|Dr. Couch, I have several questions: What about death in the millennium? And, what about the Zadok priests not being able to marry a widow of a priest who has died? (Could this be referring to the widow's husband who dies during the tribulation?) Too, the priests of Zadok are not supposed to touch a dead body in the kingdom. Does this mean that there will be no death in the kingdom, as some say, death only with the Gentiles and not the believing Jews?|
ANSWER: As you noted, some say that death comes only for the Gentiles in the kingdom and not the Jews. The question: if this "saved" Gentiles or "unsaved" Gentiles? The passage we go to is Isaiah 65:17-23. There it says that concerning the Jews that an infant [who is sick] will live more than a few days (v. 20). And an "old man who [will live beyond his] days, for the youth will die at the age of one hundred" (v. 20b). And, "the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed" (v. 20c).
There is a textual problem in verse 20. Some texts read: "But the sinner who does not reach the age of one hundred." "The sinner" is not in all the Hebrew texts. It is not in the NAS.
However, Unger notes: "'Accursed' shall be considered under the curse of sin, which is death. This passage clearly reveals that the curse will not be completely removed, for death will not be destroyed or sin removed till after the Millennium (1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 20:11-15), precluding the sinless, curseless eternal state (21:8, 27: 22:15)."
The teacher you quoted often reaches too far and goes sometimes to the extreme!
Unger again writes: "The priest is not to marry a widow or a divorcee, but an unmarried woman or the widow of a priest. Strict sanctity of life for ministry for God in the kingdom temple will be stressed in accord with all other details of the Temple's construction and the ministry of its personnel in the coming age of righteousness and worldwide peace (Isa. 11:9; cf. 2:3)."
Ezekiel 44:25 says that the priests of Zadok are not to touch a dead body during the millennium. One teacher says this is talking about the death of a Gentile only. I do not hold to this view because of what I mentioned above. There is still death in the kingdom for all because death is not eradicated until the eternal state. The teacher you mentioned is trying to use Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Isaiah 65:19 to say that there will be death only for Gentiles and not the Jews, but again, I think this is a too far reach to make a point that does not need to be made! Death will be curbed but not eradicated.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (10/11)