“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.  “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach[a] a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.” (Isa. 65-17-25)

To understand the Integrative Dispensationalist Interpretation of Isaiah 65.17-25, it is necessarily first to understand how this biblical passage has been interpreted in the tradition of Dispensationalism. According to the researched dispensationalists books, we could find five distinct category of interpretation. That does not mean that these are the only existent categories inside the dispensationalism. However, we will use them as an example in this article.

 

1 – Isaiah 65.17-25 refers only to Millenium

Darby interpreted this passage as referring only to the Millennium.[1] Chafer appears to have followed the same view, when he wrote:

“In Isaiah 65:17 God declared, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” This verse occurs in a context of the millennial earth…”[2]

Charles Ryrie stated that verses 17-25 are:

“description of the millennial kingdom, which is preliminary to the new heavens and a new earth (v. 17). Characteristics include Jerusalem’s being a joy instead of a burden (v. 18; cf. Zech. 12:2–3), longevity (v. 20; notice that sin will be punished in the Millennium), peace and security (vv. 21–23), and removing of the animosity in nature (v. 25; cf. 11:7–9).”[3]

Arnold Fruchenbaum, in the same way, said:

“While many believe this refers to the eternal order, these new heavens and new earth are not to be confused with those of Revelation 21-22. The latter describes the new heavens and new earth of the eternal order, while the Isaiah passage describes those of the messianic kingdom, which will actually be a renovation of the present heavens and earth.”[4]

William MacDonald steded:

“The closing verses of chapter 65 describe millennial conditions. The new heavens and the new earth here refer to Christ’s kingdom on earth; in Revelation 21 they refer to the eternal state. In Isaiah’s new heavens and new earth there is still sin and death; in Revelation 21, these have passed away.”[5]

Warren Wiersbe wrote:

“God saves the best for the last: His description of “the new heavens and new earth” (the millennial kingdom) in 65:17–66:24. This is not the same as John’s “new heaven and new earth” (Rev. 21:1ff), because the characteristics Isaiah gives do not fit the eternal state. As far as we know, in the eternal state, people will not get old or die (Isa. 65:20), nor will there be any danger of losing anything to invaders (vv. 21–23).”[6]

Dr. Roy Gingrich also limited this section of Isaiah to the Millennium, therefore he named this section with the following words: “The Millennial blessedness of the redeemed Israelites (65:17–25).”[7]

This view could be represented as follow:

ISAIAH 65 - 1

 

2 – Isaiah 65 Refers to the Eternal State (vs.17) and the Millenium (vss. 18-25)

This second category is defended by Cyrus Scofield, who stated:

“verse 17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth (see refs. at “create”), but verses 18–25 describe the kingdom-age itself. Longevity is restored, but death, the “last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), is not destroyed till after Satan’s rebellion at the end of the thousand years (Rev. 20:7–14).[8]

This view could be represented as follow:

ISAIAH 65 - 2

 

3 – Isaiah 65 Refers to the Eternal State (vss.17-19) and the Millenium (vss 20-25)

This view is defended by Dr. John Walvoord, who wrote:

 “A glorious picture was presented of the ultimate new heavens and new earth (vv. 17–19). The prophet then returned to the theme of Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom in which there will be longevity but also death. One who will die at 100 years will be considered still in one’s youth. The millennial earth will provide Israel with security.”[9]

Walvoord recognizes the fact that the prophets of the OT generally viewed the Millennium and the Eternal State together, however, the details help the reader to separate which aspect apply to each period:

“In expressing Israel’s future hope, the Old Testament often mingled prophecies of the millennial kingdom with that of the New Jerusalem in eternity. The distinctions are made clear when the details are observed. Here, obviously, the millennial kingdom was being described because in the New Jerusalem there will be no death, no sin, and no judgment. In the millennial kingdom it will be a time of great joy and rejoicing and deliverance for the people of God, but death and sin will still be present.”[10]

This view could be represented as follow:

ISAIAH 65 - 3

 

4 – Isaiah 65 Refers Both to Eternal State and Millennium, however the Text Focus on Millennium

Alva McClain is who defines best this view:

“The prophets sometimes saw future events not only together; but in expanding their description of these events, they seem occasionally to reverse the time sequence in their record of the vision. An example of this may be seen in Isaiah 65:17-25, which opens with a divine announcement: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Then Follows a remarkable picture of the millennial bliss which clearly is on earth… Now over in the New Testament, the Apostle John is found using the very words of Isaiah’s prophecy: “And I saw,” he writes, “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1). The description which follows, however, is unmistakably a record of things in the eternal state where all sin and death have been abolished (21:3-8). It is apparent, therefore, that Isaiah saw together on the screen of prophecy both Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom; but he expands in detail the former because it is the “nearest-coming” event and leaves the latter for fuller description in a later New Testament revelation.”[11]

