God's Unanswerable Challenge
-- Self-Imposed and Exacting Conditions -- A Threefold Challenge
-- Babylon And The Testimony of Travellers -- Egypt and The History
Books -- The Immortal Jew -- A Future Promise -- Assaults of
Modern Infidelity Absolutely Impotent -- A Fulfilment of Our
Promise -- The Bible Must Be Divine
also a more sure word of prophecy. " - Peter.
Our object in dealing with
archaeology was to demonstrate the historical reliability of
the Bible. Our object in considering prophecy is to demonstrate
the divinity of the Bible; for no power except the divine can
reveal the future.
A deplorable ignorance exists among many people of the nature
and scope of Bible prophecy. When prophecy is cited as a proof
of the Bible, they either assert that the forecasts are of a
vague and general character capable of having any construction
placed upon them, or susceptible of application to any event
after it has occurred. If upon further pressure these arguments
prove unavailing they will often take refuge in vague references
to "Old Moore's Almanack ... .. Mother Shipton" and
These petty objections merely beg the question. There are no possible grounds for comparison of popular paper astrologers with the prophets of Israel, and only wilful unbelief or hopeless ignorance would ever suggest that there was. Real prophecy, the power to foretell the future and not just guess at the probable outcome of a certain train of events, is not an attribute of mortal man but of God alone. Man does not and cannot know what a day may bring forth; if he did he himself would be a god. Indeed this is the point of a challenge which God issues to vindicate His supremacy in this field. and by it emphasizes man's utter powerlessness to foretell future events:
"Produce your cause,
saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons . . . Let them
bring them forth and shew us what shall happen . . . or declare
us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter,
that we may know that ye are gods." (Isa. 41:21, 23.)
God on the other hand can
"Behold, the former things
are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring
forth I tell you of them." (Isa. 42:9.)
Here is an infallible test
supplied by the Bible. Can the Bible stand the test? Can it show
us "things to come"? We shall see.
First we would remark, that
if we are to make out a successful case for Bible prophecy, we
must prove that:
(1) The prophecies were written before the foretold events;
(2) The predicted events were of such a nature that NO AMOUNT
OF HUMAN FORESIGHT COULD ANTICIPATE THEM;
(3) THE EVENTS WERE NOT PROBABILITIES likely to develop but rather
improbable and seemingly impossible AT THE TIME OF THEIR PRONOUNCEMENT;
(4) The predictions were couched in clear and INTELLIGIBLE TERMS,
INCAPABLE OF HAVING TWO OR MORE CONSTRUCTIONS PLACED UPON THEM;
(5) They were of such a nature
as to be CONTINUALLY IN DANGER OF BEING FALSIFIED DOWN TO OUR
If in addition to these very exacting conditions we can show
that the prophecies were not petty or personal fore casts of
single or quickly passing events but broad in their scope, embracing
centuries of time, and affecting the destinies of modem nations,
then, we submit, we shall have made out an unanswerable case.
This is a very ambitious programme, but we have no doubt that
we can satisfy all these exacting requirements from recorded
Our examples for the present purpose will be few, but they will
be of a nature that will defy the ingenuity of the most fervent
unbeliever successfully to gainsay.
We are selecting prophecies the subjects of which are common
knowledge. They concern three ancient peoples who existed contemporary
with one another. Two of them are still with us, in our modern
world; the other has completely disappeared. It was while their
future fortunes were as yet unknown and undreamed of that three
separate and widely differing destinies were declared for them.
Their foretold calamities were to be as varied and diverse as
it is possible to conceive, and to be of long duration.
Thus were these forecasts exposed every day to the vagaries of
political change which could easily wreck them if they were anything
short of divine.
ONE KINGDOM WAS TO CEASE UTTERLY AND HER PEOPLES TO DISAPPEAR
AS COMPLETELY AS IF THEY HAD NEVER EXISTED. Its cities were to
be destroyed, and its name disappear from world politics.
ANOTHER WAS TO BE REDUCED PERMANENTLY FROM A VERY HIGH TO A VERY
LOW ESTATE, TO SUFFER PERPETUAL SERVITUDE, nevertheless to continue
as a kingdom but as an ignoble one, always ruled over by foreigners
with never again a king from among their own people.
WHILE A THIRD PEOPLE WERE TO BE DRIVEN OUT OF THEIR LAND, AND
LIVE IN EVERY OTHER COUNTRY EXCEPT THEIR OWN; in those countries
they were to endure, and always survive, the hatred and cruel
persecution of all peoples; they were to be a nation of living
fragments with no king, parliament, or priesthood to hold them
together; and, left uncultivated by its conquerors, their abandoned
country was to lie desolate until they were again gathered back
at an appointed time.
AN ENTHUSIASTIC SCHOLAR
But this is anticipating. Our first task is to prove, beyond
all question or doubt, the early date of the prophecies. This
happens to be quite easy. All the prophecies with which we intend
to deal are contained in the Old Testament portion of the Authorised
Version of the Bible. The earliest books of the Old Testament
were written at about the 16th century B.C. and the latest books
about the 5th century B.C. But as this is a matter which might
involve debate with the sceptic, we can afford to agree to a
much later date which will still be early enough to fulfil our
first requirement, i.e., "The prophecies were written
before the foretold events."
There happens to be a notable event in secular history which
will admirably serve our purpose in establishing the early age
of the prophecies. Ptolemy, the Greek king of Egypt who lived
in the 3rd century B.C. was an enthusiastic scholar. He collected
a wonderful library and among his books, it is said, he wished
to include the sacred books of the Jews. These books were written
in Hebrew, so Ptolemy, it is said, commissioned seventy learned
Jews to translate their Hebrew scriptures into Greek. Thus there
came into being a version known to history as the Septuagint
Version, i.e., The version of the Seventy. This version
was largely used by Christ and his apostles. It is still extant
today and contains every book of the Old Testament that is found
in our Authorised Version of the Bible.
