The Proof of the Bible
The Bible dares to write out the future history of this world in advance — it dares to prophesy what is actually going to happen to specific nations, including the United States, Britain, Russia, China, Italy, Turkey, Ethiopia, and many others. But would you believe what this Book predicts about your nation? We have gotten away from believing that the Bible means what it says. We may not be ‘atheists’ but we are living now in an age of skepticism’ and doubt.
Most highly educated and men of science, assume that the Bible is not the infallible revelation of God, they assume this ‘without the scientific proof’ that they demand on material questions. Most believers assume, very few people have stopped to prove whether or not the Bible is really the inspired Word of God. Very few believe what it says or regard it as having real authority.
How Could You Prove It?
Some people seem to think that Jesus miracles were recorded to prove His Messiah ship, skeptics don’t believe those miracles ever occurred. Some will say answered prayer is the proof of inspiration, but the skeptic has had no prayers answered. He doesn’t believe that anybody ‘else’ has. There is one source of irrefutable proof!
In the Bible, One is quoted, claiming that He is God, speaking in the first person, saying that He can make and unmake nations, that He can carry out His judgments over millenniums of time, claiming that He can foretell infallibly the future of cities and empires, but that no man can.
TAUNTING the Skeptics
Skeptics say the Bible is merely the religious writings of a small ancient Jewish race, groping in the darkness of human ignorance and of superstition trying to develop a concept of God. But is it? Who is this, quoted as saying, "I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand" 46:9-10.
Who is this claiming to foretell the future? Is it merely some ignorant, ancient human with no power who wrote this challenge recorded in Isaiah 41:21-23? " Bring your case forward….State your proofs! "Let us hear what has happened in the past that we may ponder it, or show me what is yet to be, that we may watch how it turns out. Yes, let us hear what is coming, that we may be sure that you are gods. Come, do something or other that we may marvel at the sight. You can do nothing at all!" (Moffatt).
Prophecy is the PROOF of God
If One, in the Bible, speaking and claiming to be God, can make prophecies and tell what is going to happen in the future to nations, to cities, to empires, then if it actually happens in every case, and without a miss, you’ll know that was a real God speaking.
So here is the challenge. How long has New York City been in existence? About 300 years ago New York City was a little village. Now it has grown to a great city. Suppose someone made a prophecy that New York will very soon, be totally destroyed, never again to be rebuilt.
Would any human be able to bring that to pass? Would anybody believe it if someone would make such a prophecy? Is there any man on this earth that could speak with authority, and make such a prophecy about a great city like New York- and bring it about’?
The City that CONFOUNDS the Skeptics
Over 2500 years ago, there existed a great city that already was more than 1500 years old. That city was the commercial center of the world. It was beautiful, rich, and stable. That city was ancient Tyre on the Mediterranean. It was located on the western coastal area of Phoenicia.
In the year of 604 B.C., the nation Judah had been invaded by the Chaldeans under King Nebuchadnezzar, of the Chaldean Empire. The Jews had been conquered and taken captive, in a series of sieges between 604 and 580 B.C. The people of Tyre were looking with greedy eyes on Judah; and they were laying plans to go down and take part of the spoil, now that their rival king had invaded and conquered it.
We read of Tyre in Ezekiel 26:1-3, the Moffatt translation, in a little plainer English:"In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month" — this was in 585 B.C. — "this word from the Eternal came to me." Ezekiel was writing this. He was just a man, one of the prophets. But this man said that the Word of God came to him, and he wrote it down.
This is what God is quoted as saying — One who is quoted in the first person as being God, the Creator, and the Ruler of all the universe. He said:"Son of man, since Tyre has gloated over Jerusalem, this door into the nations is broken down! It lies open to me, I shall prosper, now she is laid waste.’ Therefore, ‘Tyre, I am against you … I will bring many a nation against you, — as the sea brings many a wave.’
"Who was this speaking was it some ignorant human, or was it God who pronounced the fate on this commercial metropolis, this New York of the ancient world, this great, proud city of Tyre, because it was threatening to take a spoil of the kingdom of Judah?
What God Said Would Happen
The third verse from the King James or the Authorized translation, and the fifth verse: "Therefore, this says the Lord God; Behold, I am against you Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causes his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, 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 (fishers nets) in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, says the Lord Eternal: and it shall become a spoil to the nations."
