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God does not predict. He foretells!

24-08-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

index_2 One of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible is the prediction of the name of King Cyrus in the book of Isaiah. I will explain. King Cyrus was the first king of the Medo-Persian Empire which was the successor empire to the Babylonian empire. During the Babylonian empire, while King Nebuchadnezzar was ruler supreme, the city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed, the Temple had gone up in flames and a massive carnage was wrought among the people. And those who had escaped the sword were taken to Babylon as slaves (2Chron.36:19-21). This situation lasted 70 years, as was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. Then God would look after His people and bring them back to the country to rebuild the temple. But now it comes: the name of the king who made this restoration possible, was already foretold by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. And then you should know that Isaiah prophesied this name about 140 years before the destruction of the temple and consequently, approximately 210 years before the return from exile. God spoke through Isaiah (Chs.44.45.):

28 Saying as to Cyrus, `My shepherd,’ and `All My desire he will perform.’ Saying as to Jerusalem, `It shall be built.’ And the temple, `It shall be founded.'” 1 Thus says Yahweh Elohim to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I hold fast, to sway over nations before him, and the waists of kings will I unloose, to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be closed.

Here not only is the destruction of Jerusalem foretold, but also the restoration of the city and even those through whom it would happen. Is not that spectacular? For King Cyrus himself, especially. For when the scroll of Isaiah was given to him, he became so impressed that his name was mentioned in it, that he immediately ordered to do what was prophesied about him (see the historian Flavius Josephus Antiquities, Book 11, ch. 1). By whom King Cyrus was drawn to the scroll of Isaiah, is not listed, but it is possible that this was the old Daniel, who, after all, was highly esteemed in the reign of Cyrus (Dan.6:28). Anyway, this pagan king comes to the recognition of Israel’s God, because He is able to foretell the future flawlessly. Thus “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus” (2Chron.36:22) that he, as the most powerful man on earth, would give this command:

2 …Yahweh Elohim of the heavens has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He Himself has committed to me to build for Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judah 3 Anyone among you of all His people, may his Elohim be with him. Let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and let him rebuild the House of Yahweh Elohim of Israel. He is the One, Elohim, Who is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that [is] in Jerusalem. -Ezra 1-

The temple was rebuilt in the year, which was already foretold when the temple had not even been destroyed. And it happened under the leadership of a man, whom Isaiah, more than 200 years earlier, had named. Only God knows the future and therefore prophecy is His hallmark. Astrologers and soothsayers make predictions, but the God of heaven and earth foretells the future. On it, a human can fully rely.

For not by the will of man was prophecy carried on at any time, but, being carried on by holy spirit, holy men of God speak. -2Peter 1:21-