"Under the Sun" and the Rule of Time

One of the fascinating things about the developing Covenant Creation model of Genesis creation is how theologians from virtually every background and tradition confirm, in various ways, the Covenant Creation approach.

The following excerpt is from an article published in the Catholic BiblicalQuarterly (CBQ) in 2008. Consider how the author, Gerald Janzen, recognizes that “under the sun” in Ecclesiastes draws on Genesis 1 to describe “the sun’s delegated rule over time.” Of course, those who view the prophecy of Isaiah 60 (and Revelation 22) as fulfilled will recognize a covenant context that relates directly to Genesis 1. What is most remarkable is that this connection seems to be explicitly assumed by the author.

We think students of Covenant Creation will appreciate the following citation:

“It is as though God has revoked the rule over time that in Genesis 1 was delegated to the sun and the moon. While ‘darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples’ (v. 2), Israel is to dwell in the “everlasting light” of God’s direct rule over Israel’s times. One is reminded again of how, in Deut 32:8-9, God had delegated rule over the other nations to the gods whom those nations worshiped; how, in Psalm 82, that delegated rule is revoked as God assumes direct rule over the whole world; and then again, how the geopolitical arrangements in place for so long in the ancient Near East are brought to judgment in the cosmic trial scenes in Second Isaiah. That the image in Isa 60:19-20, in which God replaces the sun as Israel’s light, remains alive as an eschatological trope is evident from its reappearance in Rev 22:5, which says, ‘Night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.’”

-- Gerald Jansen

(Editor's Note: An interesting parallel passage to consider is Jeremiah 31:35-36.)

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