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CDF47

Symbols & Numbers in the Bible

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CDF47

 

Nothing to refute. Only commenting on the number 1000. As an Amillennialist I do not believe in a literal 1000 years but a symbolic number which means what the chart indicates:

 

1000 = divine completeness

 

God bless,

William

 

I am an Amillennialist as well. I believe the 1000 years is symbolic as well, so yes, divine completeness fits that number well.

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CDF47

One that I refute is false prophet. I believe it represents Islam. Possibly also disagree with the Lord's Day being the Sabbath. There is evidence that the Lord's Day is Sunday but not sure on this one.

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Meir-Simchah

If these images can be interpreted like this -- straight-forward, one image for one concept -- why not just say it explicitly? (In fact, it's in Daniel that Daniel is shown an image which he cannot understand and, it seems, cannot be understood by humanity till the end of the process of exile and redemption.)

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CDF47
If these images can be interpreted like this -- straight-forward, one image for one concept -- why not just say it explicitly? (In fact, it's in Daniel that Daniel is shown an image which he cannot understand and, it seems, cannot be understood by humanity till the end of the process of exile and redemption.)

 

The Bible uses a lot of symbolism. It is translated itself in the Scriptures.

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Meir-Simchah

 

The Bible uses a lot of symbolism.

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

It is translated itself in the Scriptures.

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

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CDF47

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

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Meir-Simchah

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

I'm sorry! I'm not sure which verses you mean :-\

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CDF47

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

Under the References column in the Symbols link there are verses that are cited.

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Meir-Simchah

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

Ah -- sorry that was unclear! But that's exactly my point. Why use this symbolic mode of interpretation? Actually, I'd like to use a different word, if that's okay.

 

Symbols, at least as I think of them, are multiform in meaning. That's their power. The cross, for example, is a powerful symbol because is doesn't just stand in for the concept of Suffering or for the concept of Salvation. What does one have to do with the other? Suffering and Salvation don't have any obvious connection on the surface. The symbol of the cross brings them together. (I don't know if Rene Guénon is well regarded among Christians today, but his book _Symbolism of the Cross_ goes way, way beyond what I said.)

 

The chart for the verses in Daniel, by contrast, doesn't take each mysterious figure as a multiform sign conjuring and uniting different, perhaps even paradoxically divergent, realities. Instead, it treats each figure or sign as a stand in for one concept. Even if the figure might mean different things in different places, in each place, it has one real meaning. So the mode of interpretation is allegorical or parable-like or like a secret code language.

 

It seem to me that the Bible doesn't really suggest reading it in such an allegorical/parable-like/code language way. That's why I said earlier: "If these images can be interpreted like this -- straight-forward, one image for one concept -- why not just say it explicitly? (In fact, it's in Daniel that Daniel is shown an image which he cannot understand and, it seems, cannot be understood by humanity till the end of the process of exile and redemption.)"

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Meir-Simchah

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

For example, in this thread I commented on the number 1000, Psalm 50:10 "For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills." Lemme ask, if this number is not symbolic here, then who owns the cattle on 1001 hills?

 

That's a great example of the verse-in-context suggesting a metaphoric reading. I'm not arguing against metaphor. Actually, I think that metaphor is, much more than a rhetorical device, an inherent feature, even the semantic bedrock, of language. My concern is really with simplistic mappings.

 

Well, first I believe it would be dishonest to apply the wrong hermeneutic. That is, if we actually care about what the author had in mind. As an example, Daniel, the author, conveys to Nebuchadnezzar that his vision was symbolic. The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream shows that the dream is not be taken literally in terms of statue and its various parts; rather, the statue signifies or symbolizes something else.

 

That's a great point! Daniel's reading of Nebuchadnezzar's dream may suggest that this is way to read Daniel's visions. And lest we think that that's idiosyncratic, we can look at Joseph's reading of Pharoh's dream/s.

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Meir-Simchah

 

How do we know that these things are symbols and not something else? I'm thinking Hebrew scriptures. ... In the gospels, Jesus uses parables frequently. But that's doesn't seem to be a mode of speaking in (or writing of) the Hebrew scriptures. ... Maybe we could point to the images in the prophets and say, See these images illustrate concepts, and frequently the prophet is even told what the proper interpretation is. Zachariya, with his vision of the menorah and the olives, is funny in this regard :-) But somehow, the way the Hebrew prophets spoke and the way Jesus' parables work just seem profoundly different. ...

