Fulfilled Prophecy – Week 3
Prepared and Presented by Emily Aufenkamp, Youth Group Leader
Apologetic Spotlight Week 3
The Israelites are God’s people. He chose them as a nation to reveal himself to the rest of the world. But there was a time in Israel’s history where they were in pretty extreme rebellion against God, and God allowed foreign nations to conquer them. During that time, He called them to repent and turn back to Him by sending messages to them through his prophets. One of the amazing things about the prophets is that they often predicted things that would happen in the future. That’s why they were called prophets: because they prophesied.
Now if the Bible was full of prophecies that didn’t come true, that would make us doubt the Bible. But we’ve been doing this series about archaeology and how it supports the prophecies in the Bible. Today we’re talking about Isaiah’s prophecy about Babylon being overthrown. Around 700 BC, Isaiah made this prophecy that is recorded in Isaiah 13:19. He said, “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.” We know that God completely wiped-out Sodom and Gomorrah, so we should assume the same of Babylon. At the time, this prophecy probably seemed like it could never come true, because Babylon was the biggest and most powerful empire that had ever existed in that region. There were many attacks on Babylon, but Babylon always recovered well. That was until around 539 BC when Cyrus, who was the king of Persia, destroyed Babylon. Babylon never fully recovered, which fulfilled this prophecy Isaiah made, more than one hundred years prior.
We see this in the Bible in the book of Daniel, as Daniel was in captivity under Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in Daniel chapter 1, but by the end he was serving under Cyrus of Persia.
One piece of archaeological evidence of Persia conquering Babylon is the Cyrus cylinder. PHOTO 1 It’s this clay cylinder that’s inscribed with an account of Cyrus, king of Persia, conquering King Nabonidus of Babylon.
We know the kingdom of Babylon was thoroughly destroyed because it doesn’t exist anymore. But evidence of its past existence is plentiful. It was located in what is now Baghdad, Iraq PHOTO 2. One of the coolest Babylonian remnants found in that region is the Ishtar Gate. Here’s the excavation of it and in the next slide a recreation of what it looked like PHOTOS 3,’ 4, 5
So that’s a cool little sidenote, but I think it illustrates what we’ve been talking about. Not only does the Bible agree with what archaeology shows us about ancient history, the Biblical prophets actually predicted many things that happened, over a hundred years before they happened. And one example of that is the destruction of Babylon.