Lying about history for the Bible

Read this webpage:

http://www.exchangedlife.com/skeptic/ezekiel.htm

Atheistic argument:

>Ezekiel 26:3-36 explains at length that
>Nebuchadnezzar will lay siege to Tyre and destroy it, that he will take its
>money and goods, that the city will “be built no more” and “be no more.”
>Any history book about the period will explain that Nebuchadnezzar’s
>thirteen year siege was unsuccessful. The city was later conquered by
>Alexander the Great, but it was rebuilt and is currently inhabited

Answer

Atheist frequently quote this passage as evidence so let’s dispel this myth. This argument uses half-truths to back up the atheists claim of unfulfilled prophecy. I have seen this on several atheist websites and newsgroup postings. The real tragedy with atheism is that they take as truth what is hear only from these sources and never validate these claims to find out if they are true. I have done a little research and here is the historical evidence about the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy:
Indeed Ezekiel did prophecy that Nebuchadnezzar shall lay siege and destroy Tyre. Verse 3 of the passage you cited also says that more nations will also be involved in the destruction of Tyre. Now here is the half-truth that atheist love to quote. Actually it is a series of half-truths. They claim Tyre was not destroyed – it was. They also claim that because Nebuchadnezzar didn’t finish the job, Ezekiel was wrong. Most atheist argue that Ezekiel was wrong because Alexander the Great defeated Tyre when Ezekiel 26:7-9 gives Nebuchadnezzar as the defeating leader. The half-truth is that indeed Nebuchadnezzar did defeat Tyre and fulfill exactly what the Bible says he will do. Alexander fulfilled the Bible’s claim that the timber, stones and soil would be thrown into the sea leaving Tyre as a bare rock. The Bible does not call the leader by name who would fulfill this part of the prophecy, but it clearly specifies other nations would be involved.

When Nebuchadnezzar defeated Tyre, the people fled to an island. Alexander came and these same people resisted his conquering empire. To get to the island, Alexander the Great used the remains of the city in which Nebuchadnezzar had laid siege to build a bridge to the island and thus completely destroyed the remaining city of Tyre and completely fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel to the letter. Ezekiel 26 verse 12 says, “they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water.”

It is very important to notice Nebuchadnezzar was called by name and when he is addressed in verse 7-8 the prophecy is addressed as ‘he’…ie, “He will slay…He will direct his battering rams…”. In verse 12 the prophecy is addressed as ‘they’, ie, “they will plunder…they will break…they will lay your stones, timber and soul in the midst of the water”. Clearly this prophecy was not addressed to Nebuchadnezzar but rather to those who would follow.

This ‘inaccuracy’ is not as the atheist claims, but rather this prophecy was fulfilled to the exact letter proving that no one but God could have known before hand these events separated by so many years. If Nebuchadnezzar had fulfilled it all, it would have been said that he saw this prophecy and self-fulfilled it or that Ezekiel knew of Nebuchadnezzar’s plans and he prophesied accordingly. But when you see that God foretold that Nebuchadnezzar would not be able to complete the job but nations would wipe Tyre clean and when you see Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of the city, Tyre’s flight to the island and Alexander’s bridge to the island, you can’t explain it any other way except that this Bible was inspired by God.

One important principle about biblical prophecy is that you cannot purposefully fulfill it nor can you use it to predict God. Prophecy is written so that we are prepared and so we can have confidence in God and when we see these things fulfilled we know God’s word is true and that God is in control. There are over 300 prophecies concerning Christ and many seemed contradictory thus making it impossible to self-fulfill. For example, Jesus’ parents lived outside of Bethlehem but they were forced by the Roman Empire to go to Bethlehem to register for a census and to be taxed, Jesus was born there, they fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s order to kill male children 2 years and younger, moved back and settled in Nazareth. This action fulfilled seemingly contradictory prophecies that said that Christ would be born in Bethlehem, God would call His son out of Egypt and the Christ would be called a Nazarine. This is just a sampling but proves an important point. God inspires prophecy and interweaves them with events making it completely impossible for anyone to design a self-fulfilling plan in order to fulfill by forgery. Therefore when you see these things fulfilled – such as Ezekiel’s prophecy – you know that surely, only God could have known beforehand.

That is simply a load of bullshit. Here are the actual facts about Tyre:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyre,_Lebanon

Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centers, Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore, and an associated settlement on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland coast by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city.

The original island city had two harbors, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island. It was these two harbors that enabled Tyre to gain the maritime prominence that it did; the harbor on the north side of the island was, in fact, one of the best harbors on the eastern end of the Mediterranean. The harbor on the south side has silted over, but the harbor on the north side (see Tyre harbor photo to the right) is still in use.[7]

In ancient times, the island city of Tyre was heavily fortified (with defensive walls 150 feet high[8]), and the mainland settlement, originally called Ushu (later, Palaetyrus, by the Greeks) was actually more like a line of suburbs than any one city and was used primarily as a source of water and timber for the main island city.[9] Josephus records that the two fought against each other on occasion,[10] although most of the time they supported one another because they both benefited from the island city’s wealth from maritime trade and the mainland area’s source of timber, water and burial grounds.

So we find here that Tyre and the associated settlement on the mainland were two separate but closely related areas, but only the island city was actually called Tyre in ancient times.

It was often attacked by Egypt, besieged by Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and by Nebuchadnezzar (586–573 BC) for thirteen years, without success, although a compromise peace was made in which Tyre paid tribute to the Babylonians. It later fell under the power of the Persians.

In 332 BC, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months in which he built the causeway from the mainland to the island,[13] but it continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era. The presence of the causeway affected water currents nearby, causing sediment to build up, making the connection permanent.

In 315 BC, Alexander’s former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre,[14] taking the city a year later.[15]

In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence (from the Seleucids)[16] and was allowed to keep much of its independence when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC.[17]

The present-day city of Tyre covers a large part of the original island and has expanded onto and covers most of the causeway, which had increased greatly in width over the centuries because of extensive silt depositions on either side. The part of the original island that is not covered by the modern city of Tyre consists mostly of an archaeological site showcasing remains of the city from ancient times.

Today, Tyre is a predominantly Shi’a Muslim city with a small but noticeable Christian community.[citation needed] The Amal Movement and Hezbollah are the most popular parties, representing all of the Shi’a seats in the city as of the 2005 elections. However, the city of Tyre is home for more than 60,000 Palestinian refugees who are mainly Sunni Muslim.

Now, let us look at the original passage by  Ezekiel (26:1-14):
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come upIt shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.
And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.
By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.
With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.
And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.
And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
 

 And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.

The parts in bold are the ones that have been falsified by events after the prophecy was made.

I totally reject and deny the rationalizations made to explain away the non-fulfilment of Ezekiel’s prophecies regarding Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar did not conquer the island city of Tyre, and it does not matter if a later ruler did conquer it, since if you wait long enough almost any prediction can appear to be fulfilled. The city was conquered several times, but was never destroyed and thus the statement that Tyre will never be rebuilt after being conquered looks rediculous!

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One thought on “Lying about history for the Bible

  1. Pingback: A disturbing video about Islam « Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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