Early Church Fathers on the Rapture

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  • Early Church Fathers on the Rapture

    A thread on a similar topic was just closed, and I don’t mean to try to end-run around that closure. But, I’d like to take a look at what the Early Church Fathers said about the Rapture. This is a very hot subject, but let’s make this thread productive, civil, and tight to topic. I’m probably the worst offender, so I’ll try hard to be on my best behavior.

    In this first post, I’ll respond to a claim that Irenaneus, writing in the last second century, supports a Pretrib Rapture (e.g. In Irenaeus’ belief, the Rapture took place prior to the end times Great Tribulation.) in Against the Heresies Book 5 Chapter 29:
    And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, "There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be." For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.
    I’m confident there were no Pretribbers among the early Church fathers. But let’s look at this alleged Pretrib quote. (I’d like to see this in the original Greek, not a translation from Latin, but we work with what we have.)

    I looked at Irenaeus’ previous mention of the “church” in his book. The closest previous reference to “church”, which is in chapter 26, speaks explicitly about the book of Revelation, and refers to what is taught in Revelation 17:
    These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings." It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself the eighth among them. And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight.
    How could Ireneaus think the Church has been raptured when he just explained the “church” is going to be put to flight deep into the events of Revelation? (The existence of the Church on Earth is implied throughout the chapters of Revelation.)

    Wait! I don’t even have to look at other references to the church by Ireneaus to show he has no intention of teaching a Pretrib Rapture. Read the supposed Pretrib quote closely. Iraneous calls the Tribulation a “contest for the righteous” and “when they overcome [the Tribulation] they are crowned with incorruption.” That means Irenaeus believes the Church would be here through the Tribulation!

    In the very same chapter that the supposed Pretrib quote comes from, Irenaeus explains that God permits evil for the sake of man (not man for the sake of evil), and wicked nations by “means of combustion, serves for working gold.” Ireneaus doesn’t just think the Church would be through the Tribulation, but that the purpose of the Tribulation is to refine the Church. A Pretrib Rapture is completely contradictory to the context of the alleged Pretrib Rapture quote.

    Wait again! Read the first quote even more closely. “IN THE END the Church shall be suddenly caught up…” Can you say “Post-trib”? It’s easy if you try.

    (P.S. It would be a mistake to take Dispensationalist Theology and move the Rapture from the start of the Tribulation to the end. That whole Theology is faulty, but I’m just addressing one point at a time.)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
    The existence of the Church on Earth is implied throughout the chapters of Revelation.
    The church is mentioned in the first three chapters of Revelation. In the rest of the book there are no references to the church but Israel is spoken of many times. The first mention is in chapter 7 where the 144,000 servants are sealed. There are 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel. This only makes sense if the church has been taken out of the world before this takes place.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
    Comment>

    • #3
      Irenaeus, AD 170

      Against Heresies 5.29 - When in the end that church will suddenly be caught up from this, it is said, "There will be tribulation such as not been since the beginning, nor will be."
      Tertullian, AD 207
      Against Marcion 5.16 He [Paul] says those who remain unto the coming of Christ along with the dead in Christ, will rise first, being "caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, "...By the mouth of Isaiah, it was said long ago "who are these who fly like clouds unto me, as doves with their young ones?"
      Ancient Church Fathers (What the Disciples of the Apostles taught) by Ken Johnson Th.d.
      See page 105.

      I looked it up in a commentary and found:

      Isaiah 60:8 Commentaries: "Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?

      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
        The church is mentioned in the first three chapters of Revelation. In the rest of the book there are no references to the church but Israel is spoken of many times. The first mention is in chapter 7 where the 144,000 servants are sealed. There are 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel. This only makes sense if the church has been taken out of the world before this takes place.

