say the trustworthiness of God's Word is at stake. The Bible either
stands or falls according to the fulfillment of the remarkable
prophecies it boldly makes.
Here is a challenge to the unbeliever and the skeptic! God says that He can and does foretell the future.
The Bible is about one-third prophecy. If the Bible is truly the
inspired Word of God, every one of those prophecies must have come to
pass just as predicted or must now be awaiting accurate fulfillment.
Three of the most remarkable Bible prophecies concern two ancient
leaders of world empires and a Middle Eastern king. All three instances
are well documented in the historical record. These three examples are
representative of the absolutely sure word that is Bible prophecy.Cyrus, ruler of Persia
The first example is that of Cyrus the Persian, the first ruler of the
Persian empire, who lived in the sixth century B.C. The stories of
Cyrus' birth and youth as recorded in the histories of the time are so
remarkable that they seem almost like children's stories. Herodotus,
the Greek historian of the fifth century B.C., recounts one of these
stories, here summarized.
Astyages, the son
of Cyaxeres, king of the Medes, had a daughter, Mandane. He became
fearful because he dreamed that this daughter would bear a child who
would rule in his place, not only his kingdom but all of Asia. He
wanted to prevent this at all cost.
Mandane had her first child, a son, Astyages instructed one of his
trusted servants, Harpagus, to have the child killed. Harpagus, not
wanting to do such a horrible thing, entrusted the terrible
responsibility to Mitradates, a herdsman. Mitradates, on finding that
his own child had just been stillborn, took and reared Mandane's son as
his own. When the boy was about 10 years old his true identity became
His grandfather, Astyages the king,
now accepted him and in due time this boy, Cyrus, ascended the throne
in about 558 B.C. By about 549 B.C. Cyrus had become king over all
Media, and by about 548 B.C. he ruled all Persia. He conquered Babylon
in 539 B.C. and the Persian empire succeeded the Babylonian empire.
This story would not be so remarkable by itself, but predictions about
Cyrus are included in Bible prophecy. You will find these predictions
in the last verses of Isaiah 44 and the first part of Isaiah 45.
"That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my
pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the
temple, Thy foundation shall be laid" (Isa. 44:28).
Isaiah gave this prophecy almost two centuries before Cyrus made his
proclamation about rebuilding God's Temple in Jerusalem!
"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me
all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an
house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah" (Ezra 1:2).
Not only did God name Cyrus long before he was born, He saw to it that
Satan did not succeed in having him put to death by his grandfather! He
also saw that Cyrus issued the proclamation to rebuild the Temple, as
God said he would! But there is more.The two-leaved gates
"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have
holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of
kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not
be shut" (Isa. 45:1).
Isaiah prophesied that
God would make it possible for Cyrus to conquer the many kingdoms that
ultimately made up his empire. Also, the "two leaved gates'" would not
be shut or locked. This refers to the remarkable way in which Cyrus was
able to capture the city (and consequently the empire) of Babylon.
The large city of Babylon, with its massive high walls, appeared
impregnable from the outside. When Cyrus' armies encamped around the
city, the Babylonians only laughed! They could survive a siege of years.
Unbeknownst to the Babylonians, however, Cyrus' men were able to divert
most of the Euphrates River, which normally flowed through massive
gates into the city. Cyrus also had gotten a spy into the city, who on
the appropriate night had the inner gates along the river unlocked.
With the lowered river level, the army was able to invade the city by
way of the river route and through these gates, taking the Babylonians
by complete surprise. Part of the remarkable fulfillment of the
prophecy about the "two leaved gates" is described in Daniel 5, the
rest in various secular histories.Alexander's conquest
The second prophetic personality we will consider is Alexander of
Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great. He was the first king of
the Graeco-Macedonian empire. Upon the death of his father Philip in
336 B.C., he ascended the Greek throne, being only about 20 years old.
Two years later he entered Asia with about 30,000 infantry and 5,000
cavalry. He put to flight superior Persian forces at the battle of
Granicus and then in October, 333 B.C., he faced Darius III, the
Persian king, who had an army 10 times greater than his own. This
battle of Issus won him an overwhelming victory. Alexander later won a
conclusive victory over Persia at the Battle of Arbela on Oct. 1, 331
B.C., even though Darius III fielded an army of more than one million
This young man went on to extend his
empire to the Indus River. He died of fever when he was less than 34
years of age, after a reign of only about 13 years.
The prophecies about this man are found in Daniel, chapters 8 and 11.
Part of this prophecy states: "And as I was considering, behold, an he
goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not
the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he
came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before
the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power" (Dan. 8:5-6).
The "notable horn" represented Alexander (the first king of Grecia,
verse 21) who conquered the "ram" (the king of Persia, verse 20).
Alexander is also referred to in Daniel 11:3-4,
This prophecy was given by Daniel in the sixth century B.C., but its
fulfillment by Alexander did not occur until about two centuries later,
in the fourth century B.C.!Jews protected
An interesting sidelight of this prophecy concerns the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people there.
On Alexander's drive southward, after his conquest of Syria, he
bypassed Jerusalem, continuing along the seacoast to Gaza, which he
took in the fall of 332 B.C. After this he headed with his armies
He had previously written
Jaddua, the Jewish leader and high priest, requiring certain
provisions. Jaddua replied that he had given an oath to King Darius of
Persia that he could not violate as long as Darius lived. This greatly
"Now Alexander, when he
had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddua the high
priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror, as not
knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was
displeased at his foregoing disobedience" (Josephus, Ant,, Book XI,
Chapter VIII, section 4).
exhorted the people to pray and offer sacrifices to God, whereupon God
told him in a dream how to receive Alexander and his armies. Here is
how the momentous meeting took place.
"Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments,
while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in
purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the
golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by
himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest."
Alexander then said: "I saw this very person in a dream, in this very
habit, when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering
with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to
make no delay . . . And when the book of Daniel was shewed him, wherein
Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire
of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended" (ibid., section 5).
As a result of these events, Alexander dealt kindly with the Jews. This
interesting story gives a littl more detail on how God brings about the
fulfillment of Bible prophecy, sometimes in remarkable ways.An abomination in God's Temple
The last event we will consider relates to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was
king of Syria during the second century B.C.
After Alexander's death his empire was divided into four kingdoms (Dan.
7:6, 8:8, 22, 11:4). One of these four kingdoms was that of Syria. Here
is what Daniel says about Antiochus:
of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great,
toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some
of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea,
he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the
daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast
down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason
of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it
practised, and prospered" (Dan. 8:9-12).
This prophecy was fulfilled in a terrible way. Antiochus took over Jerusalem and the Temple. He
stopped the daily sacrifices, burned copies of the Hebrew Bible and forced pagan religion on the Jews.
This time has rarely, if ever, been equaled in the history of Israel or
Judah. Not only were the people butchered, even fried in huge pans, but
Antiochus personally entered into the Holy of Holies in God's Temple
and took away the gold vessels in the Temple. He erected a "Greek altar
on the site of the old one on 25 December [sic] 167" (The New Bible
Dictionary, article "Antiochus").
Judas Maccabaeus, his brothers and the Jews were able to recapture
Jerusalem three years later, cleanse the sanctuary (Temple) and
reinstitute the worship of God.
It should be
noted here, however, that this prophecy of Daniel 8:9-12 is dual.
Antiochus fulfilled it in type, but it is even now awaiting a much more
terrible fulfillment in this end time!Prophecy for today
These three examples show that God not only knows the end from the
beginning and has predicted the future, but He also sees to it that the
prophecies are fulfilled.
books could be written—have been written—to give all the historical
details. There are scores of fulfilled prophecies about Christ alone
(see "Is the Old Testament Inspired?", page 6), others about John the
Baptist, Judas Iscariot and others. The fall of Israel and Judah were
also foretold in great detail by Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. The
fulfillment of the physical promises to Abraham is a matter of record
(Write for our free booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy).
The restoration of the Jews to Judea in the sixth century B.C., the
rebuilding of the Temple and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 are major
prophecies that have been fulfilled. The rise and fall of ancient
Babylon is another fulfilled prophecy.
But more important than these historical fulfillments is that prophecy is right now being fulfilled.
The fall of the modern descendants of ancient Israel (particularly
Britain and the United States) is well under way. This was prophesied
as early as the time of Moses (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28). This fall will
lead to another captivity during a time called Jacob's trouble or the
great tribulation. All this will lead to the actual return of Jesus
Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords (For more information about
the Bible prophecies concerning the end time, request your free copy of
The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!).
Is the Old Testament Inspired?
Do you believe the Old Testament is inspired of God?
Many Christians don't. They don't accept the Old Testament as
completely accurate and reliable. If they happen to read it at all,
they read it like an ordinary book, without really believing its
teachings or wanting to abide by them.
Christ and the apostles did accept the Old Testament. They lived by it.
How about you? Have you honestly studied and proved the writings of the
Old Testament, pages that constitute two thirds of the Bible?
Ironically, to many Christians the Old Testament is not a relevant part
of the Holy Scriptures. They often consider it only a collection of
Jewish literature. Just as ironically, most Jews reject the New
Testament and only consider the Old Testament holy.
As a result of such confusion, the Jews—who don't accept Jesus as the
Christ—are still waiting for the Messiah to come, while many
Christians—who supposedly believe in Him—no longer wait for Christ's
Second Coming! Neither Jews nor Christians, as a whole, really
understand the Bible."Scriptures" defined
Examine the New Testament. To which "scriptures" did Christ and His
apostles refer? What "scripture" did Christ read in the synagogue every
Sabbath? What "scripture" did His disciples use to preach the Gospel
after His death and resurrection? What "scripture" did the apostle
Peter have in mind when he wrote that "no prophecy of the scripture is
of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the
Holy Ghost" (II Pet. 1:20-21)?
The answer is obvious.
Christ said that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). At the
time He spoke, none of the New Testament writings were yet available.
Only the Old Testament constituted the "scripture"!
A man came one day to Christ, knelt before Him and asked what he should
do to inherit eternal life. Christ told him, "Thou knowest the
commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not
bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother" (Mark
Christ here quoted some of the Ten
Commandments. These commandments were given by God to Moses—in the Old
Testament. They are part of the Holy Scriptures.
Several years later, the apostle Paul, under God's inspiration, wrote:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished
unto all good works" (II Tim. 3:16-17).
Again, when Paul wrote, the only "scripture" in existence was the Old
Testament. The New Testament was not completed.
Paul further told Timothy that the "scriptures" were holy: "But
continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been
assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a
child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee
wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (verses
Think! What "holy scriptures" had
Timothy learned as a child? He could only have had knowledge of the Old
Testament writings. The apostles had no doubt that the Old Testament
was God's inspired Word.
