43. Did the Bible accurately predict the future of Tyre (Ezekiel 26)?

Let’s face it, an in-depth knowledge of ancient Tyre won’t make you the life of any party (unless you happen to be at a party with a bunch of archaeologists, which I imagine would be pretty dead), but these events are extremely important. Why? Because according to many believers, some of the strongest evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible is God’s ability to predict future events, and Ezekiel’s prophecies about Tyre are some of the most frequently cited.

Predictive prophecy stands as one of the most viable proofs of the Bible’s divine inspiration. Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the city of Tyre provides an excellent example of such evidence.
ApologeticsPress.org

It is our contention that when the passage is exegeted carefully and properly, these verses [about Tyre] are excellent witnesses to the divine inspiration of the Bible.
BibleArchaeology.org

While I’d prefer the evidence be a bit more direct (such as sending fire from heaven, or revealing insights about nature, or routinely answering prayers on a testable basis, or just appearing in persons), this is the evidence we’ve been given, so let’s consider it carefully.

A tale of two cities

Ancient Tyre 10th Century BCBefore we get started, it’s important to know that at the time Ezekiel wrote this prophecy (roughly between 592-586 BC), Tyre was divided into two locations. There was the island of Tyre, which was a well-fortified city located about a half-mile off shore from modern Lebanon, and the mainland city, once called Ushu, which became a suburb of Tyre. The city of Tyre still exists today, but the island and mainland are now connected by an artificial causeway (or land bridge) first constructed by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.

Our “proof of divine inspiration” begins in Ezekiel 26; let’s take it verse by verse.

1 In the eleventh month of the twelfth year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’ therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves. 

Tyre was rejoicing over Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon, which God apparently found distasteful, so he curses Tyre saying, “I will bring many nations against you.”

They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

The island of Tyre was famous for her impressive and impregnable “walls” and “towers.” On the side facing the shore, they were said to be 20′ thick at the base and 150′ high.

It’s crucial to note that the Tyre “out in the sea” refers to the island of Tyre, which was to become “a place to spread fishnets.” In order to accommodate those fishnets, the previous sentence tells us the island would be made bare rock by the pulling down of walls and towers. If there’s any doubt that these two sentences belong together, verse 14 links the “bare rock” in verse 4 with the “place to spread fishnets” in verse 5, saying, “I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets.”

Almost as an afterthought, Ezekiel turns his attention to the mainland, saying “…and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword.” Note how Ezekiel refers to the island as “Tyre,” and the mainland as “settlements.”

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army.

Here, Ezekiel because to describe how God will accomplish these things. He accurately predicts that Nebuchadnezzar will come against Tyre, though this attempt on Tyre may have been probable.

At the time of Ezekiel’s writing, he’d been exiled to Babylon and may have known about the king’s interest in Tyre (the attack happened soon after Ezekiel’s prediction). Ezekiel knew that Babylon had already conquered the Assyrians (612 BC), and was about to deal a final blow to Jerusalem (587 BC). He also knew Babylon was in the process of incorporating most of the Eastern Mediterranean. Tyre, with its wealth and strategic ports, was an obvious target, and Ezekiel’s promise of victory may have even inspired Nebuchadnezzar to attack.

While it’s possible that Ezekiel could’ve written this prophecy after the fact, I tend to think he wrote it beforehand, simply because he gets many of the details wrong. However, Ezekiel does express knowledge of the attack just a few chapters later (29:18-19), so it’s not unthinkable.

He [Nebuchadnezzar] will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons.

Here, God says that Nebuchadnezzar will make quick work of the mainland, ravaging it with the sword. He will then attempt to build a ramp to the island in order to “direct the blows of his battering rams against [their] walls.”

But this prophecy fails.

When Nebuchadnezzar arrives at the mainland, he finds the city abandoned. There is no “ravaging of the settlements on the mainland with the sword,” because the residents had all moved to the island for protection. He also fails to demolish the towers of Tyre (more on this in a moment).

To whitewash this prophecy, some Christians will interpret these verses as referring to the mainland only, but I see numerous problems with this interpretation.

  1. There is no historical evidence suggesting the mainland was ever fortified with walls and towers.
  2. Such heavy fortifications may have been deemed unnecessary, as the mainlanders could escape to the island in times of trouble.
  3. Literally, the only way to deliver a battering ram to the walls of an island like Tyre is to “build a ramp up to [its] walls.” In fact, this would be the same conclusion reached by Alexander the Great some 250 years later. On the mainland, however, a battering ram could be deployed without a ramp.
  4. Finally, as previously discussed, it was always the towers of the island “out at sea” that were to be removed in order to make the island “a place to spread fishnets.” Not the towers of the mainland (assuming there were any).
Depiction of the island City of Tyre from 837 BC

Ancient depiction of the fortified island city of Tyre, circa 837 BC, illustrating its walls and towers.

When speaking of Tyre, history typically places its emphasis on the island city and its well-fortified walls and ports. In fact, even the word “Tyre” means “rock.”

When you move to attack Tyre, you move to take the island, not the mainland. The mainland was nothing more than an unimpressive “line of suburbs rather than one mainland city.”1

But more importantly, even Ezekiel himself refers to the mainland as “settlements,” not as Tyre. In the chapters that follow, all emphasis is placed on the island: “Your domain was on the high seas, your builders brought your beauty to perfection;” “You say, ‘I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas,'” and “Who was ever silenced like Tyre, surrounded by the sea?” The most logical assumption is to assume Ezekiel was referring to Nebuchadnezzar destroying walls and towers of the island of Tyre. But this results in a failed prophecy, so Christians must adopt a far less obvious, and more convoluted, interpretation. Let’s continue.

10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 

With the ramp built and the walls of island Tyre breached, the people of the island are killed “with the sword” (not to be confused with the people of the mainland, who were already “ravaged” by the sword back in verse 8.)

Again, this prophecy fails.

Nebuchadnezzar likely concluded that a ramp would be far too impractical, and settled upon laying siege to the island. This siege lasted 13 years, and in the end, he never broke through the walls, or killed the people with the sword, or brought Tyre’s mighty pillars to the ground.

But again, Christians cannot accept a failed prophecy, so some continue to insist this was still speaking of the mainland. But if Ezekiel were still referring to the mainland, then the prophecy still fails, because the mainland was found abandoned. Nebuchadnezzar never had the opportunity to ravage any community with the sword.

The island city probably made submission upon conditions, without receiving the hostile army within her walls. The capture of the city was far different from the prophecy of it according to the prophet Ezekiel himself… The siege probably ended with the nominal submission of the city and the surrender of a number of her nobles.
~Wallace Bruce Fleming, The History of Tyre, 1915

12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. 

Here, any reasonable person would conclude that Ezekiel is still speaking of King Nebuchadnezzar, but Nebuchadnezzar never accomplished any of this.

Because this assumption leads to a failed prophecy, believers prefer to look at the word “they” in verse 12 and assume “they” must be the “many nations” mentioned back in verse 3, not Nebuchadnezzar.

But in reading the pronoun “they,” one must assume it refers to the most recently defined antonym, which is Nebuchadnezzar’s army. It was Nebuchadnezzar’s army that God sends to make war with Tyre, and there is a very natural progression to the events being described: Nebuchadnezzar’s army comes, they break down walls, they ravage and siege, and they plunder. They take out their revenge on the people who rejoiced at the fall of Jerusalem.

There is no reason to think that we’ve suddenly switched gears, and are now speaking of some other event that would take place 250 years later. If this were true, the prophecy should’ve predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would come, lay siege to Tyre, and negotiate peaceful concessions. It might then mention that someone else would come along hundreds of years later to take vengeance on a future generation (one that that actually had nothing to do with the event… which just seems even more nonsensical).

While it’s true that God does assign several tasks to the “many nations,” God also assigns identical tasks to Nebuchadnezzar in verses 8 and 9. So there is no reason to believe that God is not still speaking of Nebuchadnezzar, and assigning him the task of casting Tyre’s stones into the sea (especially since he’s the one clearly tasked with breaking down their walls in verse 8).

Interestingly, in verse 7, God refers to Nebuchadnezzar as “king of kings.” It may be that God (or Ezekiel) considered him the king of these “many nations” that would come against Tyre.

But this is only half the problem.

The other point critics and Christians debate is which Tyre was supposed to be thrown into the sea. Believers prefer the mainland, because (not surprisingly) it was the rubble of the mainland that Alexander the Great threw into the sea to build a causeway.

However, I believe that Ezekiel indicates that it would be the stones of the island, for several reasons:

  1. It was the island “out in the sea” that would be used for spreading fishnets, after its towers had been pulled down and made bare rock.
  2. After speaking of the destruction of the island in verses 4-5, Ezekiel turns his attention to the “settlements on the mainland.” It is the island that has its walls and towers destroyed, not the mainland.
  3. Finally, being encircled by the sea, it makes sense that Ezekiel would’ve envisioned the island’s walls tumbling into the sea as they are pulled down. If you’re going to make the island bare (a place to spread fishnets), you have to do something with the rubble, and there is nowhere for the rubble to go but into the surrounding sea.

14 (Cont.) You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. 

TyreThe final prophecy is that Tyre would never be rebuilt. This too fails. Tyre was rebuilt, and still exists today. In fact, Tyre was even visited by Jesus himself. So what’s a Christian to do?

Some believers defend Tyre’s existence by suggesting that mainland Tyre was never rebuilt on the exact same spot. However, even Biblical archaeologists admit that the area was so well cleared by Alexander the Great that no one knows where the original city stood. If we don’t know where it was, we can’t confirm it was never built upon. And this defense assumes Ezekiel was speaking of the mainland never being rebuilt, and I’m certain Ezekiel was referring to the island… which was never even completely destroyed.

Alternatively, other believers have suggested that this prophecy was fulfilled because Tyre would never again be rebuilt by the Phonecians, or never rebuilt in exactly same way, or with the same measure of success. But Ezekiel is clear that it would “never be rebuilt,” and he offers no escape clauses. We cannot have it both ways, if the prophecy can be said to have been fulfilled regardless of whether or not the city is rebuilt, then the prophecy is worthless.

Later, in Ezekiel 29, Ezekiel gives us a glimpse of what actually happened in Nebuchadnezzar’s siege against Tyre:

29:18-19 Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army.

There are a couple interesting things about these verses.

Firstly, there was obviously an expectation that was not met. God had promised Nebuchadnezzar the plunder and wealth of Tyre (v. 12), but that didn’t happen. Ezekiel then resorts to offering concessions. But can he be trusted?

Second, we can infer that Ezekiel’s words were reaching the King’s ears (how else would the king have known that God just offered him Egypt?). If Nebuchadnezzar also heard Ezekiel’s prophecies about Tyre before he attacked, then his attack (the only part of the prophecy to come to pass) was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As for Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of Egypt, history is fuzzy on the details.

Conclusion

Here’s what I believe actually happened. Ezekiel was angry over the loss of Jerusalem to Babylon, and enraged by Tyre’s rejoicing. This fueled Ezekiel’s vision of Tyre’s cherished island walls being pulled down into the surrounding sea, and the city becoming a devastated and uninhabited rock. No doubt this prophecy tickled the ears of many exiled Jews, and Ezekiel probably also hoped it would motivate Nebuchadnezzar to attack Tyre.

The most reasonable interpretation of the prophecy is a failed one, but coincidentally, 250 years later, Alexander the Great would use some material from the mainland (and elsewhere) to construct a causeway to attack Tyre. Later, believers would apply this fortuitous event to Ezekiel’s predictions, and claim it was Alexander the Great (not Nebuchadnezzar) who was supposed to conquer Tyre, and that it was the mainland stones that were supposed to be tossed into the sea (even though the prediction was clearly about the island).

