THE STONES CRY OUT
From the book by the same name
ARCHEOLOGY and Prophecy
Can Stones Show the Supernatural?
The seeker after certainty in religion will be grateful for the multiplicity, as well as for the minuteness and distinctness of Scriptural prophecy.
Archaeology has revealed a great deal of the social and political background in which the prophets issued their stirring prophecies. Understanding this background adds a new dimension to the reality and meaning of the biblical text. This sentiment was expressed by archaeologist William Dever, who in an interview, shared these words:
For me, the great excitement about archaeology is that it enables you to read the Bible from a new perspective. When I read a description about daily life in one of the Prophets, I am not thinking at that moment just about what the prophet is saying, I am thinking about the eighth century B.C.E., what it was actually like for the average Israelite. When I read the text, I read it with a sensitivity and an understanding that only a knowledge of archaeology can bring to the text. The text comes alive for me in a new way.2
Not everyone, however, shares Dever's enthusiasm. While Dever was less concerned about the prophets' word than their world, he nevertheless admits that archaeology reveals that word had a demonstrable historical context. To a Bible-believer, such a realization includes evidence of the supernatural revelation of God within history. To skeptics, however, our world is a closed system in which there exists no possibility of divine interventions contrary to the observable natural order. To them it seems unimaginable that anyone could believe that events could be foretold, much less fulfilled. But one cannot escape the fact that the pages of the Bible are filled with prophecy. From Genesis through Revelation, almost every book records some prediction of future events, hundreds already fulfilled, and many others still awaiting fulfillment. These prophecies are not painted with broad brash strokes, but with fine details. As such, the odds of only a few being fulfilled by chance are so astronomical they must challenge the skeptic to consider the supernatural portrait they present. And as a part of history, the events prophesied, though stemming from the supernatural, may still reveal themselves in the stones.
The Period of the Prophets
The period in which the biblical prophets are said to have ministered to the Israelite nation is supported by numerous monumental and inscriptional evidences. Without respect of person the prophets equally called kings and commoners to account, turning them from idolatry when they heeded God's warnings, but suffering with them in exile when they resisted God's beckoning. Archaeology can show the practical reasons that provoked these prophetic indictments, reveal the places which were the subjects of the prophecies, and identify the people who turned a deaf ear to the predictions. In this way it may offer some evidence for the reality of prophecy itself.
The Purpose of Prophecy
In the ancient Near East, where the cultures surrounding Israel all had multiple deities, the context of Israel's faith was often a contest between national gods. In this battle for belief, the god whose crops flourished, or whose army was victorious, was considered the more powerful. Theologically, this was one of the greatest threats to God's people, and, unfortunately, it was a spiritual war they lost frequently (see Jeremiah 11:13). The prophets of Israel had to contend with nations that told the Israelites that their inability to resist the imposition of tribute payments or even exile by stronger powers proved that their God was inferior (see 2 Kings 18:32-35; Ezekiel 36:20). The prophets responded by explaining that Israel's God did not submit to pagan standards of sovereignty. They said that Israel's predicaments were actually proof of God's strength, for it was He who compelled foreigners to invade Israel to punish the people for their sins. The foreign powers that exiled Israel were simply the rods of God's anger (Isaiah 10:5-11; see also 2 Kings 24:2-3; Habakkuk 1:6-11). Therefore, Israel's God challenged the nations to put their gods to the test. His prophets announced the test that would unquestionably demonstrate who was truly sovereign:
"Present your case," the Lord says, "Bring forward your strong arguments," the King of Jacob says. "Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place... or announce to us what is coming. Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are god. And let them declare to them the things that are coming, and the events that are going to take place" (Isaiah 41:21-23; 44:7).
According to the prophet Isaiah, this test of prophecy is designed both to cause "the omens of boasters to fail, [and make] fools out of diviners," and confirm "the word of His servant, and [perform] the purpose of His messengers" (Isaiah 44:25-26). Isaiah then offered evidence that God could meet His own challenge by presenting a remarkable prophecy that could be verified in later history.
A Proof of Prophecy
The proof that Isaiah puts forth is the edict of Cyrus, the Persian king who permitted the Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the Jerusalem Temple (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11):
I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; from the rising of the sun he will call on My name; and he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, even as the potter treads clay (Isaiah 41:25).