The New Testament
refers to the Old Testament about 250 times. You cannot accept the New
Testament without recognizing the authority of the Old. The two don't
contradict; they complete each other. The Bible is one book. It cannot
be divided. Christ foretold
How many pay attention to the numerous references the Old Testament
makes to Christ, His birth, His mission, His sufferings and His death?
When John the Baptist heard of the works of Christ, he sent Him two of
his own disciples to inquire, "Art thou he that should come, or do we
look for another?" (Matt. 11:3).
How did John
the Baptist know that a Messiah was to come? Where had he read about
Him? In the writings of the Old Testament.
The Pharisees and scribes at the time of Christ boasted of their
knowledge of Scripture. However, they did not understand it. Blinded as
they were, they only expected the Messiah to come in all His glory;
they had not seen— in Scripture—that He first would come as a human
being to die for the sins of mankind.
what Christ told His disciples after His death and resurrection: "These
are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that
all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses,
and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he
their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and
said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to
suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day" (Luke 24:44-46).
Read it again! Notice that Christ divided the Old Testament into three
sections: the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms. Any student of
theology knows that the Old Testament canon is divided into:
1) The law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
2) The prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos,
Obadiah, Jonah. Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah
3) The psalms
or writings: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth,
Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and
These, then, are the "scriptures"
spoken of by Christ. They form the entirety of the Old Testament. The
Apocrypha, not inspired by God, is not included in these three groups.
It never was a part of the Hebrew Bible. (For information about Bible
study write for our free reprint article, "Seven Keys to Understanding
the Bible")Old Testament confirmed
The apostle Peter, upon receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of
Pentecost, gave a powerful sermon and showed the people their
sins—theirs as well as their forefathers'. He also spoke of prophecies
concerning the Messiah. "And now, brethren, I wot that through
ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which
God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ
should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be
converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of
refreshing shall come from thepresence of the Lord... For Moses truly
said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto
you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things
whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every
soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among
the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow
after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days"
(Acts 3:17-19, 22-24).
Once again the
writings of the Old Testament—the Scripture that cannot be
broken—confirm the coming of the Messiah.
apostle Paul, who was taught at the feet of the famous Jewish scholar
Gamaliel, bitterly persecuted Christians before his conversion.
However, Christ opened his understanding, and thus began a new life for
Paul. He surrendered totally to Christ and consecrated his whole life
to proclaiming the Gospel: "But Saul increased the more in strength,
and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is
very Christ" (Acts 9:22).
But what were the
Scriptures he used in order to convince the people—Jews as well as
gentiles? The books of the Old Testament, of course.
Later in his life, Paul, at Rome, "expounded and testified the kingdom
of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses,
and out of the prophets, from morning till evening" (Acts 28:23).
Did you catch that? Paul preached the Gospel from the books of the law
of Moses (the Pentateuch) and the writings of the prophets.
In Thessalonica, three Sabbaths consecutively, he "reasoned with them
out of the scriptures. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs
have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom
I preach unto you, is Christ" (Acts 17:3).
All the apostles and disciples used the books of the Old Testament to
prove that Jesus is the Christ: "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born
at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures,. . .
helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily
convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that
Jesus was Christ" (Acts 18:24, 28).Afraid to be convinced?
For decades this Work has been proclaiming that Jesus Christ— the
Messiah, the Anointed One prophesied in the Old Testament—will soon
return to establish God's Kingdom on earth.
At His first coming, Jesus had another mission. He came to die for our
sins and to proclaim the good news of God's coming government on earth.
This is what the "scriptures" reveal—both the Old Testament and the New.
Are you beginning to see that the Old Testament is as much a part of
the inspired Word of God as is the New Testament? To merely believe the
Bible is of little value, unless you live by its teachings.
Be honest with yourself and examine your beliefs! Are they in harmony
with the Bible's teachings? Are you persuaded that Jesus Christ—your
Lord and Savior— is truly the promised Messiah of whom the prophets of
old, as well as the law and the writings, have spoken, and who will
soon return to establish His Kingdom on earth?
If you are not, it's time to wake up! His coming may catch you by surprise—and unprepared!
A New Look at Ezekiel's Prophecy on Tyre
Here is clarification of a prophecy long misunderstood by Christians and atheists alike.
Perhaps you have heard of the preacher who thought to challenge the
agnostic and the atheist. He quoted Ezekiel's prophecy—actually, God's
prophetic warning—concerning Tyre, the famous port-city of the
The preacher dared his audience to face the challenge of Ezekiel 26:14:
"And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to
spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have
spoken it, saith the Lord God."
Here, declared the preacher, is God's challenge to the atheist. Try
to rebuild ancient Tyre! Dare to defy God's Word, which said of this city, "Thou shalt be built no more."
It did seem quite a challenge. After all, Adam Clarke, in his
commentary, assured his readers that the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar
destroyed Old Tyre on the mainland and it was "never rebuilt." And the
island city with its ports was demolished by the Mamelukes from Egypt
in A.D. 1291.
The truth is, the preacher and
Adam Clarke were wrong. Ezekiel 26:20 makes it plain that Tyre will not
finally be uninhabited until Jesus Christ returns.
Now consider the evidence of history.
Archaeologists have only begun to scratch the surface at Tyre. But the
records of history are sufficient to make the history of Tyre plain.
Tyre (Hebrew: Sor) was already an important Phoenician city in the 15th
century B.C. Joshua 19:29 refers to it as "the fortified city of Tyre"
(Revised Standard Version). It is mentioned again in II Samuel 24:7 as
a fortress in the days of David.
Between these two periods of time the Egyptians make reference
to Tyre's important geographic situation. An Egyptian school text of
the period of the judges in Israel reads: "Pray, instruct me about
Beirut, about Sidon and Sarepta. . . . They say another town is in the
sea, named Tyre-the-Port" (John A. Wilson, "An Egyptian Letter,"
Papyrus Anas-tasi I, ANET, p. 477). Tyre was a dual city. Part lay on
the coast, part offshore on islands of rock.
Skipping over the numerous biblical references to Tyre in the days of
Solomon and the later kings of Israel and Assyria, we come to the time
of Nebuchadnezzar. God revealed to Ezekiel in the year that Jerusalem
fell that He would bring upon Tyre (Tyrus) Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon "from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with
horsemen, and companies, and much people. . . . And he shall set
engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down
thy towers. . . . thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen ..
. when he shall enter into thy gates . . . and thy strong garrisons
shall go down to the ground" (Ezek. 26:7-11).
Verse 11 ends the prophecy about Nebuchadnezzar's siege. Up to this point the singular forms
and "his" are exclusively used to refer to the king of Babylon.
Suddenly the prophecy shifts to "they" in verse 12: "And they shall
make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and
they shall break down thy walls . . . and they shall lay thy stones and
thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water."
Why this sudden change in pronouns? Because Nebuchadnezzar did not
fulfill this verse—but others did, years later. The king of Babylon did
not make a spoil of Tyre's riches. See Ezekiel 29:17-20. The king had
an immense army of horsemen and foot soldiers, but he had no fleet. He
could not besiege the walled part of the city that lay on the rock
offshore. During the siege the Phoenicians transported their wealth
from the mainland to the offshore island fortress. When the mainland
part of the city (Old Tyre) fell to the king, the defenders were
slaughtered. But there was no wealth to take (verse 18).
Yet God revealed to Ezekiel that Tyre's wealth would become a spoil
(Ezek. 26:12). The prophecy was not to be fulfilled all in one
In the years following
Nebuchadnezzar's empty victory, the site of Old Tyre (Paleotyrus) was
rebuilt—contrary to Adam Clarke and the preacher. Its old walls were
not restored, but it became a significant open city, extending along
the shore. This was not at all clear to us when we visited Tyre in 1957.
When Alexander, the king of Macedonia, reached the Phoenician coast in
332 B.C., in his conquest of the Persian empire, he appeared before the
nobles of Tyre on the mainland. Alexander requested permission to
sacrifice to the Tyrian god Heracles, from whom he claimed descent. At
that time there were two temples of Heracles at Tyre, one on the
mainland and one on the island fortress (Quintus Curtius 4.2.4). This
fact we overlooked for years. The Tyr-ians offered the Macedonian king
the temple on the mainland at Old Tyre for his sacrifice. The king was
insulted and demanded to enter the island city or he would besiege it!
The rest is history. Alexander built from the quickly abandoned
mainland town a mole linking the mainland to the island. He took the
masonry and large stones, the timber and the very dust of Old Tyre and
laid them in the sea to form the mole. New Tyre, on the island, fell.
Its riches were captured. And the mole became a peninsula as the sands
washed against it over the centuries.
Old Tyre and New Tyre were resettled. By the time of Jesus the city
Tyre had again become a thriving port (Mark 7:24-31). It is referred to
in Acts 12:20-21, during the reign of Herod. Pliny, a Roman scholar,
visited Tyre in the days of the apostles and recorded its size. He
computed the circuit of mainland Tyre and the island at 19 Roman miles
and the circumference of the island proper at slightly less than 3
miles (Pliny, Natural History, 5.17.76).
But what of the prophecy that Tyre would not be rebuilt?
Look again at Ezekiel 26. Remember, verses 7 to 11 use the singular
pronoun to refer to Nebuchadnezzar. Suddenly, verse 12 uses the plural
pronoun "they" to refer to Alexander and numerous other generals who
came after him and plundered Tyre—Greeks, Romans, Arabs, the Crusaders,
the Mamelukes. Ezekiel 26:3 quotes God as saying that He "will cause
many nations to come up against thee [Tyre], as the sea causeth his
waves to come up." That is precisely what has happened through history.
One nation after another has come against Tyre. "They" made a spoil of
The Mamelukes, after taking
the city from the Crusaders near the close of the 13th century,
dismantled the city so it would not again be used as a fort by
so-called Christian Crusaders from Europe against Islam.
In the next century Sir John Maundeville traveled from Cyprus to
Jerusalem by way of Tyre. He wrote of his experience: "In a day and
night he that hath good wind may come to the haven of Tyre, which is
now called Sur. [This is the Arabic word for Tyre and means "rock."]
Here was once a great and good city of the Christians, but the Saracens
have destroyed it in great part, and they guard that haven carefully
for fear of the Christians" ("The Book of Sir John Maundeville, A.D.
1322-1356" in Thomas Wright, Early Travels in Palestine, p. 141).
A similar indication of the life of the Moslem town is given by
Bertrandon de La Brocquiere, one of the last medieval travelers, in
1432 (Early Travels in Palestine, pp. 282-283).
