Reason number 6
Alrighty then! We’re half way through my top-ten reasons that I believe the Bible is true. Today, I’m choosing to discuss two individuals from two different books. Once again Alexander the Great will be addressed, but also the Persian King Cyrus. Prophecies concerning these two men were written about in Daniel and Isaiah respectively. I have selected these two individuals specifically for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that neither of these individuals was Jewish or Christian. These were secular influential men in their day. The second reason I’m writing about these two is because the books of Daniel and Isaiah have both been under attack by liberal “scholars” who are forced to give the writings of these books later dates because they do not believe the Bible is a book inspired by the God of all creation. They contend that the prophecies are too accurate to have been written hundreds of years before the events. Well, lets look at the information we have and see what turns up.
The Book of Isaiah was written around 700 B.C. God identifies Cyrus by name in chapter 44:28 – 45:6. Due to space restraints I will not post the passage here. Grab your Bible and check it out for yourself. Here are the highlights:
- Cyrus is identified by name. (Isaiah 44:28)
- He will do what God wants.
- He will lay the foundation for the temple.
- Cyrus was God’s anointed. (Isaiah 45:1)
- Cyrus was called out by name. (Isaiah 45:4)
- Cyrus did not know God, nor did he realize he was God’s anointed. (Isaiah 45:5)
Remember Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 586 B.C. The Persians came after the Babylonians and conquered Jerusalem in 539 B.C. It was a short time after this that Cyrus came to power and ruled the Persian Empire. The point is that God, through the book of Isaiah, identified Cyrus about 150 years before he was born and appointed him to be the one to give the decree to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. But Cyrus is also alluded to in the Book of Daniel.
The book of Daniel gives an accurate picture of the empires that would control the Middle East. Daniel chapter two describes a dream or vision that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had. The vision describes a statue that is divided into several types of metal. This statue represents various kingdoms or empires. Daniel 7 describes these same empires as animals or beasts. Daniel 8 describes the end of the Medo-Persian Empire (A Ram with two horns. The horns represent the leaders.) Chapter 8:4 describes the ram, which no other beast (empire) could stand before. Verses 5 – 6 predict the arrival of a kingdom from the west that would conquer the Medo-Persian Empire. This beast is identified as a goat with a conspicuous horn between his eyes. This goat crushed the ram. Alexander the Great destroyed the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel was written around 537 B.C. Daniel was living in Babylon at the time and it is near the end of the Babylonian empire. The Persians replaced the Babylonians and the Greeks replaced the Persians. Scholars have argued that the book of Daniel “must” have a much later date because the details are too accurate. How can we know who’s right?
No need to worry my friends, Jewish historian Flavius Josephus has recorded some details in his writings (You can pick up a copy of his works for about $13.00 from CBD online). In Antiquities of the Jews XI, viii, 3-5, Josephus records the arrival of Alexander into Jerusalem. This was shortly after he finished the destruction of the city of Tyre (332 B.C.). While at the temple, Alexander offered a sacrifice to God at the direction of the high priest, who then presented Alexander with a copy of the book of Daniel. He was shown the passage that described one of the Greeks destroying the empire of the Persians. Upon seeing this, Alexander believed the passage was referring to himself. Josephus records that afterwards, Alexander was glad and asked the Jews what favors he could do for them.
There are hundreds of reasons why we can trust that Bible as a Divine revelation from God to man. I am constantly amazed by the information found in this book, aren’t you?