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We read that God is preparing a banquet for His people in the future, wine is mentioned for example:

“And in this mountain The Lord of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees.

And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.

And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭25:6-9‬ ‭NKJV

‬‬So how does this banquet compare to Romans 14:17?

“for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭14:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Q1: Is Paul making mention that the primary purpose in the kingdom of God is joy peace & righteousness in the Holy Spirit, as opposed to eating and drinking for the main purpose?

One might interpret Romans 14:17 as an absolute rule, yet Isaiah 25:6-9 seems to conflict.

Q2: So is there eating and drinking in the kingdom of God or not? Is there anything figurative here?

3 Answers 3

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First, there is no mention of a banquet in Rom 14:7 - it is discussing this life; the phrase "eating and drinking" is a Hebraism for ordinary daily life as used in places like Matt 11:19, Luke 7:34, Zech 7:6, Mark 2:16, etc.

A banquet is a special celebration of some kind - it is used of the great banquet to celebrate the victory of Christ and the saved saints around the second coming:

  • Isa 25:6 - On this mountain the LORD of Hosts will prepare a banquet for all the peoples, a feast of aged wine, of choice meat, of finely aged wine.
  • Luke 14:24 - For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.
  • Rev 19:9 - Then the angel told me to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
  • Rev 19:17 - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice to all the birds flying overhead, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,

Maclaren's Expositions on Isa 25:6 has this about the banquet:

We meet it all through Scripture; it culminates in Christ’s parables and in the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb.’

Barnes is similar:

This feast was to be prepared on mount Zion - in the provision which would be made in Jerusalem by the Messiah for the spiritual needs of the whole world. The arrangements for salvation arc often represented under the image of an ample and rich entertainment (see Luke 14:16; Revelation 19:19; Matthew 13:11).

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The banquet described in Isaiah 25:6-9 is a celebration of the victory of Christ. There is no doubt. But Paul was not describing a banquet in Romans 14:17.

In the early churches, the use of days and meats that bound by the law was deeply ingrained in Jewish culture, making it challenging for Jews to abandon these beliefs. In contrast, Gentiles who had rejected their previous religious system had no such concerns. Paul reminded the disciples, it is the Lord who makes a man holy, not the food or drink.

6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. (NIV)

Paul did not see a problem whoever made their choice on either way of taking their meats. But he condemned those who passed judgment to the others. Paul advised Christians must act in love to steadfast our righteousness. The focal point in Romans 14:17 as well as the subject that Paul in discussion is not about food, but love.

15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. (NIV)

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

In the kingdom of God, we must celebrate with Jesus all we can eat.

Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34)

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In addition to what Dottard has said, the Kingdom of God is within you, as Luke 17:21 says.

They go into it more at: gotquestions.org/kingdom-of-God-within-you.html

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics.SE Hello, HomeSchoolMum777. This is considered a "link-only" answer. It would be helpful for future visitors to this question if you would edit in a summary of that page. Links can become broken or outdated so a summary would still provide the necessary information.
    – agarza
    Mar 31, 2023 at 12:59

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