Prophecy, which is true, is a statement of facts and events foretold to take place at some future time. Otherwise stated, prophecy is history written before it transpires.
No human mind could actually foretell facts or events to happen in the future. Only the divine mind could do that. If, then, we find that the Bible foretold certain facts and events to happen and the record of the same was made centuries before these facts and events did happen, and these events and facts are now definitely established as having taken place, such would be the strongest proof that the persons recording such facts and events were directed in so doing by the divine mind; hence that such writing was under divine inspiration.
As an illustration of this point: Wireless telegraphy and airships are modern discoveries; yet since they have been discovered we find that God, through his holy prophets, foretold centuries ago the use of such inventions. (Job 38:35; Isaiah 60:8) The railway train has been in use less than a hundred years; and yet the prophet of God many centuries ago gave a clear and particular description of the railway train and the manner of its operation, and prophesied that the same would be in vogue at the time of the end, at the time the Lord is making preparation for the establishment of his kingdom. (Nahum 2:3-6) And he also foretold that at that time there would be a great running to and fro by other means of transportation, such as automobiles, electric cars, etc. (Daniel 12:4) There is no one living in modern times who is wiser than Solomon; yet during the past 125 years there has been a great development in invention and a marvelous increase of knowledge; because it is due time, and because the prophets of God centuries ago foretold that such would come to pass.
Through his holy prophets God foretold that at a time future there would come into the world a mighty man; that he would be born a Jew (Deuteronomy 18:15), specifying the place where he would be born (Micah 5:2); that he would come to his own people and they would not receive him; that he would be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:1-3); that he would ride into Jerusalem upon an ass, the foal of a like animal, and offer himself as king to the Jews (Zechariah 9:9); that he would be rejected by the Jews (Isaiah 53:3); that he would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12); that he would die, but not for himself (Daniel 9:26); that there would be no just cause for his death (Isaiah 53:8,9,11); that nevertheless he would be numbered among the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12); that he would die a violent death, yet not a bone of his body should be broken (Psalm 34:20); that his flesh would not corrupt, and that he would arise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)—all of which and many more similar prophecies were completely fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth, the great Teacher who lived about and died at Jerusalem. Later we will examine the Scriptures proving a further fulfillment of all these prophecies.