The two concepts "Day of the Lord" and "Second Coming" appear to be textually distinct from one another:

1Thessalonains 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Is there any valid textual or Hermeneutic basis for considering the phrase "The Day of the Lord" to be synonymous with that of the "Second Coming"?

I find that the concepts are readily differentiated when Jesus own statement in Matt 24:34 is taken as a fact reguarding the generation who He was addressing at that time.

Matt 24:34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

If the verse is considered not as the Second Coming but as the Day of the Lord (a point of evaluation or judgment) Jesus statement can be taken at face value and not as a metaphore.

  • 1
    This question assumes that the phrases "second coming" and "day of the Lord" had come to have technical meanings and must each throughout early Christian literature refer to a single specific event. I do not believe this can be assumed - especially not for the phrase "the day of the Lord," which in the Old Testament had a relatively wide semantic range. As it stands, this seems more a question about theology than hermeneutics (despite the statement to the contrary) - unless the question is in fact about the relationship between those two particular texts.
    – Niobius
    Jul 16, 2017 at 15:34
  • 1
    The two verses you have chosen indicate that the "day of the Lord" will come as a surprise, but the "second coming" will be no surprise at all to those who are looking for it. The "day of the Lord" has to do with justice, but the "second coming" is about mercy.
    – enegue
    Aug 15, 2017 at 8:39

6 Answers 6


Yes, but the argument occurs over the timing of His second appearance.

In the OT, a day of the Lord, or a coming of the Lord was an element the prophets spoke of in warning the people of God's anger and fury. The prophets were sent to warn a people or nation to repent, and turn back to God. If they did not, then God would send His fire... judgment... upon that nation, and destroy them.

Psa. 110:5 - "The Lord on thy right hand smote kings In the day of His anger." (YLT)

Isa. 26:21 - "For, lo, Jehovah is coming out of His place, To charge the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth upon him, And revealed hath the earth her blood, Nor doth she cover any more her slain!'" (YLT)

Zech 14: 1-3,

"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." (KJV)

Speaking to Babylon, in Isa. 13:6,

"Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." (KJV)

And, Isa. 13:9-11,

"9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." (KJV)

A day of the Lord, or coming of the Lord was the time when God's judgment would be poured out upon wicked people. This language can be found all throughout the prophets, and it is used again in the NT.

The language of prophesy contains certain elements that repeat, or were common in all of the warnings. Suns, moons, and stars were kings, queens, princes, and governors. They were people of high authority in the political realm of that nation, and having their lights extinguished was removing them from their stations and offices of power.

The pattern is from Joseph's dream in Gen. 37:9-10,

"9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" (KJV)

We also see the metaphor in God's promise to Abraham in Gen. 22:17-18,

"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (KJV)

The "stars of heaven" were most often the children of Israel, but it depends upon which nation the prophet was addressing, as it could also apply to other princes / lesser authorities as it did in Isa. 13 for Babylon.

Other elements that were repeated were "heaven" and "earth" which become types for the people of the nation.

In Deu. 32:1, Moses was speaking to the people of Israel,

"Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth."

Moses wasn't speaking to God in that verse, so the "heavens" were some of the people of the "earth" he was speaking to. There were two types of people - those in authority, and all the rest under authority: heaven and earth.

The rulers of a nation were a type of heaven in that they ruled at God's will, and they had authority over the common people of the land (earth). The kings had palaces, or better living accommodations than the ordinary people. They had servants and money. They were a type of heaven.

The "heaven" was the extent of a king's authority of that particular nation, and was understood to have borders "ends" for that nation. The "end of heaven" of Isa. 13:5,

"They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land." (KJV)

was the borders of Babylon.

We have to find out which nation or people the prophet was warning to know which "heaven" / authority and which "earth" / people were under judgment.

So, we have to recognize this same prophetic language that was used in the NT, because a "day of the Lord" was a time of judgment upon a people.

