Bible passage: Deuteronomy 28:49-52
Written: As early as 1400 BC
The Bible has several prophecies foretelling the destruction of the land of Israel, including one in the book of Deuteronomy that coincides with the manner in which the Roman army destroyed the land of Israel during the first and second centuries:
"The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down . . . They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down." (Portions of Deuteronomy 28:49-52, NIV translation).
The Romans oppressively ruled over the land of Israel for a century before the Jews waged two wars for independence, the first beginning in 67 AD and the second beginning in about 132 AD. Both wars resulted in great destruction to the land and people of Israel.
An ancient historian named Cassius Dio claimed that the Roman army had razed to the ground 985 villages throughout Israel. If the figure is to believed, then it might be including settlements, along with cities and towns, throughout the land. The writings of Cassius Dio, along with those from Josephus, another first-century historian, indicate that the Roman army's destruction of Israel was very complete.
The prophecy also speaks of an eagle in reference to the army that would swoop down upon Israel and reduce it to a state of desolation. As we learn from historians, including Tacitus who lived during the first century, the Romans marched with standards - poles adorned with the eagle figurines - held high above their heads, as though the eagles were in flight.
Another feature of the prophecy is that it speaks of armies being gathered from the ends of the earth. The Romans had armies scattered throughout parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. To quell the Jewish uprising, some troops had to be called in from as far away as the British Isles.
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Deuteronomy 28:49-52:
49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand,
50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young.
51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined.
52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.
(New International Version translation)