        The topic is the Early Church Fathers on the Rapture. Your post makes no mention of anything of the Early Church Fathers. I have already quoted an Early Church Father commenting on Revelation 17 that the "church" is still on the Earth. Further, if you missed it before, I pointed out the factual error of your claim of Israel being spoken of many times in Revelation. Revelation has a reference to Israel in the Old Testament. Revelation has another mention of Israel concerning the New Jerusalem having the name of the twelve tribes on the gates. That leaves just your 144,000 example, and there's no evidence that that literal, and even if literal there's no evidence that those 144,00 are on Earth. So, there's no real evidence Revelation says anything about Israel going through the Judgement, not one time. But, there are many verses indicating the Church will be here, such as found in Revelation 17.

        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
          Irenaeus, AD 170

          Against Heresies 5.29 - When in the end that church will suddenly be caught up from this, it is said, "There will be tribulation such as not been since the beginning, nor will be."
          Tertullian, AD 207

          Your interpretation of that quote is refuted in the OP.
          Last edited by Cornelius; 01-06-2016, 08:06 PM.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

            Your interpretation of that quote is refuted in the OP.

            Then it needs to be corrected:

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]I believe in the pre-trib rapture so this is my position as well as many others.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; [/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]The church is in Revelation 5:9 singing the song in heaven. 23 out of the 24 manuscripts have Revelation 5:9 saying "thou hast redeemed us" so we are raptured before the tribulation.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]We receive our resurrection bodies at the end of the age or last day:[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]New American Standard Bible [/SIZE][/FONT]
            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]"But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and [/SIZE][/FONT]rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]."[/SIZE][/FONT]

            Daniel 12:13 "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and [/SIZE][/FONT]I will raise him up on the last day[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px].”[/SIZE][/FONT]
            John 6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Revelation 4:1 ¶ [/SIZE][/FONT]After this[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px] I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. [/SIZE][/FONT]


            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]g3326 μετά meta (after) g3778 οὗτος houtos (these things).[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]The future age is after these things.[/SIZE][/FONT]


            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]A study on meta tauta (after these things):[/SIZE][/FONT]

            Error 400 (Bad Request)!!1


            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Jesus Christ gives the division of the book of Revelation:[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]"Write the things which thou hast seen (1), and the things which are (2), and the things which are hereafter (3)" (Revelation 1:19)[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]The things which thou hast seen is the past, the things which are is the present and the things which are hereafter are the future.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]After Revelation chapter 3, the church isn't mentioned anymore unless it is referred to as the Harlot but in Revelation chapters 4-5, the Church is in heaven and the Great Tribulation takes place. In chapters 6-18 and in Chapter 19, Christ returns to earth. Chapter 20 gives us the 1,000 year reign of Christ. The Great White Throne Judgment is set up and then in Revelation 21-22 Eternity with God begins.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Revelation 4:1 ¶ After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]After what? "After what" is meta tauta. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 discussed the Church so Revelation chapter 4 is after the Church things. The lie is to bring the Church into the future things because the Church is not here.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]When the Church gets to heaven, it loses its definition of the Church because heaven is represented as twenty four elders and translated in the resurrection:[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.[/SIZE][/FONT]

            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]"The resurrection and the translation of the saints (see John 14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52)" are notes that I cannot pass up. To put the church on the earth "after these things" is to ignore the resurrection and translation of the saints because the rest of the book of Revelation refers to the ecclesiastical system left on earth as the Harlot.

            (Use of material by Dr. J Vernon McGee used in this post.)[/SIZE][/FONT]

            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by Chuckt View Post

              [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]I believe in the pre-trib rapture so this is my position as well as many others.[/SIZE][/FONT]

              [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; [/SIZE][/FONT]

              [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]The church is in Revelation 5:9 singing the song in heaven. 23 out of the 24 manuscripts have Revelation 5:9 saying "thou hast redeemed us" so we are raptured before the tribulation.[/SIZE][/FONT]
              The topic is the Early Church Fathers on the Rapture. Your post makes no reference to the Early Church Fathers, none of whom were Pretribbers. For that matter, no passage in the Bible says anything like a Pretrib Rapture and Jesus says the Elect would be here through the Tribulation.

