Frequently I hear comments from atheists and other critics that there is no difference between the God of the Bible and all others. Whenever these assertions are made, I know that they come from a person who has not really read the Bible.
History gives us the benefit of being able to look back and examine the statements of persons who have claimed to know the future. We can see if what they said hundreds or thousands of years ago, actually came to pass as they wrote.
In Israel, they had a method that was effective in eliminating all false prophets. If the words of those prophets did not come about precisely as the prophet said, they were stoned to death. Many of the ancient prophets of Israel predicted events that would take place during the life of the prophet. If these close prophecies failed, the people understood that any later prophecies of the future would also be unreliable. Those prophets who wrote predictions that would take place during their life, but failed, were killed and every word they had written was destroyed.
This method of proving prophecy, originated by the God of the Bible. He told the people that this would be a certain method for verifying whether the words of any particular prophet were from Him or simply the words of the man who wrote these words.
The context and background for this effective way of verifying any prediction, came about as a result of a promise by God. In the later part of human history, God would send the world a prophet like Moses who would speak the very words of God. This man, the people should listen to and heed all that He said. This was a prophecy of the coming Messiah, written by Moses, 1,450 years before Jesus appeared on earth.
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
“And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. ~Deuteronomy 18:15-19
When John the Baptist began preaching repentance from sins at the Jordan River, the leaders of the Sanhedrin in Israel came to him to ask if he was “that Prophet,” whom Moses described. John said that he was not that prophet, but he was sent ahead to prepare the way for that Prophet who would come soon. When Jesus appeared at the Jordan River to be baptized by John, he told the people that Jesus was “the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” John instructed his followers to go to Jesus now and follow Him.
During the life of Jesus on earth, the scriptures record fourteen predictions by Jesus—all of which—were precisely fulfilled. Jesus proved by the fulfillment of the prophecies He made, that He is “that Prophet,” whom Moses predicted.
The people who were under Moses’ leadership, wondered how they could test the words of anyone who claimed to be a prophet, to prove whether he was speaking for God or was an imposter. God gave the people the following guidelines to accomplish this important task:
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. ~Deuteronomy 18:20-22
The test is very simple: examine the words of the prophet with the record of history and see if what the prophet wrote, came true. If his words did come to pass, this man was a true prophet and the Lord had spoken through him. If the words of the prophet failed, he was a false prophet and no one should listen to him; they should not be afraid of him.
When we see the words of the Prophet which are written in the Bible, and understand that they have survived for nearly 3,500 years, in some cases, we understand that these prophets have passed this test that God gave. Remember, these men made earlier predictions that must happen during their life, so that they could be verified. When we see Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and others, we understand that their earlier prophecies came about just as they had predicted. Therefore, we can trust that what they said about future events, also will come to pass, precisely as they wrote.
For our generation, looking back over thousands of years, we have the benefit of being able to test even the later prophecies of these men. We know that men like Daniel who predicted the four major Empires of history; the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, have told us the truth about events that will happen during our lifetime.
Because Daniel was accurate and precise in recording such great detail about these four kingdoms, hundreds of years before these kingdom existed, we know that the prophecies about our generation which are yet unfulfilled, will also come about just as Daniel wrote.
Perhaps the most important prophecy that is in the Bible, the prediction for the exact day that Messiah would come to Jerusalem and announce His arrival, was fulfilled precisely as Daniel described.
The prophet Isaiah, predicted with extreme accuracy, the precise events of Tyre’s destruction.
Most important of all the prophecies of the Bible are those which vividly describe the coming of Messiah. By some estimates, there are over 500 Messianic Prophecies. I have personally been able, so far, to study and record just over 400 Messianic Prophecies. I have published these prophecies and their fulfillment in three books: “The Prophecies of the Messiah, The Messianic Prophecy Bible,” and, “These Things Were Written.”
Critics of the Bible and the prophecies that it contains, say that these prophecies are not really predictions at all. The writers simply waited until the events took place, then wrote books asserting that they had predicted these things. Of course it is very easy to test these claims by those who seek to impeach the prophecies of the Bible. We know that the incredible prophecies of Daniel, for example, which predict the four Global kingdoms, the precise day of Messiah’s arrival, and many other incredible events of history, existed in the Septuagint version of the Bible, at least 300 years before Jesus came to Jerusalem and fulfilled Daniel’s prophecies. We know that the four kingdoms that Daniel predicted, did not exit until over 100 years after Daniel wrote these words.
It is quite easy to date the precise time when Daniel wrote his prophecies because we also have records of secular history, written by the kings who were a part of Daniel’s prophecies, also a part of the historical record. We know that Isaiah was so precise in his prophecies of these future Empires that he named Cyrus, king of the Persians, 150 years before Cyrus was born. When Cyrus took Babylon, Daniel was still alive. He brought the prophecy of Cyrus to the king and showed it too him. Cyrus was so impressed by the God of Israel that he did exactly what Isaiah had predicted he would do.
