10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

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Bobcat
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10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#1 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Sometimes the WT presents prophecies with an explanation that seems to allow for so-called non-anointed Christians, or what the WT sometimes refers to as "companions of anointed Christians." Two of these prophecies are:
Zechariah 8:23 where it foretells 10 gentiles grabbing the skirt of a Jew and saying 'we will go with you."

and

Isaiah 45:14 which speaks of the unpaid laborers of Egypt serving as slaves to the Jews.

The WT refers to these prophecies in connection with the "great crowd" of Revelation 7. But what they never mention is that Paul alluded to a fulfillment of these two prophecies in the 1st century.

In the NWT at 1 Cor 14:25, at the very end of the verse, where it says "God is really among YOU," the reference column cites Zech 8:23 and Isa 45:14. The NWT is not being original in citing these two verses in connection with 1 Cor 14:23-25. You will probably find these two verses listed there in any Bible that has a scripture reference column. This is because it is commonly recognized that Paul is alluding to these two passages.

In the context of 1 Cor. 14:25, the "10 gentiles" and the "unpaid laborers" are the unbelievers ("an unbeliever or an ordinary person" - rNWT) who show an interest in Christianity. Once they become Christian they become part of the Jew(s)/Israel to which the unbelievers seek to associate with.

If the non-Jews in these two prophecies were referring to the "great crowd" who come out of a then distant future "great tribulation," then, there shouldn't be any 1st century application. Which explains why the WT never mentions any such application.

Concerning 1 Cor 14:25, the Commentary on the NT Use of the OT (G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson), p.742, says, in part:
Part of the solution may be found in the relationship between Paul's quotation of Isa 28:11-12 in 1Co 14:21 and his allusion to Isa 45:14 and Zech 8:23 in 1Co 14:25. While 1Co 14:22 mentions both believers and unbelievers, the illustrations in 1Co 14:23-25 focus exclusively on unbelievers and the way they respond to an encounter with a community that is speaking in tongues or one that is prophesying. . . His [Paul's] allusion to Isa 45:14, on the other hand, relates to a later phase in God's relationship with his people, one when even Gentiles would come to recognize the presence of God in the midst of his people and would worship him for who he really is. . .

. . . In Paul's scenario "it is the church - itself a predominately Gentile community - through which God will accomplish the eschatalogical conversion of outsiders," and the Corinthian believers have "stepped into the role originally assigned to Israel in Isaiah's eschatalogical drama." Hence the church is the fulfillment of Isaiah's [chap.45] prophecy about Israel.

It might also be noted that Paul alluded to these two prophecies (Zech 8:23 & Isa 45:14) and related them to "unbelievers and ordinary persons." This would hardly be an apt description of the "great crowd" who are described as 'washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb' and are 'rendering God sacred service in his temple day and night.' (Although, in contrast, the Pharisees saw everyday Israelites as, "this crowd who do not know the Law [who] are accursed people." - Jn 7:49)


This thread has a similar discussion of the topic of Zech 8:23. Linked here for cross reference purposes.

This thread is also topically related to this one, but it mainly focuses on the Memorial aspect of it.

See this thread for a discussion of the Great Crowd in relation to the Abrahamic and New Covenants.


Bobcat

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menrov
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#2 Post by menrov » 6 years ago

Excellent review Bobcat.

But I guess the WT has their free labour: Isaiah 45:14 which speaks of the unpaid laborers of Egypt serving as slaves to the Jews :D :D

Personally, but need to do more research, I believe about all prophecies in the OT have their fulfillment in times of Christ, say up to 70 AD.... just a feeling.

Bobcat
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#3 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Thank you Menrov.

For those wishing to compare my post with how the WT applies these verses, see:
(I intentionally didn't link them to the online library for the sake of discretion.)

For the WT application of Zech 8:23, see w09 2/15 p.27 par.13
For the WT application of Isa 45:14, see w08 1/15 p.26 par.6

Incidentally, I mentioned in my review, "Paul alluded to a fulfillment of these two prophecies in the 1st century." To be more precise, I should have said, "Paul, writing in the first century, already saw Zech 8:23 and Isa 45:14 being fulfilled."

I'm of the opinion that these are referring to developments within the entire Christian era. And, as such, they are essentially referring to the same thing Jesus was referring to when he said he had 'other sheep that he would call,' meaning the Gentiles. (Jn 10:16)

Someone might argue that Zech 8:23 says that this would be a development of "the last days." For which see my posts here in connection with how NT writers saw when the "last days" started.


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AmosAU
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#4 Post by AmosAU » 6 years ago

Hi Bobcat,

I agree with your last post here concerning the scriptures under discussion. I believe they began their fulfillment from the time of Pentecost, & with regard to Jn. 10:16; particularly from the time of the conversion of Cornelius.

I also believe the last days began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) & will continue until the visible return of Christ.

Amos

Bobcat
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#5 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Hi AmosAU. Thank you for your thoughts.

