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Featured The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to Hebrew Scripture I always think it best to begin with what it meant to the author when he wrote.
    The words of Isaiah’s vision of peace among the nations are emblazoned upon buildings and edifices the world over, allowing humankind to dare dream of better times:

    ..and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.41

    And a wolf shall live with a lamb, and a leopard shall lie with a kid; and a calf and a lion cub and a fatling [shall lie] together, and a small child shall lead them. And a cow and a bear shall graze together, their children shall lie; and a lion, like cattle, shall eat straw. And an infant shall play over the hole of an old snake and over the eyeball of an adder, a weaned child shall stretch forth his hand. They shall neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mount, for the land shall be full of knowledge of the L‑rd as water covers the sea bed.42

    Who Was Isaiah?

    Isaiah on Moshiach - Isaiah 10:32-12:6 - Haftorah for the Eighth Day of Passover

    As Christians we're all familiar with the 'O' Antiphons of Isaiah recited during Advent.
     
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  2. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    From the Gutnick Chumash of Haftorah, page 150:

    "The Haftorah opens as Sancheriv is on his way to attack Jerusalem, having conquered much of the rest of the land already. The prophet envisions Sancheiriv's arrogant impression of sure victory, but in truth, God will send an angel to destroy him ( 10:32-34 ). We then read the main body of the Haftorah, which is a detailed description of the Mashiach and his era, ( 11:1-10 ), the ingathering of exiles ( 11-16 ) and the joyous celebrations that will occur at that time."
     
  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Perhaps this is useful for understanding chapter 11 in Isaiah as more literal?

    This comes from the Judaica Press English translation of the Mikraos Gidolos on Isaiah Volume 1 in the introduction. It talks about what made Isaiah's prophecy more literal.

    "As is known there are various degrees of prophecy, each prophet perceiving his prophecy according to his spiritual level. As the Torah tells us, ( Num. 12:6 ), Moses' prophecy was superior to that of all other prophets, in that God conveys His prophecy to them "with vision ... in a dream." These were two general levels of all prophets except Moses. The dream, coming to the prophet in an unconscious state, when his imaginative forces are unrestrained, is inferior to the vision, in which his imaginative forces are restrained and controlled, giving a clearer picture of the prophecy. The words, "And the word of the Lord was to ... " indicates the dream. this expression is found often in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. In Isaiah, however, this expression appears only once, when Hezekiah was ill, that Scripture states: "(38:4) And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah." Perhaps his faculties were dulled by the extreme grief he experienced when his beloved king seemed doomed to die. He was seized by a deep sleep and therefore perceived the prophetic message in a dream. On no other occasion, however, do we find this expression in the entire book."
     
  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    @adrian009 ,

    here's something...

    Who is the wolf? Benjamin? Maybe the Tribe of Benjamin? See Genesis 49:27.

    By the way, I checked the Hebrew in both verses ( Isaiah 11:6 and Genesis 49:27 ) ... it is indeed the same word, זְאֵב ( z'ahv, wolf: link ).

    Edit to add: the trope ( melody ) attached to these two words in these two verses is different though. I'm not sure if it matters...
     
    #24 dybmh, Jan 12, 2020
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  5. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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  6. Etritonakin

    Etritonakin Well-Known Member

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    It is not problematic at all -and quite literal. God will literally change the nature of animals so they do not consume each other -or us -and humans will no longer consume them.
    If you consider that God can make us immortal -give us "glorious bodies" similar to that which allowed the Word who became Christ to create all things in the first place, tweaking a bit of DNA to change the nature of animals is not problematic at all.
    Phil 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself"

    The Earth (which the meek shall inherit -along with the rest of the creation later) -and the heavens will be very different in many ways when Christ begins to rule. There will b no more war (only one attempt at the end of the thousand years), the present works on Earth will be burned up, the topography of the Earth will be changed dramatically to allow for more and better natural resources and building materials, etc. (Isaiah 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron:)

    The change in the nature of animals is one way it will be very different -and is spoken of in quite a few places.
    Ezekiel 34:25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods."

    Isaiah 65:17“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.

    The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
    18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,


    .......25 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.
     
  7. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    They are important considerations. So after Isaiah 11:6-8 we have:

    They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
    And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.


    Verse 11: 9 alludes strongly to a period of peace where the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

    God’s Holy Mountain may also relate to Isaiah 11:2-4 which also has associations with world peace.