Here is One quoted in the Bible as saying, "I am God, I have spoken it. This is going to happen to that great city Tyre" — one of the two greatest cities of the world, as great in the world in that day as New York or London is today.
For over 1500 years the armed forces of other cities and nations had attacked this proud city of Tyre, but never had any army been able to batter down its walls or actually to invade the city. Now could some mere human, just writing in the religious works of the ancient Jewish race — could some mortal man pronounce such an astounding fate on so great a city ‘and bring it to pass’? Beginning with Ezekiel 26 — verse 7 on through verse 11: " …I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon."
This becomes quite a specific prophecy. It tells distinctly the name of the king and of the nation that God is going to bring against this city of Tyre, "a king of kings [because he was an emperor over a number of nations] from the north, with horses and with chariots, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field… He shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers… He shall enter into thy gates… and with the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: He shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground" or, "your strong pillars" as the margin has it, "shall go down to the ground."
Here it is specifically speaking of Nebuchadnezzar, what HE shall do. But remember God had said that many nations shall come, not just one, but many nations, one after the other like the waves of the sea. Notice! Nebuchadnezzar was not to take all of the debris, all of the stones, the timber, and the top soil and dump it into the Mediterranean. God had said many nations would come.
Tyre’s FATE Sealed
Notice how this prophecy becomes even more specific, beginning with verse 12 to 14."And they" — no longer does God say, "and He." This would mean other nations to follow Nebuchadnezzar."They shall make spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise: and they (that means other nations following Nebuchadnezzar) shall break down your walls, and destroy your pleasant houses: they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the waters.
God says, "I will cause the noise of your songs to cease; and the sound of your harps shall be no more heard. And I will make you like the top of a rock: you shall be a place to spread nets upon; you shall be built no more: for I the Eternal have spoken it, says the Lord God." There is One quoted, speaking in the first person with great authority, pronouncing a dire sentence upon a great city of the world at that time. Was there any God existing who was about to do it?
Notice this prophecy said they would lay the stones, the timber, the soil in the Mediterranean, and after that, Tyre was to be completely destroyed and ‘built no more, never again to be built! Was this God passing sentence? Was the Ruler of the universe able to bring it to pass, or was this mere ‘human’ conjecture? Here is the challenge to tell whether or not the Bible is inspired. There is no other book where you can find one speaking, saying, "I am God," and speaking to nations and to cities, and pronouncing sentence, and then centuries later bringing it to pass!
This same God is telling what is going to happen ‘to our modern nations today’, yes, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Australia, Italy, China, all of the great nations, and many of the minor nations of the world, pronouncing sentence on us, warning of things that are to happen to us. Can He do it? Was He able to do what He said about ancient Tyre? Is the Bible inspired, can you prove it? Do Bible prophecies mean what they say?
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Very soon after the prophecy was given there was a 13-year siege by King Nebuchadnezzar exactly as this had been foretold, as the One speaking and saying, "I am God," said it would happen! Finally, he took the city. It had never happened before. He demolished the fortified part of the city which was built on the shore of the mainland. However, the people of the city fled the mainland and fortified the other part of the city, which was originally located on an island "in the sea." Ezek. 27:4; 28:2, only half a mile off shore. The original site of Tyre on the mainland became known then as old tyre, and the city on the island became known as new tyre.
Many skeptics may say that prophecy wasn’t written in 585 B.C. before this happened, but that it was written after it happened. How can you prove Ezekiel wrote it when he said he did? There is ample proof of it, but Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion is only the first link in the chain. Prophecy had said many nations will come like waves of the sea. It foretold many other things to happen. Only a part to be done by Nebuchadnezzar.
What Historians ADMIT
A little of the history of these events from the Encyclopedia Britannica volume 22 under the article"Tyre, the mistress of the seas in the 6th century, B.C., endured a 13-years siege." During this siege, Tyre, as already mentioned, was demolished. As we read in verses 7 to 11 in Ezekiel 26, everything that was prophesied. But, in verse 12 "they will lay your stones, your timber and your soil in the mids of the waters." For about 250 years after Nebuchadnezzar had invaded Tyre, it seemed improbable that that prophecy ever would be completely fulfilled.