              You're trying to voodoo and Bull some scriptural support for a doctrine contradicted by the Bible and by all the Early Church fathers. Read the context of Revelation 5:9. Twenty-four Elders were singing. You think 24 elders in a vision, in the throne room, shows there has been a Rapture? How is it you conclude that those 24 elders are millions of raptured saints? There have been millions of saints who have already died. I think that's enough to provide 24 elders with some leftover ("elder" also applies someone from before). The elders could represent the 12 Tribes plus the 12 Apostles (I don't know, I'm not gifted with certain understanding of things in visions, like Dispensionalists are). But, the saints are distinguished from the 24 elders and all John sees here is smoke which symbolizes the prayers of the saints (unless you think prayers are literally smoke). John doesn't see the saints... not until the next chapter.

              Those prayers could be generated by saints on the Earth. Or, they could be from the saints John sees under the altar who were <drum roll> SLAIN, not raptured (Rev 6:9).

              Do you know of any Early Church Fathers who says those 24 Elders are raptured saints?

              Do you disagree with Iranaeus when he interprets Revelation 17 to mean the "Church" is on the Earth?

              Comment>

              • #8
                Cornelius,

                Did you ever stop and think that if the author of "Ancient Church Fathers (What the Disciples of the Apostles taught)" thought that Turtullian was not talking about theology that was germane that he wouldn't have used it?

                I think you are interpreting Turtullian through the eyes of your theology instead of what Turtullian meant.

                Chuck
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  Did you ever stop and think that if the author of "Ancient Church Fathers (What the Disciples of the Apostles taught)" thought that Turtullian was not talking about theology that was germane that he wouldn't have used it?
                  I have no idea of what you're talking about. You provided a quote from Iranaeus, apparently quoted by Turtullian, which I had already proven in the OP does not support the Pretrib Rapture. You provided no "talking" by Turtullian, who himself certainly was not a pretribber or dispy.

                  Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                  Isaiah 60:8 Commentaries: "Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?
                  Isaiah provides numerous analogies to the gentiles coming to Jerusalem, which was fulfilled in the first century by Jesus. Of those numerous analogies, you choose one that you think most resembles your vision of the Rapture. That verse has absolutely nothing to do with your Rapture. Verse 6 "They shall bring gold and frankincense" was literally fulfilled by by the Magi who visited baby Jesus.


                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

                    I have no idea of what you're talking about. You provided a quote from Iranaeus, apparently quoted by Turtullian, which I had already proven in the OP does not support the Pretrib Rapture. You provided no "talking" by Turtullian, who himself certainly was not a pretribber or dispy.



                    Isaiah provides numerous analogies to the gentiles coming to Jerusalem, which was fulfilled in the first century by Jesus. Of those numerous analogies, you choose one that you think most resembles your vision of the Rapture. That verse has absolutely nothing to do with your Rapture. Verse 6 "They shall bring gold and frankincense" was literally fulfilled by by the Magi who visited baby Jesus.

                    Isaiah 60:8 Commentaries: "Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?

                    So the Magi flew on a jet plane to see baby Jesus? The point is that you aren't letting their comments say what they said. You are changing it.
                    People couldn't see into the future back then so some commentaries imagined boats or later planes. At least they got it right in the sense that they were closer to the interpretation.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      First, I apologize Cornelius for not bringing early church fathers into the thread. However, I do bring early Reformers....

                      Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                      So the Magi flew on a jet plane to see baby Jesus? The point is that you aren't letting their comments say what they said. You are changing it.
                      People couldn't see into the future back then so some commentaries imagined boats or later planes. At least they got it right in the sense that they were closer to the interpretation.
                      Seems to me that there are two different methods of interpreting this Scripture here in this thread. Each is asking different questions. One asks, "What does Isaiah 60:8 mean"? The other asks, "What does Isaiah 60:8 say", and then attempts to parallel the verse with something recognizable today - whether "airplanes, boats etc". The latter approach of Chuckt also isolates the verse and strips it of its context and uses extra-biblical sources to interpret, whether Rapture Doctrine, Current Events, or apparently Technology. Others use the verse's context in an attempt to understand what the author meant to convey, that is, in order that we receive what the author had in mind.

