Prophetic Pillars

Last Updated: September 10th, 20210 Comments1444 words43.8 min readBy

Bible prophecy can be confusing. First, you have what seems to be a ‘stream of consciousness’ writing style. None of the prophets follow what might be considered the modern-day sermon outline: introduction, 3-points, conclusion. That’s challenging enough but on top of this, prophecy by its very nature contains a lot of figurative language.

In fact, here is our summary of what makes prophecy impossible (yes, we said impossible) to definitively interpret if you are only provided with the prophecy itself to interpret:

Fortunately, God has not only revealed prophecy to us but other Scripture – inspired writers that help us sort through and understand at least some (if not most) of the “prophetic word.” This is the very point being made by Peter (1 Peter 1:10-12) and a main reason for this site. Unfortunately, many don’t take the time to consider all that God has said about something and jump to conclusions — a practice especially dangerous with prophecy (see above).

It seems people, even church leaders, gravitate to the most elaborate and sometimes obscure portions of prophecy and “pluck” them out to form a doctrinal belief. Leaving these portions aside for the moment, we believe there are four chapters from each of the ‘major’ prophets that provide all of the foundational concepts and themes that can guide the Bible student to understanding the ‘more difficult’ portions of prophecy.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these prophetic pillars:

THE TEXT: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (vss 31-34)


THE TRUTH: The new covenant that Jesus ushered in was of a spiritual nature. The “house of Israel” and “house of Judah” is Christ’s church and the special national relationship with God is based on belief from the individual (not a hereditary rite).


THE AUTHORITY: The Holy Spirit, who through Paul in 2 Corinthans 6 and the writer of Hebrews 8 and 10, applied these statements from Jeremiah to the 1st century Christian.


FURTHER APPLICATION: Somewhat uniquely in the prophets, we have an entire ‘contextually complete’ vision throughout all of Jeremiah chapters 30-33. These four chapters remain focused on describing several aspects of the last/latter days. Greater interpretive weight is given to the inspired writer’s direct quotation from chapter 31. However, additional attributes of the last days (current Christian age) with strong New Testament familiarity and correlation include:

  • God will “restore the fortunes” of His people and “bring them back to the land” to “take possession of it.” (30:3)
  • David will be raised up to be their king. (30:9)
  • A prince will be raised up from among their midst to rule and “you shall be my people and I will be your God.” (30:21-22)
  • God will be the God of “all the clans of Israel” and they will be His people. (31:1)
  • He will cause them to “walk by brooks of water in a straight path.” (31:9)
  • He will gather them “as a shepherd keeps his flock.” (31:10)
  • The voice of Rachel heard “weeping for her children” “because they are no more.” (31:15) *Importantly, this passage is also directly quoted and interpreted for us by the inspired writer Matthew (2:16-18) when Herod ordered all the first born males to be killed at the news of Jesus’ birth.
  • God will gather his people from “all the countries” to “dwell in safety” – repeating again the “everlasting covenant” (32:37-41)
  • God will cause a “Branch to spring up for David” who will “execute justice and righteousness in the land.” (33:14-16)
  • David’s throne will be occupied forever and the Levites will never lack priests for the service of God. (33:17-18).

THE TEXT: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” (vss 44-45)


THE TRUTH: In the latter days (vs 28), God’s everlasting kingdom will be established. Figuratively, it is represented by a stone and contrasted against other precious metals representing the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.


THE AUTHORITY: God’s own interpretation of the king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and Jesus declaring that “the kingdom of God is at hand.” (

Mark 1:14-15
)


FUTHER APPLICATION: God’s everlasting kingdom, with the everlasting covenant (Jeremiah 31) will be in the last days.

THE TEXT: “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.” (vss 3-4)


THE TRUTH: The central role that responding to God’s word would play when David’s throne would be established in Christ.


THE AUTHORITY: The apostle Paul’s sermon in Antioch of Pisidia (

Acts 13:33-34
) where he confirms this to be fulfilled in Christ’s resurrection and the gospel dispensation.