Then, after two and one-half centuries Alexander the Great came down in his swift march conquering everything before him. Before quoting the actual history of what Alexander did, let us first get in mind a clear picture of the geophysical layout of this once great city of Tyre. The main part of the city, originally, was on the mainland of Phoenicia, on the Mediterranean coast. In Ezekiel 27:3, God is quoted as saying to Tyre: "You that art situate at the entry of the sea." It was on the mainland, but at the entrance to the sea. It was the chief seaport of the ancient world.
But, just as many cities today are located on rivers, with a main part of the city on one side, and another part of the city on the other side of the river, so a part of the city of Tyre was built on an island, one-half mile off shore. Apparently the commercial ships put in at docks both on the mainland and on the island.
Off the south and west shores of the island the sea was very shallow. The Tyrians had built a huge wall around this portion of the island, shutting out the sea, and adding many acres of lowland in a narrow strip around the south and west portions of the island. The island portion of Tyre was built in this reclaimed lowland strip. The higher portion of the island, especially in its center, was used for their pagan "High Place" of idolatrous worship, the "Temple of Melkart," and the remainder of the original island as a great public park surrounding the temple.
Because of the small area of the reclaimed lowland, inside the sea-walls, this island portion of the city was built of skyscrapers taller than those of downtown Rome today — possibly 15 or 20 stories high. That seems incredible, but such is the historic record! Ezekiel refers to this lowland strip portion of the city "Thy borders are in the midst of the seas." Ezek. 27:4.
After the main portion of original Tyre had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in the 6th century, B.C., this lowland strip on the island was built up as the main city since a foreign army had, at long last, proved able to batter down the walls of the mainland city, where the half mile of sea gave them security from attack by foot soldiers on land.
From that time, the 6th century B.C., the mainland portion became known as "old Tyre," and the island portion as "new Tyre." From the Encyclopedia Britannica in this same article, "The siege of Tyre by Alexander the Great, 332 B.C." (He had won his battle at Issus, his first great battle in conquering the Persian Empire, in the previous year, 333 B.C.)
"New Tyre was built on a small island about half a mile from the mainland upon which the old city stood … Alexander demolished [what remained of] Old Tyre, and with the debris built a mole 200 feet in breadth across the strait so that he turned that island actually into a peninsula and it became therefore a part of the mainland. The reduction of Tyre was now but a matter of time, Alexander scaled the city walls. Thus after a siege of seven months the city was taken, 8,000 of the citizens were slaughtered, 2,000 later on were executed, and 30,000 sold into slavery."
What Skeptics Can’t DENY
Further from the book, The Bible as History, by Werner Keller, page 320: "This Phoenician city, heavily fortified and protected by stout high walls, was built on a small island which guarded the coastline. Alexander performed here a miracle of military ingenuity by building a 2,000-foot mole in the sea out to the island city. To safe-guard the operations, mobile protective shields, so-called ‘tortoises’ had to be employed.
Despite this the construction of the causeway was greatly hindered by an incessant hail of missiles. Meantime his engineers were on shore building veritable monsters… These were mobile protective towers many stories high, which held detachments of bowmen and light artillery. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled a surprise attack to be made on the enemy’s walls. They were the highest siege towers ever used in the history of war. Each of them had twenty stories and the topmost platform towered, at a height of over 160 feet, far above the highest city walls.
"When, after seven months’ preparation, these monsters, bristling with weapons, slowly and clumsily rolled toward Tyre, the fate of the maritime stronghold, which was considered to be impregnable, was sealed."
Notice, the people of the earth considered New Tyre to be impregnable. Suppose, as the critics and skeptics try to argue, that the Book of Ezekiel was written after Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Old Tyre. What human writer, making a purely human prognostication and guess, could ever by the wildest imagination have predicted what actually did happen to New Tyre? No, but God knew what was going to happen! Return to Chapters
Notice, another prophecy about New Tyre: "This says the Lord Eternal: When I make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon you, and great waters shall cover you; … you shall be no more." Ezek. 26:19, 21. The Moffatt translation makes that a little plainer: "… when I turn the ocean upon you and the deep waters cover you." That happened!
Alexander the Great, after demolishing the buildings of New Tyre, demolished this huge sea wall which had reclaimed the lowland space on which the actual city of New Tyre had been built. In complete fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 26:4, 12-14, 19, 21, referring to new Tyre, the city was destroyed; God turned the ocean upon the city, and the deep waters cover it to this very day. new Tyre has remained from that day to this ‘like the top of a rock’!
