Some Christian apologists bring up the history of the city of Tyre, a city in Lebanon, as evidence for the validity of biblical prophecy and the existence of the biblical god. Allegedly the history of Tyre resembles a 100% exact fulfilment of the prophecies in Ezekiel 26 – 28.
First of all
The gist of the prophecy is: Ezekiel predicted, that the city of Tyre would be completely and permanently annihilated and wiped off of the map. This never happened, the city still stands. Any discussion or debate could end right here, but let's look at some details:
Ezekiel 26, 7 - 9
7 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
8 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.
9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.
These verses indicate clearly that Nebuchadnezzar would bank up a causeway, use it to breach the walls of Tyre and storm the city.
- Nebuchadnezzar II. (604-562 BCE) started banking up a causeway, but he did not finish or use it. Alexander the Great did.
- Nebuchadnezzar did not breach the walls and storm Tyre. Tyre surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar in 568 BCE after 13 years of siege.
Ezekiel 26, 14 and 21
14 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.
21 I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.
These verses indicate clearly that Tyre would be completely and permanently eradicated and never be rebuilt.
- Tyre was never destroyed completely. It was sacked several times by several different warlords but it always continued to exist under the control of the victors.
- In 126 BCE Tyre regained its independence. When the area became a Roman province in 64 BCE Tyre was allowed to keep much of its independence.
- Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era.
- Tyre still exists today. See for yourself:
- It was to be expected that Nebuchadnezzar would attack Tyre, it doesn't take a prophet to figure that out.
- It was to be expected that one day someone would bank up a causeway to besiege the island part of Tyre. This was a pretty common method for attacking difficult targets, e.g. Masada, which was sacked by the Romans in 72 BC.
- Ezekiel prophesised that Nebuchadnezzar himself would bank up said ramp and use it to sack Tyre. He started banking it up but he didn't finish and use it. Alexander the Great did.
- Nebuchadnezzar did not breach the walls of Tyre as Ezekiel prophesised.
- Ezekiel prophesised that Tyre would be completely and permanently eradicated which never happened. Tyre still exists today. Besides: An eradicated city would have a hard time regaining its independence or maintain any commercial importance at all.
Deuteronomy 18, 22: When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.