation of nature to attain full harmony with a redeemed Israel. See Isa. 11:6-9; 29:17; 30:23 ff.; 32:15, 35, etc.
37. Cf. H. W. Robinson, Inspiration and Revelation in the Old Testament (1946), pp. 29-30.
38. See Mark 13:24 and parallels; Acts 2:19-20; II Pet. 3:11-13; Rev. 6:12-17; 20:11; 21:1.
39. The Old Testament has little to say about resurrection, for it is more con­cerned with God's purposes for his people in history than with the fate of the individual. However, the teaching of the resurrection of the body found both in Judaism and in the New Testament is a logical consequence of the prophetic theology of man. Cf. T. C. Vriezen, An Outline of Old Testament Theology (1958), p. 230. For the teaching of the resurrection, see Robert Martin-Achard, From Death to Life (1960).
40. W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (1961), p. 491. See also E. Jacob, Theology of the Old testament (1958), p. 318.
41. See the excellent remarks of A. S. Peake in The Servant of Jahweh and Other Lectures (1931), p. 83; H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic (1947), p. 13.
42. Many scholars feel that Amos 9:8b-15 is not authentic because the mes­sage of hope stands in such sharp contrast to the note of judgment in 9:1-4. However, the words of John Bright are here relevant: "True, he [God] called Israel to be the people of his rule, and Israel had egregiously failed and fallen under condemnation. But that fact could not in prophet theology cancel out the victory of God, for that would be to allow that the failure of man is also the failure of God. And no prophet would have dreamed of saying such a thing" (The Kingdom of God [1953], p. 87. Quoted by permission of Abingdon Press). So while the sharpness of the different points of view in Amos 9 must be admitted, the final optimistic note can equally well be the last word of the prophet expressing his ultimate confidence in God in spite of Israel's failure.
43. An Exposition of the Bible (1907), IV, p. 574.
44. A Light to the Nations (1959), p. 333.
45. See H. H. Rowley, The Unity of the BibJe (1953), p. 110.
46. Cf. Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 7:19; 13:5; 30:2-3; Obad. 15 for the Day of the Lord; Amos 4:2; Jer. 7:32; 19:6; 48:12; 51:47, 52 for "days are coming;" Mic. 2:4; Isa. 3:18; 5:30; 7:18, 20, 21, 23; Jer. 4:9; 48:41; 50:30; Ezek. 7:6, 7, 10, 12 for "the day" or "in that day."
47. Theology of the Old Testament (1958), pp. 318 f.
48. W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (1946), p. 248.
49. LeRoy Waterman, The Religion of Jesus (1952), pp. 22, 27, 32. Waterman argues that prophetic and apocalyptic are two mutually exclusive types of religion.
50. G. A. Cooke, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Ezekiel (1936), p. xxx.
51. A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Doctrine of the Prophets (1910), pp. 486 ff.
52. An Exposition of the Bible (1907), III, pp. 723 f.
53. See H. H. Rowley, The Faith of Israel (19?6), pp. 117 f.; The Biblical Doctrine of Election (1950), pp. 70 ff.; E. Jacob, Theology of the Old Testa­ment (1958), pp. 323 f.;J. Bright, The Kingdom of God (1953), pp. 89-92, passim; V. Herntrich, TWNT, IV, pp. 200-215; G. H. Davies, TWBB, pp. 188-191.
54. J. Bright, The Kingdom of God (1953), p. 94.

The Presence of the Future. Chapter 2. The Old Testament Promise. George Eldon Ladd. W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. Grand Rapids, MI. 1974. Pages 45-75.