Surviving the Last Days #2

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If you want to know about the last days one of the places you’ll naturally go looking is the Bible, and if you grab a concordance and do a search for the expression in the last days you will find exactly six occasions where the term is found, Old Testament and New. However, if you search the Hebrew phrase, you will find the expression some 13 times in the Old Testament alone. The reason is that in over half of the occasions where it is used, it is rendered in the latter days. I presume there are contextual reasons for choosing one expression or the other.

We would like to insist that the expression always means exactly the same thing, but English doesn’t work that way and we shouldn’t expect Hebrew to be any more precise. We run afoul of some very bad interpretations because amateurs find a meaning of the Hebrew that fits their assumptions and then they impose that rendering everywhere it is found because it supports their particular bias. I have the impression that God wants us to be less dogmatic and more enquiring, but that’s a hard adjustment for some people to make.

The last time I spoke here, I introduced the topic of the last days with Paul’s warning of debilitating, weakening times in 2 Timothy. Then came Peter’s powerful admonition in 2 Peter 3. I’ll begin here with another occasion when Peter addressed the question of the Last Days, the Day of the Lord, and the prophet Joel. We’ll find it in Acts, chapter 2, occurring on the Day of Pentecost.


Author
Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart

People around the world have come to appreciate Ron’s easy style, his non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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