The current situation in the world makes us anxiously think about the future. About what awaits us. What tomorrow will be like.
Future…. From ancient times to modern times, the history of all mankind is filled with various prophecies and predictions. But how true are they all, and have any of the prophecies really come true?
The famous Vanga
The most vivid example in the history of the 20th century. – is, of course, Vangelia Pandeva Gushtereva (1911-1996), or simply Vanga. A blind clairvoyant who lived in Bulgaria. Personally, I’m a very mysterious person. Some consider her almost a saint, others a fraud. It’s debatable who Vanga really was. But to this day, her predictions are still being discussed both on television and on the internet.
After studying Vanga’s biography in detail, I was surprised that she didn’t actually make global prophecies. Vanga was only limited to private appointments with people. Still, she is credited with predicting Stalin’s death, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the sinking of the submarine cruiser Kursk, and more.
If we open any search engine and type in the name of this famous prophetess, we will see references to her predictions regarding 2023, 2024, etc. This suggests that the uncertainty of our future is worrying us; and in thinking about what lies ahead, I personally hope to hear a positive outlook.
But Vanga was not the only soothsayer.
The next famous soothsayer is Michel de Notre Dame (1503-1566), a French physician, alchemist, and astrologer better known as Nostradamus. His most famous work includes 10 centuria (942 catrines) in which he predicts the future for centuries to come. Despite the fact that Nostradamus made serious errors in astrological calculations, his centuria have been translated into many languages and the katrens are still deciphered today.
Most of Nostradamus’ predictions relate to the reigns of the French kings Henry II and Philip II, who ruled in the 16th century. But there are also katrens that can be attributed to Suvorov’s crossing of the Alps, to the events of the French Revolution, the 1917 Revolution and the Second World War. After reading them all, some of Nostradamus’ prophecies seemed very vague and vague to me. I realize how fundamentally difficult they are to interpret. Often his predictions become clear after any of the historical events have occurred. Like, for example, catrenes IX 50 and IX 51, which speak of barbaric terror, of how “fire, water and steel” will unite against the red sects, but “on the verge of death are those who have conspired.” These lines are addressed to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
There are prophecies of Nostradamus that have not yet been deciphered, so we only have to wait for events and further comparisons.
But let’s go further back in time.
Ancient Greece and the Delphic Oracle
The famous sanctuary in Delphi at the foot of Mount Parnassus existed since the Mycenaean culture (about II millennium BC), and the heyday of the oracle falls on the VII-V centuries BC. In the temple itself the divinations were made by the Pythia, a priestess who, after performing a ritual ablution, put on golden robes, a laurel wreath and descended into the sacred room (aditon). There she drank from the spring, chewed laurel, and, sitting on a tripod, inhaled the vapors that came from a crack in the rock. Entering a trance, the Pythia began to speak, and her phrases were recorded and interpreted by the priests.
She and the other Delphic oracles were consulted on the most important political and military issues. Their importance and influence extended not only to the ancient Greeks, but also to their neighbors, such as the Etruscans and Lydians. The Pythia predicted to the Lydian king Croesus that by starting a war he would destroy a great kingdom. Indeed, Croesus started a war against the Persians and lost. To Alexander the Great’s father Philip, she predicted that he would fight with silver spears. Philip was one of the first to mint gold coins and, through money, subjugated many Greek cities. And Alexander himself was told by the oracle that he was invincible.
Despite these coincidences, there are contemporaries’ accounts of bribing priestesses to give the “right” divinations. And this brings the Delphic Oracle’s predictions into question: were they really true?
The prophecies of the scriptures
Speaking of prophecy, one cannot help but touch upon the most ancient writings. This is a very interesting topic, the study of which is dealt with by separate disciplines – exegetics and hermeneutics.
The books of the Prophets, and the most common predictions in them, are of concern to many people, both religious and atheist.
8 The Books of the Prophets are divided into the Early Prophets – more historical in nature – and the Late Prophets – with more preachy content. The most popular ones, in my opinion, are the book of Isaiah (Yeshayahu), the book of Jeremiah (Yirmiyahu), the book of the prophet Ezekiel, and the book of the prophet Daniel.
But what about the content? Here are some interesting prophecies.
The dream of King Nebuchadnezzar II, or the prophecy of the statue in the book of Daniel. The king had a dream about a statue with a head of gold, arms and breast of silver, belly and thighs of brass, shins of iron, and part of the legs of iron and part of clay. In the dream, the stone that breaks the statue becomes a large mountain that covers the whole world. And further, the prophet Daniel interprets the king’s dream. The golden head is the Babylonian Empire (605-539 BC), the reign of Nebuchadnezzar himself, the silver chest and arms are the division of the kingdom and the Mido-Persian Empire from 539 to 331 BC. (“your kingdom is divided and given to the Persians and the Midians”). The Copper Thighs are the “third kingdom” of the ancient Greeks and the conquest by Alexander the Great 331-168 BC. (“the kingdom that rules over the whole world”). Tibiae of iron is the rule of the Roman Empire from 168 BC. to 476 AD. But the partly iron and partly clay feet symbolize a divided kingdom that will never be reunited. And that kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. Interesting, isn’t it? The prophet who lived during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar foretold the entire subsequent history of his lands.
The books of the prophets speak of many things. Of the destruction of the Phoenician city of Tyre and the further migration of its people to other lands (Book of Isaiah and Book of Ezekiel). About the fall of the city of Babylon at the hands of King Cyrus. Incidentally, this prophecy was recorded in 732 BC. and fulfilled 200 years later. The most interesting thing is that it happened exactly as Isaiah detailed. In yet another prediction, the prophet wrote that the city would become desolate and no one would settle in it. And in fact – all that is left of Babylon now are ruins.
The Book of Ezekiel details that Egypt would become a “weak kingdom” – and it did indeed turn out to be so.
The books of the Prophets are a treasure trove, for those interested in predictions. Because there are still prophecies that have not come to pass at this time.
For example, the Book of Isaiah says that the time will come when we will resheathe our swords into plowshares and our spears into garden shears, and “the people will not lift up the sword, nor will they learn to fight any more.”
Do you think this prediction will come true? After all, how much war and suffering has already been endured in human history – we still don’t have enough. Seeing the current world situation, one wonders when we will really decide to re-sheathe our swords. How much more pain and hatred must be poured out until we have had enough of this horror and decide to end it all ourselves?
As I searched for answers to these questions, I realized that we are not yet ready for a world where love trumps hate and harmony replaces war.
But there remains a small ray of hope. That we will come to the realization that wars, cruelty and hatred between people are not good for humanity. And then creation and peace will guide people towards a prosperous and harmonious future.
Will Isaiah’s prophecy come true? My answer is that it’s up to us.