Around 700 years prior to Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah stated that He would come from a stem of Jesse (11:1) in the line of King David and the tribe of Judah. He would be born of a virgin (7:14) and would be called Immanuel (God with us), a wonderful counselor, and a Prince of Peace (9:6). Micah (5:2) prophesied that He would be born in Jerusalem, while Hosea (11:1) revealed that out of Egypt, God called His son. All of these came true.
The 1st Jewish Temple stood during Isaiah’s time, yet he prophesied about its destruction (which happened in 586 B.C.) and the call to rebuild it. He even named the person whom God ordained to issue the decree to rebuild decades later: Cyrus!
“That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”
Jeremiah, who lived between 650 and 570 B.C. predicted that the Hebrews would serve Babylon for seventy years. When did this seventy-year period begin? It began with a decisive military victory over the Assyrians by the Babylonians and Medes in 609 B.C. The Assyrian Empire had been subjugating Judah and Israel for decades. (Note that around 930 B.C., Israel split into two countries: Israel in the north and Judah -which contained Jerusalem- in the south).
“Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.,,And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”
Upon Assyrian defeat, Egypt and Babylon jockeyed for power over those in the Levant by flexing their muscles in a series of battles. The Levant refers to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean containing the modern-day countries of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt exercised his power by choosing a king of Judah in 609 B.C.: Jehoiakim. Judah was highly desirable to both nations. In 605, Nebuchadnezzar’s army defeated the Egyptians at the Battle of Carchemish, so Jehoiakim drop-kicked the Egyptians in favor of the Babylonians. But this allegiance didn’t last very long. A few years later, the Egyptians won in battle, so Jehoiakim hastily shifted goal posts and re-claimed allegiance to them, which earned Nebuchadnezzar’s scorn. In the Antiquities of the Jews, book 5, chapter 6 part 3, Josephus wrote that Nebuchadnezzar killed Jehoiakim (in 598 B.C.) and other Jewish elites and commanded that his body be thrown before the walls with no burial.
Jewish exiles began under King Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C., which is around the time when Daniel and his friends were taken into Babylonian captivity. More Hebrews were exiled in 586 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed their Temple. For seventy years, they were without a Temple, until around 516/515 B.C. when they rebuilt it.
In Daniel 9:2, Daniel recounted Jeremiah’s fulfilled prophecy:
“In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Following the “writing on the wall” incident around 539 B.C., the final Babylonian King Belshazzar was killed and Cyrus the Great of Persia took control of the land. He soon issued a decree to rebuild the Jewish Temple. As building of Jerusalem progressed, the Hebrews returned to Jerusalem.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.”
King Darius the Mede co-reigned with his relative King Cyrus the Persian. In Daniel 8:20, Daniel calls our attention to the alliance between the Medes and Persians, which corresponds to his prophetic dream about the ram with two horns.
In Antiquities of the Jews Book 6, chapter 1, Josephus recorded as follows: “In the first year of the reign of Cyrus; which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon; (2) God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people: according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the Prophet, before the destruction of the city; that after they had served Nebuchadnezzar, and his posterity; and after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, he would restore them again to the land of their fathers; and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity. And these things God did afford them. For he stirred up the mind of Cyrus, and made him write thus throughout all Asia: ‘Thus saith Cyrus the King: since God Almighty hath appointed me to be King of the habitable earth, I believe that He is that God, which the nation of the Israelites worship. For indeed he foretold my name by the Prophets, and that I should build him an house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.’”
The prophet Jeremiah further prophesied that the Lord raised up kings of the Medes to destroy Babylon and that Persia (called Elam) would rule the land but their time would also come to an end. He wrote these prophecies decades and centuries prior to the two events at the “beginning of the reign of Zedekiah of Judah.” Zedekiah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to be the king between 597 and 586, when the 1st Jewish Temple was destroyed.
Around 400 years before the time of Christ, the prophet Malachi (3:1) prophesied that the Lord we are seeking, the messenger of the covenant, would come to His Temple. The Temple in his time was the second one, which was erected around 516/515 B.C. The 2nd Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D. by the Romans, which led to the Jewish diaspora. So we know the Lord, the Messiah, and our Savior appeared prior to 70 A.D. Hallelujah: our Savior Jesus Christ made good on Malachi’s prophecies when He preached in the Temple and taught us to love the Lord above all else and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Only God knows the future, so fulfilled prophecies are evidence of His existence. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies, which were fulfilled during the time of the prophets who lived then or by Jesus. Bless the Lord. He loves us.
 Isaiah 44:26-28
 Jeremiah 25:9-12
 Their dual reign is noted in the Bible and in the Jewish Midrash. Jastrow Jr., M., Price, I.M., Jastrow, M., and Speaker, H.M. (2002-2021). Belshazzar. https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2846-belshazzar
 Daniel 5
 Harper, W.R. (1899). The return of the Jews from exile. The Biblical World, 14(3): 157-163.
 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 6:1-5)
 Daniel mentions Cyrus also in 1:21 to date the point when he left exile and in 10:1 to date when he received a vision.
 Jeremiah 51:11
 Jeremiah 49:39-49
 Jeremiah 49:34
 2 Chronicles 36:10