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Monday, August 08, 2011

a careful and strict Inquiry into the prevailing notion that the modern secular state of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophesy

I am currently engage in a not very careful nor particularly strict inquiry into the prevailing notion that the modern secular State of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophesy

Israel and the Nations in Ezekiel.

For several weeks now I have been reading and meditating on the later part of Ezekiel using the ancient Greek version (LXX) as my primary text with occasional forays into the Masoretic Text (MT).  My first objective was to look at what Ezekiel has to say about the restoration of Israel as a nation and the return to the land. Ezekiel uses a lot figurative language, metaphors are numerous but I have not so far found any evidence that Ezekiel ever uses Israel or “the land” in a figurative manner. We will begin by setting up a “straw man.” We will assume that someone at sometime, somewhere proposed that Israel and “the land” in Ezekiel function as metaphors for something else. By looking at Ezekiel’s use of metaphor we will evaluate the validity of that claim.

I am going to assume without argument that the future Ezekiel describes for “the house of Israel” and “the land” was never fulfilled in ancient times. Later on I will look at the question of the modern secular state of Israel and ask if Ezekiel has anything to say about that.

When Israel became a state in 1948 some of the mid-century proponents of the end times movement considered it a portent of great significance. I don’t have easy access to all of that literature so the documentation here is going to be pretty spotty. I do have Charles Feinberg’s commentary on Ezekiel so I will consider Feinberg a representative voice from that era. Feinberg’s credentials as an old testament scholar were impeccable so we are dealing with a serious author even though his commentary was aimed at a popular audience.


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