The foretelling of future events, by inspiration from God. It is very different from a sagacious and happy conjecture as to futurity, and from a vague and equivocal oracle, without any certain meaning. A true prophecy can come only from God; and is the highest proof of the divine origin of the message of which it is a part. A true prophecy may be known by these marks; being announced at a suitable time before the event it foretells; having a particular and exact agreement with that event; being such as no human sagacity or foresight could produce; and being delivered by one claiming to be under the inspiration of the Almighty. Many of the prophecies of Scripture foretold events ages before they occurred - events of which there was then no apparent probability, and the occurrence of which depended on innumerable contingencies, involving the history of things and the volitions of persons not then in existence; and yet these predictions were fulfilled at the time and place and in the manner prophesied. Such were the predictions respecting the coming and crucifixion of the Messiah, the dispersion and preservation of the Jews, etc. The Scripture prophecies are a scheme of vast extent, the very earliest predictions reaching down to the end of the world's history - a scheme gradually and harmoniously developed from age to age, and by many different persons, some of them not fully apprehending, and "searching diligently what the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify," 1Pe 1:11, the whole manifestly the work of Jehovah, and marvelous in our eyes. A degree of obscurity rests on the prophetic writings, which patient and prayerful study alone can dispel; while those that are yet unfulfilled must await the coming of the events, which will make all at length clear. Many predictions relating primarily to events and deliverance's near at hand, were also designed of God as sure prophecies of yet more illustrious events in the future. For example, the general subject of the predictions in Mt 24 is the coming of Christ, to judge his foes and deliver his friends. In penning a sketch of this subject, Matthew imitates a painter depicting from an eminence the landscape before him: the tower of the village church in the near foreground, and the mountain peak in the dim and remote horizon, rise side by side on his canvas. So in painting the coming of Christ, Matthew sketches first some features of his coming in the destruction of Jerusalem to occur within forty years, and in the next verse some distinctive features of his second coming at the end of the world; yet both belong to the same general view. Respecting the New Testament phrase, "This was done that it might be fulfilled," etc., see FULFILLED. For other meanings of "prophecy," see PROPHETS.
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
or prediction, was one of the functions of the prophet. It has been defined as a "miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture." (See Prophet.)
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation, its founder Abraham (Ge 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2,4-6, etc.), and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (Ge 12:7; 13:14-15,17; 15:18-21; Ex 3:8,17), which have all been fulfilled. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a series of predictions which are even now in the present day being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah (Isa 2:18-21), Jeremiah (Jer 27:3-7; 29:11-14), Ezekiel (Eze 5:12; 8), Daniel (Da 8; 9:26-27), Hosea (Ho 9:17), there are also many prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that people.
There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre (Eze 26:3-5,14-21), Egypt (Eze 29:10,15; 30:6,12-13), Ethiopia (Na 3:8-10), Nineveh (Na 1:10; 2:8-13; 3:17-19), Babylon (Isa 13:4; Jer 51:7; Isa 44:27; Jer 50:38; 51:36,39,57), the land of the Philistines (Jer 47:4-7; Eze 25:15-17; Am 1:6-8; Zep 2:4-7; Zec 9:5-8), and of the four great monarchies (Da 2:39-40; 7:17-24; 8:9).
But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Ge 3:15, the first great promise, and extending in ever-increasing fulness and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. "To him gave all the prophets witness." (Comp. Mic 5:2; Hag 2:6-9; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-2; 53; 60:10,13; Ps 16:11; 68:18.)
Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Comp. 24/type/kj2000'>Mt 10:24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43-44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35,46,64; Mr 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6,14; 14:12-31,42,62; 16:17, etc.)
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: read more. And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto your descendants will I give this land: and there built he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after Lot was separated from him, Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your descendants forever. read more. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your descendants also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto you.
And he brought him forth outside, and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall your descendants be.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your descendants have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, read more. And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaim, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.
As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. read more. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you.
And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and large land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive: you have received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake mightily the earth. read more. In that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake mightily the earth.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts musters the army of the battle.
That says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:
And the sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you.
The glory of Lebanon shall come unto you, the cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; And command them to say unto their masters, Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall you say unto your masters; read more. I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed right unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his own land comes: and then many nations and great kings shall enslave him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. read more. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, says the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.
Because of the day that comes to plunder all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains: for the LORD will plunder the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor. Baldness has come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long will you cut yourself? read more. O you sword of the LORD, how long will it be before you are quiet? put yourself into your scabbard, rest, and be still. How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD has given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the seashore? there has he appointed it.
A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad over their idols.
Babylon has been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunk: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
Therefore thus says the LORD; Behold, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.
