As Birds Flying
Jerusalem, 1917 - One of the most amazing events of our times!
In these days, when on the one hand, unbelief and disregard for the Bible message are widespread, while on the other hand, so many signs point to the near return of our Lord, it is vital that we face up to the irrefutable evidence of this fulfilled prophecy, as a
"light that shineth in a dark place..." (2 PETER 1:19).
It is because of this indisputable proof that the writer continues to feel constrained to draw attention to Jerusalem, 1917. God's promise, given more than 2,600 years before the event, was fulfilled in the exact manner -
"As birds flying" - indicated by ISAIAH 31:5; in the exact year, 1917, foretold by DANIEL 12:12, and on the exact day given by HAGGAI 2:18-20.
To those with eyes to see and ears to hear, this great event, probably the greatest since Pentecost, proclaims that God is working His purpose out and the time for the Lord's Return is drawing near (MATTHEW 25:13).
Jerusalem, the most famous city in the world, was delivered from its centuries long domination by the Turks, on the 9th-11th December, 1917, by British forces under the command of General Allenby.
In the book 'Light For The Last Days' by Dr. Grattan Guinness (written in 1886), he pointed out that the one thousand three hundred and thirty five days of DANIEL 12:12 (on the prophetic scale given in NUMBERS 14:34 and EZEKIEL 4:6 -
"each day for a year") were due to expire in 1917. Turning to the Book of Daniel we find that chapter nine records Daniel's prayer concerning his home-town Jerusalem, and his own people of Judah. Therefore the 'blessing' evidently indicated something good for Jerusalem in 1917.
Here we have fulfilment indeed. The city, as we know, was delivered. The oppressor was driven out, and a new epoch for both city and people commenced in A.D.1917 (The Moslem year - 1335) as had been foretold nearly twenty-five centuries before.
The date opposite 1917 is the Arabic for 1335.
The table below presents a comparison of the Arabic numerical system (on the top line), with our modern international numeric system (below).
The writer felt led to apply the prophetic scale "each day for a year" to the other two time measures given in DANIEL 12:7-11. Commencing with the rise of the desolating Moslem power (A.D. 622), and using the lunar year measure, the complete result was as follows:
|A.D. 622||Verse 7||Verse 11||Verse 12|
and a half
(i.e. 1260 days)
|1290 days||1335 days|
|A.D. 1844||A.D. 1873||A.D. 1917|
The year 1844 is at once recognised as being the year in which the Powers compelled the Sultan of Turkey to sign the Decree of Toleration, abolishing the death penalty for conversion from Mohammedanism.
This was a definite stage in breaking the power of Islam. The question immediately arose: what was the significance of the year 1873? The answer was found in a book entitled 'A Short History Of The Jewish People' by Cecil Roth. Writing of the origin of the modern anti-Jewish movement in Germany towards the last quarter of the nineteenth century, he shows that the movement owes its inception to the year 1873.
The Exact Day
Even more remarkable is the fact that the actual day of the month on which the Holy City was delivered is very definitely marked in the inspired message of the prophet Haggai. A message of blessing is brought to God's people by Haggai (HAGGAI 2:15-18); it was given on the four and twentieth day of the ninth month. The ninth month of the Hebrew year is Kislev. Therefore, we may recognise here again the finger of God in the deliverance of Jerusalem, when we find that it occurred on the exact date of the blessing foretold through Haggai twenty-four centuries beforehand; for in 1917 the 24th Kislev fell on December 9th.
Furthermore, all Jewish days begin at the previous sunset, and from the beginning of 24th Kislev (sunset on December 8, 1917), and all through the night, Turkish troops were evacuating the Holy City.
By early morning all had gone, and soon after 8 a.m. on December 9th (24th Kislev), the Mayor of Jerusalem and a small party, under a white flag, were seen coming from the Holy City to surrender the keys of the city to the British commander.
Divine foreknowledge alone can account for these facts. There is another curious fact concerning this event, which emphasises God's over-ruling power. The Turks had a saying which seems to remind us of the incident recorded in 2 KINGS 7:1-18, where the 'impossible' happened. In their boast that the sword of Islam should hold sway over the land, they used the words to imply the impossibility of overthrowing their domination, saying, "When the waters of the Nile flow into Palestine, then will a prophet of the Lord come and drive the Turks out of this land," signifying that as surely as it was impossible for the waters of the Nile to flow across the many miles of desert to Palestine, so it was impossible that men could drive them out.
The 'impossible' happened those centuries ago at the gate of Samaria and the 'impossible' happened in this case. In order to supply our troops crossing the desert, the waters of the Nile were brought by a pipe-line, which they laid under the Suez Canal and across the desert. Not only this, but the great leader who drove the Turks out was named Allenby, which in its Arabic version became 'Allah-en-Nebi', or 'prophet of God'.
Christian apologists, and preachers, sometimes tell us that one cannot prove the existence of God - one can only believe; but here we have accumulated evidence which demonstrates conclusively, not only the existence, but the omniscience and Almighty Power of God, as well as the truth and exactitude of His written Word, the Bible.
Source: 'As Birds Flying' by J.M.Stears, Covenant Books, London, 1991.