Modern TyreIf you were living in Nebuchadnezzar’s time, there is no possible way you could read Ezekiel’s prophecy and conclude that Nebuchadnezzar would fail, compromise with Tyre, and Alexander the Great would show up 250 years to capture Tyre without destroying it. That’s a completely different prophecy! While Ezekiel’s prophecy seems cut and dry, it’s actually so ambiguous that it really doesn’t matter who eventually conquers Tyre, or when, or which stones end up in the sea, or why. You could shoehorn any combination of events into this prophecy and make it work. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that the Christian now proclaims: “What God meant to say was that the stones would be thrown from the mainland, by Alexander the Great, 250 years later, in order to build a causeway!” 

Perhaps the most fascinating and significant change to the landscape of Tyre was that it went from being an island “out in the sea” to a full-blown peninsula! Who could’ve predicted that a causeway built to attack the island would slowly silt up and become a thriving metropolis unto itself!? Apparently not Ezekiel, whose vision is of an uninhabited island rock.

I believe Ezekiel did accurately predict that Nebuchadnezzar would make a move on Tyre, though this was probably more likely than not, and possibly self-fulfilling. However, I also believe that Ezekiel predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would slaughter the people of Tyre, pull the island walls and towers into the sea, and that the island would become an uninhabited bare rock. Ezekiel was wrong on all of these counts.

Ezekiel’s prophecies are made to appear successful through a combination of predictions that are probable (5, 6 & 16), ambiguous (3), open-ended (17), liberally reinterpreted in hindsight (7, 8, 9 & 15) and possibly self-fulfilling (4). There is not one solid prophecy here that we could use as proof of divine inspiration.

If we’re going to insist that the prophecies of Tyre are proof “of the Bible’s divine inspiration,” we need to be absolutely certain of what is being predicted. And ideally, one would hope that proof from God would be far less ambiguous. After all, my eternal life hangs in the balance, and it would be a shame to spend an eternity in hell because I misunderstood which Tyre God was referring to.

                                       

1 Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, Vol. 27
2 “[Tyre’s] numbers swelled greatly in time of war, when residents of nearby cities on the mainland (such as Ushu) found refuge on the island…” Katzenstein, H.J., The History of Tyre, 1973

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90 Responses to 43. Did the Bible accurately predict the future of Tyre (Ezekiel 26)?

  1. john zande says:

    Well researched, great read!

    • trutherator says:

      He could have researched some of his stuff more. And thought more. Just because they have a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania doesn’t mean it’s the same city as the one mentioned in Revelation.

      And some of his “facts” are true, and in such cases only show fulfillment of the same scriptures he quotes.

      Also, a side mention, that these are not the only Bible prophecies that have been corroborated by archaeology, some excavations making Christians of skeptics seeking contrary evidence.

      • Hi trutherator,

        Thank you for your critique, even if a bit light on specifics.

        I think I’ve done my due dilligence. I’ve surely spent more hours learning about Tyre, and meditating on this prophecy, than 99.9% of people, and probably 95% of Christians. But for the believer, I presume it will never be enough time until I conclude that a miracle has occured.

        1) Are you suggesting that there is more than one location named Tyre (other than the island and the mainland)? When the prophet speaks of Tyre here, do you think he referring to ANOTHER city? If so, where? Or elsewhere in the Bible, when Tyre is mentioned, do you think they are not referring to THIS city? If not, what city are they referring to?

        2) Please cite which facts and scriptures you are referring to here that are fulfilled. In many ways, prophecy can be made to appear to predict events, such as with post-diction (writing after the fact). I don’t deny that this trick of the mind is possible, psychics and fortune tellers do it all the time, I just deny that there is any supernatural force behind it. If there is a prophecy here that you believe cannot be explained without invoking supernatural influence, please list it so we can discuss.

        3) Please name at least one archaeological discovery that proves Biblical prophecy has occurred.

        Thank you,
        500Q

        • Bets King says:

          500M QUESTIONS> YOU ASKED THE QUESTION:3) Please name at least one archaeological discovery that proves Biblical prophecy has occurred.

          I think I can tell you one, tho it isn’t “discovered” it is sitting in plain sight for us to see.

          Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matthew 24:1-3)

          Then there is an older prophecy in Daniel that we can now see in the same place that has come to pass.

          Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on a corner of the altar will be abominations that desolate, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.

          Dan 12:11 And from the time the regular sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that desolates set up, a thousand, two hundred and ninety days shall occur.

          So the sacrifices were stopped being done completly when the temple was destroyed in 70CE or AD. But the first time that they were stopped was when the Babylonian King Nebuchannazer destroyed the temple, in fact the temple that was built by Herod who was not even a real Israelite, much less a Jew. He was an Idumian or an Edomite. The date of the destruction of the Temple of Solomon was 583 BC. Now the current building on the Temple Mount is Dome of the Rock which was begun in 685 AD. and finished in 705 AD. The math adds up to 1, 290 years, if you split the difference of the beginning and the ending of this build.

          There is two for you. The second you might , I admit easily find fault with. I however find it compelling. The churches today do not recognize this fact either.. Instead most make this become the antichrist to come, which is laughable, especially when you look at the words “on the corner” which describes where the Dome of the Rock is compared to the Temple of Solomon where the holy of holies is marked today with a small cupola and stonework under it to show us . But then the church never lets facts get in their way of prophetic interpretation.

          • Firstly, I don’t want to stray too far away from the prophecy at hand (Tyre), but there are a lot of liberties taken in your example. Also, I’d like to point out that Muslims too use “mathematical miracles” to prove that the Quran is the word of God (see: http://eholyquran.com/Quran/LinksPrime/MathematicalMiraclesOfQuran.htm).

            There’s a lot we can do to manipulate numbers, especially if we take some liberties, which we do.

            For example, Daniel’s word “days” can mean days, months, or years, which gives us some flexibility. We can also choose what we feel the “abomination” is, and in this case you’ve chosen the Dome of the Rock, though the Bible is short on specifics.

            I would also argue that the “time the regular sacrifice shall be taken away” was actually 70 AD, if we’re being honest with ourselves. So that’s only 615-621 years, not 1,290. But that number doesn’t work for Christians, so they tack on some other questionable numbers. But even then, the numbers don’t add up. The beginning date of construction DOESN’T work, and neither does the end date! But if you divide the dates of construction in two, you magically arrive at a number you’re shooting for! Amazing! Right? Not really. You just keep adding, subtracting, and dividing until you magically arrive at the number that confirms your bias.

            500Q

            • Bets King says:

              First of all, the FIRST time the sacrifice was stopped WAS on the date that the temple was destroyed…. it was later restarted…. and yes its an average of the dates of the building in order to find the right numbers but it does fit and it took a looong time to build. Btw that is not magic or wishing, its MATH, AVERAGES its used all the time in real world issues.

              Thing is, you didn’t even acknowledge the first example which was exact. And there we have it. You don’t want there to be any real proof, you will ignore any real proof. I do believe every word of the Word, so I will add and subtract and come to the middle to see if it fits and it did. I can praise the author for His Work, its who I am. You are who you are, that is clear for us to see, someone who has no faith at all in The Creator or His Word. I pray for you that He can help you with that. Nothing I can show you will. Perhaps it is even the Creator that blinds you to His Truth at this time. But I assure you that one day that will change. Why do I say it? Because it is written and it will come to pass. I will look for you that day.

              Isa 45:23 I have sworn by Myself, the Word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
              Isa 45:24 He shall say, Only in Jehovah do I have righteousness and strength; to Him he comes; and they are ashamed, all who are angry with Him.

              It might be sooner that you think , but there is time for you to get rid of your anger with Him so you won’t be so ashamed.

              • Nordic says:

                “I will look for you that day” The same as saying, ‘I will look to see how you react when my wrathful god tosses you into hell for not believing like I do.

                “It might be sooner than you think…” Very typical tactic of a Christian trying to defend their defenseless beliefs, when they cannot answer the tough questions they invariably turn to fear-mongering. They cannot sway a person with reason so they attempt to bypass reason and use threats of hell and end-times to instill fear.

            • Bets King says:

              ok, I really didn’t think you would see anything that would count, as I stated earlier. But you did ignore the verses that Messiah said the temple would be destroyed and I bet this too will be one that you IGNORE, cause when its fact and real and easy to see, like the verses in Matthew, you just IGNORE it because you didn’t ask the question to learn, not really, you used it as a bait to be able to say nasty things about the people you hate, believers…. I get it…. So here is one more TRUE FACT for you to IGNORE…….

              Deu 28:49 Jehovah shall raise a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you will not understand,
              Deu 28:50 a nation fierce of face, who will not regard the person of the aged, nor show favor to the young.
              Deu 28:51 And he shall eat the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave to you grain, new wine, and oil, offspring of your oxen, or young ones of your flock, until he has destroyed you.
              Deu 28:52 And he shall distress you in all your gates, until your high and fortified walls in which you are trusting come down, in all your land; yea, he shall distress you in all your gates, in all your land which Jehovah your God has given to you.
              Deu 28:53 And you shall eat the fruit of your body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom Jehovah your God has given to you, in the siege, and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you.
              Deu 28:54 The man who is tender and very delicate among you, his eye shall be evil against his brother, and against the wife of his bosom, and against the remnant of his sons which he leaves,
              Deu 28:55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his sons that he shall eat, because he has nothing left to him in the siege, and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates.
              Deu 28:56 The soft and delicate woman among you, who would not have ventured to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil against the husband of her bosom, and against her son, and against her daughter;
              Deu 28:57 and against her fetus which comes out from between her feet, even against her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them in secret, for the lack of everything in the siege and in the anguish with which the enemy shall distress you within your gates.
              Deu 28:58 If you will not take heed to do all the Words of this Law written in this book, to fear this glorious and fearful Name, Jehovah your God,
              Deu 28:59 then Jehovah will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your children shall be great and persistent plagues with evil and long lasting sicknesses.
              Deu 28:60 He shall also bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid; and they shall cling to you.
              Deu 28:61 Also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law, Jehovah shall cause them to come on you until you are destroyed.
              Deu 28:62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of Jehovah your God.
              Deu 28:63 And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah shall rejoice over you to destroy you, and to lay you waste. And you shall be plucked from the land you are going to possess.
              Deu 28:64 And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, wood and stone, which you have not known, nor your fathers.
              Deu 28:65 And among these nations you shall find no ease, nor shall the sole of your foot have rest. But Jehovah shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.
              Deu 28:66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and shall have no assurance of your life.
              Deu 28:67 In the morning you shall say, Oh that it were evening! And in the evening you shall say, Oh that it were morning! For the fear of your heart with which you fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see.
              Deu 28:68 And Jehovah shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And you shall be sold to your enemies there, for male slaves and slave-girls; and there shall be no buyer.

              This was told to the children of Israel in the wilderness before they entered into the land.. It was a warning about not obeying the commandments of Yahuah. Guess what? That still applies to us today, and to you 500. If you don’t believe what Yahuah said in this Book, then all these things will apply to you as well,

              Deu 11:26 Behold! I set before you today a blessing and a curse:
              Deu 11:27 a blessing if you hear the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you today;
              Deu 11:28 and a curse if you will not hear the commandments of Jehovah your God, but will turn aside out of the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.

              With that, I leave you to ” do as you will” and either believe and obey and be blessed or do as you have done in the past and continue in the curse…. oh you say, you are not cursed? lol

              thats what you think.

              Be blessed. I will be praying for you.

              much love

      • Lynn39 says:

        Verse 5 is very specific. It’s saying tyre will be reduced to nothing. Which if you look under the sea it shows no stone nor wall that proves it ever existed. But we know through history it did. So God told specific truth.

