The Puritans on the restoration of ethnic Israel: Resources?

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by JTB.SDG, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Question 1: It seems to me that the majority of the puritans believed in the restoration of ethnic Israel at a time in the future. Ie, Iain Murray's, The Puritan Hope. Is that right?

    Question 2: What are the most important instances/volumes written by puritans on this subject (or chapters/sections within volumes on more general subjects)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Would some of them had been coming From Post mil position, as did not know Puritans saw The Jewish people in that light.
     
  3. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    David, no, most of the reformed took this position. I'm not sure anyone in the earlier days after the reformation actually took any other position.
     
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  4. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't have my copy of TPH in front of me, but if I remember correctly, Iain Murray does acknowledge that it was not the majority opinion. He pushes more towards the postmil as the majority opinion (and ethnic Israel is a minor premise).
    Please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Teaching the restoration of Israel, even including to the promised land, isn't incompatible with that type of postmil. One might say that it has been a "feature" of millennialism generally, although certainly not held by all postmils or even all premils, at least not today.

    Among postmils today it is very rare. But the late Erroll Hulse was postmil and believed it--see his "Restoration of Israel." There was a Scottish brother who used to post here who also believed it, but I haven't "seen" him around here in a while.
     
  6. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

  7. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

  8. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Not technically a Puritan, but Wilhelmus á Brakel defended the future restoration of the Jews in his magnum opus.
     
  9. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    The doctrine is codified in the Westminster Larger Catechism.

    Q. 191. What do we pray for in the second petition?
    A. In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come,) acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan,b we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fulness of the Gentiles brought in...

    Ridgley comments on this Question/Answer:
    "Hence, we cannot but suppose that those prophecies which respect their conversion, in the latter day, together with the fulness of the Gentiles being brought in, shall be more eminently accomplished than they have hitherto been. This, therefore, is what we are to pray for when we say, ‘Thy kingdom come.’"

    -Thomas Ridgley, A Body of Divinity, vol. 2 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 621.

    The Directory of Public Worship also calls for the public prayer before the sermon to pray for the conversion of the Jews.

    The Church of Scotland even wrote an Open Letter to the Jews (1841), imploring them to turn to the Savior:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=6...mbly of the Church&pg=PP5#v=onepage&q&f=false
     
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Bahnsen believed it. I think Gentry did. I know Schlissel did (which caused a problem between him and James Jordan, as Jordan rejected the idea of a future conversion of Israel).
     
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I was referring to the idea that the land promises to ethnic Israel have abiding validity (or what is today known as "Christian Zionism") in addition to an "end times" conversion of Israel. Schlissel believes in both, hence the publication of "Hal Lindsey and the Restoration of the Jews" which contains some if not all of David Brown's work that was referenced above preceded by a lengthy essay by Schlissel. I was surprised to find a positive review here with no criticisms since to my knowledge Chalcedon (nor any other recons) has ever endorsed the views of Schlissel and Brown on the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land.

    So with the old JFB commentary, one that is often recommended as "Reformed," you have two men who taught the restoration of Israel to such an extent that they'd be accused of being "dispensationalists" today by many. (Brown was postmil as we've noted and A.R. Fausset was an ardent premil. I don't know what Jamieson's views were on eschatology, and he is the most obscure of the three.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  12. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is incredibly insightful. According to what you point out here, everyone who does NOT believe this should be having to take an exception to the WCF.
     
  13. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I wasn't meaning to refer at all to the Zionism elements of the physical land of Israel. I'm just talking about the restoration of ethnic Israel to faith in the Messiah.
     
  14. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    That would be my view, that one ought to take an exception to this clause in the Larger Catechism (if you don’t believe it). For what it is worth, our congregation regularly prays that the "Jews would be called" in keeping with this, as well as the original Directory for the Public Worship of God (1645):

    "To pray for the propagation of the gospel and kingdom of Christ to all nations; for the conversion of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles, the fall of Antichrist, and the hastening of the second coming of our Lord; for the deliverance of the distressed churches abroad from the tyranny of the antichristian faction, and from the cruel oppressions and blasphemies of the Turk; for the blessing of God upon the reformed churches..."

    I think these artifacts show the prevailing view at the time of the Assembly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  15. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Would it be fair to say then that Dispensational hold to the land promises to be retored to national israel still, while some reformed would hold to salvation of the nation in future time?
     
  16. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I seem to remember reading that there was quite a bit of speculation as to whether or not the Jewish Nation would be restored. "How will we know of their conversion without a nation-state?" I guess 1948, 1967, and 1973 settled that. Do you think Trump's support, on December 6, 2017, of Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel is without significance? The stage is set for their future salvation and covenanting with the true greater Son of David. I remember one commentary published in about 1942±, claiming that the Nation of Israel will never be reestablished.

    I have listened to many arguments that Paul's teaching in Romans 11 does not predict the conversion of National Israel. I was not convinced.
     
