Ezekiel Ch 26 - Failed Prophesy?

Ezekiel Ch 26 - An area under attack as lies of God.

(v 1) Now it came about in the eleventh year, on the first of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me saying,

(v 2) "Son of man, because Tyre has said concerning Jerusalem, 'Aha, the gateway of the peoples is broken; it has opened [turned] to me. I shall be filled, now that she is laid waste,'

(v 3) therefore, thus says the Lord (YHWH) God, 'Behold, I am against you, O Tyre(Tsor), and I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves.

Chaldaea, Assyria, Greeks, Saracens, Crusaders.

Skeptics claim that God through Ezekiel said in Ch 26 that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Tyre once and for all.

Verse 3 says that many nations will be brought by the Lord against Tyre like the waves of the sea. The sea does cast up waves each time it comes in, and sends in waves at different time. This verse also signifies that the city of Tyre will pass in and out of history in the passage of time. This is not contradictory to Prophesy in Isaiah 23.

(v 4) 'And they will destroy the walls of Tyre(Tsor) and break down her towers; and I will scrap her debris from her and make her a bare rock.

Skeptics claim that Tyre is not a bare rock at the present time. Therefore the prophesy failed.

The city of Tyre was made a bare rock in history. Skeptics are reluctant to show us a city of Tyre on the mainland. Skeptics hardly talk about a modern city of Tyre on the Island of Tyre. Skeptics are reluctant to show us the ruined city of ancient Tyre as a proof that the city of Tyre is not a bare rock ( ie: rocky ground without a city, not even its ruined walls ).

Debris of mainland Tyre were scraped into the sea by Nebuchanezzar and Alexander the Great to build a causeway in linking the island to the mainland.

Today we speak of excavation of Tyre rather than touring the ruined city of Tyre. This signifies the complete disappearance of the ancient walled city at ground level.

The term - walls - indicates that there could be a number of walled cities. There is no record telling us Tyre had inner city walls other than its outer protective city wall.

(v 5) 'She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,' declares the Lord God, 'and she will become spoil for the nations.

This passage does not mention when Tyre will become a fishing port.

Tyre was taken by different nations ( eg: Egypt, Greece, Romans ).

Skeptics claim that there is a fishing town of Sur on the island/peninsula rather than just fishing nets. Ezekiel's prophesy failed to predict settlement in the locality of Tyre (Sur).

Fishermen normally spread their nets in their premises. Places having fishing nets spread out indicate there is settlement of fishermen. Therefore, the prophesy does not mean the land will be void of all life-forms.

A fishing town or village does not equate a city, less do they equate a walled city.

Building and settlement in the locality is not the same as building and settlement in the walled city.

The nations could hardly be interested in a fishing port. The verse must be referring to the recovery of the city after many invasions/disasters.

(v 6) 'Also her daughters who are on the mainland (in the field) will be slain by the sword, and they will know that I am the Lord.' "

The daughters of Tyre city in the field are probably satellite cities/towns, or female citizens working on the mainland off the island.

Skeptics claim that Tyre was an island city, and do not incline to show archaeological evidence for a mainland Tyre.

(v 7) For thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a great army.

Nebuchadnezzar II besieged Tyre for 13 years ( 587 - 574 BC ) - but no contemporary record of this remains.

Skeptics claim that Nebuchadnezzar was attacking the island Tyre.

It is improbable that any ancient king and army would attempt to breach an island walled city with horses, chariots and cavalry. They would require ships and navy instead. Nebuchadnezzar was aiming to take the mainland Tyre.

(v 8) "He (Nebuchadnezzar and his army) will slay your daughters on the mainland with the sword; and he will make siege walls against you, cast up a mound against you, and raise up a large shield against you.

It is a custom of land battle to make siege walls and cast up a mound to breach the city wall of the enemies. Siege walls are not for attacking an island walled city.

(v 9) "And the blow of his battering rams he will direct against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.

His rams against their walls - signifies a number of walled settlement (cities) in the field. This is not a picture of war at sea against a walled city.

(v 10) "Because of the multitude of his horses, the dust raised by them will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of cavalry and wagons [wheels] and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that is breached.

