Another Bible prophecy being fulfilled?
The bible gives us several prophecies of what would happened to certain cities. But the prophecies took a long time to be fulfilled.
In the prophecy about Tyre, south in what is called Lebanon today, we learn how the leader of this city had blasphemed God and made himself God’s enemy. God predicted it’s fall and it’s final destiny: «And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. …And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. …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.» (Ezek.26:4, 12 & 14)
Nebuchadnezzar first destroyed this city, and many Bible critics claim the book therefore were written after it’s fall and not before as the bible claims. However, the prophecy wasn’t completely fulfilled until Alexander the Great came 250 years later. The citizens of Tyre had left the city in ruin and built a new Tyre out on an island in the ocean. When Alexander the Great came he had trouble conquering the island city, and so he took the remains of the ancient Tyre and used it to build a road out to the island. By doing this the remains were cast into the ocean, even the debris and dust. The Bible said the original city would never be rebuilt and it never was.
(Remains of Tyre on a new location)
Another city close by Tyre received a similar prophecy. But the wording is different. The wording in each prophecy is important because they reveal that the destiny of the cities isn’t a matter of a lucky guess. «Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. or I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD.» (Ezek.28:21-23) And Zidon was destroyed as the prophecy said. But it’s worth noting that in this prophecy God does not say the city wouldn’t be rebuilt. Unlike Tyre, Zidon was rebuilt and people live there to this day.
Egypt was once one of the most powerful nations in the world. They were advanced when it came to medicine, science, language arts and economy. But God would have it otherwise.
«And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.» (Ezek.29:12-15)
Egypt never became the great nation it once was, the prophecy of it’s destiny fits perfectly with how it fell and never became exalted, or got to rule over other nations again.
(Egypt was once a powerful nation that subdued other nations. Here a hieroglyph showing a captured slave from the South)
This prophecy has been a hot topic. When Saddam Hussein tried to rebuild it for use again, many Bible researchers held their breath. If he was successful in making it an inhabited city, the prediction of the Bible itself would be proven wrong. And by it, the though of a divine author would be weakened. However Saddam’s attempt ended. After having re-erected a few of it’s buildings his reign came to an end and he died. It never became an inhabited city after all. «And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.» (Isa.13: 19:22)
(Remains of Babylon’s gate from Pergamon Museum. The other pictures are of a note from Iraq under Saddam’s reign. He has the Ishtar gate of Babylon on the back side and his face on the front side. Saddam wanted to rebuild the city and have people live there again, had he succeeded he would have proven the Bible wrong. However his reign got a immediate end when the US entered the country.)
Ashkelon and Gaza
The same happened to the prophecies concerning Ashkelon and Gaza. (Zef.2:4, Ezek.25:15-16) For these cities were never rebuilt on the same locations as the old ones. The Bible never tells us the Philistines was not Canaanites. Latest DNA testing have proven that the ancient Philistines were in fact from Crete. Modern Palestinians are not of the same descendants as the old Philistines. The name Palestine was a name Rome gave the land of Judea and Israel after they had driven out the Jews. The naming was a tribute to their old enemies and not because it was still inhabited by them. Gaza and Ashkelon was destroyed and the original people were either killed or moved away.
The curious thing about the prophecy of Damascus, is that we are unaware of this prophecy ever being fulfilled in the past. Some historians and archaeologists believe Damascus may be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world and there is no record of it ever being fully destroyed. As the prophecy regarding Tyre took over 250 years to be fulfilled, will we see another prophecy being fulfilled in front of our very eyes, as a reminder that all the prophecies of the Bible should be taken seriously even if they aren’t fulfilled straight away?
«The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.» (Isa.17:1-4) Notice also that the destruction of Damascus will have an impact on Israel. «In that day» it says. But I will get back to that in a bit.
The city was conquered by several powers over the years like the rest of the Levant. From Babylon to Persia to Greece and Rome. Followed by a Christian era and then a Muslim era to name the biggest. However, the city was always a city. Remains from the Roman era can still be seen. So the question is, did it ever really turn into a ruinous heap? If it did or didn’t, a ruinous heap is in the making as we speak.
A Russian drone airplane have flown over Damascus and recorded how area upon area is being destroyed and left in ruins. (The music in the video can be muted, not ear friendly 😉 )
So are we looking at the prophecy being fulfilled in front of our very eyes? Many Muslims have thought that when Damascus is destroyed it’s a sign that the end of times have come.
What does the prophecy say about Israel «in that day»? Well it says that they will be weakened. But that it will result in something important. Verse 7 in the same chapter reads: «At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.» But why were Israel weakened in the first place? Verse 10 might give us a clue: «Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength…»
Both from the New Testament and the Old we learn that the Rock is none other then Jesus, the Messiah. «And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.» (1.Cor.10:4) Will their eyes open to the identity of the Messiah?
Could an event following the destruction of Damascus open the eyes of children of Israel? Only time will tell. But we are living in curious times.