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What does the term “Times of the Gentiles” mean?

Times of the Gentiles

What does the term “Times of the Gentiles” mean?

In Luke 21:24, Jesus spake of future events, including the destruction of Jerusalem and about his return. Jesus said that “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”. Another phrase is found in Romans 11:25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”.

Does the Bible tell us what the phrase “Times of the Gentiles” means?

There are references that seem to match up to this term. In Ezekiel 30:3, it says “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.”. Daniel’s visions deal with the Gentile world powers and their role in God’s plan on the earth. In Daniel 2:31-45, King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay represents successive Gentile kingdoms that will dominate until the Christ returns and establishes reign. In Daniel 7:1-27, his vision speaks of four kings which will dominate for a time until th Christ comes to rule forever. The vision of the ram and the goat in Daniel 8:1-26 details these Gentile rulers and the time involved in their dominion. The passages describe that the Gentiles have dominion over the world, including the Jewish people, that is for a time, but God will then ultimately establish his kingdom once and for all. Each prophecy makes references to Christs kingdom, and the times of these Gentile rulers would fall in between the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and the return of the Christ to establish the kingdom. The times of the Gentiles is still in effect today which still falls in the era of Gentile domination.

Looking at Revelation in detail, similar references are found that describe the time of Gentile dominion ending with the return of the Christ. John indicates in Revelation 11:2, that Jerusalem will be under Gentile rule even after the temple has been restored. But in Revelation 19:17-19, the Lord destroys the armies of the Beast just before the millennial reign of the Christ has begun.

Luke 21:24 describes that Jesus says that Jerusalem is under the control of Gentiles. The conquest of Nebuchadnezzar started at around 588BC and continues till today. Also, in Romans 11:25 eludes to the purpose of God in the times of the Gentiles and the spread of the Joyful gospel throughout the earth. Indirectly, the pagans have helped the spread of evangelism in the world. Such as the widespread use of the Greek language and the use of the Roman roads, which allowed distant travel in spreading the gospel.

Romans 11 reveals that when the Jewish people rejected Christ, they for a time, cut off from the blessings of the relationship with God. This has allowed the gospel to be given to the Gentiles and they openly received it. Though the hardening of heart of Israel doesn’t stop the Jewish people from being saved, it however as a nation impacts the acceptance of Christ as the Messiah until their time comes once more. God shall restore the nation in faith in him once more which will result in the ending of “the times of the Gentiles”, this can be found in Isaiah 17:7, Isaiah 62:11-12 and in Romans 11:26.

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