Tyre continued to sink into obscurity until the Metualis occupied the
district in 1766. It once again grew to a few thousand inhabitants.
With the coming of the state of Israel, Tyre rapidly expanded to
accommodate those Islamic Arabs who fled Palestine and settled in
And that is where we are today. Tyre is still inhabited, still a minor port. Its wealth is gone.
But Ezekiel 26:13-14 reveals something yet to happen: "And I"—no longer
"they," but "I"— "will cause the noise of thy songs [they are Arabic
songs today] to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more
heard. And I"— not "they"—"will make thee like the top of a rock: thou
shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for
I the Lord have spoken it..."
This is God's
doing. He will cause the waters of the Mediterranean to wash over the
site of Tyre till the millennia of accumulated rubble are washed away,
and it is suitable only for the spreading of nets between tides. This
has never fully happened. Oh yes, a small part of New Tyre on its
western edge is under water. But the major part of the Phoenician city
is covered by sand and the rubble of later buildings, roads and burial
grounds. A significant part lies today beneath the modern Arab town.
This prophecy, much misunderstood, is not the challenge to the skeptic
the preacher assumed. It is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled by Jesus
Christ when He brings peace to the world!
Bible is the world's best seller. It is the most widely distributed and
read book on this planet. But it is also the most misunderstood and
most maligned book ever written. Why?
Millions of people believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God; to
them, the Scriptures are inerrant. But to others, the Bible is merely a
collection of ancient, uninspired writings that may have some
historical, poetic and inspirational value.
Is this venerable Book, referred to by U.S. President John Adams as
"the Volume of Inspiration," really the unquestionable, authoritative
Word of the living God?
Bruce Barton once
wrote a book about the Bible, entitled The Book Nobody Knows. Truly,
many of those who believe in the Bible don't really believe it—because
they don't believe what it says.Opposing views
The professed agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) wrote: "The real
oppressor, enslaver and corrupter of the people is the Bible. That Book
is the chain that binds, the dungeon that holds the clergy. That Book
spreads the pall of superstition over the colleges and schools. That
Book puts out the eyes of science and makes honest investigation a
crime. That Book fills the world with bigotry, hypocrisy and fear"
(Some Mistakes of Moses).
Mr. Ingersoll also
asserted: "God made a great number of promises to Abraham, but few of
them were ever kept. He agreed to make him the father of a great
nation, but He did not. He solemnly promised to give him a great
country, including all the land between the river of Egypt and the
Euphrates, but He did not.... Their [Israel's] God was quick-tempered,
unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising,
but never performed."
What about these claims? Many
the world's great men have been readers of the Bible and confessed that
some of their beliefs and wisdom came from that Book. President Abraham
Lincoln, for instance, often read the Bible and regularly quoted from
Sir Winston Churchill was also familiar with many of the teachings of God's Word. He said:
"We reject with scorn all these learned and laboured myths that Moses
was but a legendary figure. We believe that the most scientific view,
the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest
satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally. . . . We may be sure
that all these things [men-
tioned in the Bible] happened just as
they are set out according to Holy Writ; we may believe that they
happened to people not so very different from ourselves, and that the
impressions these people received were faithfully recorded, and have
been transmitted across the centuries with far more accuracy than many
of the telegraphed accounts we read of the goings-on of today."
Mr. Churchill went on to make this challenge: "Let the men of science
and of learning expand their knowledge and probe with their researches
every detail of the records which have been preserved to us from these
dim ages. All they will do is to fortify the grand simplicity and
essential accuracy of the recorded truths which have lighted so far the
pilgrimage of man" (Thoughts and Adventures).
What is the truth? Is there any accuracy in either of these widely divergent views?The Bible speaks
Now let us look at the Bible, to see what it says about itself.
David said, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a
furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Ps. 12:6).
Jesus Christ gave ample testimony to the authenticity of the Holy
Scriptures. He referred to them as being the very Word of God: "And
beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Christ] expounded unto
them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself' (Luke 24:27).
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you . .
. that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of
Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then
opened he their understanding, that they might understand the
scriptures" (verses 44-45).
The apostle Paul,
writing in the middle of the first century, said: "All scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man
of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II
Humans visit museums and other
repositories of historic documents such as Britain's Magna Carta and
America's Declaration of Independence and stand in awe at the sight of
those documents. How much more should we stand in awe of the very Word
of the living God?Like a puzzle
Through the prophet Isaiah God revealed that He inspired the Bible in
such a way that it can be misunderstood by those who disobey it.
Isaiah asked: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to
understand doctrine? . . . For precept must be upon precept, precept
upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there
a little" (Isa. 28:9-11).
The Word of God is
written so that its various pieces must be put together like a picture
puzzle. All the scriptures on any one subject must be viewed together
to get the entire picture. But why?
Isaiah answers, "That they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken" (verse 13).
When Jesus was asked why He spoke to the multitudes in parables, He
said: "Unto you [His disciples] it is given to know the mystery of the
kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are
done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and
hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should
be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them" (Mark 4:11-12).
Few in the world realize that this is not the only day of salvation. It
is merely "a day of salvation" (Isa. 49:8). God is not calling the
masses today. He is only calling out of this world His Church (the
Greek word for "church," ekklesia, means "the called-out ones").
Speaking of true Christians, God says, "For the time is come that
judgment must begin [right now, today] at the house of God" (I Pet.
4:17). God is now judging us—His Church.
what about the rest of this world's 5 billion inhabitants? They are not
being judged now. Their time will come later. In the meantime, Satan
holds full sway over their minds and hearts (Rom. 11:8). For more
information, write for our free reprint, "Is This the Only Day of
God has given the vast majority
of mankind over to Satan to let him blind them at this time: "But if
our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of
this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of
God, should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4:3-4).
How does Satan deceive the masses—the whole world (Rev. 12:9)? He does
it primarily through false religious organizations and false clergymen:
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great
thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness" (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Satan often quotes scripture (e.g., Matt. 4:6), so do his ministers,
but they always either quote it out of context or put a clever but
perverted twist on it: "For we are not as many," wrote Paul, "which
corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity" (II Cor. 2:17).
Yes, God deliberately inspired the writing of the Bible in such a way
that the worldly wise and the disobedient will misunderstand it and
stumble over it.Not Easily Understood
The apostle Peter admitted that some of Paul's writings were not easy
to understand. He said that "our beloved brother Paul also according to
the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his
epistles ... in which are some things hard to be understood, which they
that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction" (II Pet. 3:15-16).
How, then, are we, the elect, to understand God's Word? Isaiah
informs us of the attitude required: "But to this man will I look [says
God], even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth
at my word" (Isa. 66:2).
If we wish to truly
understand the Bible, we must "Search the scriptures" (John 5:39) as
did the open-minded Bereans (Acts 17:11).
must be careful about how he handles or expounds the Word of God. Paul
told Timothy, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Tim.
2:15). Many, instead of "rightly dividing the word of truth," corrupt
God's Word and, as Peter said, wrest it to their own destruction.How inspired?
Just how was the Word of God inspired?
Peter tells us: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy ... Knowing
this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private
interpretation. For the prophecy [in the scripture] came not in old
time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved
by the Holy Ghost" (II Pet. 1:19-21).
occasions when Old Testament prophets were inspired with a message,
they themselves didn't even understand it.
The prophet Daniel said: "And I heard, but I understood not: then said
I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go
thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time
of the end" (Dan. 12:8-9).Scientifically accurate
The Bible is not a science textbook. Nonetheless, whatever the Scriptures mention is always scientific.
Notice these accurate Bible statements:
"It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isa. 40:22). This verse
clearly reveals that the earth is round, even though man did not
"discover" this fact by himself until centuries after this was written.
"He [God]... hangeth the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7). The earth is
held in orbit around the sun by the law of gravity. But it is not
fastened to anything material.
truth in this biblical statement: "Through faith we understand that the
worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen
[the physical universe] were not made of things which do appear" (Heb.
In plain language, this verse says
that God created the physical, material, tangible world that we see out
of invisible, intangible, nonphysical essence—out of spirit or spirit
Most scientists, steeped in
evolution, are unable to admit the possibility of an intelligent,
all-powerful Designer of the universe. But they are forced to agree
that, as the Bible says, the physical universe came into existence from
that which does not now appear (spirit).
British weekly newsmagazine The Economist offers scientific arguments
that support the biblical account of special creation:
"According to modern physics, the universe began with a big bang, in
which space and matter made a sudden explosive appearance—from
literally nothing. There was a moment when all the material eventually
used to create every star and galaxy could have been in the palm of an
infinitely small hand" (The Economist, April 12, 1980).
The more research scientists perform, the more they are forced to admit that what the Bible says is true.
The Bible is true not only scientifically, but historically. Again,
though the Bible is not a history book, whatever is mentioned as
history in the Bible is always true.
example, a few decades ago, skeptics doubted the very existence of
ancient cities such as Nineveh and Sodom. But archaeologists have
uncovered abundant testimony to prove that those ancient cities
actually existed, just as the Bible said thousands of years ago.Bible infallible?
Is the Word of God infallible? It certainly is.
Christ said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).
Through the centuries, many have tried—unsuccessfully—to discredit or
destroy the Bible, "But the word of the Lord en-dureth for ever" (I
Of what real value is this Word of God? Why has God given it to men?
David said, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path"
(Ps. 119:105). Without that brilliant lamp, this world would be in
total darkness. It is only through the light of God's infallible Word
that man can ever come to know who he is, where he came from, what is
his ultimate destiny and by what means he may attain that incredible
Let us all thank the great God for the precious gift of His infallible Word!
Few understand that God revealed a most amazing prophecy in detail 2,500 years in advance for us today to read and take warning.
It's time we woke up to the proof of divine authority in this longest
prophecy of the Bible. It's time we knew what the 11 th chapter of the
book of Daniel reveals. It's time we knew the background—the vital
factors that have led up to this world danger—the significance of this
series of crises!Unveiling the Future!
This is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It is most
specific, describing historical events, up to the present, in more
detail than any other prophecy. It is the longest prophecy in the
Bible. It is found in Daniel, chapter 11. It describes the impending
The prelude is found in the 10th chapter
of the book of Daniel. The prophecy came to Daniel in the third year of
the reign of Cyrus, king of the Persian Empire (Dan. 10:1). A "man,"
apparently the archangel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), appears before Daniel, to
make him understand what shall befall God's people in these present
"latter days" (10:14).Two Major Lines of Kings
The first verse of the 11th chapter is a continuation from the last
verse of the 10th chapter. The angel says to Daniel, "Behold, there
shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far
richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall
stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand
up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will"
Actually there were 12 more
kings in the Persian Empire, but only the first four following Cyrus
were of importance for the purpose of this prophecy. They were
Cambyses, pseudo-Smerdis, Darius and Xerxes. It was the last, or
Xerxes, who was the richest of all and stirred up war with Greece.
