Many amazing predictions of the early prophets of the Middle East have been fulfilled in full detail! These prophets had very special insight. Their purpose is timeless, their inspiration Divine. With an accuracy that demands our attention, and a message that is at once beautiful and awesome, herein are some of the…
CRIES OF THE PROPHETS
BY: SADHU SUNDAR SINGH
EARLY PROPHETS FORETELL WORLD EVENTS
Exact Boundaries of Jerusalem Foretold 2500 Years Ago
Many times in the last 2500 years, Jerusalem was destroyed. Travelers in recent centuries reported it as an almost deserted city; its buildings were ruins filled with rubble; its inhabitants were barely enough to populate a village. Yet not only did God’s word declare that it would be rebuilt, but definitely and in detail drew up a “word map” of the exact outline of the future city – from a well-know tower to the gate at a certain corner, then on over a particular hill, coming now outside the walls of the original city and taking in a large area definitely shown by familiar landmarks. Eight details are unmistakably given by Jeremiah. Moreover, the city’s enlargement was to be in one general direction – to the northwest. Twenty-five hundred years later, in 1935 AD, the prophesy had been fulfilled to the letter. So unlikely seemed the fulfillment of this prophesy that some commentators had said it should only be interpreted “spiritually!” (Prophesy: Jer. 31:38)
Not until 1934 was this prophesy notably in the process of fulfillment, when Haifa’s Bay became one of the great harbors of the Mediterranean, with commerce affecting the whole world. (Prophesy: Deut. 33:18)
The great oil pipeline path across Palestine was first opened in 1935. Until then this prophesy fell far short of fulfillment. But 3400 years before, Moses set out the inspired headlines, “Zebulun… Issachar… shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and the treasures hid in the sand.” Our omnipotent God was “declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand” (Isa 46:10) (Prophesy: Deut. 33:19)
A COMMON ORIGIN OF HUMAN LANGUAGE
Some noted philologists have declared that a common origin of all languages cannot be denied. One, Max Meuller in his “Science of Language”, writes that after examination of all possible forms which language can assume (the radical, the terminational, the inflectional) a common origin of human speech it is obvious. (Prophesy: Gen. 11:6)
Abram’s home town was Ur of the Chaldees. As the result of extensive archaeological excavations there by C. Leonard Woolley in 1922-34, a great deal is known about Abram’s background. Space will not permit more that a brief glimpse, but a few items will show the high state of the civilization. The entire house of the average middle- class person had from ten to twenty rooms; measured 40 to 52 feet; the lower floor was for servants, the upper floor for the family, with five rooms for their use; besides a guest chamber and a lavatory reserved for visitors, and a private chapel. A school was found and what the students studied was shown by the clay tablets discovered there. In the days of Abraham, the students had reading, writing and arithmetic as today. They learned the multiplication and division tables and even worked at square and cube root. A bill of lading of about 2040 BC (about the era in which Abraham was believed to have lived) showed that the commerce of that time was far-reaching. Even the name “Abraham” has been found on the excavated clay tablets. (Prophesy: Gen. 11:28)
For many centuries much of the territory of upper Naphtali was little more than a miasmic swamp, unfit for man or beast. But when the Jews last returned to Palestine they drained and redeemed the area, and by 1940 it was dotted over with thriving colonies, as Moses had foretold, “satisfied with favor, and full of the blessing of the Lord.” (Prophesy: Deut. 33:23)
The maps of the territory of Asher suggest sometimes the sole of a foot, sometimes the shape of a leg and foot; but in either case the Great International Iraq-Petroleum Enterprise, opened in 1935, crossed the area just at the toe of Asher’s “foot”. Oil brought nearly 1000 miles across the sands from Mesopotamia began pouring through pipes into the Haifa Harbor a million gallons a day. Jacob had said, “In the latter days… Asher, his bread shall be fat (Gen. 49:1, 20), and here Moses says of Asher, “Let him dip his foot in oil!” (Prophesy: Deut. 33:24)
EXCAVATIONS OF JERICHO
Important details of this story are fully substantiated by the findings of Dr. J. B. Garstang in his several excavations of Jericho.
1. The city was thoroughly burned by fire
2. It had not been thoroughly plundered. Stored grain, for example, was found burned, but undisturbed.
3. But “the silver, the gold and the vessels of bronze and iron” were missing.
4. The walls had fallen, but the one gate had a tower left standing.
5. Well supported houses had been built on the walls.
6. The gate tower was an “imposing edifice”, 54 ft. by 24 ft., remarkably well built of grey brick. It’s ruins still stand 16 ft. high.