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
    And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lordfrom Jerusalem.
    And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


    The root of Jesse appears an allusion to a King (probably spiritual) whose ancestry can be traced to the House of David. Some Christians think its a reference to Jesus. However the Christian dispensation has not been characterised by the type of peace suggested by the verses. Further, a requirement of being a descendant of King David through male lineage is required. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary. Even the Muslims believe that. But without doubt Jesus has laid the foundation for successive Revelation.
     
  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I agree the style of Daniel is very different from Isaiah. However even in conservative Judaism Isaiah is seen as having many Messianic passages interspersed throughout its text.

    I discovered this gem....

    Emet Ve-Emunah, the Conservative movement'sstatement of principles, states the following:

    Since no one can say for certain what will happen "in the days to come" each of us is free to fashion personal speculative visions ... Though some of us accept these speculations as literally true, many of us understand them as elaborate metaphors ... For the world community we dream of an age when warfare will be abolished, when justice and compassion will be the axioms of interpersonal and international relationships and when, in Isaiah's words (11:9) "...the land shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." For our people, we dream of the ingathering of all Jews to Zion where we can again be masters of our destiny and express our distinctive genius in every area of our national life.... We affirm Isaiah's prophecy (2:3) that "...Torah shall come forth from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

    Messiah in Judaism - Wikipedia

    Further:

    In his Mishneh Torah, Maimonides describes the Messianic Era with reference to Isaiah 11:9 here:

    Messianic Age - Wikipedia
     
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  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    The word lamb has Messianic connotations in Christianity and a wolf would be a predator that would be intent on destroying a peaceful religious community. I hadn’t thought about the symbolism within Judaism but you raise some interesting points.
     
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  10. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Yes, but the messianic passages in Isaiah are literal. That's what I'm trying to say. Looking at Leviticus 26, it seems very clear. Isaiah was talking about the same messianic concept in Chapter 11 as Moses was talking about in Leviticus 26.

    Most likely: The wolf is a wolf, the lamb is a lamb; the viper is a viper; the child is a child. That's what I mean by literal.

    If there is symbolism, I propose that the symbolism would be speaking about the conflict between the north and the south territory. This fits better, IMHO, because the verses 11-16 in Isaiah chapter 11 speak directly about future conflicts with future nations.

    I am aware that Christians apply their own messiah onto these passages. Perhaps though they are not as familiar with the idea that Benjamin is a wolf ( Genesis 49 ), and that Jacob was developing the the nation of Israel as a flock of lambs ( Genesis 30 ). Isaiah would have known this, and Isaiah's Jewish audience would have known this. So if there is symbolism in Isaiah 11:6, it's more likely symbolizing the reconciliation of the south and the north territories.

    Isaiah was Jewish not Christian.

    Isaiah's audience was Jewish not Christian.
     
  11. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Not just style... also very different content.
     
  12. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    To me it’s common sense and in no need of scriptural references because anyone who knows even a tiny bit about the Bible knows that these descriptions refer to people. Christ was known as a Lamb. His followers as sheep. False prophets are described as appearing in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. But are they animals? No these are all references to human beings.

    To me these connotations clearly refer to the antagonistic races, religions and nationalities as they resemble the antagonistic animals described and so to me it refers to a time when the Jew, Muslim, black and white, American and Russian etc will be at peace with one another.

    I believe movements like multiculturalism and interfaith are the early glimmerings of the wolf and lamb lying down together.

    That this vision of Isaiah is linked to world peace to me makes it abundantly obvious to me it is speaking about people.

    Israel at 70: The path to peace, according to Isaiah

    And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
    And their spears into pruning hooks:
    Nation shall not take up
    Sword against nation;
    They shall never again know war….
    The wolf and the lamb shall graze together,
    And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
     
    #32 loverofhumanity, Jan 13, 2020
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  13. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Of course there's going to be differences. The Jews are waiting for The Messiah. Christians are waiting for Jesus, the Messiah, to return. And, Baha'is say the Jesus, Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha'u'llah were all Messiahs.