Then King Philip of Macedonia planned a great war to conquer the
Persian Empire, with an army made up mostly of Grecians. He died before
the plans were completed. But his son, Alexander the Great, took over
his plans, and invaded Persia. He met the Persian army at the Battle of
Issus, 333 B.C. (Dan. 8:2, 5-6). Then he swept down into Egypt, and
then to a final crushing defeat of the Persian Empire at the Battle of
Arbella, 331 B.C. after which Alexander marched on a conquest clear to
India, sweeping all before him.
verse 4 of the prophecy: "And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall
be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and
not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for
his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those."
marvelously—how accurately—that came to pass. We quote from one of the
authoritative English-language histories published in the last century,
A Manual of Ancient History (Clarendon Press Series, 1880) by
Rawlinson: "Cut off unexpectedly in the vigor of early manhood [the
33rd year of his age, June, 323 B.C.], he [Alexander] left no
inheritor, either of his power or of his projects" (p. 208). The empire
was left leaderless and in confusion, but out of this emerged, by the
year 301 B.C., four divisions, just as prophesied, as a result of a
division of the empire into four divisions by Alexander's generals.
1. Ptolemy Soter, ruling Egypt, part of Syria and Judea.
2. Seleucus Nicator, ruling Syria, Babylonia and territory east to India.
3. Lysimachus, ruling Asia Minor.
4. Cassander, ruling Greece and Macedonia.
Thus was the prophecy of verse 4 fulfilled to the letter.
Now notice what follows. From here the prophecy foretells the
activities only of two of these four divisions: Egypt, called "king of
the south," because it is south of Jerusalem; and the Syrian kingdom,
the "king of the north," just north of Judea. It is because the Holy
Land passed back and forth between those two divisions, and because
their different wars were principally over possession of Judea, that
the prophecy is concerned with them. Here is verse 5:
"And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be strong, and one of his
princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his
dominion shall be a great dominion." In history, we learn that the
original Ptolemy I, called Soter, became strong and powerful,
developing Egypt beyond the greatest dreams of Alexander. One of his
princes, or generals, Seleucus Nicator, also became strong and
powerful. And, in 312 B.C., taking advantage of Ptolemy's being tied up
in a war, he established himself in Syria, and assumed the diadem as
Verse 6 says, "And in the end of years
they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the
south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement [margin,
"rights" or "equitable conditions," or "marriage union"]: but she shall
not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm:
but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat
her, and he that strengthened her in these times."Fulfilled to the Letter!
At the end of 50 years, this occurred exactly as described!
Syria's ruler, the king of the north, at this time was Antiochus II,
called Theos. His wife was named Laodice. And, says Rawl-inson's
Ancient History, page 251, "Her influence ... engaged him in a war with
Ptolemy Philadelphus [king of the south], b.c. 260, which is
terminated, b.c. 252, by a marriage between Antiochus and Ber-nice,
The prophecy says "he
that begat her" shall be given up. Also that she shall not retain the
power of the arm, neither shall the king of the north, whom she
married, stand. All three are to come to their end. Notice how
accurately this came to pass.
Rawlinson's History, pages 251 and 252: "On the death of Philadelphus
[he that begat her], b.c. 247, Antiochus repudiated Bernice, and took
back his former wife, Laodice, who, however, doubtful of his constancy,
murdered him to secure the throne for her son Seleucus (II) B.c. 246 ..
. Bernice ... had been put to death by Laodice."
Nowhere in all the Bible is there so literal a prophecy, giving so many
details of future history. And to read an ancient history of these
kingdoms is simply to see unfolded before your eyes, step by step,
verse by verse, this marvelous prophecy. There can be no doubt of its
right application!The Holy Land Changes Hands
Next let us notice verse 7: "But out of a branch of her roots shall one
stand up in his estate [margin, "in his office"], which shall come with
an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north,
and shall deal against them, and shall prevail."
"Out of a branch," or "shoot," of her roots. Her parents were her
roots. Hence, this must be her brother, who next should occupy the
throne of king of the south and fulfill this prophecy. Now listen to
this accurate fulfillment, quoted word for word from the same page of
Rawlinson's work (p. 252):
[the III, eldest son of Philadelphus (p. 272) and therefore Bernice's
brother, a branch of her roots] invaded Syria, b.c. 245, to avenge the
murder of his sister, Bernice.... In the war which followed, he carried
everything before him."
The eighth verse of
Daniel 11 says this king of the south would carry captives and vessels
of silver and gold into Egypt, and continue to reign more years than
the king of the north, who at that time was Seleucus II, and verse 9
says he (Seleucus II) shall come into Egypt. As verse 7 said he should
"enter into the fortress of the king of the north," Ptolemy III did
seize the fortress of Syria, Seleucia, the port of Antioch, capital of
the kingdom! Then he carried back to Egypt immense booty and 2,500
molten images and idolatrous vessels which, in 526 b.c. Cambyses had
carried away from Egypt. He continued to rule until 222 b.c., while the
king of the north, Seleucus II, died in 226 b.c.
When he died, his two sons took over the kingdom of the north; first
Seleucus III, 226-223 b.c., who ruled only three years, and then his
brother Antiochus III, called "the Great," 223-187 b.c. Both of these
two sons of Seleucus II assembled immense forces to war against Egypt,
avenge their father, and recover their port and fortress, Seleucia.
And this was accurately prophesied in verse 10: "But his sons shall be
stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one
shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he
return and be stirred up [margin, "be stirred up again"], even to his
"And," continues verse 11, "the
king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and
fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth
a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand."
In fulfillment of the latter part of verse 10, Antiochus the Great,
after 27 years, recovered his fortress, Seleucia, and he also conquered
the territory of Syria, as far as Gaza, including Judea. But the young
Egyptian king, now Ptolemy IV (Philopator), was roused, and with an
army of 20,000 inflicted severe defeat on Antiochus the Great; and
fulfilling verse 12, he killed tens of thousands and again annexed
Judea to Egypt. But he was not strengthened, for he made a rash and
speedy peace with Antiochus, and returned to dissipation, throwing away
the fruits of victory. Says verse 12, "And when he hath taken away the
multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many
ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it ["prevail"—NKJ,
"For," as verse 13 continues, "the king of the north shall return,
and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall
certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much
riches." It was "after certain years," or 12 years later, 205 b.c.,
that Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving his throne to an infant son,
Ptolemy Epiphanes. Then Antiochus assembled a greater army, and won
He then made a treaty
allying Philip of Macedonia with him, and others, against Egypt, and
they wrested Phoenicia and southern Syria from the king of the south.
In this they were assisted by some of the Jews. Josephus' Jewish
history says many Jews helped Antiochus. But notice how accurately
Almighty God had foretold this, hundreds of years before it happened:
"And in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South;
also certain violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in
fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall" (v. 14, NKJ).Read It in Your Own Bible!
To save space, the reader is asked from this point to read each verse
of the prophecy from his own Bible, thus saving us reprinting the
prophecy in full here. We give here only the facts in history.
Verses 15-16—"The glorious land," of course, refers to Judea, the Holy
Land. Antiochus the Great besieged and took Sidon from Egypt, ruined
the interests of Egypt in Judea at the Battle of Mount Panium, 198
b.c., and then Antiochus took possession of Judea.
Verse 17—"Upright ones" (see margin) in Hebrew means "equal conditions,
or marriage," but the one for whom he arranges a marriage will not
stand on his side. In 198 b.c., Antiochus arranged a marriage between
his daughter, Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra of 31 b.c. in Egypt) and
young Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of the south, by which he hoped subtly to
gain complete possession of Egypt; but the plan failed.
Says Rawlinson, page 254, "Coele-Syria and Palestine promised as a
dowry, but not delivered." Cleopatra did not truly stand on the side of
Antiochus, for it was only a trick to gain possession of Egypt.
Verse 18—And so Antiochus turned his attention in another direction and
tried to conquer, 197 to 196 b.c., the islands and coasts of Asia
Minor. But the Roman general, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus,
utterly defeated him at the Battle of Magnesia, 190 b.c.
Verse 19—Antiochus next turned his attention to the fortresses of his
own land, in the east and west. But, attempting to recruit his
dissipated wealth by the plunder of the Oriental Temple of Belus, in
Elymais, he was killed, 187 b.c.
20—Seleucus IV Philopator (187-176), his son, in an effort to raise
money, sent a tax collector, Heliodorus, through Judea. But he reigned
only 11 years, when Heliodorus poisoned him.
Verse 21—He left no heir. But his brother, a younger son of Antiochus
the Great, named Epiphanes (Antiochus IV), a contemptible reprobate,
came by surprise and through flattery took the kingdom. To his aid came
his assistant, Eumenes. Rawlinson says, page 255, "Antiochus
[Epiphanes], assisted by Eumenes, drives out Heliodorus, and obtains
the throne, b.c. 176. He astonishes his subjects by an affectation of
Roman manners" and "good-natured profuseness [flattery]."Antiochus Epiphanes
Verse 22—"The prince of the covenant" does not refer to Christ. This
was the attempt of Antiochus to replace the Jewish high priest by
another who would be subservient to him.
Verses 23-24—Although only a few were with him at first, yet by this
"Roman manner," by deceit and flattery, he crept into power and
prospered. He also invaded Galilee and Lower Egypt. His fathers, the
former kings of Syria, had favored the Jews, but says Rawlinson, page
255, they "were driven to desperation by the mad project of this
pages 255-256, says, "Threatened with war by the ministers of Ptolemy
Philometor [now king of the south], who claim Coele-Syria and Palestine
as the dowry of Cleopatra, the late queen-mother, Antiochus marches
against Egypt . . . b.c. 171" (pp. 277-278). But he was met by his
nephew, Ptolemy Philometor, king of the south, with another immense
army. But the Egyptian king was defeated through the treachery of his
own officers and was outwitted by Antiochus.
Verses 26-27—Continuing in Rawlinson, page 278: "After his victory at
Pelusium, Antiochus advanced to Memphis, and having obtained possession
of the young king's person [Ptolemy Philometor, king of the south],
endeavored to use him as a tool for effecting the entire reduction of
the country." In 174 b.c., the uncle of the king of the south sat at a
banquet. Antiochus pretended to ally himself with the young Ptolemy,
against his brother, Euergetes II, but each was trying to deceive the
other.The Abomination of Desolation
Verse 28—In 168 b.c., returning from Egypt with great plunder,
Antiochus set himself against the Jews, massacred many, and then
returned to Antioch with golden vessels from the Temple at Jerusalem.