Here then is elementary and indisputable evidence that the Jewish
Scriptures were a finished and complete production in the 3rd
century B.C. How otherwise could a version be made from them
at that time? Thus we can now consider the prophecies themselves
confident of our age question. We can now examine them strictly
on their merits of fulfilment.
A CITY BECOMES HEAPS
The first example is Babylon, which was at the height of her
power under King Nebuchadnezzar when Jeremiah wrote his prophecy
(about 600 B.C.), and was still a mighty city of the Greek Empire
at the time of the translations of the Jewish Scriptures into
Here is a digest of some of the things predicted by Jeremiah,
and by Isaiah over a century earlier, concerning Babylon. We
have numbered the sections for ease of reference later. Note
their contents very carefully in order to appreciate their fulfilment
when we explain them:
From Jeremiah 50:
(1) "For out of the north there cometh up a nation against
her which shall MAKE HER LAND DESOLATE AND NONE SHALL DWELL THEREIN:
they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast."
(2) "It (Babylon) shall not be inhabited, but it shall be
wholly desolate." (Verse 13.)
(3) "How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and
broken; how is Babylon become a DESOLATION AMONG THE NATIONS!"
(4) "CAST HER UP AS HEAPS and destroy her utterly: let nothing
of her be left." (Verse 26.)
(5) "A DROUGHT IS UPON HER WATERS and they shall be dried
up." (Verse 38.)
(6) "Therefore the WILD BEASTS OF THE DESERT WITH THE WILD
BEASTS OF THE ISLANDS SHALL DWELL THERE, AND THE OWLS SHALL DWELL
THEREIN and it shall no more be inhabited for ever, neither shall
it be dwelt in from generation to generation." (Verse 39.)
(7) "SO SHALL NO MAN ABIDE THERE, neither shall any son
of man dwell therein." (Verse 40.)
From Jeremiah 51:
(8) "We would have healed Babylon but SHE IS NOT HEALED."
(9) "O thou that dwellest
upon many waters, abundant in treasures, THINE END IS COME."
(10) "THEY SHALL NOT TAKE OF THEE A STONE for a corner nor
a stone for foundations." (Verse 26.)
(11) "Thou shalt be DESOLATE FOR EVER, saith the Lord."
(12) "For every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against
Babylon to make the land of Babylon A DESOLATION WITHOUT AN INHABITANT."
(13) "THE SEA IS COME UPON BABYLON, she is covered with
the multitude of the waves thereof." (Verse 42.)
(14) "BABYLON SHALL BECOME HEAPS, A DWELLING PLACE FOR DRAGONS
(JACKALS), an astonishment . . . WITHOUT AN INHABITANT."
(15) "Her cities are a desolation, A DRY LAND AND A WILDERNESS,
a land wherein no man dwelleth." (Verse 43.)
(16) "The broad walls of Babylon shall be UTTERLY BROKEN."
(17) "O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place to cut
it off that none shall remain in it. neither man nor beast, but
that IT SHALL BE DESOLATE FOR EVER." (Verse 62.)
(18) "THUS SHALL BABYLON SINK AND SHALL NOT RISE from the
evil that I will bring upon her." (Verse 64.)
From Isaiah 13.
(19) "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of
the Chaldees' excellency, shall be AS WHEN GOD OVERTHREW SODOM
AND GOMORRAH." (Verse 19.)
(20) "IT SHALL NEVER BE INHABITED, neither shall it be dwelt
in from generation to generation." (Verse 20.)
(21) "NEITHER SHALL THE ARABIAN PITCH TENT THERE, NEITHER
SHALL THE SHEPHERDS MAKE THEIR FOLD THERE." (Verse 20.)
(22) "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 (wild
goats) shall dance there." (Verse 21.)
(23) "I will also make it A POSSESSION FOR THE BITTERN AND
POOLS OF WATER, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction."
(Isaiah 14. 23.)
(24) "CUT OFF THE SOWER FROM BABYLON." (Jeremiah 50:16.)
FULFILMENT PAR EXCELLENCE
Travellers of three centuries
ago and travellers and archaeologists up to our present day all
concur in describing the state of Babylon exactly as these predictions
would lead us to expect. Indeed they themselves repeatedly and
often unintentionally use the very phrases employed by Bible
prophets when describing what they saw. Some of them were not
Bible believers and would therefore do nothing willingly to help
the cause of Bible truth. They simply recorded what they saw,
no more, and no less. And that is all we require them to do,
for in the telling words of one writer:
"To diverge in the least
from the most precise facts, would here weaken and destroy the
argument, for the predictions correspond not closely with anything
except alone with the literal and express reality ... THE ACTUAL
FACTS RENDER ANY EXAGGERATION IMPOSSIBLE, AND ANY FICTION POOR."
Here is fulfilment par excellence
if so be that such language is justified. That it is more than
justified we shall now proceed to demonstrate.
The following extracts are from various travellers and archaeologists;
some quite modern, others not so modern. They include such names
as Sir Ker Porter, Keppel, Rich, Keith, Mignan, Buckingham, Rassam,
Rawlinson, Sir Henry Layard, and Professor Hilprecht. They shall
speak for themselves.
"Neither shall the Arabian
pitch his tent . . . neither shall the shepherds make their fold."
See Section 21.
Rawlinson says: " On
the actual ruins of Babylon, THE ARABIAN NEITHER PITCHES HIS
TENT NOR PASTURES HIS FLOCKS -- in the first place, because the
nitrous soil produces no pasture to tempt him; and secondly,
because an evil reputation attaches to the entire site, which
is thought to be the haunt of evil spirits."
"Captain Mignan was accompanied
by six Arabs completely armed, but he 'COULD NOT INDUCE THEM
TO REMAIN TOWARDS NIGHT, from the apprehension of evil spirits'."
