Fellow blogger and political ally, Steve, left a comment pointing me to this article. Thought I might share. It concerns the nature of prophecy in the Old Testament, something which must be understood as we read Matthew and even Revelation. While you may disagree, I would urge you to support yourself in doing so. Also, for a prophecy primer, if you will, read Amos who I find is a key in understanding the roll of an Old Testament Prophet, and thus, the use of prophecy.
The example to consider is from the book of Ezekiel. The middle section of Ezekiel contains a series of what are known as “Oracles Against Foreign Nations” (chs. 25-32). All of the major prophetic books contain these. They are indictments against surrounding nations, often listing their crimes against humanity and sins against God, as a way to universalize accountability to God. They are highly stylized and poetic, but often contain specific predictions of the judgment of God against those nations for their self-sufficient arrogance, pride, and worship of false gods. Often the nations are evaluated specifically in terms of how they have treated Israel as God’s people.
Pick up your bibles, and begin to read,