Double Fulfillment ...

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amishrockstar

Puritan Board Freshman
I had an interesting conversation this weekend with some believers over the question of "does each prophecy have only ONE fulfillment or are there multiple fulfillments of a single prophecy?" The topic took us through passages like Matthew 24 etc. and whether that had a fulfillment in AD 70 and a yet future fulfillment as well.

A pastor said that Matthew 2:15 was a double fulfillment ("Out of Egypt I called my son") but when I looked up Hosea 11:1, I just didn't see how that is (Hosea was written AFTER the exodus (looking backward) and finds its (single) prophetic fulfillment in Christ --1 for 1).

Anyway, I'm just curious about this subject and would like to hear some other thoughts. One possible passage to discuss would be 2 Sam.7:13-14 and whether that is a double fulfillment in Christ and Solomon or not.

THANKS
 
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KMK

Administrator
Staff member
If a prophecy or a promise was fulfilled in an earthly way and also in a heavenly way wouldn't that be 'double fulfillment'? I guess it depends on what your definition of 'double fulfilment is'.

BTW, were you talking to a hyper-preterist? The argument against double fulfillment is a cornerstone of their system.
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
I had an interesting conversation this weekend with some believers over the question of "does each prophecy have only ONE fulfillment or are there multiple fulfillments of a single prophecy?" The topic took us through passages like Matthew 24 etc. and whether that had a fulfillment in AD 70 and a yet future fulfillment as well.

A pastor said that Matthew 2:15 was a double fulfillment ("Out of Egypt I called my son") but when I looked up Hosea 11:1, I just didn't see how that is (Hosea was written AFTER the exodus (looking backward) and finds its (single) prophetic fulfillment in Christ --1 for 1).

Anyway, I'm just curious about this subject and would like to hear some other thoughts. One possible passage to discuss would be 2 Sam.7:13-14 and whether that is a double fulfillment in Christ and Solomon or not.

THANKS
Hosea 11:1 is in the past tense and refers exclusively to the nation of Israel in its original context. It is not even a prophecy in the ordinary sense of the word in the original context. It does have a prophetic dimension in terms of typology, however. The calling of the nation of Israel out of Egypt prefigured Christ's experience in Egypt. The first 5 or so chapters of Matthew follow the structure of the Exodus and present Jesus as a new Moses leading His people on an Exodus from sin. That is why you have tie-ins to Hosea 11 (in which Israel is called God's son), Jeremiah 31:15 (quoted in Matt. 2:18) and the like. I have some extensive notes on this and if you would like then, just PM me.

Scott
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Double-fulfillment can be okay sometimes. Unfortunatley, many claims double-fulfillment on some prophecies without demonstrating a double-fulfillment (this happens a lot in Matthew 24).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Unfortunatley, many claims double-fulfillment on some prophecies without demonstrating a double-fulfillment (this happens a lot in Matthew 24).

Can you explain?

Matthew 24 (I am not a partial-preterist, but I haven't seen any good responses to their argument) is straightfoward fulfillment in 70 A.D. To get around it, the objector arbitrarily inserts/asserts a "double-fulfillment."
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Unfortunatley, many claims double-fulfillment on some prophecies without demonstrating a double-fulfillment (this happens a lot in Matthew 24).

Can you explain?

Matthew 24 (I am not a partial-preterist, but I haven't seen any good responses to their argument) is straightfoward fulfillment in 70 A.D. To get around it, the objector arbitrarily inserts/asserts a "double-fulfillment."

I am not a preterist (hyper or otherwise) either but isn't it just as 'arbitrary' to insist that Matt 24 was fulfilled when this fulfillment is never mentioned in scripture?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Can you explain?

Matthew 24 (I am not a partial-preterist, but I haven't seen any good responses to their argument) is straightfoward fulfillment in 70 A.D. To get around it, the objector arbitrarily inserts/asserts a "double-fulfillment."

I am not a preterist (hyper or otherwise) either but isn't it just as 'arbitrary' to insist that Matt 24 was fulfilled when this fulfillment is never mentioned in scripture?

But they are on good ground when Christ says "this generation will not pass away," and since the destruction of Jerusalem happened during "that generation," they do have a point.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Matthew 24 (I am not a partial-preterist, but I haven't seen any good responses to their argument) is straightfoward fulfillment in 70 A.D. To get around it, the objector arbitrarily inserts/asserts a "double-fulfillment."

