“I am the LORD, who makes all things…Who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” – ISAIAH 44: 24-28
Prophecies prove that the Bible is more than a matter of manuscripts manufactured by man. They convincingly point to the fact that God and God alone is the source of Scripture; and we have a prime example of this in the prophecy above from the Book of Isaiah.
A bit of background is needed in order to fully appreciate this prophecy. Approximately 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah delivered this message to the Jewish community living in Jerusalem. At the time, the city of Jerusalem, as well as the Temple located within its walls, was fully intact. But Isaiah’s prophecy predicted that both the city and the Temple would be rebuilt (implying they would be destroyed), and that God would use a man named Cyrus to make this proclamation.
Keep in mind that Jerusalem and the Temple were still standing when Isaiah shared this, so he was really going out on a limb to say they would be rebuilt – and that a man named Cyrus would make it happen!
Roughly a century later, the Babylonian Empire invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the city as well as the Temple, and carried the majority of its Jewish population away into captivity to Babylon. Seventy years after that, the Medo-Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians. As this transfer of power took place, the Medo-Persian King declared the Jewish captives would be free to return to the city of Jerusalem and to rebuild it along with the Temple. Amazingly, the name of the king who allowed them to do this was Cyrus! All of this is a matter of historical record.
Isaiah’s prophecy, given over a century and a half earlier, was perfectly fulfilled right down to the Cyrus’ name. That’s something only God could have known and revealed to Isaiah, and its prophecies like this which put an exclamation point on the Bible’s unrivaled authority and reliability.