This was a reference to Cyrus, who originated east ("the rising of the sun") of Babylon (from Persia), but came as an attacker from the north to exercise sovereignty over unresisting rulers (as symbolized by the potter's power over the "mortar" and "clay"). Yet, a much more definite reference is given at the end of chapter 44 and the beginning of chapter 45:4
It is I who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire. And he declares of Jerusalem, "She will be built," and of the Temple, "Your foundation will be laid." Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him... (Isaiah 44:28-45:1).
According to the internal chronology of the book of Isaiah, this prediction was given over 150 years before its fulfillment. It is unique in its precision—not only describing Cyrus' invasion of Babylon, but also providing such details as Cyrus' personal name (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1), actions with respect to the Temple (Isaiah 44:28) and the release of the Jewish exiles (Isaiah 45:13). This latter event fits exactly with Jeremiah's prophecy that Israel's captivity (ACTUALLY THE HOUSE OF JUDAH - NOT ALL ISRAEL - Keith Hunt) would end after 70 years (Jeremiah 25:12). In light of this remarkable proof of the divine control of history, Isaiah concludes with the divine declaration: "I am the Lord Behold, the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you" (Isaiah 42:8-9). Not only did God pass His own test; it is understood that no one else ever will: "Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, 'He is right!' ? Surely there was no one who declared, surely there was no one who proclaimed" (Isaiah 41:26, emphasis added).
Pro-phecy or Post-phecy?
Non-conservative scholars argue that Isaiah did not write this prophecy prior to its fulfillment. They divide his book into a "First Isaiah" (chapters 1-39), which is dated to Isaiah's time (740-680 B.C.), and a "Second Isaiah" (chapters 40-66), which is dated much later than his time (after 536 B.C.). The reason this division was first proposed was because of a rationalistic assumption that the mention of the Persian Cyrus could have been made only by a writer who knew this event as past history. Thus, all such "prophecy" in the Bible was judged to be vaticinium ex eventu ("prophecy after the [fulfillment of the] event").
There is no literary or archaeological evidence in support of dividing Isaiah's messages, and I have defended its unity from the archaeological record in my book Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yet, no matter how a person dates chapters 40-66, chapters 1-39 also contain predictive prophecy (7:16; 8:4,7; 9:1-2; 13:17-20; 37:33-35; 38:8). In addition, the specific naming of individuals in predictive prophecy is not restricted to this instance (see, for example, King Josiah named 300 years before his birth—in 1 Kings 13:2; cf. 2 Kings 23:15-17). Furthermore, the purpose of the Cyrus prediction was to encourage the Israelites who understood Isaiah's prophecy of the Babylonian destruction and captivity. There would be no comfort, much less assurance, of promised deliverance if the prophecy had been ambiguous, or proclaimed after the event itself!4 Some have even proposed that this encouragement extended to Cyrus himself. Although we cannot validate the tradition, the first-century historian Josephus wrote that what prompted Cyrus' decree to liberate the Jews was his being shown this very prophecy of Isaiah (Antiquities of the Jews xi. 1.2:5-6).
But the idea of vaticinium ex eventu simply cannot be harmonized with the biblical requirement that whatever prophecy is not fulfilled is not true prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:22).6 If all Israelite prophecy was "after the fact," then how could the fulfillment of prophecy be held up as the decisive test that the God of Israel was distinct from the gods of the nations? Could not the prophets of other nations proclaim prophecy after the fact? In contrast, the ability to prophesy before the fact is consistently put forth as the authoritative proof of God's divine intervention and of Scripture's divine inspiration. In the New Testament, it continues as the authenticating mark of Jesus' messiahship, since one of the Messiah's functions was to fulfill the role of a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22,26; cf. Matthew 21:11). If prophecies were not made in advance of the events they were said to predict, then anyone could qualify as a prophet. Yet it is predictive prophecy that served as the distinguishing qualification of the one who would speak for God.
