“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”
by Mark Karapetyan
One of the strongest arguments for the authenticity of the Bible is its 100% accuracy in predicting the future. These future predictions are called “prophecies.”
The Bible contains numerous prophecies from God that were written hundreds of years before their fulfillment. Events that have already occurred and can be documented in history, both Biblical and secular. Other prophecies recorded in Scripture are for the future and contain amazing details about events that are yet to occur. The Bible is the only known religious document with historically verifiable prophecies that have consistently been fulfilled. In more than five hundred specific cases, the Bible has clearly and specifically predicted the future, with the fulfillment verified by historians and archeologists throughout the ages. Let’s study some of these prophecies from the Old and the New Testament and see if they are reasonable to believe.
Jesus’ Birth Place
In B.C 700, Mica prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Throughout the span of the past 27 centuries, from the days of the prophet Micah up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known throughout the world, and that person is Jesus Christ Himself. 
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:1-2
This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem as Matthew the tax collector records in the New Testament. “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.” Matthew 2-1
The Nation of Israel
Ezekiel had a vision that the nation of Israel was seen as a scattering of dried-up bones. In his vision, God told Ezekiel that the bones (Israel) would be brought back to life. Just as Ezekiel had prophesized about 2600 years ago, the Jews were brought back to the land, and the country of Israel was brought back to life. On 14 May, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council met at the Tel Aviv Museum and publicly declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Israel re-established sovereignty, a mere three years after the end of the Holocaust, during which the Nazis killed about one-third of the world’s Jewish population.
In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel, which happened “in one day.” The woman giving birth before going into labor represent Israel. This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 – when the Jews declared independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2,900 years.
During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.
“Before going into labor, she gave birth; before her pains came, she delivered a male child. Whoever heard of such at thing? Who has ever seen such things? Is a country born in one day? Is a nation brought forth all at once? For as soon as Tziyon went into labor, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:7-8
The Golden Gate of Jerusalem
The Eastern Gate is one of eight gates built into the walls which surround the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It provides the only entrance from the East, and it faces the Mount of Olives. The Eastern Gate was destroyed during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy that there will “not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down”. Prior to this, the Eastern Gate had never been sealed.
In the year 1541, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent I sealed the Eastern Gate. Learning of the prophecies which predicted the Messiah’s entrance through the Eastern Gate, Suleiman tried his best to make sure it wouldn’t happen during his reign. And just in case a sealed entrance didn’t thwart the Messiah’s coming, Muslims built a cemetery directly in front of the gate – conventional wisdom being that a Jewish Holy man would never defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery.
“Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looked toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince.” (Ezekiel 44:1-3)
Is the sealing of the Eastern Gate merely a coincidence? Or is it a bona fide partially fulfilled bible prophecy?
Destruction of Tyre
Tyre (Lebanon) is a source of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible. There is a preponderance of historical evidence which proves the accuracy of the Bible concerning numerous prophecies. The city of Tyre was a thriving Phoenician city in ancient times, a source of economic abundance and trading. God pronounced judgment upon the city of Tyre. The surviving inhabitants after Babylon’s invasion moved all their possessions and families to a little isle just off of Tyre. They thought they’d be safe on their little island.
But 250 years after Babylon destroyed Tyre, Alexander the Great of Greece was determined to conquer that little island. So what Alexander the Great did was scrape the dust of Tyrus (just as God prophesied in Ezekiel 26:3-5), using the dust to build a causeway (a road that is raised above water or marshland or sand) reaching out to that little island where the remnant of Tyrus thought they were safe. Alexander the Great totally annihilated that little island and left it desolate just as God had foretold in prophecy. 
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. 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. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.” Ezikiel 26:3-5
Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver
Zechariah was a prophet who lived in the 6th century before the birth of Christ. In Zechariah 11:4-17, the prophet speaks of a payment involving 30 pieces of silver and of a good shepherd whose service is brought to an end. This foreshadows an event that happened to Jesus about 500 years later. As explained in Matthew 26:15, Judas was paid 30 silver coins for his betrayal of Jesus. Judas told the Romans when and where they could arrest Jesus without being surrounded by a large crowd of Jesus’ followers. As explained in Matthew 27:5-7,”and he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Judas later tossed the money into the Temple (the house of the Lord) and the money was used to buy a potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 
“I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.” (Zachariah 11:12)
How did the ancient prophets know 500 years ahead of time that Jesus would be betrayed, by a friend, for 30 pieces of silver? How did they know that the silver would then be returned to the rabbis, and the rabbis would buy a potter’s field with the money?
Silent Before Accusers
Isaiah prophesized, that not only the coming Messiah would suffer cruel punishment on His way to the grave, but He also would not open His mouth. He would be as silent as a sheep is before its shearers.  This prophecy was written in 538 B.C.
