Thursday, July 03, 2008

Peace now?

The vision [in Isaiah 2:2-4] is of a world without the violence of war. Reading the phrase wehayâ beªa˙årît hayyamîm [I'm afraid the diacritics dropped out in the transliteration] as ‘in the last days’, scholars customarily assert that only in the eschaton when the Messiah rules will this vision be fully realized. This reading shortchanges the exegesis. The expression wehayâ beªa˙årît hayyamîm is translated in the NRSV as ‘in days to come’ and should be understood as ‘whenever’. Hence, whenever and wherever (including here and now) the word of Yahweh’s instruction is embraced, the outcome will be eliminating weapons of destruction and instead forging implements of agricultural production. The oracle offers hope for the future, but it also addresses the immediate circumstance.”—Martens, War in the Bible and Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, page 37

<idle musing>
Wow; what a radical understanding. Maybe I have been living in a corner, but I have never heard this interpretation before. It certainly puts a different urgency on peacemaking!
</idle musing>

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