Many Bible prophecies have multiple fulfillments
By Craig C. White
Many Bible prophecies have multiple fulfillments. Here are a few examples.
In the verse below, the Prophet Hosea recounts Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. That was a big event but it was also prophetic.
Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
In Matthew we are told that Hosea’s words also apply to Jesus Christ when he was a young boy. Jesus and his parents fled out of Israel to Egypt when King Herod tried to kill all the young boys in Bethlehem. A few years later Jesus returned to the land of Israel from Egypt.
Mat 2:14-15 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
I think that there is also a future fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy. At Jesus Christ’s second coming Jesus won’t immediately land on the Mount of Olives like so many teach. But God will once again call his son out of Egypt. I think that Jesus Christ’s path of vengeance will follow the same trail that the people of Israel took as they escaped out of Egypt. Read my commentary titled “Revelation Wrath Path”.
The Prophet Daniel predicted the coming of an evil ruler who would put a stop to the temple sacrifices in Jerusalem. In 167 BC the Grecian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled this prophecy by attacking Jerusalem and stopping the Jewish sacrifices in order to make sacrifices to himself as God. Daniel 12:11 calls this event the “abomination that maketh desolate”. However in Matthew chapter 24 we are told that the “abomination of desolation” is also a future event.
Dan 8:11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Sometime in the near future a new temple will be built in Jerusalem and animal sacrifices will resume. At the beginning of Jerusalem’s great tribulation (Mat 24:21) the Antichrist will attack Jerusalem, kill or capture many of the Jews living there, and then put an end to the temple sacrifices by defiling the temple. Just for your information, a 3D rendering of the new temple can now be seen on Google maps.
Mat 24:15-16 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
The Prophet Isaiah predicted the destruction of Damascus Syria. The Assyrian Empire did conquer Damascus in 734 BC. Some Bible teachers say that that was the complete fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. The Assyrians conquered Damascus and burned several towns nearby but the city of Damascus was not completely destroyed. Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Damascus has never been reduced to rubble so this prophecy evidently still has a future fulfillment.
Isa 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
One hundred years after the Assyrians conquered Damascus the Prophet Jeremiah gave another prediction about the destruction of Damascus. Obviously this prophecy could not apply to the Assyrian conquest of Damascus since it was given much later.
Jer 49:24-25 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!
Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Damascus in 605 BC but he did not destroy the city. The prophecies about the destruction of Damascus, Syria do have partial fulfillment in ancient history but they have not been completely fulfilled yet. The utter destruction of Damascus is still future. Today the neighborhoods and towns around Damascus have been reduced to rubble. It seems likely that one day soon the neighborhood called “Old Damascus” will be also become a ruinous heap. Read my commentary titled “Old Damascus neighborhood must be destroyed”.
There are many more examples where Bible prophecy has multiple fulfillments. Here are a couple of other instances that I believe have been overlooked up until now. The Prophet Nahum predicted the flooding and destruction of the Assyrian capital city of Nineveh. Nineveh was flooded and thoroughly plundered in 612 BC. Today the ruins of ancient Nineveh lay within the city limits of Mosul in northern Iraq. Mosul is the hometown and headquarters of ISIS. ISIS is attempting to recreate the Assyrian Empire. The Prophet Nahum said that the Assyrian Empire would not rise a second time. Today the Mosul dam is in danger of bursting. The Prophet Nahum may also predict the flooding of ISIS in Mosul. Read my commentary titled “The End of ISIS is near!”
Beginning in 734 BC the Assyrian Empire conquered Damascus Syria and then invaded northern Israel. I think that these ancient battles are models for the future destruction of Damascus and the following Turkish led invasion into Israel that is described in Ezekiel chapter 38. Every nation that Ezekiel 38:5 says will be led into Israel is now fighting in the Golan Heights of Syria. The Turkish Army has already entered Syria. Turkish President Erdogan has confirmed his intentions to remove Syrian President Assad from power in Damascus. Also the UN has told Israel that they must give the Golan Heights back to Syria. Jeremiah 49:23-27 describes an invasion into northwestern Syria coming from the Turkish border. Turkey will destroy Damascus and then lead an invasion into the Golan Heights of Israel soon. Read my commentary titled “Magog Made Easy!”
Many Bible prophecies have multiple fulfillment’s.
3 thoughts on “Many Bible prophecies have multiple fulfillments”
It is Machine of Time.
History repeats itself until the complete fulfillment of the prophecy.
One of my Old Testament prophecy teachers once said, ” A prophet brings a special message for a special people at a special time,” and ” The duty of a prophet is to remind God’s people in a particular generation what it means to be the people of God.” All of God’s Word is meant to speak of past, present, and future generations. That is the miracle of the Bible, the message never becomes irrelevant no matter what generation it is presented to. Craig, in my 40 + years of studying God’s Word, you are truly one of the few teachers who holds true to the truth that the Bible is the infallible, everlasting rule of faith, and you practice the first rule of biblical interpretation that states “One must interpret scripture with scripture.” Thank, you for pointing out that prophecy has multiple fulfillments such as: The greatest and first prophecy in the Bible, Genesis 3:15. The seed of the woman is continually crushing and defeating the old dragon, Satan. It is time for the anti-dispensationalist to realize that God will use his Word to speak to every generation His Words that never change, or lose relevance. It may not settle well with progressive bible teachers, but God’s Word is really like a broken record that repeats the same truths without changing. As you said to Sergio a few days ago, “Your words will be repeated in God’s oracles someday.” Not because you have presented a new revelation, but rather you have carefully repeated God’s timely word to a new generation.
Blessings to you faithful teacher,
WOW! Thank you David.