First and Last, Beginning and Ending


#1

There are numerous Bible passages that speak of God being “the first and the last, the beginning and the ending.”

As Creator, it’s easy to see hoe He’s the first, and the beginning; but what does “last,” and “ending” mean?

From a UR point of view, 1 Cor. 15 speaks of God being “All in All,” but is this what Isaiah and John the Revelator are saying when they use theses expressions?

(I’m particularly interested in what early commentators have said about these expressions, but my resources here are limitted; can anyone help?)


#2

From JewishEncyclopedia.com:

Curiously, whenever I try to put the first (א), middle (מ), and last (ת) letters of the Hebrew alphabet together (in that order) they come out in reverse order: אמת Then I remember that Hebrew is read right to left.

Also, the first, middle, and last letter triad seems to correspond with past, present, and future (as opposed to the beginning, the middle, and the end) in Revelation 1:8, “…which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”


#3

Hey Michael,

What I think these verses point out about your question is:
–God has a purpose in all that he has created
–Those things will fulfill that purpose eventually
–A big part of that purpose is that all creation recognize him as the authority and worship him and do his will alone.

To paraphrase:
Rom 11:36: All things come back to him, giving him the glory forever.
Col 1: Christ is before (in front of, ahead of, above) all things, and he is working to be recognized as the Supreme One in everything.
1 Cor 15: Christ will end all rebellion; all claims to dominion, authority, and power by anyone will cease, and all those who WERE rebels will be subject to his loving rule.

How exactly this looks, I’m not sure, as the passages above don’t go into details. :slight_smile: I can imagine, though, based on other bits of Scripture, that all beings worship God by doing what gives them pleasure–gardening, exploring, studying, singing, whatever–using their God-given abilities, talents, and interests to display one of the facets of the manifold beauty of God.

Does that make sense? That’s my response, anyway. :nerd: Sorry that I’m not too familiar with early commentators on this subject… :blush:


#4

Good contribution, dondi! Thanks!


#5

Thank you,

I found this comment from Adam Clarke’s Commentary interesting.

This is a most difficult place. Was there a time when God was not? No! Yet he says, before me. Will there be a time in which God will not exist? No! Yet he says, after me. Are not all these words to be referred to his creation? Before me, no god created any thing, nor was there any thing pre-existent but myself. And after me, i.e., after my creation, such as now exists, there shall be no other class of beings formed. This mode of interpretation frees the passage from all embarrassment, and the context perfectly agrees with it.

studylight.org/com/acc/view. … 0#Isa43_10