Restored Judges and God’s Princes in the Millennium

Abraham Isaac and Jacob

             RESTORED JUDGES

In the Millennium, the offices of judge and counselor will be reinstituted.  Isaiah 1:26:

And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning.  Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

Not only will there be judges active in Israel but they will even function as they were originally intended to.  Their guidance is a step toward Jerusalem becoming a righteous and faithful city.  Because so many of the other offices are occupied by resurrected saints, in all likelihood this will be the case with some of the judges as well.  Great judges from Israel’s past such as Othniel, Gideon and the mighty Samson will once again exercise authority in Israel.

GOD’S PRINCES

David is not the only one to occupy the office of prince.  Though their duties are less specific, there will be a plurality of princes ruling in justice under King Jesus (Is. 32:1).  Ezekiel 45:8:

of the land. It is to be his property in Israel. And my princes shall no more oppress my people, but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes.   

God refers to my princes.  These men are in contradistinction to the violent and oppressive princes of Israel in Ezekiel’s time (Ez. 45:9).  Part of the prince’s duties will be to distribute portions of the Promised Land to each tribe.  Because of this, it is possible that the princes here refer to the twelve disciples because they are to be the heads of the twelve tribes (Matt. 19:28).  Regardless, there will be several prolific saints living in the Millennium that do not have a specific office mentioned.  They are then princes in a generic sense even if they will not have that title.

Abraham is almost certain to be included among these princes. Abraham is the father to all of those who have been saved through faith in Jesus (Gal. 3:7).  This is because he serves as the foremost example of a sinner being counted as righteous because he trusted in God (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-5).  In addition to this, Abraham is called a friend of God by God and a few writers of Scripture (2 Chr. 20:7; Is. 41:8; Jam. 2:23).  The blessings to be found in the Millennium are based on the unconditional covenants.  And these covenants are all rooted in the promises made by God to Abraham.  Abraham is our father in the faith, a friend of God and will be a prince in the Millennium.

Isaac and Jacob are critical patriarchs and their notoriety will remain throughout eternity.  The blessing to Abraham was transferred through Isaac (Gen. 26:12; 26:3-4) and his son Jacob (Gen. 28:14-15) to the twelve tribes (Gen. 49:1-28).  Isaac and Jacob are of such importance that at times the Creator of the Universe referred to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (e.g. Ex. 3:6).   We glean some of Jacob’s future importance as he receives a blessing from Isaac in Genesis 27:27-29:

So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”

The blessing made to Jacob applies to his descendants as a whole.[1]  However, Jacob is the immediate recipient of this blessing and it is to him that primary application must be assigned.  Jacob died without ever having nations serve and bow before him.  The Millennium allows for the blessing to be realized.  This signals that Jacob will be a prince along with his father Isaac.

The conclusion that the blessing on Jacob applies to the Millennial Kingdom was taught by the Ante-Nicene Church Father Irenaeus:

The blessing of Isaac with which he blessed his younger son Jacob has the same meaning, when he says, “Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a full field which the Lord has blessed.” [Genesis 27:27, etc.] “But the field is the world”. Matthew 13:38 And therefore he added, “God give to you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, plenty of grain and wine. And let the nations serve you, and kings bow down to you; and be lord over your brother, and your father’s sons shall bow down to you: cursed shall be he who shall curse you, and blessed shall be he who shall bless you.” [Genesis 27:28-29] If any one, then, does not accept these things as referring to the appointed kingdom, he must fall into much contradiction and contrariety…For not only did not the nations in this life serve this Jacob; but even after he had received the blessing, he himself going forth [from his home], served his uncle Laban the Syrian for twenty years; [Genesis 31:41] and not only was he not made lord of his brother, but he did himself bow down before his brother Esau, upon his return from Mesopotamia to his father, and offered many gifts to him. [Genesis 33:3] Moreover, in what way did he inherit much grain and wine here, he who emigrated to Egypt because of the famine which possessed the land in which he was dwelling, and became subject to Pharaoh, who was then ruling over Egypt? The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth:[2]

Job demonstrated great faith that he would be resurrected in Job 19:25-26:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,

Job is well known for being a man of righteousness because he trusted in the LORD.  As part of that he understood that his Redeemer or Messiah was God Himself.  And even though Job’s body would rot away, he knew that he would once again live in his flesh and witness the Messiah standing upon the earth in the last days.  A man so confident in the resurrection will probably play an important role in the subsequent government.  This reasoning extends to any who were similar in their righteousness such as Noah and Daniel (Ezek. 14:4, 20).  Further candidates include anyone of great faith such as those listed in the Hebrews hall of fame (Heb. 11).

 

[1] The blessing and curses paradigm originally comes from God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3).

[2] Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Against Heresies Book V, Chapter 33, accessed April 23, 2014, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vii.xxxiv.html.

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