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Isaiah 53: Set Free and Made Righteous by the Lamb of God, Part 7

by Karl Kemp  
2/07/2018 / Bible Studies


9.4 A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW NOUN TSEDAQAH THAT IS MOST OFTEN TRANSLATED "RIGHTEOUSNESS," USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON. 

First I'll give some information from the "Hebrew Dictionary" in the back of the Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible for the NASB (Lockman Foundation, 1998 edition, page 1459). Tsaddiq, tsedeq, and tsedeqah were all derived from a word that is not used in the Bible. I'll list the ways that the NASB translated the Hebrew noun tsedaqah (they give "righteousness" as the basic meaning of the word): honesty (1), justice (1), merits (1), right (2), righteous (1), righteous acts (3), righteous deeds (7), righteously (1), righteousness (136), rights (1), vindication (3). Total of 157 uses.  

BDB gives "righteousness" as the basic meaning of this word. "1. righteousness, in government: a. of judge, ruler, king" "b. of law" "c. of Davidic king, Messiah" "2. God's attribute as sovereign"; "in government"; "administering justice"; "punishment"; "vindication of his people Mic. 7:9" "I will bear the indignation of the LORD Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His righteousness." Micah, speaking for the people of God, admits they had sinned and have been bearing the penalties for their sins (and he mentions God's pardoning them in verses 18-19. God pardons those who look to Him, who fear Him, and who repent where repentance is required. He speaks here of God's making things right for them (for the ones who looked to God, feared Him, and who repented where repentance was required), including overthrowing their enemies; they will see His righteousness manifested in vindicating/saving them, which is a whole lot more than just forgiving them. "3. righteousness, in a case or cause" Job 27:6 "I will maintain my righteousness (tsedaqah) and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live" (NIV). Job was proclaiming his innocence. He was rightly denying that his sin caused this intense trial to come to him.; Isa. 57:12 [which, as BDB says, God is speaking irony (sarcasm) in that they didn't have righteousness, "I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, But they will not profit you."; 1 Sam. 26:23 "The LORD will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you [Saul] into my hand [David's] today, but I refused to stretch out my hand against the LORD'S anointed."; Job 33:26 This verse has been interpreted several different ways. I'll just quote the last line, "and he restores to man his righteousness." It seems that Elihu was speaking of a believer who had been redeemed from the edge of death. It is assumed that the person had repented and been forgiven. I believe that the meaning of these words here is that God, in His mercy, restores this repentant believer to living in righteousness with the attendant blessings that come with this righteousness.; 2 Sam. 22:21, 25 I'll quote 22:21-25; this is a psalm of David: "The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. (22) For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not acted wickedly against my God. (23) For all His ordinances were before me, And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. (24) I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from all iniquity. (25) Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness before His eyes.", 1 Kings 8:32 "then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying (the same Hebrew verb used in Isa. 53:11 and in the same hiphil stem; it is an infinitive here) the righteous (tsaddiq) by giving him according to his righteousness." "4. righteousness = truthfulness"; "in word" I'll quote one line from Isa. 63:1, which is one of the verses they list here: "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."] "5. righteousness, as ethically right" Deut. 6:25 "It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us." ((BDB listed many more similar verses here, but I'll just briefly discuss two of the verses that they list here since they are unusual and quite important, Gen. 15:6 and Psalm 106:31. I'll quote Psalm 106:31 first, "And it [referring to what Phinehas the priest did, which is described in Num. 25:1-13; Psalm 106:30] was reckoned to him for righteousness, To all generations forever." What Phinehas did was considered to be a righteous act of supreme importance that is to always be remembered. Numbers 25:12-13 speak of God's blessing/rewarding Phinehas with His "covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel [referring to that one same righteous act]." 