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: “I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’ ~Isaiah 45:1-7
In Confirmation Of Daniel’s Prophecy, We Have The Very Words Of Cyrus Himself:
“I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts’ pleasures.”
In 1879, the British Museum in London sponsored an expedition to the ruins of Babylon, and discovered an ancient clay cylinder that contained the record of Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C.
The “Cyrus Cylinder” is an important archeological find in recent history, that not only confirms and defines Cyrus’ life and kingdom, but it also validates and corroborates one of the most important writers of the Old Testament prophecies—those of the Book of Daniel. The Cyrus Cylinder was discovered by Hormuzd Rassam in 1879 at an excavation in Babylon. This ancient pagan, extra-biblical record is strong confirmation of the Biblical narrative of Cyrus that describes the same events. The Cyrus Cylinder speaks of the destruction of Babylon, the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, and their captivity at Babylon for seventy years—the precise events that the Bible describes in great detail.
The date of the Cyrus Cylinder is 536-529 B.C. Today it can be seen at the British Museum in London, England.
￼Cyrus Gave Kindness And Consideration To Those He Conquered
“I did not allow any to terrorize the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being. The citizens of Babylon. I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.”
The fact that Cyrus was unique among the conquering kings who subdued nations is important to the prophetic story of the Jews and Israel. When Cyrus captured a city, he would permit the residents to continue in worship of their gods. He allowed the indigenous people to carry on in their traditions and rituals, without interference from Cyrus or the Persian authorities, as long as they did so peacefully. This mindset by Cyrus may have been a contributing factor in him allowing the Jews who had been taken captive to Babylon, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple at Jerusalem.
“All the kings who sat in the throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in all the kings of the West Country who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. To the cities of Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the Gods whose abode is in the midst of them. I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes.”
It was a practice of Cyrus to rebuild the temples and restore the articles used for worship by the nations he conquered. Throughout his conquests, Cyrus allowed the people of many different nations to return to their own land and live in peace.
When Cyrus came to Babylon, unknown to him at that time, he already had the promise of the God of Israel that he would subdue and conquer Babylon. This was despite the fact that no other nation, in past history, had been able to overcome the incredible fortress of Babylon’s walls and water barrier surrounding the city. In Isaiah’s prophecy, Cyrus is not only told that he is the Lord’s shepherd (Isaiah 44:24), but he is also informed precisely how he will overcome Babylon and enter the city. Cyrus will learn of this prophecy written by Isaiah from Daniel, who is within the city of Babylon he is about to capture. It is believed that, as a result of Daniel revealing these prophecies of Isaiah 45 to King Cyrus, this resulted in the king doing exactly as the prophecy describes—to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple.
“Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:” ~Isaiah 45:1
The following excerpts from the cylinder of Cyrus describe the ease at which Cyrus’ army entered the city of Babylon. This also substantiates Isaiah’s prophecy and the events in the Book of Daniel:
“His widespread troops-their number, like that of the water of a river, which could not be counted, strolled along, their weapons packed away. Without any battle, he made him enter his city Babylon, sparing Babylon any damage. He delivered into my hands Nabonidus, the king who did not worship him.”
Cyrus was easily able to enter Babylon and overtake the city without any battle whatsoever. The Book of Daniel tells us that on the night Cyrus made his way into Babylon, Belshazzar—the king of Babylon—was having a great feast in the palace.
Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. ~Daniel 5:1
That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. ~Daniel 5:30
In Volume 1 of the “History of Herodotus”, this Greek historian describes the invasion of Babylon by Cyrus.
“On the top, along the edges of the wall, they constructed buildings of a single chamber facing one to another, leaving between them room for a four-horse chariot to turn. In the circuit of the wall are a hundred gates, all of brass, with bronze lintels and side-posts. …The city is divided into two portions by the river, which runs through the midst of it. This river is the Euphrates, a broad, deep, swift stream, which rises in Armenia, and empties itself into the Erythraean Sea.”
“At the rivers end of these cross streets are low gates in the fence that skirts the stream, which are, like the great gates in the outer wall, all of brass, and open towards the water. . .Cyrus on his way to Babylon came to the banks of the Gyndes, a stream which, rising in the Matienian mountains, runs through the country of the Dardanians, and empties itself into the river Tigris. The Tigris, after receiving the Gyndes, flows on by the city of Opis, and discharges its waters into the Erythraean sea.” Ibid.
