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Page Fifteen

FULFILLED PROPHECY

The Bible has prophesied many events that have already occurred. For instance, the city of Tyre.
Tyre was a very rich port city on the Mediterranean Sea, the most prosperous of the Phoenician cities. Tyre was built in two parts, one part on the mainland, the other on an island about a half mile offshore. The Bible tells us about 600 years B.C. the prophet Ezekiel prophesied several future happenings concerning Tyre. Let's look at them:

Prophecy: The mainland part of the city would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.

Fulfillment: Nebuchadnezzar attacked Tyre three years later, and after a 13 year siege destroyed the mainland city.

Prophecy: Many nations would rise up against Tyre.

Fulfillment: Several hundred years later Alexander the Great destroyed the rebuilt mainland city and also the mighty fortress island. Tyre rapidly recovered only to be destroyed again, this time by Antigonus, the Judean king. Again the city was rebuilt and captured by the Muslims, then the Crusaders, and then the Muslims once more. After the recapture of Tyre the fury of the Muslims was set against it and everything was completely devastated, never to be rebuilt again.

Prophecy: “They will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water," Ezekiel prophesied. Tyre would be made “like the top of a rock.”

Fulfillment: In order to overtake the island section of the city, Alexander built a causeway from the mainland to the island fortress, about 200 feet wide. This was accomplished by filling the water with debris from the demolished mainland city, scraping the city to bare rock, thereby fulfilling these two prophecies.

Prophecy: The city would never be rebuilt.

Fulfillment: Tyre is an excellent site for a city, strategically located with an abundant supply of fresh water, and yet for the past 2500 years it has remained a barren rock.

Prophecy: Fishermen will spread their nets on the bare rocks.

Fulfillment: Today there is a small community of fishermen at the site who often dry their nets on the bare rocks where the mighty ancient city of Tyre once stood.

Now let's look at other cities:

The city of Sidon: Sidon was the sister city to Tyre. Ezekiel prophesied Sidon was to suffer much bloodshed and be continually beset by enemies. However, unlike Tyre, Ezekiel did not prophesy Sidon's destruction. And Sidon never was destroyed, though it suffered many cruel blows through the ages. In 351 B.C. 40,000 inhabitants of Sidon shut themselves up in their homes, torched their houses, and died in their own fire, rather than suffer at the hands of the invaders of their city. In the days of the Crusades Sidon was taken alternately by the Crusaders and the Muslims, over and over again, each time its citizens spilling their blood. In modern days Sidon’s blood still flowed freely during conflicts between the Druses and the Turks, and the Turks and the French.

The city of Samaria: It was predicted this city would fall suddenly and “become as a heap in the field,” be covered with vineyards, her building stones poured into a valley, and her foundation would be “discovered.” Over the centuries the city was captured three times and at last lay in a heap. The stones were rolled away so that the land could be recovered for fields and vineyards. The ancient quadrangular stones can still be seen on the slopes of the hills.

Ashkelon and Gaza, and the Philistine race: The Philistine city of Ashkelon was destroyed by Sultan Bibars in 1270 as prophesied many centuries previous in the Old Testament and, as also predicted, the site became an abode of shepherds and a place to graze sheep. It was also prophesied Israel would one day resurrect the city for its own use. This they began to do after regaining their homeland in 1948, turning Ashkelon into a garden city. But the Philistine city of Gaza presented a real problem. It was foretold that “baldness shall come upon Gaza,” but Gaza is today a flourishing city. Could the prophecy be wrong? It was eventually discovered that Gaza was in the wrong location as far as the Bible was concerned. A search for the ancient Gaza revealed it was two miles away, truly 'bald,' laying dormant under sand dunes, not even a blade of grass to mark its grave. And the Philistines? It was foretold that “the remnant of the Philistines will perish.” In all the world there is not to be found one single Philistine!

The kingdom of Edom: No less than six Old Testament prophets foretold nine future events regarding the mighty kingdom of Edom, a kingdom that stretched 110 miles long and 60 miles wide. Every prophecy has been fulfilled.

Nineveh and Babylon: The destruction of these mighty fortress cities, centers of a powerful militaristic empire, was prophesied at the epic of their power. Nineveh’s walls were 100 feet high, 50 feet thick, surrounded by a 150-foot-wide moat. Babylon’s walls were three times higher, much wider, and surrounded by a 30-foot-wide moat. Nineveh went down first, after a mere three-month siege. Babylon was taken in less than a day. Both were destroyed, and as prophesied, never rebuilt again.

Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Tiberias: In Jesus’ day these four ancient cities were on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus foretold the destruction of three. The only city that remains today is Tiberius, the one city the Lord did not prophesy against.

It is beyond the ability of man to predict future events with such accuracy. How could Ezekiel possibly know that mighty Tyre was to be destroyed and its sister-city, Sidon, would survive the ages? Who would dare predict the fall of the seemingly impregnable Ninevah and Babylon? It is beyond chance happenings that the foretold events would find fulfillment (although an evolutionist might argue this point!). The chances of Tyre meeting the conditions of its prophecies are 1 chance in 750,000,000. The chances of Babylon fulfilling all its prophecies are 1 in 15,000,000,000. Is this not proof a supernatural power inspired the writings of the Bible? The Bible: just another book? What is your verdict?

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