I'll quote Gen. 15:5-6, "And He [God] took him [Abraham] outside and said, 'Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.' Then [We could translate "And" or leave the conjunction untranslated (which is often done) with the NIV and some other translations.] he believed in [The preposition for "in" is included in the Hebrew.] the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." I'll quote what Bruce K. Waltke (Genesis [Zondervan, 2001], page 242) says regarding "believed" here: "The Hebrew is better translated 'trusted.' Abraham considers God true, reliable, and trustworthy. Abraham is the father of all who believe (see Rom. 4:11; Gal. 3:7)." I'll quote part of what Allen P. Ross (Creation and Blessing [Baker Books, 1998], pages 309-310) says here: "...several English translations begin [verse 6] 'and Abram believed in the LORD.' The NIV leaves the conjunction 'and' untranslated to avoid the implication that verse 6 resulted from or followed verse 5 chronologically. A close study of the Hebrew construction 'and he believed' reveals that the writer did not intend the verb to be understood as a result of the preceding section. ... We must conclude that the narrator did not want to show sequence in the order of the verses; rather, he wished to make a break with the narrative in order to supply this information about the faith of Abram. ...." (In other words, it wasn't just that Abraham believed that one promise, but that he was a believer.) BDB under the Hebrew verb chashab, the verb translated "He reckoned" in Gen. 15:6 says, "the habit of believing in Yahweh he reckoned to Abram as righteousness." Abraham was a believer ("he believed in the LORD"); he had been a believer in God long before the events of Gen. 15:1-6 took place, and it is obvious that an abiding faith in God is required, but there undoubtedly is some emphasis here on Abraham's believing what God promised in 5:4-5. Abraham didn't earn God's favor by works, but He submitted to Him from his heart in faith and believed what He promised. Phinehas acted through His faith in God too. He wasn't trying to earn or merit God's blessings or salvation. Above in this paper I have a section titled "A Few Comments on the Use of the Words "Righteousness" and "Justify" in Romans Chapter 4. I briefly discuss the apostle Paul's use of Gen. 15:6 in Romans chapter 4 there.)) "6. righteousness as vindicated, justification, salvation, etc." "a. of God." BDB lists Isa. 45:8; 46:13; 51:6 and they point out that tsedaqah is used in parallel with salvation (new-covenant salvation). God is pouring out His new-covenant salvation in these verses (these prophecies could not be fulfilled in the full sense before new-covenant salvation was poured out): Believers are made righteous with the poured out, imparted righteousness of God (cf. Isa. 53:11), and all of their enemies are overthrown (the enemies are not totally overthrown until the end of this age). They list Psalm 24:6 [24:5], and point out that tsedaqah is used in parallel with blessing in this verse: "He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation." The preceding verse spells out the kind of person that will receive this blessing: "He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood." It isn't surprising that tsedaqah sometimes includes the idea of blessing: The Hebrew words for sin include the punishment/penalty for sin and the word righteousness sometimes includes the blessing(s) that come with righteousness. They list Isa. 54:17, " 'No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication [righteousness] is from Me,' declares the LORD." God will make His people righteous through new-covenant salvation (see Isa. 54:12-13, for example) and He will watch over them and protect and bless them (see Isa. 54:14-17, for example). BDB then has "Yahweh delivers, guides, exalts his people" and they list several verses, including Psalm 31:2 "In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge, Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me." Psalm 71:2, "In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me...." Psalm 71:1 says, "In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge...." BDB has "after verbs of declaring, etc., his saving (delivering) righteousness" and lists quite a few verses, including Psalm 22:32 [22:31] "They will come and will declare His righteousness...." and they also mention Psalm 111:3b, "And His righteousness endures forever." "b. of people, = prosperity" Prov. 8:18, "Riches and honor are with me [wisdom], Enduring wealth and righteousness ["prosperity" NIV]." Apparently tsesaqah is used here of the blessing of prosperity that comes with their righteousness. BDB also listed Joel 2:23 here. "7. plural righteous acts: a. of God" Jud. 5:11 (twice), "At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the LORD, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel...."; "vindication of right Psalm 103:6," "The LORD performs righteous deeds [marginal note: "or deeds of vindication"] and judgments for all who are oppressed."; "redemptive Isa 45:24" (referring to salvation through the Lord Jesus), "They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame." They also listed Dan. 9:16 here. "b. of man's moral conduct Isa. 64:5," "You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways." And they listed some other verses. 