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Peter in Acts seems to also be stating that when the Jews turn back to God and their Messiah, how much more greater will be that final restoration, as Paul stated also, has God forever cast away his own people?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  18. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    As far as puritan writings on the conversion of Israel, George Hutcheson's Commentary on the Minor Prophets is a good place to start. For a single section to start with, the commentary on the last few chapters of Zechariah discusses the eschatological conversion of the Jews.
     
  19. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't read that clause in the Larger Catechism as requiring a belief in the restoration of the nation of Israel, merely that we should pray for the conversion of the Jews (the proof text is Romans 10:1). I don't see any promises in Scripture that the nation of Israel will be restored as a homeland for the Jews. There are, however, prophecies that the land of Palestine would be handed over to the enemies of the Lord and defiled (Ezekiel 7). Therefore I see no reason to look for the Jews to be regathered as an ethnic nation.
     
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you do not see the founding of Isreal after 2000 years as prophetic at all?
     
  21. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm not saying it doesn't have significance but I don't see that Scripture predicts it as a sign of the imminent ingathering of the Jews to Christ. It is not Israel of old. It is a nation founded on a blasphemous religion. There are prophecies in Scripture about the future habitation of the Lord's people, such as in Zecheriah 2:4 "Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein". Is the Zionist state a nation "without walls" with room "for the multitude and cattle"? In Isaiah 11:12 we read "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." That ensign to be set up in the land is Christ. How is Christ regarded by Zionist state? Other prophecies which seem to refer to a restoration of Israel would suggest that restoration would be in a quiet land "very far off" from where the prophecies were made (in the land of Palestine), ergo not in Palestine (which is certainly not a quiet land).

    I would take these prophecies as referring to the true Israel, the people of God in all ages, and to be fulfilled eschatalogically. Some people have taken them more literally. Either way I don't see how they can be applied to the Israeli state.

    God said in Genesis 13:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." This is favourite of the Christian Zionists as to why we should support the Israeli state. Have we been blessed for our support? Has blessing come upon the Western countries who have propped up the Zionist state since 1948? I would say the opposite. I would say that state and our support for it have been the cause of much strife, conflict, war and bloodshed.
     
  22. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    That the "land of Palestine would be handed over to the enemies of the Lord" is certainly true. But finish the sentence where Luke agrees with you but adds, "and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

    As to "the Jews to be regathered as an ethnic nation,"
    • First - We have this little fact that Israel, in 1948, and finally Jerusalem, in 1967, was regathered from many nations and now are a Jewish State for the first time since 70 AD.

    • Second, and I admit that this is only a logical deduction, How else would we know of the Jews becoming a Christian State? The USA is a secular state. The constitution fell short of ever proclaiming the US a Christian State. But England and Scottland were covenanted and professed Jesus as their High King. And there are many recognized Muslim States, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, etc. All the citizens of a country do not have to profess faith in Christ for it to be a Christian State. God deals with nations as moral persons, and as such, can covenant with Christ and confess themselves to be a Christian Nation. When Israel proclaims itself a Christian nation, then the world will know that the prophecy was fulfilled.
    I think then the passages in Daniel 12 and Revelation 13 will start to open up just as Daniel chapter 11 opened up as history progressed.

    Ed
     
  23. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you would see national Isreal having some future then?
     
  24. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Not sure what you mean. They are having a future now, and they have been having one for 70 years.
    And at the right time, God will restore many of the natural olive branches to the vine which is Jesus Himself. Paul says it will be like life from the dead for the Gentile world.

    Romans 11:13-16
    13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
    16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
     
  25. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    A shrewd observation, given that many Dispensational and premillennial types want us to fight never-ending middle-eastern wars on Israel's behalf.
     
  26. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Again, this isn't a discussion about a return to a physical land; I think the discussion is getting off the point; at least the question I had intended. (Maybe I didn't make it clear enough). I do not believe Scripture says anything about the Jews "as a nation" or as it relates to the land of Palestine; I think those are Zionistic elements. What I was intending to speak about was Scripture's promise of a widespread conversion of ethnic Israel in the latter days. There are many texts that speak to this but Romans 11 is the most well known.
     
  27. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Wouldnt their coming to Lord Jesus at His second coming fulfill a nation bring reborn then in one day?
     
  28. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    They are the only democracy in the area though. Except for Egypt, think rest of the Islamic nations still want them to be driven into the sea.
     
  29. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I actually advocate giving them limited support for that reason, but I do not believe that we should be overthrowing regimes on their behalf nor endless intervening in that region.
     
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  30. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    That the Zionist state was established in 1948 is beyond dispute. Is it a homogenous Jewish state? No. Are all modern Jews descendants of the Jews of the time of Christ? Hardly. I don't see that a Jewish nation state is necessary for their to be a mass conversion of Jews.
     

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