    Since this is opening up to consider things from the Jewish perspective, what are they expecting to happen when the Messiah comes? From the link given...
    "Elijah will appear in order to herald the coming of Moshiach…" Christians and Baha'is have their Elijah. Does Islam really have one?
    "The prophet Ezekiel describes a climactic war, the Battle of Gog and Magog, that will occur prior to the arrival of the Moshiach." If this hasn't happened yet, are any of the people claiming to be the Messiah truly "The Messiah"?
    "One of the most important aspects of the Redemption is the promise of the ingathering of the exiles from the Diaspora." Only the Baha'is, as far as I can tell, have any claim that Jews are coming back to Israel because of the coming of their prophet. And that is because of the Edict of Toleration.
    "The Messianic Era will be one of tremendous prosperity... That will leave humankind with ample free time—and all the nations of the world will be preoccupied with one pursuit: the study of G‑d and the Torah." That's not happening yet.
    "The mitzvot we do today pale in comparison to those we will perform when we will be returned to the Holy Land... with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, we will resume the Temple service and all the mitzvot that it entails." That hasn't happened yet.
    "Moshiach will usher in an era of peace and prosperity which will benefit all of mankind. The prophets depicts the Messianic Era as a miraculous one... fantastic miracles...will be commonplace during the Messianic Era." Hasn't happened.
    "The Resurrection of the Dead – an era that will last for all eternity – is the second and final stage of the Messianic Era. It will happen forty years after the advent of the Messianic Era." This definitely hasn't happened. Christians believe this will happen when Jesus returns. I don't know what Moslems believe. But Baha'is don't believe in a literal, physical resurrection.

    But if the Messiah ushers in an era of peace, then people can beat their weapons of war into farm tools. But when does it happen? Do Jews believe it is a short or long process? Christians think Jesus returns and destroys all evil and all evil people and established peace. I don't know about Islam. But, the Baha'is say it is a long, long process. The one they say is The Messiah, The Return of Christ has already been gone over a hundred years, and we are heading for disaster before there will be peace. And people are going to have to do a lot of the work of establishing peace. People are going to have to give up on war as a solution to our problems.

    So has The Messiah really already returned? Or, is he still to come? Is he Jesus? Or, is he Jesus, Muhammad, The Bab and Baha'u'llah? For me, that is more important than whether a wolf and a lion will become vegetarians.
     
  14. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    It's a good question, I don't know.
    They're not the Jewish messiah,not the Moshiach.
    It's not the in-gathering, not as far as I can tell. The Baha'i are incorrect about this, IMO.
    Agreed.
    Agreed.
    Agreed.
    I don't think that Muslims believe in reincarnation or resurrection. But I am not 100% sure. But, yes, like above, you are correct that this hasn't happened yet.
    I don't know for sure. Maimonides in Hilchot Milachim ( Laws of Kings ) offers an explanation. If someone triggers the in-gathering and rebuilds the temple they are a candidate to be Moshiach. After that if the rest of the prophecy occurs that is confirmation that the person is Moshiach. That's 1 well respected opinion. Additionally Maimonides cautions against looking for a miracle worker as Moshiach. That's not part of the criteria.
    It's a myth among most Jewish people. There is, if i recall, a long line of potential Mochiachs throughout the history of the Jewish people, one in each generation. If the people merit it, Moshiach will be fully revealed; that's the idea. According to the story, the people have not merited it, so, it hasn't happened.
    Part of Christian theology requires belief in an evil force outside of G-d's control. Otherwise there would be no reason to believe in Christ, or worship thru Christ. People could go straight to G-d, which is what Jewish people do. So they have a vested interest in believing in an evil force and evil people. It creates urgency and necessity. This is reflected in their scripture if I understand, though, I have only read a tiny fraction of Christian scripture.
    Urgency... necessity...
    I would vote for it. In this way I stand with the Baha'i.
    No, not the Jewish Moshiach that is spoken about in the Torah and Tanach.
    Still to come.
    Can't be. No in-gathering, no temple... they aren't even candidates.
    Well said. But, it is fun to discuss it among friends. At least I think it is.
     
  15. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    So the assumption you are making is that Isaiah knew about Jesus and knew the Jesus story before it happened. It's not a problem, but, it is important to point it out.

    It's common sense **only** if a person believes in Jesus already and already believes in the New Testament as divine? That describes Christians, Catholics, and Baha'i?
     
  16. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    @adrian009 Interesting exegetical question and certainly an influential passage from Hebrew scripture which has been much discussed down the generations by Jews, Christians and most recently Baha'is.

    In its original context, I've never quite been able to decide if the prophetic author was (1) simply employing imagery lifted from the natural order to predict, in poetic language, the pacification of violent and bestial tendencies / harmful conduct among humans in the Messianic Age or (2) literally foresaw a future epoch in which the predator/prey hierarchy in nature would be radically altered, such that all carnivores would (somehow?) be replaced with herbivores both in the animal and human kingdoms, the two reflecting each other.

