SPECIAL TOPIC: THE REMNANT (BDB 984, KB 1375), THREE SENSES

The OT concept of "a faithful remnant" is a recurrent theme of the Prophets (mostly in the eighth century prophets and Jeremiah).  It is used in three senses:

1. those who survived the Exile (e.g., Ezra 9:8,14-15; Neh. 1:2-3; Isa. 10:20-23; 17:4-6; 37:4,31-32; 46:3; Jer. 23:3; 31:7-8; 42:15,19; 44:12,14,28; Micah 2:12; 5:7-8; 7:18; Hag. 1:12-14; 2:2; Zech. 8:6,11-12)

2. those who remain faithful to YHWH (e.g., Isa. 4:1-5; 11:11,16; 28:5; Joel 2:32; Amos 5:14-15)

3. those who are a part of the eschatological renewal and recreation (e.g., Amos 9:11-15; Zech. 8:6)

 

The parable of the soils in Mark 4:1-20 and Matt. 13:1-23, which quote Isa. 6:9-10, is a good example of how the NT understands this term (also note Rom. 9:6 in reference to Israel of Paul's day).

The "remnant" of the NT is made up of Jews who trusted Christ (cf. Rom. 9:27-29) and Gentiles who trusted Christ (cf. Rom. 9:24-26).  Both groups are spoken of in Rom. 9:30-35; 11:11-24,25-32.  Believing Israel is not just racial (i.e., Rom. 9:6; 2:18-19), but a believing group of faithful followers of God's new, complete revelation in Jesus.  Saying this seems to be denying OT texts (i.e., Jer. 31:7-9; Micah 5:7-8) about national Israel being the remnant.  Please look at my Special Topic: Why Do the OT Covenant Promises Seem So Different from the NT Covenant Promises?  The gospel changes everything!

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