This article was originally published in 2011 and has been slightly edited and updated. As the Watchtower’s commentary on Isaiah notes, although Jerusalem was situated on a hill it was also surrounded by higher hills, making the city itself a valley in comparison. And because Jerusalem is the focus of prophecy, much of which was originally conveyed to the prophets by means of inspired visions, [...]
Twitter is at it again. I had not planned on writing anything today. I just wanted to tweet a link to an article on Natural News regarding the activation of an elite contingent of the military made up of army rangers and navy seals, etc. I thought it was a newsworthy item. But I got this little pop-up denying permission to share, notifying me that Twitter [...]
This article was originally posted in December 2011. It has been slightly expanded. The overthrow of tyrannical Babylon is the subject of the 21st chapter of Isaiah. God assured his prophet that the treacherous destroyer of nations and the persecutor of his people was going to be violently thrown down. The fall of ancient Babylon must have shocked the world back then. How could this incredible [...]
In 1492 Christopher Columbus led an expedition made up of three wooden sailing ships across the vast Atlantic Ocean in search of a way to the land of the East by sailing in the direction of the setting sun. But instead of the Orient Columbus “discovered” a new world, so-called. At least it was new from the perspective of the centuries-old European civilization. (The Vikings did not make permanent settlements.) Columbus’ initial discovery of Hispaniola launched the age of global exploration. In a short time newly discovered lands began to be colonized by the Spanish, French, English, Irish and others.
Revised repost from November 2011 Other than Israel and Judah no other nation is featured so prominently in the Bible as Egypt. Before God even founded Israel Egypt existed as a great nation. The father of all those with faith, Abram, along with Sari his beautiful wife, once sought relief from the famine in Canaan by going down to Egypt. Abraham’s offspring did too. In [...]
The 18th chapter of Isaiah opens with these words: “Ha for the land of the whirring insects with wings, which is in the region of the rivers of Ethiopia! It is the one sending forth envoys by means of the sea, and by means of vessels of papyrus upon the surface of the waters, saying: ‘Go, you swift messengers, to a nation drawn out and scoured, to a people fear-inspiring everywhere, a nation of tensile strength and of treading down, whose land the rivers have washed away.’”
What is the land of the whirring insects with wings and what is the message of the envoys God commands them to send forth? And who are the fear-inspiring people and the nation of tensile strength to whom the messengers are sent?
Over the years that I have studied prophecy I have revisited the 18th chapter of Isaiah many times to ponder it’s possible meaning. It remains maddeningly inscrutable. What seems clear, though, is that, the prophecy is intended to apply to the ultimate success of God’s purpose at the conclusion of the present system of things.
And what is God’s purpose?
As all of Jehovah’s Witnesses know, God’s grand, over-arching purpose is to bring forth a new creation composed of 144,001 humans that will ultimately be reborn into immortal, incorruptible spirits. Jesus is, of course, “the firstborn among many brothers,” as Paul described the Christ.
The 17th chapter of Isaiah is the denunciation of Damascus and Israel. But like most prophecies, although the setting is in ancient times the prophetic message pertains to the time of the end.
That ought to be evident from the concluding part of the prophecy, which says: “Ha for the commotion of many peoples, who are boisterous as with the boisterousness of the seas! And for the noise of national groups, who make a din just like the noise of mighty waters! The national groups themselves will make a din just like the noise of many waters. And He will certainly rebuke it, and it must flee far away and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before a wind and like a thistle whirl before a storm wind.”
For many decades the Watchtower has expanded the worldwide preaching into more and more lands. Recently the organization surpassed 1,000 languages published. Truly, a phenomenal achievement. There is no doubt that the good news is being preached in all the world as Jesus said it would be ---or, at least it had been. Now, with the Covid-19 crises, the Watchtower has shut everything down. When the [...]
“O how you have fallen from heaven, you shining one, son of the dawn! How you have been cut down to the earth, you who were disabling the nations!"
The fall of mighty Babylon vindicated Jehovah as the true God. Not only had he foretold that Babylon would serve as his punishing agent, wrecking all the earth, but God foretold the name of the man who would bring Babylon down, nearly two centuries before he was even born - naming Cyrus as the anointed of Jehovah, the liberator of God’s oppressed people; obviously, a type of Christ.
In conjunction with that, in the latter chapters of the same prophecy of Isaiah the repatriated Jews and company were said to have been ushered into a new heavens and new earth. To be sure, that expression is also used in the 2nd letter of Peter and in Revelation, both in reference to the system to come.
That being the case, the prophetic account of the fall of ancient Babylon did not merely vindicate God as a foreteller of future events, it led to the complete accomplishment of God’s overall purpose.
. This article was originally published July 11, 2011. The sudden overthrow of Babylon stunned the ancient world. The event is one of the centerpieces of Bible prophecy, having been foretold by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel - the reason being, Babylon had been an unwitting instrument in the hand of Jehovah to smash all the nations surrounding, including the kingdom of Judah and [...]