    To an ancient, pre-scientific imagination it is not by any means impossible that he might have thought this, even if a metaphorical interpretation is more attuned to our modern sensibilities.

    The relative weight that different Christian authorities down the centuries have placed upon either one exegesis has largely had to do with whether they judged the passage to be a prophecy of earthly peace (i.e. in a millennium / other temporal period of peace) or supramundane peace in the World to Come, the New Heaven and Earth after the Last Judgment and the resurrection of the dead.

    Most intriguingly, even though the New Testament scriptures are indeterminate on how these images in Isaiah (i.e. "wolf, lion, lamb") are to be understood, the early apostolic fathers of the Catholic Church (by which I mean all apostolic churches that hold the Patristics in reverence, such as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox & Anglicans / Lutherans etc.) preserved an extra-canonical saying of Jesus about this exact prophecy of Isaiah, reportedly passed down in sacred tradition from the Apostle John (who heard it himself from Jesus) to his disciple Papias of Hierapolis (born 60 A.D.) who in turn wrote an Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord (Greek: Λογίων Κυριακῶν Ἐξήγησις) in five books, which contained many authentic extra-biblical sayings of Jesus verbally passed down from the Apostles.

    The Exposition is sadly lost to literary history (like much of antiquity) but certain sayings from it were quoted by the church father St. Irenaeus of Lyons in 180 A.D. and by the ecclesiastical historian Eusebius in the 4th century, including the saying that interests us here about the "wolf and lamb".

    From St. Irenaeus writing in the second century A.D.:


    CHURCH FATHERS: Against Heresies, V.33 (St. Irenaeus)


    The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord Jesus used to teach in regard to these times, and say:


    "The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me. In like manner [the Lord declared] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear should have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds (quinque bilibres) of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and seeds and grass, would produce in similar proportions (secundum congruentiam iis consequentem); and that all animals feeding [only] on the productions of the earth, should [in those days] become peaceful and harmonious among each other, and be in perfect subjection to man."
    4. And these things are borne witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled (συντεταγμένα) by him. And he says in addition,

    "Now these things are credible to believers. And he says that, when the traitor Judas did not give credit to them, and put the question, 'How then can things about to bring forth so abundantly be wrought by the Lord.' the Lord Jesus declared, 'They who shall come to these [times] shall see.'"
    When prophesying of these times, therefore, Isaiah says: "The wolf also shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall take his rest with the kid; the calf also, and the bull, and the lion shall eat together; and a little boy shall lead them. The ox and the bear shall feed together, and their young ones shall agree together; and the lion shall eat straw as well as the ox. And the infant boy shall thrust his hand into the asp's den, into the nest also of the adder's brood; and they shall do no harm, nor have power to hurt anything in my holy mountain." And again he says, in recapitulation, "Wolves and lambs shall then browse together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent earth as if it were bread; and they shall neither hurt nor annoy anything in my holy mountain, says the Lord." Isaiah 40:6, etc.

    I am quite aware that some persons endeavour to refer these words to the case of savage men, both of different nations and various habits, who come to believe, and when they have believed, act in harmony with the righteous. But although this is [true] now with regard to some men coming from various nations to the harmony of the faith, nevertheless in the resurrection of the just [the words shall also apply] to those animals mentioned. For God is rich in all things.

    And it is right that when the creation is restored, all the animals should obey and be in subjection to man, and revert to the food originally given by God (for they had been originally subjected in obedience to Adam), that is, the productions of the earth. But some other occasion, and not the present, is [to be sought] for showing that the lion shall [then] feed on straw. And this indicates the large size and rich quality of the fruits. For if that animal, the lion, feeds upon straw [at that period], of what a quality must the wheat itself be whose straw shall serve as suitable food for lions?

    St. Irenaeus aids us here in two respects: we learn from him that there was a widely known and apparently authentic extra-canonical saying of Jesus disseminated in the early church, derived from the Apostle John, which seemingly interpreted Isaiah's prophecy literally: the natural order would actually, in a future peaceful epoch, produce superabundance of grain/grapes/fruits of the earth and annul subsistence living, and that this would (again literally) occur in tandem with the abolition of violence not merely among human beings but animal species as well, such that there will no longer be any predator species but only herbivores.

