MORE PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE NATIONS
by Wayne S.Walker
"We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19). One of the strongest evidences for the inspiration of the scriptures is fulfilled prophecy. In a previous article, we looked at some prophecies made regarding the nation of Egypt as an example of prophecies concerning the nations. In this article, we want to study some more prophecies concerning the nations.
In Zephaniah 2:13-15, an inspired prophet foretold the destruction of Nineveh, capital of Assyria which was the strongest nation of that day. "And he will stretch out His hand…and make Nineveh a desolation….The herds shall lie down in her midst….How has she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down!" The site of ancient Nineveh has been identified. Those who have visited it report that it is a grassy knoll where local Arabian shepherds take their flocks to rest–just like Zephaniah predicted!
In Isaiah 13, another inspired prophet foretold the destruction of Babylon, which supplanted Nineveh as the greatest city of its time. In verse 1 he began, "The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw." Then in verse 20 he continued, "It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there." Those who have visited the site of ancient Babylon report that it is considered haunted by the local natives and Arabs will not take their flocks to rest there–just like Isaiah prophesied!
In Ezekiel 26, still another inspired prophet foretold the destruction of Tyre, capital of the Phoenicians and one of the wealthiest cities of the ancient world. In verse 7 Ezekiel specified that Nebuchadnezzar would come against Tyre but not that he would destroy it. Nebuchadnezzar did attack Tyre but could not take it as he did so many other great ancient cities because the people of Tyre moved from their mainland site to an island offshore. However, Ezekiel continued in verse 12, "They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water." Notice that the subject changes from "he" (Nebuchadnezzar) to an unspecified "they." When Alexander the Great attacked Tyre, he scraped the ancient site of all its remains, laid them in the water, made a causeway to the island, and conquered Tyre–just like Ezekiel said!
Then in Ezekiel 28:20-24, the prophet foretold the destruction of Sidon, the second main city of Phoenicia. What is interesting is that it was not predicted that the ancient site of Sidon would be completely destroyed and never inhabited again. Sidon has been conquered many times, but it has always been rebuilt on the same site and still exists there today. Compare this to what was to happen to Tyre. It was to be scraped and made like the top of a bare rock as a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea (Ezekiel 26:4-6). There is a city in Lebanon today called Tyre, but it is not located on the same site as the ancient city. Visitors report that the site of the ancient city is now used by fishermen for drying their nets–just like Ezekiel predicted!
What if Zephaniah had predicted that Nineveh would be so desolate that no flocks would rest there, while Isaiah had prophesied that Babylon would be a place for herds to lie down? What if Ezekiel had not said that Tyre would be scraped like the top of a rock but did say that Sidon would be a place for the spreading of nets? Obviously, even a casual visit to any of these sites would prove these prophets inaccurate and thus show the Bible to be unreliable. Yet, even after thousands of years have gone by, the fact that what the prophets predicted is still true is a strong proof that what was said in the Bible is more than the words of fallible men but shows the guidance of a divine hand. (—taken from With All Boldness; August, 1995; Vol. 5, No. 7; p. 24)