Two “Boughts”

Some people will kick around the notion that God has two wills: a heavenly will and an earthly will, if you will. But what about two ‘boughts’? Has everyone in the world been bought in one sense, and only the redeemed of the Lord bought in another sense? I think the answer is yes.

In one sense, we know that believers have been bought with a price – the precious blood of Jesus Christ, something not corruptible, and something with a certain destiny. For this purchase, Christ does not need to hang on to receipts just in case He needs to take one of the purchases back for a refund.

Yet we know that other people are “bought” and they most certainly do not have an eternal destiny. I would set the Children of Israel in the Wilderness Generation as Exhibit A.

In Exodus 15, Moses leads the Children of Israel in a victory song as they celebrate God’s vengeance upon their enemies. Verse 16 has a curious phrase:
Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. [some translations say ‘redeemed’].   (Exod 15:16, ESV)

King David speaks of them as well:
O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?  Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage! Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt. (Ps 74:1-2, ESV)

As does Isaiah:
Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?   (Isa 51:10, ESV)
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine”. (Isa 43:1, ESV)

And Jeremiah:
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. (Jer 31:11, ESV)


These people are redeemed and yet are not heaven bound. How is this possible? Would God redeem/purchase a people and then want a refund? Certainly His omniscience and sovereignty couldn’t allow that. Perhaps Paul’s statement about how “all Israel is not Israel” has some bearing here.

In what sense were the Children of Israel purchased?
What price was paid for these people?
To whom was the price paid?
Does it mean that these people are elect in the sense that they are heaven bound?


We can also ask these questions about the Church, and those would be interesting questions indeed, but for now, let’s see if there’s reason to differentiate between a “prevenient purchase” and a “specific purchase” – if you will.

Let’s tackle that last question first.
The Bible repeatedly makes it clear that the majority of the “Wilderness Generation” was *not* heaven bound.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice,  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.  Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’  As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” (Heb 3:7-11, ESV)
For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. (Heb 3:16-19, ESV)

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (Jude 1:5, ESV)

In case a wrathful God in the New Testament doesn’t convince us that all these redeemed people were not heavenbound, there’s always Deuteronomy:
They have dealt corruptly with Him, they are not His children, it is their blemish; They are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite Jehovah, O foolish people and unwise? Is not He thy father that hath bought thee? He hath made thee, and established thee. (Deut 32:5-6, ASV)

Psalms 106 gives a concise blow-by-blow, but never takes its eye off the fact that they were rebellious from day 1:
They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass.  They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt,  wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.  Therefore He said He would destroy them- had not Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. (Ps 106:20-23, ESV)

The Deuteronomy 32 passage is interesting, because in it, we see that the very people that God “bought” are “not His children”, but rather, a “perverse and crooked generation”. Psalms intensifies the notion, comparing those He redeemed and saved (the people) with the one He chose (Moses). Interesting comparison.

So I think we’d have to say that there are two types of “boughts”:

1) People who have been given physical protection, land, inheritance and blessings from God are “bought” by God and therefore owe Him something. This can easily be said to apply to everyone that is living, since God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust alike  (you certainly see a glimpse of that in Exodus 19:5). That they receive provisions from God is *no* indicator that they are heaven-bound.

2) People who have been given spiritual protection, land, inheritance and blessings through Christ are “bought” with a specific price: Christ’s blood and death. Therefore, these people owe Him their lives as a living sacrifice. These people are heaven-bound, and their destination is assured.

Because these two “boughts” have different means, methods and destinations, it would be important to not confuse these two. This view would also shed light on a phrase in 2 Peter 2 that can be easily misunderstood (especially if you’re not paying attention to context):
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
(2Pet 2:1, ESV)

These false prophets are given physical blessings from God (rain, life, food, shelter, etc), but not spiritual salvation. In that sense, just like the Father did for the Children of Israel, He has bought them. They are not, however, purchased with the blood of Christ.

Two boughts; two rules; two destinations.

But that’s my .02.

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3 comments to Two “Boughts”

  • […] And that’s all! So on the whole, the entire OT almost always uses the word “redeemed” to focus on God the Father bringing His people out of bondage in Egypt/Babylon.   Which leads us to a final question: is this “redemption” equivalent to eternal salvation – ie, the redemption we have in Jesus Christ, paid by His blood (as opposed to the blood of the Egyptians)?   The answer, of course, is a resounding “NO!” No sooner were the Israelites out of Egypt that they started grumbling and complaining against their Maker, denying that He redeemed them (ie, golden calf), and pining for the delicacies of Egypt. God repeatedly says that they rebelled against Him and Hebrews says they did *not* enter the rest (meaning they are in hell, not heaven).   It would appear that God’s “purchase” / “redemption” of Israel is to set them aside out of the world of idolatry as a special people for His covenant. It does not mean they are saved from hell. And if we’re to be consistent, the NT use of this word should suggest the same idea: God the Father (not Christ the Son) setting aside people for a special relationship. It does not mean they are saved from hell.     So when we see someone being “redeemed by the blood of Jesus” () or “redeemed in Christ our Lord” (, ), it’s talking about a permanent salvation from sin and hell. This is the kind of salvation that can never be lost, as Paul explains in .   —   Therefore, it is my conclusion that Peter is referring to God “buying” people in the sense of a special relationship (not a salvific relationship), and exposing them to the truth of His word. It does not mean they are saved. It is this “purchase” that the false teachers are denying. (and I think the rest of bears this out). For more, check out the article “Two Boughts“ […]

  • Brandon

    Just thinking “out loud” here, but does Rom. 3:26 shed some light at all?

    In that God’s holiness and righteousness is such that sin demands instant condemnation? Yet it doesn’t. And it actually makes God appear unrighteous. After all, He does “pass over” sins. Something that, in and of itself, does not lend itself to holiness and righteousness. Unless there is another part to the equation…

  • Brandon

    Whoops, that is supposed to be Rom. 3:25 above…

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