Conclusion Regarding the Meaning of Tsedaqah Based on the BDB Hebrew Lexicon. I don't see any evidence in what BDB says under tsedaqah to support a being forgiven, strictly legal type of righteousness. As with the other three Hebrew words that we discussed above, so here, I considered all of the uses of this Hebrew noun in the Old Testament using the Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament with the same results. Some might argue about a verse or two, but I believe it is quite possible, even probable, that out of the 157 uses of tsedaqah in the Old Testament this noun is never used of a strictly legal righteousness that is based only on being forgiven. However, as I have mentioned, the righteousness of God's people in the years before the Lamb of God had overthrown spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons must be a limited, relative righteousness, but an actual righteousness that is related to what is in their hearts and what they do (works).  

I HAVE DECIDED THAT I NEED TO DO A FOLLOW UP WORD STUDY ON THE THREE GREEK WORDS DIKAIOS, DIKAIOSUNE, AND DIKAIOO THAT ARE USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT ARE COMPARABLE IN MEANING WITH THE HEBREW WORDS THAT ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS PAPER. Dikaios is an adjective and is most often translated "righteous." Dikaiosune is a noun and is most often translated "righteousness." And dikaioo is a verb and is most often translated "justify." That word study will be separate follow-up paper.  

(Now, I'll quote the last line of Isa. 53:11. These last words in 53:11 are very important.)]] As He will bear their iniquities [plural of awon. I would translate as he will bear their iniquities with the guilt and the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons, or the equivalent. The Lamb of God, the Righteous One, earned the right to "make righteous" all the elect and to give them a very full and eternal salvation through His all-important atoning death.] (12) Therefore I will allot Him [the crucified, resurrected, and glorified Lamb of God, Son of God] a portion with the great [Hebrew rabbim; plural of the Hebrew adjective rab. I prefer the translation "the many," which is used in the ESV and in the margin of the NIV, and this is a common view in the commentaries. It is significant that this is the same Hebrew word translated "the many" by the NASB in 53:11, and it undoubtedly refers to the same people in both verses. Also this same word is translated "the many" later in 53:12.]. [It must be understood, of course, that the Lord Jesus will be allotted a lot more than "a portion with the many." He is the Savior and Lord of the many who are saved through His all-important atoning death, and resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of God the Father.], And He will divide the booty ["the spoils" NIV] with the strong [[(This double bracket continues for three paragraphs.) The strong is a translation of the plural of the Hebrew adjective atsum. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon (under atsum) lists Isa. 53:12 under the subheading "numerous, countless." It further shows that this numerous multitude is used in parallel with, and equals, the "many" in 53:12. I agree with BDB. The NIV translates "the strong," but in the margin has, "or, numerous." I would translate something like "the numerous multitude."   

The Lord Jesus shares with believers forgiveness, being set free from spiritual death and being in bondage to sin and demons, being born again and made righteous and holy with the imparted righteousness and holiness of God, given a place (an important place) in the Body of Christ, and eventually, at the right time, being glorified and beginning to reign with the Father and the Son in a never-ending reign in eternal glory. It is also true that the Lord Jesus will overthrow Antichrist, Babylon the great harlot, and all of His enemies at the end of this age (cf., e.g., Isa. 51:5, 9-11, 13-14, 23; 52:5-12; Rev. 11:15-18; 12:7-10; 14:8-11, 14-19; 16:1-19:3; 19:11-21). It is significant that that overthrow is based on the atoning death of the Lord Jesus (John 12:31; 16:11; Heb. 2:14). 

