Copyright © 1997, by John Lankford, Fort Smith, Arkansas


     What if someone could speak of events before they happened in sufficient detail to make "coincidence" unlikely? Surely, this would directly support the existence of the supernatural. The arguments for God from prophecy are more direct than those from the sciences.

     Bible students know that the kingdom of Israel became divided. Samaria (city) became the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, while Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah.


     Micah claims to be a prophet of God (1:1) and his word carried weight in the eyes of the leaders of Judah. The prophet Jeremiah was not put to death for his prophecy against Jerusalem because it corroborated with what Micah had said (Jer 26:8, 9, 18, 19)! Are there any more reasons to believe that Micah is a true prophet?

     First, read the book of Micah and be convinced that his speeches have a ring of honesty and truth to them. Sometimes the "proof is in the hearing."

     Second, many things that he says are corroborated by other independent sources (cf. 2 Ki 15:32-20:21; 2 Chron 27:1- 32:33; Hosea, Amos, Isaiah). When testimony in a court of law matches details presented by other witnesses, we believe the statements given are true. So, why not believe Micah?

     Third, Micah could have had material gain by not saying what he did (Mic 3:5, 11). And he went against "peer pressure" to speak out (2:6). So, here we have a man who claims to be a prophet, the authority of his words saved Jeremiah from death, he sounds honest, his testimony can be verified by independent sources, he does not "preach for a price" and has enough courage to stand up against the establishment of the day. What more could one ask for in order to believe in the credibility of a person?


     What does Micah have to say about Jerusalem? Will it also fall to Assyria? At the time of his prophecy (remember this next line . . .) Assyria was the major force and reasonable choice to destroy Jerusalem! Already Assyria had come mighty close to taking it (see 2 Ki 18, 19 and 2 Chron 32, Isa 36, EBH pp. 374, 280). But the prophet says it will be Babylon and not Assyria that takes Jerusalem (Micah 4:10). This would seem far-fetched during Micah's time because Babylon was a mere "spit-in-the-road" kingdom (EBH, pp. 282). Further, he says that Jerusalem will be plowed under and the Temple will be bashed down (Micah 3:12); this happened under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C. (EBH, pp. 271). Hence, the prophet Micah looked about 100 years into the future to see Babylon as a major conquering force from the north (EBH, pp. 450). Again, common sense would have made him see a world dominated by the Assyrians and not by some mediocre state like Babylon. But he did not follow any kind of private interpretation. He was moved by the Spirit of God to speak the truth (Mic 3:8ff; 2 Pet 2:20, 21).


     Some want to date the book of Nahum to be very late to avoid any suggestion that real prophecy took place. This is done because some scholars have an anti-supernatural bias in which they approach any Old Testament book. They have already decided that miracles cannot happen and this includes speaking of events before they occurred. Yet, when Nahum spoke, Assyria still had a grip on Judah (1:13, 2:2) and was still the dominant force to contend with. Hence, it is reasonable to believe that Nahum prophesied during the reign of Assyria and, therefore, before the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.).

     What is amazing about the prophecy of Nahum is not just the fact that he predicted the demise of Nineveh but the mechanism of its fall. They are:

     (1) Water would play a major role in the destruction of the city (Nah 1:8, 2:6). Further, the siege of Nineveh occurred during the month of Ab, and according to a Babylonian tablet, this was the season of their heavy rainfall. So, rain poured heavy on the city. The early historian Diodorus Siculus (circa 30 B.C.) wrote of the destruction of Nineveh and testifies that water played a major role in its downfall (EDV, pp. 310-311). So, here we have independent, corroborating testimony from someone who is in a better position to know than any historian is today.

     (2) Drunkenness also played a role (Nah 1:10) and so did fire (Nah 2:13, 3:13). Diodorus Siculus cites drunkenness as a major factor in the fall of Nineveh and testifies to the burning of the palace by the Assyrian king himself. A.H. Layard, the foremost expert on Nineveh and who actually discovered Nineveh and proved its existence to a doubting world (ZPBD, pp. 589), said that in every major dig traces of fire are evident (PM, pp. 62). Therefore, the prophecy of Nahum is substantiated. Even by guessing, how could a person predict that flooding, drunkenness and fire would be factors in the fall of a city that God himself called "great" (Jonah 1:2)? Just to predict its downfall seems amazing enough in the context of the time. (It would be like Britain accurately predicting the downfall of Nazi Germany after the Blitz of London!)

     (3) Nineveh's destruction would be final (1:9, 14). Many cities in the ancient world were destroyed and then later rebuilt (e.g., Jerusalem). Nineveh never was rebuilt!

     Such details cannot reasonably be assigned to mere coincidence. The best conclusion would be that Nahum spoke things beyond human understanding. This verifies the existence of God in a more direct way . . . a particularity of the God described in the Old Testament.


     While the study of nature testifies to the existence of a God it is limited in describing or identifying "which God." Old Testament prophecy gives us more direct evidence that the God of Abraham is the true God. However, there is a drawback. Old Testament history and the intermingling of the prophets and archeology is hard to study. But the jewels are there for the looking!


  Link to other Evidences by John Lankford

West-Ark Church of Christ