Bible Prophecies Compared

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The Creation Concept


Foes of the saints

Assault on the church

The scriptures


Geography and environment


Saints tried

Saints restored

Astronomical signs

Judgment of Christ's enemies


Several biblical prophecies are compared in the tables presented below. The entries are references to shared elements in two or more prophecies in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, the Olivet Discourse of Jesus, and of Revelation. Links to the scriptures referenced are provided.

Like the parables of Jesus about the kingdom of God, which present great truths from different points of view, the prophecies considered here all seem to depict the great end time conflict between God and the nations. These prophecies may appear, on the surface, to be disconnected, and even somewhat contradictory, as the events described are said to occur in different locations. But they are described as unique, unprecedented events, and they occur at the end of the age, in a unique time period. And many of them involve all the people of the earth.

Patrick Fairbairn warned that embracing a literal interpretation of the Gog Magog invasion would introduce a contradiction with other prophecies about the end time conflict. He wrote:

Further, on the ground of a literal description, there is the collateral consideration, of its becoming utterly impossible to make out a prophetical harmony; the prophets in that case do not mutually confirm, but, on the contrary, oppose and contradict each other. Here the great controversy, which finally adjudges the cause of heathendom, is represented as taking issue on the mountains of Israel, and covering the whole land with the slain. In Isaiah xxxiv., we have, to all appearance, the same controversy--the controversy of the Lord's judgment upon Zion's adversaries, when his indignation was to be "upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies"--determined upon the mountains of Edom. In Joel, again, it takes place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, or the valley of decision (chap. iii. 12, 14); and in Zechariah (chap, xiv.) in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, as also in the Apocalypse (chap, xx.) around the camp of the saints and the beloved city. Thus we have three or four distinct localities, each represented as the scene of a last conflict, ending in a final triumph to the cause of God over the leagued hostility of the world. If held to be literal descriptions, they of course mutually destroy one another; for the localities being different (as also many of the accompanying circumstances), they must either be ideal delineations under various aspects of what was to happen, or they are literal and contradictory descriptions. [Ezekiel and the book of his prophecy: an exposition, by Patrick Fairbairn. T. & T. Clark, 1855 p. 423-423]

As Fairbairn showed, several different prophecies describe the scene of a last conflict, and give various locations for it. John evidently puts those diverse prophecies together, and tells us that they all speak of the conflict between the world, and the church. The church is "the camp of the saints," and the "beloved city" in Revelation 20:8-9. The people who come against it are those who are deceived, in all parts of the world.

There are other points of comparison between Ezekiel 38-39, and the last few chapters of Revelation. John's use of the very unique labels, "Gog and Magog," proves he referred to Ezekiel's prophecy.

The apparent contradictions between several prophecies can be resolved, by correctly interpreting the symbols that the prophets employed. These interpretations must be based on scripture. The prophets used the language of parable, and metaphor, and many of their figures were derived from Israel's history, and geography, and so include references to Israel's enemies, such as Edom in the prophecy of Isaiah 34. They also referred to such things as geographic locations, landforms, including mountains, rivers, and seas, as well as symbolic time periods. The identity of the people involved in the end time events is often symbolic. The apostle John's interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy of the invasion by the hordes of Gog and Magog provides an example, or a pattern.

Copyright © 2011, 2013 by Douglas E. Cox
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