Archaeology and Fulfilled Prophecies
The Prophecy About Cyrus
The person and career of Cyrus II are well-known from the historical records of Herodotus, Persian Wars,1 Xenophon,* the Nabonidus Chronicle,9 and the Persian Verse Account.10 His first military campaign against the Lydian king Croesus in 546 B.C. was also implied by Isaiah's prediction (Isaiah 45:3). Then on October 12, 539 B.C., Cyrus launched an invasion against Nabonidus, king of Babylon. Both Herodotus and Xenophon describe how Cyrus had besieged the city but his action was mocked by the Babylonians, who had stored up years of reserves because they had long expected a Persian invasion. The arrogance of the well-stocked Babylonians is portrayed in the book of Daniel. He recorded that more than a thousand nobles engaged in a great feast even while Cyrus and his army camped outside the city's walls (Daniel 5:1), a fact also noted by Herodotus and Xenophon. Daniel does not here mention Nabonidus, but his son Belshazzar, whose role was confirmed by the archaeological discovery of a cylindrical inscription in one of the four corners of the ziggurat at Ur. In this inscription of Nabonidus from the sixth-century B.C., Belshazzar (Bel-shar-usur) is called Nabonidus' firstborn son and is included in the king's prayer, an act reserved only for royalty.11 At Belshazzar's feast some of the sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple were put to use, perhaps to show that the Babylonian gods were superior in order to boost civic morale (Daniel 5:2-4). This action was itself predictive of future events, since Cyrus was prophesied as the one who would defeat Babylon and restore these vessels (Ezra 1:7-11; Isaiah 52:11-12).
After Daniel interpreted the mysterious handwriting that appeared on a wall during the feast, he prophesied that Babylon would fall to Cyrus (Daniel 5:28). Daniel noted that this prophecy was fulfilled that "same night" as the Persian army invaded the city in a surprise attack. Herodotus and Xenophon affirm Daniel's statement of a swift and unexpected invasion in their description of how this took place. They record that the attack came after the Persian army diverted the water of the Euphrates River, which caused the river bed under the city walls to be empty and accessible to the troops. Thus Cyrus came to the throne and fulfilled the long-term prophecy of Isaiah and the near-term prophecy of Daniel.
The Decree of Cyrus
In the first year of his reign (538 B.C.), Cyrus issued the decree that allowed the captive Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple:
The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem. And every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4).
56. The Cyrus Cylinder, which records the Persian king's edicts in language similar to those in the biblical books of Ezra and 2 Chronicles.
Ancient documents reveal to us that the laws of the Medes and the Persians were unalterable and pervasive. As Alan Millard has observed, "wherever the Persian king was, there was the government, for everything depended upon his law. So when he made an announcement it had to be carried to every part of his empire that was affected."12 Ezra gives an example of this by citing King Darius' law cursing those who would seek to alter Cyrus' law protecting the Jews who returned to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 6:1-12). In 1973 French archaeologists found a large Persian stele in a Greek temple at Xanthos, Turkey, written in Aramaic, Greek, and Lycian that was very similar in structure to the decree recorded in Ezra.
Archaeologists have yet to uncover a copy of the Cyrus decree as preserved in the Old Testament. However, they have discovered a stone cylinder inscribed in cuneiform that provides significant Persian parallels to certain aspects of the biblical account.
The Cyrus Cylinder
This cuneiform record is known as the Cyrus Cylinder. Its text begins much like the biblical record, with Cyrus crediting his god Marduk with choosing him for a special task and exalting him to a position in order to perform it. It is also similar to Isaiah's prophecy in that Cyrus makes the point that his god "pronounced the name of Cyrus, king of Anshan, [and] pronounced his name to be the ruler of all the world."13 In much the same way, God called Cyrus by name and pronounced him a ruler (Isaiah 45:1-2). Isaiah had said that Cyrus, as God's anointed (literally, "messiah"), would "perform all [God's] desire" (Isaiah 44:28). On the cylinder, Cyrus proclaims that the gods "Bel and Nebo love" his rule and want him as king "to please their hearts."14
Of even greater interest is the cylinder's statements concerning Persian policy toward captive peoples, such as the Israelites, and their looted sacred ritual objects:
... I returned to [these] sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time, the images which [used] to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I [also] gathered all their [former] inhabitants and returned [to them] their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk the great lord, all the gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus has brought into Babylon to the anger of the lord of the gods, unharmed, in their [former] chapels, the places which made them happy. May all the gods whom I have resettled in their sacred cities ask daily Bel and Nebo for long life for me and may they recommend me ... to Marduk, my lord, may they say thus: Cyrus, the king who worships you, and Cambyses, his son, [... ] all of them I settled in a peaceful place.15
The Babylonians captured the sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple and took them to Shinar, where their temple was located (Daniel 1:2). This was in keeping with the custom of conquerors carrying off statues of the conquered cities' gods in order to show the superior power of their own gods. The Babylonians also defiled these vessels in mockery of the God of Israel (Daniel 5:1-4). Cyrus, in keeping with the Persian policy reflected in the Cyrus Cylinder, respected the gods of foreign captives and returned all of the Temple vessels when he allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:7-11). This passage reveals that the Persians had kept an accurate inventory of these items (5,400, or 5,469 according to the Septuagint), and returned them to the Israelites. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied that these vessels would be safely returned from Babylon (Isaiah 52:11-12; Jeremiah 27:16-28:6). When Cyrus transferred the vessels to Sheshbazzar of Judah (Ezra 1:7-l 1), he fulfilled these prophecies.