"They shall not take
of thee a stone for a corner ..." See Section 10.
"The famous excavator
Rassam says: 'There is one fact connected with the destruction
of Babylon and the marvellous fulfilment of prophecy which struck
me more than anything else ... THE NON-EXISTENCE . . . OF ANY
SIGN OF STONE WHICH HAD BEEN DUG UP FROM THE ANCIENT RUINS. It
seems that in digging for old materials the Arabs used the bricks
for building purposes, but ALWAYS BURNT THE STONES THUS DISCOVERED
"Babylon shall become
heaps . . ." See Sections 4, 14.
"IMMENSE TUMULI of temples, palaces, and human habitations
of every description."
"MISSHAPEN HEAPS of rubbish."
"Buried in SHAPELESS HEAPS."
"HEAPS of rubbish."
"VAST HEAPS NOW CONSTITUTE ALL THAT REMAINS OF ANCIENT BABYLON."
"I will make it pools
of water..." See Section 23.
"While WORKMEN CAST HER UP AS HEAPS in piling the rubbish
while excavating for bricks ... the numerous and DEEP EXCAVATIONS
FORM POOLS OF WATER on the overflowing of the Euphrates."
"Deep cavities are also formed by the Arabs when digging
. . . the ground is sometimes covered with POOLS OF WATER IN
"From the summit of Birs Nimrood," says Sir Henry Layard,
the famous archaeologist, "I gazed over a vast marsh, for
Babylon is made a 'POSSESSION FOR THE BITTERN, AND POOLS OF WATER'."
A TENANTLESS METROPOLIS
"It shall never be inhabited..."
Sections 1, 2, 6, 7,12, 14,15,20.
"The eye wanders over a barren desert in which the ruins
are nearly the only indication that it ever had been inhabited
... Babylon is spurned alike by the heel of the Ottomans, the
Israelites and the sons of Ishmael ... it is A TENANTLESS AND
"Wild beasts . .
. and owls shall dwell there." See Section 22.
"There are MANY DENS OF WILD BEASTS in various parts ...
in most of the cavities are NUMBERS OF BATS AND OWLS . . . the
refuge Of JACKALS AND OTHER SAVAGE ANIMALS ... THE KING OF THE
FOREST (LION) now ranges over the site of Babylon."
"The sea is come
up upon Babylon..." See Section 13.
"During spring and summer (Babylon) is almost a continual
marsh, a veritable 'desert of the sea'. (Isa. 21:1.) While the
inundations prevail, a dense vegetation springs from the stagnant
waters. Large flocks of birds with brilliant plumage, pelicans
and cormorants sail about in undisputed possession of their safe
and tranquil retreats."
"Her cities a dry
land and a wilderness." See Section 15.
"The lofty embankments (of the canals) like a perfect network,
'stretching on every side in long lines until they are lost in
the hazy distance, or magnified by the mirage into mountains,
still defy the hand of time,' bearing witness to the great skill
and diligent labour which once turned these barren plains into
one luxuriant garden. THE PROVERBIAL FERTILITY AND PROSPERITY
OF BABYLONIA WHICH EXCITED THE ADMIRATION OF CLASSICAL WRITERS,
HAVE LONG DISAPPEARED. 'HER CITIES ARE A DESOLATION, A DRY LAND
AND A WILDERNESS'."
"A drought is upon
her waters." See Section 5.
"The solitude and utter devastation which characterise Babylon
in her present aspect are even more impressive and appalling.
The whole country from 'Aqarguf Quorna looks as when God overthrew
Sodom and Gomorrah. THE INNUMERABLE CANALS WHICH IN BYGONE DAYS,
LIKE SO MANY NOURISHING VEINS, CROSSED THE RICH ALLUVIAL PLAIN,
bringing life and joy and wealth to every village and field,
are CHOKED UP WITH RUBBISH AND EARTH. Unattended by industrious
hands and no longer fed by the Euphrates and Tigris, THEY ARE
COMPLETELY 'DRIED up' -- 'A DROUGHT IS UPON THE WATERS OF BABYLON'."
"Cut off the sower
from Babylon." See Section 24.
"Ruins composed, like those of Babylon, of HEAPS OF RUBBISH
IMPREGNATED WITH NITRE, CANNOT BE CULTIVATED. The decomposing
materials of a Babylonian structure doom the earth on which they
perish to EVERLASTING STERILITY."
Here then are the prophecies which, we submit, were delivered
at the time when Babylon was the magnificent capital of a mighty
empire; when her fertile and smiling plains, irrigated by a gigantic
system of canals, supported an enormous population of highly
intelligent and skilled people; when a false prophet, depending
on probability to guide him, would have predicted any other fate
except the one outlined so clearly by Israel's prophets.
IF Babylon had ever been rebuilt, as indeed it almost was, by
Alexander the Great -- IF the canals had been maintained, and
perpetuated Babylon's fertility -- IF flocks grazed on the site
of her ruins, as they do on those of other ancient cities --
IF an Arab could be induced to pitch his tent, and spend a night
there, as he will among other ancient ruins -- IF a Babylonian
kingdom still existed -- IF her ancient site could be sown and
cultivated as are other mounds of ruins such as Nineveh -- IF
wild beasts and owls were not now the only living inhabitants
of Babylon -- IF the cormorant and other wild waterfowl did not
live in lonely solitude in her marshes today -- THEN would Jeremiah
and Isaiah have proved to be false prophets.
When the reader considers the chances against the natural outworking
of such an unnatural, unheard of, and unique fate for any country
and people, and the ease with which any of these "ifs"
could happen -- then surely he or she will allow that we have
here overwhelming evidence that a mind higher than man's was
behind these amazing forecasts; the mind which knows the end
from the beginning and who has declared:
"My counsel shall
stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (Isaiah 46:10.)
