Who Knows?

One of the few things (if there even are "few") that humans take into eternity with them upon their earthly demise is their freewill choice.....not their material possessions, not their money and financial investments, not their academic reputation and not their employment nor anything related to that....but ONLY their freewill choice -- and with that and that alone they come to God for judgment. True, their track record of good and evil works is present before the Lord (upon which works they will be judged, according to Revelation 20:12,13) - but such is a reflection of decisions they have made with their freewill choice, revealing their basic attitude of either being for the Creator, or instead against Him.

There is a disturbing and unsettling mystery concerning not simply humans, but even God, as to predicting the future with certainty when it involves human creatures given choose-whatever-way free will and not merely driven by reliably-predictable-if-all-the-factors-were-known variations-of-environmental-stimulus instinct.

Such non-certainty about future events and predictions of such is found throughout Scripture. Typical feeling and attitude about that is expressed with:

Second Samuel 12:22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and cried; for I said, 'Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'

Esther 4:14 For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

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.

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not disobey either of them;
Proverbs 24:22 for disaster from them will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

Ecclesiastes 2:18 I hated all my work in which I had worked under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me;
Ecclesiastes 2:19 and who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I worked and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 3:22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should enjoy his work, for that is his lot; who can bring him to see what will be after him?
Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
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.

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?"
Jonah 4:5 Then Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.

Even Saint Paul admitted:

First Corinthians 13:9 (RSV) For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
First Corinthians 13:9 (KJ21) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

[ Note the intriguing difference of the two translations stated above. "Imperfect" is not the same as "in part!" ]

There is only one book and two references within that book written by one author in the entire RSV Bible where the word foreknew is found:

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined (i.e. planned ahead) to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the first-born among many brethren.
Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

The only instance of the word foreseeing in the entire Bible is:

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed."

And the only instance of the word foreseen is:

Hebrews 11:39 And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised,
Hebrews 11:40 since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Yet, prophecy (obviously involving free-will choice of humans, whatever they choose and whenever) is a non-deniable reality originating from God Himself and partially conveyed to humans of His selection:

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Second Peter 1:16 For not following cleverly-devised fables, but having become eyewitnesses of the majesty of Jesus Christ, we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord.
Second Peter 1:17 For receiving honor and glory from God the Father such a Voice being borne to Him from the magnificent glory, "This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I was well pleased,"
Second Peter 1:18 even we heard this Voice being borne out of Heaven, being with Him in the holy mountain [of Transfiguration],
Second Peter 1:19 and we have the more established prophetic word, in which you do well to pay attention, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the daystar rises in your hearts;
Second Peter 1:20 knowing this first, that every prophecy of Scripture did not come into being of its own interpretation [i.e. origin];
Second Peter 1:21 for prophecy was not at any time borne by the will of man, but having been borne along by the Holy Spirit, holy men of God spoke.

Contents of certain prophecy, relating to freewill human choice (whatever that, by chance, would or will be) is even required to preserve intact and obediently act upon:

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and the ones keeping the things written in it, for the time is near.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him [sounds catholic or mormon]. And he said to me, Stop! I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Revelation 22:7 Hey, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this Book.
Revelation 22:10 And he said to me, Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this Book; for the time is at hand.
Revelation 22:18 For I testify together to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book.
Revelation 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.

Clearly, predicting the future...especially pertaining to who-know-what-humans-will-choose-and-when human freewill choice...has limitations.

If you or I knew that (besides when) someone was intending to commit some crime -- be that assassination, suicide bombing, robbery, rape, murder -- could we be certain that they would actually do it? Would we attempt to stop them and maybe succeed, thus causing the prophecy to never come to pass and therefore become and be untrue?

If we knew what accidents or diseases were certainly going to happen, would we take out insurance ahead of time? If we knew what cards were going to be dealt, on which sides the dice were to land, and on what slot the ball revolving around the roulette wheel was going to set upon, would we not gamble and allocate our monies accordingly? Would we not dig where we knew someone intended to bury their hidden treasure?

The word if (referring to humans with freewill choice) is found 1,483 times in the entire Holy Bible (in the AV, ASV, JPS, KJ21, MKJV, and RSV translations).

That word "if" expresses non-certainty....but various prophecies stated within Scripture (some of which have already happened, and others of which are destined to happen) are -- in stark contrast -- declared with dogmatic assurance and absolute certainty (again, consisting of infallibly-set-in-stone-type predictions involving who-knows-what-they-choose-and-when freewill human choice):

Such is NOT the case with:

First Corinthians 4:19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

James 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain";
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.
James 4:15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that."
James 4:16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Note that Saint James is NOT poohpoohing prophecy, but only boastful arrogance, in view of:

First Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit,
First Thessalonians 5:20 do not despise prophesying,
First Thessalonians 5:21 but test everything; hold fast what is good,
First Thessalonians 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.

So, Scripture-recorded prophecies (involving human freewill choice and variable environmental circumstances) abound in the Bible:

Genesis 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Hey, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
Genesis 16:15 And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

Genesis 17:16 I will bless [Sarah], and moreover I will give you a son by her; I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her."
Genesis 17:19 God said, "No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
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.
Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son."
Genesis 21:2 And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.
Genesis 21:7 And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."

Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfil it?

Judges 13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Hey, you are barren and have no children; but you shall conceive and bear a son.
Judges 13:5 for wow, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
Judges 13:7 but he said to me, 'Hey, you shall conceive and bear a son; so then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.'"
Judges 13:24 And the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson; and the boy grew, and the LORD blessed him.

Second Kings 4:16 And he said, "At this season, when the time comes round, you shall embrace a son." And she said, "No sir, man of God; do not lie to your maidservant."
Second Kings 4:17 But the woman conceived, and she bore a son about that time the following spring, as Elisha had said to her.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Hey, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. [And now we know some of what menu items Jesus ate].

Isaiah 8:3 And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, "Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz;
Isaiah 8:4 for before the child knows how to cry 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria." [and HOW did he know THAT?]

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [everlasting "Father?"], Prince of Peace."

Jeremiah 33:20 "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,
Jeremiah 33:21 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.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bear a son, and you shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:23 "Hey, a virgin shall conceive in her womb, and will bear a Son. And they will call His name Emmanuel," which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, Do not fear, Zacharias. For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luke 1:31 And hey, you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name JESUS.

So much for the wicked intention and the actual committing (not "performing") of promiscuously-murdering-babies abortion-homicide.