Babylon was a city that straddled the mighty Euphrates River. The walls of Babylon were 87 feet thick and 300 feet high. There were 250 guard towers around the perimeter of the city, stationed 24 hours a day with armed guards. The Euphrates River ran under the city and acted as a natural deterrent against attack.
The city of Babylon was considered impossible to defeat because of the awesome structure of the city. At the entrance to the city gate of Babylon were large double-hung iron gates that went down deep into Euphrates River.
Herodotus further describes how the Persians diverted the River Euphrates upstream into a canal, so that the water level dropped “to the height of the middle of a man’s thigh,” which lowered the water level to the point where the soldiers could go underneath the iron bars by night. Two days later, on October 12, 539 B.C., Cyrus’ general Ugbaru and his troops were able to enter Babylon without a battle.
The Following Is From The Account Of Cyrus’ Invasion Of Babylon, By Herodotus:
“When Cyrus reached this stream, which could only be passed in boats, one of the sacred white horses accompanying his march, full of spirit and high mettle, walked into the water, and tried to cross by himself; but the current seized him, swept him along with it, and drowned him in its depths. Cyrus, became enraged at the river, and threatened to break its strength so that in the future even women should cross it easily without wetting their knees.
Accordingly he put off for a time his attack on Babylon, and, dividing his army into two parts, he marked out by ropes one hundred and eighty trenches on each side of the Gyndes, leading off from it in all directions, and making his army dig, some on one side of the river, some on the other, he accomplished his threat by the aid of a great a number of hands, but not without losing the whole summer season. Having defeated the river Gyndes by dispersing it through three hundred and sixty channels, Cyrus, with Spring approaching, marched forward against Babylon. The Babylonians, encamped without their walls, awaited his coming.
A battle was fought at a short distance from the city, in which the Babylonians were defeated by the Persian king, whereupon they withdrew within their defenses. Here they shut themselves and made fun of his siege, having laid in a store of provisions for many years in preparation against this attack; for when they saw Cyrus conquering nation after nation, they were convinced that he would never stop, and that their turn would come at last. Now Cyrus did not know how to proceed, for as time went on he made no progress in conquering the city.
In his distress either someone made a suggestion to him, or he himself came up with a plan, which he proceeded to follow. He placed a portion of his army at the point where the river enters the city, and another body at the back of the place where it comes out, with orders to march into the town by the bed of the stream, as soon as the water became shallow enough: he and his army then withdrew, and went to the place where Nitocris dug the basin for the river, where he did exactly what he had done in the past: he turned the Euphrates by a canal into the basin, which was then a marsh, on which the river sank to such a low level that the natural bed of the stream became crossable.
Hereupon the Persians who had been left at Babylon by the riverside, entered the stream, which had now sunk so as to reach about midway up to a man’s thigh, and entered into the city.
Had the Babylonians been aware of what Cyrus was up to, or had they noticed their danger, they would have never allowed the Persians to enter the city, but would have destroyed them; for they would have closed all the street-gates which opened to the river, and mounting upon the walls along both sides of the stream, would have caught the enemy, as it were, in a trap. But, as it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise and took the city.
Owing to the great size of the place, the inhabitants of the central part of Babylon, long after the outer portions of the town were taken, knew nothing of what had taken place, for they were engaged in a festival of dancing and reveling. Such, then, were the circumstances of the first taking of Babylon.”
(The end of Herodotus’ description)
Upon diverting the Euphrates River from going through Babylon, Cyrus was able to place soldiers under the entrance into Babylon. The soldiers went in and opened the gates, bringing Cyrus and his invasion force into Babylon. It was nearly three days before the people of Babylon even realized that their city had been taken. Cyrus took Babylon, which is considered impossible to defeat, without a fight.
Imagine Cyrus’ amazement and sober contemplation as he enters Babylon and meets Daniel, now an old man. Daniel opens the Hebrew scriptures and shows Cyrus the prophecy of Isaiah 45. This great king realized that, almost 150 years before his birth, he had been named and ordained by the God of the Israelites to become a mighty conquering king and perform a task for the one true God whom he neither knew nor worshiped.
Isaiah 45:1 Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: 2 “I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other…”
Cyrus’ Words Are Confirmed By Ezra In 2 Chronicles:
October 12, 539 B.C., Babylon fell to King Cyrus of the Persians. He defeated Nabonidus and his son Belshazzar, who were the last rulers of Babylon. The Book of 2 Chronicles, recorded by Ezra, contains the declaration of this great Persian king in his own words. This is corroborated in the “Cyrus Cylinder,” housed in the British Museum, London, England.
