Ends of the land

In his brilliant Christianity and World History , Arend Th. van Leeuwen argues that the phrase “ends of the earth” as a description of the GEntile lands alludes to the land/sea distinction of the original creation, and also that it puts the Gentiles in the position of being the “frontier” or “borderland” of Israel, the land ruled from Zion. “Ends of the land” is probably a better translations.

He spells out some of the implications: “Were the Gentiles to be abandoned to their own myth and to their own fate and regarded from the viewpoint of their own religion, they would constitute no part of God’s creation; they would stand outside, a total negation. That however is not, and never has been, the case. They are not abandoned to their myth or their fate, but are involved from the outset in God’s mighty acts of creation; they belong to the earth which the Lord has rescued out of the primeval ocean; they are ‘the ends’ toward which God’s purpose is direct, the ultimate reason for the world which he has begun on his mountain of Zion, centre of the earth.”

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