The city of Tyre was completely destroyed — both Old and New. It has never been an important seaport since. It became a site for fishermen, and is to this day. You can go there, and see the fishers’ nets spread out, still today! God’s prophecies are sure! They happened! However, after Alexander’s untimely death, when his kingdom was divided into the four divisions, the Egyptian division (the "King of the South" of Daniel 11), the Ptolemys, apparently built a city on the peninsula — not where either Old Tyre or New Tyre had been built.
This village again bore the name of Tyre — though it was actually a new and different town built near, but in a different place. As the Britannica article continues: this new city, "with the marvelous vitality of those early times, recovered in a comparatively short time. The city passed under the sway of the Seleucids (198 B.C.), the "King of the North" of Daniel 11, the Romans (68 B.C.). Herod the Great endowed it with a temple.. Paul spent a week there while the ship ‘unloaded her burden’ on his journey from Ephesus to Jerusalem.
By the 2nd century it had become the see of a bishop. With the rest of Syria it passed into the hands of the Muslims in the 7th century. The Crusaders captured it (1124), and made it one of the chief cities of their kingdom of Jerusalem. After the fall of Acre, the Muslims destroyed it. "Now today, a small new town, called Sur — in a different location out on the peninsula, and inhabited by fishermen — is erroneously designated as Tyre on some maps; but it is not Tyre. It is not on the site of ancient Tyre. Ancient Tyre has never been rebuilt!
How Skeptics Could Disprove the Bible!
Was the author of this prophecy a man, or God ? This is one of hundreds of such prophecies, many of which have already come to pass. Every year, every day every hour that site of New Tyre remains a desolate top of the rock for spreading of fishermen’s nets — every hour that it remains uninhabited is ‘proof of the Bible’.
And now, just a word to the skeptics. Here is how you can disprove the Bible, and the very existence of God — if there is no God, and IF the Bible is not inspired! Just go over and build a small city on the site of New Tyre. A collection of a dollar each from all of the American skeptics alone would be ample. Whoever inspired Ezekiel 26 dares the skeptics to try to do it. Now there is nothing to prevent them from building a city there on the site of New Tyre, except that the Bible they scoff at says they can’t.Here is living, dynamic ‘proof’ that the Bible is inspired by God.
The Challenge of God
Ezekiel also wrote about another city, Sidon. Sidon is a city about 30 miles north of Tyre, on the Mediterranean, still more ancient. It was the mother city. Tyre was originally one of Sidon’s colonies. Sidon had been declining for centuries while Tyre had been building up as the great city of the world. In the year 590 B.C., when Ezekiel wrote the prophecy, Sidon was in a state of decay.
It’s present condition from the Encyclopedia Britannica, article, "Sidon." "Sidon, once the principle city of Phoenicia, now the principle town of the southern district of Great Lebanon … is today a city of 10,000 inhabitants — the majority of whom are Moslems."Continuing about Sidon: "History: Older than Tyre and acknowledged as its mother… the Philistines destroyed its fleet and laid the city in ashes. Assyria and Babylonia… led armies against her to disturb her peace and loot her treasures… The Persian yoke… supplanted the Babylonian and an injudicious revolt against Artaxerxes Ochus met with condign punishment."
In 351 B.C., Sidon was absolutely destroyed for its revolt. But Sidon rose again. Further, the Britannica says: "Unlike Tyre, (Sidon) submitted without resistance to Alexander the Great."Some skeptics attempt to explain away Ezekiel’s prophecy regarding Tyre by saying it was not written about 590 B.C., before Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion and destruction of Old Tyre, but about 350 B.C. or even 330 B.C. instead. But they fail to take into account the fact that the same prophet at the same time wrote prophecies about Sidon. Now suppose Ezekiel’s prophecy were written around 350 B.C., if Ezekiel’s prophecy were merely human speculation, do you think it would have been a logical guess, about 350 B.C., that Tyre would never be rebuilt but that Sidon, on the other hand, would remain?
That is exactly what was prophesied!
Now let’s turn to the prophecy in Ezekiel 28 beginning with verse 20: "Again the word of the Eternal came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Sidon, and prophesy against it, and say, This says the Lord Eternal; I am against you Sidon ….For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the middle of her by the sword upon her every side; and they shall know that I am the Eternal."