7. Only on one side of Jericho is there a mountain, and that is a mountain ridge, beginning a mile west of the city. (Sources: “The Story of Jericho” by Garsang and “Archaeology and Bible History” by Joseph P. Free). (Josh. 6:24)
WEALTH OF THE SEA
Prior to well into the 20th century, scholars could only speculate as to what Isaiah could have meant here by the “abundant wealth of the Sea” that was one day to be turned over to Jerusalem. Of course the Dead Sea, which for ages had been considered only a place of death and desolation was rules out. Then suddenly it was discovered that the waters of the Dead Sea contain important chemicals. In 1935 AD GTB Davis wrote in his “Rebuilding Palestine”, “One is almost staggered by the computed wealth of the chemical salts of the Dead Sea (in terms of potash, bromine, and other chemical salts). Isaiah himself did not know this, but the God who made the Dead Sea for a part in His Plan knew all about it, and caused His Word to say so. (Prophesy: Isa. 60:5)
ISRAEL BORN IN A DAY
Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before, but God keeps His word. As definitely foretold here and in Ezekiel 37:21, 22 and 38:10,11, Israel became a recognized nation, actually “born in a day”. After being away from their homeland for almost 2000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland in Palestine by the Balfour declaration in November, 1917. In 1922 the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over Palestine. On May 14, 1948 Great Britain withdrew her mandate, and immediately Israel was declared a sovereign state, and her growth and importance among nations became astonishing. (Prophesy: ISA 66:8)
ZION A PLOWED FIELD
This prophesy of Micah., made in the days of King Hezekiah, that mount Zion would become a plowed field, was literally fulfilled. When Nebuchadrezzar and the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, they broke down the walls (II Kings 25:10). That was in BC 586. In 1542 AD the present walls of Jerusalem were built by the then Sultan of Turkey. By a strange error, the part of the city known as Mount Zion was omitted from the enclosure and remained outside the walls; and for centuries it was literally “plowed like a field”. That Mount Zion is the only part of Jerusalem ever known to be plowed, is conclusive evidence of the foreknowledge of the word of the Lord which came to his prophet Micah. (Prophesy: Jer. 26:18)
Nebuchadnezzar (BC 605-562) subjugated the Moabites, but they continued to be heard of as a race into the first century AD, though the national existence of both Moab and Ammon seem to have ended long before the time of Christ. This is in itself a remarkable fulfillment of prophesy, but that Moab’s fortunes are to be restored in the “Latter Days” (verse 47) and have proceeded toward that end before our very eyes is even more startling. Yet Moab is only one of the numerous nations whose fate was accurately pre-written by the ancient prophets of God. (Prophesy: Jer. 48:47)
RESTORATION OF MOAB AND AMMON
Complete and continuous as the desolation of Moab and Ammon was for many long centuries, God is keeping His word for their restoration “in the latter days” in a remarkable manner. For instance, Amman, the capital of Trans-Jordan (the ancient Rabbath of Ammon), was a mere village in 1900, but by 1960 it was a city of 200,000 inhabitants. One can only stand in awe and reverent amazement at the precision with which the prophesies of the Word of God are being carried out on the present day and age. (Prophesy: Jer. 49:6)
Elam was a region beyond the Tigris River. After a long period of subjugation to foreign powers it joined with Media and ultimately captured Babylon. It became a province of the Persian Empire. Elamites were forcibly settled in Palestine when the Jewish Babylonian captives returned; Elamites attempted to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 4:9). Elamites were present on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9), but they became extinct in the 11th century. Elam in modern times is a province of Persia, under the name Khuzistan. Thus (in 1960) this prophesy of the nation’s destruction is long since fulfilled, with restoration of Elam’s fortunes an imminent probability for which to watch (verse 39). (Prophesy: Jer. 49:39)
FOUR PORTRAITS OF JESUS
It is noteworthy that the four faces of the living creatures as here described are symbolic of the “four portraits of Jesus” as given in the four Gospels. Matthew represents our Lord as the King (the lion); Mark portrays Him as the servant (the ox); Luke emphasizes His humanity (man), and John proclaims especially His Deity (the eagle). (Prophesy: Ezk. 1:10)
THE DESTINY OF TYRE
To prevent Nebuchadnezzar from getting her valuables, Tyre transported herself to an island a half a mile out in the sea. The conqueror destroyed the city and left. But more than two centuries later, Alexander the Great took the ruins of the old city, even scraping up the dust, and made a causeway to the island, thus fulfilling the prophesy exactly. (Prophesy: Ezk. 26:4)
THE DESTRUCTION OF TYRE
According to Herodotus, Tyre’s history began in BC 2750. It was a fortified city in Joshua’s time (Josh 19:29)., and later became a great maritime commercial center. Yet Jeremiah (27:2-7; 47:4) and Ezekiel (26:3-21; 28:6-10) foretold utter destruction of Tyre, naming not less than 25 separate details, each of which in the following centuries came true literally. Mathematicians have estimated, according to the Law of Compound Probabilities, that if a prophesy concerning a person, place or event has 25 details beyond the possibility of human calculation, collusion, collaboration, comprehension, and coincidence, there is only one chance in more than 33.5 million of its accidental fulfillment. Yet Tyre’s history at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, and then centuries later Alexander the Great, and centuries after that at the hands of the Crusaders, brought the striking fulfillment of each detail of the prophets forecasts. The authenticity of God’s Word leaves no chance for sane denial. (Prophesy: Ezk. 26:14)