Verse 29—The same year, he again invaded Egypt, but with none of his
former success, because Philometor, king of the south, got help from
Verse 30—The Roman fleet came against
Antiochus, he was forced to surrender to the terms of Popillius,
commander of the Roman fleet, and retire from Egypt and restore Cyprus
to Egypt. Returning through Judea, smarting under the defeat, he vented
his exasperation against the Jews, and extended special favors to those
Jews who would turn from their religion.
Verse 31—Then, 167 b.c., the next year, came the climax of the horror.
Antiochus sent troops to the Holy Land, who desecrated the Temple and
sanctuary, abolished the daily sacrifice (see also Daniel 8:11, 24) and
(Kislev 15, Hebrew calendar) placed the abomination—an image—on the
altar in the Temple precincts, making it desolate (Rawlinson, p. 255).
Many who claim to teach the Bible try to apply the prophecy of this
verse to Moslems in the seventh century a.d., building the Dome of the
Rock on the supposed site of the ancient Temple at Jerusalem! But every
verse of this prophecy, step by step, verse by verse, unfolded in
actual history, just as here recounted, so there can be not the
slightest shadow of doubt as to this abomination that "maketh
desolate"—it was the armies that set up an idol in 167 b.c.
[Photo Inset - King Menelik (left) and Benito Mussolini (right) had roles in the end-time fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy.]The Prophecy Comes to Christ and the Apostles
Verse 32 — Antiochus tried to end the religion of the Jews. He took
away the daily sacrifice, forbade the ministration at the Temple. He
perverted by flatteries the Jews who were willing to forsake their
But, right here, the prophecy cuts
off from the continuation of events in the history of those an-cient
north and south kingdoms. Up to this point, the prophecy was unfolded,
step by step, in the actual history of the northern kingdom of the
Seleu-cidae, or Syria, and the southern kingdom of Egypt. But, say most
commentaries, all accurate details seem suddenly to stop short with
Now let us notice verse 32 in detail, and particularly the last part:
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by
flatteries." This, Antiochus Epiphanes did do. But now notice the last
part of the verse: "but the people that do know their God shall be
strong, and do ex-
So our question now is, when, beginning with and
following 167 b.c., did people begin to know God and to be spiritually
strong and to do exploits in the Lord's service? The answer is, at the
time of the Maccabees, beginning in 166 b.c., and, two centuries later,
at the first appearing of Jesus Christ and in the days of the apostles!
Verse 33—"And they that understand among the people shall instruct
many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and
by spoil, many days."
Jesus and the apostles
did instruct many. But Jesus was put to death, and history indicates
that all the early apostles were martyred, except John. And this
continued many days, even into the Middle Ages, when millions were
martyred for their faith.
Verse 34—"Now when
they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many
shall cleave to them with flatteries. And [verse 35] some of them of
understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them
white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time
Here is described in general the
whole course of God's people, from the days of Christ to the present.
Compare with such passages as Revelation 12:6, 11, 13-17. And notice
the vision carries on down to this present time of the end.
Verse 36—The king of the north—who is he, now, in the early and middle
New Testament times, to which our prophecy has come? In 65 b.c., Syria
was swallowed up by the Roman Empire, and became a Roman province. The
Roman emperor now controlled Judea, and therefore the king of the
north, here referred to, is, at this time, the emperor of the Roman
Empire. This verse says he should do according to his will, and he
did—exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god—and he did; for
the Roman emperors required all to worship them and sacrifice to them
as a god. He was as a god. He was to speak against the true God, and he
did, and persecuted all Christians.
Verse 37—His fathers had worshiped idols, but the Roman emperors set themselves up as gods.
Verse 38—The Roman emperors honored the god of forces, or (margin)
munitions, and developed the greatest war-making power the world ever
knew. "And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold,
and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things." After
setting themselves up as gods, before a.d. 476, the emperors who
followed, beginning with Justinian, a.d. 554, began to honor with gold,
silver and power a god in a high religious office never known to their
fathers. (Compare this prophecy of Daniel with Revelation 17:4, 5, and
Verse 39—The emperors did
acknowledge the supremacy of religion, increased it with material glory
and caused it to rule over many.Prophecy Skips to Present
Now we come to the very present century.
Verse 40—"And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push
at him. ..." Who is today the "king of the south"?
It cannot be the king of Egypt, for in 31 B.C. Egypt became a province
of the Roman Empire, swallowed up by the king of the north. Today Egypt
is a republic ruled by native Arabs. It has no king of its own.
But, in the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (verse 7), 247-222 b.c.,
Egypt annexed part of Ethiopia, immediately south of Egypt (Rawlinson,
pp. 272, 273). Since that time, the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica says (article "Ethiopia") Egypt and Ethiopia were two or
three times under the same government. Thus, the two were as one land.
And the only portion of that land of the "king of the south" that
remained independent until the 20th century is Ethiopia!Ethiopia, the King of the South
Ethiopia was the only country in all East Africa that continued
independent, and had a government and kingdom dating back before the
Roman Empire. It was the southern part of the kingdom of the south. So
it is the only possible government that could be the king of the south.
At the time of the end—our time—this king of the south was to push at the king of the north, now at Rome!
In 1895 King Menelik, of Ethiopia, sent an army of 9,000 to 10,000 men
against General Baratieri's Italian army.
North of Ethiopia was Eritrea, belonging to Italy. And southeast was Italian Somaliland.
In 1896 General Baratieri with 13,000 men tried to defend Eritrea
against the Ethiopians. They lost 4,600 whites and 3,000 native troops,
and more than 3,500 were taken prisoner.
later engagement the Italians were cut to pieces because of their
inexperience in fighting in mountainous country and because they were
greatly outnumbered. This defeat was disastrous to Italian expansion in
Ever since, Italy demanded revenge!
In 1927 Mussolini set the time, at just 40 years from that defeat, or
1935, when he would be ready "finally to make our voice heard, and see
our rights recognized!"
1935 came. The hour
struck! Mussolini attacked! Now notice verse 40: "... and the king of
the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and
with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the
countries, and shall overflow and pass over."
A whirlwind comes in the air, sweeping all before it. Mussolini did
send a great air force into Africa! Also many modern "chariots"—trucks,
tanks, etc.—and ships, loaded with soldiers. More than 100,000 sailed
And, notice it, Mussolini's
forces were to pass over—in the air! It is at this precise point in
this astounding prophecy that Mussolini's struggle in Ethiopia and in
World War II ended. Mussolini did not finish the prophecy. There is yet
another leader to arise in Europe! Notice what will next happen!
Verse 41—"He shall enter also into the glorious land ... "—the Holy Land. This is yet to be fulfilled.
When the coming revival of the Roman Empire takes the Holy Land, then
the nations will be plunged into the initial phase of the great, last
and final crisis at the close of this age! Other prophecies reveal that
this revival of the Roman Empire will bring into subjection the U.S.
and Britain! (Request our free booklet The United States and Britain in
"And," continues verse 41, "many
countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand,
even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon"—the modern
land of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The coming dictator will unite
many others with him— 10 in all (Rev. 17:12)—reviving the ancient Roman
Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now the "king of the south."
Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its
conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of
the south) shall be at his steps— and he will then control them. Italy
lost control of Libya and Ethiopia after the war.
Verse 44—But news out of the east and out of the north—Russia and the
Orient—shall trouble the revived Roman Empire. Russia will enter the
Verse 45—The coming Roman Empire shall
establish its palace, as capital of the revived Roman Empire, and
eventually its religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2
says the city shall be taken! "Yet he shall come to his end, and none
shall help him"! This language signifies the end of the "beast" and the
"false prophet" at the hand of God! You will find this end described in
Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12.
now what is the time of this end, at the close of this marvelous
prophecy? The next verse, Daniel 12:1, says at the time of the
resurrection of the just—at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
This prophecy begins with the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, soon after
the death of Alexander the Great—2,300 years ago. But it ends at the
time of the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ to bring peace
at last to the region—and to the entire world! It is so plain, there
can be no doubt of its right application!
you ready for that event? Are you any longer a skeptic? It is fast
approaching. Now is the time to get ready, for Jesus said, "Be ye also
Does God's Word Contain ERRORS?
the Bible is inspired by God, it cannot contain errors. But critics
cite supposed biblical contradictions and inaccuracies. Here are
examples that show God's Word is entirely correct.
[Article Inset]A Bible Mistake?
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and
sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement,
but in the Hebrew, Gab'-ba-tha.
14 And it was
the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith
unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15 But they
cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto
them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no
King but Caesar.
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy
hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
assert that the Bible can't be completely trusted and that it is full
of errors, especially in areas such as history and science.
Because of these "errors," skeptics cannot accept the Bible as being the inspired, infallible Word of God.
What is the truth about these so-called errors? Let's look at some
examples critics use to support their doubts.The two genealogies
Matthew 1 and Luke 3 both give genealogies of Christ, but they appear
to contradict. Actually they complement each other.
genealogy is clearly that of Joseph. Matthew recorded it for legal
purposes; he was writing to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the
Messiah, and the Jews' custom in keeping records was to trace descent
through the father.
Legally, the Jews of Jesus' day looked on Jesus as a son of Joseph (John 6:42).
Also, Joseph's lineage was given to emphasize the fact that Jesus had
to be born of a virgin. He could never sit upon the throne of David if
Joseph were His real father, since Jechonias (or Jeconiah) was one of
his ancestors (Matt. 1:11-12).
called Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24-30, was so evil God cursed him and his
descendants and said "no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon
the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah" (verse 30). Jeconiah
did have children (I Chron. 3:17) but was childless as far as having
any descendants on the throne. Joseph's children could not, therefore,
ever sit on David's throne.
How, then, could
Christ be a descendant of David and qualify to sit on the throne? Enter
the genealogy in Luke 3.
Luke's genealogy is actually Mary's. According to Jewish
usage, Mary's genealogy was given in her husband's name. The original
Greek merely says Joseph was "of Heli" (Luke 3:23). In fact, Joseph was
the son-in-law of Heli, since his father was Jacob (Matt. 1:16).
Unlike in Joseph's lineage, there was no block to the throne of David
in Jesus' actual blood genealogy through Mary. Her ancestor was David's
other son, Nathan (Luke 3:31). To fulfill His promise to establish
David's throne forever, God honored Nathan by making him the ancestor
of the promised King who would sit on David's throne through eternity
But how could Mary transmit
David's royal inheritance—the right to the throne—to her son, since all
inheritances had to pass through male descendants? According to
Israel's law, when a daughter was the only heir, she could inherit her
father's possessions and rights if she married within her own tribe
(Num. 27:1-7, 36:6-7).
