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God and History
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
The Bible is a history of God's intervention in the lives of people and nations, for the instruction of generations to come. He revealed Himself specifically in the history of the Jews. Normally there is development in the history of a nation: that is, how it began, the events through time, and how it ended. The same is true in the case of the Bible. The history began with Adam and Eve; then there was the calling of Abraham to be the progenitor of the Israelite nation. The ebb and flow of events through ages is recorded; and the end is also the end of human history, with the complete eradication of evil, and the forming of the new eternal heavens and earth.
Not only does the Bible describe history that took place (like the Israelites conquering Canaan), but it also predicts future history. Moses, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote circa 1500 BC this warning to the Israelites before they even entered Canaan:
"The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth. Like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young" - Deutr 28:49. (In 70 AD the Romans - their emblem was the eagle, with a language not resembling the Semitic languages - destroyed Jerusalem. The details can be read in Josephus' "Wars of the Jews".)
"The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you" - Deut 28:68. (When Jerusalem fell, Titus took almost a 100,000 Jewish captives by ship to Alexandria in Egypt, the biggest slave market. But the market was so glutted, they fetched next to nothing.
Jesus predicted that the temple will be so completely destroyed that not one stone will be left on the other - Luk 21:5,6. (This was fulfilled in 70 AD because the Romans thought that the Jews hid gold between the stones, and when the temple was burned, they literally broke down all the stones in search of the gold.)
The Bible combines history and revelations from God to make it the only book of its kind, absolutely unique.
Literature: W Keller, The Bible as History, Bantam Books, 1981; C G Rasmussen, The NIV Atlas of the Bible, Regency, 1989; S H Horn, The Spade confirms the Book, Review and Herald P Co, 1957; A Edersheim, Bible History of the Old Testament, Hendrickson, 1995; J P Free and H F Vos, Archaeology and Bible History, Zondervan, 1992; G L Archer, A survey of OT Introduction, Moody Press, 1964, p 566.
Related articles: History and the Bible, How Moses caused a media scandal