Biblical Prophecy: Divine Inspiration?
Biblical Prophecy is evidence Christians hold to validate the Bible's claims of Divine inspiration. Is this authentic evidence or an illegitimate claim to bolster Christianity? Prophecy is defined as a Divine declaration of events yet to pass. As natural man is unable to foresee future events, prophecy would be an acceptable evidence of Divine inspiration. The Bible, written by at least 40 authors over a period of at least 1,500 years, is comprised of 66 books. These 66 books claim to contain over 1,000 Divinely inspired prophecies. We will examine a few...
Biblical Prophecy: Ezekiel 26
One example of Biblical Prophecy is found in the Book of Ezekiel. Chapter 26 of the Book of Ezekiel claims to have been written in 586 BC, the 11th year of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. On nine separate occasions throughout the chapter, the writer claims to have been inspired by God with statements such as "thus says the Lord GOD." The text describes the fall of mainland Tyre to the armies of Nebuchadnezzar the following year. It further describes the events of Alexander the Great's siege against the island fortress of Tyre (a half mile off the coast of mainland Tyre) 253 years later. The chapter describes how the invaders would tear down the ruins of mainland Tyre and throw it into the sea. That they would "scrape her dust from her and leave her as the top of a rock" (v4). That "they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water" (v12). "I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets" (v14). Secular history records that Alexander the Great laid siege to the island fortress of Tyre in 332 BC. His army demolished mainland Tyre and threw it into the sea. In their effort to construct a causeway to the island, they scraped even the dust, leaving only bare rock. Historian Phillip Myers in his history textbook, General History for Colleges and High Schools (Boston, Ginn & Co.), writes, "Alexander the Great reduced Tyre to ruins in 332 BC. Tyre recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site of the once great city is now as bare as the top of a rock -- a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry" (pg.55). The fate of mainland Tyre was accomplished as foretold in the book of Ezekiel.
Biblical Prophecy: The Book of Daniel
Another example of Biblical Prophecy is found in the Book of Daniel. Because of the stunning foresight found within the Book of Daniel, it is claimed by its critics to have been written after the events it describes. For example, chapter 11 describes in such detail the interactions between the Ptolemies and the Selucids from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of the Roman Empire, that critics insist it must have been written after 160 BC. However, Flavius Josephus, court historian for three successive Roman Emperors, records (Antiquities of the Jews XI, viii, 3-5) Alexander the Great receiving a copy of Daniel upon his annexation of Jerusalem in the autumn of 332 BC (immediately following his conquest of Tyre). Furthermore, the Septuagint (LXX) was translated from Hebrew into Greek in the 3rd century BC. Daniel is included in the Septuagint version. Daniel is also included in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is dated from about 200 BC.
Biblical Prophecy: Daniel 9:25
A most compelling Biblical Prophecy is found in Daniel, chapter 9, verse 25. Written 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ (the oldest preserved copy dating 200 years before the birth of Christ), it foretells the very day Christ would enter Jerusalem. The prophecy states: 69 weeks of years (69 x 7 = 483 years) would pass from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, until the coming of the Messiah. This is according to the Babylonian 360-day calendar, since Daniel was written in Babylon during the Jewish captivity after the fall of Jerusalem. Thus, 483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days. According to records found by Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson in the Shushan (Susa) Palace, and confirmed in Nehemiah 2:1, this decree was made on March 14th, 445 BC, by Artaxerxes Longimanus. Exactly 173,880 days later, on April 6th, 32 AD, Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem upon a colt (fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9). The world celebrates this day as Palm Sunday. Four days later, Christ was murdered upon the cross. Actually, the form of His execution and even His last words were foretold in Psalm 22. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, fulfilling numerous other prophecies of our Messiah.