Now you will notice that there isn’t one word saying that Sidon was to be destroyed and never rebuilt. God’s judgment on Sidon was not one of utter extinction as it was on Tyre, but blood in her streets, wounded in her city, the sword on every side — a continuously existing city — but reduced and in constant trouble!
Not To Be Utterly Destroyed
No other city on the face of this earth has ever undergone so much suffering, except the city of Jerusalem. Sidon has been often destroyed and again rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt. It is there today with 10,000 population. How did the prophet Ezekiel known that Sidon could continue to exist, suffering all the while, but that Tyre, the big city, would never be rebuilt? There is every reason why Tyre should be rebuilt — wonderful soil all around, water, a wonderful harbor, every reason in the world why it should have been rebuilt. But God said that it would not.
Sidon, however, is a city today of 10,000 population. All is exactly as prophesied. There has been blood in her streets, wounded in the city, the sword on all sides. The article quoted in the Encyclopedia Britannica will give you history until now. Sidon still lives — exactly as prophesied. But Tyre suffered utter desolation. No city is there today — exactly as this prophecy said. Was this divine inspiration, or was it human guess? How did it happen that whoever wrote this prophecy prophesied exactly as it was going to happen both times?
Never has any uninspired human made such a prophecy for 2,000 years into the future and brought it to pass. Nothing in those two cities would have indicated their fate at the time the prophecy was written. Neither in 590 B.C., nor, if the skeptics would prefer to say it was written about 330 B.C.
There is yet another striking prophecy of Biblical inspiration. It is about another famous city in the ancient world — the city of Ashkelon.
The prophet Zephaniah lived and wrote about 630 B.C. It was before the captivity of Judah. He was warning the Jews in the first chapter of his prophecy of the captivity that was coming. There is a principle of duality in this book as there is in most prophecies, a type and anti-type.
The prophecy refers literally to the Jews of that time, six hundred years before Christ; But it also refers also to our time now in the twentieth century A.D. in the years just ahead of us. Almost no one understands this type and anti-type, this duality in the prophecies. You can’t understand prophecy unless you understand it. That is one of the vital keys to Bible knowledge.
Chapter 2 in this book of Zephaniah foretells the fate of the nations neighboring on Judah, and hostile to Judah, especially the sea coast cities of the Philistines: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron.
Notice Zephaniah 2:4-7: "Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up."Now verse 7: "And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon."
That has happened! That territory belonged to the nation of modern "Israel." The seventh verse once again. "And the coast [of the Mediterranean, in Palestine] shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon."
Prophecy Absolutely Fulfilled
Turn to Zechariah 9:3-6. "And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Eternal will cast her out, and He will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire." There is another prophecy showing what happened to Tyre. Continuing: "Ashkelon shall see it, and fear: Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.""And a mongrel people shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines" (Moffatt translation).
All that has happened. In the year of 520 B.C., Zechariah, under inspiration of God, prophesied that God would smite Tyre into the sea to be devoured, as happened in 332 B.C. Gaza shall be "sorrowful, forsaken," but not destroyed. Gaza rebounded — it is still there today, a population of 21,000 people. No king has since dwelt there. Ekron has about 1000 people today. In Ashdod, gentile people lived there until 1948 when they were driven out by the "remnant of the House of Judah." Zephaniah 2:7.
From the Encyclopedia Britannica, here are the facts of how that prophecy has been fulfilled. "With the Moslem conquest after the 6th century A.D., (Ashdod) generally sank into insignificance." Arab and Philistine people were there. The city sank into insignificance. Remember "Ashkelon shall not be inhabited" — "a desolation." Zech. 9:5 and Zeph. 2:4.
Notice what the Encyclopedia Britannica says: "Ashkelon, now a desolate site" — the same words that God uses in the Bible — and further, "protruding from this sand swept terrain, shattered columns and the remnants of ruined buildings and broken walls bear testimony to a past magnificence."You can go to that desolate site of Ashkelon today and see with your own eyes — absolute desolation. You can see nothing is there. Does God exist? Could anyone but God foretell these things and cause them to happen as He has?
Here is proof that no one can doubt. And God dares and challenges any skeptic to try to refute these prophecies. If you can refute them, you can refute the authority of the Bible!
