Technology and the Bible, Part 2:
We take passages in the Bible for granted, often failing to recognize the technological advancements that are implied by them. Some of these, in subtle ways, are implied prophecies.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
In the book of Matthew, Jesus indicates that:
Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened;
This is a technology statement. If we were reading this in 1860-before the Civil War-we would have a difficult time anticipating that “all flesh” could wipe itself out with muskets and bayonets! But today a potential nuclear cloud hangs over every geopolitical decision on Planet Earth.
Nuclear weapons appear to be specified in the Magog Invasion in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and neutron bombs are implied in Zechariah 14:12.
“Smart weapons” are implied in Jeremiah 50:9, where:
… their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
The word “arrow” is chets, which can mean a dart, arrow, or javelin; or, “any missile fired from an engine of war.” In the Septuagint, the Greek boli.j can mean anything thrown: a missile, such as an arrow or javelin.
Notice, however, that the adjective clause “as of a mighty expert man” is a descriptor of the arrow, not the shooter of the arrow. The key Hebrew word is sakal, which means prudent, wise, circumspect; with insight and comprehension. It is the arrow itself that has the intelligence! This, indeed, is further emphasized in the final clause: “...none shall return in vain.” They can’t miss! Sounds like “smart weapons”-guided missiles or smart bombs. And this was written over two thousand years ago!
Global TV News Coverage
We take our present world for granted, but several New Testament allusions imply worldwide television coverage of what will then be current events. Jesus instructs “those who are in Judea” to flee to the mountains when they “see” the “Abomination of Desolation” stand in the Holy Place in the Temple (Mt 24:15). This occurs in the Holy of Holies, a place that only the High Priest can enter, only once a year on Yom Kippur. It is not a public place. How can “those who are in Judea” see what is going on inside the Temple? On CNN, of course!
A similar event is the death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation:
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
“People of all kindreds, tongues and nations shall see” what is going on in Jerusalem. We take this for granted, but this was written almost 2,000 years ago!
Global Electronic Funds Transfer
The Coming World Leader-through electronic funds transfer, credit cards, RFID chips, and related technologies of the “cashless society”-will establish himself by his widespread control of the global economy “…that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev 13:17).
Pathways in the Sea
Here is an example of a Biblical reference which led to discovery.
Matthew Fontaine Maury was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1806. As an avid Bible reader, he was struck by the reference in Psalm 8 to “the paths of the seas” (Psalm 8:8). He also noticed that Isaiah wrote of a “path through the mighty waters” (Isaiah 43:16). Are there pathways in the seas? Who could imagine such a thing? The pursuit of this enigma became Maury’s lifetime quest.
He entered the Navy in 1825 as a midshipman. By 1842 he was placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments, out of which grew the U.S. Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office. To gather information on maritime winds and currents, Maury distributed to ship captains specially prepared logbooks from which he compiled pilot charts, enabling him to shorten the time of sea voyages. In 1848 he published maps of the main wind fields of the Earth.
Maury was ultimately able to produce charts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, a profile of the Atlantic seabed, and the first modern oceanographic text. He is internationally recognized as the “Father of Oceanography,” and Maury Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy is named in his honor. All because of a remez, a hint of something deeper, in a verse in the Psalms.
The Meteorological Cycle
Even the most basic understandings of our modern world we take for granted, yet many of these are relatively recent insights which emerged since the 15th century. The basic meteorological cycle was described in the Scriptures.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
Water is heavier than air; how can this be?
For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
Jesus describes an instantaneous event that occurs at night, before breakfast (grinding the day’s meal was a pre-breakfast chore), and during midday:
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Job spoke of the Earth as a “sphere hanging on nothing” (Job 26:7); Isaiah describes it as a sphere (Isaiah 40:22). The Psalmist celebrates even the sun traveling throughout our galaxy, “from one end of heaven to the other” (Psalm 19:6).
Species Digitally Defined
Genesis 1 indicates that each species reproduces only “after its own kind.” We now have discovered that the DNA is a digital code; in fact, a three-out-of-four, error-correcting encryption system. It is so elegant that we are just beginning to understand parts of it. (There is probably less than one engineer in ten thousand that could design a code that even comes close!) We also discover that this very code system is behind all life on Planet Earth: all of it apparently came from the same Designer!
There are numerous examples of technical allusions contained in the Scriptures that preceded the insights of mankind, and that may even reach well beyond the understanding of the average reader; this is but a brief list. For a deeper look, see our newest briefing, Technology & the Bible.