Many people have trouble when reading the Bible as they encounter not simply prophecies therein, but the apparent dogmatic assumption that such foretelling of the future is infallible, non-alterable, and "etched in stone" (so to speak).
They can go along with religious statements of probable history within the entire Bible, the logical and sensible moral precepts, and even proposed plans in Scripture....but the inference accompanying some of the prophecies that such and such will assuredly happen without ANY chance of such NOT happening...is too much for some to tolerate.
To be honest, I myself do not know what I - in fact - am going to do tomorrow, nor do you.
We both have tentative plans pertaining to what we presently think that we would like to do....but when it comes right down to it, who knows what will actually happen tomorrow and beyond that?
Job 17:11 My days are past, my plans are broken off, the desires of my heart.
Psalm 20:4 May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfil all your plans!
Psalm 33:10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
Psalm 55:9 Destroy their plans, Lord, confuse their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city.
Psalm 83:3 They lay crafty plans against Your people; they consult together against Your protected ones.
Psalm 146:4 When his breath departs he returns to his earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:9 A man's mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.
Isaiah 25:1 Oh LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will praise Your name [although not "bless" it, because Hebrews 7:7 states that only a superior one can 'bless' an inferior one, being that inferior ones do not have the authority to bless superior ones - though they can instead merely wish them well]; for You have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Jeremiah 18:12 But they say, "That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart."
Jeremiah 19:7 And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the earth.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Second Corinthians 1:17 Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans like a worldly man, ready to say Yes and No at once?
Holy Writ itself describes such uncertainty:
Second Samuel 12:22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'
Psalm 74:9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.
Joel 2:14 Who knows whether He will not turn and change His mind, and leave a blessing behind Him - a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?
Jonah 3:9 Who knows, God may yet change His mind and turn from His fierce anger, so that we perish not?"
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning plant your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mark 13:33 Take precaution, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.
Mark 13:35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning
James 4:14 ....whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
This also gets us into the subject of foreknowledge and predestination, involved with Divine intentions and corresponding Divinely-directed/guided apportionment:
Acts 2:23 ...this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Acts 4:28 ...to do whatever Your hand and Your counsel determined before to be done.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover, whom He predestined, those He also called [part of that apportionment mentioned previously]; and whom He called, those He also justified; and whom He justified, those He also glorified.
The obvious problem is that predicting the future frequently involves the factor of freewill human choice...and that is why it seems rather ridiculous to prophesy exactly what people will do, when they will do it, how they will do it, how long they will do it....and then - contingent upon all that - what God Himself will then do....depending - again - upon what humankind decides to do and when and how and where and how long.
You see, if the element of freewill-choice human beings was removed from the entire situation, it is understandably easy to accept the capacity of how God the Creator (who is all-knowing and omnipotent beyond anything and everything He has created and made operational) could perfectly make absolutely-certain predictions...knowing everything there is to know about what weather and geophysical phenomena would occur wherever and whenever and however -- plus also impeccably knowing exactly where and when and how [non-human] lifeforms of all types (functioning solely on instinct and stimulus-response actions) would function in their multi-faceted environment.
But when people are involved, the assertions of God's perfectly-predictive utterances in Scripture are almost a laughable absurdity....because people obviously can comply or rebel against predictions (especially if they know what God previously predicts) -- whether as singular individuals or a unified group, then maliciously bent on making sure various specific or more-vague Divine prophecies never happen.
Take, for example, the following:
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."
Whether or not people like that natural-environment prediction is irrelevant; in no way can they do anything about it positively or negatively.
And sometimes, the Bible states a natural or supernatural predictive prophecy which - again - no power in existence can prevent from happening:
Genesis 7:4 For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground."
Revelation 20:10 ...and the Devil who had deceived them was thrown into The Lake of Fire and Sulphur where The Beast and The False Prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night, to the ages of the ages.
People often cannot do anything to change the Lord's intentions either:
Genesis 19:13 ...for we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."
14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up, get out of this place; for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."
24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the residents of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Psalm 89:35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.
Jeremiah 33:19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
20 Thus says the LORD: "If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time,
21 then also My covenant with David My servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and My covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers."
25 Thus says the LORD: "If I have not established My covenant with day and night and the ordinances of heaven and earth,
26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant [listen up, so-called "palestinian" jihadist/terrorist arabs infesting the GOD-apportioned territories of present-day Israelis!] and will not choose one of his descendants to rule over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes, and will have mercy upon them."
Habakkuk 2:3 For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end: it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
Titus 1:2 ...in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago.
Sometimes - however - the Lord seemingly changes His mind concerning some prophecy:
Jonah 3:4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he bellered out: "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"
5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
6 Then news reached the King of Nineveh, and he got up from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water,
8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands.
9 Who knows, God may yet change His mind, and turn from His fierce anger, so that we perish not?"
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God changed His mind about the 'evil' which He had said He would do to them; and He did not do it.
However, consider the following [debatable-occurrence?] prophecy, which seems to be dependent upon whether or not those humans involved would continue to live on, and then even cooperate, to allow such to occur:
Genesis 18:10 The LORD said, "I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
Romans 9:9 For this is what the promise said, "About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son."
Have a child, huh? And "a son" at that? Oh really?
What IF Sarah had died by disease, accident, or murder before next spring? What if Abraham had died before springtime, and thus been unable to give her sperm? What if she had had a miscarriage? What if she changed her mind and decided that she did not want to either get pregnant nor have a baby? How did anyone know the gender of the baby before he or she (not "it") was even conceived?
