THE PROPHETIC BACKGROUND OF HEBREWS 1:10
Commentators often appeal to Hebrews 1:10 for proof of a future destruction of physical creation. However, it seems that few have asked a pertinent a hermeneutical question of great significance:
When a New Testament writers cites from an Old Covenant passage that is demonstrably figurative (non-literal), how should we interpret the New Testament citation?
Very clearly, without some overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we should interpret the New Testament citation of the Old Covenant passage metaphorically. With this in mind, look at the Old Testament source for Hebrews 1:10.
Hebrews cites Psalms 102 and Isaiah 34. Psalms 102 predicted the destruction of heaven and earth when the Lord would appear in His glory, and rule from Zion (v. 16). This would when death would be overcome (v. 20), and the cry of the oppressed answered (v. 20). At the same time, Jehovah would create a New People (v. 18).
Psalms 102 also predicted the creation of a new people when the heaven and earth would be destroyed (v. 18). Similarly, in Isaiah 65, Jehovah predicted the time when Israel would fill the measure of her sin and be destroyed (v. 6-16), “The Lord God shall slay you, and call His people by a new name.” At this time Jehovah would create a “new heavens and new earth, and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (v. 17). Here we find the identical elements of Psalms 102.
Those who would place a futuristic application on Hebrews 1➞Psalms 102➞Isaiah 65 are confronted with some serious questions. If Hebrews 1, and thus Psalms 102, predicts the destruction of literal creation, who is the nation to be destroyed to bring about the creation of a new people? And who are the new people to be created at the time of the destruction of physical creation? Scripture affirms that the church is indestructible (Daniel 2, 7), thus it cannot be the church that will be destroyed to create a new people. Israel has already been destroyed, in A.D.70, by virtually universal admission, and Jehovah created a New People on her demise. So, what people are doomed to be destroyed in order to fulfill a literal interpretation of Psalms 102?
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