Around the 8th century B.C., the major prophet of the Jewish Scriptures, Isaiah, made a good number of prophecies that concerned his own existence as a Judean under Assyrian rule in the 8th century B.C. Many of his prophecies would be fulfilled over a hundred years later when Babylon overtook Assyria – and then after that when the Medo-Persian kingdom captured Babylon. He even prophesied the fall of Solomon’s great Temple, which occurred in 586 B.C. under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and the way the Babylons would take the Hebrews into exile. These events occurred in the 6th century, B.C. Isaiah is one of the greatest prophets in the Jewish and Christian faiths for MANY good reasons. He gave ancient people hope and spoke of the truth in our LORD and of His love and sacrifices for us. See Isaiah 53, if you’d like details on the latter.
But that’s not all! People often demand specific prophecies. Isaiah specifically named the king who would redeem the Hebrews in the 6th century B.C.: Cyrus. Cyrus freed the Hebrews from exile and decreed their return from Babylon to Jerusalem (which was hundreds of miles and ~4 months walking distance away) so they could rebuild Solomon’s Temple.
Such specific prophecies give modern scholars who lean against God many reasons to claim later dating in the Bible, which I’ll be addressing in an upcoming book on Isaiah and have addressed in prior blogs. The bottom line is their presuppositions have clouded their rationality on this topic. Traditional Jewish and Christian views have always supported the original dating and sole authorship of Isaiah – all the way up until the 18th century when scholars in Western Europe began positing ways they could overcome Isaiah’s fulfilled prophecies by claiming the words were written at the same time they were fulfilled. And I’m not hating on those European scholars culturally, because I’m also of their blood. But they have failed us because they have discounted ALL ancient voices (Jesus, John, Paul, Josephus, Jeremiah, Ezra, etc.) to simply claim that Isaiah was multiply authored over centuries! They claim ancient and anonymous “editors” added major portions to MULTIPLE copies of their sacred texts over centuries and HUGE geographic spans; no one noticed or complained; and the works that people had memorized in an oral culture had to be re-memorized to suit the new (and massive) “additions,” such as chapters 40-66 of Isaiah! The Deutero Isaiah theory posits that chapters 40-66 were inserted by unnamed authors over decades. It’s completely absurd. I’m hoping modern scholars will debunk this. The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated ancient authorial intent for legitimacy and not sloppy insertions by anonymous authors over centuries. They were discovered in the 1940s and they correlate well with the texts we have today.
To fully grasp the absurdity of strange insertions, imagine yourself in the 6th century B.C. in Judea sitting next to two Jewish priests:
“Reverend Moshe, please tell me you’ve kept your scriptures updated. They change like the wind, you know. Your reading today must be at least 2 years old. You only mentioned Isaiah’s history (chapters 1-39). I heard that our new edition has MUCH MORE to it! Some unnamed guy slipped it in ALL of our sacred scrolls and it has MANY more verses! I don’t know how that random guy pulls this off. He must be working with a committee. They somehow root out ALL of the copies of ALL of the scrolls across the entire region and thousands of miles to insert his verses in our margins yearly. How he hits hundreds of scribes’ homes, our homes, our synagogues, and the Temple without a trace is miraculous indeed. It is the work of the LORD! NOW we know that there will be a Suffering Servant, a king named Cyrus, and End Times. Oh wait. The new references to Cyrus must be about our current king Cyrus! How clever of the inserter to add Cyrus’ name. He’s planning ahead….wants to dupe our children into thinking we have a named prophecy!
One of the originators of the “Deutero Isaiah” theory, Bernhard Duhm, posited that people inserted a massive amount of text into the scriptures in the margins of the Jewish scrolls.
If you doubt why they’re doing this, please read the honest admission of Ulrich Berges in 2010 in Old Testament Essays or many others. They can’t handle the truth of prophecies and God. I’ve explained these problems in previous blogs and won’t bore you now. I have better information to share in coming blogs. These include the ancient people who protested against this insanity, such as Josephus, the author of Kings, 2 Chronicles, and in the New Testament by JESUS, Paul, Luke, and John. See my previous blogs for examples of those references (such as Acts 8, John 12, and Josephus’ “Antiquities of the Jews”) or their admitted biases.
But to leave this blog on a positive note, I’ve quoted a few of Isaiah’s many prophecies. Enjoy!
Babylonian Destruction of Assyria (~ 609 B.C.)
“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.” (Isaiah 14: 24-25)
“‘And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man; and a sword, not of man, shall devour him; and he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be put to forced labor. His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic,’ declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 31:8-9)
“Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘There will be peace and security in my days.’” (Isaiah 39:5-8)
“And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.” (Isaiah 37:36-38)
Another prophet in the years to follow Isaiah’s time was Jeremiah (650 and 570 B.C.) He predicted that the Hebrews would serve Babylon for seventy years. When did this seventy-year period begin? It may have begun 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. Or it could have begun when the first Hebrews were exiled (including Daniel the prophet) following Nebuchadnezzar’s victory in Carchemish over Egypt and Assyria in 605 B.C.
“Behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.” (Jeremiah 25:9-12)
Upon Assyrian defeat, Egypt and Babylonia struggled to gain power over those in the Levant by engaging 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. Judah was highly desirable to both nations. Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt exercised his power by choosing a king of Judah in 609 B.C.: Jehoiakim. Around 605, Nebuchadnezzar’s army defeated the Egyptians at the Battle of Carchemish, so Jehoiakim switched allegiance to the Babylonians. That same year, Daniel and his friends were taken into captivity, which is one reason why some have used this date to start the first of three exiles under Babylon. The other two were in 597 B.C. and 586 B.C. Jehoiakim’s allegiance didn’t last very long. A few years later, the Egyptians won in battle, so Jehoiakim hastily shifted positions and re-claimed allegiance to Egypt, which infuriated Nebuchadnezzar. In the Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus wrote that Nebuchadnezzar slew Jehoiakim (in 599 B.C.) and other Jewish elites and commanded that his body be thrown before the walls with no burial.
