The first use of the phrase, acharyith yowm (the last days, or latter days) appears in Genesis 49:1 where Jacob blesses his sons indicating that they, as separate tribes, will be part of the "last days".
The phrase, acharyith yowm, appears in the following OT books; Numbers 24:14, Deut. 4:30, and 31:20, Isaiah 2:2, Jerimiah 30:24, 48:47, and 49:39. Ezek. 38:8, and 38:16, Daniel 2:28, 10:14, Hosea 3:5, and Micah 4:1.
When you study these sections of scripture, you see that Israel is associated with each of them.
More imporatant, Israel's restoration, not their destruction, is the central topic.
When you move into the NT, the expression, last days (eschatos hermera) is used by Jesus in John 6, 11 and 12 (which all speak of the last day in the singular), in Acts 2:17, and by Paul (I Tim. 3:1), James (James 5:3), and Peter (II Pe 3:3).
The writer of Hebrews begins his presentation by stating that God spoke to the fathers through the prophets, but in these last days, He speaks to us through His Son. This single statement means that the last days extend throughout the time when Jesus speaks to us. Therefore, the last days began when He began to speak, and continue today as He still speaks to us.
The last days, when taking all of these uses into consideration, cannot be confined to the short span encompassing 70 AD.
Last edited by joel; 10-24-2011 at 05:23 AM.
Reason: add verses
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39