I am not a preterist (hyper or otherwise) either but isn't it just as 'arbitrary' to insist that Matt 24 was fulfilled when this fulfillment is never mentioned in scripture?

But they are on good ground when Christ says "this generation will not pass away," and since the destruction of Jerusalem happened during "that generation," they do have a point.

It is an interesting argument and also a :worms:
 

amishrockstar

Puritan Board Freshman
KMK,
I wasn't talkin with a hyper-preterist, there was an Historic Premil., Amil., and an 'undecided' discussing this issue. That's interesting that you wrote "the argument against double fulfillment is a conerstone of their [hyper-preterist] system" I hadn't heard that before, but I remember listening to a CD by Dr. Bob Morey (not sure if you know him) and he stated very dogmatically that there is one fulfillment for one prophecy; I was trying out his hermeneutical principle during the discussion (Dr. Bob has his own take on eschatology; kinda premil, but he calls it Jewish Apocalypticism).
Anyway, thanks for your response.

Anyone else (who isn't a hyper-preterist) hold to the view that each prophecy only gets one fulfillment??? If so, how would you understand 2 Sam.7:13-14???

Thanks
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
KMK,
I wasn't talkin with a hyper-preterist, there was an Historic Premil., Amil., and an 'undecided' discussing this issue. That's interesting that you wrote "the argument against double fulfillment is a conerstone of their [hyper-preterist] system" I hadn't heard that before, but I remember listening to a CD by Dr. Bob Morey (not sure if you know him) and he stated very dogmatically that there is one fulfillment for one prophecy; I was trying out his hermeneutical principle during the discussion (Dr. Bob has his own take on eschatology; kinda premil, but he calls it Jewish Apocalypticism).
Anyway, thanks for your response.

Anyone else (who isn't a hyper-preterist) hold to the view that each prophecy only gets one fulfillment??? If so, how would you understand 2 Sam.7:13-14???

Thanks

I doubt there would be any hyper-preterists on this board. :lol:

It is one thing when Scripture identifies an event as double-fulfillment, it is another thing to subjectively label non-Scripturally identified events as double fulfillment (I am historic premil now; I used to be postmillennial).
 

amishrockstar

Puritan Board Freshman
Spear Dane,
Ya, you're probably right, I would also "doubt there would be any hyper-preterists on this board" I've just posted soooo much (in the past) on theologyweb and am so used to having to 'qualify' my questions that I forgot where I was.

BTW, what would be an example of a 'double fulfillment' that you would point to?
 

amishrockstar

Puritan Board Freshman
Spear Dane,
Do you think that 2 Sam.7:13-14 might be a place where we see a double fulfillment in Solomon and Christ?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Spear Dane,
Do you think that 2 Sam.7:13-14 might be a place where we see a double fulfillment in Solomon and Christ?

It's possible. I am not against the idea of a double fulfillment. I just don't like people using it as a crutch to explain hard parts of prophecy.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Generally, I think the term "double fulfilment" is a bad choice. Here's why: it is open to all kinds of abuse, some types of which have been mentioned.

Instead, I think that with regard to Christ, we should see the OT chock full of typological references that have a "perfect" fulfilment in Christ. It isn't that Solomon doesn't fulfill David's son, its just that he can only BE an imperfect fulfillment. Jesus, after all, never has to address that part "if he commit iniquity..." A perfect Son doesn't sin at all. So, Solomon, the sinner, cannot exhaust the prophecy, or be an ideal son. There Solomon himself must not only fulfill the prophecy on one level, but IS himself a kind of prophetic promise that someone Better is coming.

So, if Solomon IS a kind of prophesy of Jesus, then everything that pertains to Solomon--including the prophecy regarding Solomon--must in some way point through Solomon to Jesus.


Then, there are prophecies that seem to build, or have "intermediate" fulfilment. Judgments of all kinds serve as these, as well as Blessings. There is a sense in which everything prophetic is eschatological. Everything points to an ideal end-state or context, in which all matters of consequence are settled. Every earthly judgment in proleptic, in that it points to a final crisis. When the Lord says, "Once more, and I will shake..." (Hag. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:27), speaking of the setting up of the everlasting kingdom, we recognize that this is an "already-not yet" kind of prophecy. It has a definitive fulfilment (ONCE more) in the ministry of Jesus--AND, it has a consummative fulfilment, in the arrival of the age to come.