2 Chronicles 36:22-23 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!
God had created Cyrus with such a heart, that he had great respect and compassion for the people whom he conquered. Growing up in very humble beginnings, raised by a poor shepherd, the Lord no doubt formed the heart of Cyrus as a young boy. He prepared Cyrus to be His servant so that, in later years when he reads the prophecies written by Isaiah, the heart of Cyrus would be moved to respond in doing precisely what the Lord had predicted. Cyrus’ words and actions are confirmed twice here in the writings of Ezra, in 2 Chronicles 36 and the Book of Ezra that bears his name.
Cyrus’ Words Confirmed By Ezra:
Ezra 1:1-4 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. :4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
Cyrus Issues The Command:
Daniel Chapter 9, verse 25 speaks of a “command” being given to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” These decrees by Cyrus, in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1-4, both speak of Cyrus’ instructions in building “a house for God,” the Temple at Jerusalem. Cyrus does not speak of “restoring or rebuilding Jerusalem.” This prophecy comes from the mouth of Daniel and is directed at a future king, Artaxerxes, who will make this very command in 445 B.C.
Daniel 9:25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.”
For this reason, both commands of Cyrus seem to apply to the first “seven weeks” or 49 years that we know, from history, is the specific amount of time it actually took to return and rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. The second period, sixty-two weeks of years or 434 years, plus the 49 years to rebuild the Temple, or a total of 483 years, is the object of Daniel’s complete meaning and fulfillment for his prophecy in chapter 9:25—sixty-nine weeks of years.
According to Haggai 2:18-19, on December 17, 520 B.C., the foundation to the Temple was laid. The original command came by Cyrus 17 years before, in 536 B.C. Although the words of a Persian king were considered the words of a living god and could not be ignored or changed once he spoke them, it took 17 years before the foundation of the Temple was actually laid in Jerusalem. This is because God had determined that the Temple could not begin until the 70 years of the “Desolations of Israel” were concluded (see the chart above). The “Desolations” began in 589 B.C. and, 70 years later, ended on December 17, 520 B.C. (See the charts above for a graphic illustration of this point.)
Haggai 2:18 “Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (December*), from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid—consider it: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.”
*April Is The First Month In The Hebrew Calendar; The Ninth Month Is December
- The servitude began in 605 B.C. and ended in 536 B.C., after 70 years. This was the date that Cyrus gave the command to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem.
- The captivity began in 598 B.C. and ended in 536 B.C., after 63 years, seven years after the servitude began.
- The desolations began in 589 B.C. and ended in 520 B.C. According to the word of the Lord, seventy years were determined for Israel. Therefore, when Cyrus made his command to rebuild the Temple in 536 B.C., there were still 17 more years remaining to complete the 70 years God required. The word of God is more powerful than the words of even the greatest king of the world…
￼This Is Only A Brief Example Of The Singularity Of Biblical Prophecy In Confirming The Hebrew And Greek Scriptures As The Word Of God
If you are a diligent and sincere student of truth; pursuing evidence wherever it leads, then the facts of the Bible in predicting Cyrus’ birth, his leading by the God of the Bible to free the Jews from their 70 year captivity, and the rebuilding of the second temple at Jerusalem—confirmed by archeology in the Cyrus Cylinder, and Herodotus—you will understand that prophecy is the singular proof that the God of the Bible is the only True and Living God.
The prophecies of the Bible distinguish the Bible and the God it reveals, as the only true God, making all others the imaginations of men and existing only as myth’s. The God of the Bible is not a myth, but is proven by empirical evidence; history, archeology, and the fulfillment of all the words God spoke so as to confirm He is the only God.
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. ~Isaiah 46:9-10 (NLT)
If you are interested in further study to confirm the assertions of this article that the God of the Bible has spoken many hundreds of prophecies that History confirms as fulfilled, please see the following publications by the same author as this article:
￼ Cyrus Cylinder: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=327188&partid=1
 Kuhrt, Amélie (1983). “The Cyrus Cylinder and Achaemenid imperial policy”. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Sheffield: University of Sheffield. Dept. of Biblical Studies) 25. ISSN 1476-6728
 British Museum, London, http://www.iranchamber.com/history/cyrus/cyrus_charter.php
 Used by Permission from the Wikimedia Commons, Front of the Cyrus Cylinder Date: 26 May 2012 Author: Prioryman Lice info: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License_1.2
 The History of Herodotus, a Gutenberg Project ebook, Translated into English by G. C. Macaulay, Volume 1, Translated into English by G. C. Macaulay. text was prepared from an edition dated 1890, published by MacMillan and Co., London and New York.
 The History of Herodotus, a Gutenberg Project ebook, Translated into English by G. C. Macaulay, Volume 1, Translated into English by G. C. Macaulay. text was prepared from an edition dated 1890, published by MacMillan and Co., London and New York. Herodotus 1.191
 Ibid, Herodotus
 “Cyrus Cylinder,” ANET, p. 315).
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