In the narrowest sense, "the many" could be limited to the end-time remnant of Israel, but it is easy to include all of the Christians (Jews and Gentiles) who are saved throughout this present age. It would be possible to include the end-time remnant of the nations here (see Isa. 52:15; and I'll briefly comment on the end-time remnant of the nations under Isa. 54:1-3 later in this paper).]]; because He poured out Himself to death [in His all-important atoning death], and was numbered with the transgressors [See 53:4-10]; yet He Himself bore the sin of many [As I mentioned, the Hebrew behind "many" here is rabbim, the word used earlier in this verse and in 53:11. The Lamb of God bore the sins of all mankind (1 Tim. 2:4-6; 1 John 2:2), but that sacrifice was only effective for the elect, for the ones who will repent and submit to the gospel from the heart in faith and live for God by His grace.], and interceded for the transgressors. He interceded for the transgressors when He bore our sins with the guilt and the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons, in His all-important atoning death. He still intercedes for us on the merit of His atoning death (Cf., e.g., Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24.)

 

10. ISAIAH 54:1-8. (I believe we can safely assume that the glorious transformation that we read about in chapter 54 comes about through new-covenant salvation that is based on the all-important atoning death of Isaiah chapter 53.) "Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed [have not travailed and given birth]; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman [cf., e.g., Isa. 49:14-23; 51:17-52:12; 62:1-5]," says the LORD [Yahweh]. [[(This double bracket continues for six paragraphs.) The barren one corresponds with Israel during the time of the exile that started with the Babylonian exile and doesn't end until the end-time remnant of Israel repents and submits to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and new-covenant salvation at the end of this age. The return from that exile at the end of this age is often pictured in Old Testament prophetic passages, including Isaiah chapters 51-52, for example. The married woman here refers to Israel before God sent His rebellious, unrepentant people into exile through the Babylonians. Ezekiel chapters 9-11 even picture God leaving the temple and Jerusalem at that time. He doesn't come back in any full sense until the end of this age. 

After Israel repents and submits to God the Father and the Lord Jesus and new-covenant salvation everything will change for the good. The desolate one (which equals the barren woman mentioned earlier in this verse), who will now have been saved with new-covenant salvation, will have many more people (believers) than Israel had before being exiled by God.

I'LL MENTION TWO VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS THAT WE LEARN FROM OTHER PROPHETIC PASSAGES, ESPECIALLY FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT (God's revelation is progressive, and He reveals new details and gives a more complete picture as time goes on. We need the book of Revelation to get the full picture): 

You get the impression from Isaiah chapters 51-52 (cf. 51:3, 11, 14; 52:5, 8-12) and 54:1-4 that at least most of the people of Israel are in exile, not living in Jerusalem and the land of Israel when the Lord Jesus saves them at the end of this age. We need to understand that, although large numbers of the people of Israel will apparently be scattered across the earth when the Lord Jesus returns and saves them, large numbers will be living in the land of Israel. See, for example Dan. 9:27 and Rev. 11:1. These verses show that Israel will be worshipping in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem during the first half of Daniel's 70th week, until the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation when he stops the sacrificial offerings in the temple. All of the passages I mention in this long paragraph (with the exception of Isaiah chapters 51-52) and the following paragraph are discussed in my two end-time books, The Mid-Week Rapture and Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture. (The second book should typically be read first; for one thing it is easier to read, having been taken from radio broadcasts, but the first book contains a lot more information.) Rev. 11:13 shows that the end-time remnant of Israel, at least including the end-time remnant dwelling in Jerusalem in the middle of the seven years when the Lord Jesus comes to them right after the rapture, will repent and submit to Him and new-covenant salvation. Zech. 12:10-13:1 prophesy of the end-time remnant of Israel submitting to the Lord Jesus at Jerusalem when He comes to them. Zech. 14:3-5 show that the Lord Jesus will come to Jerusalem at that time. I believe He will come to the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem right after the rapture, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. 