TYRE SINKS INTO THE SEA
Down to the 13th century AD, the grandeur of the ancient city of Tyre was still visible. But God’s Word does not fail. Soon Tyre had become an almost uninhabited pile of ruins. A large part of the western section of “the island” became covered by the sea, and early travelers told of seeing “houses, towers and streets far down in the deep”. In modern times the population of Tyre, made up largely of fishermen who spread their nets on its beaches, has increased to around 6,000, but the city as such has never been revived, and the original site has long since become obliterated. (Prophesy: Ezk. 27:36)
For a little while Egypt struggles against its oppressors, but its power was already broken, and from the time of its conquest by Cambyses, it has never been for any length of time independent. There are few stronger contrasts in any inhabited country then between the ancient glory, dignity, power, and wealth of Egypt, and its later (lack of) significance. (Prophesy: Ezk. 29:15)
THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
No person needs to be reminded of the startling way in which this prophesy has been in the process of fulfillment since World War II. The Jews have for centuries been dispersed among all the nations with only a few left in the homeland which lay waste and desolate. It was said that travelers in Palestine had no difficulty in recognizing the appropriateness of Ezekiel’s labeling the country as he saw it, the “valley of dry bones” (verse 11). But by 1960 AD 1/6th of the Jewish population of the world was in Palestine. Already they had been made “one nation” (verse 22a) and that between sunrise of one day and sunset of the next, “a nation in a day” (Isa 66:8)! But the greatest event of all is yet to come (Ezk. 37:22b-25). This prophesy will be fulfilled in its entirety. (Prophesy: Ezk. 37:21)
ZION PLOWED LIKE A FIELD
In his book “The Land and the Book”, Dr William Thomson wrote, “Mount Zion is now (18th Century) for the most part a rough field. From the tomb of David I passed on through the fields of ripe grain. It is the only part of Jerusalem that is now or ever has been plowed.” When Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 1542, the architect omitted Mount Zion, the city of David, from the area he enclosed, and strangely enough it was only partly built up again. How, except by divine inspiration, could Micah have foretold that this particular part of Jerusalem would be “plowed like a field”? (Prophesy: Mic. 3:12)
THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
“The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed [their] flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the Lord their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.” (Prophesy: Zep. 2:7) This is one of the more than 25 details of Biblical Prophesy concerning the land of Palestine that have been literally fulfilled. Further to this, 25 details of betrayal, trial, death, and burial of our Lord were fulfilled, fulfilled within 24 hours!
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Tyre was utterly destroyed by Alexander the Great and has never been rebuilt. History records that after he had slain everyone except those who had fled to the temples, Alexander ordered the houses to be set alight. Yet Sidon, Tyre’s sister city (verse 2), though meeting with many adversities had survived and kept her identity (modern Saida) for an estimated 4000 years (cf Genesis 10:15,19). How did Zechariah know that it was Tyre, not Sidon that was to be permanently destroyed? Ezekiel wrote of Tyre, after telling the details of her destruction, “You shall be built no more; for I the Lord have spoken it, says the Lord God”. (Ezk. 26:31) (Prophesy: Zech. 9:4)
THE DESOLATION OF ASHKELON
Ashkelon was one of the five strong leading Philistine cities, Gath and Ashdod being the ones not names here. It was the birthplace of Herod the Great, and his sister Salome lived there, centuries after this period. It was not until 1270 AD that Zechariah’s prophesy of its total destruction was fulfilled, when the Sultan Bilbars reduced it to ruins and filled the harbour with stones. Nearly 700 years later the city is still uninhabited, and the seacoast has been and continues to be the site of “dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks” (Zeph. 2:6). Ashkelon shall see [it] and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful; And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation. The king shall perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. (Prophesy: Zech. 9:5)
The Cries of the Prophets are timeless wisdom. The fulfilled prophesies show their utterances were from God. Yet, these prophets had much more to say! Firstly, on the matter of God’s unfailing Kindness toward humankind! That is, in a love and obedience toward God there is beautiful and joyous consequence. Yet, the Cry was also of His Judgment. That is, in neglect and disregard for God there is dire and painful consequence. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. He is not far from those who sincerely seek Him.
COPYRIGHT NOTES: Much of the content of this document was gleaned from the work of other researchers,
especially the inspired notes accompanying the Amplified Bible, published by Zondervan. With thanks.
CRIES OF THE PROPHETS [Sadhu Sundar Singh] 1