Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pondering spears and pruning hooks.

"He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." - Isaiah 2:4

Three famous sentences ... except for the first. Everyone claims to like the last sentence, but the first implies a theocracy with God (i.e. Jesus) ruling directly. The second sentence is the one I want to focus on: "swords into plowshares" and "spears into pruning hooks". It sounds so romantic that the instruments of war would be turned into instruments for producing food. My immersion in non-modern literature, however, is starting to give me a different viewpoint.

Today we look fondly upon the notion of open borders where the poor can seek a livelihood elsewhere. Earlier generations, however, had a different view as Vikings, Saxons or Huns raided here and there. The reason they did this is that it was far easier to pick up a sword, cut someone's head off, and take whatever they had stored up than to go out and plow your own field. In a similar manner, I have used pruning hooks of a sort for some light trimming around the yard, but how about using pruning hooks 10 hours a day, 6 days a week to harvest olives? Wouldn't most of today's deadbeats simply make a pointy end on the handle and use it to skewer someone instead? But thankfully the government provides all, so we don't need to worry about either swords or plowshares. Just hand me another marijuana cigarette.


Delirious said...

In our articles of faith it states: "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory." AF 10

Just out of curiosity, does your church teach that Christ will reign personally over the peoples of the Earth after his second coming? For us that is doctrine, but I always try to get an understanding for where other religions are with regard to these subjects.

Looney said...

A period of Christ's return and reign on the earth is taught. There seems to be quite a variation in teaching though, and Revelation rarely comes up in the teaching.

Delirious said...

I decided to do a little search and came up with this scripture:
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Rev. 20:6

We refer to that period of time as the "millenium", but I'm not sure if that is just an LDS term.

Looney said...

That is the same with the what I was taught growing up. I am a little cautious in that I have not spent much time studying variations between denominations regarding these teachings. At the same time I am aware of some differences, but whether this extends to literal/non-literal millennium I don't know.