Another important detail that we need to discuss is that the end-time remnant of Israel will go through three and one-half very difficult years after they submit to the Lord Jesus when He comes to them in the middle of the seven years. We certainly would not have anticipated this based on Isaiah chapter 54, or chapters 51-52, or many other prophetic passages in the Old Testament. We can see His coming to them and their submitting to Him in Zech. 12:10 with 14:3-5, and in Rev. 11:13 with 11:15, which prophesies of the seventh and last trumpet that will sound right in the middle of the seven years. We can see the end-time remnant of Israel (along with the Gentiles who submit to the Lord Jesus after the rapture) going through the very difficult days of the second half of Daniel's 70th week when, according to the plan of God, Antichrist will be reigning on the earth (cf., e.g., Dan. 7:21; 12:7-10; Zech. 13:9; Rev. 12:13-13:7; cf. Isa. 66:7-8; Rev. 20:4). 

The apostle Paul's quotation and use of Isa. 54:1 in Gal. 4:27 (see Gal. 4:21-31) does not obscure the fact that this verse in its context refers first and foremost to God's new-covenant salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel. His salvation of the end-time remnant of the nations is included too, as it often is in many Old Testament prophecies.]] (2) "Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. [Jerusalem (Israel) must prepare for the very large numbers of people (believers) who will be coming at that time, when they repent and God saves them and the end-time remnant of the nations at the end of this age. The next verse speaks of their (including the end-time remnant of the nations) coming to Jerusalem (Israel).] (3) For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left [They will spread abroad in every direction. They will eventually cover the earth. See the rest of this verse.] And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities [[(This double bracket continues for four paragraphs.) The desolate cities (and nations) will have come to pass through God's end-time judgment of the world. The Hebrew noun translated descendants here is zera, which is translated "descendants" 105 times, "offspring" 38 times, "seed" 38 times, and other ways too, but all with significantly less usage, by the NASB. It is significant that this Hebrew noun can, and sometimes does, include the remnant of the nations that will come to God after His end-time judgment of the world. Zera is used in Isa. 53:10 of the offspring (apparently all of the offspring) who are ultimately saved through the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. (On the remnant of the nations becoming the people of God at the end of this age, see, for example, Isa. 2:2-4; 52:15; and this is a common theme in Old Testament prophecy; it is not a common theme in the New Testament, but we can see it in Rev. 15:2-4; 20:3; cf. Rev. 21:3, 24-27].) I'll give some examples of prophecies where zera is used of the saved end-time remnant of the nations:

Zera is used of the end-time remnant of the nations becoming the people of God in Isa. 44:1-5. (The end-time remnant of the nations are at least included here. These verses are discussed on pages 89-90 of my paper titled Verse-by-Verse Studies of Selected Eschatological Prophecies from the Book of Isaiah: Most of These Prophecies Deal with God’s Salvation Plans For the Remnants of Israel and of the Nations After His End-Time Judgment of the World that is on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching). I'll quote ISAIAH 44:3-5; God is speaking to Israel/Jacob: For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring [Hebrew zera] And My blessing on your descendants [a different Hebrew noun, tseetsa]; (4) And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water. (5) This one will say, 'I am the LORD'S'; And that one will call on the name of Jacob [I prefer the translation of the NIV, "another will call himself by the name of Jacob."]; And another will write on his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD,' And will name Israel's name with honor. Many passages (Isa. 14:1-2, for example) show that the end-time remnant of the nations will be subordinate to Israel (true Israel). I believe we can see this subordination of the nations to true Israel in the last two chapters of the Bible too, Revelation chapters 21-22.

Zera is also used of the end-time remnant of the nations becoming the people of God in Isa. 45:19 and 25. (The end-time remnant of the nations are at least included here. Isaiah 45:14-25 are discussed on pages 91-97 of my paper titled Verse-by-Verse Studies of Selected Eschatological Prophecies from the Book of Isaiah: Most of These Prophecies Deal with God’s Salvation Plans For the Remnants of Israel and of the Nations After His End-Time Judgment of the World that is on my internet site. I suggest you read that detailed discussion. 