Apparently, Mary had
no brothers who could be her father's heirs. Joseph became Heli's heir
by marriage to Mary, and thus inherited the right to rule on David's
throne. This right then passed on to Christ.
Both genealogies had to be recorded to establish Christ's right to rule
on David's throne. Joseph's genealogy shows Christ was a descendant of
Jeconiah and thus could not sit on the throne by inheriting the right
through Joseph. It further proves the virgin birth: The curse on
Jeconiah's line would have passed on to Christ if He were Joseph's real
son, but He wasn't—He was begotten by the Holy Spirit and was the Son
But Christ was Mary's son through
Nathan and can inherit the throne legally because of her marriage to
Joseph, whose genealogy shows he was of the tribe of Judah.Matthew's "mistakes"
Matthew 27:1-9 presents three difficulties, according to skeptics. The first concerns the death of
Judas. Matthew says Judas died by hanging himself. But in Acts 1:18, Peter says Judas fell.
Contradiction? No. The hanging must have been improperly carried out,
since it resulted in Judas falling from the noose and bursting asunder
on the ground below.
We don't have sufficient
details to know whether Judas was dead before the fall. He may have
been hanging dead for some time, and his body decomposed and fell, or
he may have slipped from the noose.
and Peter's accounts also differ as to how the 30 pieces of silver were
used. Matthew says the chief priests bought the potter's field, while
Peter indicates Judas bought the field.
the two accounts are put together we can conclude that Judas had made
arrangements to buy the field. But when Judas saw Jesus condemned to
death, he felt remorse over his treachery. He returned the 30 pieces of
silver to the priests and then committed suicide in a potter's field.
The chief priests used the money to buy this field in Judas' name to
bury aliens in.
Biblical passages add to each other's meaning; they do not detract from or contradict each other.
The third "difficulty" is that Matthew 27:9 purports to be a quotation
from Jeremiah. But you can search the 52 chapters of Jeremiah's book
and you will not find it. So the critics say Matthew made a mistake.
Instead a similar quotation is found in Zechariah 11:12-13; although
Zechariah mentions 30 pieces of silver and a potter, there is nothing
about a potter's field.
But notice carefully
Matthew's words again: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by
Jeremy the prophet..." This prophecy was spoken by Jeremiah and for
some reason was not recorded in his book. Matthew obviously had access
to it, though, through other records."Historical errors" disproved
What some consider classic examples of errors in the Bible's historical sections can also be explained.
Some think the apostle Paul's statement in I Corinthians 10:8
contradicts Numbers 25:9. Did 23,000 or 24,000 die in the plague? When
we read both accounts carefully, we see that the Old Testament version
gives the total number of people who died in the plague. Paul relates
that most of them, or 23,000, died in one day. The remaining thousand
Another possible explanation is
that round numbers were used by both writers. If the actual number was
around 23,500 it would be correct to round it off to either 23,000 or
Time and again the Bible's accuracy
has been vindicated by archaeologists. One example is Daniel's
statement that Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon (Dan. 5:30-31).
For centuries historians said Daniel was wrong—according to them
Nabonidus was the last king.
But the critics
were silenced when archaeologists dug up some Babylonian documents that
stated Nabonidus named his son "Bel-sarusus"—a variation of Belshazzar.
According to a document now called the Nabonidus Chronicle, Nabonidus
"entrusted the army and the kingship" to Belshazzar while he campaigned
in central Arabia.
Belshazzar was therefore
the second ruler of Babylon who reigned in his father's absence. This
explains why Belshazzar wanted to make Daniel the "third ruler" in the
kingdom (Dan. 5:16).
Critics also once attacked the
historical accuracy of the account in II Kings 18. It describes the
struggle between King Sennacherib of Assyria and King Hezekiah of
Judah. For the sake of peace, Hezekiah offered whatever tribute would
satisfy the Assyrian ruler. Sennacherib asked for 300 talents of silver
and 30 talents of gold (verse 14).
developed with this account when archaeologists found Sennacherib's
official records, which described the settlement as being 800 talents
of silver and 30 of gold. This was 500 more talents of silver than what
the Bible said.
But more recent discoveries
revealed that Assyria and Judah used different standards for
calculating silver, just as countries today have different standards
for currency. It turned out that 800 Assyrian talents of silver equaled
300 Jewish talents of silver. The Bible account stood vindicated.Bible scientifically accurate
Joshua make a mistake in astronomy? Critics cite Joshua 10 and other
passages as proof that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate.
In order to give the Israelites more time to defeat their enemies, God
lengthened the day by causing the sun to "stand still" (verses 12-13).
Didn't Joshua know that the earth rotates around the sun? He probably
did. Technically speaking, he should have said, "Earth, stop rotating!"
But the Bible wasn't written for astronomers, in scientific language.
Though the Bible does give the foundation for understanding science, it
is written in language for the average man.
Technically, the earth stopped rotating during Joshua's long day, but
to the observer on earth the "sun stood still." We still use
"unscientific" expressions like "the sun sets" and "the kettle is
boiling." Critics should not construe such expressions in the Bible as
errors in science.
In Matthew 13:31-32,
Christ said the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed,
which He referred to as the smallest of all seeds. At least one
theologian claimed this was an error in botany, since we know today
that there are smaller seeds than the mustard seed. For instance,
mushroom spores are smaller, although some would not consider them
In any case, we must consider the
audience to whom Christ spoke. Many of His listeners were farmers, and
the smallest seed they sowed was the mustard seed. They had no
knowledge of anything smaller. Christ's object was not to teach
science, but spiritual truth.
know that the hare or rabbit does not chew the cud like a cow. Yet the
Bible says it does (Lev. 11:6, Deut. 14:7). If this is an error, it
wasn't Moses who made it—he only told the Israelites what God wanted
him to say. And God certainly knows what a hare does and doesn't do,
since He created them.
The answer to this
difficulty is that the hare appears to chew the cud, and God used that
as a sign to help identify clean and unclean animals. In any case, the
hare is still unfit for human consumption because it "divides not the
hoof," the other requirement of clean animals.Measurement of time
Many supposed contradictions in the Bible are related to time and measurement.
Israel used both a civil and sacred calendar. The civil year started in
the autumn with the month Tishri. The sacred year began in the spring
with the month Nisan or Abib. If two writers disagree on the month and
day of an event, we must see which calendar they use for reckoning.
John 19:14 appears to disagree with Matthew 27:45. John describes
events before the crucifixion and says they took place about the "sixth
hour." Matthew agrees with Mark 15:33 and Luke 23:44 when he says
darkness covered the land after the crucifixion from the sixth to the
ninth hours. Is there disagreement as to when the crucifixion occurred?
The Jewish state was then under Roman control. John used the Roman
reckoning of time—counting from midnight. To John, the "sixth hour" was
six o'clock in the morning. But according to the Jews' reckoning of
time, which the other Gospel writers used, this was the first hour of
the day. The sixth hour, to them, was noon, Roman time. The crucifixion
occurred between these times. The four versions do not contradict; they
add to each other.
There are, in the Bible,
discrepancies that might at first appear to be errors. Under
examination they prove not to be errors. On occasion what appears to be
an error is caused by a faulty translation, of which there are several
among the many different versions of the Bible. If a seeming
contradiction cannot be immediately solved, we don't need to be overly
Jesus Christ said, "The scripture
cannot be broken" (John 10:35). There is a solution to all the
so-called discrepancies. The Scriptures are unified in teaching the
The Bible is the inspired
Word of God and we can rely on its trustworthiness. It is a sure
foundation for our faith.
The Stones Cry Out and Confirm Bible History!
Disbelieving critics have challenged the accuracy of Bible history at every turn—and have lost!
centuries the Bible was accepted throughout the Western world as an
accurate history of ancient times. It was considered to be literally
true and authentic in every detail.
events in the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the building of the Tower of
Babel, the deeds of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt—all were
believed to have occurred exactly as recounted in Scripture.
But then came the so-called "Enlightenment" or Age of Reason of the
17th and 18th centuries. European intellectuals began to claim that
only through human, "scientific" reasoning could true knowledge be
Scriptural revelation came under direct attack!
On its heels arose the 19th-century theory of evolution, offering an
alternative explanation to divine creation for the presence of life on
earth. God and the Bible were completely excluded from the picture.
Soon many scholars began to totally dismiss Scripture as unhis-torical,
with no reliable basis in fact. They began to view biblical history as
mere legend, primitive superstition and folklore—placing it in the same
category as the ancient Greek and Roman myths.
These scholars claimed that many Old Testament books were not
contemporary records at all, but were actually written centuries after
the events they described. They declared them to have been based solely
on garbled, orally transmitted traditions, later put to paper by
ignorant, albeit sincere, men.
and "higher critics" came to deny the very existence of such major
biblical personalities as Noah, Abraham, Joseph and Moses.
These supposedly learned men were committing the same folly as those
Roman scoffers of old, so aptly described by the apostle Paul: "[They]
became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was
darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom.
1:21-22). Like the ancient Roman philosophers, "they did not like to
retain God in their knowledge" (verse 28).
Many scholars unfortunately chose to ignore other scholars' dramatic,
epoch-making discoveries in the Near East, which were rapidly putting
an entirely new light on the biblical record—and showing their modern
ideas to be hollow, unfounded rubbish!The Fertile Crescent
The new science of archaeology— the study of the material remains of
man's past—was to severely shake the confident anti-God prejudice of
looters and religious pilgrims had unearthed and carried away multiple
thousands of ancient artifacts from sites throughout the Near East. But
few understood the real significance of these items.
Shortly after the year 1800, systematic study and evaluation of Near
Eastern sites began. Archaeology enjoyed a steady and rapid growth. For
well over a century and a half now, the region of the Fertile Crescent
has been the object of intense archaeological scrutiny.
The term Fertile Crescent was coined by Egyptologist James Henry
Breasted for the area where civilization began—a crescent-shaped region
of rich, well-wa-tered land extending from the Persian Gulf up the
Tigris-Euphrates Valley, then westward over Syria and southward along
the Mediterranean through Palestine. Egypt's fertile Nile Valley is
sometimes included within its boundaries.
was in the Fertile Crescent that the lands and peoples that figure so
prominently in Old Testament history were found. It is not surprising,
therefore, that there has been relatively strong public interest in the
findings uncovered by the spade of the archaeologist in this region.
