Does Luke 21:22 Prove that All End Time Prophecies were Fulfilled in A.D. 70?

PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY Forums Forum Does Luke 21:22 Prove that All End Time Prophecies were Fulfilled in A.D. 70?

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    danielmorais
    Keymaster

    Luke 21:22 is often cited as seemingly irrefutable proof that all end time prophecies were fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Luke 21:22 is sandwiched in the Olivet Discourse which undoubtedly refers to Israel’s first-century war with Rome. In this context, Luke 21:22 implies that all Bible prophecy will be fulfilled at that time: “because these are the days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.” Though I consider myself a full preterist because I believe that all end time prophecies have been fulfilled, I do believe that some prophecies like Daniel 12:11-12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8 were ultimately fulfilled a few years after A.D. 70. Therefore, I do not believe that all end time prophecies were fulfilled in A.D. 70. Does Luke 21:22 disprove a literal 1000 year reign after the Jewish War?

    No. All or every does not always mean all or every in the Bible. As noted by John Bray, a similar statement is also made in Luke 18:31: “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished[.]” Of course Jesus’ death on the cross did not fulfill every Messianic prediction. There was still more that was expected to transpire at the Parousia. In Luke 18:31 Jesus seems to imply that His death and resurrection allowed all that remained to be fulfilled to come to pass. (John L. Bray, Matthew 24 Fulfilled, (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, 2008), 102-104.)

    There are many other examples in the Bible in which “all” or “every” does not mean “all” or “every” (Matthew 2:1-3; 4:8; 10:22). The Bible often uses hyperbole for emphasis. All or every does not always mean all or every. When the Bible says that “all things which are written will be fulfilled[,]” one cannot safely assume that there are not some exceptions.

    It should be noted that Luke 21:22 is very similar to Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  The Law appears to have been largely a series of prophetic customs many of which pointed to and were fulfilled by Jesus’ crucifixion as the spotless Lamb of God. The fact that the Law is a series of prophetic customs is strongly implied when Jesus said that He had not come to abolish the Law “but to fulfill” it.  Matthew 5:18 says that the Law would not pass until heaven and earth disappears.  What Jesus appears to be saying in Matthew 5:17-18 is that all the prophetic customs of the Law would be fulfilled at or by the destruction of heaven and earth in A.D. 70 and it is at this time that the Law (having been fulfilled) would pass (see 2 Peter 3:5-13: A Preterist Commentary).  I believe Luke 21:22 should be understood in light of Matthew 5:17-18 and that when it says “all things which are written will be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22) this v. refers primarily to the prophetic customs of the Law and not necessarily to every prophecy in the Bible without exception.

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    #6106 Reply

    danielmorais
    Keymaster

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    #6887 Reply

    Benjamin

    …because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. Luke 21:22

    In my understanding, the “days of vengeance” is a reference, quite likely, to Leviticus 26:25, “…which will execute vengeance for the covenant…” (NASB). What this is referring to is the summary judgments if Israel breaks, and keeps on breaking the covenant of Moses. Leviticus 26:34, of course, is the statement that the removal of Israel from the land is for the missed Sabbaths (cf 2 Chr 36:21). These are the “sworn judgments” Daniel referred to, and are the fulfillment of the 70 years.

    The “days of vengeance”, however, are part of the 4 times of 7-fold increase or additional punishment upon Israel if they continue to disobey. Another possibility in interpreting Daniel 9 is that the 490 years is merely the fulfillment of Leviticus 26:18, a additional 7-fold punishment–in the place of 70 years, they are “decreed” 70 7’s of years of additional punishment. Instead of captivity in Babylon, they are returned to their land, but are in captivity “to” Babylon, nevertheless.

    So, we have it, the “days of vengeance” is part of the 3rd 7-fold installment for continued obedience (v18, 21, 24-25, and 27-28). The fourth can be seen in the fall of Jerusalem. And, of course, the ultimate outcome of the fulfillment of all four of these for continued and willful disobedience to be summed up well by what Daniel 12:7 conveys, “the power of the holy people utterly broken”, or, the judgment against them of breaking and scattering with regards to their covenant.

    In summary then, if the “days of vengeance” are indeed a reference to Leviticus 26:25, then it is the days of “vengeance for the covenant”. As such, the attempt to read into this verse, without additional textual support, to imply that it means the fulfillment of all prophecy everywhere is without support. Building that doctrine from this one point is simply out of place, as Jesus could quite have simply been referring to the most recent antecedent, either the “everything written” in the covenant, or “everything written” in regards to the executive summary of punishments for the covenant, that is, the “vengeance” and the general punishments described in Leviticus 26. Either way, attempting to pull “all things everywhere” is simply a fanciful way of attempting to prove the idea of total and complete scriptural fulfillment by making the Bible say more than it does in this case.

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