 

 

 

I didn't understand that. Would you explain?

 

I mean if you read the cited verses in the link above you will see where the Bible defines the symbols.

Seems to me that's definitely part of it :-)

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CDF47
On 1/11/2018 at 3:58 AM, Meir-Simchah said:

Ah -- sorry that was unclear! But that's exactly my point. Why use this symbolic mode of interpretation? Actually, I'd like to use a different word, if that's okay.

 

Symbols, at least as I think of them, are multiform in meaning. That's their power. The cross, for example, is a powerful symbol because is doesn't just stand in for the concept of Suffering or for the concept of Salvation. What does one have to do with the other? Suffering and Salvation don't have any obvious connection on the surface. The symbol of the cross brings them together. (I don't know if Rene Guénon is well regarded among Christians today, but his book _Symbolism of the Cross_ goes way, way beyond what I said.)

 

The chart for the verses in Daniel, by contrast, doesn't take each mysterious figure as a multiform sign conjuring and uniting different, perhaps even paradoxically divergent, realities. Instead, it treats each figure or sign as a stand in for one concept. Even if the figure might mean different things in different places, in each place, it has one real meaning. So the mode of interpretation is allegorical or parable-like or like a secret code language.

 

It seem to me that the Bible doesn't really suggest reading it in such an allegorical/parable-like/code language way. That's why I said earlier: "If these images can be interpreted like this -- straight-forward, one image for one concept -- why not just say it explicitly? (In fact, it's in Daniel that Daniel is shown an image which he cannot understand and, it seems, cannot be understood by humanity till the end of the process of exile and redemption.)"

There can be no doubt that Daniel and Revelation are highly symbolic.  

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Grafted Branch

I don’t have anything to add about the link you posted, but when studying the spiritual meaning of numbers we need to be aware of which translation is used. For instance the NIV in Genesis 6:15 states the ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. This can help someone visualize the physical dimensions of the ark but if there is any spiritual meaning of the numbers it is lost because they have converted cubits to feet. I have also heard that some modern translations have taken verses such as Matthew 18:22 and taken the liberty to multiply 70 X 7 and just use the number 490.

    I rely on the KJV but I often look at several other translations when studying. I am always disappointed when I see these types things in a translation.

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CDF47
23 hours ago, Grafted Branch said:

I don’t have anything to add about the link you posted, but when studying the spiritual meaning of numbers we need to be aware of which translation is used. For instance the NIV in Genesis 6:15 states the ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. This can help someone visualize the physical dimensions of the ark but if there is any spiritual meaning of the numbers it is lost because they have converted cubits to feet. I have also heard that some modern translations have taken verses such as Matthew 18:22 and taken the liberty to multiply 70 X 7 and just use the number 490.

    I rely on the KJV but I often look at several other translations when studying. I am always disappointed when I see these types things in a translation.

 

That is a great point Grafted Branch.  Definitely have to pay attention to the translation used.  That is odd that the NIV translates numbers like that into English units rather than cubits.  That is also odd that some multiply the 70 x 7 out.  That is taking that verse out of context.  

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Origen
Moderator
44 minutes ago, CDF47 said:

That is odd that the NIV translates numbers like that into English units rather than cubits.

I don't think that is odd at all.  I would suspect that many if not most people don't know what a cubit is.  Beside if 450 feet is equal to 300 cubits the meaning is the same.

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CDF47
10 minutes ago, Origen said:

I don't think that is odd at all.  I would suspect that many if not most people don't know what a cubit is.  Beside if 450 feet is equal to 300 cubits the meaning is the same.

Cubits are easy to Google these days and do the conversion yourself.

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Origen
Moderator
2 minutes ago, CDF47 said:

Cubits are easy to Google these days and do the conversion yourself.

I am sure many could.  Nevertheless if 450 feet is equal to 300 cubits the meaning is the same.

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CDF47
1 hour ago, Origen said:

I am sure many could.  Nevertheless if 450 feet is equal to 300 cubits the meaning is the same

Sure it is. It is not a major deal.

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Origen
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23 minutes ago, CDF47 said:

Sure it is. It is not a major deal.

Then why would you say it was odd for the NIV?

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CDF47
5 hours ago, Origen said:

Then why would you say it was odd for the NIV?

Just thought they would leave it in cubits.  It's not really odd just a bit.

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