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Introduction

There are six cities mentioned in the Bible that have prophecies concerning their future. These prophecies are specific for each city and are in no way vague or generalised. Consequently, their history can be studied and the accuracy of the prophecies tested. Each city has been examined with respect to its prophecies. These are summarised here.

Ashkelon

Prophecies

The Lord used three prophets, Amos, Jeremiah and Zephaniah to pronounce judgement on Ashkelon in the form of the city’s complete destruction. However, Zephaniah went further and said that a remnant of the House of Judah would rebuild it and they will graze their flocks on its pasture.

The city’s history

Judgment fell upon Ashkelon precisely as predicted, when this vast seaport finally fell in 604 BC, burnt and destroyed and its people taken into exile.

Following the establishment of the state of Israel (1948), Jewish settlers came quickly to the area and in 1952, South African Jews initiated the establishment of the Afridar neighborhood, from which the new city of Ashkelon grew. Sheep also graze in the surrounding area. All in complete fulfillment of prophecy.

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Babylon

Prophecies

Isaiah condemned Babylon as a place of great wickedness in chapters 46 and 47. In chapter 13 he pronounces God’s judgement that the city will be utterly destroyed and never inhabited again.

The city’s history

Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, but the city still persisted and was captured by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. After Alexander’s untimely death, a power struggle among his generals ensued and Babylon passed to the Seleucid dynasty in 312 BC. The city’s importance was greatly reduced by the building of a new capital on the Tigris river called Seleucia. Babylon fell into disuse and this photo taken in 1932, shows its utter destruction. It was not until the early 19th century that the remains of this once mighty city were discovered and excavated.

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Jerusalem

Prophecies

Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah foretold of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Jeremiah went on to state that the people taken captive will return after 70 years to rebuild Jerusalem and that it will be the Medo-persion king Cyrus who will facilitate this relocation and building. Jeremiah makes the further point that Jerusalem will never be demolished again.

The city’s history

After two attacks, the Babylonians finally destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 586 BC and took the people captive. Exactly as Jerimiah prophesised, king Cyrus released the people after 70 years of captivity and provided them with funds to rebuild both the temple and the city. Even though the Roman army captured Jerusalem in AD 70 and completely destroyed the temple (as Jesus prophesised recorded in Matthew 24:2), the city was not totally destroyed and it continued. Today it is the most significant city in the world.

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Nineveh

Prophecies

Nineveh was one of the greatest cities of antiquity. Nahum wrote that the river gates are thrown open, and the palace collapses and that fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down and like grasshoppers, will consume you.

Zephaniah said Nineveh will become utterly desolate and dry as the desert.

The city’s history

An alliance of Medes, Babylonians and Scythians destroyed Nineveh in August 612 BC after a two-month siege. This great victory was due in part to the releasing of the city’s water supply and the inundation of the Koser river. The waters dissolved the sun-dried bricks with which much of the city was built.

Encyclopedia Britannica states: Nineveh suffered a defeat, from which it never recovered. Extensive traces of ash, representing the sack of the city by Babylonians, Scythians and Medes, have been found in many parts of the Acropolis.

The mighty city of Nineveh was left utterly desolate in a way described by the prophets.

For the original article click here.

Petra/Edom

Prophecies

God had Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah and Ezekiel pronounce many judgments on the Edomites.

  • everyone in Esau’s mountains will be cut down in the slaughter. Because of the violence against your brother Jacob. (Obadiah 9-10).
  • People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau (Obadiah 19).
  • I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel. (Ezekiel 25:14).
  • Edom will become totally desolate, a haunt for jackals, a home for owls and wild animals will inhabit the area (Isaiah 34:13–15).

The site’s history

In 325 BC, an Arab tribe known as Nebateans conquered the eastern part of Edom’s territory During the intertestamental Hasmonean period, John Hyrcanus subdued the Idumeans and forced them to accept Judaism. Edom was included in the land that the Romans conquered and as a consequence, the Idumeans and hence the Edomites disappeared from history and the remains of their ancient capital, Petra was forgotten until it was discovered by the Swiss traveller J L Burkhardt. He saw the place as a wild desert.

Again, prophecy had been fulfilled completely. For the whole article, click here .

Tyre

Prophecies

All prophecies come from Ezekiel.

1 Many nations will come against Tyre in successive waves like the waves of the sea.

2 Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland of Tyre, but get no reward.

3 Her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword, implying that Tyre will have another site off the coast.

4 Debris from the city, stones and timber will be thrown into the water.

5 Tyre will be made a bare rock, flat like the top of a rock and fishermen will spread their nets over the site.

6 Tyre never will be rebuilt.

The city’s history

Nebuchadnezzar attacked mainland Tyre the year the prophecy was pronounced, and after a 15-year siege (586–571 BC), Nebuchadnezzar broke the gates down. He found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved by ship to an island about one kilometre off the coast and fortified a city there. The mainland city was destroyed as prophesied. Tyre remained on the island and was a powerful city for over two hundred years. Yet he (Nebuchadnezzar) and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre.

Alexander the Great called on each city to open its gates to him. Tyre refused and in 332 BC, he blockaded the island city for 7 months, but Tyre held on. Possessing no fleet, he used the debris of the abandoned mainland city to build a causeway or ‘mole’ 60 meters (200 feet) wide across the straits, which separated the old and new cities.

The people of Tyre continually raided the causeway but Alexander finished the causeway, battered the walls of Tyre down, killed 10,000 of the inhabitants, and sold 30,000 into slavery.

Although Tyre continued to exist after Alexander, Ezekiel saw one nation after another coming against her like ocean waves on a beach. Many nations did come against Tyre in successive waves as per the prophecy; the Persians, Macedonians, Ptolemies, Seleucids and Romans; in AD 638 the Arabs, and finally, in 1291, the Mameluke Muslims destroyed the city completely. What is seen today on the ancient site are Roman ruins. The amazing detail of the prophecy were fulfilled even in the minutest detail.

For the complete article click here.

Summary

There are six cities mentioned in the Bible whose future was prophesised. Each prophecy was realised in every way, even in the minutest detail. Some cities were to be totally destroyed no matter how large they were, others were to survive. One, Ashkelon, was to be destroyed and rebuilt and even to become part of a revived Israel. These prophecies regarding the six cities add much to the reliability of the Bible.

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