Truth, Understanding, Insight


23rd March 2008, gah


1) Prophecy of Nations as God's Evidence

God has chosen prophecy as evidence of His power and that He exists. He tells the nations of things that He is about to do, even before they come to pass (Amos 3:7, Isaiah 46:9-10; Isaiah 42:9). We can also tell if a prophet has been sent by God, as the prophecy will come true (Deuteronomy 18:18-22).

Some of the most notable prophecies of the Bible are given in the table below. There are many prophecies relating to ancient nations and, in particular, to the Jews. Many of the ancient nations have disappeared from world affairs, but the Bible said that the Jews would survive. The Jewish people still survive today in spite of many efforts to destroy them (Jeremiah 30:10-11). God has said that Israel is a witness that He exists (Isaiah 43:1,10-13).

Bible Prophecy Actual occurrence of events

There are two prophecies made concerning Babylon in the Bible. The first was made by Isaiah and the second by Jeremiah.

Isaiah, prophet to Israel (BC 760-700) wrote “Behold I am stirring the Medes up against them…and Babylon…it will never be inhabited or lived in for generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there; no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there. But wild animals will lie down there” (Isaiah 13:17-22)

Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, the haunt of jackals, a horror and an hissing, without inhabitant

Jeremiah, prophet to Judah (BC 628-586) also prophesied that Babylon would be destroyed and made waste (Jeremiah 51)

Isaiah lived in Israel between BC 760-700 at a time when Assyria was the major power near Israel. Babylon did not become the major power until Nebuchadnezzar II (605-563BC), almost 100 years after the time of Isaiah. In 539BC Cyrus the Great, the Persian King, invaded Babylon without resistance and blood. It remained the centre of Persian rule until being invaded by Alexander the Great in 331BC. From Alexander’s death in 323BC to 141BC when the Parthians took over the area, constant fighting and deportation of its residents resulted in the city falling into complete ruin.

The Medes and Persians overthrew Babylon in BC 536 almost 200 years after the prophecy made by Isaiah. Babylon at the present time resembles a desert with mazes of uncovered mounds. The Euphrates has changed course and it is surrounded by total solitude with few visitors as predicted by the Bible.

Isaiah predicted that a man named Cyrus was to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple in it (Isaiah 44:28). Cyrus was the king of Persia who made a decree for the Jews to go back to Israel and build Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 1:1-3)

Cyrus, the king of Persia (559-530 BC) made the decree to rebuild Jerusalem almost 200 years after Isaiah made the prophecy.

Jeremiah predicted that Judah would be taken captive for 70 years and after this they would return to their city (Jeremiah 25:8-12, 29:10-14)

The first invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar was in BC 606, and in BC 536 Cyrus made the decree for the Jews to return to Jerusalem, exactly 70 years later.

Egypt would become a base nation for all time (Ezekiel 29:15). This prophecy was made BC 593-571.

For most of the past 2500 years, Egypt has been controlled by foreign powers, including the Romans, Ottomans and Europeans. It has nominally regained independence, but has never again become a great nation, being influenced by Britain, Russia, and now the USA.

Ezekiel (chapter 26) predicted in BC 587-586 that:

1. King Nebuchadnezzar would take Tyre (in modern Lebanon)

2. Other nations (in the prophecy "they") would also conquer Tyre

3. Tyre would become flat like the top of a rock

4. Tyre would become a place for spreading nets

5. Tyre’s stones and timber would be laid into the sea

6. The old city of Tyre would never be rebuilt

In 573 BC Nebuchadnezzar brought his army against Tyre and besieged it for some years. He finaly breached the walls and the city fell, but the Tyrians had moved their city to an island and continued for many years.

Alexander the Great came to conquer the island city of Tyre and seeing the old city ordered it cast into the sea to make a causeway.

He destroyed Tyre in 332 BC and brought an end to the Phoenician Empire.

Local People today fish from the rocks

The Empire was never revived or "found" again.

Daniel (BC 600-534) predicted that

1. The Babylonian Empire would fall (Daniel 5:25-31)

2. The Medo-Persian empire would rise and fall (Daniel 8:20)

3. The Greek empire would rise and fall after the Medo-Persian empire (Daniel 8:21)

4. The Greek empire would be divided into four sections (Daniel 11:4)

4. Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans(Daniel 8:9-11)

5. The year of crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Daniel 9:24-27)

Daniel predicted the rise and fall of Medo-Persia and Greece, prior to either empire coming to power.

Alexander the Great conquered the Medo-Persian empire in 331BC.

After Alexander’s death in 323BC Greece was divided into four major portions: Cassander ruled in Macedon, Lysimachus in Thrace, Seleucus in Mesopotamia and Persia, and Ptolemy I Soter in the Levant and Egypt.

Jerusalem was destroyed by the in AD 70

Ninevah would be flooded and become empty, waste and void (Nahum 2:6-10). This prophecy was made in 614BC.

According to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, who lived in the First Century BC, heavy rains had caused the Tigris River to overflow and flood part of Nineveh while the Babylonians and Medes were attacking the great city around 612 BC.

A number of prophets have predicted that the nations of Israel would be scattered among the nations and then regathered, Some of these include:

Moses (Deuteronomy 28:64; 30:1-5)

Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:10-11; 31:10)

Zechariah 12:1-11

Ezekiel 38:8,12

Amos 9:14

In 1948 Israel was proclaimed a nation by the United Nations. In 1967 they regained control over Jerusalem.