It is also not surprising that these discoveries have caused
disbelieving scholars to sit up and take notice. In fact, the
spectacular archaeological finds of the past century and a half by
sound-minded men of learning have prompted a radical reevaluation by
scholars of the Bible's reliability as a historical document!Critics eat crow
Modern archaeology has provided solid extrabiblical corroboration of
historical facts otherwise known to us only from Scripture. It has
proved beyond all reasonable doubt the accuracy of the Bible as a
Even still, it should
come as no surprise that some scholars remain determined to discredit
the Bible as a divinely inspired historical record, stubbornly
overlooking the overwhelming array of proof and documentation. Carnal
man is disinclined to accept and submit to God's Word.
These critics will blithely gloss over mounds of facts and plain
evidence rather than accept the Bible for what it is. Some few have
even chosen to pervert and twist the clear testimony of archaeology to
suit their own purposes—deliberately misinterpreting and
misrepresenting the facts rather than concede the authenticity of
Nevertheless, the past 150 years have witnessed remarkable archaeological confirmation of the Old Testament.Key discovery
Let us briefly examine a few of the scores of archaeological
discoveries that bear upon the history of biblical times—finds that
have provided dramatic corroboration of the millennia-old Bible record.
Not all archaeological finds have been as highly publicized over the
decades as the spectacular discovery in 1922 of the tomb of Tutankhamen
in Egypt by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. Yet many less-heralded
finds have proved infinitely more important to the evaluation of the
Without question the most vital
of these early discoveries was the unlocking of the secret of Behistun
Rock. This momentous breakthrough in the last century opened wide the
door to further inquiry, which has since confirmed and reconfirmed
Bible history many times over.
Located on a
cliff on Behistun Mountain at the foot of the Zagros Range in Persia is
a smoothed rock surface with ancient cuneiform carvings in three
languages—Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. Cuneiform was a mode of
writing, employing wedge-shaped marks, used by many of the ancient
peoples of western Asia.
Inscription, dating from 516 B.C., is an account of the assumption of
the Persian throne by Darius the Great (550-486). Beginning in 1835,
Sir Henry C. Rawlinson, an officer in the British East India Company,
painstakingly copied the three inscriptions from the rock face. He then
set to work unlocking their secrets. By 1846 he had deciphered the
Persian part of the inscription. As a result of this achievement, he
and other scholars were able to translate the Babylonian and Elamite
portions soon afterwards.
Behistun Inscription thus proved to be the vital key to ancient
cuneiform writing—just as the famous Rosetta Stone had unlocked the
mysteries of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The writings unearthed at
hundreds of sites throughout the Near East could now be understood!
Excavation, however, is slow, painstaking work. A single site may be worked for a decade or
more. Subsequent analysis of finds can take even longer. For this
reason, Mr. Rawlinson's success did not have an immediate impact on
biblical studies. Translation of previously unearthed cuneiform
tablets—as well as those uncovered later—was a prolonged and
time-consuming task. But gradually—year by year, decade by decade—a
clear picture began to emerge.The "mythical" Hittites
Bible critics had long scoffed at references in the biblical record to
a people called the Hittites (Gen. 15:20, Ex. 3:8, 17, Num. 13:29,
Josh. 1:4, Judg. 1:26 and elsewhere). Their evaluation was that the
Hittites were simply "one of the many mythical peoples" fabricated by
Bible writers—or, at best, a small and unimportant tribe.
But the critics were wrong!
In the latter half of the 19th century, Hittite monuments were
discovered at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in Syria, amply
vindicating the Bible narrative. Later, in 1906, excavations at
Boghazkoy (ancient Hattusas, capital of the Hittite empire) in Turkey
uncovered thousands of Hittite documents, revealing a wealth of
information about Hittite history and culture.
The Hittites, it is now known, were a very real and formidable power.
They were once one of the dominant peoples of Asia Minor and the Near
East, at times exercising control over Syria and parts of Palestine.
The Bible had been correct after all! Today, books abound on the
history, art, culture and society of the Hittites—a strong witness by
competent scholars against those critics who had once been so quick to
challenge the Word of God!Moses illiterate?
Many critics had also long ridiculed the idea that writing had been in
existence in the days of Moses. Writing was unknown at that time, they
asserted, implying that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old
Testament) could not possibly have been recorded by Moses or his near
contemporaries, but rather were oral traditions recorded at a much
With the flowering of Near
Eastern archaeology, however, came overwhelming proof that writing was
in common use for centuries before the time of Moses! In both Egypt and
Mesopotamia multiple thousands of inscriptions have been uncovered,
unquestionably antedating Moses by many hundreds of years.
Moreover, pre-Flood (Early Bronze) inscriptions and writings abound,
now known to antedate by many generations the Noachian Deluge of the
24th century B.C. The 17,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments of tablets
unearthed by Italian archaeologists in 1974 and thereafter at the site
of ancient Ebla in northern Syria exemplify the plethora of pre-Flood
and post-Flood writings.Another Jewish "myth"?
Some critics had also disputed the historicity of the Babylonian
captivity. The Bible recounts, in great detail, the carrying away into
slavery of the nation of Judah by the armies of Babylon early in the
6th century B.C. (II Kings 24-25). "Another Jewish myth" was their
In 1935 to 1938,
however, an important discovery was made at a site thought to be
ancient Lachish, 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Lachish was one of
the cities recorded in the Bible as having been besieged by the king of
Babylon at the same time as the siege of Jerusalem (Jer. 34:7).
Twenty-one pottery fragments inscribed in the ancient Hebrew script
were unearthed in the latest preexilic levels of the site. Commonly
called the Lachish Letters or Lachish Ostraca, they were written during
the very time of the Babylonian siege. Some of them proved to be
communiques exchanged between the city's military commander and the
commander of an outlying observation post, vividly picturing the final
days of Judah's desperate struggle against Babylon!
Subsequent finds in Mesopotamia of Babylonian historical texts
describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar have provided
additional proof. The historical fact of the Babylonian captivity has
been firmly established.Dead Sea Scrolls
Probably one of the most spectacular finds in Near Eastern archaeology
of the present century was that of the famed Dead Sea Scrolls. These
tattered manuscripts were first discovered by a Bedouin shepherd boy in
1947 in desert caves in the Judean wilderness near the Dead Sea.
Subsequently, additional scrolls were uncovered at various locations in
The majority of the manuscripts
were composed between 100 B.C. and A.D. 68. Some of them contain the
oldest-known versions of passages and books from the Old
Testament—including the entire book of Isaiah. Before the discovery of
the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest and fullest manuscript in Hebrew was
the Codex Petropoli-tanus dating from A.D. 916.
It has been thought that the scrolls had been part of a library
belonging to the Essenes. The manuscripts evidence occasional spurious
textual readings, additions, deletions and careless copying mistakes.
As Jesus stated (Matt. 23:2), the scribes and Pharisees, not the Qumran
sect, sat in Moses' seat and had authority over the preservation of the
original inspired Hebrew text.
the Dead Sea Scrolls lend support to the high degree of accuracy in the
transmission of the Old Testament text. The 2,000-year-old documents
demonstrate clearly that the authoritative Masoretic Hebrew Old
Testament as we have it today is remarkably faithful to the ancient
Also noteworthy in this regard are
fragments of 14 parchment scrolls—including parts of the books of
Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms and Ezekiel—discovered at
Masada, the site of the Jews' last stand against the Romans in A.D. 73.
In text and spelling they are identical with the traditional Hebrew
Bible.Noah's Flood—fact or fable?
Many efforts have been made to establish the historicity of the Flood
or Noachian Deluge (Gen. 5-8) by archaeological means. The Flood
account has probably been one of the most assailed of all biblical
Though many critics continue to
relegate the story to the realm of myth, this is more a result of their
refusal to accept the possibility of divine intervention in history
than of any lack of evidence.
Thick layers of
silt and clay found in numerous Babylonian excavations were
unquestionably deposited by flood waters. In some cases, these layers
of sediment—with the ruins of earlier cities buried beneath
them—correspond to the time of the Flood as demanded by biblical
chronology. Many authorities thus consider them to be aqueous deposits
laid down by Noah's Flood in the 24th century B.C. Critics, on the
other hand, claim "coincidence."
sites, critics are quick to point out, sediment layers have been found
dating from time periods other than the 24th century. And at some sites
there is a total absence of flood deposits at levels where they should
be found were the biblical account true.
these critics fail to recognize is the simple fact that local
variations in terrain would have naturally left differing types and
degrees of Flood evidence—or no evidence at all—from one site to
another. In addition, localized flooding (of the Euphrates River, for
example) at other times in history amply accounts for the sediment
found at other levels.
Perhaps even more
telling than the study of flood deposits is the testimony of history as
reconstructed for the 24th century B.C.
and phrases such as anarchy, destruction, dark ages, breaks in
continuity and major population reductions keep cropping up for this
time period—the time of the biblical Deluge!
The break between the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the rise of the Middle
Kingdom is one such example, as is the period before the Akkadian
Dynasty in southern Mesopotamia (Sumer). The period between the Early
Bronze culture and Middle Bronze culture in Palestine bespeaks the same
type of interruption. "Civilization suffers an eclipse, history becomes
misty and indefinite, literacy almost disappears," summarizes
archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon.
What clearer evidence could we require for the cataclysmic disruption the Bible describes?
Finally, we should note that ancient Flood stories are found in
widespread areas of the globe—including America, Britain, India, China,
Tibet, Kashmir, Polynesia, Greece and Australia. Almost all races have
a tradition of a major catastrophe very similar in detail to the
Genesis account! The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh—an ancient flood story
on a series of clay tablets from the library of King Ashurbanipal of
Nineveh— is one of the best known. Since all races descended from the
sons of Noah, it should come as no surprise that they handed the same
story down to their children.More proof
Other important corroborative discoveries can be briefly mentioned:
• Many critics had scoffed at the assertion that Joseph shaved before
being presented to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:14). They asserted that the razor
was not known in Egypt until many centuries later. But, as usual,
archaeology uncovered proof to the contrary, demonstrating that razors
were known in Egypt long before the time of Joseph (the 17th century
B.C.). Solid gold and copper razors have been found in Egyptian tombs
dating as early as the fourth millennium B.C.
•At one time the 39 kings of ancient Israel and Judah during the period
of the divided monarchy were known only from the biblical books of
Kings and Chronicles. Some critics again charged fabrication. But then
emerged a large number of cuneiform records from the excavated
libraries of numerous Assyrian kings, mentioning many of the kings of
Israel and Judah including Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Menahem, Hoshea, Pekah,
Hezekiah, Jehoa-haz, Jehoram and Jehoshaphat. The biblical record was
again proved correct.