Isaiah 59:21 is another important, interesting prophecy that uses zera. I suggest you read the detailed discussion of Isa. 59:10-21 on pages 75-78 of the paper on Isaiah I mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.]] (Isaiah 54:4) Fear not, for you will not be put to shame [cf., e.g., Isa. 45:17]; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood [See verse 1 on this "widowhood." This verse and a very large number of similar verses in Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets show that Israel is saved here with an everlasting salvation at the end of this age. They have been redeemed with new-covenant salvation.] (5) For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. [These words are aimed to the end-time remnant of Israel, but this Redeemer and God of all the earth is the Redeemer and God of all true Christians based on the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God.] (6) For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected," [See verses 1 and 4.] Says your God. (7) "For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you [These words and the first half of the next verse fit very well with the idea that everything will change with the return from the Babylonian captivity, but a very large number of passages (including the second half of the next verse and verses 9-10) show that Israel will not be saved in the full sense pictured here until the end of this age (see under 54:1). If this wasn't clear in the days of Isaiah (and Isaiah wrote before Israel/Judah suffered the Babylonian captivity), it is clear now.] (8) In an outburst [margin of NASB, "Lit[erally overflowing"] of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness [cf. Isa. 54:10; 63:7] I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer [cf., e.g., Isa. 54:5].

 

11.  SEQUENCE OF SOME KEY EVENTS AT THE END OF THIS AGE: 

All true Christians who will have died before the Lord Jesus returns and all of the believers from the days of the Old Testament will be resurrected, glorified, and raptured when He returns in the middle of the seven-years, at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet. The true Christians who will be living on the earth when the Lord Jesus returns never will die but they will be glorified and raptured with the rest of the saints. 

Israel (the end-time remnant of Israel) will repent and submit to God and His Son and new-covenant salvation in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, but not in time to be taken in the rapture. They will go through the very difficult days of the second half of the seven-year period, but God will be with them and it will work for the glory of God and for their good.

The Christians (this includes those of the saved end-time remnant of Israel and the Gentiles who join them by becoming Christians after the rapture) who will be martyred during that three and one-half year period will be resurrected and glorified at the end of the seven years (Rev. 20:4; cf. Rev. 15:2). I believe that the Christians who will still be alive at the end of the seven years will be glorified at that time (cf., e.g., Rev. 15:2; Isa. 66:8). So, all of the members of God's true Israel (which includes all of the believers from the days of the Old Testament and all true Christians) does not include those of the nations who will be saved at the end of this age. 

The end-time remnant of the nations will repent and come to God at the end of the seven years and the beginning of the millennial kingdom. They will enter the millennial kingdom in their natural bodies. 

The Old Testament doesn't carefully distinguish between the millennial kingdom and the eternal state that follows the millennial kingdom like the New Testament does. (We can see the millennial kingdom in Revelation chapter 20 and the eternal state in Revelation chapters 21-22). We can see the millennial kingdom in Isa. 65:17-25. Even though 65:17 speaks of the new heavens and new earth, and those words fit the eternal state of Rev. 21:1, it is clear that these verses in Isaiah don't prophecy of the eternal state because death will still exist then, unlike in the eternal state of Revelation chapters 21-22 (cf. Rev. 21:4).

I'll quote ISAIAH 54:11-12, O afflicted one, storm tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires. (12) Moreover, I will make your battlements [or pinnacles] in rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones. These verses could fit the eternal state (except maybe for the "battlements"; see Rev. 21:11, 18-21), but 54:15-17 don't fit the eternal state.   

May God be glorified through this paper, His will be fully accomplished, and His people be edified! 

Copyright © by Karl Kemp

http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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