In their excitement I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says the LORD.
And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Thus says the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy for the old hatred; Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites, and destroy the remnant of the seacoast. read more. And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. read more. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD: and it shall become a plunder to the nations.
And I will make you like the top of a rock: you shall be a place to spread nets upon; you shall be rebuilt no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, says the Lord GOD. Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre; Shall not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you? read more. Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their embroidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at you. And they shall take up a lamentation for you, and say to you, How are you destroyed, that were inhabited by seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, who cause their terror to be on all that inhabit it! Now shall the coastlands tremble in the day of your fall; yea, the coastlands that are by the sea shall be troubled at your departure. For thus says the Lord GOD; When I shall make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon you, and great waters shall cover you; When I shall bring you down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old, and shall set you in the lowest parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited; and I shall give glory in the land of the living; I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more: though you are sought for, yet shall you never be found again, says the Lord GOD.
Behold, therefore I am against you, and against your rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
It shall be the lowest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
Thus says the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, says the Lord GOD.
And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is in it, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it. Thus says the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Memphis; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: since iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. read more. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of bronze; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; And of the ten horns that were on its head, and of the other which came up, and before which three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was greater than its fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Thus says the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom: But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour its palaces: read more. And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holds the scepter from Ashkelon, and I will turn my hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, says the Lord GOD.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
For while they are entangled together as thorns, and while they are drunk as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.
Though Nineveh was of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back. Take the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is no end of treasure or wealth out of all the precious things. read more. She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melts, and the knees strike together, and much pain is on all sides, and the faces of them all grow pale. Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's cub, and none made them afraid? The lion did tear in pieces enough for his cubs, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his caves with prey, and his dens with torn flesh. Behold, I am against you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions: and I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no more be heard.
Are you better than No Amon, that was situated among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was without limit; Put and Lubim were your helpers. read more. Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
Your princes are like the locusts, and your officials like the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on the cold day, but when the sun arises they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: your nobles shall dwell in the dust: your people are scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathers them. read more. There is no healing of your bruise; your wound is grievous: all that hear the report of you shall clap their hands over you: for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?
For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon shall be a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy you, that there shall be no inhabitant. read more. And the seacoast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed there: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
For thus says the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. read more. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts.
Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a mixed race shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. read more. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remains, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be like a leader in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite. And I will encamp about my house because of the army, because of him that passes by, and because of him that returns: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with my eyes.
The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord.
And you, Capernaum, which is exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hades: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: read more. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was hungry, and you gave me no food: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, or thirsty or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto you? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Since you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where will you that we prepare for you to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples. read more. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the evening was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dips his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Teacher, is it I? He said unto him, You have said. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it; For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Then said Jesus unto them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this night, before the cock crows, you shall deny me three times. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with you, yet will I not deny you. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that does betray me.
Jesus said unto him, You have said so: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of those that stand here, who shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
And when they came near to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sent forth two of his disciples, And said unto them, Go your way into the village opposite you: and as soon as you are entered into it, you shall find a colt tied, on which never man sat; loose him, and bring him. read more. And if any man say unto you, Why do you this? say that the Lord has need of him; and immediately he will send him here. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside in a place where two ways met; and they loosed him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What are you doing, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.
And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of you hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where will you that we go and prepare that you may eat the passover? And he sent forth two of his disciples, and said unto them, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. read more. And wherever he shall go in, say to the owner of the house, The Master says, Where is the guest room, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he came with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you who eats with me shall betray me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dips with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goes, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus said unto them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crows twice, you shall deny me three times. But he spoke the more vehemently, If I should die with you, I will not deny you by any means. Likewise also said they all.
Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrays me is at hand.
