Old Testament Passages Referring To The Day Of The Lord -- By: Warren Vanhetloo

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 05:4 (Winter 1962)
Article: Old Testament Passages Referring To The Day Of The Lord
Author: Warren Vanhetloo


Old Testament Passages Referring To The Day Of The Lord

Warren Vanhetloo

Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

A portion of revealed truth has to do with what is called the Day of the Lord. That this doctrine was a part of the missionary message of Paul is evident in that he found it necessary to deal with a misunderstanding among converts within but a few months after his ministry in their midst. He could write to them that he was assured they knew the doctrine accurately (I Thess. 5:2) and then dealt more with the application than the exposition of the truth.

A large portion of that revealed truth which Paul taught in Thessalonica came from Old Testament references to the Day of the Lord. Additional light from the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and later revelations through Paul and John and others must be studied for a full picture of this Scriptural doctrine The purpose of this consideration is to investigate what was revealed in the Old Testament concerning the Day of the Lord.

There is thus a limitation to the Old Testament; and since even in that scope the subject is exceedingly large, there is a further, somewhat arbitrary, limitation to the passages which incorporate the phrase “day of the Lord.”

It is a fallacy to think that God used the same label each time He spoke of some truth. God used other means of identifying revelations concerning the Day of the Lord. Two of the most frequent are (1) “that day” and (2) “the day.” The limitation to one particular form of reference

employed here has merit, but one cannot pose as having investigated adequately the teaching of the Old Testament after looking only at passages which specifically use the phrase ,:day of the Lord.”

Nor, on the other hand, can one assume that every use of a particular word or term is to the same event. Scripture does not assemble these verses. Scripture does not suggest that every use of a word can be gathered. Words in their ordinary uses have more than one meaning. An author is at liberty to use the word “school, “for instance, in a general or more specific sense. And, so long as the context makes his usage clear, he may use a word in a different sense in the same context even. Thus in the Scriptures a careful study of the context in which the combination “day of the Lord” appears is part of the preliminary procedure.

There are twenty places in the Old Testament where the two Hebrew words (yom Yahweh) under consideration are used. They are: Isaiah 2:12;

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