2 Pet. 3:10,

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (KJV)

Who was Peter speaking to? Peter was speaking to the first century Christians, most of whom were Jewish converts to Christ. They lived under Roman rule and authority in the lands of Judea, Palestine, and Asia. They also lived under the authority of the Sanhedrin which was operated out of Jerusalem.

The "heavens" were the ruling authority of the priesthood of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, and the "earth also" was Jerusalem. The elements that would melt were the very same elements of Ezek. 22:19-22,

"19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.

21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst therof.

22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you." (KJV)

The elements were the orderly structure of the rule of authority of the people of that land - their heaven and their earth.

Whenever we read of "fire" we should automatically think of God's judgment.

So, we next should discuss the "second appearance" of Hebrews 9:28.

The very nature of a second appearance implies a first appearance. Hebrews was written somewhere around 60 - 65 AD to the Hebrew Christians of the first century A.D. It was promising those who had seen our Lord, who had walked with our Lord, who held and touched our Lord (1 John 1:1) that they would have a second appearance of Him.

The future tense voice of the books of the NT was speaking to them... not us. That second appearance was still in front of them, so the promise was still future for them. (This future tense confuses many who read the Bible today.)

You cannot have a second appearance if you have never had a first appearance. Our generation, in fact every generation since that first century AD has never seen our Lord in person. We have never had a first appearance of Him. He was manifested on earth in the fullness of time in the first century A.D.

They were the only generation which could have a second appearance of Him, as they were the only generation that had seen Him the first time.

Therefore, the second appearance promised to those Hebrews would and did happen in the coming of the Lord, the day of the Lord promised in 2 Peter. It was the judgment upon those wicked people who had crucified Christ, and persecuted His church. It was the destruction of Jerusalem, and the destruction of that old Mosaic temple in A.D. 70 which was His second appearance.

They saw Him in the result of that coming judgment. Revelation, written about A.D. 66 - 68 told them He was coming quickly; that the time was at hand. He did not delay that judgment 2,000 plus years.

Judgment began at Jerusalem (1 Pet. 4:17), and it has been on-going ever since. God continues to judge the nations just as He has always done (Jer. 12:16-17).

Several things happened at His second appearance in that generation, after the destruction of Jerusalem. All those in Hades were gathered and separated at the corporate resurrection (Matt. 25:32-33; Rev. 20:12-13). Then the prison of Hades was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). Then the kingdom was fully established (the promised land), and the bride of the Lamb, the bride of Christ, the spiritual New Jerusalem was established so that all nations could flow into it (Rev. 21; Isa. 2:2; Micah 4:1-2).

All those who have been immersed (baptized) into Christ are now in His kingdom, in His spiritual body, the New Jerusalem and have been ever since the destruction of that temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Every one in Christ, that has put on Christ (Gal. 3:26-29) that dies in the Lord (Rev. 14:13) goes home to heaven.

At our last trump, we are resurrected, changed in the twinkling of an eye, and rise to meet all the saved in the air. And, there we shall be evermore. (1 Cor. 15:52-54; 1 Thess. 4:17).

He kept His promises to them, to all those living in those days of vengeance (Luke 21:22); to all those suffering the persecution and trials of the Sanhedrin and of Nero.

The day of the Lord, the judgment day of the NT was His second appearance to them in A.D. 70.

There are many more scriptural evidences and analysis at my blog at ShreddingTheVeil. I encourage you to begin reading through them from the bottom right margin with Part I of "It's Not The End of The World".

All bold emphasis is mine.

  • 1
    I disagree with the reasoning that the second coming in Hebrews is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. For He did not return without sin unto salvation at that time. That will be at the end of the world when He gathers His elect, both dead alive. Which I believe is drawing nigh.
    – GFFG
    Apr 22, 2019 at 19:40
  • What part of the reasoning do you disagree with and why?
    – Ruminator
    Apr 22, 2019 at 20:19

The Day of the Lord is when the "thief" comes, because a person has violated the Law, 2 Peter 3:10. The Lord Jesus comes to a person who looks for His appearance.

