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Reconsidering the Meaning of the Water in Zechariah 14:8, Joel 3:18, Ezekiel 47:1-12 through the Utilization of Literal/Symbolic Indicator

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2020, 26(1), pp.120-147
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2020.26.1.120
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : October 30, 2019
  • Accepted : January 19, 2020

Seung-In Song 1

1총신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to examine the meaning of the outflow of water from the temple or Jerusalem described in Zechariah 14:8, Joel 3:18, Ezekiel 47:1-12. This study is divided into three big parts. In the first part, I briefly examined these three texts. In the second part, I reviewed eight main interpretations of water in these three texts thus far (historical earthly temple, symbol of future hope, the heavenly temple, the use of the image of the Garden of Eden, the Spirit, seeing as a process of cleansing the earth for preparation for true worship, the amniotic fluid shed at birth, and the influence of 1 Kings 7:39). In the final third part, these eight interpretations were evaluated using my literal/symbolic indicators identified in my doctoral dissertation. Each of these six indicators was applied to the three texts. Based on this application, I excluded four symbolic interpretations from the eight candidates. Among the remaining four interpretations, I evaluated “the use of the image of the Garden of Eden” as the best option because it fits well with the indicator of whether the proposed interpretation (literal or symbolic) coheres well with its immediate context. Therefore, based on this analysis, I interpret that the image of water flowing out of the temple in Zechariah 14:8, Joel 3:18, Ezekiel 47:1-12 refers to literal water flowing out of the physical temple that will be built in Jerusalem in the future. I also propose that the authors of these three OT books used this picture of the image of Eden to portray this futuristic event.

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