THE LAND OF THE SPHINX
We now turn to consider the second example of the wonders of
prophetic forecast. Egypt was a great nation contemporary with
Babylon. She, too, was the subject of prophecy. Her future, however,
was to be entirely different from that of Babylon, but like Babylon
she was to have a unique future with NO POSSIBLE PARALLEL IN
RECORDED HISTORY. We would emphasise this. Egypt was to meet
with a fate which has befallen no other nation. To a person living
at the time it would seem that the prophets of Israel were inviting
disaster to overtake their predictions, so undreamed of, unlikely
and seemingly impossible of fulfilment were their messages. But
TIME, THE GREAT ACID TEST OF PROPHECY, HAS PROVED THEM TRUE.
Our task is to show you in simple language how this has been
done in the case of Egypt.
As before, we will quote the prophecies first. Ezekiel, who wrote
at the time when Egypt was still a mighty power under her Pharaohs,
declared for God:
"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 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.
"And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into
the hand of the wicked: and I WILL MAKE THE LAND WASTE AND ALL
THAT IS THEREIN, BY THE HAND OF STRANGERS: ... AND THERE SHALL
BE NO MORE A PRINCE OF THE LAND OF EGYPT . . ." (Ezek. 30:12,
There is no record in history
of Egypt's forty years' captivity. But when we remember that
it was Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who first defeated Egypt
after the utterance of this prophecy, then matters become clearer.
His policy was to take conquered nations away into exile, as
we have seen already in the case of the Jews, whom he took into
captivity for seventy years, until Cyrus the Persian conquered
him and released and restored his Jewish captives to their own
land. We can be sure that something of a similar nature happened
to the Egyptians, but as yet there is no certain record of the
THE REAL TEST
The rest of the prophecy, however, provides the real test. The
Egyptians, from being a premier nation, were to continue perpetually
in a state of subjection in their own country, ruled over and
impoverished by foreigners.
Truly a remarkable and seemingly impossible state of affairs,
especially as it was to be a perpetual state and not a temporary
one -- "they shall no more rule over the nations."
Here is an unnatural situation, the continuation of which challenges
eternity. What prospect of it ever happening, and, if happening,
of continuing, if God were not behind it?
And now a brief history of Egypt, taken principally from a standard
encyclopedia, will illustrate the prophecy almost without need
of comment. This is how it should be, for prophecy is but history
before it happens, and history is but prophecy after it has happened.
"Pharaoh Necho II was
defeated by Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) at Carchemish .
"Egypt fell under the
Persian power when Cambyses conquered it and added it to his
empire. After many rebellions, more or less successful, they
were finally subdued by Ochus in 350 B.C. From that time to the
present no native prince has ruled the land.
"Egypt remained a province
of Persia till its conquest by Alexander, 332 B.C.
"Subsequently Egypt passed
under Greek rule and the language of the government became essentially
Greek. Epiphanes, 204-180 B.C., encountered repeated rebellion...
"After the battle of Actium, 31 B.C., Egypt passed into
the condition of a province of Rome. Governed always by a Roman
governor of the equestrian, not senatorial, rank . . .
"Egypt under Roman rule at the division of the (Roman) empire,
395 A.D., Egypt fell to the Eastern. empire . . . it became a
province of Persia 616 A.D. for twelve years. The Coptic governor,
John Mukowkis, governed Egypt in the name of Herachus at the
period of the Arab invasion 639 A.D., and perceiving in the invaders
a means of escape from the detested rule of the Greeks, submitted
. . . to the Arab general 'Amir ibn el-Asi who took Alexandria
641 A.D. and soon made the whole country a province of the Calif
'Omar . . .
"Egypt remained an appanage
of the Califat, and was ruled by Arab governors . . . This in
turn gave place to the heretical line of the Fatimi Califs who
advanced from their capital, conquered Egypt and founded modern
Cairo, 969 A.D. . . .
A STARTLING ANOMALY
"The Fatimis were deposed
by the Kurd general Saladin, 1169-93 A.D. . . . It was the last
of the Saladin line, Es-Salih Ayyub, who introduced the famous
bodyguard of Turkish Mamelukes, or white slaves, who on his death,
usurped the supreme power 1250 A.D.
"For more than two centuries and a half Egypt was governed
by a succession of slave kings one of the most startling anomalies
"In 1517 A.D.... this brilliant series of rulers came to
an end on the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I.
Nearly three centuries of weak and corrupt government by Turkish
Pashas, varied by faction and rebellion of the Mameluke chiefs,
brings us to the French invasion by Bonaparte in 1798 . . . The
French, however, were soon expelled by the British in 1801 when
the country was restored to (Turkey).
"The accession of the Albanian soldier Mohammed 'Ali to
the pashalik in 1805 ... In 1816 Mohammed 'Ali reduced part of
Arabia to his sway by the generalship of his son Ibrahim. Ibrahim
sat on the throne for two months (1849) . . . Isma'il son of
Ibrahim . . . took in 1866 the hereditary title of Khedive. The
same firman made the succession to the throne of Egypt direct
from father to son ...
"Egyptian finances were placed entirely under European management.
A promise of constitutional government ended in 1879 in the summary
dismissal of Nebar Pasha's ministry, and brought about the peremptory
interference of the European governments . . .
"A law of liquidation, for regulating the condition of the
public debt, was passed at the instance of five European powers
in 1880 . . . growing dislike to European interference ...
"In 1882 British and French warships were despatched to
Alexandria to overawe the rebels ... The British Admiral occupied
the city ... The aim of the English Cabinet was to secure, as
soon as possible, a firm and lasting government under the Khedive
but a large measure of interference with the Egyptian government
was, for the time being, inevitable ...
"A conference of the great powers in 1884 did not sanction
the English scheme for managing Egyptian finance; and Britain
had consequently to resume her exclusive responsibility in Egypt
. . . Egypt under British rule."