“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth. From prison and trial they led Him away to His death.” Isaiah 53:7-8
This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus refused to speak to the High Priest Caiaphas and Pilate.
“But when the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against Him, Jesus remained silent. ‘Don’t you hear their many charges against You?’ Pilate demanded. But Jesus said nothing, much to the governor’s great surprise.” Matthew 27:12-14
The Messiah Will Be Mocked
Isaiah prophesized the coming Messiah would be mocked, beaten, spat on, and insulted. He wrote in his prophecy,” “I gave My back to the smiters [scourgers], and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isa. 50:6).
Amazingly, this prophecy was fulfilled in detail when Jesus was mocked and beaten be the temple police and the Roman guards.
Matthew gives a blistering description of what happened to Jesus before His crucifixion. “Then he released Barabbas to them; but after scourging Jesus, he delivered Him up so that He might be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers, after taking Jesus with them into the Praetorium, gathered the entire band against Him; and they stripped Him and put a scarlet cloak around Him. And after platting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head; and a rod in His right hand; and bowing on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, and kept on saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ Then, after spitting on Him, they took the rod and struck Him on the head.” (Matthew 27:26-30).
Hands & Legs Pierced
King David prophesized that the coming Messiah would have His hands and feet pierced. He wrote,” “Dogs have surrounded Me; a band of evildoers have encircled me; they have pierced My hands and My feet.” (Psa. 22:16).
This was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified. John writes in detail,” And they crucified Him” (Mark 15:25). “Then the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘If I do not see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger into the nail marks, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe at all!’ Now after eight days, His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. After the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Bring forth your finger, and see My hands; and bring forth your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing’ ” (John 20:25-27).
Incredibly, this exact prophecy applied to Jesus when He was nailed to the cross. How did David obtain such a detailed knowledge about the coming Messiah? It is one thing to prophecy that the Messiah would die. It’s another thing to prophecy the manner in which He would die.
Another lucky guess? or Divine intervention?
His Body Will be Pierced
In 500 B.C. Zacahriah prophesized that the coming Messiah would be pierced while on the cross. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zachariah 12:10)
This is exactly what happened to Jesus. John said that ” when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
If Jesus and the disciples wanted to mimic Zachariah’s prophecy to fit Jesus as the coming Messiah, how did they manage to convince the Roman soldier to pierce Jesus’ side? Is it reasonable to assume that Jesus or His followers asked the Romans to Pierce Jesus so it would appear that Jesus is the coming Messiah? This is one prophecy that no one could control. Not Jesus, and not His followers. Only the Roman soldier acting on behalf of Pilate.
The Destruction of Jerusalem
It is a matter of historical fact that Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans. Jesus prophesied that the Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed and that its destruction would be so complete that not one stone would be left standing on top of another. His prophecy was fulfilled about 40 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and tore down the Temple. The destruction was so complete that even the foundations of the Temple were dug up, according to Josephus, an historian who wrote about the destruction. 
In 66 A.D. the Jews rebelled against the Romans. In response, the Emperor Nero dispatched an army under the generalship of Vespasian to restore order. By the year 68, resistance in the northern part of the province had been eradicated and the Romans turned their full attention to the subjugation of Jerusalem. That same year, the Emperor Nero died by his own hand, creating a power vacuum in Rome. In the resultant chaos, Vespasian was declared Emperor and returned to the Imperial City. It fell to his son, Titus, to lead the remaining army in the assault on Jerusalem. The Roman legions surrounded the city and began to slowly squeeze the life out of the Jewish stronghold. By the year 70, the attackers had breached Jerusalem’s outer walls and began a systematic ransacking of the city. The assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism. 
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down'” (Matt.24:1-8. Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem which came to pass 40 years after his death and resurrection.
Not a single prophecy from the Bible has been proven false. Many prophecies remain in the future. All that have come to pass have been verified to be true. Thousand of prophecies from the Bible have been fulfilled. Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. There are some critics who claim the foretelling in the Bible is not really foretelling, but men writing down both the “prophecy” and the “fulfillment” after the event occurred. However, there is no historical or textual basis for their claim. What is, in fact, true, is that the Bible contains numerous records of accurate, verified foretelling.
Unlike the self-proclaimed prophets of yesterday and today, like Nostradamus, Edward Cayce, or Jeanne Dixon, Jesus and the biblical prophets did not peddle vague and general predictions that could be adjusted to any situation. The prophecies recorded in the Bible are detailed and intricately interwoven. 
“Every single human being should be the fulfillment of a prophecy: for every human being should be the realization of some ideal, either in the mind of God or in the mind of man.”
 Jesusissavior.com/David Stewart
 100 prophecies.org
 100 prophecies.org
 MarkHitchkok.com/The amazing claims of bible prophecy
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