There are two extensive prophetic themes in the Old Testament: the inspired record of God's covenant with Israel; and His guidance in it. Both of these themes were given to the various prophets from Moses (B.C. 1500) to Malachi (B.C. 400). One concerns God's people of old, the Jews and their history to come; the other the Lord's Messiah. Messiah (Hebrew) or Christos (Greek) means "the anointed one" or, in modern terminology, the ruler priest. No other subject receives such important attention in God's sight as these themes. Let us begin with the prophecies concerning Jesus. For the sake of brevity only some have been selected:

Some prophecies regarding Jesus

Prophecy of Jesus' birthplace and pre-existence B.C. 700:
"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days." (Micah 5:2).
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." (Luke 2:47).

Prophecy of the virgin birth, divinity and unique sonship B.C. 700:
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (= God with us) (Isaiah 7:14).
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called 'Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'". (Isaiah 9:6).
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel' (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:18-23).

Prophecy concerning the time of his coming B.C. 520:
"Seventy weeks (of years, i.e 70 x7 years = 490 years) are determined upon thy people (Daniel's people = Jews) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy (i.e. no more prophetic revelation added to the Bible after that), and to anoint the Most Holy (anoint = exalt, crown, dedicate). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (which at that time was destroyed and its inhabitants were captives in Babylon) unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks (49 years) and sixty-two weeks (434 years): The streets shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times."

49 years were actually needed to rebuild Jerusalem after Nehemiah got the royal order by Artaxerxes (B.C. 465-425), which he gave in the 20th year of his reign (Nehemiah 2:1,8b), i.e. 445 B.C. The book of Nehemiah states that Jerusalem was indeed rebuilt in troubled times, since many enemies were trying to hinder this. The remaining 434 years bring us to the year A.D. 38. Although this is some years after the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem we must consider the fact that.

Historical dates of this time are not quite as accurate as they are in more recent history, due to the fact that there was no proper calendar and different lengths of a year (Israel had a lunar year of 354 days) and
this described event does not fit any other happening in history and we must consequently conclude that the error is more likely to be found in history than in the Bible.

Prophecy foretelling that he came to save and to heal B.C. 700:
"Behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped." (Isaiah 35:4-5).
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).
"For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10).
"No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God." (John 3:13-21).
"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26).
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2).
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1).
"And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' He said, 'Lord, let me receive my sight.' And Jesus said to him, 'Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.' And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God." (Luke 18:40-43).
"And he went about Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them." (Matthew 4:23-24).
"Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?' And Jesus answered them, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see; the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offence at me.'" (Matthew 11:2-6).
"That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.'" (Matthew 8:16-17).

Prophecy predicting the name of Jesus B.C. 700:
"Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken ye people from far, the Lord has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name. And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; ... I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation (Hebrew = Yeshua, the actual name of Jesus, when he lived in Israel) unto the end of the earth. Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to whom the nation abhors." (Isaiah 49:14 and many other passages).
Fulfilment: The Angel told Joseph:

"She (Mary) shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).

Up to now Muslims and Christians can reasonably agree, although Muslims will dispute the passage in Isaiah that foretells or determines Jesus' deity and sonship. But we have to consider the substantial weight of this claim of God in prophecy and fulfilment. Consider:

Of no other man can it be said that he

Was born in such a miraculous way
could heal all manner of diseases
cast out all evil spirits
was sinless and holy (Sura 19:19, Hebrews 4:15, I John 3:5, II Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:22, Isaiah 53:9, etc.)
is the Word of God (Sura 4:171, John 1:1-2,14)
is a Spirit from God (Sura 4:171)
is foretold in any such detail hundreds of years ahead of its fulfilment.

But this is by no means all. Let us consider the end of the life of Jesus as predicted in the Old Testament and its fulfilment:

Prophecy of Jesus' humble entry to Jerusalem on a donkey B.C. 480:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your king comes to you, he is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon a colt, the foal of an ass (donkey). (Zechariah 9:9).
"And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them', and he will send them immediately.' This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.'
The disciples went and did what Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!'" (Matthew 21:1-9).

