Science has accomplished many miracles, yet has never been able to teach men how to lift the veil that hides the future. A few scattered mystics like Nostradamus and Mother Shipton and a few others are “said” to have forecast certain things in their own or neighboring countries a few hundred years in advance.
But the Bible boldly outlines the whole span of history, including practically every nation and kingdom, which has trodden the stage of this huge panorama of life. No other piece of literature contains such a gigantic outline; as the Bible does, and today the crumbling ruins of ancient cities, obliteration of nations and the changing tides of civilization all corroborate and bear mute “testimony” to the superhuman precision and divine foresight in this Book of Books.
Over 90 per cent of Scriptural prophecies have, many believe, been fulfilled with accuracy. Yahweh Himself is the Author, and He stakes His claim to omniscience on “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:9) Yahweh also challenges the false prophets to do the same if they can:
“Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons...shew us what shall happen...and the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.” (Isaiah 41:21-23)
Of course they do not produce, so Isaiah continues:
“Behold, ye are of nothing and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.”
Thus we can clearly see that Yahweh says any who are foolish enough to follow false teachers are an “abomination” to the Lord; which is a strong term. Let us glimpse part of the flawless record of this Miracle Book of the Ages.
Tyre was one of the mighty cities of the ancient world; the “New York of Asia.” Occupying a strategic position as the Mediterranean, her ships traded with all the then known world. She was strongly fortified, rich and powerful, and at the time Yahweh through Ezekiel pronounced judgment upon her for the sins of her people, who were Israelites by the way, she seemed impregnable and destined to stand forever. Yet Ezekiel did not interpose his own personal opinion, based on surface appearances, but faithfully spoke as instructed:
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus...and they shall destroy the walls, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea...and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water...thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it.” (Ezekiel 26:3-5, 12, 14)
From man’s viewpoint this unusual prophecy seemed impossible for fulfillment, but soon thereafter Nebuchadnezar, King of Babylon, captured Tyre, “destroyed the walls, and broke down her towers,” (Ezekiel 26:4) wreaking terrible vengeance on both people and buildings. The few who were left removed their belongings from the wreckage to an island about half a mile in the sea. Thus was fulfilled the first pronouncement. Local scoffers no doubt sneered that “Ezekiel must be slipping,” for only one of his predictions had come true. But God runs long accounts and a “thousand years are as one day” in His sight. So it was not until 240 years later that another phase of the judgment came to pass.
Alexander the Great was the Attila the Hun of his day. He too had ideas of world domination, among them being the liquidation of the little remnant on the island. But, when he came to attack this new Tyre, he was so enraged to find a half mile of water between himself and his prey that he took the debris and ruins of the former city of Tyre and built a solid causeway upon which his troops could march to the island city. Little did he realize that in his angry aggression HE WAS UNWITTINGLY FULFILLING ANOTHER PROPHECY CONCERNING THAT CITY! Yes, God uses even “the basest of men” for His purposes:
“The Lord hath made all things for himself: even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4)
So great was the need for material that the “stones” and “timber” were used; even the “dust” was scraped from the site and laid “in the midst of the water” to build this cause way, just as Ezekiel had said! Today, after more than 2,500 years, the island Tyre is on a peninsula with only a few thousand inhabitants. Every vestige of the great city of Tyre on the mainland has been destroyed, its wreckage having been placed “in the midst of the water,” leaving the site flat, “like the top of a rock,” as foretold.
The most remarkable part of the fulfillment, however, is that Tyre has never been rebuilt! On the site of the ancient metropolis are the springs of Ras-el-Ain which pour forth streams of clear, cold water to provide abundantly for a large city. On every side are fertile plains or beautiful mountains, with a mild, salubrious climate; all ideal conditions to attract a large population. Yet it is but “a place for the spreading of nets,” and fishermen are casting their “nets in the midst of the sea” exactly as prophesied by Ezekiel more than 2,500 years ago.
This fulfillment of prophecy is so unique, striking and precise in every detail that even agnostics must admit it is a most unusual “coincidence.”
“All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field...the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but THE WORD OF OUR GOD SHALL STAND FOR EVER.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)
While Tyre was great and powerful when judgment of annihilation was pronounced upon her, Sidon had already begun to decline and from a human standpoint one would readily surmise that she would disintegrate. But God knew the future and this fate was not predicted for Sidon, so she is still a flourishing city today!
“Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon...For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 28:22-23)
Sidon has endured all through the centuries; mostly within her own gates, as prophesied. In 351 B.C., the city was under the domination of Persia and when the people revolted the Persian army besieged it. When all hope of saving their city was gone 40,000 citizens chose to die rather than submit to Persian vengeance. They shut themselves up with their wives and children, set fire to their homes and perished amid the flames.
But their doom of suffering did not end with this tragic event. It has continued on down the ages. Three times it was captured by the Crusaders, and three times it fell before the Moslem armies. The sword has indeed been “upon her on every side.”
Even in modern times she experienced “blood in her streets” and “wounded...in the midst of her,” for it was been the scene of conflicts between the Druses and the Turks, and between the Turks and the French. In 1840 Sidon was bombarded by the combined fleets of England, France and Turkey.
How cold any human have guessed 2,500 years ago that mighty Tyre would be extinct and that Sidon would continue on through the succeeding centuries, but with suffering and tribulation? Let the atheists who say there is no God, speak up and explain this!
Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum
The citizens of these three cities were greatly favored, for in them the Master “performed many mighty works.” Here it was that He chose Pete, James, John; and Capernaum also served as His home for at time. Matthew said:
“He came and dwelt in Capernaum...that it might be fulfilled that which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying...The people which say in darkness saw Great Light.” (Matthew 4:13-16)
Despite this, however, they failed to repent and believe on Him as the Son of god. Finally, in sorrow because of their hard and impenitent hearts, Yahshua pronounced the following woes upon these three cities:
“Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not; Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!...And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven shall be brought own to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (Matthew 11:20, 21-23)
There probably was not a single person at that time who gave a second thought to this warning, for they were prosperous, thriving cities whose future seemed secure. Very few, even after 1,900 years have perceived any connection between this Bible passage and the fact that all three are now extinct; in fact, Bethsaida has disappeared os completely that the exact site of this once flourishing city is uncertain.
Now here is a most significant fact; on the shores of Galilee nearby stood another city called Tiberias. Although there is no record of Yahshua having visited there, it is quite probably that He did because of its proximity to the other; and it must have been important, for Josephus, the historian, mentions it more than almost any other city in Galilee. At any rate, no woe was pronounced against Tiberias and IT IS STILL STANDING TODAY; while these other thriving cities were wiped off the face of the earth. The worldly wealth and advantageous locations could not save these others from the results of wickedness when the sentence was uttered by the One whose Word created the world.
Thus the three cities, against which Yahshua pronounced judgment because of their unbelief, utterly perished despite the fact that they had everything to make them large, growing communities; while the neighboring city upon which no judgment was made is today the foremost metropolis on the on the shores of beautiful Lake Galilee. Could this be just another “coincidence?” No charlatan or “just a good man” could with authority have said:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY.” (Matthew 24:35)
“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms...shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited...neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there...but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures...and satyrs shall dance there.” (Isaiah 13:19-21)
“Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, and astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant...Thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 51:37, 26)
This seemed the most difficult of all the prophecies to believe, for Babylon was the capital of the civilized world and at the summit of her greatness and splendor, Her magnificent temples, lofty palaces shining in the sun, turrent towers and walls and world-famous hanging gardens were the pinnacle of man’s achievements on earth.
Situated as she was in the midst of a fertile region where nature poured forth abundance without stint, nothing seemed further from her destiny than the words “desolate,” “without an inhabitant,” an “hissing’ and “heaps.” Yet history has shown that god meant exactly what He said in Isaiah 46:11:
“I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
With unprecedented wealth and luxury Babylon became so corrupt and debased in licentiousness and idol worship that her name has become the symbol of evil, greed and corruption in world economy even to this day; hence punishment was inevitable. In all literature there is nothing approaching the sublimity, vehemency and terror with which Isaiah and the other prophet denounced this wanton city; yet she was deaf and blind to the ominous warning and eventually suffered the retribution of her own wickedness in literal fulfillment of what Isaiah had foretold.
The Arabs, nomadic, and few in number, who lived almost in the shadow of the great arrogant city, have continued on to the present day and are STILL LIVING IN TENTS: as foretold by Jeremiah, while one of the former greatest peoples on earth have become extinct and their city “desolate forever.” Ironically enough, the Arabs who were considered less than dust by the haughty Babylonians are not “high-hatting” the ghosts of their erstwhile neighbors, for they steadfastly refuse to remain overnight on this desolate spot for fear of the “doleful creatures” and “satyrs that shall dance there.” TRAVELERS AND EXPLORERS ALL CONFIRM THIS REFUSAL OF EVERY ARAB TO “PITCH HIS TENT THERE,” although by nature they are fearless and courageous.
