Is Isa 11:6 (lions will eat straw) literal or figurative?

by Splash 2 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Splash

    I did some research on this after the question came up in a recent thread.
    Here's what I found:

    Literal - w50 10/15 p. 399 Questions From Readers

    If that outstanding carnivorous animal, the lion, is to “eat straw like the ox”, surely no others will be meat-eaters.

    Figurative - w67 4/15 p. 240 par. 12 The Benefits of Mankind’s Millennium

    these formerly divided peoples cultivate and display the peaceful Christian spirit toward one another, instead of beastliness. This was prefigured in the following Messianic prophecy:

    Literal - w70 5/1 p. 267 par. 8 Keep Close in Mind “The Conclusion of the System of Things”

    Even the animals will be peaceable... In fact, the scripture at Isaiah 11:6-9 pictures a wolf and a lamb living together peacefully.

    Both Literal and Figurative - w71 4/15 p. 245 par. 21 How “Restoration of All Things” Is Made

    The beauty of that peace and harmony, besides now fulfilling the further words of the prophet Isaiah in a spiritual sense, will become more concrete in a literal fulfillment of those same prophetic words, which we read in Isaiah 11:6-9:

    Literal - w71 2/15 p. 106 Family Study a Blessing

    the teacher called the mother, who through a friend explained the child’s desire to play with a lion in Paradise.

    Figurative - Man's Salvation book (1975) p 191/2

    here these potentially harmful animals must be used as illustrations in the prophecy

    Both Literal and Figurative - w75 10/1 p. 607 par. 13 Flight to the True Kingdom Refuge

    The harmless relationship between beast and man that will then prevail will correspond with the description of Isaiah 11:6-9, which has already found its fulfillment in the spiritual paradise now enjoyed by Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.

    Figurative - w76 2/15 p. 127 Isaiah—A Book Overflowing with Good News!

    In Jehovah’s spiritual paradise today persons who formerly had dispositions like a wolf, a leopard, a lion or a bear have become docile.

    Literal - w77 10/1 p. 592 Changing Personalities in Kenya’s Paradise

    in God’s new order, it can be expected that even the most vicious of the wild animals will be tamed, to live at peace alongside mankind

    Figurative - w79 10/15 p. 9 What Blessings on Earth During the Millennium?

    Irenaeus recognized that these words are a fitting description of how God’s truth can make personality changes in “savage men,

    Both Literal and Figurative - w80 1/15 p. 14 par. 22 God’s Government—Mankind’s Only Hope

    Even today persons with animalistic tendencies, by applying God’s Word in their lives, are learning to live at peace with others. God’s Word indicates that, under Kingdom rule, even the animals will live in peace

    Literal - w81 4/15 p. 5 Origin of the Millennial Hope

    The lamb will not dread the wolf, nor will the leopard harm the kid (xi. 8 [6]); that is, as the following verse explains, tyranny and violence will no longer be practised on God’s holy mountain

    Figurative - w83 12/15 p. 15 Do You Remember?

    This is a foretaste of how humans will live together peacefully on this earth in a physical Paradise during the Thousand Year Reign of Christ Jesus

    Both Literal and Figurative - w83 12/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers

    “It would be inconsistent for God to inspire such a prophecy as that of Isaiah 11:6-9, and Ezekiel 34:25 and Hosea 2:18 to have only a figurative or spiritual meaning and not have a true copy of these things in actual life

    Literal - w83 11/15 p. 30 par. 18 Abound in Hope!

    why, “even the lion will eat straw just like the bull,” as no doubt it did in Eden

    Figurative - w83 10/1 p. 7 Can You Enjoy a Paradise Now?

    there is only one force in the universe that can cause people to make such drastic changes in their disposition.

    Literal - w83 10/1 pp. 4-5 Can You Enjoy a Paradise Now?

    This would restore the Paradise conditions that existed in the garden of Eden when animals and humans lived in that garden in perfect harmony.