Prophecy of the betrayal of Jesus B.C. 480:
"Yea, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted ... has lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 41:9).
"And I said to them, if you think good, give me the price, and if not forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me: cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them, (= the price of a slave). And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." (Zechariah 11:12-13).
"Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
And when it was evening he came with the twelve. And as they were at the table eating, Jesus said, 'Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.' They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one after another, 'Is it I?' He said to them, 'It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.' ... Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, 'The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.' And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, 'Master!' And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him." (Mark 14:10-11, 17-21, 43-46).
"When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he (Jesus) was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying 'I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.' They said, 'What is that to us? See to it yourself.' And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, 'It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.' So they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day." (Matthew 27:3-8).

Prophecy of Jesus' mishandling at His "trial" B.C. 700:
"I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting." (Isaiah 60:6).
"They answered, 'He deserves death.' Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, saying 'Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?" (Matthew 26:6S67). "one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand." (John 18:22).

Prophecy of the suffering and death by crucifixion of Jesus B.C. 700:
"When we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid our faces from him: he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgement, and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the living. For the transgressions of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked (killed between two criminals!) and with the rich in his death (he was buried in the tomb of a wealthy man), because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. He has put him to grief: When you shall make his soul an offering (sacrifice) for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied. By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many (not ALL!), for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he has poured out his soul unto death and was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53).

B.C. 1,000:
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my rearing? ... All that see me laugh at me to scorn, they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying: He trusted on the Lord. But you are he, who took me out of the womb. You made me hope, when I was upon my mother's breast ... They gaped upon me with their mouths as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. It is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd and my tongue cleaves to my jaws and you have brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have encompassed me, the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet - I may count all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:1, 7-9, 13-18).
"Jesus answered, 'My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.' Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king? Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.' Pilate said to him: 'What is truth?' After he had said this, he (Pilate) went out to the Jews again, and told them, I find no crime in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews? They cried out again, 'Not this man, but Barabbas!' Now Barabbas was a robber.
Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; they came up to him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again, and said to to them, 'See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.' So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, 'Behold the man!'
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, 'Crucify him, crucify him!' Pilate said to them, 'Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.' The Jews answered him, 'We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.' When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, 'Where are you from?' But Jesus gave no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, 'You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?' Jesus answered him, 'You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.'
Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, 'If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.' When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgement seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, 'Behold your King!' They cried out, 'Away with him, away with him, crucify him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.' Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, 'Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.' Pilate answered, 'What I have written I have written.'
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.' This was to fulfill the scripture, 'They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.'
So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own house.
After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture), 'I thirst.' A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, 'It is finished'; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness-his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth - that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, 'Not a bone of him shall be broken.' And again another scripture says, 'They shall look on him whom they have pierced.' (John 18:36 - 19:37).

Prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus B.C. 1,000:
"I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. My flesh also shall rest in hope, for you will not leave my soul in hell (here 'sheol' = underworld, grave), neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:8-10).
"But on the first day of the 'week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.' And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them." (Luke 24:1-11).

Prophecy of the Ascension B.C. 1,000:
"The Lord said unto my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool." (Psalm 110:1).
"So when they had come together, they asked him, 'Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?' He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.' And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'" (Acts 1:6-11).

Still unfulfilled prophecy of the repentance of Israel and their turning to Jesus B.C. 480:
"And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication (prayer); and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10).

Prophecy of our situation now where people like to separate Jesus the Son from God the Father B.C. 1,000:
"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed (Anointed = Messiah = Christ), saying, let us break their bands asunder(!!!) and cast away their cords from us ... I will declare the decree: The Lord has said unto me: You are my Son; this day have I begotten you (but please understand: not physically), ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the Way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they, that put their trust in him." (Psalm 2:2-3,7,8,12).

No critic in the world can explain away the evidence of these fulfilled prophecies. It is unique in all history and to all religious books. It is God's seal that is interwoven with His message to mankind so that any earnest and honest seeker can be totally reassured that he is not reading a book by some religious men trying to impose their views on others. No man dare claim on the evidence given above, that the Bible has been corrupted!

