Prophecy is Different from History

“The first point to be considered is the true design of prophecy, and how that design is to be ascertained. Prophecy is very different from history. It is not intended to give us a knowledge of the future, analogous to that which history gives us of the past. This truth is often overlooked. We see interpreters undertaking to give detailed expositions of the prophecies of Isaiah, of Ezekiel, of Daniel, and of the Apocalypse, relating to the future, with the same confidence with which they would record the history of the recent past. Such interpretations have always been falsified by the event. But this does not discourage a certain class of minds, for whom the future has a fascination and who delight in the solution of enigmas, from renewing the attempt.”[1]

[1] Charles Hodge, vol. 3, Systematic Theology (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 790 (originally published in the early 1870s).  (Here is a link to this book at Systematic Theology Vol III.  I was reading it this morning, as the citation indicates, in the Logos Bible Software program on my newMacBook Pro.)