                      What does Isaiah 60:8 mean? "That fly like a cloud ... like doves to their windows". Nothing can stand in the way of the motion of the clouds, and doves inevitably seek to return to their homes. Likewise, God's people will inevitably and unstoppably return home when the Lords call them.

                      Just read the before mentioned Scripture Isaiah 60:3: "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising".

                      Matthew Henry:

                      Great numbers shall come, Gentiles (or nations) of those that are saved, as it is expressed with allusion to this, Revelation 21:24. Nations shall be discipled (Matthew 28:19), and even kings, men of figure, power, and influence, shall be added to the church. They come from all parts (Isaiah 60:4): Lift up thy eyes round about, and see them coming, devout men out of every nation under heaven, Acts 2:5.
                      John Calvin has a great commentary on Isaiah 60:8.

                      That fly as a cloud. (154) It is generally thought that this denotes the Apostles, who, with incredible swiftness, made their way to the farthest boundaries of the world; and there is some plausibility in that interpretation. (Mark 16:15) But the Prophet speaks of a universal assemblage of the Church; for from every quarter men shall run to it readily and cheerfully.

                      And as doves to their windows (155) The metaphor of “doves,” which he employs, is highly appropriate to this subject; for, when they are dispersed through the fields, they appear not to differ at all from untamed birds; and yet they are domesticated, and have their pigeon*house, to which they betake themselves, and in which they build their nests. Thus believers, enlightened by faith, begin to perceive their assembly, to which they fly from frightful dispersion. How necessary this warning was, will be readily perceived by all who shall take into account their wretched and alarming condition at that time; for, if the prophets, after having carefully instructed the Jews for many years, could gain very little or hardly any success, what was to be expected from the Gentiles, who were altogether alienated from God? Was it not παράδοξον beyond all reasonable expectation, that the Gentiles would one day come into the Church? Yet the Prophet does not speak extravagantly, but is filled with such amazement that he leads us to admire it in the same manner.

                      (154) “It is a fine conception of Vitringa, that the ships expressly mentioned in the next verse are here described, on their first appearance at a distance, resembling with their outspread sails and rapid course a fleecy cloud driven by the wind, and a flight of doves returning to their young.” * Alexander.

                      (155) “The ideas conveyed by the images here employed are those of number and velocity. The reference to the doves is beautifully illustrated by a passage in Morier’s Second Journey in Persia. Speaking of the pigeon*houses near Ispahan, he says: ‘They are large round towers, rather broader at the bottom than the top, crowned by conical spiracles, through which the pigeons descend. Their interior resembles a honey-comb, pierced with a thousand holes, each of which forms a snug retreat for a nest. The extraordinary flights of pigeons which I have seen upon one of these buildings, afford perhaps a good illustration of Isaiah 60:8. Their great numbers, and the compactness of their mass, literally looked like a cloud at a distance, and obscured the sun in their passage.’ The persons referred to are the Jews, who now flock in immense numbers from all quarters to the land of their fathers, and Jerusalem, the summit of their earthly joy.” *
                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        The problem in regard to the Church Fathers is that isolated quotes are not understood within the context of their respective theologies as a whole or even within the immediate context of the passage. It seem that very often that someone will latch on to something (i.e. a word. phrase, sentence) that person thinks supports the same view, but careful reading and study of the passage reveals that is not the case.

                        Lets examine the whole context of Against the Heresies Book 5 Chapter 29, Section 2:
                        In the previous books I have set forth the causes for which God permitted these things to be made, and have pointed out that all such have been created for the benefit of that human nature which is saved, ripening for immortality that which is [possessed] of its own free will and its own power, and preparing and rendering it more adapted for eternal subjection to God. And therefore the creation is suited to [the wants of] man; for man was not made for its sake, but creation for the sake of man. Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons "as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance-in fact, as nothing;" so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold.
                        The first part of this passage contains a flow of thought that is relevant to the second part.