However, the question may be raised: Was the Old Testament perhaps, at least partly, written after the New Testament in order to "supply" such "prophecy"? This is unthinkable for several reasons. The Jews guarded the Scriptures with the utmost vigilance and care. They themselves were, in fact, not interested in having these prophecies in their Holy Book, for they contradict their own faith and practice. It is significant that few if any of the above-mentioned passages are ever read on the regular Sabbath readings in any synagogue. But besides that, the Old Testament was already very widely circulated before Christ and had been translated already into Greek between B.C. 250-100. To then "revise" a text that is widely distributed is quite impossible. Besides, we have pre-Christian copies of Old Testament books in our possession containing these prophecies.

But what about composing the New Testament to suit the prophecies? Could not Christ have known these and lived to fulfill them on purpose? Could not the disciples have composed this?

These happenings did not occur in a hidden corner, away from any witnesses. They took place in public and all Israel was aware of them. When the Gospel was written down by the four recorders and the teaching of the Gospel defined in the Epistles, the whole of Israel would have stood up in protest against these if they were forgeries. On the contrary, the Apostles often challenged the people to question the many eyewitnesses. Paul in his defence before King Agrippa said:

Also Peter on the Day of Pentecost and shortly after the crucifixion, said to a great multitude of Jews:

We note that the Jews never denied the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. They only denied His Messiahship.

A little later Peter and the other Apostles were put into prison for their teaching. While being interrogated by the council of the Jews, they replied:

Paul likewise referred to the double security: it is "in accordance with the Scriptures" (reference to prophecy of the Old Testament) and evidenced by many witnesses of whom at that time most were alive to be questioned. This was mentioned to the people in Greece, for in Israel there would have been little need to mention it:

This again is supported by the Apostle Peter at a slightly later stage, emphasizing the eyewitness report but pointing at the fulfilled prophecy as "more sure". A witness may lie. Even many witnesses may. But in prophecy and its fulfilment can be no flaw!

The only academic among the Gospel narrators, Luke, begins his account thus:

Besides all this how could Jesus have chosen the predicted time of His coming, the mode of his birth (by a virgin), or the mode of His death (crucifixion) which was itself unknown to the prophet who announced it, for it was not practised in his day and age! Furthermore, how could He have performed His miracles?

On the basis of what precedes we must reject statements by Muslims, similar to these words of Mr Joommal (we refer to page 14):

We challenge every true Muslim to reconsider his views on the "corruption and unreliability of the Bible" through seeking and providing any evidence in support of the inspiration of the Qur'an that is as strong and convincing as the above-mentioned cases in the Bible.

We find the Qur'an without any acceptable prophecy that was fulfilled; neither do we find acceptable evidence of witnesses to any signs to support the office of prophethood in Islam. Ultimately the claim of the divine origin of the Qur'an is evidenced by one man only. That he managed to convince his followers is another matter, but is in itself unacceptable evidence, for thousands of originators of religious groups have done the same. We are aware that statements like this are likely to arouse indignation, or suspicion and may result in rejection. In such a case, however, the basis of rejection is neither spiritual nor intelligent, but to be found in emotions or fear. We are indeed sorry to hurt the feelings of our Muslim friends by such statements. May you be aware of our deep concern for the truth of God - and for your spiritual standing before the living God!

Some prophecies regarding the Jews

Anyone who is reasonably acquainted with history, particularly Jewish history, will actually find it easy to associate the forecast made by prophets long years before with the event itself.

In B.C. 1,500 Moses was inspired to write this forecast:

We do see the Jews in this world being envied for their success. All Antisemitism stems from this. Jews are successful - in business, the arts and science. They have provided the largest number (pro rata) of Nobel Prize winners. Why? A look at their history will enlighten us.

Summary of Jewish history showing the fulfilment of these prophecies

Let us as briefly as possible trace the history of these people. In the morning time of history, in B.C. 1936, 412 years after the flood, God called Abraham a Shemite, from Ur of the Chaldees, to be the father of a new nation:

Notice that this is not a conditional promise, and there is not a passage anywhere in the Bible that revokes it. The unconditional promise was confirmed to his son Isaac and to his grandson Jacob. When the descendants of Abraham had increased to about 70 they migrated to Egypt and were settled in the land of Goshen, where they had to work in slavery for 400 years as was prophesied in Genesis 15:13-14.