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The ex-king Farouk of Egypt was really a foreigner, he was not an Egyptian? And the present rulers of Egypt are Arabs, not actually Egyptians? This was prophesied thousands of years ago? Prophecy fulfillment is the proof’ of the existence of God. It’s the proof of inspiration of the Bible. The Bible reveals facts from God that we could not otherwise find out.
Whoever was the real inspiration behind these prophecies of the Bible knew 2500 years ago the condition Egypt would be in today, and also the condition of the United States and of Russia, and of China, and of Britain, and of all of the leading nations of the earth. He knew then what is going to happen in the next 20 or 25 years. Notice the amazing facts.
The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel lived some 600 years before Christ. Egypt was then already very ancient. It was the leader of civilization, of the world at that time. It was far advanced in science, and arts, luxury and magnificence. It was the granary of the world with its rich Nile valley. The greatest buildings on earth — the pyramids — were there. Those were the proud monuments to Egypt’s greatness. Egypt possessed the longest dynasty ruling on the throne of any city or of any nation at that time. Now who would have ever predicted an end to that kind of prosperity? Comparatively, it was greater then than the prosperity of the United States in today’s world.
When Ezekiel wrote, Pharaoh Hophra was on the throne, and his military and commercial successes for 25 years had made him proudly secure. He had built Egypt to a mighty position in the ancient world. The historian Herodotus has said in his history, Volume II, page 169, that Hophra boasted that no god could deprive him of his kingdom. When he boasted that, the Eternal God responded. No man could have foreseen Egypt’s downfall at that time any more than a man can see the downfall of the United States or any other great nation today. God knew what would befall Egypt. He knows what will befall us today. It’s recorded in your Bible.
At that time, Judah had been conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. The Chaldean Empire was rising. A colony of Jews had been left behind in the land of Palestine. The rest of the Jews had been taken captives and slaves to the land of the Chaldeans in Babylon. This little colony of Jews which had been left behind wanted to flee down to Egypt.
They inquired about it from the prophet Jeremiah. They asked him to consult God about it."The word of the Eternal came unto Jeremiah… Thus says the Eternal… If you will abide in this land (Palestine), then I will build you… Be not afraid of the king of Babylon… But if you say, we will not obey the voice of the Eternal our God, saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war nor have hunger of bread then says God, It shall come to pass, that the sword, which you feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt… and there shall you die."Jer. 42: 7-16.
Now notice Jeremiah 44:29 and 30: "And this shall be a sign unto you… that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that my words shall surely stand… I will give Pharaoh Hophra the king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life."
Here is someone quoted in the Bible claiming that He is God. He is telling what He is going to do to the kings of this earth. He claims to make and unmake the kingdoms of this world. And it happened!Pharaoh Hophra was dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar shortly after that was written. And Ahmoses was substituted as a vassal king by Nebuchadnezzar.
Did man write this prophecy, or did God? Whoever wrote this had the power to make and to unmake nations and empires. Today, the higher critics seem to have the conception that the Bible is merely the literary efforts of an ancient, small, Jewish race, groping in darkness, trying to find a concept of God. They don’t really believe in any God. They don’t believe in any divine inspiration. Then, who is this quoted, saying, "I am God," and passing sentence on those ancient city-states, and now on this great nation of Egypt, and bringing it to pass over a period of 2500 years?
Why Egypt Is a Weak Nation
Notice Ezekiel’s prophecy. Ezekiel 29:1-2: "The word of the Eternal came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt." Now the eighth verse: "Therefore this says the Lord Eternal; Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and cut off man and beast out of you. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Eternal: because he has said," the Pharaoh had said -"The river is mine, and I have made it, therefore I am against you, and against your rivers." This is from the King James or the Authorized translation. Actually the proper translation is not "rivers," but "irrigated canals." They had them in Egypt at that time.
Continuing: "And," God said, "I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate… Neither shall it be inhabited for 40 years. That 40 years happened when Babylon carried the Egyptians captive, desolated their land and then allowed numerous Greeks to migrate to Egypt. Historians know very little about what really happened at this time.
Now notice the 15th and the 16th verses of this same chapter. Notice that God said Egypt would continue to exist "It shall be the basest of kingdoms".