                        (a) All creation was made for the benefit of man.
                        (b) However the nations did not turn to God in spite of this fact.
                        (c) Nevertheless they are still useful and serviceable.
                        (d) Because they serve as a means to refine gold.


                        Now lets examine the second part of the same passage.
                        And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, "There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be." For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.
                        There are several important points concerning what this passage does and does not say that need to be addressed.

                        (1) The phrase "caught up" is one of those terms that is latch on to because of it relationship to 1 Thess. 4. However, this is merely an appearance of simulatity.

                        In the Latin text of Irenaeus' Against the Heresies the verb used is assumo. In the Latin N.T. (1 Thess. 4:17) the verb is rapio. Clearly it is not the same verb. Moreover, the Latin N.T. never used the verb assumo to translate the Greek word.

                        Thus Irenaeus is not referring to a rapture. If that were the case, it is inexplicable why the key word used to support the rapture is not found there nor does it explain why the verb assumo is never used to translate the Greek word in the Latin N.T.

                        Therefore, since (a) none of the key phrases found in 1 Thess. 4 are found in this section of Irenaeus, (b) the fact that the key verb used to support the rapture is not present (i.e. rapio) and (c) the verb assumo is never used in the Latin N.T. to translated the Greek word, it is clear that the whole case is based English translations of Irenaeus and the N.T. but has no support from the actual texts themselves.

                        In other words, someone said: look this English text says "caught up" and this other English text says "caught up," they must talking about the same thing. Not really an argument at all but just a poor and mistaken assumption based on the English.

                        (2) The first part has a clear flow of thought. If the Church was raptured, the first part simply makes no sense given the context.

                        (a) All creation was made for the benefit of man.
                        (b) However the nations did not turn to God in spite of this fact.
                        (e) Nevertheless they are still useful and serviceable.
                        (f) Because they sever as a means to refine gold.

                        Where would the Church fit into this flow? Irenaeus whole point was it does not matter what the evil nations do, because they are still useful and serviceable as a means to refine the people of God. His point was not that, while the evil nation are useful and serviceable to refine gold, don't worry about it because that won't be a problem for the Church because you won't be here.

                        (3) The last point concerns "the righteous" who "overcome" and "are crowned with incorruption."

                        So who are "the righteous"? There is only one other group in this passage which is referred to with a collective noun and that is "the Church." "The righteous" cannot refer to the 12 tribes, or Israel, for there is nothing in the passage to even suggest such a thing. Furthermore, the link between the two collective nouns makes sense given the flow of Irenaeus' thought in regard to tribulation "when they [i.e. righteous = the Church] overcome they are crowned with incorruption."


                        (4) Lastly, Irenaeus is very clear that he thinks that God has rejected the Jews and given the kingdom to the Gentiles.
                        For inasmuch as the former [i.e. the Jews] have rejected the Son of God, and cast Him out of the vineyard when they slew Him, God has justly rejected them, and given to the Gentiles outside the vineyard the fruits of its cultivation. (Against Heresies, Book 4, Chap. 36, Section 2)
                        He also states:
                        If, then, God promised him [i.e. Abraham] the inheritance of the land, yet he did not receive it during all the time of his sojourn there, it must be, that together with his seed, that is, those who fear God and believe in Him, he shall receive it at the resurrection of the just. For his seed is the Church, which receives the adoption to God through the Lord... (Against Heresies, Book 5, Chap. 32, Sections 2)
                        For Irenaeus the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham and his seed would be fulfilled at the resurrection. According to Irenaeus (and Paul as well), Abraham's seed is the Church, not the 12 tribes, not Israel.
                        Last edited by Origen; 08-01-2017, 04:44 AM.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by William View Post
                          First, I apologize Cornelius for not bringing early church fathers into the thread. However, I do bring early Reformers....