And Jesus said, I am: and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
PROPHECY, the prediction of future events; it is especially understood of those predictions which are contained in the Holy Scriptures; all of which claim divine inspiration, and by their wonderful fulfilment are proved to have proceeded from God, who only with certainty can know the future. Prophecy is one great branch of the external evidence of the truth of the Scriptures; and the nature and force of this kind of evidence may here be properly pointed out. No argument a priori against the possibility of prophecy can be attempted by any one who believes in the existence and infinitely perfect nature of God. The infidel author of "The Moral Philosopher," indeed, rather insinuates than attempts fully to establish a dilemma with which to perplex those who regard prophecy as one of the proofs of a divine revelation. He thinks that either prophecy must respect events necessary, as depending upon necessary causes, which might be certainly foreknown and predicted; or that, if human actions are free, and effects contingent, the possibility of prophecy must be given up, as it implies foreknowledge, which, if granted, would render them necessary. The first part of this objection might be allowed, were there no predictions to be adduced in favour of a professed revelation, except such as related to events which human experience has taught to be dependent upon some cause, the existence and necessary operation of which are within the compass of human knowledge. But to foretel such events would not be to prophesy, any more than to say that it will be light to-morrow at noon, or that on a certain day and hour next year there will occur an eclipse of the sun or moon, when that event had been previously ascertained by astronomical calculation. If, however, it were allowed that all events depended upon a chain of necessary causes, yet, in a variety of instances, the argument from prophecy would not be at all affected; for the foretelling of necessary results in certain circumstances is beyond human intelligence, because they can only be known to him by whose power those necessary causes on which they depend have been arranged, and who has prescribed the times of their operation. To borrow a case, for the sake of illustration, from the Scriptures, though the claims of their predictions are not now in question; let us allow that such a prophecy as that of Isaiah respecting the taking of Babylon by Cyrus was uttered, as it purports to be, more than a century before Cyrus was born, and that all the actions of Cyrus and his army, and those of the Babylonian monarch and his people, were necessitated; is it to be maintained that the chain of necessitating causes running through more than a century could be traced by a human mind, so as to describe the precise manner in which that fatality would unfold itself, even to the turning of the river, the drunken carousal of the inhabitants, and the neglect of shutting the gates of the city? This being by uniform and universal experience known to be above all human apprehension, would therefore prove that the prediction was made in consequence of a communication from a superior and divine Intelligence. Were events, therefore, subjected to invincible fate and necessity, there might nevertheless be prophecy.
The other branch of the dilemma is founded on the notion that if we allow the moral freedom of human actions, prophecy is impossible, because certain foreknowledge is contrary to that freedom, and fixes and renders the event necessary. To this the reply is, that the objection is founded on a false assumption, the divine foreknowledge having no more influence in effectuating or making certain any event than human foreknowledge in the degree in which it may exist, there being no moral causality at all in knowledge. This lies in the will, which is the determining acting principle in every agent; or, as Dr. Samuel Clarke has expressed it, in answer to another kind of objector, "God's infallible judgment concerning contingent truths does no more alter the nature of the things, and cause them to be necessary, than our judging right at any time concerning a contingent truth makes it cease to be contingent; or than our science of a present truth is any cause of its being either true or present. Here, therefore, lies the fallacy of our author's argument. Because, from God's foreknowing the existence of things depending upon a chain of necessary causes, it follows that the existence of the things must needs be necessary; therefore, from God's judging infallibly concerning things which depend not on necessary but free causes, he concludes that these things also depend not upon free but necessary causes. Contrary, I say, to the supposition in the argument; for it must not be first supposed that things are in their own nature necessary; but from the power of judging infallibly concerning free events, it must be proved that things, otherwise supposed free, will thereby unavoidably become necessary." The whole question lies in this, Is the simple knowledge of an action a necessitating cause of the action? And the answer must be in the negative, as every man's consciousness will assure him. If the causality of influence, either immediate, or by the arrangement of compelling events, be mixed up with this, the ground is shifted; and it is no longer a question which respects simple prescience. (See Prescience.) This metaphysical objection having no foundation in truth, the force of the evidence arising from predictions of events, distant, and beyond the power of human sagacity to anticipate, and uttered as authentications of a divine commission, is apparent. "Such predictions, whether in the form of declaration, description, or representation of things future," as Mr. Boyle justly observes, "are supernatural things, and may properly be ranked among miracles." For when, for instance, the events are distant many years or ages from the uttering of the prediction itself, depending on causes not so much as existing when the prophecy was spoken and recorded, and likewise upon various circumstances and a long arbitrary series of things, and the fluctuating uncertainties of human volitions, and especially when they depend not at all upon any external circumstances nor upon any created being, but arise merely from the counsels and appointment of God himself,
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth any of the flesh outside of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.
He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
And he cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus says the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon you shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon you, and men's bones shall be burnt upon you. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD has spoken; Behold, the altar shall be torn, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
He asked life of you, and you gave it to him, even length of days forever and ever. His glory is great in your salvation: honor and majesty have you laid upon him. read more. For you have made him most blessed forever: you have made him exceedingly glad with your presence.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones: they look and stare upon me. read more. They part my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing.
[To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.] I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God: yea, your law is within my heart. read more. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not restrained my lips, O LORD, you know. I have not hid your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation: I have not concealed your lovingkindness and your truth from the great congregation.
I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against you.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath is accomplished: for what has been determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, who was to come.
When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
That is, They who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the descendants. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. read more. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Moreover, brethren, I want not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; read more. And did all eat the same spiritual food; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us test Christ, as some of them also tested him, and were destroyed by serpents. Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. read more. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which brings forth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; read more. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, says he, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount.