(K)not an Enigma…
Greek legend has it that at Gordium, the capital of Phrygia, the chariot of the city’s founder, Gordius, was tied to a pole with a complicated knot, which could be untied only by the future conqueror of Asia.
The Gordian knot was said to be the greatest enigma in the days of Alexander the Great. Wise was the person—and great his conquest—who could unravel that complicated knot. Alexander solved the enigma, so the legend goes, by one slash of his sword.
Man’s predictions (a risky business) vs. God’s Prophecies…
What Is Prophecy?
Prophecy has been defined as the future revealed, events in time recorded before they occur. True prophecy is an inspired message, written or spoken, a revelation of the divine will and purpose. In the Bible are found prophecies regarding the appearance and identity of the Messiah and “the conclusion of the system of things,” as well as judgment messages from God.—Matthew 24:3: “While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”;Daniel 9:25: “You should know and understand that from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Mes·siʹah the Leader, there will be 7 weeks, also 62 weeks. She will be restored and rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in times of distress.”
The “wise men” of today—experts in science, economics, health, politics, environment, and many other fields—attempt to predict the future. Although many of such predictions are highly publicized by the media—and eagerly consumed by the public—they are, at best, educated guesses and personal opinions. In addition, for every opinion expressed, invariably there are numerous opposing opinions and counterarguments. The business of predicting the future is risky indeed.
Source of TRUE Prophecy…
Where, then, do true prophecies originate, and who can interpret them? The apostle Peter wrote: “No prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20) The Greek word for “interpretation” has the meaning “solution, disclosure,” with the idea that “what is thus released or loosed was before bound.” Thus, The Amplified New Testament renders Peter’s words: “No prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal . . . loosening.”
The inspired prophets of old, such as Daniel, did not personally analyze the current trends of their time and then attempt to unravel a complicated future by uttering a prophecy. If they had tried to force the future to unfold in this way, such prophesying would have originated in their own imagination. It would then have been a human prediction, a forecast built upon an imperfect foundation. Instead, Peter went on to explain: “Prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.”—2 Peter 1:21.
In what sense, then, do “interpretations belong to God”? There are a number of ways that this proves to be the case. Some Bible prophecies are recorded along with their fulfillment. These, then, are relatively simple to untie, as are some knots that the sailor freely explains how to undo.—Genesis 18:14; 21:2.
Other prophecies can be explained and unraveled by an examination of the context. The prophet Daniel had a prophetic vision of ‘a ram with two horns’ being decisively struck down by a “hairy he-goat” that had “a conspicuous horn between its eyes.” The context shows that the ram with the two horns represented “the kings of Media and Persia” and the goat, “the king of Greece.” (Daniel 8:3-8, 20-22) More than 200 years later, “the great horn”—Alexander the Great—began his conquest of Persia. The Jewish historian Josephus claimed that during Alexander’s military campaign in the vicinity of Jerusalem, he was shown this very prophecy and believed that it referred to him.
“Interpretations belong to God” also in that he determines and directs when a prophecy is to be understood by his faithful servants on earth. The meaning of a prophecy can be discerned before, during, or after its fulfillment. Since God tied up the prophecies, he will unravel them at the right time—his time.
[…] Finally, according to Daniel 12:4, certain prophecies were to be ‘sealed up’ “until the time of the end,” when, Daniel said, “the true knowledge will become abundant.” We are living in the very time when those prophecies are in the course of fulfillment. [excerpted article: Who Can Interpret Prophecy? w 2011 my colored highlights]
10/4/17 @ 7:07 p.m.