                          Seems to me that there are two different methods of interpreting this Scripture here in this thread. Each is asking different questions. One asks, "What does Isaiah 60:8 mean"? The other asks, "What does Isaiah 60:8 say", and then attempts to parallel the verse with something recognizable today - whether "airplanes, boats etc". The latter approach of Chuckt also isolates the verse and strips it of its context and uses extra-biblical sources to interpret, whether Rapture Doctrine, Current Events, or apparently Technology. Others use the verse's context in an attempt to understand what the author meant to convey, that is, in order that we receive what the author had in mind.

                          What does Isaiah 60:8 mean? "That fly like a cloud ... like doves to their windows". Nothing can stand in the way of the motion of the clouds, and doves inevitably seek to return to their homes. Likewise, God's people will inevitably and unstoppably return home when the Lords call them.

                          Just read the before mentioned Scripture Isaiah 60:3: "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising".

                          Matthew Henry:


                          John Calvin has a great commentary on Isaiah 60:8.



                          God bless,
                          William

                          William,

                          I don't believe it is a metaphor. I looked up "fly" in the Hebrew and it literally means "fly" and the King James translators made a somewhat literal translation.

                          Then if we translate "fly" in terms of context, we have other words like "doves" and "nest". So how do Doves fly to their nest? So I looked to Youtube to find a video and you might enjoy these doves:



                          Here is a definition on "Fly":

                          [FONT=trebuchet ms]to fly, fly about, fly away[/FONT]

                          AV — fly 17, (fly, flee...) away

                          Gesenius's Lexicon says, "To COVER; Especially with feathers, wings" and immediately I thought of:

                          Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
                          Psalm 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

                          The book "Hebrews Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon" by [FONT=Open Sans][SIZE=12px]by Chaim Bentorah [/SIZE][/FONT]says, "Classical Hebrew died out during the captivity period around the sixth century BC and was only retained as a ceremonial language until the turn of the 20th Century when it was revived for use as a national language in Israel. However, what is spoken in Israel today is a modern version of Hebrew containing a couple hundred thousand words as opposed to the Classical Hebrew which has only about seventy five hundred words." Many of the original meanings of these wors have been lost and what we have are just our traditional understandings of these words as they have been passed down from generation to generation.". Location 123, Kindle Ebook, 3%, "Hebrew Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon" by Chaim Bentorah.

                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]Verse 8-9[/SIZE][/FONT]
                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]From the mainland, over which caravans and flocks are coming, the prophet now turns his eyes to the sea. “Who are these who fly hither as a cloud, and like the doves to their windows? Yea, the islands wait for me; and the ships of Tarshish come first, to bring thy children from far, their silver and gold with them, to the name of thy God, and to the holy One of Israel, because He hath ornamented thee.” Upon the sea there appear first of all enigmatical shapes, driving along as swiftly as if they were light clouds flying before the wind (Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 45:22), or [/SIZE][/FONT]like doves flying to their dovecots (celeres cavis se turribus abdunt, as Ovid says), i.e., to the round towers with their numerous pigeon-holes, which are provided for their shelter.[FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px] The question is addressed to Zion, and the answer may easily be anticipated - namely, that this swarm of swiftly flying figures are hurrying to a house which they long to reach, as much as pigeons do to reach their pigeon-house. The (kı̄) which follows is explanatory: this hurrying presents itself to thine eyes, because the isles wait for me. The reason for all this haste is to be found in the faith of those who are hurrying on. The Old Testament generally speaks of faith as hope (ל קוּה as in Isaiah 51:5; Isaiah 42:4); not that faith is the same as hope, but it is the support of hope, just as hope is the comfort of faith. In the Old Testament, when the true salvation existed only in promise, this epithet, for which there were many synonyms in the language, was the most appropriate one. The faith of the distant lands of the west is now beginning to work. The object of all this activity is expressed in the word להביא. [/SIZE][/FONT]The things thus flying along like clouds and doves are ships[FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]; with the Tartessus ships, which come from the farthest extremity of the European insular quarter of the globe, at their head (בּראשׁנה with munachinstead of metheg, in the same sense as in Numbers 10:14; lxx ἐν πρώτοις ; Jerome, in principio, in the foremost rank), i.e., acting as the leaders of the fleet which is sailing to Zion and bringing Zion's children from afar, and along with them the gold and silver of the owners of the vessels themselves, to the name (לשׁם, to the name, dative, not equivalent to למען; lxx διὰ , as in Isaiah 55:5) of thy God, whom they adore, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath ornamented thee, and thereby inspired them with reverence and love to thee (פארך for פארך, as in Isaiah 54:6, where it even stands out of pause).[/SIZE][/FONT]
                          Isaiah 60 Commentary - Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Keil & Delitzsch were experts in the Old Testament Hebrew and what they see is a mass exodus. They quote Isaiah 19:1 where the Lord is riding on a swift cloud.[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]It is also interesting that windows or lattices can mean chimney or flood gates of heaven.[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Luke 12:49 ¶ I am come to send fire on the earth; and [/SIZE][/FONT]what will I, if it be already kindled[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]?[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]Isaiah 19:1 - The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]What you are looking at is revealed prophecy and I see bits and pieces of it because it wasn't meant to be fully revealed.[/SIZE][/FONT]