Here then are history's comments on Ezekiel's ancient prophecy,
details you may read for yourself in almost any encyclopedia.
The writer of this history would doubtless be greatly surprised
if he learned that we were quoting him to verify the words of
Israel's prophet. But you must admit that what he has written
is not just his biased opinion, but sober and well known history.
Had he recorded less than the truth or more than the truth, his
record would not confirm the prophecy but rather discredit it.
Surely we may say of Egypt's unique history what was said of
her rule by imported slaves -- "it is one of the most startling
anomalies of history." A happening in history that can be
termed "startling" must needs be more startling still
when found in prophecy! For surely "startling anomalies"
are not things to be easily anticipated, neither will a probable
trend of events make them occur to a would-be prophet; for they
are not the expected but the unexpected. Well, the unexpected
happened and has continued to our very day as the following extracts
"Of the present inhabitants of Egypt two-thirds of the fellahin
(the cultivators of the soil), who form more than four-fifths
of the entire population of Egypt, together with the Copts (Egyptian
Christians), who form about one twelfth, are undoubtedly descendants
of the ancient Egyptians.
"The level of material civilisation is very low among these
people, and they have sunk to the level of a race of slaves,
whose proud past of splendour and power is but a faded memory.
Egypt exists in a state of suspended animation, a kingdom, but
sunk very low."
Mr. Wendell Willkie, the American statesman, in a book, One
World, records the following:
"Next day we drove back
to Cairo for long conferences with King Farouk, the Prime Minister,
and later with Sir Miles Lampson, the British ambassador in Egypt,
and for all practical purposes its actual ruler.
"I asked one of my hosts, a young Egyptian paper man, 'Does a man become a Pasha by writing a great book?' He answered, 'I suppose he could, except that almost no one in Egypt writes books.'
"'Do you get to be a Pasha by painting pictures?' I asked.
'There is no reason why you couldn't, except that no one here
"'Does a great inventor ever get to be a Pasha?' And I was
told once more: 'We've had no great inventors that I know of
since the time of the Pharaohs.'"
Then Mr. Willkie adds: "I
was not in Egypt long enough to learn all the reasons for this
Thus today do public men testify unconsciously that Egypt is
a base and ignoble kingdom.
Her position in the Second World War of "nonbelligerent
alliance" while foreign invaders desecrated her ancient
soil when the German army threatened Cairo, would have been a
standing reproach to any nation of spirit. But Egypt has no power
or inclination to have it otherwise -- a base kingdom "sunk
IF Egypt today were a first-rate world power -- IF today her
people were intelligent, proud and accomplished as they once
were -- IF Egypt today was only a name like Assyria and Babylon
are, and it could well have been -- IF the thousand and one twists
of political change had worked any other condition of affairs
than the one that now exists -- THEN could the sceptic triumphantly
point the finger of derision at such an audacious forecast.
But there are no such discrepancies to be found. Ancient prophecy
and modern history harmonise and blend. They are complementary
the one to the other. There is here no "fitting" of
events to suit the prophecy. There are no long and prolix explanations
needed to show how the events fulfilled the prophecy, because
history is the best explanation.
Surely there can be only one reason that will appeal with irresistible
force to an intelligent and logical mind -- "Holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
"THE MIRACLE OF
It would seem that with the recital of the respective and diverse
destinies of the ancient kingdoms of Babylon and Egypt, we should
have exhausted the "startling anomalies" of history.
Far from this being the case there is another anomaly of history
differing from both of them and yet more remarkable than either
of them. Thus the world, impressed by this unique phenomenon
which we are now to deal with, speaks of "The miracle of
the immortal Jew."
We shall now consider briefly the unambiguous prophecies concerning
the Jew, and, as before, only appeal to things known by you or
at least very easily ascertainable.
In the event of long continued disobedience to God, Moses foretold
among other things the following evils which would befall the
From Deuteronomy 28:
(1) "The Lord shall cause
thee to be SMITTEN BEFORE THINE ENEMIES. Thou shalt go out one
way against them and flee seven ways before them, and SHALT BE
REMOVED INTO ALL KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH . . . (Verse 25.)
(2) "Thou shalt be only OPPRESSED AND SPOILED EVER MORE
and no man shall save thee . . . (Verse 29.)
(3) "And there shall be NO MIGHT IN THY HAND ... Thou shalt
be ONLY OPPRESSED AND CRUSHED ALWAY . . . (Verses 32-33.)
(4) "Thou shalt become an astonishment, A PROVERB AND A
BYWORD AMONG ALL NATIONS whither the Lord shall lead thee. (Verse
(5) "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far,
from the end of the earth as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation
whose tongue thou shalt not understand, a nation of fierce countenance
which shall not regard the person of the old nor show favour
to the young. (Verses 49-50.)
(6) "HE SHALL BESIEGE THEE IN ALL THY GATES until thy high
and fenced walls come down wherein thou trustedst . . . throughout
all thy land which the Lord thy God hath given thee. (Verse 52.)
(7) "THE TENDER AND DELICATE WOMAN AMONG YOU her eye shall
be evil . . . toward her young one . . . which she shall bear
for she SHALL EAT THEM FOR WANT OF ALL THINGS SECRETLY IN THE
SIEGE. (Verses 56-57.)
(8) "THE LORD SHALL SCATTER THEE AMONG ALL PEOPLE from the
one end of the earth even unto the other. . . (Verse 64.)
(9) "And among these nations shalt thou FIND NO EASE, neither
shall the sole of thy foot have rest . . . (Verse 65 .)
(10) "THY LIFE SHALL HANG IN DOUBT before thee and thou
shalt fear day and night AND SHALL HAVE NONE ASSURANCE OF THY
LIFE." (Verse 66.)
