The great prophecy on Tyre

Many more literal Bible followers use the following text (Isaiah 46:9-10) to argue that the Bible is indeed testable and has proven to be true via this test.

“remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,'” (Emphasis mine)

Apparently this tells us that God can predict the future, and has done so in verifiably true Bible prophecy.

JohnH, forever keeping me on my toes and providing good debate, and I have been debating some of these prophecies at another post. Mainly Ezekiel’s prophecies on Tyre and Egypt. I will focus only on Tyre here, Egypt has so many prophecies, by more than just Ezekiel.

An image from the south side of modern Tyre, from Wikipedia

Tyre was both a mainland and Island city, both were called Tyre, even centuries after Alexander, the City was still standing and the Bible confirms this in Mark 7:24 and Matt 15:21. You could of course say this was a region, and the city had not been rebuilt, but, here’s the History from Alexander to Roman Tyre, from Wikipedia

“In 332 BC Alexander the Great laid siege to the city, conquered and razed it.

In 315 BC, Alexander’s former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre,[18] taking the city a year later.[19]

In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence (from the Seleucids)[20] and was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a “civitas foederata”,[21] when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC.[22] Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era.”

More recent history is also given there, and the city is there for the whole world to view on Google maps today.
The Prophecy comes from Ezekiel 26 & 27, so let’s see what it actually says. (From the ESV, emphasis mine)

“I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.” – 26:14

“I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord God.”” – 26:21

“The merchants among the peoples hiss at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.'”” 27:36

See my problem, it’s quite obvious that Tyre was rebuilt after Alexander, and this is confirmed by the same gospel writers who report the resurrection. By saying the prophecy was fulfilled by Alexander the Great is clearly false. Simply put, Tyre still stands today, even thought the Bible repeatedly said that it wouldn’t be rebuilt.

This leaves one more loophole, the Prophecy has not been fulfilled, yet. As soon as someone says that, they’re confirming that prophecy isn’t a test, as long as the world continues support intelligent life.

So, as much as apologists use this as a fulfilled prophecy, this isn’t a settled issue, or, if it is, it doesn’t favour the Bible.

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4 thoughts on “The great prophecy on Tyre”

  1. I found this https://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/12/07/Ezekiel-261-14-A-Proof-Text-For-Inerrancy-or-Fallibility-of-The-Old-Testament.aspx , which I just looked up, to be interesting.

    I actually think it likely that Ezekiel was engaged in propaganda for Babylon as well as prophecy and liked using dramatic language. It also seems possible that Ezekiel was edited later; Chapter 28 seems to suggest that final fulfillment comes sometime around now-ish, but the mention of Daniel in it makes me think that it may have been edited at possibly the time of Alexander. To me it seems to be very much a fulfilled prophecy.

    1. If it was edited at the time of Alexander, all the parts of the prophecy that did seem to come true could have been added, and there would have been no reason to leave anything out.

      My second problem is that it doesn’t give a reason for why we should accept literal language only when it points to successful prophecy. The standard is still, interpret it in a way that makes it seem correct..

      What I found fascinating is the statement that it would seem like a stretch to appeal to the two separate Cities idea, but it’s ok, insert appeal to authority. I could likewise point out the Christian scholars who believe this was a failed prophecy.

      The fact is, it said never rebuilt, and the fact that poetic language runs the whole way through, and is taken literally when it involves being dumped in the sea, because that happened, but not taken literally when said never be rebuilt, because that didn’t happen. It really just seems like affirmation of ones beliefs rather than a critical inquiry.

      I would still like to know how this kind of self affirming test works, the usual method for testing is to attempt to prove something wrong, in the event you fail, then you can say it’s testable. Affirming the consequent and selecting your method of interpretation based on proving our point, isn’t good reasoning.

      The next problem is, you can’t use a contradiction to vindicate your position, the fact that Isaiah prophesied the opposite simply means only one can be correct, and one has to be wrong.

      As for the final fulfilment being nowish, and if they haven’t happened in 10, 50 or 100 tears, they will still be nowish. Rather like all the other haven’t happened “yet” prophecies. That’s very testable.

      1. Assuming that the Jews retaking Jerusalem in the 6-day war is what is referred to in Luke 21 (among other places in the Bible, and in my scriptures) then 100 years seems like it might be too long to still be now-ish.

        Prophecy doesn’t seem to be a hypothesis but something the prophet has seen happen but may not themselves understand the time frame involved. When one gets an eye witness testimony the police don’t try and prove it wrong but try and use it to understand the other evidence, and the other evidence to understand the testimony, and there can be disagreement about that.

        If that is the case then we have no reason to believe that it really is a prophecy that is true or false in the first place but rather would appear to be a propaganda piece created to gain exile Jewish support for Babylonian conquests that was later edited to fit facts and expanded to include later conquests by Alexander.

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