[asa] Isaiah 11:6: Wolf and Lamb

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Sep 14 2008 - 22:27:23 EDT

I'm curious how folks here interpret Isaiah 11, particularly the famous
"lion shall lay with the lamb" (actually it's a "wolf," not a lion)
passage. Here are some possibilities I've heard:

-- the YEC version: this refers to a restoration of herbivorous Eden
-- the Rossian OEC version: this refers to the Millennium; either it is a
miracle or people will manage creation in such a way as to feed the
carnivorous animals
-- Figurative: the lion lying with the lamb, the child reaching his hand
into the cobra's nest, etc., are figurative expressions meaning that there
will be peace among peoples and nations (don't remember where I heard this
one)
-- Accommodation (?): this is a mistaken reference to an herbivorous Eden
and is an accommodation.

It seems to me that this is a place where an accommodation hermeneutic
breaks down. I'd like to argue that this is a figurative passage referring
to peace among peoples and nations. However, in his Isaiah commentary, J.A.
Moyter says this passage is indeed a reference to Eden. (Not sure of
Moyter's view of Eden as literal or not.) Yet, if the reference to Eden is
an accommodation, why isn't the reference to the peace of the eschaton not
an accommodation? What reason do we have to hope for peace? Anyone know of
commentators who understand this as a general literary reference to future
peace, a cultural metaphor, rather than as literal wolves and lambs resting
together?

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Sun Sep 14 22:28:03 2008

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