From Leviticus 26:
(11) "And I WILL MAKE YOUR CITIES WASTE and bring your sanctuaries
into desolation. (Verse 31.)
(12) "And I WILL BRING
THE LAND INTO DESOLATION and your enemies which dwell therein
shall be astonished at it. (Verse 32.)
(13) "And I WILL SCATTER YOU AMONG THE HEATHEN and will
draw out a sword after you and YOUR LAND SHALL BE DESOLATE AND
YOUR CITIES WASTE. (Verse 33.)
(14) "Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths as long as
it lieth desolate, and YE BE IN YOUR ENEMIES' LAND; even then
shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. (Verse 34.)
(15) "And ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies."
These prophecies were well
over a thousand years old before they received their fulfilment.
During this time Israel suffered many temporary disasters to
her national fortunes, but each one was followed by divine forgiveness
and restoration. At last, however, the time came, as the prophet
said it would, when the wrath of God arose "without remedy".
The final tragedy was impending during the life of Jesus Christ.
He warned his generation that the time was almost ripe for the
fulfilment of these very curses pronounced by Moses in Deuteronomy
and Leviticus. He says:
"And when ye shall see
Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation
thereof is nigh . . .
"For these be the days of vengeance, that ALL THINGS WHICH
ARE WRITTEN may be fulfilled . . .
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall
be LED AWAY CAPTIVE INTO ALL NATIONS; and JERUSALEM SHALL BE
TRODDEN DOWN of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles
be fulfilled." Luke 21:20, 22, 24.
And of the beautiful temple
buildings he declared at this time that:
"There shall not be left
here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
To sum up: Israel were to
be besieged in all their cities until they were razed to the
ground throughout the land -- Jerusalem was to be desolated;
not one stone was to remain upon another in the temple buildings.
After suffering terrible hardships and privations in the siege,
women would be compelled to eat their own children. The Jews
were to be scattered into all nations and sold into slavery --
thenceforth they were to suffer untold misery in every nation
under heaven -- to be plundered and robbed to be a proverb and
a curse, never allowed to settle down but driven from pillar
to post finding no rest for the sole of their feet -- to be "Wandering
Jews," yet always to remain a separate, distinct and an
easily identifiable race. Their land was to be a possession of
strangers yet never cultivated by them, but to remain in a state
of desolation and ruin until the times of Gentile domination
should expire; then Israel were to return and re-cultivate the
soil which had lain fallow for centuries.
A GRUESOME MEAL
Our first quotation as illustrative of one part of the prophecy
is taken from Josephus, who was himself an eye witness of the
terrible siege of Jerusalem. The rest is an abridged copy of
the history of Israel from a standard encyclopedia. These alone
will admirably serve to illustrate the fulfilment of the points
we have summarized.
"Now there was a certain woman . . . She was eminent for
her family and her wealth ... The other effects of this woman
had been already seized upon . . . What food she had contrived
to save had also been carried off by the rapacious guards, who
came every day running into her house for that purpose. (When
all other food was exhausted or stolen) SHE SLEW HER SON, AND
THEN ROASTED HIM, AND ATE THE ONE HALF OF HIM, AND KEPT THE OTHER
HALF BY HER CONCEALED . . . Smelling the horrid scent of this
food (the robbers) threatened her that they would cut her throat
immediately if she did not shew them what food she had gotten
ready . . . (She) uncovered what was left of her son ... they
were seized with horror ... Come eat of this food; for I have
eaten of it myself! Do not pretend to be either more tender than
a woman or more compassionate than a mother.' " -- Josephus.
"A HORRIBLE CARNAGE was terminated 70 A.D. by the conquest
of Jerusalem by Titus (the Roman general), THE DESTRUCTION OF
THE TEMPLE and the MASSACRE AND BANISHMENT of hundreds and thousands
of the unhappy people, who were SCATTERED IN ALL PARTS OF THE
"Their last attempt to throw off the Roman yoke in Palestine
under Bar-Cochba was defeated after enormous and almost incredible
butcheries. The suppression of Bar Cochba's insurrection, 135
A.D., marks the FINAL DESOLATION OF JUDEA, and the DISPERSION
of its inhabitants.
"The whole of Judea, was MADE LIKE A DESERT; about 985 towns
and villages lay in ashes, 50 fortresses were RAZED TO THE GROUND;
the name of Jerusalem itself was changed into Aelia Capitolina
. . . from entering which (or even viewing from a distance) every
Jew was strictly forbidden on pain of death.
"In Europe the ascendency of Christianity was baneful to
the Jews. Imperial edicts and ecclesiastical decrees vied with
each other in the rigour of their intolerance toward this unhappy
people . . . Yet no persecution apparently could destroy the
immortal race . . . Constantine (the first 'Christian' emperor)
terms them 'THAT MOST HATEFUL OF ALL PEOPLE.' . . .
"In the 5th century in the Byzantine empire THEY SUFFERED
MANY OPPRESSIONS; while in the 6th and 7th centuries the Franks
and Spanish Visigoths inflicted on them FRIGHTFUL PERSECUTIONS.
"In Christendom few and far between were the monarchs who
rose above the barbarism of the churches . . .
"Less favourable was their lot in France. Under the weaker
of the Carlovingians the church advanced with imperious strides,
and a melancholy change ensued: kings, bishops, feudal barons,
and even the municipalities, ALL JOINED IN CRUEL PERSECUTION.
"From the 11th to the 14th century their history is a series
of successive massacres ...
"A religious epidemic having seized the common people in
. . the central regions of France, 1321 A.D., they signalized
themselves by HORRIBLE MASSACRES OF THE DETESTED RACE . . . One
shudders to read what followed; IN WHOLE PROVINCES EVERY JEW
WAS BURNED . . . finally in 1395 they were BANISHED . . .
