The Day of the LORD

john-martin-1789-1854-great-day-of-the-lordThe day of the Lord is said to be an event at the end of time. The dispensationalist will take you to the verses that say it is “near” and explain that the writer really meant futuristically.  It is all very convoluted and confusing, and it contradicts one of the preeminent rules of hermeneutics, in that, the plain reading of the text is to be preferred above all others.  Look methodically at the passages in question and figure out where and when this “Day” is or was to happen.

Be careful because there is also that nagging problem of those pesky translators, who are often inconsistent with their translations, so that the non Hebrew reader thinks something special or different is being said, when nothing of the kind is even being inferred.   The first three verses in the Bible with this phrase   “The day of the Lord” or “Yom YHWH”, are a prime example.  They translated “today” instead of “the day” where in the Hebrew it is “the day”.

On the ordination of Arron.

and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and a cereal offering mixed with oil; for today the LORD will appear to you.’” Lev. 9:4

The next time the phrase appears is just before Elijah is taken in the fiery chariot.

And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him,  “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he said,  “Yes, I know it; hold your peace.” 2 Kings 2:3

The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him,  “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he answered,  “Yes, I know it; hold your peace.” 2 Kings 2:5

The day of the Lord is frequently an unhappy event. It is used of God’s judgment of the nations that have not followed God’s instructions.  They have been inordinately cruel or vicious e.g. Babylon:

“Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;” Is 13:6

“Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.” Is 13:9.

Context of Isaiah 13 is the coming of the Medes to defeat Babylon and take over their Empire.  Although it may have a typological interpretation,  it is not some future event.  The Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and Persian around 539 B.C.  It began a slow and total disintegration of the language, culture, and people.   The sun, moon and stars no longer giving their light, is about the light of learning that was centered in Babylon, being put out.  At the time it contained some of the largest libraries in the known world, all lost and buried in the sands of time and neglect, until modern archeologist began digging them up about 150 years ago.   See Lucifer just another name.

The  “the Day of the Lord” passages in the Old Testament prophets are all fulfilled.  They are about the fall of the political structure of the nation the prophecy concerns.  Jer 46:10 is about Egypt being crushed by the Babylonians.  Ezek. 13:5 is about the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. Ezek. 30:3 is also about Egypt’s doom.  We explain the Joel verses in Dream, dreams or see Visions. Amos 5 is about the Northern kingdom Of Israel being exiled. Obadiah prophesied against Edom.  Zephaniah 1:7,14 pronounces judgment on Judah the southern kingdom,  2 Chron 36:17-21 recorded the sacrifices referred to in 1:7.

Contrastingly the verses in the New Testament are about “the Day of the Lord” coming like a thief in the night, so that all will be astonished.  Peter explain it as a day of perishing and the total consumption of the elemental components of the universe.

“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

“Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.“

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 2 Pet. 3:8-18

All the verses with the Day of the LORD:

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! Is. 13:6

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. Is. 13:9

“If you turn back your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; Is. 58:13

That day is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated, and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. Jer. 46:10

You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. Ezek. 13:5

For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. Ezek. 30:3

The circumference of the city shall be eighteen thousand cubits. And the name of the city henceforth shall be, The LORD is there.” Ezek. 48:35

Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes. Joel 1:15

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near, Joel 2:1

The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his host is exceedingly great; he that executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? Joel 2:11

The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. Joel 2:31

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light; Amos 5:18

Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? Amos 5:20

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you, your deeds shall return on your own head. Obad. 15

Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is at hand; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests. Zeph. 1:7

The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there. Zeph. 1:14

Behold, a day of the LORD is coming, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in the midst of you. Zech. 14:1

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. Mal. 4:5

the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. Acts 2:20

you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1Cor. 5:5

as you have understood in part, that you can be proud of us as we can be of you, on the day of the Lord Jesus. 2 Cor. 1:14

For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1Th. 5:2

not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  2Th. 2:2

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. 2 Pet. 3:10

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4 thoughts on “The Day of the LORD

  1. Pingback: El Shaddai | The Song of Songs

  2. This article gives the impression that there is no such future “day of the Lord”. i cannot conclude this is accurate according to the accounts of 2Peter 3 & the entire book of Revelation (note Rev 1:10). according to the Word of God, the final “day of the Lord” is coming indeed, and it’s closer than it has ever been in the history of mankind.

    • The point is that not every “Day of the Lord” in the Bible is yet future. Most of them are fulfilled and written in the history book.
      As for Rev 1:10 there is no “Day of the Lord” here. It is the “Lord’s day”. The “Lord” is in the possessive followed by “day”. It is the day belonging to the Lord. Commentators argue wither it is Sunday or Saturday, depending their view of Sabbath. However it is when John was talking to the Lord and not prophecy.
      I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. . . Rev. 1:10

      Laurel

  3. Pingback: I am Coming Soon | Israel & The Church in the Last Days

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