        5 Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations”

        Then it speaks of the island that connects it to the mainland will still be there but will show destruction is 100% fact again. The bridge is the only piece of land left and it’s been grown over.

        I think it takes a lot believe a lie. I find it strange that “other Christian stories” have been debunked, because I’ve been studying and reading the Bible over … and over again looking for inconsistencies. I am not someone that wants to believe the Bible is truth. I couldn’t stand the Christians I grew up with, so I sat out to debunk the Bible.
        I’ve been to Israel and other parts of the Middle East and every city Jesus cured looks depressing to this day. No habitation what so ever. Demarcus is now a pile of rubble… just like God said. The Israelis returned to their land just like it was prophecied.
        Jeremiah bought potters field for the same price God said his death will cost. The Jews still will not believe the connection.
        Revelations speaks of a day when everyone in the world will look on 2 dead bodies at the same time and celebrate for 3 days together. That would take Media! Internet and CNN. Back before 1900’s word traveled slow.
        Jesus showed John a vision and John describes our helicopter down to having wings that sound like a thousand horses. Described the teeth the military paints on these “locust” looking creatures that “spit hell fire out their tail” the amo is actually called “hellfire” that the apache helicopter uses. I mean not one story have I found to be a lie. The just found thutmoses daughter’s history in Egypt. Showing if Egyptians did not like their history they’d attempt to erase it. Many scholars (not just Christians) believe it was his daughter that brought Moses into the kings home. If you honestly seek God you’ll find him.

    • Phillip says:

      I chalked up your irreconcilable contradictions as an unfamiliarity of the history of the matter and your mistaken apprehensions as being based on the social, cultural and temporal disparities between the prophet’s writings and your reading of it. I choose only one ‘contradiction to refute in this case, but seemingly a foundational one to your conclusion.

      From BeliefMap.org

      Alexander replaced everything, intentionally making a new city.1 By 332 B.C., the city which boasted against God was annihilated. Regarding what is called Phoenician Tyre, (a) the empire was erased (b) the structures were left in waste (c) the people were replaced. Experts regularly call it a new city,2 and rightfully so.3 This is relevant because these seem to be the most essential features of what makes a city a city; it is most likely, or at least very plausibly, what the author meant would be destroyed.

      • Shoshee Chunder Dutt: “After treating Tyre with the greatest atrocity, Alexander rebuilt and replanted it, that future generations might regard him as the founder of a new city.” [Historical Studies and Recreations (Trübner & Co, 1879), 503.]
      • Encyclopedia Brittanica 8th ed.: “Alexander replaced the population by a colony of Greeks or Carians (Quin, Curt. iv; Arrian II.; Diod. Sic. xvii.). With this memorable siege terminated the glory of Phoenician Tyre;” [vol XXI (Neil and col.), 406.]

      • Thomas Summers: “Having cleared the city of its former inhabitants, the Macedonian conqueror endeavored to repeople it by colonies from other parts, and styled himself as the founder of Tyre, for the former city had been destroyed. It might be sought, but none could find it. It had passed away.” [Tyre: Its Rise, Glory, and Desolation, With Notices of the Phoenicians Generally (E. Stevenson & F.A. Owen, 1856), 131.]
      “Alexander ordered all but those who had fled to the temples to be put to death and the buildings to be set on fire [These are just the buildings on the small island; virtually all of Tyre’s structures were _already _thrown into the sea]…he repopulated Tyre with Greek emigrants and loyal Phoenicians, together with a permanent Macedonian garrison… [and the place was] redesigned as a Greek city, with a colonnaded street…” (Quotes from livius.org here, here, and here). For this and other reasons, it seems more appropriate to say a new city rose from the ashes of the old city (allowing scholars to speak of “Alexander’s destruction of _Phoenician _Tyre…”). [John Gibson Warry, Warfare in the Classical World (Salamander, 2000), 115.] After all, despite being given the same name (for convenience), what rose up “in propriety of speech, was another city.” [From “Wesley’s Notes on the Bible”, made available by Wesleyan Heritage Publishing]

      I hope this helps,
      Phillip

      • “I choose only one ‘contradiction to refute in this case, but seemingly a foundational one to your conclusion.”

        Thank you, Philip. We could look at the others if you wish, but let’s start with the one.

        While you didn’t spell out the exact “contradiction” you were attempting to refute, I take it from the sources you’ve quoted that it’s regarding the prophecy that Tyre would never be rebuilt.

        In short, my conclusion was that this prophecy failed, because Tyre was rebuilt, and your conclusion is that the prophecy succeeded, because — even though it was in the same location and carried the same name — it was a new city because it was filled with new buildings and a new people.

        While it’s true that the same people did not rebuild the same city, the prophet indicates that the island of Tyre was a psychical location which was to remain bare rock:

        “I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (v.14)

        It’s pretty straightforward. Ezekiel’s vision is of an island that has NO buildings, and is NEVER rebuilt, but remains “bare rock,” a place to spread fishnets. In verse 19, God even promises to make Tyre “a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited.” Ezekiel’s vision is not of an inhabited city, named Tyre, built in the exact same location, but rather of an desolate and uninhabited bare rock, one that is never rebuilt, no exceptions.

        500Q

        • Joe Earl says:

          I checked my copy of the Bible but couldn’t find the words “No buildings” in the passage. I’m assuming that’s you and not Ezekiel. I’m confused as to why you need to add those editorial additions to Ezekiel’s “straightforward” passage. If you take the entire passage as straightforward with no need to editorialize the thoughts of a guy that lived over 2000 years ago or try and guess which Tyre he was referring to (mainland or island) or what he meant by “desolate city” or whether or not he was speaking poetically (as writers tend to do) when he said “bare rock” etc. then I think the passage allows for multiple interpetations. In other words, there is room enough for skeptics to find fault with Ezekiel’s passage and for believers to find strength in the passage. The same is true with almost everything in the Bible. What you find depends on what you are looking for. I think that’s kind of the point of the Bible.

          Overall your article is very well researched. However, just like the “true believers” that you criticize, most of the best points that you make are based on your interpretation of what Ezekiel said, what you “think” he meant, and on what you feel is logical based on the context or based on the events going on at that time or what you feel like Ezekiel would have known. All of that is speculation on your part. While it might be logical (to you), it is not fact because it’s based on things you can’t possibly know, like what information Ezekiel knew etc. In other words, if this was a court of law and the book of Ezekiel was on trial for being a false prophecy I don’t think your argument would produce a conviction by a jury.

          Interesting article though.

          P.s.
          I notice that you don’t mention the prophecies about the destruction of Tyre that were given by Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Zechariah (or maybe you did and I overlooked your mention of this). How do these figure into your thoughts on Ezekiel’s writing?

  2. That’s the most well researched and detailed refutation of a biblical argument I’ve seen

  3. rautakyy says:

    I must protest! Most of the parties “with bunch of archaeologists”, I have participated, were about dancing wildly to the music of Jimi Hendrix and running drunk and naked through the city center… And, well, discussing about excavations in ancient sites.

    Anyway, it is silly that the believers hang on to some predictions in their holy books, that could be interpreted as having come to realization (though only through faith, not reason), while there are so many predictions that did not come close to reality. Like the one about “the Lord” giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, or that the city of Tyre will never be rebuilt. No amount of faith changes those predictions failing miserably.

    It is strange how some apologists are able to separate the plausibility of the Bible as the word of a god, from the obviously and continuously failing “inerrancy” of the Bible. As if the latter had no effect on the former.

    As for Alexander, it is strange how this character has been seen through ages. To the Zoroasterians he is the devil incarnate, for having burned their holy book. On behalf Alexander we must say that this was somewhat of an accident, since he was burning just about everything else and the writings of Zoroaster were no particular target of his wrath. He was a self proclaimed son of a god (much like you know who). If someone would declare themselves as a son of a god, would you be more inclined to believe them, if such a person unified the (known) world under one rule of law, or if that person was brutally executed by a power that brought such a unification of the (known) world?

    As for what Christians think of Alexander, it is interresting how they seem to have adopted him. A lot of conservative Christians were very annoyed by a film that suggested Alexander might have had a homosexual love relationship with one of his generals. And even the magnificent heavy metal band Iron Maiden in their song named after him make this extraordinary claim, that “he made way for Christianity”. I doubt that the boys of Iron Maiden came up with this absurd notion on their own. So who was it that did think that Alexander could have had anything to do with Christianity? What way was that? None of the countries he conquered are Christian and only few of them have ever been under Christian rule.

    The two features of popular culture mentioned above are united exellently here:

    • ibanezerscrooge says:

      rautakyy, you have been elevated to a level of high respect! Iron Maiden is probably my favorite band and this album, my favorite and this song on that album in the top 3 favorite from that album. Fun Fact: a friend and I actually used this song, successfully, to study for a history test in the 10th grade!

      • rautakyy says:

        Thanks ibanezerscrooge, I think Iron maiden is first class heavy metal. This was first of their albums I purchised when it came out (oh, those grand days of vinyl). And yes, the song was one of my favourites, very much so because it was about Alexander. We did not have a tenth grade in school, but only nine and on the ninth we studied sociopolitical and economical structure of our nation, in stead of history. Propably would have been better for us to have more of history. I sure would have preferred it.

        It is an important thing to look at history from all angles, including the popular images, that so much affect how we see the past. I think we can not understand the present, if we do not know the history, that led to the present and to the future. That is exactly why it is so great there are such people like the 500Q, who examines the historicity, reliability and any alledged divine influence in a book, that is expected to define social morals for us.

    • rautakyy…the only indirect connection I can hypothesize of Alexander making “way for Christianity” was in Alexander’s embracing conquered culture as serving the greater good of his empire; “love thy enemy” perhaps? Then maybe indirectly again, that the coming Roman Empire embraced much of Greek culture and once the Roman Empire crumbled from corruption within, it hijacked the social-welfare system of Judaism started in Jerusalem (ironically exterminated by Roman legions 251 years earlier) and called it a Roman-Greco religion called Christ-ianity with heavy roots in Messiah-nism to legitimize it. Or perhaps that’s a stretch? I’m trying to give modern Christianity the benefit of the doubt. 😉

      • rautakyy says:

        Professor Taboo, yes, you might be right about how the Christians came to adopt Alexander. Partly at least. I think there is also a heavy “defender of the west” theme, that people have imagined around this legendary son of a god.

        The connection between Christianity and Alexander is ultimately bogus. His adoption of the grand Persian cultures was the act of a soberminded politician and I think the conservative Christians found that particular notion allmost as much distastefull about the above mentioned movie as his possible homosexuality (or bisexuality). He lived hundreds of years before Jesus and was by self proclaimed right the son of Zeus. It is hard to find less Christian character, than him, even though a lot of Christians have shared with him both the desire for conquest and a habit of burning books when drunk. 😉

        What ever in any way relevant to Christianity the story of Alexander tells us, is that the Jews were not a major player in politics, or history during his time. The Bible as a historical source is interresting, but overemphasizes the role of the ancient Hebrew in a world and time where they, nor their god, did not have a grand effect on the realpolitics of them days.

        If anyone is able to willfully believe in a universally benevolent and personal loving god, dispite how the science reveals us a natural universe, then that same person might be able to conjure a link between Alexander and Christianity, or simply to take the prophesy about the demise of Tyre as evidence for Biblical innerrancy and such prophesies as divinely inspired predictions.

        • And respectfully if I could add a tid-bit to your last two paragraphs, if it were not for Constantine and the Roman hijacking of Judaic Messianic traditions in the 4th century CE and turning it into a Roman-Greco social-rehab (called Christianity) for a splintering empire, we probably wouldn’t be having these discussions or debates today about prophetic testaments. They both would’ve just faded into obscurity known only by archaeologists and historians. But alas, the victors always “write” history, eh?