                          Franz Delitzsch - Wikipedia

                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]making as it were one cloud, and that openly and publicly, professing Christ, and joining themselves to his church, in the face of the world; and so the Targum,[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]"who are these that come publicly as the swift clouds?'[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]and chiefly are they compared to a cloud for their swiftness in motion to Christ and his church; sinners; sensible of danger from the avenging justice of God, from his law, and from his wrath and displeasure, and eternal death, and being apprized of salvation and safety in Christ, make haste and flee to him as swiftly as a cloud driven by the winds;[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=13px]and as the doves to their windows; or "dove houses", or "lockers and holes"F3;
                          [/SIZE][/FONT]


                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible[/SIZE][/FONT] Isaiah 60 Commentary - John Gill's Exposition on the Whole Bible

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]This verse from the Targum reminds me of John 14:2[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[/SIZE][/FONT]

                          [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]It is literally "dwelling places" and fits with Gill's "lockers and holes".[/SIZE][/FONT]


                          But as far as Calvin goes, I read some of his writings in college and figured out that he was winging it and making it up because it contradicted. Books in his time were scarce, books cost a lot of money and you had to know someone rich who had a lot of books to study. There was no internet. There weren't a lot of commentaries. They didn't have programs to parse the Greek and Hebrew for him. So I don't take a lot of stock in Calvin.


                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                            [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=13px]It is also interesting that windows or lattices can mean chimney or flood gates of heaven.[/SIZE][/FONT]
                            You insist on taking "fly" literally, but then you refuse to take "lattices" literally. You refuse to acknowledge the context of Is60:8, which tells who is "flying", where they're flying to, and why. You refuse to acknowledge the central objection to your Pretrib Rapture, namely the pre-trib timing. Is60:8 says nothing about tribulation, so you have nothing to address the timing issue, even if you want to imagine "fly" is a reference to rapture.

                            No passage in the Bible says teaches anything remotely like a Pretrib Rapture. Jesus said the Elect would be here through the Tribulation. Irenaeus believed the Church would be here through the Tribulation. And, while church fathers held various views on various issues, disagreeing with each other at times, none of them held a view of a Pretrib Rapture. Do you know of any Church father who held a Pretrib Rapture view?

                            Originally posted by Chuckt View Post
                            Here is a definition on "Fly":

                            [FONT=trebuchet ms]to fly, fly about, fly away[/FONT]

                            AV — fly 17, (fly, flee...) away
                            So, fly means fly?
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              I refuse to take "lattices" literally? Some versions have "window" (probably "windows") translated.

                              Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
                              Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

                              If doves aren't literal either then did the spirit descend upon Jesus like a dove or was it a metaphor for something else?
                              But if God descends like a dove then why wouldn't He put us under our wings?

                              But if you want to take it metaphorically then wouldn't a cloud look like a great cloud of witnesses? And wouldn't a rapture look like dove(s) flying away?
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