What is the meaning of the hundred years mentioned in Isaiah 65:20?

Is the 100 years symbolic? When will this event take place?


The setting of Isaiah 65 is a prophecy about the time when the Kingdom of God will govern the entire world. The book of Revelation complements many Old Testament prophecies, including this one. Revelation:20:5 tells us that there will be a resurrection after the first 1,000 years of Christ's reign. Verses 11-13 add more detail, explaining that God will bring people who were not called to salvation during their initial lifetime back to life again.

In the Church of God, we often refer to this time as the Great White Throne Judgment, because of the description of God's throne in these verses. How long is this period? These verses in Revelation do not tell us. Instead, they focus on the purpose for it—to give everyone an opportunity to respond to God's calling and to live the Christian way of life.

Some have said that God intends to show us through Isaiah:65:20, where the phrase "one hundred years" appears twice, that this time frame is 100 years. That may be the case, or it may be a way to emphasize the same principle given in Revelation 20. That is, the people will have the time that they need to respond to God's calling and live the Christian way of life. "One hundred years" may be a way of making that point, rather than a literal prophecy.

Due to the limited evidence available, the Church cannot say with certainty that this will be a total of 100 years. There are different alternatives for interpreting this verse, while maintaining the teaching of three resurrections. The following is an excerpt from our "Resurrections" study paper.

1. The Great White Throne Judgment will last for 100 years. The Church of God has taught that this will be a testing period of 100 years, during which billions of children and adults would have an opportunity to inherit eternal life. Therefore the death of the "sinner being one hundred years old" has been considered to be the second death. God certainly could do things this way if He so chooses.

2. Life spans will exceed 100 years during the Great White Throne Judgment. This verse certainly conveys a time of longevity, though not necessarily an exact "one hundred years." Isaiah:65:20 says, "No more shall an infant [ uwl , 'suckling'] from there live but a few days ... For the child [ naar , 'young, youth, young man'] shall die one hundred years old " ( Enhanced Strong's Lexicon , Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995). This could be describing pre-Flood-type conditions where 100 years are a small portion of one's life. If so, then those who are only 100 years old will be considered a "child, youth" or "young man" at 100 years old. And to die at this age would be analogous to a premature death.

3. Isaiah:65:20 describes a time during the Millennium. If so, then this would provide plenty of time for the pre-Flood-type extended life spans (see above). Under this scenario, one might expect the same type of life spans during the Great White Throne Judgment time period.


beteille's picture

I think this interpretation is very interesting. I do want to believe that people will get a second bite of the apple. It would be great to think that a person who couldn't quite accept Jesus would some day be resurrected into a long stay on earth. And it would be fantastic to believe they would have an opportunity at that time to make the right decision.
However, I do not believe there is a second chance at Salvation. There is no second bite of the apple.
I believe the people mentioned here are God's chosen people and they are living in the new Jerusalem. The time period is after the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.
I agree that is the time when Satan will be unbound and the dead who were not resurrected will be bought back and the new city of Jerusalem will descend to earth. We know there will be a war and of course Satan and his minions will lose and Satan will be tossed into the Lake of Fire.
But then what?
Will there be no death for those who remain and will they do nothing but sit around and sing praises to the Lord all day and night?
The Lord does not always give us our wishes. After all, the Jews wanted Christ to come and be their earthly King. We all know how that turned out. And we know the consequences to the Jews for not listening closely to the words of the prophets.
I think we need to take Isaiah at his word. God's people will not die at birth and they will live a long life in the new Heaven and a new Earth. That is what will happen.
Now, will they experience the same kind of transition into the kind of "death" we experience today? I do not think so. Christ came to conquer that kind of "death". That kind of death will be no more.
So, what will happen when the people in their new bodies transition from a life in which a 100 year old man is just starting out in life?
I do not know and this chapter of Isaiah does not get into that. That is fine. I can wait for the answer. Maybe I will find it someplace else in the bible or maybe I will just have to experience it.
Call me strange, but I have never been happy with the Hollywood version of heaven. I do not like the idea of floating on a cloud and looking like an angel for the rest of eternity. I like life. I like to achieve things and experience God's creation.

Yours In Christ
Bill Beteille

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