This isn't the only example in which archaeology has confirmed the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The prophets of the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New, pronounced judgments that the archaeologist's spade has revealed were fulfilled quite literally.
The Prophecy About Nineveh
In the Bible, we read this prophecy against the city of Nineveh: " 'Behold, I am against you,' declares the Lord of hosts. I will burn up [your] chariots in smoke, a sword will devour your young lions, I will cut off your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard' " (Nahum 2:13). Zephaniah likewise predicted that Nineveh would become completely desolate, fit only as a habitation for the beasts of the field and fowls of the air (Zephaniah 2:13-15).16
Nahum's prophecy was given in 663 B.C. and Zephaniah's in 625 B.C.—at a time when the Assyrian empire was at the apex of its power. As impossible as their fulfillment might have seemed to their audiences, and as inexplicable as it has been to historians ever since, the glory of Assyria vanished into oblivion in the year 612 B.C. never to be heard from again—exactly as predicted! Excavations at the ruins of Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh by Sir Henry Layard in the 1850s confirmed that everything at the site was either burned, looted, or destroyed. He found Nineveh utterly deserted except for gazelles, jackals, and hyenas, which he noted made their dens in the sides of the barren mound that was once the ancient city.
The historical description of Nineveh's sudden demise has been left to us in the Babylonian Chronicles. One tablet, the record of the Babylonian king Nabopolassar, tells how he formed a coalition army of the Babylonians, Medes, and Scythians, and brought down the city after a short siege of only three months. Nahum had even predicted this coalition, specifically detailing the customary red-painted shields and tunics of the Medes and Babylonians, as well as the scythes attached to their chariot axles (Nahum 2:3). After these armies took Nineveh, a few of the officials and the king fled to another city but were later captured. Today, we still have remnants of a few of the ancient nations-—-such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. But there is no nation of Assyria. Until the age of archaeology it was lost to history, a loss now regained as evidence of the fulfillment of predictions made by the prophets.
The Prophecy About Tyre
One of the most unusual prophecies has to do with the ancient Phoenician city-state of Tyre, which was located on the Mediterranean coast near its modern-day namesake in Lebanon. Under King Hiram, (980-947 B.C.) Tyre had prospered to such a point that Solomon had imported both workmen and materials for the construction of David's palace and the Temple (2 Samuel 5:11-12; 2 Chronicles 2:3,7-16).
The prophet Ezekiel prophesied against Tyre between 592-570 B.C. As with the proclamations against Cyrus and Assyria, Ezekiel's prophecies concerning Tyre are equally detailed and specific:
Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you ... and they will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; and I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock.... Behold, I will bring upon lyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He will slay your daughters on the mainland with the sword; and he will make siege walls against you, cast up a mound against you, and raise up a large shield against you... break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses, and throw your stones and your timbers and your debris into the water.... And I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken" (Ezekiel 26:3-4,7-8,12,14).
Many nations were involved in the fulfillment of this prophecy. The destruction of Tyre began, as Ezekiel had predicted, with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (verse 7). He besieged the mainland city for 13 years (585-572 B.C.) and destroyed it. Then in 332 B.C. Alexander the Great set siege against the island city for a period of six months. He finally captured it by constructing a 200-foot wide causeway across the straits to the island, using the dirt and debris of the destroyed city on the mainland. As Ezekiel had predicted, Alexander threw the stones and timbers of its debris into the water (verse 12). Although the city recovered somewhat from these destructions, it never regained its former status.17 It was again attacked and almost completely destroyed by the Muslims in A.D. 1291, finally fulfilling the prophecy that it would "be built no more" (verse 14).
Modern-day Tyre is a fishing town with a harbor, built down the coast from the ancient site. Ancient Tyre is now a barren rock that the local fishermen use to spread their nets to dry, just as Ezekiel had said (verses 4,14). Its once-imposing walls and gates are no more (verse 14), although the ancient causeway built by the Greek army still remains, like these other details, as a testimony to the specific fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy.