    But, St. Irenaeus also informs us that there was a parallel contingent in the early church ("some persons") who understood the prophecy (and perhaps the Jesus saying as well) figuratively as applying to "savage men" of different nations and races who come to believe in the gospel and so abandon violence altogether. He appears to cite the saying of Jesus attested by Papias as an authority to somewhat counter, or at least modify, the claims of this other group in the early church, arguing that whilst what they said was 'true' and even beginning now (with conversions of pagans of different nations within and without the Roman Empire to Christianity) that after the "resurrection of the dead" it would become true also of animals (in a 'new heaven and earth' maybe after the destruction of this universe? although Irenaues doesn't quite clarify if he means this, which most modern Christians believe as well, or if he's talking about our actual earth as it is right now being transformed in the Messianic Age, which is rather more difficult to accept I think we'd both agree!).

    The 'savage men' interpretation is perhaps strengthened by the fact that Jewish authors - both Rabbinic and early Christian - had a habit of referring to sinners metaphorically as different kinds of animals (i.e. John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation refers to certain sinners as "dogs: those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters" (Revelation 22:15), whilst in the Tanakh, we have authors in the Psalms referring to sinners as "bulls of Bashan" (Psalm 22:12)).

    In later centuries, this figurative interpretation has been more favoured: for example, Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser writing in the 17th century (Interpretatio Apocalypsin (1648)):


    “A great change will come to pass, such as no mortal man will have expected. A new mankind will come into existence. And the great monarch of the world will create new laws for the new mankind and will cause a new age to begin, in which there will be only one flock and one shepherd, and peace will be of long, long duration, for the glory of God in heaven and on earth...Now the Great Monarch also will dominate over all the "beasts of the earth", that is to say over the barbarian nations...

    The sacerdocy will flower more than ever, and men will seek the kingdom of God in all solicitude...Many saints and doctors will flourish in the earth. Men will love reason and justice. Peace will reign in all the universe, because the divine power will bind Satan for many years, until the son of perdition will rave anew...

    It is in that age that the relation of the sixth Spirit of the Lord will be known, that is to say the Spirit of Wisdom that God diffuses over all the surfaces of the globes in those times. The sciences will be multiplied and complete on the earth. Men will be enlightened, so much as in the natural sciences and in the celestial sciences.

    Now all these characters convene perfectly in the sixth age, in which they will have love, concord and perfect peace. Men will live in peace, each in his own field. They will be reconciled with the one God. Man himself will be so astonishingly changed by the hand of God, such that no one can imagine humanity..."


    (Venerable Bartholomew Holzauser (1613-1658))
     
    #36 Vouthon, Jan 13, 2020
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  17. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, it's not like I'm going to become a Jew, but no Jew has ever asked me to become one, or more it sound like I needed to. Therefore, I respect Jews very much. Christians, on the other hand, have made it very plain that it is of the utmost urgency to believe and accept their interpretations of the Hebrew Bible and their NT. It worked for a short time. I was frightened into believing. Like who wants to burn in hell for eternity. But, listening to Jewish friends, who I had to pry it out of them, on why they didn't think Jesus was the true Messiah, I had to step back and take a deeper look at what Christians were telling me. Now add the Baha'is... and the Hindus here on the forum, and I'm listening and learning and questioning everybody. So thanks again for your answers.
     
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  18. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    You're welcome CG. I've had the same experience here, to be honest. I question a lot more, and I'm learning a lot too.
     
  19. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Baha’u’llah the Prophet/Founder of the Baha’i Faith criticises a literal interpretation of Isaiah 11:6

    Behold the ignorance and folly of those who, like the nations of old, are still expecting to witness the time when these beasts will feed together in one pasture! Such is their low estate… Besides, of what profit would it be to the world were such a thing to take place? The Book of Certitude, p. 112.

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá describes a time when ‘Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Persians all consort together with perfect love and fellowship… This is one of the meanings of the fellowship between the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, and the lion and the calf’. – Some Answered Questions

    So a Baha’i exegesis is very simple. The miraculous transformation takes place in the human heart, not in the entire character of the animal kingdom being changed in a way contrary to their innate nature.
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Of course. But there are two basic approaches to understanding these verses that all three religions would see as being Messianic and considering a future stare of peace. One perspective is literal interpretation and the other symbolic. Clearly some Christians and Jews will view the verses literally and so can not possibly see the verses as being literally fulfilled as such a change in the animal kingdom has not come to pass. In seeing the verses symbolically we consider the possibility of reconciliation between peoples of the earth whereas reconciliation may have previously been regarded as impossible.
     
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