          • rautakyy says:

            @Professor Taboo. Indeed. Constantine was propably more important character for the Christianity than Jesus himself. Jesus was important in that Constantine chose his cult and not some other mystery religion. After all Constantine could have just as well chosen to coup the political support of many other religious cults in the Roman Empire like Mithras cult, Magna Mater, or the Orpheus cult. All of these seem to have been incorporated heavily on what today is known as Christianity. He propably thought, that by the choise of Christianity and building an empire within an empire and moving the capital would stop the constant internal wars, but distributing the power from possible usurpers, the regional rulers (ones like him, before he grabbed the rulership) to the bishops he ended up weakening the military. Wich ultimately led to the demise of the empire. But this is a nother topic, interresting though…

  4. Garbonzo says:

    This blog never ceases to amaze me. It’s so well written! I love you, author! …Consider making a nickname for yourself so that praise can be better directed instead of calling you “author”. =P

  5. 500Q…I enjoyed your interpretive commentary of the Judaic passages. The persona of Yahweh depicted in the Torah reminds me of my son when he was 2-6 years old and getting upset (infrequently throwing tantrums) over HOW his sand-box was used or his toys being strictly for his own enjoyment and pleasure…and for no one else’s. The ONLY behavior acceptable in his sand-box was ‘playmates’ humbly uplifting his omniscience and omnipotence! I’m talking about my “son” of course. 😉

    • Joe Earl says:

      You say you are a parent of two children so I am sure that you have “house rules”. I doubt that you allow your children to destroy your home or harm each other without impunity. And you undoubtedly have some sort of morals or values that you impose on your children (don’t lie, cheat, steal, etc.) that you don’t allow them to violate without impunity. If all of these things are true, then a better comparison would be to compare yourself as a parent to Yahweh.

      The nation of Israel were his children. He had rules for them. Not trivial rules “don’t touch my toys” as you make them seem, but good rules, such as “don’t use your kids for human sacrifices” and “don’t rape your neighbor’s wife”. When they followed these rules, as a nation, they were blessed and prosperous. When they didn’t, they experienced war, famine, and disaster.

      The upholding of basic moral laws is the fabric upon which any stable society is built, so even if you take God out of the picture you could see how the above statement would be true. But alas, we live in a world where people feel they should be allowed to do whatever they want when ever they want with no oversight or accountability. At its very heart, that is the problem that people have with belief in God; it means they have to be accountable for their actions. Kind of childish if you ask me…

      • Hi Joe Earl. Thanks for your reply.

        If I understand your reply-comment correctly, I feel you may have taken my intentional satire toward ancient stories and myths too seriously. 500Q points out well how vague and unreliable the Judeo-Israeli prophecy of Tyre is and was actually never meant to be a prophecy in the first place. On the bigger picture of ‘establishing God’s authority’ by the apologetic technique of “fulfilled prochecies”, that can easily be done or explained at a later time by writers & story-tellers giving their version of a divine personality on historical events suitable to their needs at that time. However, take a number of any other recorders of the same historical event and their version (suitable to their needs) will be different, perhaps describing a different divinity played out through Natural planetary or climate-related calamities and/or various characters. The collaspe of Sodom & Gomorrah is a perfect example of multiple narrations of the same event all with varying causes and effects — which does not establish any “divine authority’s” revelations to a specific people. 500Q has done a very nice job dissecting this particular prophecy that can be applied to all religious prophecies.

        I doubt that you allow your children to destroy your home or harm each other without impunity. And you undoubtedly have some sort of morals or values that you impose on your children (don’t lie, cheat, steal, etc.) that you don’t allow them to violate without impunity.

        This is true. I learned these values, virtues, Do’s & Don’ts, etc, first from my own parents who learned many/some of them from their parents. These are also influenced and formed by extended family and immediate community — which can expand further as far as the parent/person travels and experiences the globe’s many cultures. To summarize, it is quite reasonable to infer these values evolved into today’s standards when different pockets of humanity over the last 60,000+ years learned the survival concept of strength in numbers & organization. Humanity has ALWAYS had a plethora of civilized cultural values, none of them purely perfect 100% of the time.

        The nation of Israel were his children. He had rules for them. Not trivial rules “don’t touch my toys” as you make them seem, but good rules, such as “don’t use your kids for human sacrifices” and “don’t rape your neighbor’s wife”. When they followed these rules, as a nation, they were blessed and prosperous. When they didn’t, they experienced war, famine, and disaster.

        This is one version of theology and divine revelation, or life. There are many more to consider, including non-religious. 🙂

        The upholding of basic moral laws is the fabric upon which any stable society is built…

        Indeed, eusociality is and has been shown in only 19 living species on Earth out of some 10- to 20-million+ species we understand only 2-million; and 16 of those 2-mill are insects! Hah! 😉 Homo sapiens have only JUST grasped eusocial behavior compared to the other 18 who have been doing it for over 120-million years. As the only primates with some eusocial behavior, we have a long long way to go to become a truly superorganism species. Many can reasonably argue that we may never achieve it. Hmmmm.

        But alas, we live in a world where people feel they should be allowed to do whatever they want when ever they want with no oversight or accountability. At its very heart, that is the problem that people have with belief in God; it means they have to be accountable for their actions.

        Yes, total freedom cannot exist without responsibility and accountability for one’s individual speech and behavior. Yet, the only way to gauge appropriate speech and behavior, or the punishment/discipline of it, is by a generally accepted “Code of Conduct” — the larger the acceptance, and the checks & balances of its enforcement, the more proportionately its value is raised. This could be seen as truth, but more importantly it respresents a higher degree & value of Superorganism behavior. What this doesn’t prove or establish is any divine being or authority. I will respectfully disagree with your perspective of this world and last sentence.

        One or a few bad apples do not represent the entire orchard. There are enough virtuous, ethical, empathetic, and honorable human beings in the world to invalidate your postulation that ALL humans want a life of unfettered recklessness and unaccountability. And to your last sentence, I personally would restructure it this way…

        At its very heart, that is the problem that people have.. with a large majority (jury?) of those they truly care about being disappointed, upset, angry, ashamed, etc, by a person’s speech and/or behavior; it means they have to be accountable for their actions and words to the eusocial standards and protections (laws?) embraced by the concerned majority.

        Thanks again Joe Earl and best regards.

        • Joe Earl says:

          No. You don’t understand my comment correctly.

          I didn’t mention 500Q’s comment in my reply to you. My issue wasn’t with his article, it was with your Satire. I think you are assuming that I am trying to use the existence of moral laws as a way to prove that God exists. That was not at all what I said. I was simply pointing out that your gross oversimplification of the complicated person of Yahweh as presented in the Old Testament.

          While I do happen to believe in God, for me personally neither morality or prophecy is the strongest evidence of his existence. I agree with you (or atleast I think I do with all of those big words you used) in that morality is something that would have developed in intelligent creatures, to a certain extent, even without divine influence.

          I never said that any of my statements apply to “All” people. If you reread my comment you will notice that I only say “people” , you added the word “All” in an attempt to make a reasonable statement unreasonable. Just like you attempted to make Yahweh seem unreasonable by comparing him to some unruly children. Hmmmmm….do we see a pattern here?

          And yes, making a law that says that people can’t offer there children up as burnt sacrifices is only “one version of life” but it’s a version I think most people would vastly prefer to the version where that sort of thing is ok.

          Lastly, divine or not, an intelligent person can’t ignore the fact that there ARE higher authorities that govern the universe. I will name one: gravity. If you don’t believe me, go exercise your freedom to defy gravity by jumping off of your roof and let me know how that works out for you. Regardless of where you worship on Sunday you can’t break the law of gravity without consequences.

          So we all acknowledge higher power or authority on some level. And gravity is one of only few things that we as humans have discovered in our infinite universe. Imagine the other “powers” out there that we haven’t discovered. If there was no power or authority higher than us then we would, logically, have complete freedom which we obviously don’t. But maybe I’m wrong and you can fly…

          So again, I never said that “social accountability” equals divine authority. What I was said was closer to “the way Yahweh excercised divine authority in the Old Testament is not much different from how we as a society exercise “social accountability” today.” You steal, you get a hand cut off. You kill somebody, you get the electric chair. You cheat on your spouse, you get divorced and they take all of your money and your kids. We are not gods, and yet how different is this justice from what Yahweh did? I think that’s a more fair and realistic portrait of the Yahweh than the Comic Book Villan version that you painted.

          • 500Q — If this thread of dialogue digresses into unwarranted derision, you’re welcome to removethe thread or through your moderation withhold further replies. It was not my intention for my initial satirical comment to be taken so personally.

            Joe Earl,

            I’m a little surprised that as complete strangers you are obviously very bothered and irritated at my Monty Python-like comment — a comment that underneath would reflect my belief that monotheism, a god or God cannot be adequately proven. I will say there is a significant difference between faith and truth and an even bigger difference between faith and evidence of monotheism, let alone one specific god personality. I assure you my initial comment was not directed to you specifically. It was, however, directed at an ideology, more specifically an Abrahamic ideology.

            I did read and reread your first reply several times as it wasn’t articulated precisely to avoid possible misunderstandings by many readers here. I even asked for colleagues of mine to read your reply as well. They too found parts to be too vague and open to various interpretations. Therefore, out of respect I started my reply to you with that admission. I think perhaps your reaction is — or is on the verge of becoming — unwarranted? Many people, especially political figures, understand the purpose and function of satire, parody, and other forms of theatrics. I hope you can too. If I have somehow greatly offended you with that satirical comment — hopefully NOT to the extent Charlie Hebdo’s murders were offended! — then as total strangers I politely ask you to reexamine your reaction(s) and not internalize MY personal beliefs or world-view. With 7.5-billion plus humans on this planet there is and always will be differences of opinion, beliefs, faith, and truths, some complete opposites. It’s to be expected. Nevertheless, since this blog-post is several months old I doubt these misunderstandings really matter much to anyone… so there’s no need to be overly sensitive. 🙂

            However, if constructive dialogue is kept then perhaps our fumbling can amount to something beneficial for 500Q’s readers. In your last paragraph you stated:

            What I said was closer to “the way Yahweh excercised divine authority in the Old Testament is not much different from how we as a society exercise “social accountability” today.”

            And it isn’t much different than many other ancient or modern religious portrayals either of equal or greater value in certain aspects. My point is to an inclusive spirituality rather than a divisive, elistist exclusive spirituality. There is no comprehensive evidence of monism. There is certainly loads of compelling evidence pluralism and endless diversity! Again, I am speaking of ideologies, not at you specifically Joe Earl.

            I think that’s a more fair and realistic portrait of the Yahweh than the Comic Book Villan version that you painted.

            That interpretation is fair. As I’ve admitted, a “Comic Book Villan” was certainly a version (your version) of the satirical character I was portraying, yes. Blame it on my Bohemian tendencies — I stand by my initial comment. Personally, I see nothing wrong with looking at life, at ancient history, at social-norms, at ideologies (mythological or not) through various lenses, including a satirical one. Laughter is a much needed commodity in this world of excessive fear, hatred, and hyper-sensitivity. 😉

            Best wishes and regards Joe Earl.

  6. rautakyy says:

    Even if the prophesy of Ezekiel could produce all the details about the siege and conquest of Tyre accurately, it would not prove any sort of divine influence in the Bible. He was a contemporary of the events and might have had all sorts of insight to the plans of high king Nebuchadnezzar. In addition the Ezekiel prophesies could have been seriously edited to fit the reality after the events and even in this case there could be some mistakes, because, if Ezekiel was not present at the siege, his mistakes might be the result of hearsay.