The next great event in Jewish history was the Exodus. When the time of their deliverance from Egypt came, God prepared them by increasing the hardness of their lot, and when they cried to God he sent Moses to deliver them. Within a year after their escape from Egypt the law was given, the Tabernacle built, a sacrificial system of worship inaugurated, and the 'Jewish Commonwealth' set up. But when at the end of the year they had reached Kadesh Barnea and refused to go up and take possession of the land, God punished them by compelling them to wander for 40 years in the wilderness, where they were miraculously fed and clothed, and divinely guided by the "Pillar of Cloud and Fire".

At the end of the 40 years, under the leadership of Joshua, they crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land and took possession of it. Then began the third period of their history, the time of the Judges, which lasted about 450 years. The government was a Theocracy administered at first through elders and then by Judges. The people, however, were not satisfied with being ruled by an invisible King. They wanted a king like the other nations around them, so they went to Samuel, the Prophet, and asked him for a king. Samuel was displeased, feeling it was aimed at his administration but when he took the matter to God, He said:

Samuel then warned the people of what the chosen king would do to them but the warning was of no avail and Saul was chosen. This was the beginning of the fourth period of the history. Saul reigned for 40 years and was succeeded by David, a man of God's choice, who also reigned 40 years and was succeeded by his son Solomon, who in turn reigned 40 years. During the reign of Solomon the first temple was built. His reign was most glorious, but its weak feature was that he married so many heathen wives, and permitted them to introduce idolatrous worship in Jerusalem. This was the beginning of the downfall of the Jewish nation. After the death of Solomon B.C. 975, the kingdom was divided; his son Rehoboam retaining the rule over two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, and with them Jerusalem and the Temple. Jeroboam, an usurper, as ruler over the remaining tribes, set up his capital at Samaria. This division of the kingdom, known as Israel, rapidly declined and in B.C. 721 the ten tribes were carried captive to Assyria. The two tribes known as Judah, survived over a hundred years longer, but in B.C. 606 they were carried into captivity to Babylon, and Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in B.C. 587. Thus ended a period of deadly tribal wars which was made illustrious by the ministry of a noble succession of great prophets.

With the captivity of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem, began that long period which is outlined and described in the Book of Daniel. This period has not yet expired.

The fifth period began with the termination of the 70 years' Babylonian captivity; the Jews returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the walls of the city. But while the Jews were permitted to return to their own land, they never again secured supremacy. They remained subject to different conquerors of their land though for the most part governed by rulers of their own race, in fulfilment of the prophecy that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until Shiloh came (Genesis 49:10).

The following prophecy preceded the national captivity of Judah in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar ( B.C.605-538) prophesied by Jeremiah:

In B.C. 168 Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria conquered Palestine from Egypt; twice took and sacked Jerusalem; desecrated and closed the Temple and cruelly persecuted the Jews until they became so incensed as to rise in rebellion under the leadership of the Maccabbees. This rebellion lasted from B.C. 160-40.

In B.C. 63 Judea became subject to Rome and during the next sixty years the Roman Empire tightened its grip on the Holy Land. About this time, B.C. 5, many of the students of prophecy, knowing by Daniel, the Prophet, that the time set for the coming of "Messiah the Prince" was not far distant (Daniel 9:24-27), frequented the temple waiting for the consolation of Israel.

Jesus was born at Bethlehem; was visited by the shepherds. and acknowledged a few weeks later in the Temple by Simeon and Anna; the wise men from the East did him homage and he was taken to Egypt and returned to Nazareth where he spent his youth and young manhood. At thirty years of age, He appeared at the Jordan, was baptized by John, and entered upon his public ministry. But His claim to be the Messiah was rejected by the Jews. They handed Him to the Gentiles to be crucified, crying:

How literally this was fulfilled we read in the history books. In 70 A.D. the Roman armies came, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Titus and the Jews were scattered among the nations of the earth, as had been prophesied in the ninth chapter of Daniel.