    Figurative - w85 1/1 p. 14 par. 20 Unified In Publishing the Word of Jehovah

    It is illustrated at Isaiah 11:6-9, which tells of the spiritual paradise now existing among Jehovah’s restored people

    Literal - w88 11/15 p. 6 The New World—Paradise Regained!

    Think of children able to play safely with animals now so dangerous .

    Figurative - w88 6/1 p. 7 Why Some Have Changed Their Religion

    People with personalities formerly as different as sheep are from wolves are now getting along peaceably in the Christian assembly.

    Literal - w89 11/15 p. 13 par. 16 Do All Things for the Good News

    she showed me Isaiah 11:6-9 about animals living in true peace

    Figurative - w92 10/1 p. 19 par. 19 The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule

    the subjects of his Kingdom are learning to live peaceably together, fulfilling Isaiah 11:6-9

    Literal - w96 12/1 p. 15 par. 1 Youths Who Remember Their Creator

    Then I dream about how beautiful Paradise will be in the future and about how I can touch the animals then.

    Figurative - w96 2/15 p. 25 Spreading Bible Truth in Portugal

    Truly a case of ‘the wolf residing with the lamb’!

    Both literal and Figurative - w98 7/15 p. 6 What Future Do You Want for Your Children?

    Try to envision the grand fulfillment of this prophecy: “The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them.” (Isaiah 11:6) Even today, the spiritual security described in these words has a figurative fulfillment

    Figurative - w01 9/15 p. 18 par. 11 Jehovah’s Blessing Makes Us Rich

    This “fruitage of the spirit” is part of “the new personality” that Christians put on in place of any rapacious, beastlike traits they may formerly have displayed.

    Literal - w03 11/15 p. 6 You Can Believe in a Paradise Earth

    Animals will pose no danger to man.

    Figurative - w03 4/1 p. 19 par. 18 Mildness—An Essential Christian Quality

    The Bible likens this transformation to the change of vicious wild beasts—wolf, leopard, lion, bear, and cobra—to peaceful domestic animals—lamb, kid, calf, and cow.

    Literal - w03 1/15 p. 6 Has Evil Won?

    Their peace will not be threatened from any source—human or animal.

    Figurative - w04 11/1 p. 7 Who Is the Right Leader for Today?

    Those men who today attack others like voracious lions or who act like ill-tempered bears toward their neighbors will have changed their dispositions completely.

    Literal - w04 10/1 p. 6 “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth”—How?

    They will enjoy peace even with the beasts of the field.

    Figurative - w04 5/1 p. 8 par. 1 Be Courageous Like Jeremiah

    JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES dwell in a spiritual paradise.

    Literal - w07 9/1 p. 7 “Written for Our Instruction”

    What a beautiful prospect!

    Figurative - w08 5/15 p. 28 Pursue “Holiness in God’s Fear”

    Figuratively speaking, people who are violent and aggressive in action and speech are compared to wild beasts.

    Literal - Wt 2012 9/15 p10 So we should not be surprised when we read in the Bible that peace will come to prevail between humans and animals. (Read Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25.)

  • mP

    Well considering Isa was a racist who preached death to everyone else, i woul dbe worried if iwas nt jewish.

  • Bobcat


    Interesting research.

    The NAC-Isaiah commentary (Gary V. Smith, Vol I, p. 273) notes on these verses (11:6-9) that, "This fundamental change in the nature of animals omits mention of the change in the nature of mankind, but the emphasis on righteousness and the end of evil requires a radical change in man's behavior too.

    It seems to be an example of portraying the norm among humans by means of portraying what will take place by extension outside of human society. For example, compare Zechariah 14:20:

    In that day there will prove to be upon the bells of the horse ‘Holiness belongs to Jehovah!’ And the widemouthed cooking pots in the house of Jehovah must become like the bowls before the altar.

    I've also used the 'wolf' and 'bear' and 'lion' figuatively like the WT has it, but only because I was swallowing these fanciful ideas without analysing them.

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