The same is true for prophecies made against many other ancient sites such as Babylon, Memphis, Thebes, Moab-Ammon, and Petra (Edom). Archaeologists have uncovered and are still uncovering dramatic ruins at many of these sites (such as the temples and tombs in Thebes and the altar and high place at Petra). In some cases modern cities have been built near these ancient sites, but their presence only serves to confirm the prophecies of the past. For example, stones from the ruins of Memphis were used to build the present city of Cairo. The site of Babylon is presently being rebuilt,18 but still it, like the others, remains without habitation and is largely in ruins-—in harmony with the ancient prophecies.
The Prophecy About the Temple Mount
In the Gospels we read that Jesus' disciples were awed by the beauty of the Temple, which was still under construction (Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6). The rebuilding was begun by Herod the Great and his dynastic successors felt obligated to contribute as well to this project, which, on their part, was more politics than piety. As the disciples were pointing out newly set stones at the Temple, Jesus made an unexpected prophetic pronouncement: "Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down." Jesus' words were fulfilled when the Roman army, under the command of the emperor Vespasian's son Titus, stormed the Temple precincts and burned the Temple in
(NOPE NOT FULFILLED AT ALL; THE SO-CALLED WAILING WALL STANDING TODAY WAS PART OF THE TEMPLE; THE PROPHECY OF JESUS IS YET TO BE FULFILLED AT THE TIME OF THE END; ALL EXPLAINED IN DETAIL ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER "PROPHECY" - Keith Hunt)
57 Excavations south of the Western Wall, showing rubble left from destruction of A.D. 70 on the Herodian street, broken by the impact of the stones pushed from the Temple area above.
A.D. 70. The archaeological excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount, especially at the western and southern corners, have vividly revealed the massive destruction wrought by the Romans. On a section of the ancient Herodian street that lined the outside western wall of the Mount, heaps of the rubble pushed from the Temple area above were uncovered in excavations directed by Ronny Reich in 1995-1996. Despite this evidence, some people have wondered how the prophecy of "not one stone here shall be left upon another" can be considered fulfilled when many remains of the ancient Temple complex still remain (for example, the Western Wall and its tunnel, the monumental stairway at the southern wall and its double and triple gates). Leen Ritmeyer, who has conducted decades of research on the Temple Mount, answers this objection:
If you read the text in Matthew, the site [the disciples] pointed out were the buildings of the Temple. Read the exact text—"the buildings of the Temple." The only buildings I know that belonged to the Temple were [those] built around it and the porticos. And all these buildings that stood on the Temple Mount were indeed left without one stone upon another.
Obviously Jesus was referring to those buildings (including the Temple itself) which were on the huge supporting platform. He would not have had in mind any other structures such as the retaining walls with their foundation stones at the platform's street level, nor even the platform itself (which also has remained intact). Archaeology has confirmed that no trace of these Temple buildings exists today, although some of their stones may have been put to secondary use in the walls and homes in the Old City of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, none remain in their original setting. In fact, after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans plowed under the Temple Mount and erected pagan structures upon it (which themselves were
Western (Wailing) Wall, ancient remnant of a retaining wall for Herodian Temple platform.
later destroyed). During the Byzantine period (fourth-seventh centuries A.D.) the entire site was deliberately left barren out of the belief that Jesus' prophecy was a curse against the site forbidding any future rebuilding.
(WRONG IN THIER ARGUMENT. THEY DID NOT LOOK AT LUKE'S ACCOUNT; LUKE WROTE: "AND AS SOME SPAKE OF THE TEMPLE, HOW IT WAS ADORNED WITH GOODLY STONES AND GIFTS, HE SAID….." HERE LUKE SAYS "THE TEMPLE" NOT THE BUILDINGS IN THE TEMPLE, BUT "THE TEMPLE." THE RETAINING WALLS WERE ALL PART OF "THE TEMPLE" - ALL THAT WAS THE TEMPLE, WAS THE TEMPLE; IT WAS A STRUCTURE IN ITSELF; THE WHOLE TEMPLE WAS THE TEMPLE. THIS PROPHECY OF JESUS WAS FOR THE END TIME, NOT FOR 70 A.D. - IT WILL YET COME TO PASS, AT THE END TIME JERUSALEM WILL BE "….COMPASSED ABOUT WITH ARMIES, THEN KNOW THAT THE DESOLATION THEREOF IS NIGH" (verse 20 of Luke 21) - THIS WAILING WALL WILL THEN COME CRASHING DOWN AND INDEED JESUS' PROPHECY WILL BE FULFILLED - Keith Hunt)
Interestingly, historians have not yet been able to conclude exactly why the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. Conflicting accounts say that Titus gave specific orders not to destroy it, while others contend that the fire was accidentally started. This fire, it is believed, melted the gold that lined the inner walls of the buildings, causing it to flow into the cracks between the stones. This would have made it necessary for the soldiers to pull down the stones to retrieve the gold. However, I remember the answer my Orthodox professor of history of the Second Temple period at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Isaiah Gafni, gave when our class had reached an impasse concerning these theories. He said, "Well, maybe Jesus was right!" Indeed He was, for the ultimate explanation of this and every prophecy is that God both planned and performed it.
