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What are we to make of Isaiah's image of Mount Zion as the highest of the mountains, or Zechariah's picture of the Mount of Olives split in two, or Daniel's "beast rising out of the sea" or Revelation's "great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns"? How can Peter claim that on the day of Pentecost the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled, with signs in heaven and wonders on earth, the sun turned to darkness and the moon to blood?
The language and imagery of biblical prophecy has been the source of puzzlement for many Christians and a point of dispute for some. How ironic that is! For the prophets and seers were the wordsmiths of their time. They took pains to speak God's word clearly and effectively to their contemporaries.
How should we, as citizens of the twenty-first century, understand the imagery of this ancient biblical literature? Are there any clues in the texts themselves, any principles we can apply as we read these important but puzzling biblical texts?
D. Brent Sandy carefully considers the language and imagery of prophecy and apocalyptic, how it is used, how it is fulfilled within Scripture, and how we should read it against the horizon of our future. Clearly and engagingly written, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks is the kind of book that gives its readers a new vantage point from which to view the landscape of prophetic and apocalyptic language and imagery.
List of Figures
1. What Makes Prophecy Powerful?
2. What Makes Prophecy Problematic?
3. How Does the Language of Prophecy Work?
4. How Does the Language of Destruction and Blessing Work?
5. How Does the Language of Apocalyptic Work?
6. How Have Prophecies Been Fulfilled?
7. How Will Prophecies Be Fulfilled?
Appendix A: Common English and French Metaphors
Appendix B: Language of Blessings and Curses
Appendix C: End-Times Imagery in the New Testament