Isaiah 2: The Last Days
Isaiah chapter 2 is one of the tougher passages I have written on in a while. The issue at question is what Isaiah is talking about. Is he talking about an undefined time in the future or a specific time in the future? If it is a specific time, is it referring to the time of Jesus or is it referring to the end times? I have read several commentaries about this chapter, and the basic fact of the matter is that there are people who hold all of these viewpoints. Let’s start with the first set of verses in question.
Isa 2:2 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.
Isa 2:3 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 LORD from Jerusalem.
Isa 2:4 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.
As you all know, I like to use the KJV, so they translate this as the last days. However, if you go into the ESV, it talks about “the latter days.” The NIV and the NASB also go with “last days.” Both of them are valid translations though even though they certainly seem to have different implications for our interpretation.
First, let me say that I don’t think we can say that this is some undefined future time. Biblical prophecies are generally very specific, so I wouldn’t expect this one to just be referring to some obscure, undefined event.
Now, could they be talking about the time of Jesus or are we talking about something more like the millennial kingdom that some Christians in their end times theology?
Most of my commentaries say that this refers to Jesus. Even if the commentaries are dispensational by nature, they argue that they don’t refer to the seventh dispensation, but they actually refer to the time of Jesus who is at the end of the fifth dispensation. For reference, Pentecost traditionally begins the sixth dispensation. Therefore, by understanding the Bible divided up into different time periods that are defined by how God relates to man, it would be the last days of that time period.
People who come from more reformed perspectives also seem to agree that this probably points toward Jesus. This is looking forward to the one would bring in the New Covenant. In that line of thinking, it seems like the end of the old covenant would be the time that Jesus was on earth.
I give you a lot of my opinion, so let’s try something different today. Why don’t you give me your opinions? What are we talking about in terms of last days here? Are there more good reasons to think that this points towards Jesus or points towards a future millennial kingdom? I know that this is a major debate, but I think it’s interesting, and in such a prophetic book, I think we are going to be running into a lot of these types of things.