(IT WILL COME TO PASS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE LAST 42 MONTHS OF THIS AGE; IT IS A PROPHECY FOR THE YET FUTURE - Keith Hunt)
Archaeology from the Prophetic Perspective
The actors of history were usually unaware that they were part of a prophetic drama. Cyrus had no understanding that both his birth and role had been foretold by Isaiah the prophet when, as part of his foreign policy, he decreed the release and return of the Jews to Judah. Neither was there any consciousness of Jesus' prophecy concerning the Second Temple when the Roman Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus sent its stones hurling down one upon another. Yet, each was part of a fulfillment evidenced today by the archaeological remains that have documented their acts. Archaeology cannot in and of itself show the supernatural. This is the sole provenance of Scripture. However, when the prophetic statements are accepted and the stones are viewed from this perspective, their interpretation may offer further example and insight into the prophetic drama.
The Christian Reformed theologian B.B. Warfield once told his students that one could view their theological studies as one viewed a window.19 One could see only the pane of glass, or they could look through it to the world which it revealed beyond. Many who study the stones see only the glassy side of the history. To see beyond to a world determined by the God of the Prophets, one must view each artifact through the lens of Scripture. Those who have done so have discovered a whole new world—-a world that adds the excitement of expectation to every new archaeological discovery. No longer are these pieces of an impersonal history, but fragments of fulfillment of a supernatural story in which the conclusion bears a personal promise to the person who has faith.
TO BE CONTINUED
YES THE PROPHECIES THAT ARE FULFILLED, THAT CAME TO PASS AS GOD SAID THEY WOULD, SHOW AND GIVE PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS!!
TAKE THE GENESIS PROPHECY OF JACOB/JOSEPH AT THE END TIMES GOING TO BE A NATIONS AND COMPANY OF NATIONS. WHERE IN ALL OF HISTORY CAN YOU FIND A COMMON PEOPLE, SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE; AGREEING THEY ARE BROTHER PEOPLES; WHO SERVE EACH OTHER; WHO ACT IN CONCERT WITH EACH OTHER IN MAJOR HIGHWAY MARKS OF THE PAST TWO HUNDRED YEARS. WHERE CAN SUCH A PEOPLE BE FOUND? WHO ALSO WILL BE THE GREATEST SINGLE NATIONS AND COMPANY OF NATIONS, THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN, IN PHYSICAL RICHNESS AND MILITARY STRENGTH.
THERE HAS BEEN AND STILL IS, ONLY EVER IN ALL HISTORY, SUCH A PEOPLE…… THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES TODAY YOU CAN SEE A LIVING PROPHECY IN FULFILMENT - A PROPHECY THAT GOES WAY BACK TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS!!
ONLY AN ALL POWERFUL, GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, COULD PROMISE SUCH A THING TO JACOB/JOSEPH AND BRING IT TO PASS, AS IT WAS PROMISED IN THE LAST DAYS, THE LAST 300 HUNDRED YEARS OR SO OF THE AGE FROM ADAM AND EVE. MANKIND HAS BEEN ON THIS EARTH FOR WAY MORE THAN 6 THOUSAND YEARS; HENCE THE LAST 3 OR 4 HUNDRED YEARS OF THIS AGE, TRULY IS THE LAST DAYS WHEN YOU PUT IT AGAINST THE THOUSANDS OF YEARS MAN HAS BEEN ON THIS EARTH.
FULFILLED PROPHECY PROVES THERE IS A GOD, AND SO HE CAN INDEED INSPIRE HIS WORD TO BE WRITTEN, AND PRESERVED FOR US TODAY; BEING CORRECT, NO CONTRADICTIONS, INSPIRED; AND AS PAUL SAID IT, "GOD BREATHED."