"In England (1189) a
popular commotion against them broke out in London; THEIR HOUSES
WERE PILLAGED AND BURNED . . . similar scenes were witnessed
at Norwich, Edmundsbury, Stamford and York; in York Most Of THE
JEWS PREFERRED DEATH to enforced baptism . . . King John IMPRISONED,
MALTREATED AND PLUNDERED them in all parts of the country. Under
Henry III they were mulcted enormously. Accused of clipping the
coin of the realm, they had, as a penalty, to pay into the royal
exchequer a third of their movable property ... The accession
of Edward I did not mitigate their misery ... In 1253 the Jews,
no longer able to withstand the constant hardships to which they
were subjected in person and property, begged of their own accord
to be allowed to leave the country . . . Ultimately in 1290 they
were DRIVEN FROM THE SHORES OF ENGLAND, PURSUED BY THE EXECRATIONS
OF THE INFURIATED RABBLE.
"In Germany they were looked upon as the special property
of the sovereign who BOUGHT AND SOLD them . . . The Crusaders
kindled a spirit ... through all Christendom, hostile to (the
Jews) ... CITIES WERE DELUGED WITH THEIR BLOOD. . . . The Jews
were expelled from Vienna . . . Mecklenburg . . . Frankfort ...
Brandenburg. . . Nuremburg ... Prague . . . Ratisbon. The Black
Death occasioned a great and widespread persecution, 1348-50.
They were MURDERED AND BURNED BY THOUSANDS, and the race almost
disappeared from Germany.
"Switzerland commenced to PERSECUTE them about the middle
of the 14th century; in the 15th century they were EXPELLED.
In Spain there were HORRIBLE PERSECUTIONS by the Gothic princes
in the 6th and 7th centuries ... outbursts of priestly and popular
violence took place 1391-2; IMMENSE NUMBERS WERE MURDERED AND
WHOLESALE THEFT WAS PERPETRATED BY THE RELIGIOUS RABBLE. Escape
was possible only by flight to Africa . . . THE FATE OF THE JEWS
in Spain during the 15th century, however, BEGGARS DESCRIPTION;
we read of nothing but PERSECUTIONS, VIOLENT CONVERSION, MASSACRES,
AND THE TORTURES OF THE INQUISITION. THOUSANDS WERE BURNED ALIVE
... Not less than 300,000 resolved to abandon the country . .
. the incidents that marked their departure are HEARTRENDING.
Almost EVERY LAND WAS SHUT AGAINST THEM. Some, however, ventured
into Morocco in which . . . they suffered THE MOST FRIGHTFUL
"In Portugal. . . SOLD AS SLAVES. In 1495 king Emanuel commanded
them to quit his territories, but at the same time issued a secret
order that all Jewish children under 14 years should be torn
from their mothers (and) retained in Portugal ... AGONY DROVE
THE JEWISH MOTHERS INTO MADNESS; they destroyed their children
with their own hands, and threw them into wells and rivers to
prevent them falling into the hands of their persecutors . .
"Russia in 1881 . . . a violent agitation against the Jews,
accompanied by much OUTRAGE AND BLOODSHED, took place in the
south and west of Russia.
"Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, shewed himself singularly
harsh towards the Jews; his legislation almost throws us back
into the middle ages SCATTERED THROUGH FIVE CONTINENTS."
"It was this (the Russian) State and its Czars that organised
and even financed massacres of the Jews as late as the beginning
of the 20th century, during the reign of Nicholas II. Here was
the classical diversion and scape goat maneuvre which was to
be emphasized so effectively in the thirties of the 20th century
by Adolph Hitler."
"World War I affected the Jews primarily in the Eastern
European zones. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were uprooted from
their homes by the Russian overlords and shipped back to the
lines in the most brutal fashion."
In 1918-20 "the Jews of the Ukraine were butchered by the
thousands by invading troops and local guerrillas."
Hitler in 1933 "immediately set out to implement his programme
which included the destruction of what was probably the most
distinguished Jewry in Europe. In a series of laws, confiscations
and pogroms, extending from 1933 to 1938, Hitler succeeded in
destroying German Jewry . . . Jews lost their citizenship completely
and were forbidden to inter-marry with other Germans ... Practically
every synagogue in Germany was destroyed. Thousands of Jews were
imprisoned in concentration camps, and the major part of German-Jewish
wealth was confiscated. By the time war broke out in 1939 Jews
were no longer citizens, could attend no public schools, engage
in practically no business or profession, own no land, associate
with no non Jew, frequent no park, library, or museum, and were
ordered to live in ghettos. By 1941 boys over 12 were conscripted
into munition factories, all use of the telephone and public
transportation systems was forbidden, and all Jews over six years
of age were required to wear the yellow badge."
"In World War II the situation of Jewry in the mass settlements
of Eastern Europe was even worse (than World War I), for the
national socialists set out deliberately to destroy large numbers
of Polish and Russian-Jewish civilians. If but a fraction of
the atrocities reported were accurate, then many thousands of
defenceless Jewish non combatants, men, women and children, were
butchered after September, 1939."
"The influence of World War II was felt most strongly by
Jews in those European lands which had come under German domination
. . . In the conquered lands from France to Poland, practically
all Jews lost their political and civil rights; their property
and businesses were confiscated and their children, in most lands,
were driven out of elementary and higher schools . . . The Nazis
carried out a series of expulsions and deportations of Jews .
. . from nearly all European states ... Large numbers perished
under the inhuman conditions under which they laboured."
UNDER THE PLOUGH
During most of this long time the land of Israel was to remain
in a state of uncultivated desolation. After the Roman overthrow,
which marked the commencement of the desolation, the land was
successively overrun by Arab, Saracen and Turk. None of these
nations exploited the fertile plains of Judea because they were
mere desolators by nature: that was their mission. Their centuries
of accumulated misrule at last turned Palestine into an unrecognisable
Today the tide is on the turn; the land is coming under the plough
-- orange groves are flourishing in what, until a few years ago,
were malarial swamps; and it is a returned remnant of the Jews
that are doing these things.