John Macharthur wrote:

new heavens and a new earth. Israel’s future kingdom will include a temporal kingdom of a thousand years (see notes on Rev. 20:1–10) and an eternal kingdom in God’s new creation (51:6,16; 54:10; 66:22; cf. Rev. 21:1–8). The prophet uses the eternal kingdom here as a reference point for both. Isaiah’s prophecy does not make clear the relationship between the kingdom’s two aspects as does later prophecy (Rev. 20:1–21:8). This is similar to the compression of Christ’s first and second advents, so that in places they are indistinguishable (cf. 61:1,2).”[12]

Paul Lee Tan, following the same view, stated:

“Isaiah 65:17-25 introduces first the new heaven and the new earth (eternal state), and then paints a picture of millennial bliss–whereas the reverse sequence would have been chronologically correct.”[13]

John A. Martin, in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, says:

“In these verses the Lord described the millennial kingdom, which is seemingly identified here with the eternal state (new heavens and a new earth). In Revelation, however, the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1) follow the Millennium (Rev. 20:4). Most likely Isaiah did not distinguish between these two aspects of God’s rule; he saw them together as one. After all, the Millennium, though 1,000 years in duration, will be a mere pinpoint of time compared with the eternal state.”[14]

Ed Hindson says:

“At this point the prophet Isaiah sees further into the future than any other Old Testament prophet. He looks down beyond the church age, the Tribulation Period, and the millennial kingdom, to the new heavens and a new earth (cf. Rev 21:1ff.). This brand new world is the result of the creation of God… the reference here may be taken as an overview to all that follows: for the child dying in verse Isa 65:20 is certainly not an experience of the eternal state, but of the earthly millennial kingdom.”[15]

Tony Garland wrote:

“The OT prophets saw glimpses of the eternal state. The Holy Spirit revealed through them that there would be a new heavens and a new earth (Isa.65:17; 66:22) and that death would eventually be no more (Isa. 25:8; Hos. 13:14). But their visions of the eternal state were often intertwined with revelation concerning the Millennial Kingdom making it difficult to draw a clear distinction between the two (e.g., Isa. 65:17-20). Now, John is shown aspects of the eternal state which are markedly different from the Millennial Kingdom.”[16]

This view could be represented as follow:

ISAIAH 65 - 4

 

5 – Isaiah 65 Refers Both to Eternal State and Millennium, however with a Continuity Relation

This view is similar to the previous one, because it believes that Isaiah refers both to Millennium and Eternal State. However, it is distinguished because it defends a continuity between the two periods. The word continuity means that what occurs partially in the Millennium will occur completely in the Eternal State. This element of Continuity is what distinguishes the fourth and fifth views.

Commenting Isaiah 65, Merrill Unger said:

“Isaiah’s vision, while glimpsing the Kingdom age… is projected into eternity… So the prophecy employs language that, although applicable to a degree to millenial conditions, will be fully realized on the regenerated Earth, wich will follow upon the postmillennial renovation by fire.”[17]

One of the gratest proponents of this view is Dr. Paul Enns. He said:

“Since Isaiah (Isa. 65:17) and John (Rev. 21:1) both describe the new heaven and the new earth, it is reasonable to conclude that many of the conditions Isaiah describes in chapter 65 refer not only to the millennium, but also to the eternal state on the new earth. God’s original purpose also demands this.”[18]

This fifth view is also supported by the Progressive and Integrative Dispensationalism. In the next article, we will understand why this view is preferable and what its implications are.

This view could be represented as follow:

ISAIAH 65 - 5

 

The implications of this view are something impressive and insightful for us to understand the Eternal State. Therefore, I hope you read the next article of the series. See you!


 

Notes:

[1]Darby, J. N. (2008). Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Ezra to Malachi. (353). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Chafer, Lewis Sperry; Walvoord, John F. (2010-12-21). Major Bible Themes (p. 370). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

[3]Ryrie, C. C. (1994). Ryrie study Bible: King James Version (Expanded ed.) (1084). Chicago: Moody Press.

[4] Arnold Fruchenbaum in Exploring Bible Prophecy. Pg 148

[5]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Is 65:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1992). Be comforted. An Old Testament study. (Is 65:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[7]Gingrich, R. E. (1993). The Book of Isaiah (86). Memphis, TN.: Riverside Printing.

[8]Scofield, C. I. (2002). The Scofield study Bible (Is 65:17). New York: Oxford University Press.

[9] Walvoord, J. F. (1990). The prophecy knowledge handbook (p. 119). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[10] Walvoord, J. F. (1990). The prophecy knowledge handbook (p. 119). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[11] Alva McClain. The Greatness of the Kingdom. Pg. 138

[12]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Is 65:17). Nashville: Word Pub.

[13] Paul Lee Tan. The Interpretation of Prophecy. Pg 92

[14]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (1:1120). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[15] Hindson, Dr. Ed (2005-09-20). King James Version Commentary (Kindle Locations 36725-36727). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

[16] Anthony Garland. A Testimony of Jesus Christ: vol 2. Pg 137

[17] Merrill F. Unger. Ungers’s Commentary on The Old Testament. Pg 1334

[18] Enns, Paul P. (2011-02-21). Heaven Revealed: What Is It Like? What Will We Do?… And 11 Other Things You’ve Wondered About (p. 88).


 

Autor: Leonardo Costa[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]