With the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah, the sorrows of the Jewish race really began.

In A.D. 50, 30,000 were killed in Jerusalem in a tumult with the Romans but their worst sufferings began in A.D. 66 under Gessius Florus, the Roman governor of Judea. His oppressions led to a widespread revolt. Nero sent Vespasian, accompanied by his son Titus, with an army of 60,000 men. He was met in Upper Galilee by Josephus, a famous general of the Hasmonean race, and a noted historian, who entrenched himself at Jotapata, but was finally overpowered, after a siege of 47 days, with a loss of over 40,000 men. The subjugation of Galilee followed. Thousands perished in that war. Judea and Jerusalem were spared because Vespasian was called back to Rome through the death of Nero. When Vespasian was made emperor he sent his son Titus to complete the subjugation of the Holy Land and capture Jerusalem.

It was in April A.D. 70 that the Roman army, numbering 100,000 men, marched against Jerusalem, a city but poorly prepared to withstand a siege. Rival factions disputed among themselves for control. The city was surrounded by a triple wall, defended by 90 towers. The siege lasted four months. Great engines of elastic timbers aided by the twisting of great cables, hurled stones against the walls. Within the city famine reigned; wives snatched food from their husbands; children from their parents; mothers from their babies, and some mothers, having lost all sense of motherhood, killed, cooked, and ate their own children. Many fled from the city to meet a worse fate for, on being captured by Titus, they were crucified as a warning outside the city walls. So horrible became the condition of the besieged that Titus called God to witness that he was not responsible.

At last, on August 5th, A.D. 70, the tower Antonia was taken; the Romans swarmed into the Temple enclosure and although Titus commanded his soldiers to spare the beautiful temple building, for it was looked upon, even by Rome, as one of the wonders of the world, a soldier threw a blazing torch through a doorway and in the conflagration that followed the temple of Herod was destroyed, leaving nothing but the rock upon which it stood.

Josephus says that over 1,000,000 perished in the siege, while 97,000 survived as captives of whom the handsomest young men were taken to Rome to grace the triumph of the conqueror, and thus the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled that

While the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus scattered the Jews far and wide, it was by no means the final blow. Sixty-five years later, by A.D. 136, the Jews had sufficiently recovered from that crushing blow to rise afresh in revolt against Roman authority. Hadrian then completed the work of dispersion. In a war lasting three and a half years he devastated Palestine, destroyed 580,000 persons, ran a ploughshare over Zion (thus fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 3:12, uttered 885 years before) and forbade the Jews, on pain of death, even to approach Aelia Capitolina, the new Roman city which he erected on the site of Jerusalem. From that time on there were few Jews in Palestine.

In A.D. 362 the Emperor, Julian the Apostate, made an attempt to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which would have run contrary to the prediction of the Lord but his workmen were driven off by fire that burst from the ruins.

The interval from Hadrian A.D. 140 to Constantine saw the Jewish people prosperous and flourishing to some extent in the lands of their exile throughout the Roman world. They even took part in pagan persecutions of the early church. But the conversion of Constantine to Christianity A.D. 312, changed all this; the Jews then became a condemned and persecuted sect. This opened a sad period in which, the Roman Church using its influence and political power as well as the ignorance of its members, persecuted the Jewish people in the Name of God

The gloom deepened until A.D. 1096, the time of the first crusade, known in history as the "Holy War" when the pall of midnight blackness fell upon them and did not lift until long after the reformation.

In A.D 1020 Canute banished all Jews from England. A little later the only burial place in all England allowed to Jews was Cricklegate in London. Then the Holy War began with the attempt to murder all Jews in Europe who would not submit to baptism. Henry II ordered the Jews to pay 60,000 towards defraying his expenses during one of the crusades. At the accession of Richard I, in A.D. 1189, murderous riots were instigated against the Jews and not a Jewish household escaped robbery and murder.