Egypt was to exist, but it was to be the basest of the kingdoms. It had been, prior to God’s pronouncing sentence, the proud lion among the others. " Neither shall it exalt itself any more above all nations," says God, "for I will diminish them. "Who is this speaking? — claiming that He can make and unmake nations? Who can say, "I will diminish thee," diminish the greatest nation on earth at that time? Was that just some ignorant person writing? Whoever wrote it, brought it to pass. It happened.
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Notice Ezekiel 30:10-13: "This says the Lord Eternal; I will also make the multitude of Egypt" — the word "multitude" is rendered by other translations as "wealth," for the wealth of Egypt is really meant — "I will make the wealth of Egypt to cease by the hand of the king of Babylon. He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords after Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. And," God says, "I will make the rivers" — or irrigation canals — "dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked." That is, outside or foreign nations.
"And," God says, "I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers," which means outside nations. "I the Eternal have spoken it. This says the Eternal; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph" — which is Memphis, notice — there shall be no more a prince in the land of Egypt".
Egypt would never again be ruled by a native son — a native prince.Was whoever wrote that in this ancient book of Ezekiel about to bring that to pass? That is a "Thus says the Lord." Is there any real God back of it? Or was it just a man writing? Egypt was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar just as the prophecy said. God set him over the kingdom. Dan. 2:37. God is the Ruler of the universe. That is the lesson that the nations of the earth have forgotten!
The Record of History
From Rawlinson’s Ancient History, "The History of Egypt," Volume II. Here is the fulfillment of this prophecy in history. It actually happened! "Thus perished this unfortunate monarch, the last of the long line of Pharaohs, which commencing with Menes had ruled Egypt as an independent monarchy for about 16 centuries" — nearly 1600 long years. "Frequent revolts characterize the period of their subjection to Persia. But again, and again, the Persians proved their superiority in the field, and forced the Egyptians to submit to them."
After the Persian conquest, the Greeks dominated Egypt. The descendants of one of Alexander’s Greek generals began a line of foreign Pharaohs that ruled Egypt until 152 B.C. There has never been a native Egyptian Pharaoh since. There has never from that time been a native king ruling over Egypt.
Consider what this record of history means: Egypt was conquered and ruled by Alexander the Great. Then it was ruled after that by one of Alexander’s four generals, the one that is mentioned in the book of Daniel, chapter 11, as "the king of the south." Later, Egypt was ruled by Rome. Then by the Mohammedans. Then later by the Turks. It has been ruled by the French, by the British, and finally, it has recently been made a republic, June 18, 1953.
Ex-king Farouk was the king until Egypt became a republic. But King Farouk was not descended from Egyptian blood. He was an Albanian. The Egyptian rulers today are not Princes and most are not Egyptians. They are native Arabs. God said it would be like that, and it has been. Never in 2500 years has Egypt been under a native Prince. You can read the full details in Rawlinson’s Ancient History.
It Always Happens
There was nothing when those prophecies were written to indicate such a future — such a future as has happened to Egypt — as the Bible prophecy said it would happen. God pronounced a fate on the ancient city-state Tyre, never to be rebuilt. That happened.
On Ashkelon, extinction, never to be rebuilt! That happened.On Sidon, to be diminished, but to continue to exist. And that happened. Eypt was to continue to exist, but to be diminished, never again to be ruled by a native son. That happened. The fate of Babylon was extinction. That happened.But, how did Ezekiel know, if a mere man wrote all of this?
Skeptics don’t want to have anything to do with prophecy. The skeptics run away from prophecy because they can’t answer it. And the only way to answer it is to ridicule it. Skeptics admit that Egypt, according to the prophecy, was to continue to be a nation reduced, no longer prosperous, no longer a mighty world-ruling nation, no longer to be ruled by its own native prince. They can’t deny it. They are able only to run from it! Who is the real Ruler- God.
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Every detail of the prophecies concerning Egypt has happened. This prophecy was not written after the fulfillment, because the fulfillment has been happening, and has been being fulfilled right on down through history even to very recent years! It has been a slow, gradual fulfillment, as prophecy said it would be. Even in the time of Christ, there was ‘nothing’ to indicate Egypt’s glory was gone forever, absolutely nothing. Then, Egypt was still very powerful. Its population over 7,000,000. It was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire at that time. In the 3rd century A.D., the Encyclopedia Britannica says that Alexandria, Egypt, continued some time, esteemed as the first city of the world after Rome.
