In this verse a word is omitted in the text, יחדו yachdav, together; which ought to be repeated in the second hemistich, being quite necessary to the sense. It is accordingly twice expressed by the Septuagint and Syriac.
And the cow and the bear shall feed - That is, together. Animals that by nature do not dwell together, where by nature the one would be the prey of the other, shall dwell together - animage of safety and peace.
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox - A representation of the change that will take place under the reign of the Messiah in the natural disposition of men, and in the aspect of society; as great as if the lion were to lose his natural appetite for blood, and to live on the usual food of the ox. This cannot be taken literally, for such an interpretation would suppose a change in the physical organization of the lion - of his appetites, his teeth, his digestive organs - a change which it would be absurd to suppose will ever exist. It would in fact make him a different being. And it is clear, therefore, that the whole passage is to be interpreted in “moral” sense, as denoting great and important changes in society, and in the hearts of men.
But we must now turn back to those who tenaciously clung to their confidence that prophecy had been fulfilled on October 22, 1844, and who with open minds and hearts stepped forward into the Sabbath and the sanctuary truths as the light of heaven illuminated their pathway. These people were not localized in any one place but were individuals or very small groups here and there throughout the north central and north-eastern part of the United States. EW xviii.1
Hiram Edson, one of this group, lived in central New York State at Port Gibson. He was the leader of the Adventists in that area. The believers met in his home on October 22, 1844, to await the coming of the Lord. Calmly and patiently they awaited the great event. But as the hour of midnight came and they realized the day of expectation had passed, it became clear that Jesus would not come as soon as they had thought. It was a time of bitter disappointment. In the early morning hours Hiram Edson and a few others went out to his barn to pray, and as they prayed, he felt assured that light would come. EW xviii.2Read in context »
And I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them I cried out, They will never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass most glorious to behold; it was living green, and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts—the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, all together in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark woods we have here; but light and beautiful. The branches of the trees waved to and fro, and we all cried out, “We will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” We passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion. As we were traveling along, we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for him. With them was an innumerable company of little ones; they had a hem of red on their garments also. Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a building which looked to me like a temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or if they chose, use their little wings and fly to the top of the mountains, and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees to beautify the place; the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig-tree, bowed down with the weight of its timely figs, that made the place all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the temple, Jesus raised his lovely voice and said, Only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted Alleluia. 2SG 53.1
The temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls most glorious. The things I saw there I cannot describe. O that I could talk in the language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the better world. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of 144,000 were engraved in letters of gold. After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us, and went to the City. Soon we heard his lovely voice again, saying, “Come, my people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done my will; suffered for me; come in to supper; for I will gird myself and serve you.” We shouted Alleluia, glory, and entered into the City. And I saw a table of pure silver, it was many miles in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs, pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said, Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land, go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful, you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the fountain. And he said, You must go back to earth again, and relate to others what I have revealed to you. Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. 2SG 54.1
Bro. Wm. H. Hyde who was present, composed the following verses, which have gone the rounds of the religious papers, and have found a place in several hymn books. Those who have published, read and sung them have little thought that they originated from a vision of a girl, persecuted for her humble testimony. The Better Land. 2SG 55.1Read in context »
“Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah,” he said, “whose hands and feet were pierced, who was brought like a lamb to the slaughter, who was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, who after the scepter was taken from Judah, and the legislative power from between his feet, came the first time; shall come the second time in the clouds of heaven, and with the trump of the Archangel” (Joseph Wolff, Researches and Missionary Labors, page 62) “and shall stand upon the Mount of Olives; and that dominion, once consigned to Adam over the creation, and forfeited by him (Genesis 1:26; 3:17), shall be given to Jesus. He shall be king over all the earth. The groanings and lamentations of the creation shall cease, but songs of praises and thanksgivings shall be heard. ... When Jesus comes in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels,... the dead believers shall rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:23. This is what we Christians call the first resurrection. Then the animal kingdom shall change its nature (Isaiah 11:6-9), and be subdued unto Jesus. Psalm 8. Universal peace shall prevail.”—Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, pages 378, 379. “The Lord again shall look down upon the earth, and say, ‘Behold, it is very good.’”—Ibid., page 294. GC 359.1
Wolff believed the coming of the Lord to be at hand, his interpretation of the prophetic periods placing the great consummation within a very few years of the time pointed out by Miller. To those who urged from the scripture, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man,” that men are to know nothing concerning the nearness of the advent, Wolff replied: “Did our Lord say that that day and hour should never be known? Did He not give us signs of the times, in order that we may know at least the approach of His coming, as one knows the approach of the summer by the fig tree putting forth its leaves? Matthew 24:32. Are we never to know that period, whilst He Himself exhorteth us not only to read Daniel the prophet, but to understand it? and in that very Daniel, where it is said that the words were shut up to the time of the end (which was the case in his time), and that ‘many shall run to and fro’ (a Hebrew expression for observing and thinking upon the time), ‘and knowledge' (regarding that time) ‘shall be increased.’ Daniel 12:4. Besides this, our Lord does not intend to say by this, that the approach of the time shall not be known, but that the exact ‘day and hour knoweth no man.’ Enough, He does say, shall be known by the signs of the times, to induce us to prepare for His coming, as Noah prepared the ark.”—Wolff, Researches and Missionary Labors, pages 404, 405. GC 359.2Read in context »
In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called “a country.” Hebrews 11:14-16. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home. GC 675.1
“My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: ... Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 32:18; 60:18; Isaiah 65:21, 22. GC 675.2
There, “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.” “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; ... and a little child shall lead them.” “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord. Isaiah 35:1; 55:13; Isaiah 11:6, 9. GC 675.3Read in context »