The following year saw the tragedy of York Castle in which the Chief Rabbi of York and 500 followers, were besieged in York Castle and when escape became hopeless, they slew one another. The Chief Rabbi, the last to die, started a conflagration, then took his own life and when the besiegers broke in they found the besieged in one great pile like a sacrifice upon an altar.

Up to the time of Edward I in 1272, the Crown claimed to own the Jew and all he possessed and from time to time would allow him to gather riches that they might be squeezed from him like water from a sponge. Edward I drove all the Jews, 16,500 in number, from England and for nearly four centuries there was no evidence that British soil was trodden by a Jewish foot.

In 1306, on the morning of the fast, commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem, all Jews in France, men, women and children numbering 100,000, were stripped of their possessions for the benefit of the Royal Treasury and cast out of the land. In ten years they were allowed to return but soon the "Pastoureaux", bands of fanatical shepherds and malefactors, swept them away by the thousands. In 1683 the Jews were ordered to quit all French Colonies and it was not until 1723, when Louis XV gave the Jews permission to hold real estate in France, that the tide began to turn

The "Black Death", the plague which swept over Europe (1348-50) and carried off one-fourth of the population, afflicted the Jews but lightly, owing to their simple life and observance of the hygienic requirements of the Levitical Law. Their comparative exemption caused them to be suspected as the source of the plague and they were charged with poisoning the wells and springs. In Germany, the composition of the alleged poison, the colour of the packages in which it was transported and the persons who conveyed them, were all declared to be known; the result was that they suffered the torture, the cauldron and the devouring flame at the hands of the "Flagellants", an order of fanatics who swarmed through Germany preaching extermination of all unbelievers. The entire community at Strassburg, 2,000 souls, was dragged to an immense scaffold which was set on fire.

They were also charged with stealing the children of Christians and crucifying them as Passover Lambs; also stealing the consecrated "Host" and piercing it with knives. In 1560, they were banished from Prague and later in Constantinople, 3,000 houses in the Jewish quarters were burnt and property to the value of 50,000,000 crowns confiscated.

In Spain, the machinery of the Inquisition held full sway. It was established to terrify into faithfulness apostate Jews; men and women disappeared by the hundreds as if the ground had opened and swallowed them up. Some never returned; others re-appeared after years as human wrecks, pale and emaciated and semi-insane through long incarceration in dark and chilly subterranean dungeons. Now and then processions wound through the streets to the place of burning, the victims being tortured in the hope that they would recant before being thrown into the flames.

Many found themselves led from the Hall of Judgement along subterranean passage-ways to the Chamber of the "Iron Maiden", a rude hollow figure of a woman, made of iron which, at the touch of a spring, flew open to disclose its inner surface studded with iron nails, rusted by its numerous victims. When the condemned stepped inside, the figure began to close, hugging the victim in its iron grasp until the nails entering the body amid human shrieks, pierced some vital part and when all was over the iron figure again opened to allow the body to fall into the yawning pit below. But this was not all. Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1492 issued an edict of banishment against all Jews in Spain. A Jew offered 600,000 crowns for a revocation of the edict. The king and queen hesitated and were inclined to accept, when the Spanish Inquisitor, Torquemada, stalked into the presence of the abashed rulers and, holding up a crucifix before them, cried

"Behold Him Whom Judas sold for 30 pieces of silver, sell ye Him now for a higher price and render an account of your bargain before God!"

The sovereigns trembled before the stern Dominican and the Jews had to go. They were given four months in which to prepare; whither they go they knew not, for there was no hospitable shore to which to flee. Some embarked for Africa and were sold in slavery. A number reached Italy. Their sufferings were indescribable. Two hundred years later, in 1680, the spirit of Spain towards the Jews was unchanged.

And so, like a horrible nightmare, for centuries history records the terrible punishments and persecutions that befell the seed of Abraham and even today, in an age of humanism and civilization, it is fresh in our minds how Hitler and his fanatical lunatics systematically destroyed 6,000,000 Jews in camps and gas chambers. The miracle of the preservation of the Jews during the long night of their persecutions cannot be accounted for, except on the supposition that they have been preserved for a purpose . (This historical account was copied by me some 20 years ago from a script which name and author I cannot recall anymore).

