Apologetics Twin Towers_Fall

Published on December 26th, 2011 | by Gary DeMar


Did the Old Testament Predict 9-11?

Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi from the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., writes that there is a prophetic connection between Isaiah 9:10 and the events of 9–11. He’s not the first person to make such a claim. Did you know that a dollar bill can be folded to show the World Trade Center going up in smoke? The character set of Wingdings can be manipulated to show a plane crashing into what looked like two towers based on the flight code for one of the planes (Q33NY) making it to be a Jewish conspiracy. Something similar was found with the characters NYC.

By reading the Bible out of context and out of time it can be made to say almost anything. For example:

“Judas went out and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:5).

“Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).

“Whatever you do, do quickly” (John 13:27).

Because “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

An often misused passage is a partial, out-of-context reading of Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge….” Further contextual reading shows that Jesus adds the caveat “lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you” (7:1a–2). In John 7:24, Jesus tells us, “Judge with righteous judgment.” No judging cuts both ways. Jesus is not against judging; He’s against hypocrisy in judging by using a double standard.

One of the most prevalent misuses of the Bible is misapplying a prophetic passage. For centuries, prophecy writers have made predictions based on what they claimed the Bible said.

For example, Chuck Smith wrote in his 1976 book The Soon to be Revealed Antichrist Smith that “we are living in the last generation which began with the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (see Matt. 24:32–34).” You will search in vain in these three verses for any mention of “the rebirth of Israel.” He repeated the claim in his 1978 book End Times: “If I understand Scripture correctly, Jesus taught us that the generation which sees the ‘budding of the fig tree,’ the birth of the nation of Israel, will be the generation that sees the Lord’s return. I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean any time before 1981. (1948 + 40 – 7 = 1981).”(1) If this prophetic math sounds familiar, it’s because the same end-time logic was used by Hal Lindsey in The Late Great Planet Earth (1970).

On December 31, 1979, Smith told those who had gathered on the last day of that year that the rapture would take place before the end of 1981. He went on to say that because of ozone depletion Revelation 16:8 would be fulfilled during the tribulation period: “And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.” In addition, Halley’s Comet would pass near earth in 1986 and would wreak havoc on those left behind as debris from its million-mile-long tail pummeled the planet.(2) Here’s how Smith explained the prophetic scenario in his book Future Survival which is nearly identical to what appears on the taped message:

The Lord said that towards the end of the Tribulation period the sun would scorch men who dwell upon the face of the earth (Rev. 16). The year 1986 would fit just about right! We’re getting close to the Tribulation and the return of Christ in glory. All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.(3)

Nothing significant happened in 1986 related to Halley’s Comet, and there is no reason why it should have since it’s been a predictable phenomenon for more than two millennia as it makes its way around the sun every 75 to 76 years.

In his book The Harbinger, Cahn cites Isaiah 9:10 and claims that this passage refers to America and the events of 9-11: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” The historical context tells a different story:

These words were first uttered by leaders in ancient Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali — an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn’t meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.

There are a number of problems with Cahn’s interpretation. First, the Twin Towers were not made of brick. Second, the sycamore trees mentioned in Isaiah 9:10 were cut down, not destroyed because of the collapse of buildings. Third, the new buildings are not being built with “smooth stones.” Fourth, Isaiah’s prophetic message is “against Jacob,” that is, “Israel” (Isa. 9:8). Isaiah 9:10 is not a prophecy about the United States.

Does this mean that the events that led to Israel’s judgment cannot apply in principle to our day? Not at all. In fact, the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, in rehearsing Israel’s history, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Cor. 10:11–12).

Christians need to be careful how they interpret the Bible. Trying to make the Bible say something it doesn’t say means it can be made to say anything. In the end, its real message will be lost.


  1. Chuck Smith, End Times (Costa Mesa, CA: The Word for Today, 1978), 35.()
  2. Halley’s Comet also appeared in A.D. 66 and passed over Jerusalem, four years before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans. Could this have been the fulfillment of Luke 21:11?()
  3. Smith, Future Survival, 21.()
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About the Author

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

10 Responses to Did the Old Testament Predict 9-11?

  1. Beck says:

    It’s interesting that whether we believe it or not Israels ancient enemies has America connected to Israel. There are plenty more prophetic words to get excited about than the one verse Cahn wrote about, and interesting Cahn didn’t really choose the verse to write about. We can all prophesy if we will open our spiritual ears and speak ;-) have a little grace when one makes a seeming detail mistake. Why should prophets kill each other, there are enough persecutors in the world. Some would throw out the book of Isaiah because he “saw” the Lord. The Torah said no man can see God and live.

    • Brett says:

      Prophecy from God is not a “guessing” game. There is no room for getting “some details” wrong. If it is from God, it is 100% accurate 100% of the time.