Instead of "double-fulfilment: (or triple, etc.), we might do better thinking of such fulfilments as successive wavelets hitting the beach, or as ripples in the pond, or maybe as "nested". Our perspective on the events shifts, or rather, the events themselves may be small, or great, or they may be monumental. And if we were to be lifted up to God's perspective (as the prophets were) we would understand al little better what they were trying to convey (for surely, God's perspective overwhelms the man). The "true" fulfilment is that which completes.

Here might be a good place to revisit the "prophetic perspective." Some think of the prophet as a man who stands a bit higher than us, and has a telescope, but fundamentally stands on the same plane as us. Often this is presented as the "two mountain ranges" analogy. The prophet can't tell that the far range is actually farther away, and much higher.

I think that's totally erroneous.

The prophet is not "on our plane, only enhanced to see beyond us." He is "one of us," yes, but he has been removed from us and taken to Heaven ("...in a vision, in a dream," or "whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body..."). Remember Micaiah? "And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left" (1 Ki. 22:19). How about Elijah, who fled to Horeb, only to find that heaven settles on the mountainside, and he is called to a meeting?

And the prophet sees things as God sees them and he is sent back to tell us (!) what he's seen. He speaks the Words he has been given by God, and he searches them himself, to try and fathom their full meaning (1 Pet. 1:11f). And we wonder why "And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king's business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it" (Dan. 8:27)? Or Isaiah's "undone" condition? The miracle was surviving the vision!
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Well noted, Bruce. Eschatology is an essential element of biblical interpretation. Without it we cannot see the ultimate reality to which the whole purpose of God has been moving since creation. Eph. 3:9-11.
 

JWJ

Puritan Board Freshman
I concur that double or multiple fulfillment is a bad choice of words. And I agree with what Bruce said—good summary Bruce. I would suggest we 21st century teachers / preachers and students of the Word borrow the careful words of past heroes of faith…in particular the 19th Century preacher / teacher Willis J. Beecher who coined the expressions “generic prophecy” and “corporate prophecy” (found in his excellent book The Prophets and the Promise and popularized in the 20th century by the works of Walter Kaiser Jr.).

Hence, it is not so much that many of God’s promises or prophecies have double or multiple fulfillments, but rather that they are “generic” or better “corporate” in nature finding their telos or consummation in Christ (including his first and or second coming). The word corporate denotes the concept of the “all in one” “the one in the all.” Therefore unlike “double” or “multiple” (which can imply the dispensational mindset of a disjunction regarding redemptive history not to mention the skewing of an important hermeneutic grid, viz., the typos in Scripture) the word unites the entire redemptive-historical line of “fulfillments” or “harbingers” to the one, viz,. Christ, and Christ to the entire redemptive-historical “fulfillments.”

The same corporate idea is inherent in key terms found throughout Scripture—e.g., seed, son, rest, etc…and is consistent with the truth expressed in typology or to borrow the words of Leonhart Goppelt “correspondence with heightening.”

Jim
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Here might be a good place to revisit the "prophetic perspective." Some think of the prophet as a man who stands a bit higher than us, and has a telescope, but fundamentally stands on the same plane as us. Often this is presented as the "two mountain ranges" analogy. The prophet can't tell that the far range is actually farther away, and much higher.

I think that's totally erroneous.

I remember reading that perspective years ago but I cannot remember where.

Thanks for the great post, Bruce.
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
Spear Dane,
BTW, what would be an example of a 'double fulfillment' that you would point to?
A good example is the prophecy of the virgin birth (Isa. 7:14). The context of Isa. 7 has the prophet Isaiah speaking to Ahaz about a sign that would prove that God would deliver Judah from an immediate threat, an attack by Aram and Israel. If we read further will see that right after the prophecy Isaiah goes to “the prophetess,” and has a son with her. The child’s name is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Isa 8:10 and 8:13 address the child as Immanuel. And, of course, God rescues Judah from Aram and Israel in short order. Isaiah confirms that he and his children (including Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz) were signs. Chapter 8:18 has Isaiah speaking: “Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.” So, if you go back and read these accounts, keep both views in mind. At one level, God is using the birth of a child to herald the defeat of the earthly enemies (Aram, Israel) of His people (Judah). At another, this account foreshadows God using the birth of His very own Son, Christ, to herald the defeat of the greatest enemy of His people, Satan. So, I would see this more as typology than double fulfillment, but it all depends on how you are defining your terms.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Good post, Bruce.

Thanks, Scott,

And in response to your comment, re. Isaiah 7, I'll remind the readers that they can find the thread where you and I discussed that passage in the archives. As I recall, we were of slightly different minds on the solution.
 
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