What does this mean? Are these ancient prophecies beginning to
fail after 2,000 years' fulfilment? By no means. Indeed. It is
a continuation of fulfilment in itself, for Israel's scattering,
although to be of long duration, was not to be perpetual. Jesus
explains it very simply in that passage already quoted. Jerusalem
was to be trodden down of the Gentiles only "until"
the times of the Gentiles had run their allotted course.
Current events in the Jews' partial return to Palestine self-evidently
mark the termination of this "until", at least in an
TURN OF THE TIDE
When the waters of a tidal river reach the end of the ebb-tide,
there is a short period of scarcely noticeable transition, which
soon gives place to full flowing flood-tide.
The flood-tide of Israel's complete restoration to their ancient
land is as clearly foretold by their own prophets as was their
expulsion and punishment, and this preliminary return is a sign
that the tide is just turning. For instance, God makes a comparison
and gives a guarantee:
"For thus saith the Lord;
like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people,
so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised."
The terrible reality of the
evil and its divine origin we have seen clearly. If words mean
anything, then just as really and in the same tangible way will
God bring all the good He has promised. The good, as we learn
from the many promises made by God, will be in ratio to the evil,
but of an entirely opposite nature. First, as to the restoration
of Israel to their land, God says:
"Yea, I WILL REJOICE
OVER THEM TO DO THEM GOOD, AND WILL PLANT THEM IN THIS LAND assuredly
with my whole heart and with my whole soul." (Jer. 32:41.)
Then the changed attitude
of the nations toward Israel. Instead of the Jew being despised
and persecuted his company will be sought and his favour courted:
"In those days it shall
come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages
of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that
is a Jew, saying, WE WILL GO WITH YOU: FOR WE HAVE HEARD THAT
GOD IS WITH YOU." (Zech. 8:23.)
"The sons also of them
that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all THEY
THAT DESPISED THEE SHALL BOW THEMSELVES DOWN AT THE SOLES OF
THY FEET." (Isa. 60:14.)
This final and complete reversal
of Israel's national fortunes we have yet to see, but see it
we shall; nothing is more certain. Israel has been preserved
in the very fire for this purpose. That is why ALL THE ATTEMPTS
TO EXTERMINATE THE JEW HAVE FAILED. HAD THEY SUCCEEDED, GOD'S
WORD WOULD HAVE FAILED, for He declared:
"I will make a full end
of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not
make a full end of thee." (Jer. 46:28.)
Hence the proverb -- "
The immortal Jew."
"If those ordinances
(of sun and moon, day and night) depart from before me, saith
the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being
a nation . . ." (Jer. 31:36.)
2,000 YEARS EXILE
The present turn of the tide
is, as yet, unaccompanied by visible interference by God. But
just as their long period of exile and persecution was apparently
natural, so will the first stages of their restoration. The "until
" has expired. Zionism is a growing power in the world.
Palestine is awaking from her centuries' sleep of desolation
and is putting on her beautiful garments. The plains and valleys
are beginning to smile once more. The Jew is returning to the
land which has been denied him for nigh on 2,000 years. This
is only the beginning of the fulfilment of God's promises, such
"For I will take you
from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries,
and will bring you into your own land.
"And the desolate land
shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all
that passed by.
"And they shall say,
This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden;
and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced,
and are inhabited." (Ezek. 36:24, 34, 35.)
This explanation is just to
shew that present tendencies, far from falsifying the prophecies,
are but the beginning of a fresh series -- those of a predicted
change, a new chapter in the fortunes of Israel. Of its significance
to us, we shall have more to say in another place.
For the present, we hope that we have fulfilled our promise and
justified our claim that Bible prophecy is not petty or ambiguous
in its terms but clear, unequivocal, and of a nature and scope
which precludes all possibility of human foresight or political
sagacity. Entrenched within this threefold defence of Babylon,
Egypt and the Jew, we can confidently defy all the assaults of
modern scepticism. No one will suffer in these attacks unless
it be the attackers. Their wisdom lies in leaving such prophecies
FULFILLED TO THE LETTER
Let the reader quietly think over these facts which we have placed
on record -- simple facts, few facts, unencumbered with a host
of befogging explanations and irrelevant details. Destinies more
diverse than those predicted for these three peoples it would
be impossible to suggest, yet they have all happened to the very
THERE IS TODAY NO ROYAL HOUSE OF BABYLON. There is no Babylonian
ambassador at any European court. Her once mighty capital is
now a shapeless mass of mounds whose identity was unknown and
whose very site was in dispute until recent years.
THE ANCIENT LAND OF EGYPT IS STILL TO BE FOUND ON EVERY MODERN
ATLAS. The Egyptians are still a nation in their own land. They
are still, as ever, under the rule of strangers. They have a
king in name -- but not an Egyptian king. They are still servile
and base, as the prophecy requires.
Despite the partial restoration
of the past 50 years. THE JEWS STILL REMAIN A SCATTERED PEOPLE
in all nations under heaven. This will continue until the time
is ripe for divine interference on their behalf.
If archaeology has proved the historical trustworthiness of the
Bible beyond all question, then surely the prophecies we have
just reviewed prove the divine authorship of the Bible. So we
can now proceed, confident of the historical character of the
Bible, and confident of the divine character of its many prophecies.
NOTE: Since the foregoing was written,
events in Palestine have marched on very rapidly. In 1948 Britain
relinquished the mandate which she had held since 1921, and the
State of Israel was born. This new State has made remarkable
progress during her short life.
As regards Egypt, although she has now lost her King, her ruler
is still not a native Egyptian.
CONTENTS | 1 | 2(1) | 2(2) | 3 | 4 | 5(1) | 5(2) | 6