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Proleptic Tense

For modern writers, the prophet Isaiah had an impossible job. How does one describe a Being beyond time to those whose lives are so bound by it? Let me give an example of such challenges?

“Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’”
Isaiah 46:10

Looking for possible answers to this concept, I stumbled across an article on prophetic warning called “Back to the Future” written by authors Richard and Tina Kleiss in their book “A Closer Look at Prophecy” cited in full below. Enjoy mulling over these anachronisms?
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“God is not trapped “in time” (as we are) and is thus able to see the past, present and future. When He speaks of a future event to a prophet, He often speaks of it in the past tense, as if it has already happened. This strange phenomenon occurs so frequently in the Bible that theologians have created a special grammatical tense for it that is called the “proleptic tense”. Since God is all-knowing, and all-powerful, when he wills something, it is done, whether or not it has happened in history, and thus He will speak of it in the past tense.

An example can be found in Psalm 2, written by David a thousand years before the birth of Jesus. This is a reference to the millennial reign of Jesus that will take place when He returns to Earth at His Second Coming. God speaks of it in the past tense as if it had already happened, yet it is, in fact, a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. In the same manner, the Bible speaks of Jesus having been “slain from the foundation of the world”-Revelation 13:8 NKJV because that is when God willed it.

God has a plan for this universe and for mankind. It will be completed in every detail. No one can derail it. As far as God is concerned, it is already completed because He has foreseen it.”

Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. Psalm 2:6

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2 thoughts on “Proleptic Tense

  1. Pingback: Proleptic Tense | Talmidimblogging

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