This happens in Acts 3:19-21

  • I agree the Day of the Lord here represents the second coming of Christ when He will return to judge the world and make all things new.
    – GFFG
    Apr 22, 2019 at 20:01
  • You are not understanding my answer. I feel that they are two different occurrences.
    – brmicke
    Oct 15, 2023 at 15:12

Yes, they are exactly the same. If you observe the context of the Letter of Thessalonians, Paul also wrote regarding the return of Christ specifically in the last part (chapters 4 and 5).

However as the Thessalonians were still not clear regarding this subject (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3), Paul had to write a follow up letter to explain to them with further details regarding Christ's coming and the events that will happen before.

Now, if you compare Hebrews 9:28:

so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. — Hebrews 9:28

It carries similarities when compared along side with another verse that Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 (which is a follow up regarding 1 Thessalonians 5):

when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed⁠—for our testimony to you was believed. — 2 Thessalonians 1:10

Judging by the similarities and the context of both the texts, we can conclude that the two texts are indeed relevant to each other in terms of meaning. Since we know that Paul often mentions regarding the same subjects, but he said it in different ways in his different letters so that the meaning may apply to the situation of the Church in their respective areas.

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    – Steve can help
    Nov 20, 2020 at 16:37

any who package the "Day of the Lord" and or The "coming" of Jesus the Christ into paradigms of enveloped events that happened at one particular time and at only one particular historical epoch (unless the context unequivocally conveys) Any "prophecy experts" are limiting the mysterious infinite knowledge of YHWH to foretell His "Day" or "Days" and His "Coming" or "Comings" to isolated one time historical events. Lets face it Only YHWH knows the time of many prophetic events. Some,empty handedly exert "spiritual insight" to conclude unwittingly, when all these prophecies took place or are going to take place. Matthew 24:36-38. We know that some prophecies have been fullfilled,but some are yet to happen. Are you or any other prophecy experts "wiser than Daniel" are there no mysteries that are a match for YOU? Read the mysterious prophecies of Daniel and you will have to conclude that some are concrete predictions and some prophecies Daniel himself was puzzeled about even after the expositors that were sent to explain the prophetic visions! Expound the prophecies that are lucid and historical and leave the unexplained mysterious and enigmatic prophecies as puzzels that are lacking pieces. Stop being "KNOW IT ALLS" There is only ONE thhat Knows ALL "YHWH" amen! If this is not posted it will reveal your superficiality! prove all things! "dokimazo" test through fire, as in metallurgy!

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Scott the Rapture is proven unscriptural because Paul admonishes his readers "not to "sleep". This means that physical death cannot be the literal definition of the word "sleep", as He uses it in these verses.



Sorry for the confounding answer on the first response. Context, context, context, (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) Paul had just addressed the Thessalonian believers about their fellow Christians who had preceded them in death. He made them aware that Jesus would bring those (their spirits) who had died back with Him at His second advent or coming. Their (those who are asleep) bodies that are obviously in the grave will be resurrected and reunited with their spirits (conscience, soul). This event is illustrated by Paul with a metaphor of a call of an assembly that all religious Jews were familiar with (Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. This "day of atonement" "yom kippur" was one of many holy assemblies where a minister of the tabernacle or temple would blow a trumpet as a signal of the gathering together of Israel for their festivals (feast's). This particular blast of the trumpet is certain. It will be the at the consummation of YHWH's infinite calendar in which there is no time reference. It simply going to happen later!!!!!

Paul goes on to say in (1 Thessalonians 5:1-23) that this "coming of Jesus" and the "day of the Lord" are different manifestations of the same event. They are synonymous with the "coming" as a blessing of the deliverance of believers and the "day" as a period of judgment at doom to those unbelievers. Both appearances will be like a thief or robber coming in the night. Unknown and unpredictable, the difference is that believers are ever ready because we know that Jesus is on the way.

Hebrews 9:26-28 communicate the same as I have commented on above after death there will be a judgment on those unprepared and salvation for those who are waiting and ready.

  • FYI, you don't have to create a new account to "fix" a previous question/answer. To make changes, click the edit below your question/answer.
    – agarza
    May 29, 2022 at 20:07

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