• The biblical account
of the destruction of the Egyptian firstborn on the night before the
Exodus is well known to even the casual student of the Bible. Scripture
states, "It came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the
firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat
on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the
dungeon" (Ex. 12:29).
revealed that Thutmose IV—successor to Amenhotep (Amenophis) II,
pharaoh of the Exodus—was not Amenhotep's firstborn nor the heir
apparent. He rather succeeded to the throne after his elder brother's
death—just as required by the biblical account.
• The campaign of Sennacherib of Assyria against Judah is recorded in
II Kings 18-19 and II Chronicles 32. The biblical account states that
he besieged Jerusalem, but returned without taking the city after his
army was miraculously destroyed. Sennacherib's own account of the
invasion has been found on a clay prism. Though he boasts of numerous
other victories, he does not claim to have captured Jerusalem. Again,
the Bible has been confirmed.Unerring accuracy
Literally scores of additional discoveries of archaeology could be
cited as corroboration of Bible history. Examples of archaeological
illustration of the Old Testament are continually increasing as new
discoveries are being made.
The claims of
disbelieving critics have been completely exploded. Archaeology has
abundantly confirmed Bible history many times over. The clear message
is that we can rely on the Bible record. It is consistently historical
in every detail.
The Bible challenges
disbelieving critics to prove it false. Many have tried desperately to
do so— and failed. God's Word cannot be broken (John 10:35)!
The Bible is not the work of fallible man. It is not a book of ancient
fables. It is truly the infallible Word of God! "Thy word is truth,"
Jesus declared in John 17:17. Archaeology has lent its voice in support
of this unassailable fact!
[Photo Inset] Scattered stones and mosaics on the site of Capernaum
echo Christ's prediction that the once-bustling international city
would fall into insignificance (page 22); a mud-brick city gate, built
about the time of Abraham in the wall of the city that later became
known as Dan (page 23); a second-century represenation of the ark of
the covenant, from a synagogue at Capernaum (page 24); at Jerusalem,
the Omayyad Palace with older Byzantine building in the foreground and,
in the background, a wall built by the Crusaders (page 25); and the
Jerusalem diggings near the ancient City of David, with the dome of the
Al Aksa Mosque in the background (this page).
Ask, and You SHALL Receive...
don't have to be a scholar to prove that the Bible is inspired. You
don't need to be an expert in the Greek or Hebrew languages. It isn't
necessary to spend hundreds of hours in historical research.
Don't misunderstand! These tools are useful in fine tuning unclear
passages or supporting biblical claims. But there is a more practical,
down-to-earth way to absolutely prove to yourself that the Bible is the
authoritative Word of God. All it takes is prayer and a simple, real
faith in the living God who stands behind His Word.The importance of prayer
How can prayer prove the Bible?
God methodically and accurately thought His Word out even before He
created the world or man. He knew long before how He would handle every
situation that would arise.
Before He made
man, God assumed the responsibility of taking care of man's needs.
Jesus assured His disciples, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have
need of, before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:8). This provision for man's needs
is reflected in the Bible's promises. God repeatedly challenges us to
try Him, to test Him, to unquestionably prove that His Word is absolute
There is power in the Word of
God and His "exceeding great and precious promises" (II Pet. 1:4). The
inspiration of the Bible is proved by God making His promises come to
And whether God is fulfilling prophecy
or answering our personal prayers, the principle is the same. The
Bible's inspiration is being proven.
can foresee thousands of years in advance and make prophecy come to
pass, then surely He is able to see into our personal futures for one
day, two weeks or three months. And He can make our requests come to
pass in the same way He makes prophecy stand.
Prayer is important in proving the Bible's inspiration for the direct,
personal effect it can have on us. God literally uses our prayers to
help us develop His mind and attitude.
Research indicates that man's speech and thought emanate from the same
center. So when a person prays, he activates his thinking processes.
(Try speaking without thinking, and you will understand how the
principle works.) When a person believes the Bible and prays with all
his heart, God's thoughts enter and work in his mind. The human mind
becomes saturated with God's mind:
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of
understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of
his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the
saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who
believe, according to the working of his mighty power" (Eph. 1:17-19).
It's a marvelous process. Prayer turns on power in the mind. It allows
God's Spirit to flow—like completing a circuit—as the human mind
reaches out to God.
Because God's character
upholds His Word, we can take the Bible for what it says, believe it
and act on it with perfect confidence.
However, the fulfillment of prayer often requires time—a patient
waiting on God. David wrote, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for
him" (Ps. 37:7).
This is an area where we
frequently fall short. We don't always realize that God's answers
frequently take time to be accomplished. God is working out a purpose
in human life, and He is not doing a hasty, makeshift job. We need not
become suspicious, impatient or troubled when God doesn't answer right
away. There is never a reason to doubt the promises of God. Since God
knows what we need before we ask Him, He also knows exactly when and
how to answer.
The best answer may take
several days, weeks or months. But if we become worried, we may press
for an answer too soon or give up on God altogether and try to solve
our problems our own way. We then lose faith and God's blessings as
well. We need to patiently trust Him as He carries out His promises for
The inspiration of God's Word can be
proven by prayer. When we communicate with God—when we believe and act
on His Word and see its effect in our lives—we unleash the power of
God. That power is in the Bible (Heb. 4:12).
Prayer makes this Word a living reality in our lives!
...And Reap the Blessings
Bible is true. Its authority, accuracy and timeliness are
unquestionable. In this special brochure many of the abundant proofs of
God's Word have been discussed.
But there is
one proof of the Bible that you yourself can demonstrate on a daily
basis, and it is actually one of the most convincing proofs of all.
Simply put, it is this: It works.
The Bible works. Its laws, its promises, its prophecies, its
explanation of what life is all about— they all work. Consistently.
Time and time again. The old rule says the proof of the pudding is in
the eating. Well, the proof of the Bible is in the doing.
Do you know how a manufacturer of automobiles proves his product? He
doesn't just look at it. He doesn't just stand back and question: "I
wonder if the designer really exists. Where did the different parts
come from? Who are the ones responsible for putting it together? Are
some of the pieces counterfeit? Can the authenticity of all the parts
be established by outside sources? I'm sure some of the parts are good,
but are they all good?"
The way to prove an
automobile is to try it out—to get in and drive it. That's why
automobile companies have proving grounds. The product must be put
through its paces. It is run over rough roads and through rigorous
obstacle courses. It is subjected to wind, rain, freezing temperatures
and blistering sun. Moving parts are tried time and time again until
the manufacturer feels sure they will work every time. That's the way
he seeks to prove to himself that his automobile can be depended upon
to work under all conditions, that it has integrity and reliability.
So it is with proving the Bible. It must be "put through its
paces"—made to work time and time again until there is no doubt all of
its parts will always work.Active proof
When God commands us to "Prove all things" (I Thess. 5:21), He is not
talking about intellectual proof only. Intellectual proof is good and
necessary, but the Greek word translated prove has a broader meaning.
Notice how the same word is used in Luke 14:19, where a person is
quoted as saying, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove
This was active proof. He tested his oxen by putting them to work. That is how you can prove the Scriptures!
Consider the Sabbath. The Sabbath particularly goes against the grain
of human nature. A person who does not keep it can think of endless
reasons why he would never want to keep it: It could easily interfere
with his job. It would make him look strange to others. It would "ruin"
his weekend. After all, what about all the yard work, washing the car,
shopping, the favorite hobby or pastime?
a person who properly keeps the Sabbath can understand what a blessing
it is. The same holds true for the Holy Days ordained in the Bible. The
same holds true for any of God's laws, any of His precepts, any of His
In Psalm 19 David praised God's laws, testimonies, statutes,
commandments and judgments. It was praise based upon experience. David
knew what he was talking about. He had proved to himself that when he
obeyed God's instructions he reaped great benefits. That's why he
declared "in keeping of them [this involves action; it requires doing]
there is great reward" (verse 11).
work. The laws revealed in the Scriptures are living laws. You break
them and they break you (Rom. 6:23). You keep them and they keep you
Take note of the blessings
for obedience and the penalties for disobedience in your own life.
Observe these laws in action in the lives of others, in the conduct of
nations and groups of nations. Not only will your faith in the Bible be
confirmed, but learning from the experiences of others is just plain
Solomon gained much wisdom from
merely observing others. "For at the window of my house I have looked
out through my lattice," he wrote (Prov. 7:6, Revised Standard
Version). Solomon watched. The rest of the chapter describes the scene
he witnessed: a foolish young man being seduced by a harlot.
Wisdom and understanding raise their voices and cry aloud in the
streets for those who have ears to hear, concluded Solomon (Prov.
Everywhere around us the truthfulness
of God's Word is confirmed in the rare triumphs and the many failures
What a blessing it is to have
confidence in the Bible and thus be able to avoid—even though
witnessing—the suffering because of the transgression of living laws!
"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the
wicked," God promises those who obey His instructions (Ps. 91:8).
Being observant also includes watching world events as they fulfill
Bible prophecy. The "sure word of prophecy" (II Pet. 1:19) is confirmed
daily in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television. Following
Jesus' admonition to watch world events (Luke 21:36) is an essential
key to developing unshakable faith in the Scriptures.Increasing faith
In one respect proving the Bible is really a matter of building faith.
And faith is built by works. "Faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:26).
But, as Abraham demonstrated, faith is increased—it is made perfect—by
works (verse 22).
Once the apostles asked
Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5). Jesus replied with the story
of the unprofitable servant. What does the story have to do with faith?
It's really quite clear.
First Jesus told
what can be accomplished by faith that increases as a grain of mustard
seed (verse 6). Then, in verses 7 to 10, He described how to increase
faith. It is a question of faith being perfected by works.
Jesus said that to increase faith we must go beyond merely fulfilling
what is commanded. We must go beyond the letter of the law, doing more
than what is required. We must live by every word, every precept, yes,
every thought of God.
The more we put the
Bible to work in our lives—the more we absorb its teachings—the more
confidence we will have in it. The Bible is like no other book. It is
extraordinary. And it is true.
people do not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Why?
Because they do not test it. They do not put it into practice to prove
it. "If any man will do [yes, do—doing comes first!] his [God's] will,"
Jesus said, then "he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God"
If anybody will put the Bible
into practice, will live by it, he shall know it is of God. That is one
of the greatest proofs of the Bible.
[Photo Inset]"Thou Shalt NOT!"
The Ten Commandments represent God's eternal law of love. These great
positive and negative principles are in force today. In fact, the
breaking of them is the direct cause of all the unhappiness in today's
world. To find out how each of the Ten Commandments applies to your
personal life, write for your free copy of the booklet titled The Ten