    We could do all sorts of jumping about the interpretation of the description Ezekiel gives of the destruction of Tyre. For example we could say the fishnets refer to the fact that during the 13 year siege the people of Tyre could not use their fields and were forced to eat fish, or that the ramp might have been made to defeat the walls of Ushu (Tyre on shore) like the one Romans build when they conquered Masada. The Tyre on the Shore could have been besieged for a long time and since Nebuchadnezzar did not have a navy he could not interrupt trafic between Ushu and Tyre on the island. None of this really changes anything about the reliability of the claims that the Bible is divinely inspired. There is no way the prophesies of Ezekiel or any other for that matter, can be justified as evidence of supernatural influence, let alone inspiration from a particular god.

    Even if the Abrahamic god actually used the son of a nother god, Alexander son of Zeus, to fullfill his prophesies, it would be a weak testimony to the predictive capabilities of Ezekiel, or his god, since his god did not mention even the name of Alexander to Ezekiel. But instead, just used this pseudonym “many nations”, wich could mean, from our human perspective, anyone from Nebuchadnezzar to Mordechai Gur.

    The specifics of the description of the destruction of Tyre are unimportant, because one can make all sorts of prophesies by the dozen, and if a couple of them connect with the reality, at some point of history, it is a farcry from any evidence of divine inspiration as long as most of the prophesies did not come true. That is just lucky guessing (or in the case of Ezekiel perhaps even educated guessing). Less lucky guesses are presented by Ezekiel when he claims Nebuchadnezzar would conquer Egypt and that Tyre will never be rebuilt. Never mind wether he means the Tyre proper on an island, or Ushu on the mainland, because Today Tyre with 174 000 inhabitants and 17 square km (7 sq mi) area covers any remains of the ancient Ushu.

    Even one out of three is less than satisfactional prediction rate from a divine inspiration. Is it not?

    And ultimately, even if all the predictions made by Ezekiel would have come true, what would that be evidence of exactly? That Ezekiel was divinely inspired, or that he had contemporary knowledge on how Nebuchadnezzar the king of kings would act? Or that the Ezekiel prophesies were later edited to fit the reality that came to pass?

    My friend predicted in 1994 that the US will eventually conquer Iraq. Was his “prophesy” invalidated, by the fact, that the war in Iraq continued as long as the US troops were there and beyond? Was he divinely inspired? Did he just make a lucky guess, or did he have a contemporary insight to realpolitics as to what would happen? Wich is the least propable explanation?

    • Agreed. Even if Ezekiel had nailed it, we still wouldn’t know if the prophecy had been tampered with since ancient times. Without proof that it hadn’t been, it’s never going to be very strong evidence. It’s evidence that would also have to be accepted on faith.

      But as I’ve pointed out in the past, there are so many different ways to make a prophecy seem legit that it’s really a horrible way to test for divinity. It’s really too bad there aren’t modern prophets that would be willing to have their abilities tested. If someone could, for example, routinely predict something like lottery numbers, we could at least confirm that such a thing was possible (assuming no tricks were involved). While this wouldn’t be direct evidence of God’s existence, it would be really saying something if it was a power that only belonged to believers in one religious sect. The same goes for the power of prayer; if only the prayers to one particular God resulted in regular and routine healings, it would be good evidence that there was something to that God.

      • Joe Earl says:

        Doesn’t it make the entire article and this whole discussion pointless when you admit that “even if Ezekiel had nailed it” you wouldn’t believe it was a divinely inspired prophecy? The thing I love about the Bible is that there is enough ambiguity to allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. You’ve obviously drawn yours, others will draw theirs. Apparently, based on the comments in this thread there was the same amount of ambiguity in your article because those who wanted to believe your reasoning did so and those who didn’t , well…didn’t. So alas, you did no better in writing this “well researched” article than our friend Ezekiel did in writing his book. The fact remains that people are still prone to find holes in clear eveidence that they don’t want to believe and strength in unclear evidence that they do want to believe.

  7. Garbonzo says:

    500 Questions, can you do this one:

    What does the Bible say about “free will”?

    Free will is used in a lot of apologetics, but does the Bible actually support that reasoning?

    • Totally — the issue of free will seems to come A LOT around here, I guess because free will sounds like a reasonable-sounding explanation for our mysterious situation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that Christians reply and disagree to philosophical questions, but the ones concerning historical evidence and irrefutable facts are always overlooked?

  9. Michael says:

    Everyone expects all things to be explained to them so perfectly that they can understand everything and if its not then just like a little kid they throw it away because it serves no purpose to them. People wonder why they dont understand God. People expect God to speak the way THEY want him to. Foolishness. The bible is not meant to be a science book or philosophy book but thats what people are looking for and because of that they will not understand God. If you want to try to disprove the bibles divine nature then you must deny the WHOLE bible not just 1 chapter out of 66 books. This prophecy was predicted by more than Ezekiel. In the book of Amos Tyre’s fall was predicted in 755 B.C. as well as the book of Zechariah hundreds of years before it all happened. Aside from this one chapter prophecy which all unfolded over time, disprove all of the bibles prophecies that have come true and with archeological evidence. Jesus was predicted hundreds and hundreds of years prior and he came and fulfilled the prophecies.He was a real man and all that was predicted about him happened. Even out side of the bible there are written accounts from witnesses, political figures at the time of Jesus supporting evidence that the Bibles prophecies on Jesus came true. Your like the people on the show Ancient Aliens, they take one vision from Ezekiel and call them aliens from other planets because it sounds like aliens to them. They take that little part to support their show. They continue to neglect the rest of the book, visions, predictions and all things that are supernatural that have happened that will NOT support their show. The Bible is compiled of the SAME GOD speaking through his prophets.Not just one book or one chapter. So, if anyone wants to disprove the accounts in the Bible or interpret their own way then they must do it for all 66 books. If you dont study the whole Bible then you will be mislead, not understand Gods ways or his prophecies (which mostly all the time does not happen all in one time but is spread out over years). The prophecies in Ezekiel are clearly fulfilled over time and even with archeological evidence. People just go out of their way to try anything to disprove its accounts but if it were a prediction by Nostradamus well then everyone would support it and say that his predictions on Tyre came true, even though many of his predictions did not come true. Isaiah FILLED with prophecy that has been fulfilled. Ignorance towards the Bible is all it is simply because “its in the Bible”. Anyway, here are the biblical accounts and prophecies fulfilled in Ezekiel…..no matter how you want to interpret it, it happened and was first predicted in 733 B.C.

    Tyre’s fortresses would fail
    Bible prophecy: Amos 1:9-10
    Prophecy written: About 750 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: 333-332 BC

    In Amos 1:9-10, the prophet said that God would cause Tyre’s protective fortresses to fail, as punishment for the way that Tyre treated Israel. That prophecy was fulfilled in 586-573 BC when Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked the mainland of Tyre, and in 333-332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre. Alexander’s army built a land bridge from the mainland to the island so that they could use a battering ram to break through the island’s fortress.

    Amos 1:9-10:

    This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses.”

    Tyre would be attacked by many nations
    Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:3
    Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: 573 BC, 332 BC, etc.

    In Ezekiel 26:3, the prophet said that Tyre, the Phoenician Empire’s most powerful city, would be attacked by many nations, because of its treatment of Israel. At about the time that Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, Babylon had begun a 13-year attack on Tyre’s mainland. Later, in about 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre and brought an end to the Phoenician Empire.

    Ezekiel 26:3:

    therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.

    Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be cast into the sea
    Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:12
    Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: 333-332 BC

    In Ezekiel 26:12, the prophet said that Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be thrown into the sea. Ezekiel’s prophecy accurately describes how Alexander the Great built a land bridge from the mainland to the island of Tyre, when he attacked in 333-332 BC. Alexander’s forces took rubble from Tyre’s mainland and tossed it – stones, timber and soil – into the sea, to build the land bridge (which is still there).

    Ezekiel 26:12:

    They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea.

    Tyre would lose its power over the sea
    Bible prophecy: Zechariah 9:3-4
    Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: Since 332 BC

    In Zechariah 9:3-4, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would lose its status as a powerful nation on the Mediterranean Sea. Today there is a city called Tyre that is either on, or near, the original Phoenician site. But this Tyre is a small city in modern-day Lebanon. It is certainly not the powerful nation that it was in the days of Zechariah.

    Zechariah 9:3-4:

    Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.
    But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire.

    Phoenician Tyre would never again be found
    Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:21
    Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: After 332 BC

    In Ezekiel 26:21, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be brought to an end and would never again be found. When Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 332 BC, he brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The Empire was never revived or “found” again. As for the city itself, it has been torn down and built upon by a succession of foreign powers. Today, finding artifacts from the original Phoenician Tyre is difficult. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: “The principal ruins of the city today are those of buildings erected by the Crusaders. There are some Greco-Roman remains, but any left by the Phoenicians lie underneath the present town.”

    Ezekiel 26:21:

    I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

    Phoenician Tyre would never be rebuilt
    Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:14
    Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC
    Prophecy fulfilled: Since 332 BC

    In Ezekiel 26:14, the prophet says the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed and never be rebuilt. This was fulfilled when Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC. His conquest brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The empire never recovered from the attack. And so, it could never rebuild Tyre. Other nations and empires have built and rebuilt cities on or near the original Phoenician site.

    Ezekiel 26:14:

    I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.

    Now, As history will show us, the Sidonian port of Tyre is still in use today, and small fishing vessels harbor there. It is a large fishing area now. According to the prophets in God’s Word, Tyre would become a place where fisherman would spread their nets. Understand that there is in existence a city of Tyre. However, this is not the original city, this city is actually built down the coast from the original, and does not, in biblical terms, qualify as the biblical Tyre. Tyre was destroyed, never to be revived again, and to date, it never has, not in its original format.

    • Jim says:

      Then by your standard God destroyed Israel completely as well. They were conquered and lived among other rulers. Both have survived, there are still people today that make claim to their heritage. So if the complete destruction of the people and their kingship equals the complete destruction then it fails, and that would make everything that Israel is a lie because they are a destroyed people and have been ever since Babylon. Why would God bother to even call Judah anything when they never again had the power to govern their own people. Even today as they were given their land back they are subject to the UN and US (though they are “Independent”). Whether you like it or not the circumstances are the same between Israel and Tyre. Also Phoenicians weren’t just in Tyre, it was just the most renowned city on that part of the Mediterranean and had an older history. The Phoenicians also became the empire of Carthage and were a big part of the Seleucids and then Phoenicians again. Also after Alexander the Phoenicians themselves rebuilt Tyre at least once around 200 A.D. I’m only writing this because other people might be interested in hearing this. You obviously have no flipping clue about history and were just giving the generic answer that all fundamentalists do using extremely poor history massively publicized by Josh McDowell.

