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NLT Study Bible, ESV Study Bible, and “The Last Days” (Isaiah 2:2)

One study note I wanted to compare between the ESV Study Bible and the NLT Study Bible is “the last days.” How do these study Bibles handle the concept of “the last days” in the prophets? Since the ESVSB has not been released yet, this comparison cannot be extensive. However, I will compare the notes on “the last days” from Isaiah 2:2.

NLT Study Bible:

2:2 In the OT, the expression the last days is a general reference to the future era (see Jer 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Hos 3:5); in the NT, it is used to refer to the period that began with the coming of the Lord Jesus (Heb 1:2) and more specifically to the period immediately preceding the end of the present age (2 Pet 3:3). – The mountain of the LORD’s house referred to the Temple mount. This location symbolized God’s glorious exaltation (see 6:1) and his kingdom on earth. Isaiah’s focus on God’s exalted and supreme kingship flows out of his famous vision of God (ch 6). – Far from being a narrow nationalistic dream, Isaiah’s prophetic hope extended beyond Judah and Jerusalem to include people from all over the world.

ESV Study Bible:

2:2 The latter days is an expression for the future beyond the horizon (e.g., Num. 24:14; Deut. 4:30; Dan. 2:28), which sometimes refers specifically to the time of the Messiah (Hos. 3:5). It is not immediately clear here whether Isaiah is so specific, but the way Isa. 11:4 echoes 2:4 shows that the oracle speaks of the messianic era. NT authors use the various Greek translations of the expression (generally rendered “in the last days”) in the belief that, since Jesus inaugurated his messianic kingship by his resurrection, the latter days have arrived in a decisive way, while at the same time the last days await their complete realization and final fulfillment at the end of the age (Acts 2:17; 2 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:2; James 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:3; and probably 1 Pet. 1:20; 1 John 2:18). Isaiah’s future orientation in this section is also marked by his sevenfold use of “in that day” (Isa. 2:11, 17, 20; 3:7, 18; 4:1, 2) and “the Lord of hosts has a day” (2:12), including both the near and distant future. To the prophetic eye, the crises of the present are to be measured by the ultimate crisis of judgment and salvation toward which God is moving history (see Joel 2:28—3:21; Zeph. 1:7—2:3). the mountain of the house of the Lord. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, though unimpressive from the lofty gaze of human religion, was God’s choice (Ps. 68:15—16) and the true hope of the world (Ps. 48:1—2). the highest of the mountains. The gods of antiquity supposedly lived on mountains. The exaltation of the Lord’s temple as the peak of world religion will be attractive to the nations. “Highest” here probably means “most exalted in honor,” not actually physically highest. all the nations shall flow to it. By a miraculous magnetism, a river of humanity will flow uphill to worship the one true God (see John 12:32).


I will let you all decide on this one. I will simply say that I am surprised that there was not more done to show the connection of Isaiah 2:2 to the first arrival of the Messiah (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Acts 2) and less to the end of the age.

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