Seems to be a lot of either assumptions or presumptions made beforehand, and a number of variable factors which could have resulted in no son at all being born...especially to a woman way past her normal age of childbearing.
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
[ NOTE: How could God know someone or about someone who did not even exist yet? How did God know that Jeremiah would be willing to be consecrated? Perhaps Jerry instead would have desired to instead become a rebellious teenager and infidel apostate ].
Matthew 1:23 "Hey, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
[ NOTE: It would be within reason to suppose that some virgin would get impregnated by some man and bear not a daughter but instead a son, and even call His name Emmanuel, which virgin is not specified as a "virgin" in the typically-referenced verse of Isaiah 7:14 which there merely calls her a: "young woman, " which young woman could also get impregnated by some man and bear not a daughter but instead a son, and called by the same Divine name. What is not specifically stated is that the "virgin" would get pregnant without being impregnated by some man....which prophecy was, of course, bizarre and unprecedented - to say the least - as to the complete absence of any Old-Testament reference (belief in which prophecy required Angel Gabriel visitation to both Mary and Joseph for credibility) ].
Revelation 13:18 This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.
How about 664? 23? 37? 158 instead? Shall we all gang up against Saint John's Revelation prophecy which was conveyed to him by The Holy Spirit, and conspire, as a hostile global-community group, to make sure that the future number of the beast is anything but 666?
Clearly, God's certain-to-transpire Biblical prophecies are of a supernatural nature, even when free-willed human beings are involved, regardless of human beings choosing to either do this or that at their whims.
The following might have been deemed a death threat and homicide, perhaps investigated by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and local police or sheriff at the time:
Jeremiah 28:1 In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying,
2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
3 Within two years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.
4 I will also bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon, says the LORD, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon."
12 Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke-bars from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
13 "Go, tell Hananiah, 'Thus says the LORD: You have broken wooden bars, but I will make in their place bars of iron.
14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "I have put upon the neck of all these nations an iron yoke of servitude to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field."
15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, "Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie."
16 Therefore thus says the LORD: "Hey, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the LORD."
17 In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.
Sometimes, the prophesy in the Bible gets almost-insanely detailed:
Second Kings 20:8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the LORD on the third day?"
9 And Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?"
10 And Hezekiah answered, "It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps; rather let the shadow go back ten steps."
11 And Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD; and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which the sun had declined on the [sun]dial of Ahaz.
Are we talking a real-life Twilight Zone happening there? Obviously what happened was eerie and unusual, rather reminiscent of:
Joshua 10:11 And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Bethhoron, the LORD threw down great stones from heaven upon them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died because of the hailstones than the men of Israel killed with the sword.
12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the valley of Aijalon."
13 And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? [Never heard of it] The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD responded to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.
[ Better than what was contained within the Harrison-Ford Hollywood-special-effects Raiders of the Lost Ark fable - with or without Jedi-Yoda or Jewish-Yudah or whatever in Star Wars! ]
Speaking of The Twilight Zone, contemplate the following little blurb contained in the New Testament:
Second Corinthians 12:1 I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it [you can say that again!], but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
3 And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
6 Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated [That is fortunate].
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have been a fool! [Got that right.] You forced me to it [No - I did not!], for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these superlative apostles, even though I am nothing [Don't get carried away now].
12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
[ NOTE: So what was the point of Paul telling us his story of the raptured man "caught up into Paradise," who "heard things that cannot be told"? Thanks a lot, Paul, for getting our curiosity needlessly(?) aroused. Was it really necessary for us to know that little private-vision insertion? In fact, IS it necessary for us Christians to become aware of, and (even worse) believe, [presumed, or hallucinatory] "visions" of others who claim to have had them? What did Paul's little vision story accomplish? A new reputation-puffing notch self-chiseled up on the egotistical totem pole by and for him? Vital to [supposedly] increase his credibility pertaining to other [weird and hard-to-understand?] things Paul said in the New Testament (e.g. "You have died...," "I can do ALL things in Christ who strengthens me,' etc.)? If so, such vision-story narrative was not necessary, was it? Since Paul was tempted to go off like that on self-aggrandizing tangents, it is fortunate for him, for the Church down through the ages, and for God Himself that Paul's name was not associated with the anonymously-authored book of Hebrews ].
To rational humans, Biblical predictions, involving freewill humans (who choose to do whatever they want), seem dicey -- especially concerning (not "regarding") humans who sometimes are well aware of what God prophesied and then do their damndest to try to thwart or prevent it. Therefore, are not humanity-involved prophecies tentative at best, and have to be taken "with a grain of salt" (as the euphemistic expression goes)?
But regarding the Creator's knowledge and control of nature phenomena -- involving not only inanimate geophysical entities, properties, and processes associated therewith, plus His omniscient knowledge and control of inter-related and interdependent instinctual animal and other lower-lifeform responses with all orderly-and-already-established environmental factors, including His omniscient knowledge of human five-sense and psychological-response mechanisms influenced by inner human-mind workings of subconsciousness -- God's immutable predictive prophecies invaribly come to pass eventually, however and whenever He wants and determines.
Such is humiliating for us inferior-capacity humans to perceive and experience, and somewhat disgusting.
But accomodate we must - and adjust - being that we have to remember that WE did not start the whole thing, nor could we ever run the whole thing ourselves, and obligated to realize that we were only born into something that already existed, which we certainly did not create ourselves, and (to a great extent) have NO control over - whatsoever.