      By the way Love the Blog.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To make one thing clear….Just like Shakespeare writings and language use or Nostradamus drawings depicting events or just like any writer that has their own style……People understand what others dont about these “hard to interpret” writings and drawings because THEY STUDIED THAT PERSONS LANGUAGE and writing style. If I opened a writing of Shakespeare I would not understand his language and word usage becauase I dont understand his writing style nor him as a person to understand what he was writing for. But if I studied it and read most of all of his works then I will begin to understand what Shakespeare was saying and why. If I saw a drawing of Nostradamus I would not know how to interpret it but only if I studied his motives, drawings and symbolism THEN I will understand. And So it is with the words of God and his prophecies. No one will understand it. No scientist, no unbeliever, no philosopher, no not one mind will understand the divine words of “Thus says the Lord”. Because of what the Bible stands for they wont dig deep into gods words, language and his prophecies. If they did this they would understand what God means by his prophecies. His words are not always literal! God uses words that the general reader would not understand because that general reader does not understand Gods language use, much like a general reader of Shakespeare would not understand his writings because they have not studied his style of writing and use of words. What do these words mean to the one who wrote it. We dont read shakespeare and say “I dont understand this, it must be wrong.” To shakespeare it was right. So, you misinterpret Gods words and prophecies because you dont know Gods language. When God said “Tyre will never be rebuilt” you took it to mean the city of Tyre will have no name and not exist on the map at all when God meant the greedy, selfish, evil city of that day will be no more and those people will be no more and that it will become rock stubble and a place for fishing AND today that city of Tyre is gone and it is a main fishing hole along with stubble of rocks. Tyre isnt even in the same location. Just because the map says Tyre you take it to mean Tyre is still flourishing and active when in reality God destroyed what that city stood for. Now its nothing compared to what it once was. “Waves of nations” have destroyed Tyre over many years. In the book of Amos even before Ezekiel predictions of Tyre Gods says “I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, Which shall devour its palaces.” You see fire to be literal and you want to see proof that Tyre was actually burned and yet because I know the language of God I see it as a symbol of Gods anger, Judgment and destruction. Here is why, because of fire’s heat and destructive capacity, it frequently appears in the Bible as a symbol of God’s anger and of the judgment and destruction that sometimes are extensions of that anger. The psalmist employs fire as a simile for divine displeasure when he asks the Lord, “How long will your wrath burn like fire?” ( Psalm 89:46 ) Isaiah, referring to God’s coming in judgment, sees him “coming with fire” and bringing down his rebuke “with flames of fire” (66:15). You must study Gods words like you do anyone elses writing style. If you dont you will think you can interpret it right when in fact your wrong because you dont know Gods style and language. Forget how ignorant you think Christians are but study Gods word with your own mind and dig deep and you will begin to make sense of Gods word. You will then understand his language and use of symbolism thus interpreting all prophecies accurately. For the record, not all of the bible is divine. Only what is with in “Thus says the Lord”. That is right from God speaking through his prophets via their spirits that God gave us all. So, that is divinely inspired but not what is said by mere men. The gospels of the NT are not divine, but they were written by men who were eye witnesses of Jesus and those who spent time with him.

  11. Michael says:

    Please Tell Me that you knew that the over throw of Tyre was predicted aside from Ezekiel. That it was predicted in 755 B.C. in the book of Amos 1:9-10 and during 597-538B.C. in the book of Zechariah 9:3-4.?????????????????????????????????????????????????

  12. Hi Michael.

    When preparing for this post, I did read all the Biblical references to Tyre, as well as anything else I could get my hands on.

    This single post is not intended to be an exhaustive study on Tyre, and I had to edit out what I felt was less relevant. I didn’t mention the predictions of Amos and Zechariah primarily because their predictions were much less specific than those of Ezekiel. They both claim that Tyre would be destroyed, but neither Amos or Zechariah seem able to detail who will destroy it, or when. It’s not until Ezekiel’s time that we start getting more specific details. (Also, many Christians don’t bother to mention Amos and Zechariah when discussing the Tyre proof-text.)

    With no timeline or specific details, it was HIGHLY probable that the generic prophecies of Amos and Zechariah would one day come to pass, and Tyre would eventually fall to someone.

    What we really need are specific prophecies (that have only one possible interpretation) that are also very unlikely to come true. The only semblance of specificity that Amos and Zechariah provide is that Tyre will one day be destroyed by fire:

    “Thus says the Lord… I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre and it will consume her citadels.” Amos 1:9-10

    “Behold, the Lord will dispossess her… and she will be consumed with fire.” Zechariah 9:4

    Now, before you say, “But wait! The fire was only a metaphor for God’s wrath!” allow me to point out three things:

    1) God WAS known to LITERALLY pour out fire upon sacrifices and cities (see 1 Chronicles 21:26, 2 Chronicles 7:1, Leviticus 9, Genesis 19:24-29, 1 Kings 18:20-40, 2 Kings 1:10, Numbers 16:35, and Job 1:16). Sodom and Gomorrah is the most famous example:

    “Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah” (Genesis 19:24).

    2) The verses in Amos and Zachariah give no indication that the fire was not going to be literal, like these others were. I realize that the Bible uses many metaphors and parables, and I’m certainly willing to allow for that, but the problem we run into is that this fact opens up any prophecy to a huge number of possible interpretations, greatly increasing the odds that the reader can draw SOME sort of parallel. In other words, all prophecies become much more probable.

    3) Finally, even if Tyre HAD been destroyed by fire (which actually would’ve been quite probable, since this was how cities were often destroyed), there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Christians today would be saying, “See! The Bible predicted it would happen, and it was LITERALLY fulfilled! It was LITERALLY destroyed by fire!” This fact alone should tell us that we are just reading into the prophecy what we want to believe. If it happened, it would be considered literally fulfilled, if it doesn’t happen, it’s STILL metaphorically fulfilled. As long as Tyre is destroyed at any point, God gets credit. (And even if it doesn’t… we can claim that Tyre repented, or God was referring to a different part of Tyre, or that it just hasn’t happened yet.)

    But you can see why Christians don’t bother bringing up these other prophecies about Tyre, as it doesn’t help their case.

    500Q

    • Lets also add to the above the following factors that applies to everything about the bible. According to P.H.D. professor, Bart Ehrman, who had actually read the greek manuscripts to the NT, its infested with discrepancies, contradictions, spelling errors and the original manuscripts have been lost. Its been argued between professor ehrman and scholar Dan Wallace as to whether or not the NT can be reconstructed. Personally, I don’t see how. How do you know what to look for when you don’t know what you are looking for ? If you rely on bible commentaries of church fathers at the supposed time the original manuscripts were written for such a reconstruction you would not only have people that have different sources of a wide variety of the same stories that are also told differently but different points of views on such stories which makes obtaining facts about this matter impossible. To my knowledge scholars never had the original manuscripts and if you don’t have a reference to go off of I should suspect that such a reconstruction is also impossible. On top of this, this confusion has lead to many different bibles with many different manuscripts used and different books either added or subtracted from bibles and different churches errected that call each other false and with both preachers and church goers having different interpretations and views on scriptures that causes those scisms and infighting both inside churches and churches against churches and all this from a bible thats infested with discrepancies, contradictions, spelling errors and the original manuscripts lost. This, of course, would be followed by many different churches being against many different lifestyles that don’t comform to their own. And then theres how the books of the bibles were decided which was often done more from the methods of setting standards for each book to meet as well as by vote and by ulterior motives that may or may not have been noble than anything of divine inspiration. Currently, bible scholars often pick and choose the manuscripts to include in the bible on a scale of probability and improbability and christians making up a god in their own minds in very much the same way the pagans do with their Gods and Goddesses either without knowing it or attmiting it. As the word of god is supposed to be flawless I have no choice but to voice the opinion that all the bibles we have now are not the word of god or the god that the Hebrews and gentles know him had never existed in the first place. Of course, I could be wrong about the later and that we’re all going to hell, both theist and non theist as well as myself as virtually everything is a sin according to the bible and we all do them and that we’ll find out if the true interpretation of hell is either annihilationism or eternal tormentism because such a god may exist regardless of the above. I, of course, suspect that when we die we simply go to the heavens and hells of whatever religion we believed in in life. The phenomenon of near death experiences, where the experiencer often experiences the worlds beyond ours in terms of their own religions and could be a sneak preview of the above. But all this is only observation, opinions and my own point of views among many. I do not subscribe to creationism but I also don’t put too much stock in evolution either in the area of relations between man and animals. Yes, I do suspect that apes are related to man but considering that we were all made from the same gene I think all animals are our relatives as well. Otherwise, as our finate minds can only use logic, reason and imagination when logic and reason fails to explain various things in life only an infinate mind can comprehend worlds that may or may not exist beyond our own when we escape our bodies upon death to enter such possibilities. For example, lets say we all have everything wrong about our origins and spiritual destinations upon death, can anybodies finite minds comprehend that our univeres and all in it was niether created by a divine being nor did it create itself out of nothing should such ever turn out to be the case? Thank you for reading this and may you have and live a fantastic life.

  13. me says:

    There is one more – completely different explanation: Tyre could have been present-day Thira/Thera/Santorini!
    – The Bible says they thought of themselves as: “I am perfect in beauty” – Thera’s previous name was “Calliste” – meaning “the Beautiful”.
    – The Bible exlains: “when I bring the ocean’s depths over you and its vast waters cover you” and “Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters” – Thera was for the most part submerged, plunged into the sea overnight like a stone thrown in the water.
    – The Bible: “So I made a fire come out from you and it consumed you” and “They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas” – Thera erupeted as a supervolcano in ~1630 BC – Thera is surrounded by sea.
    – The Bible mentions that they were merchants (the Minoans were merchants) traded with Egypt, Greece, Rhodos and other places – that’s where Thera is situated.
    – The Bible: “You will be sought, but you will never again be found” – Thera is believed to be the Atlantis, the is even a hotel called ‘Atlantis’ on that island. Atlantis has been sought but has never been found.

    • Garbonzo says:

      Very interesting. I would like 500Q’s reply to this comment.

      > Thera erupeted as a supervolcano in ~1630 BC – Thera is surrounded by sea.

      Can we be sure that these prophecies were written before Thera was destroyed?

      > – The Bible: “You will be sought, but you will never again be found” – Thera is believed to be the Atlantis, the is even a hotel called ‘Atlantis’ on that island. Atlantis has been sought but has never been found.

      This is a bit of a stretch. If we know it was Thera, as you hypothesize, then it was found. Because we know about Thera.

      • I’d say the entire idea is really a stretch. While it’s possible to draw a few connections, the city of Tyre and it’s famous walls has a long and well documented history, and I don’t believe there’s any reason to think it was any other island or location.

    • Garbonzo says:

      His response in case you missed it:

      > I’d say the entire idea is really a stretch. While it’s possible to draw a few connections, the city of Tyre and it’s famous walls has a long and well documented history, and I don’t believe there’s any reason to think it was any other island or location.

  14. Pingback: Were The Biblical Prophecies Fulfilled? | Robert Nielsen

  15. Jesus Jones says:

    Why do people call compliments “hassling”?

  16. Echoer says:

    The ancient city of Tyre on the mainland was never re-inhabited after the seize by King Neb. (1) There have been many nations which have seized Tyre through the years (2). The old city is visited but there are no markers of note and it is under the sea (Disney pun intended) (3). If you build a sandcastle on the sea shore and someone knocks it down, you will never rebuild it. Never. You may rebuild another one like it, but you will never rebuild it. You may place your Ken and Barbie Dolls inside the original and in the new one but they will never “inhabit” they new one again. When a city is “rebuilt” it refers to restoring a city in ruins or decay. When a city is utterly destroyed it is never rebuilt. A new city may be built there or nearby and may even carry the same name but it is not the same a “rebuilding” that city. Egypt did suffer a defeat at Charchemish and later Babylon invaded Egypt and forced Egypt to pay tribute as a conquered foe (4, 1). The modern view of what happened in Egypt during the second venture of Babylon is potentially skewed by pro-Egyptian influence (5). Tyre never again was the economic force after many sieges and is today not even a shadow of what it once was.In response to your question here, thoughts expressed, and comments above I must say: Christians do respond to such issues. In turn I have a few questions which may be of interest: If God does not exist can he be wrong? If one does not believe in God then why does one feel the need to discredit him? If one feels that God is in error and therefor should not judge others because no one should judge another, is that not a judgement? What makes the wording of this passage right or wrong? Who determines what is right or wrong about this passage? Why does there have to be a right or wrong understanding of this passage? Why do we feel the need to respond to a God we do not trust, believe in, or like? Why do we feel the need to discredit those who do? What is to be gained of such? Do not those who condemn atheist and agnostics do the same? Is condemning those who believe the bible as all the same and hateful not being the same judgmental characters atheists decry? Is it possible to live like Jesus, believe the bible, welcome questions, and get along with “non-Christians”? Is it possible to even like “non-chrisitans”? I am a guy who has spent a great deal of my life around religious and non-religious people. The “church” and the “non-religious” crowd are both full of people who are wonderful and kind. They are also both full of people who are filled with hate and bigotry. In the end, I will choose to encourage your questions. I think they are good and healthy, in fact, for us all. Thanks for seeking answers. I believe the truth will find you. I leave you with this quote from C.S. Lewis “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

    Good Day Friends

    (1) https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1790
    (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tyre
    (3) So Why Didn’t They Tell Me That In Church…pg. 113
    (4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carchemish
    (5) Dissertations on the Prophecies: Which Have Remarkably Been Fulfilled…Thomas Newton, William Stephen Dobson…pgs. 165-168

    • Howdy Echoer,

      It sounds as if you’re referring to the mainland city of Tyre that is destroyed and never rebuilt. This is a popular belief by Christians who want the prophecy to appear true, however (as outlined above) the Bible is clearly referring to the island city, which was never destroyed or put under water.