FURTHER APPLICATION: The entire chapter beautifully describes God’s word. First is the invitation from God to seek Him and call upon Him (vs 6) because God’s thoughts/ways are not man’s thoughts/ways (vss 8-9). It’s not within man to save himself!

Second is the beautiful completeness of God’s word and its effectiveness in its purpose (vss 10-11). God’s word leads to salvation (vss 12-13).

THE TEXT: “I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken. 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.” (vss 22-25)


THE TRUTH: God’s people – figuratively a flock of sheep – will be shepherded by David their prince. He will feed them with a “covenant of peace”


THE AUTHORITY: There is no direct quotation/interpretation of these verses by an inspired writer. However, its statements and themes are immediately recognizable from David (

Psalm 22
) to Jesus (
John 10
).


FURTHER APPLICATION: This chapter is chosen to illustrate the harmony of God’s word through his prophets of old and his “final prophet” – his son and our savior. Different prophets, same word(s)…because they are spoken from the same author – God.

These four chapters leave no wiggle room in their interpretation. The twenty-first century Bible student can understand their meaning and application with full confidence through divine interpretation. We don’t need charts, diagrams, theological “genius” or a charismatic televangelist!

From these four chapters, we can understand clearly that Jesus, the Branch of David, came in the last days and established his eternal kingdom. This spiritual kingdom, the church, is the restoration of spiritual Israel and Judah. Anyone, Jew or Gentile, is free to take possession of “the land” and enter into a “covenant of peace” with God through his word. Doing so makes them a Levite (priest to God) and a joint heir with Christ, where God will dwell until they inherit the heavenly land.

important scripture blocks

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The Lord says there is a time when He will make a new covenant with the Israel and Judah, unlike the covenant made with their fathers after coming out of Egypt.  They broke that one, even though they entered it with God.  The new covenant coming in later days will be written on their hearts.  It will be known that He is their God and they are His people.  He will forgive their sins, and remember them no more.

Jeremiah’s book of prophecy as the people of Judah (the northern tribes of Israel already long lost to Assyrian captivity) are faced with Babylonian captivity.  Jeremiah’s main message (from God) is that they should not resist and they will be there for seventy years.  However, for this specific question the context around this passage is critical and actually begins back in chapter 30.  It’s there where several references to these “last days” are referenced by the prophet:

  • “For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.” (30:3)
  • “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.” (30:8-9)
  • “The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this. At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” (30:24-31:1)
  • “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord.” (31:27-28)
  • In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.” (31:29-30)
  • “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.” (31:38-40)
but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:

There is a God in heaven that revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar the mystery that will happen in the latter days.

In his second year, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a  dream that bothered him but nobody could interpret it for him…until he called on Daniel. His dream (vss 32-35) was of a large image, “The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

The interpretation given to Daniel from God was that each component represented kingdoms that would follow his own, until in the latter days there would be a kingdom that stood forever.

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
In his second year, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a  dream that bothered him but nobody could interpret for him.  Until he called on Daniel. His dream (vss 32-35) was of a large image, “The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

The interpretation [from God] was that each component represented kingdoms that would follow his own, until in the latter days there would be a kingdom that stood forever.

And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.
I will establish over them my servant David.  He will be a shepherd to feed them.  And I will be their God, and David will be a prince among them.  I, the Lord have spoken.

In this entire chapter, God through Ezekiel is contrasting the spiritual leaders of his day (“shepherds”) that were leading the people astray with a shepherd that God would establish “a covenant of peace” (vs 25).  While these verses point to David being this shepherd, notably vss 11-16 repeatedly state that God in the first person (“I, myself”) will do these things and more.

Leave A Comment

About the Author: D Brackett

I have lived most of my life as a Christian but admittedly not a serious Bible student until mid-life. I don't hold any theological degrees nor is my profession related to the church or ministry, but firmly believe that God has given us His word to be understood by a layman like myself.

Authors are free to express their conclusions about Bible topics and others are free to offer their thoughts through public comment at the bottom.

In keeping with the mission of this site, all commentary is expected to be based on and backed up by Scripture that is – to the best of the person’s ability – used as Scripture itself would interpret it.