Here is a little from An Exegetical and Expository Commentary of The Minor Prophets (Thomas McComiskey, pp. 1156-57) on Zech 8:23 -
The prophet concludes the bright picture of Gentiles coming to the Lord in great numbers with a hypothetical picture that conveys the sense of excitement that Zech 8:21 created with the words I also am going. So great will be the desire of Gentiles to know God that ten will grasp the garment of one Jew in the keen desire to know his God. The metaphor of many taking hold of one appears also in Isaiah 4:1. Once again we find a motif that underscores the theme of great multitudes of people coming to God that runs throughout this section. In Zechariah this metaphor pictures the Judaic roots of the church, reminding us that Gentiles have come in great numbers today to worship the God of ancient Israel, finding in him the abundant spiritual blessings the prophet portrays in metaphor in Zech 8:12. It is Israel's God who brings forth the branch [Zech 6:12], who raises up a good shepherd [Zech 11:15], and who identifies himself closely with one who is pierced [Zech 12:10]. The apostle Paul affirmed the union of Jews and Gentiles in an eternal promise: "But if some of the branches were broken off, and you [Gentiles], a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place . . . do not boast over the branches" (Rom 11:17, 18).
[Scripture references were amended to work with the RefTagger app.]

In connection with Isaiah 45:14, the NICOT-Isaiah commentary (John Oswalt, Vol II, p.215) says:
Is this language metaphorical, or is it in some sense literal? Certainly these kinds of events did not happen in the immediate postexilic age. But, as Calvin observes, Isaiah clearly telescopes the entire period between the return from exile and the coming of the Messiah. When that is borne in mind one can argue for a clear literal sense, especially as seen in the book of Acts. This is so, not only in the significant story of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) and in the preaching of the gospel to persons of many nations (Acts 2:6-12), but even more in the narration of the story of how the Gentiles came to be grafted into Jewish heritage.

At first glance the reference to chains might suggest that this is not conversion but captivity and conquest. But the context shows a voluntary submission and a glad surrender. Thus Delitzsch and others are surely correct in seeing the phrase as metaphorical of willing submission. Pass over to implies pilgrimage (cf. Isa 62:10; 66:18), something the Gentiles have been gladly doing now for more than two thousand years. By coming to Israel's Messiah, the Gentiles have come to Israel.

Isaiah 45:14 and Zechariah 8:23 begin their fulfillment with the early Christian movement and reach their grand climax in the millennium. But in between, the fulfillment reaches significant proportions by the time of "the great tribulation." (Compare Rev 7:9, 14) So the WT explanation is not entirely devoid of truth.

Incidentally, the differences between the old NWT and the rNWT on Isaiah 45:14 are interesting. The old NWT ("the unpaid laborers of Egypt" vs "the profit of Egypt" in rNWT) evidently favors the LXX reading.

The pronouns in Isa 45:14 ("you" & "yours") are feminine, possibly referring to Jerusalem (cf. Isa 40:9). The nation of Israel is commonly referred to with masc. pronouns (e.g. Isa 43:14)

Bobcat

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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#6 Post by Bobcat » 4 years ago

Bumping this thread because the Day's Text for today (3-26-2017) is discussing Zech 8:23.

Bobcat

Dajo1
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#7 Post by Dajo1 » 4 years ago

8-) Hello Bobcat,
yes I've looked into that thoroughly - makes sense. Do you know of a post or article discussing
Isaiah 2:2-4 ?
Appreciated...

Bobcat
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#8 Post by Bobcat » 4 years ago

Do you know of a post or article discussing Isaiah 2:2-4 ?
Here is a post I made that referred to Isa 2:2-4. The topic of the thread was "Babylon the Great."

Here is a post that listed all the NT references to "last days" (and similar expressions).

I think if you check most any commentary on Isaiah you would find that the reference saw the "last days" of Isa 2:2-4 as starting with Jesus' first advent. This would agree with how Heb 1:2 describes it. (Except in the NWT which doesn't want the last days to start until 1914.)

Similarly, Zech 8:23 refers to its events as happening "in those days." And Paul (as discussed in this thread) alluded to them as already finding fulfillment in the first century.

A lot of things in the Bible start fitting together really well when you understand "the last days" as beginning with Jesus' first advent.


Bobcat

Dajo1
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#9 Post by Dajo1 » 4 years ago

Excellent. Thank you! :)
David

Bobcat
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Re: 10 Gentiles Taking Hold of a Jew (Zech 8:23)

#10 Post by Bobcat » 4 years ago

Just as an addition to my last post, Isaiah 2 starts with "the last days" and people of all nations coming to the worship of God. It ends with all other types of worship coming to an end as Jehovah's day of vengeance arrives.

I see a comparison in this with Rev 18 and the announcement that Babylon the Great has fallen and for "my people" to get out of her before her plagues come upon her. When ancient Babylon fell, the city was not destroyed, but God's people were given a way out to go back home. Isaiah 2 doesn't mention the city of Babylon. But it has the gentiles coming to God's worship. IMO, the two passages are very much related.


Bobcat

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