The Evidence Of Fulfilled Prophecy (II.) -- By: J. J. Lias

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 077:306 (Apr 1920)
Article: The Evidence Of Fulfilled Prophecy (II.)
Author: J. J. Lias


The Evidence Of Fulfilled Prophecy (II.)

Chancellor J. J. Lias

It will be best to follow out at once this inquiry into the fulfillment of prophecy in matters purely secular found in the prophets. I will begin by taking the prophecy of desolation against Babylon, contained in Isa. 14, Jer. 51, and other places of Holy Scripture. The mode followed by critics of the Germanizing school in dealing with Isaiah’s prophecies is, one would think, sufficiently summary. It is quite inadmissible in the treatment of ordinary history, and is only resorted to when the question of the supernatural is introduced. It is to slice up the prophecies into morsels, and to assign them to a later date than the events, or a date which, if before the events happened, is sufficiently near for a writer to predict them without supernatural guidance.1 It was at one time generally supposed that the predictions about the desolation of Babylon were fulfilled at an early date, and New Testament commentators were accustomed to interpret the allusion to Babylon in 1 Pet. 5:13 as relating to Rome. This is improbable in itself, as the prophecies of the mystic Babylon in the Apocalypse had not I hen been uttered. But it is now known that Babylon did not become a desolation until the separation of the Eastern and Western Empires, and therefore some nine hundred yearn after the prophecies of Isaiah. Even if we place them after the return from Captivity, they

were uttered some seven hundred years before they were fulfilled —a period too long before the event to admit of human foresight accounting for the prophecy.

The same thing may be said about the prophecies uttered concerning the scattering of the Jews among the peoples of the earth, prophecies the fulfillment of which began when Jeremiah went down to Egypt, and has continued to this day — a period of some two thousand five hundred years. Their maintaining their national existence for so long a period of history is an unique fact, and all human experience is against it. Yet it is predicted by prophet after prophet, and by our Blessed Lord Himself. It is also predicted another five or six hundred years earlier, in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. No human intelligence could have reached the facts by any ordinary means. It is, therefore, an unequivocal instance of supernatural sagacity; and, were it to stand alone, which it does not, it would demonstrate the existence of such a power as inspired prophecy.

As to the denunciations of desolations and Di...

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