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Friday, December 08, 2006

Ezekiel vs. Isaiah on dangerous animals

God's plan for the earth is a peaceable kingdom, with lions and lambs lying down together. (See Isaiah 11:1-9 and 65:17-25) Right? Well, maybe. I was amazed to notice, after years of reading the Bible, the following passage:

Ezekiel 34:25 “I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. (ESV, emphasis added.)

I'm not sure what to make of this apparent difference between Isaiah's prophetic vision, and that of Ezekiel. I checked two commentaries, and they made no mention of the difference. Any ideas?

The best discussion of the subject of dangerous animals, from a Biblical standpoint, is David Snoke's "Why Were Dangerous Animals Created?" Snoke's general conclusion is ". . . that violent and dangerous creatures are affirmed as good creations of God in the Bible . . ." He doesn't mention the passage I am using here.


Jeremy said...

I think they're not really talking about wild animals, even if that is the image they're using. They're talking about something much more fundamental.

Martin LaBar said...

Perhaps you are right. I don't know exactly what the "more fundamental" is.