      You have a lot of questions, but I’ll try to touch on each on briefly.

      “If God does not exist can he be wrong?”

      If he does not exist, he is neither wrong nor right, he is nothing.

      “If one does not believe in God then why does one feel the need to discredit him?”

      As a doubting former Christian, I’d like to understand where my religion came from, and how it came to have such a hold on people. I’ve never said I was 100% certain that God does not exist, so I’m looking for any evidence that he does, but doing so critically. (And I must do so critically, because if you look for reasons to believe without being critical, you will find plenty of them).

      “If one feels that God is in error and therefor should not judge others because no one should judge another, is that not a judgement?”

      Again, if God does not exist, he is not in error.

      “What makes the wording of this passage right or wrong?”

      This passage is claimed to be a miraculous prophecy, which is used to prove that only God could’ve inspired the Bible. There are MANY reasons why a prediction or prophecy can appear true (see question #32), and I believe this prophecy has been intentionally misinterpreted in order to make it appear as if it were accurate in order to sustain the underlying belief.

      “Who determines what is right or wrong about this passage? Why does there have to be a right or wrong understanding of this passage?”

      If the passage can mean anything, then it means nothing. A problem arises when the claim is made that the passage proves the existence of God through accurate prophecy. In order for this to be true, we must have some understanding of what the passage means in order to have any kind of intelligent dialog.

      “Why do we feel the need to respond to a God we do not trust, believe in, or like? Why do we feel the need to discredit those who do? What is to be gained of such? Do not those who condemn atheist and agnostics do the same?”

      It’s not a response to God. In order to an understanding of truth, it is necessary to respond to any idea/hypothesis that purports to have some understanding of “the truth.” (religious, scientific, or otherwise). Once a claim has been made, and an attempt to meet the burden of proof has been provided, we must then either accept the claim or critique the evidence.

      In this case, we can accept that this prophecy predicts the fall of Tyre, which (in turn) proves that an all-knowing God is behind the prophecy, or, we can explain why this claim does not meet the burden of proof.

      “Is condemning those who believe the bible as all the same and hateful not being the same judgmental characters atheists decry?”

      In a perfect world, no one would criticize the individual, only the ideas they spread. I am not critical of Christians, I love Christians. I believe Christians are generally good people who are trying to do what they believe is right. I am only critical of Christianity. But we could also say we love Hitler, we are just critical of the ideas he was teaching. Sometimes, the teacher is just as nutty as his ideas.

      “Is it possible to live like Jesus, believe the bible, welcome questions, and get along with ‘non-Christians’? Is it possible to even like ‘non-chrisitans’?”

      Absolutely! My wife and children are believers and they love me, and I love them. I don’t care what they believe, only how they treat myself and others.

      Think freely,
      500Q

      • Garbonzo says:

        Thanks for the response 500q. I was reading the Bible recently and was reading the book of Isaiah, and there were a lot of prophecies in the book that I’m not sure has come true either. A lot of Christians today take of lot of verses from Isaiah to say it is a future prophecy, or that it is a prophecy of the messiah. My old religion takes Isaiah 11 to be a vision of a future Paradise Earth, but when I read the verses around it, it seems obvious to me that it is talking about the author’s day (in other words, it seems like a *failed* prophecy). Maybe you can research into the prophecies of Isaiah, I’m sure there is potential for interesting skeptical commentary into some of the failed prophecies of that book.

      • Garbonzo says:

        I didn’t realize you had children that were Christian, 500Q. How does that work in the household? How old are they? Do you try to talk with them about skepticism, or does your wife frown upon that? Usually when young people have a good teacher they will always learn the truth, in my experience.

        • Hi Garbonzo,

          I will probably look at some of the other prophecies in Isaiah (already tackled the biggest one — Isaiah 53).

          I do have “Christian” children who are 10 and 12, though it’s hard to say what they will believe when they grow up. At this point, I think they’re definitely drawn towards the safety of religion. They know I don’t care what they believe, but that Christianity is important to mom, so it’s safer to side with mom. My son is heavily biased against things like evolution, but he did ask me last night why I thought God would create Satan. I told him I thought I knew the answer, but I didn’t want to tell him what to believe, and that he should think long and hard about that question because it was a very important one (it also just happens to be the next question on my list).

          My kids know my wife and I have different opinions, and normally that’s not a problem — though the other day I did walk in on her telling them that it was wrong for a man to love another man. I had to step in and tell them immediately that I disagreed with that statement. I later told them that 150 years ago, many Christians believed slavery was okay, and now almost none do. And 75 years ago, many Christians believed it was wrong for a black and white couple to be married, and now few see it as a problem. And today, many Christians see gay marriage as wrong, but those numbers are dwindling rapidly, and in another 75 years the thinking will probably be very different.

          I don’t tell them to doubt what mom says, just to question everything and to think for themselves, because even adults struggle with these difficult questions.

          500Q

          • Garbonzo says:

            Thanks for the answer! Will they be watching Cosmos (both series)? 🙂

          • trutherator says:

            Christians like Wilberforce and the abolitionists pushed slavery into history (much more than Lincoln who co-proposed an amendment to enshrine slavery. He wanted to preserve the union). The unbelievers even put Ota Benga in a zoo until Christians protested too loudly.

            The former slave St. Patrick and his followers shamed Europe into ending slavery, like the bishop that shamed the entire stadium by getting martyred during a gladiator bout that he tried to stop: “In the name of Jesus Christ, STOP!” (Patrick’s disciples also founded monasteries of families, and some had women leaders)

            That’s constant. Jim Crow was driven by state enforcement and Darwinians convincing Christians, just like the secular astronomers convinced the Pope of those days that heliocentricism was against the Bible and the Papacy. Just like they’re trying to do with churches today with Darwinian evolution.

            • Garbonzo says:

              Evolution is a fact, plain and simple.

              • paul says:

                no evidence exists in the fossil records AT ALL to prove a species evolving from one entity into another.

                Take the butterfly. Are there even any fossil records showing the mutation or evoltuion from caterpillar into butterfly?

          • paul says:

            What a shame!
            You should check out “New order of Barbarians” and “CFR” by Myron C fagan, originally recorded on three LP records.

            Only if we ask the right questions will we get the right answers.

            Homosexuality just as feminism and political correctness are tools of facist communism (which was implemented by jewish russians to overthrow the Czars of Russia as they had refused to join the League of Nations, todays United Nations.)

            They’re ALL tools, to destroy Christianity and the family unit. Which in turn leads all these children from broken homes into the arms of govt; think “brown-shirts” and the present day #PoliceState and you’ll have an idea of where we’re heading.

            You see satanism on the rise, even in council meetings and also being allowed in the armed forces, somehitng that would NEVER have happened 50 years ago.

            We are all being manipulated and if we don’t see the manipulation for what it is, we WILL fall into the deceitful hands of the angels of darkness and the prince of this world.

            You should have told your children that God didn’t create satan as we know him today, He created him as the MOST important angel in the whole of Heaven, he was Gods Best angel, but that he ended up becoming resentful of all the attention that was being given to God and he wanted some of the attention for himself. So God gave him a choice, FULL obedience to his Father/Creator and remain the Number one Angel in the whole universe, or be cast down from heaven with a third off all the angels. And it’s when he was cast down that evil started to work on the earth.

            So we can all choose to be good and folow Gods Word, ro follow satan and his work. There is no other choice. EVen the bible says if you’re not with me you’re against me. And to show how diabolical satan and his cohorts are, he even allows george w bush to use the same words, becasue in the (under) world of darkness and satanism/luciferianism, everything is reveresed.

            God is bad and Lucifer is good, black is white and white is black.

            Check this out for info on Tyre

            and “Total Onslaught”, “Total Transformation” and “Rekindling The Reformation” series. All excellent in my opinion and what has helped me to believe there is no other way other than the bible, specially the King James Bible – see: https://amazingdiscoveries.tv/media/125/213-battle-of-the-bibles/

            The last link is one of utmost importance. The reason I dodnt question you on your use of “Egypt” in your commentary. The King James never mentions Egypt and therefore we can clearly de-duce that it’s inclusion is courtesy of “The doctrines of teh commandments of mwen” which God warned us about.

            Finally he warned us not to be deceived, for even the very elect may be deceived. That’s the pastors and preachers that teach us all.

    • Garbonzo says:

      “If one does not believe in God then why does one feel the need to discredit him?”

      If one does not believe in, say, homeopathy, then why does one feel the need to discredit it?

      • trutherator says:

        I don’t believe in atheism but for the sake of atheists who are open-minded, I have a need to discredit it when my perspective is considered.

        • Mwansa says:

          The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

          1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
          2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
          3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
          4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
          5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
          6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.

          The bible can and should be trusted.
          check out this video https://youtu.be/b8_jV6R0_5A

  17. Pingback: An Examination of Ezekiel’s Prophecy of Tyre: Part 5 | Finding Truth

  18. Bets King says:

    What if this decree from the Word has not come to pass yet? In my reading of the whole Word, I see that God promises to do away with all the evil and the places of evil on the earth one day. It is called the Great Day. And is known to us as Armeggedon, But what the church has taught us, and is still teaching us does not line up with this last Great Day or what the whole of the Word teaches us. The Book of Ezekiel toward the end, tells us of a day within this day, when the world will be divided by a river. On one side will be those who live with and by the rules that God gave us in His Word. On the other will be “the rest of the people”. Those who are learning the truth and His ways will come to His city to worship Him on His feast day of Sukkot. The Last Great Day lasts to them one thousand years., yet to Him is it only one day.

    The thing that I have come to see is that the church is looking for all kinds of things, the rapture, the antichrist, when we are suppose to be looking for something else altogether, the Last Great Day. Those who are looking are preparing for that day, not by gathering goods and supplies to survive, but learning the Ways of God and teaching them to their children so that they may come to the right side of the river that flows from His throne. One day we all will see the place of Tyre become this shining rock where no one will build. To think that we do not see it now and so that means the Word is a mistake is in itself the worlds mistake, one is too often makes.

  19. Bets King says:

    Here is a kind of “proof” if you will that this prophecy hasn’t come to fruition yet, later in the chapter :

    Eze 28:24 And there will not be a pricking brier or a painful thorn to the house of Israel any more from all who surround them, those who hate them. And they shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah.

    The prickling briers are still plentiful for those who keep the commandments of YHWH, whether in the land or not. The time of this prophecy isn’t yet, but praying that we will soon all KNOW THAT HE IS THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE, YHWH.

    • Mwansa says:

      The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

      1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
      2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
      3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
      4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
      5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
      6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.

      The bible can and should be trusted.
      check out this video https://youtu.be/b8_jV6R0_5A

  20. Bets King says:

    For 500 questions and every other person who cannot find any prophecies that have come to pass from the Bible;

    http://www.viewster.com/movie/1193-15315-000/the-final-prophecies/

    • Typical end-times Christian propaganda, using the same worn-out examples of prophecy, including the prophecy about Tyre! (Jesus is always “just around the corner!”)

