The Jewish belief in the first centuries BCE and CE was not that this world would come to an end but that the existing world order would be transformed. Mythical language (Isa. 11: 7–9) and cosmic imagery (Isa. 24: 23) were used to prophesy vast political upheavals when the Gentile oppressors could be overthrown and the righteous nation vindicated. At the conclusion of this present age and the beginning of the new there would be a general resurrection for all Israel; the claim to be the covenant people of the creator God would be exhibited.

The NT suggests that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus constitutes the beginning of the transformation (Mark 9: 1), although the final culmination is delayed (Matt. 24: 14) and the date uncertain (Mark 13: 32).