“The Sun Goes Down on Babylon,” Destiny Magazine, October 1942:
“A colonel in the Turkish army once asked Dr. Cyrus Hamlin for a proof that the Bible is the Word of God. Learning that the colonel had been a great traveler, Dr. Hamlin said to him: ‘Have you ever been in Babylon?’
“‘Yes’ said the colonel, ‘and I will tell you a curious incident. The ruins of Babylon abound in game, and wishing for a week’s shooting, I engaged a Sheik with his followers and went there. At sundown the Arabs, to my amazement, began to strike their tents. I went to the Sheik and protested most strongly; I was paying him handsomely, and I now offered to double the amount: but nothing I could say had any effect.
“‘It is not safe,’ said the Sheik, ‘no mortal flesh dare stay here after sunset. Ghosts and ghouls come out of the holes and caverns after dark, and whomsoever they catch becomes one of themselves. NO ARAB HAS EVER SEEN THE SUN GO DOWN ON BABYLON.’”
Dr. Hamlin then took out his Bible and read from Isaiah 12:19;
“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; NEITHER SHALL THE ARABIAN PITCH HIS TENT THERE... but the wild beasts of the desert shall lie there ...and wolves shall cry in their castles, and jackals in the pleasant palaces.”
“That is the history you have been reading,” said the Turk.
“No,” said Dr. Hamlin, “It is a prophecy. Those words were written when Babylon was in all her glory; you know what Babylon is today.”
The colonel had not word to say in reply. Babylon was a wonderful city. Her area was five times as large as that of London. Her wall was at least eighty feet thick and three hundred feet high, with five hundred gates of burnished brass. Enclosed were lakes, parks and 625 city squares. The prophet Jeremiah said of her:
“Though Babylon should MOUNT UP TO HEAVEN, and though she should FORTIFY THE HEIGHT of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 51:53)
Now the above is a remarkable proof of the truth of the Bible; there are hundreds more, and these being added to in a very remarkable manner by discoveries of inscriptions and writings which have long been buried.
How can the skeptics and agnostics explain how such exact predictions could have been made without divine inspiration? Surely not “coincidence” again, for too many stretch one’s credulity beyond any reasonable limit.
“It (Egypt) shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations (Ezekiel 29:15)...the pride of her power shall come down...by sword, saith the Lord God, and they shall be desolate (Ezekiel 30:6-7)...and I will sell the land into the hand of the wicked...and destroy the idols...and there shall be no more a prince in the land of Egypt.” (Ezekiel 30:12-13)
When Ezekiel thundered forth these words of doom Egypt was (and had been for centuries) a rich and powerful nation; she was a leader in science, learning and culture and, like the everlasting pyramids which grace her sandy plains, seemed destined to last forever. From human viewpoint, the prophet’s words seemed like peas from a popgun rattling against a granite wall. It must have taken superhuman courage to make such dire predictions against such power and grandeur; yet Ezekiel knew the words were not his own, but God’s, and that every word would be fulfilled. It was many centuries before all the judgments became manifest, but they are now apparent down to the smallest detail.
Egypt, for so long queen of the nations, was not only defeated many times in battle but became a subject without her own ruler even tot he present time: “No more a prince of the land of Egypt.” Thus she was “basest of the kingdoms” and “the pride of her power came down by the sword.”
Despite the richness of nature about her, she also became “desolate” and was sold “into the hand of the wicked,” her successive captors being the Romans, Mohammedans, Kirds and Turks; all of whom laid heavy burdens on her people. Her “desolation,” however, unlike that of Babylon, was not to last forever but was in time to be restored, and today in that section we witness the miracle of the desert being made to bloom again:
“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23)
Many Fulfilled Prophecies
These are but a few of many similar prophecies which have already been fulfilled with meticulous precision, all of which should convince us that when God’s Word speaks, sooner or later IT WILL COME TO PASS. It also shows that cities and nations, as well as individuals, cannot with impunity disregard the laws of God and spurn the gift of His Holy Son.
In view of this, what can be said for those who willfully shut their eyes to all these signs and proofs of divine inspiration? In the words of Yahshua, those who do not believe ALL the prophets have spoken are “fools” (Luke 24:25); and in the words of Solomon, the wisdom of man is but “foolishness with God.”