      There is a LOT of confirmation bias going on here, especially in how they have chosen to interpret these “prophecies.” No one bothers to interview a single skeptic, or tries to disprove their own theories. They are not interested in an honest pursuit of truth (damn the consequences), but rather they are only interested in spreading their beliefs.

      • Mwansa says:

        The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

        1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
        2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
        3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
        4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
        5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
        6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.
        The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

        1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
        2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
        3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
        4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
        5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
        6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.

        The bible can and should be trusted.
        check out this video https://youtu.be/b8_jV6R0_5A

    • Garbonzo says:

      Do you believe in evolution?

  21. Anonymous says:

    May the scales from our eyes be removed. God bless you.

    • Garbonzo says:

      Likewise. 🙂

      • Mwansa says:

        The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

        1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
        2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
        3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
        4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
        5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
        6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.

        The bible can and should be trusted.
        check out this video https://youtu.be/b8_jV6R0_5A

  22. Mwansa says:

    The fulfillment of the prophecy were not done at the same time but they were done.

    1. In 573BC Nebucadrezzar invaded the main land city after a 13 year siege and the people fled to the island city.
    2. In 332 BC Alexander the great found the mainland abandoned and used the land from the mainland to connect to the island city, thus bringing to pass the prophecy that the debris of the main land city will be thrown into the sea. He built a causeway, well rather his army did the building.
    3. the other was that Nations would come against tyre, this was done by Alexander the Great using ships from the nations he had conqured like cyprus for example to come against the city from many angles keeping in mind that the causeway was now connecting the mainland to the island city.
    4. In AD 1291, The walls and other remnants of mainland Tyre remained until they were destroyed by the muslims during the crusades, they main the mainland a ruin and it is that to this day.
    5. They Ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt, this is another prophecy fulfilled. They city of Tyre today is a few miles down from the ancient site.
    6 The only thing left on the site of the ancient city is a small fishing village, and TODAY the fishermen are hanging their nets on the rock.

    The bible can and should be trusted.
    check out this video https://youtu.be/b8_jV6R0_5A

  23. litlady1 says:

    Interesting! But who is the author of this answer ?

  24. sklyjd says:

    500 Questions, from what I read here it appears you have stirred the emotions of the indoctrinated because logical arguments conflict with their ideology.

  25. Brother Davis says:

    Sir, I feel you have conveniently ignored Ezekiel 26 which says “3 therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4 They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock”. So it is clear that it is not one nation attacking but successive attacks, as the “sea brings up it’s waves” – ie wave upon wave of attacks.

    • Hello Brother Davis,

      I have not ignored this fact, but perhaps I could’ve been more clear.

      Who will “destroy the walls of Tyre” and “make her a bare rock”? Ezekiel tells us in no uncertain terms:

      7 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. 8 He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. 9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. 10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets.

      Nebuchadnezzar will destroy both the mainland and the island. But why does God ascribe the same task to many nations AND Nebuchadnezzar? Possibly because God calls Nebuchadnezzar a “king of kings.” If Nebuchadnezzar controls many nations, it’s possible that he might use his power to bring all of them against Tyre. Or the Bible’s author’s simply goofed.

      500Q

  26. your “research” is largely based on looking at several verses and making a wrong conclusion about what is or is not Tyre…
    Read this for a proper study http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1790 and know that Biblical prophecies look at the sum of events not little itty bits that you present and focus on. And no, the old Phoenician city of Tyre was never rebuilt, what you see now are remains of the Roman era at most. The old city is under the sea just like it was predicted.

    • Hi Veniamin Melnychuk,

      “your “research” is largely based on looking at several verses and making a wrong conclusion about what is or is not Tyre”

      I believe I looked at every verse, not just several of them. If I am wrong in one area, please explain where and why so that I might check and/or refute that claim.

      “Read this for a proper study…”

      I’ve not only read it, I quote it and link to it in my post. But I disagree with many of their conclusions, including the conclusion that “Ezekiel’s accuracy stands as irrefutable evidence of the prophet’s divine inspiration.”

      “And no, the old Phoenician city of Tyre was never rebuilt, what you see now are remains of the Roman era at most. “

      I never claimed there were ruins of the original Tyre remaining today. The Bible says that Tyre would be made a bare rock, a place to spread fishnets (v. 4-5). When one builds a city on top of an old city, to me, that constitutes rebuilding the city (especially when you still call it by the same name). But even if I’m wrong in this, it’s still no bare rock.

      Exactly where the stones from the old city ended up, no one knows. It’s extremely likely that Alexander the Great used the stones from the mainland to construct the causeway to the island city of Tyre, but once there, there was little reason to continue casting stones into the ocean. The stones may have been used in the construction of the new island city.

      500Q

  27. I was reading Ezekiel in Hebrew when I got curious about the prophecy and read your post and many of the comments. I think you used the NIV for the quotes because the Hebrew text of 26.1 doesn’t have “month of the twelfth” and the NIV note admits that they give a “probable reading” by adding those words. The KJV for example has “in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month,” which is what the Hebrew says.

    At any rate, that got me wondering about 26.5, “out in the sea” (you and the NIV) vs. “midst of the sea” (KJV and Hebrew). I make a point of this because you say that “out in the sea” is “crucial” to understand that the destroyed Tyre being referred to, scraped clean, is the island part (out in the sea) and not the coastal part. Since the island part was not scraped clean but the coastal part was, there is an obvious false prophecy, you say. So I looked at Google maps and see that all Tyre is in the midst of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean from a north to south perspective. In Biblical Israel, directions are given according to Israel: south is Negev or sands or to the right, east is the rising of the sun or forward, north is treasure (?), and west is the Sea or after part. To a Biblical Israeli, the north-south part of the Sea would be more significant than how wide the Sea is. Even the Kinneret is called the Sea of Galilee, which is somewhat of a joke among modern Israelis, since it’s so tiny, but to Biblical Israel it was a big deal. At any rate, there right in the “midst of the sea” is Tyre, both the coastal and island parts.

    It seems that your argument is built on a poor NIV translation. Actually, the NIV is one of my two favorite translations, but in this case, 26.1 and 26.5, the NIV appears wrong.

    • Hi Peter,

      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

      The verse reads:

      5 Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, 6 and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword.

      If both verses were referring to the island AND the mainland as a single entity (“in the midst” of the Mediterranean, as you suggest), then there would’ve been no need to mention the mainland at all. The author could’ve simply stated:

      “She will be ravaged by the sword and become plunder for the nations, she will become a place to spread fishnets.”

      But the author appears to be making a concerted effort to distinguish the part of Tyre that was “out in the sea” from that which was considered “the mainland.”

      500Q

  28. Kevin Styles says:

    1. nebuchadnezzar destroyed mainland tyre.

    2. later, alexander destroyed island tyre.

    but you say, ‘but there are buildings there now!’

    3. when the prophecies were made by ezekiel, he was referring to a mainland and an island, not a peninsula as we have now. whether or not the name tyre is still kept doesn’t matter. tyre’s a whole different thing now than was prophesied about.

    hence every prophecy was *exactly* fulfilled in great detail.

  29. jaydy3 says:

    Obviously, if I were God, I wouldn’t really bother to justify myself (maybe I would in some circumstances)

    When He inspires a prophecy, He’s not “accurately predicting future events”. He is living in the future and telling you what’s happening in the future, so it’s almost like placing a camera in the future and documenting it.

    Firstly, when you are trying to proof if what was prophesied is correct, you would be proving it by what you know, research and what others documented based on how they perceived or understood it.
    Did you know throwing the stones and towers of Tyre into the sea was what happened to produce a causeway and also the landfill in present day Tyre?

    Was it even possible that the stones were thrown into the sea before some General decided it could be used for a better purpose, so drag it out of water and let’s make a causeway!

    As far as God is concerned, what He says must happen, He’s not predicting nothing, He’s telling you what He knows has already happened, you may not think it happened in the way you expected, but He got what He said. “The secret things belongs to the Lord but the things which are revealed belongs to us and to our children’s children…” deutronomy 29:29

    Take an example about the circumcision with Abraham of newborn males, God didn’t have to explain nothing, Abraham wouldn’t understand Vitamins anyway. But this is what these Paediatricians found about 4,000 yrs later in their writings (Holt Paediatrics) Holt and McIntosh observed;

    “observed that a newborn infant has “peculiar susceptibility to bleeding between the second and fifth days of life…. Hemorrhages at this time, …produce serious damage to internal organs, especially to the brain, and cause death from shock and exsanguination” (1953, pp. 125-126)…
    On the eighth day, the amount of prothrombin present actually is elevated above one-hundred percent of normal—and is the only day in the male’s life in which this will be the case under normal conditions. If surgery is to be performed, day eight is the perfect day to do it.” excerpt from apologeticspress.org

    So, just believe what God has said about you and how much He loves you and the world John 3:16, and also accept His way of being right, His righteousness, His salvation for you in Rom 10, (respond to this comment and let’s talk some more)

    Don’t try to believe God with your mind or brain, it doesn’t work, believing is with the heart(your spirit- the real you)

    God bless you,

  30. Paul says:

    I suggest reading this article:http://www.testimony-magazine.org/back/jul2007/taunton.pdf
    it clears up a lot of your confusion on the matter. You must always keep an open mind to the existence of God rather than trying to set your mind up to always argue against Him.

    • Hi Paul,

      I agree that we must not set our minds up to always argue against God, nor should we automatically assume he exists (or that he spoke to men thousands of years ago). We should admit we are all biased, and must do our best do our best to carefully consider all points of view.

      To that end, I read the article from Testimony Magazine (an unbiased source, I’m sure, lol) written by Mark Taunton (an overt Christian).

      For the most part, Taunton tows the party line. Like most believers, he asserts that the ambiguous pronoun “They” referrs to “many nations” rather than Nebuchadnezzar. (I dispute this above, so I won’t repeat it here.)

      Where Taunton breaks from others, and acutally agrees with me, is he condeeds that the “walls and towers” torn down by Nebuchadnezzar MUST have belonged to the island, not the mainland. Taunton writes:

      “Josephus reports from earlier writers that the siege
      lasted thirteen years; Ezekiel was told that it was long
      and hard, but unrewarding (29:18). Eventually,
      Nebuchadrezzar did ‘break’, ‘enter’ and ‘slay’ (26:9-11),
      but some escaped by ship, taking the city’s wealth
      with them out of his reach.”

      But there’s a reason most believes don’t make this assumption, and that’s because there is no historical evidence that Nebuchadnezzar ever fulfilled the prophecy against the island Tyre as predicted by Ezekiel:

      9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. 10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground.

      Taunton GREATLY paraphrases and simplifies these predictions. He dodges all details about how, exactly, Nebuchadnezzar used battering rams against the walls and towers of the island, and how his army of horses entered in. And to make matters worse, he fails to cite ANY sources supporting this highly controverisial and critical event.

      Disappointinly, Taunton misleads his readers into believing that Josephus may have reported these events, but Josephus ONLY reported on the 13 year siege. Josephus doesn’t detail what happened AFTER the siege. As far as we know, Taunton just made up these details to try and make the prophecy work. Testimony Magazine’s editor should be fired for not making Taunton cite his source for such a critical piece of information.

      Take care,
      500Q

  31. Eric says:

    First of are you really using the NIV translation? NIV is a thought for thought translation not word for word. Nobody that wanted to break down scripture would use the NIV and be taken serious.
    Second http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/12/07/Ezekiel-261-14-A-Proof-Text-For-Inerrancy-or-Fallibility-of-The-Old-Testament.aspx

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