CLAIM: Biblical interpreters disagree on whether Christ will have a literal reign on Earth or a spiritualized reign through the church age. Does this passage describe a literal reign or a spiritualized reign? Does it describe eternal heaven or a millennial reign on earth?
RESPONSE: There are many signifiers which indicate that this passage describes the millennial kingdom. Isaiah refers to this era as “the last days…” when “all the nations” will come to God (Is. 2:2). Isaiah claims that God “will judge between the nations” and “they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” and “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Is. 2:4). Later, he writes, “The idols will completely vanish” (Is. 2:18). When we consider how absolute this language is, we realize that none of this has happened yet. If we try to coerce this passage into an earlier epoch of history, we will certainly have to spiritualize it away.