3.2. Eschatology (Where is the world going?)

Messianic Titles

Kingdoms of God

Period Earthly Kingdom Kingdom of God Hope Messiah
Pre-exilic Israelite king rules over Israelites King answers to God, God appoints the king (David) David’s dynasty continues forever Every king was anointed
Post-exilic Foreign empires rule Israelites God allows foreign rule as chastisement God will restore David’s dynasty Anticipated but ordinary human will be king
Hellenistic and Roman Foreign rule lasts centuries God is waiting for a final day of judgment A kingdom worth waiting for Super-human
Harshest persecution Corruption everywhere Beyond Earth Escape destruction of Earth Non-physical

Messianic Titles

The heavenly one like a son of man in Daniel 7 (pp. 46-47)

Son of man as described here

View of the present world

Kingdom of God as described here


Primary Sources on Early Jewish Eschatology

The works of God are all of them good; he supplies for every need in its own time. There is no cause then to say: “This is not as good as that”; for each shows its worth at the proper time… How beautiful are all his works, delightful to gaze upon and a joy to behold! Everything lives and abides forever; and to meet each need all things are preserved. (Sirach 39:33–34; 42:22–23)

And now, bless the God of all, who has done wonders on earth; Who fosters growth from the womb, fashioning it according to his will! May he grant you a wise heart and abide with you in peace; May his goodness toward Simeon last forever; may he fulfill for him the covenant with Phinehas so that it may not be abrogated for him or his descendants while the heavens last. (Sirach 50:22–24)

But when the court is convened, and his dominion is taken away to be abolished and completely destroyed, then the kingship and dominion and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High, whose kingship shall be an everlasting kingship, whom all dominions shall serve and obey. (Daniel 7:26–27)

The torrents of Belial [demonic destruction] shall reach to all sides of the world. In all their channels a consuming fire shall destroy every tree, green and barren, on their banks; unto the end of their courses it shall scourge with flames of fire, and shall consume the foundations of the earth and the expanse of dry land. The bases of the mountains shall blaze and the roots of the rocks shall turn to torrents of pitch; it shall devour as far as the great Abyss.

The torrents of Belial shall break into the underworld, and the deeps of the abyss shall groan amid the roar of heaving mud. The land shall cry out because of the calamity fallen upon the world, and all its deeps shall howl. And all those upon it shall rave and shall perish amid the great misfortune.

For God shall sound his mighty voice, and his holy abode shall thunder with the truth of his glory. The heavenly hosts [armies of angels] shall cry out and the world’s foundations shall stagger and sway. The war of the heavenly warriors shall scourge the earth; and it shall not end before the appointed destruction which shall be forever and without compare. (Thanksgiving Hymn 10)