The Jews were by no means the only persecuted people but certainly the most persecuted ones. They are the only nation in the world to suffer and survive the "diaspora" (i.e. dispersion among the other nations of the world) for close on 2,000 years! The Bible foretold this:

To me the most inexplicable event of all is the return of the Jews to Israel, which began at the end of the last century but became a great movement - after the last World War and with the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Unpredictable - and yet it was predicted and is being fulfilled.

Prophecies being fulfilled now

The culmination of Biblical teaching is in the return of Jesus.

Although most Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah now, they look forward to the Messiah, for they expect Him: the Victor, the Liberator, the Great Conqueror. And He will come like this, the second time.

This will be in a time of "Great Tribulation". Christ and the prophets foretold this:

One does not need much fantasy to imagine what Joel saw in his vision, despite the fact that he did not have words to describe this piece of modern warfare. One can actually visualise tanks, artillery and vicious fighting. How did he know?

The prophet Ezekiel deals in great detail with the time of the end. He reports on the return to Israel and spiritual revival which is still to come. But he also reports of war, terror and death caused by the surrounding nations in alliance under Gog (chief prince of the Rosh, Meshech and Tubal in Magog). Hebrew and Greek tradition refer to these as being Scythians. This is the people living within undefined boundaries between the Caucasus and the river Don in the steppes of Russia! Gomer was traditionally placed first in North West Asia and later in the Ukraine, the heart of European Russia! The Celtic tribes appear to stem therefrom (Welsh). Togarmah (toka = tribe (Sanskrit) and Armah = Armenia) is also to be sought in Southern Russia. Peras (Persia), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put (Lybia) fall into the league surrounding and seeking to destroy the re-established Israel:

We see, as it were, half of this being fulfilled before our very eyes. The coming to power of the Soviet Union, its ideological outreach to Asia and Africa and the establishment of Israel a nominal power, but rejected by the community of nations are a reality - a reality totally unforeseeable from such a distant time (6th century B.C.). The final conflict is yet to come, as well as the national revival predicted in Ezekiel ch. 36:25-31, 37:1-14, Romans 11:25-26.

The New Testament also contributed to this subject. In a discourse just before His death (recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21) Christ stated that before His coming back to this earth certain events must take place. It begins with a prediction of the destruction of the then just rebuilt temple (Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:1, Luke 21:6). Then He continues that there shall be wars and rumours of wars but these should not trouble us - they must come, and shall be followed by world conflicts with escalated forms of earthquakes and famines. At no time in recorded history have there been as many earthquakes as now(!), not to mention the dreadful famines in the belt across Africa south of the Sahara, terrible mis-harvests in Asia and famine in Bangladesh. Christ then continues to foretell opposition to Christians and their persecution (there were never as many martyrs in history as in this, our century!); and of the coming of many false prophets. Are there any? Just think of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons, Madame Blavatsky, the originator of Theosophy: Mrs Baker Eddy, the woman who inspired the so-called Christian Scientists; Pastor Russell, who originated the Jehovah's Witnesses; Ellen White, and Isaiah Shembe, Lekganyane, just to mention two black "Messiahs". We could continue with the Indian Gurus that present Transcendental Meditation and other movements; the "Apostles" who created the Old and New Apostolic Churches; and a man like William Branham, who claimed to be the last prophet. It is sad that many people look at this mass of sometimes very queer sects, assuming that this is Christianity. Iniquity shall be overwhelming; the love of many a Christian shall grow cold; and the Gospel shall be preached "in all the world" (think of the radio ministry!) as a "witness to all nations" (imagine this 100, 500, 1,000 or 1,900 years ago!) and then the end shall come. The "Great Tribulation" of Ezekiel 38 and Joel 2 is also mentioned. We live in a world of great conflict. Therefore we are told by Christ to WATCH. Why? That we may compare the "signs of the times" with the "more sure Word of Prophecy" (II Peter 1:19) and come to an intelligent conclusion. All the evidence weighs heavily in favour of the Word of God being fully reliable in matters of faith and practice.

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