      Deut 18:20-22
      20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

  2. Jay says:

    Where’s the Lord’s Prophet in our day? The Lord had Prophets like Noah, Moses, Isaiah, and Apostles that were warning the people of their day. Where’s our Prophet and Apostles? Wouldn’t it be nice to have modern Prophets and Apostles to give us the Lord’s word for today. It seems confusing that Lord would have Prophets and Apostles in all the earlier days but not in the latter day’s.

  3. Mike Petschel says:

    Seeems that the sycamores are actually sycomores – poor grade fig trees – and so the parallel breaks down again. Just a little attention to detail would help.

  4. Mark says:

    “in the flesh”……. Well, don’t hold your breath. That 5′ 7″ white male, with a neatly trimmed beard, and dimple is not in your future. God will not be put into a box.

  5. Mark says:

    E Harris,

    “when Christ comes back.”. ?????? Really? I mean…. Really? AD 70 was not a pattern. We are complete in Christ, the last adam has restored all that was lost in the first adam.

    • E Harris says:

      AD 70 did fit a pattern – of the way God judges formerly God-fearing nations. AD 70 had a ring of finality to it: it was the external transition point for both Jews and Christians. It was an external ‘nail in the coffin’ for those who decided to maintain their Judaism without Jesus Christ. There was no longer a physical nexus of social coordination. The temple was now established in the earth, as the People of God through Jesus Christ – and the physical structure was no longer necessary (it was a hinderance). There is a logic and a pattern to things… God wants to be understood, and He never changes.

      As for Jesus’ physical return… I do believe that we will see our eldest brother someday/somehow…in the resurrection.

      Some folks seem to want to insist that the Bible is a closed book, and that no further experience or revelation is even possible (even if it is not contradictory with scripture). Now, I recognize that Jesus Christ is present with us in Spirit. I was speaking about when we may see him again in the flesh… I think that we shall (when we are ready).

  6. aCultureWarrior says:

    Come on Gary, Ron Paul knows it was an inside job.

    Paul wants Dennis Kucinich to investigate? (Aliens attack from Mars here we come).

    “Ron Paul’s many fawning sycophants like to pretend that Ron Paul’s problem is that he is despised by the Establishment because he’s too pure in his love for the Constitution.”

    Don’t you just hate it when articles fail to see their typo’s? He obviously meant “psychopaths”, like those at American Vision.

    • Brett says:

      Don’t you know, the “p” and the “h” are silent!

      I always ask critics of 9/11 doubters one question: Can you explain how fire caused every structural element in Bldg 7 to fail at exactly the same moment?

      I have yet to get a reasonable, logical answer from anyone.

      I have no proof that the govt was involved in 9/11, but there is ample evidence that the govt’s story after the fact is a lie, for whatever reason.

  7. E Harris says:

    I saw this preached once. That particular presenter was NOT saying that 9/11 was THE fulfillment of Isaiah 9:10. He was basically implying that some LIMITED occurrences indicate ATTITUDES that seem to fit the pattern of Isaiah 9:10. Since God does not change, and His dealings with mankind are consisten, we’d better be aware that judgement is near. (This is similar to how black slaves in America saw their exodus from slavery as a pattern after Israel being liberated from Egypt…) Patterns abound in human nature, historical events, and in God’s dealing with mankind. And God does not shy away from showing us key indicators to point us toward these patterns.

    In this case, I don’t know whether it was God or the Democrat Party who illuminated this particular TREND (the trend away from God, a collapse, further boastfulness about rebuilding even better than before, and then God’s judgement). It turns out that two Dems (on two seperate occasions) were the ones who quoted Isaiah 9:10, when speaking of how we would rebuild after 9/11!

    If they did it knowingly (understanding the context): that meant that they are deliberately sabotaging America’s chance for recovery, because they think Americans are prideful, and so they are mocking us even while pretending to be with us. If they quoted the verse unknowingly, it shows utter disrespect and disdain for actually reading & appreciating the Bible… and it shows that THEY ARE THE PEOPLE THAT THE VERSE IS SPEAKING OF!

    God does give us signs…. Just so that the unbeliever (in a particular subject matter) may believe God when He says something. In this instance, either way, it’s an indicator that we (as an incorporated people) have people in our midst who are under judgement – and it is possible that the whole nation is under judgement.

    Not ONCE in the sermon that I watched, did the preacher try to connect Isaiah 9:10, and the two dems who read that verse, with any end-it-all scenario.

    I believe that some prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, before Christ returns. But even more than this, I believe that God is full of order, truth, and justice – and that there are PATTERNS that are laid out in scripture for these things. And God (in His sovereignty and mercy) sometimes gives us INDICATORS that one of these patterns is in full swing.

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