Suppose God had said that Egypt was to be totally destroyed, but that Babylon would continue, diminished. But He didn’t. He didn’t say that, and that isn’t the way it happened. He said that Babylon would be destroyed. And it was destroyed! He said that Egypt would continue submerged, as a minor nation. And it has happened. And never once in 2500 years has Egypt been ruled from that time by a native Egyptian prince.
Never in world history has any nation been subject to foreign governments and foreign rule so long as Egypt has been. Compare what happened to Egypt with what was prophesied to happen to Babylon and Rome.Rome was mentioned in prophecy before it even came on the scene — all the prophecies about Rome were written even before there was a Roman Empire. Rome was like iron (Dan. 2:40) — the mightiest of all of those ancient nations, the most powerful — more powerful than Egypt or Greece, or than the Chaldean Empire, or than the Persian Empire. It happened! But it was foretold that it would fall.
In Biblical language, Rome was to have a "deadly wound," but the "deadly wound" was to he healed (Rev. 13:3). Rome was to be revived seven different times after it fell. It has been revived and resurrected six times — under Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Charles V, Napoleon, Mussolini, THE FINAL RESURRECTION OF THE ROMAN EMPITRE IS TAKING PLACE RIGHT NOW IN EUROPT!
Always, everything that has been previously prophesied in your Bible for the past centuries has been fulfilled. But there are many, many more prophecies that are to be fulfilled from this moment on! We are just coming now to the climax of this whole age when there are far more prophecies — far more world-shaking events — to happen than ever happened before in the history of the world!
Why are all these prophecies being fulfilled? Because God exists and He has revealed thousands of years ago in the Bible what He is about to do today!
Babylon and Rome
The God quoted in the Bible did not limit Himself to foretelling the fate of only some one or two of the cities or nations of the earth. If these writings were of mere human conjecture, that might have been done; and by rare coincidence, the prediction might possibly have come to pass. But God took every important city — every nation in the then known world with which His nation Israel had contact, and inspired thru human writers the fate of every one!In most instances, the future decreed was the very opposite of that which every appearance, at the time, would logically have indicated! And yet, the events so paradoxically prophesied came to pass!
Look at this prophecy concerning the world’s political and religious capital, Babylon! At the time it was written any man would have been thought to be insane to make such an apparently preposterous prediction for its future: "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, 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 tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there;… and ostriches shall dwell there, and he-goats shall dance there. And… the jackals in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come [when Isaiah wrote], and her days shall not be prolonged." Isa. 13:19-22.
That decree from God was not delayed. It was carried out! That sentence has continued for 2,500 years! The condition described in the Bible written while Babylon was the world’s capital at the height of its might and power remains to this day!I have been there. I saw and photographed the desolation. But no man lives there. I asked the caretaker of the museum now maintained by the Iraqi government at Babylon if he lived there.
"Oh no!" he explained. "No one lives here I ride here every morning on my donkey."Do Arabs ever pitch tents here?" I inquired. "Never!" was the answer. "They have a superstition against it."
How did Isaiah know, 600 years before Christ, that the utter ‘desolate’ of that world’s capital of his day would become and remain a total desolation these 2500 years into the future? How could any mortal man know such things? He couldn’t unless by the divine inspiration these fulfilled prophecies prove.
Yes, the God of your Bible foretold the future of every one of the important cities of ‘every nation’. Some were to be destroyed, never rebuilt — permanent desolation. Others were to be destroyed, but rebuilt. Others to continue undestroyed. The world’s greatest nation to be reduced to a minor nation, never again ruled by a native king. The first world-ruling Empire to be succeeded by another, until the further world empire — and it to fall, and have seven successive resurrections!
Not once did the prophecies fail! There is no other book, No human writing like this not one of these prophecies ever failed! No prophecy ever will fail. These prophecies ‘prove’ the ‘inspiration of the Bible’. They prove the existence of God.
What is the true significance of all this? One third, approximately, of the Bible is prophecy. Only about one-tenth of the prophecies pertain to these cities and nations, prophecies already fulfilled! Nine -tenths of prophecy is devoted to world events now to happen in our time. Almost one-third of the Bible is devoted to us, today.
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Summary, Herbert Armstrong, Free Library Copy
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