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 – the Second Temple.
Babylonian Destruction of the First Temple (586 B.C.)
“Your holy people held possession for a little while; our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary [the First Temple]. We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name.” (Isaiah 63:18-19)
“Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.” (Isaiah 64:10-11)
Mede and Persian Rise to Power (539 B.C.)
“Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.” (Isaiah 13:17-19)
“Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans!” (Isaiah 47:1) …”But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.” (Isaiah 47:11)
“For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.” (Isaiah 14:1-2)
“‘I will rise up against them,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. ‘And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 40:20-23)
“’I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 45:13)
In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus recounted how Jeremiah had conveyed specific prophecies (which originated in Isaiah) about the fate of Jerusalem, along with his own prophecies on the Persians and Medes and the 70 years of exile.
“Now as soon as the King of Babylon was departed from Jerusalem, the false prophets deceived Zedekiah, and said, that ‘The King of Babylon would not any more make war against him or his people; nor remove them out of their own country into Babylon: and that those then in captivity would return, with all those vessels of the temple, of which the King of Babylon had despoiled that temple.’ But Jeremiah came among them, and prophesied what contradicted those predictions, and what proved to be true: that ‘They did ill, and deluded the King; that the Egyptians would be of no advantage to them; but that the King of Babylon would renew the war against Jerusalem, and besiege it again, and would destroy the people by famine; and carry away those that remained into captivity; and would take away what they had as spoils, and would carry off those riches that were in the temple. Nay that, besides this, he would burn it, [Isaiah 64:10-11] and utterly overthrow the city; and that they should serve him and his posterity seventy years. That then the Persians and the Medes should put an end to their servitude, and overthrow the Babylonians; and that we shall be dismissed, and return to this land, [Isaiah 45:13] and rebuild the Temple, [Isaiah 44:28] and restore Jerusalem. [Isaiah 45:13]’”
Other prophecies about rebuilding the Temple came about after this period of time by Ezekiel (40:48) who dated his prophecy in the 25th year of exile and 14 years after the city Jerusalem was struck down (572 B.C.), and Haggai and Zechariah.
“Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.”
Scholars have questioned how the prophets like Daniel (around 540 B.C.), Haggai, and Zechariah (around 520 B.C.) knew the prophesied times of the return from exile or rebuilding of the Temple would arrive when they did. “The obvious answer would be that God told the prophets, who in turn announced it to the people. But to accept this answer would be tantamount to admitting the efficacy of prophetic revelation, a thing that a modern, rational scholar can hardly do. Although this answer would be perfectly acceptable to the ancient, believing mind, and no further reason need to be sought, searching for a rational, non-inspired impetus does, nevertheless, yield some interesting results which should be pursued.” In fact, Hurowitz, the author of this text, made it clear that he was “trying to find a rational, non-inspired basis to Haggai’s prophecy.” At issue is the “rationalist” can’t stomach the truth of our lives, which are infused with spiritual battles.
Jeremiah prophesied at the “beginning of the reign of Zedekiah of Judah that the LORD would bring back the captives of Elam (Persia). Zedekiah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to be the king between 597 and 586, when the First Jewish Temple was destroyed.
In Daniel 9:2, the prophet Daniel recounted Jeremiah’s fulfilled prophecy: “In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.”
“’And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!’ And he answered, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.’ O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you.’” (Isaiah 20:9-10)
“Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: ‘I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.” (Isaiah 45:1-5)
King Darius the Mede co-reigned with his relative King Cyrus the Persian. In Daniel 8:20, Daniel called our attention to the alliance between the Medes and Persians, which corresponds to his prophetic dream about the ram with two horns.
Following the “writing on the wall” incident around 539 B.C., the final Babylonian King Belshazzar was killed and the reign of Medo-Persia began. By around 537 B.C., King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree to rebuild the Jewish Temple and some Hebrews began to return to Jerusalem. In 535 B.C., they laid the first foundation of the 2nd Temple.
“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.’” (Ezra 1:1-2)
“In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the Lord will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:12-13)
When a prophet is able to prophesy a specific event years before it happens, it suggests advanced knowledge, which none of us have. Only God knows. Only God prophesies. We should worship our only LORD and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He LOVES US. And these are just a sampling of Isaiah and our other prophets. Please subscribe to me on YouTube for more. https://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianApologist/about
I’m also writing a book on Isaiah, which I’ll provide free if anyone so desires.
Bless the LORD oh my soul. Worship His holy name.
 Jeremiah 25:9-12
 Josephus. F. Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 6, Section 3. English translation provided by the University of Chicago at https://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/ant-10.html
 Jeremiah 51:11
 Jeremiah 49:39-49
 Josephus, F. Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 6. English translation provided by the University of Chicago at: https://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/ant-10.html
 Haggai 1:8
 Hurowitz, V.A. (2003). Review: Restoring the Temple: Why and when? The Jerusalem Quarterly Review, 93(3/4), 581-591.
 Hurowitz, V.A. (2003). Review: Restoring the Temple: Why and when? The Jerusalem Quarterly Review, 93(3/4), 581-591.
 Jeremiah 49:34
 2 Chronicles 36:10
 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. Some scholars believe Darius the Mede was Cyaxares II as small details in their lives align very closely. Xenophon wrote about Cyaxares II in Cyropaedia. For more details, see Young, R.C. (2021). Xenophon’s Cyaxares: Uncle of Cyrus, friend of Daniel. Journal of Evangelical Theological Studies, 64 (2), 265-285.
 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)