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Prophetic Reliability of the Bible
By Gary F. Zeolla
There are approximately 2,500 prophecies in the Bible. About 2,000 of these prophecies have already been fulfilled. The remaining prophecies deal with events yet future. Below is a sampling of the fulfilled prophecies.
Genesis 15:15; 17:2-7,19,20; 22:15-18:
God promises Abraham, “I will multiply you exceedingly” and “you shall be a father of many nations.” God emphasizes this promise by saying Abraham’s descendents will be “as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore.” These descendants are promised to descend through Abraham’s sons Isaac and Ishmael.
All Jews living today and throughout history trace their “roots” to Abraham through Isaac. Arabs trace their roots to Abraham through Ishmael. Thus the nation Israel and all Islamic countries have Abraham as their “father.” Moreover, Christians considered Abraham to be their “father” in a spiritual sense (Gal 3:29).
So Jews, Muslims, and Christians all trace their roots to Abraham. As such, it is safe to say that more people living today trace their roots to Abraham than to any other single person.
Moses, writing ca. 1400 B.C., predicts the scattering of the Jews “from one end of the earth to the other.” This was fulfilled 721 BC when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was captured by the Assyrians, in 586 BC when the Southern Kingdom of Judea was conquered by the Babylonians, and in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. And to this day, there are still Jews who are scattered “among all peoples.”
Moses predicts the Babylon captivity of Israel, which occurred in 607-587 B.C.
Isaiah 13:1-22; Jeremiah 52:1-44:
Isaiah (prophesying between 767-687 B.C.) and Jeremiah (prophesying from 623-586 B.C.) predict the destruction of Babylon. It was conquered in 538 B.C. Importantly, they both predict that Babylon would never be inhabited again. And in fact, Babylon has never been rebuilt, and the area where it was located is now basically a wasteland.
Isaiah 41:2,25; 44:28; 45:1; 45:13:
Isaiah foretells that Cyrus would conquer Babylon, subdue Egypt, and let the exiled Jews return to Judea. The Jews were not even taken into captivity until 607-587 B.C. and Cyrus was not born until born until a century and half after Isaiah spoke.
Isaiah 49:13-18; 66:22:
Despite her sins and her being scattered among the nations, God promises He will never forget the Jews but that they shall remain before Him. Moreover, God promises “your offspring and your name will endure” (NASB).
Miraculously, through all of the scatterings of Jews throughout history, the Jews maintained their cultural and religious heritage. No other people whose homeland was conquered and who were so scattered have managed to do so. The ancient Hittites, Moabites, Ammonites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Medes, and many others have all ceased to exist as a people. But somehow, the Jews managed to survive as a people for 19 centuries without a homeland.
Jeremiah predicts that the Babylonian captivity of the Jews would last 70 years. The Jews began to be deported in 607 B.C., and they were allowed to return to their homeland in 537 B.C.
Tyre was the most powerful city in the Phoenician empire. But Ezekiel, writing ca. 587, predicts it will be “laid waste” (v.2). He further predicts its walls would be destroyed, its towers broken down, and that it would be scraped down like a rock. He also predicts it will only be a place for spreading nets (v.5), but the city itself will never be rebuilt (v.14).
Tyre was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. The city was laid waste and destroyed just as predicted. Also as predicted, all that is found in the area today is fisherman spreading their nets. The city itself has never been rebuilt.
Egypt at one time was major world power, ruling over other nations. But Ezekiel predicts it will be conquered. However, Ezekiel indicates it will continue as a nation, but he also predicts it will be “the lowliest of kingdoms” and that it “will not rule over nations anymore.”
Egypt was conquered by the Babylonians in the sixth century B.C. Since that time, Egypt has remained a nation, but it has never again been a world power and has never ruled over any other nation.
God predicts that after the scattering of the Jews, they will return to their homeland and will rebuild their cities. This began to occur in 1948 when Israel became a nation again. There are now over six million Jews living in Israel.
Hosea, writing in 767-687 B.C., predicts the Babylon captivity and the return from exile of the Jews.
God predicts that the land He gave to the Jews will be divided up among the nations. Today, that land is divided between the modern-day state of Israel and surrounding Arab nations.
Nahum’s entire short book is a prophecy against the city of Nineveh. At the time, Nineveh was one of the most powerful cities on earth. But Nahum predicts it will be “empty, desolate, and waste” (2:10). He further predicts it will be destroyed by fire (3:15). He also predicts the Ninevites will be scattered and will never be gathered (3:18), while the “injury” of the city “has no healing” (3:19).
Nineveh was destroyed in 612 B.C. The Ninevites were scattered and ceased to exist as a people, and the city has never been rebuilt. Archeological evidence shows it was in fact destroyed by fire.
Matthew 24:1,2; Luke 21:20:
Jesus, speaking ca. 30 A.D., predicts the destruction of Jerusalem. His predictions were exactly fulfilled in 70 A.D. Jerusalem was surround by the Roman armies, and when they entered the city, they so destroyed the buildings, including the temple, that a stone was not left upon a stone.
Matthew 24:30; Revelation 11:9-11:
The first verse describes Jesus’ Second Coming. The second passage is John’s description of the death and resurrection of “two witnesses” for the LORD in the last days.
Neither of these events has yet to occur. However, what is important here is that Jesus says, “all the tribes of the earth will beat their breasts [fig., will mourn], and they will see ‘Son of Humanity coming on the clouds of heaven.’” And John says of the two witnesses, “And [those] from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations look at their dead body three [and] a half days” (v.9).
In the first century A.D. when these statements were made, there was no way everyone on earth could view a specific event. But now with TV and the Internet, this is more than possible.
Jesus pronounces a “woe” upon three cites located on the Sea of Galilee (Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum). He, however, says nothing about the other major city in the area (Tiberias). Archeological evidence shows these four cities existed at the time of Christ. The first three were destroyed by an earthquake around 400 A.D. and have never been rebuilt. However, Tiberias remains to this day.
A comparison of maps in the back of most Bibles will demonstrate this phenomenon. All four cities can be seen on the map of Israel at the time of Christ, but the map of modern-day Israel shows only Tiberias.
Jesus predicts that after the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews will be scattered “into all the nations.” This was fulfilled throughout the following 19 centuries, when the Jews were without a homeland.
But Jesus also indicates the Jews would regain control of Jerusalem at some future date. This was fulfilled in 1967 when the newly reborn nation of Israel regained control of Jerusalem.
Jesus predicts that His words “shall by no means pass away.” His words were recorded in the four Gospels in the New Testaemnt of the Bible. The Bible is the world’s all-time best-selling book and has been translated into more languages than any other book.
Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament: Third Edition (ALT3). Copyright © 2007 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.DTL.org). Previously copyrighted © 1999, 2001, 2005 by Gary F. Zeolla. All New Testament quotations are from ALT3.
New King James Version (NKJV). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982. Unless otherwise indicated, all Old Testament quotations are from the NKJV.
Verse marked NASB taken from: New American Standard Bible. Copyright © 1960-1995. La Biblia de Las Americas. The Lockman Foundation.
100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies.
Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible.
McDowell, Josh. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1979.
Payne, J. Barton. Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. USA: Baker Book House, 1987.
Ross, Hugh Ph.D. Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible.
The above article was posted on this Web site February 1, 2007.
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