This is not a picture of attacking an island walled city across the sea.

The army was attacking with horses and chariots - not a sea battle with ships.

The description - your walls - indicates that the seige was against a multitude of walled settlement; not just one walled island city.

(v 11) "With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. he will slay your people with the sword; and your strong pillars will come down to the ground.

Skeptics claim that Nebuchadnezzar was attacking the island Tyre.

There is no suggestion that the city of Tyre was an island city in the last 11 verses. Every clue indicated that it was on the mainland. Tyre would have existed in the days of Ezekiel, since it was mentioned even in the days of King Solomon. Ezekiel's knowledge of Tyre indicated that it was on the mainland.

He would be lying to his contemporary readers to describe the taking of Tyre as breaching walls with chariots and rams, if it was only an island city with one city wall. War with horses is not war at sea.

There is no indication of any device to cross the sea for attacking island city. It is ridiculous to suggest that ships were not in existence at that time. Strong pillars are symbols of Baal. None of these pillars are found standing today.

(v 12) "Also they will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise, break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses, and throw your stones and your timbers and your debris into the water.

Tyre was famous for Cedar and Dye trade. Verse 12 mentioned their stones and timbers - indicating that part of their construction was in timber. At the early part of verse 12 - a prey of merchandise was mentioned. This indicated that the timbers thrown into the water was not their merchandise. Water as water of the sea was known then.

(v 13) "So I will silence the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps will be heard no more.

No mentioning by skeptics that harps are still being played today by locallers.

(v 14) "And I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You (city of Tyre) will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken," declares the Lord God.

This is a verse skeptics claim that God was lying, the prophesy failed, or the writer was making up stories, or somebody corrupted the original text of Ezekiel.

Skeptics claim that Nebuchadnezzar was attacking the island Tyre. That Tyre was only an island city on a rock. That the rock is now inhabited by the town of Sur. That it is built up after Nebuchadnezzar. Skeptics claim that any building structure on the island proved that verse 14 is not accurate.

As the verses earlier indicated Tyre was not an island city. The destroyed city was never rebuilt.

The walls are not seen today. The mainland walled cities are not found today. Skeptics are not quick to show evidence of remaining Tyre cities/settlement on the mainland. A place for the spreading of nets could mean a settlement of fishermen. Who is spreading the nets there if no living thing could exist in that location (on the rock)? The walled city of Tyre was turned into a bare rock, so that there was no building of the original city left for rebuilding, and no citizen of Tyre to rebuild it.

Verse 14 indicated that Tyre will be built no more (ie: no rebuilding of the walled city), rather than no building will be found on the rock (ie: the bare rock will not be built any more.)

Should a rebuilt city be named as a rebuilt city rather than a fishing town with a different name? Who built Tyre after its stones and timbers were casted into the sea, and the walled city turned into a bare rock?

Skeptics are slow to show the bare rock on the mainland as the site of Tyre.

Afterall, it is hard to locate an ancient city that had turned into a bare rock.

[WHEN CRITICS ASK, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, 1992, p. 287]:

"Nebuchadnezzar did destroy the coastal cities. However the people of the port of Tyre had obviously relocated to the island city, which they were able to successfully defend against the Babylonian invaders. Nebuchadnezzar had defeated and plundered the cities on the shore, as Ezekiel prophesied in 26:7-11, but he could not defeat the island city. This fact is reported in Ez 29:18. Further, v. 12 marks a shift from the prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar to prophetic declarations about other invaders. V. 3 had already introduced the idea of many invaders in the statement "I... will cause many nations to come up against you.' As history records, many nations did come up against the island city of Tyre, but it was Alexander the Great, laying siege against the island city of Tyre in about 332 B.C., who finally conquered the city and left it in total ruins so that it was never rebuilt. Note that a nation is often referred to by its ruler at the time. When rightly understood, Ezekiel's prophecy perfectly fits the historical record."]

(v 15) Thus says the Lord God to Tyre, "Shall not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall when the wounded groan, when the slaughter occurs in your midst?

This verse suggests a violent fall with many in pain and some got killed.

Coastlands suggest countries and cities along the sea coast where messages could arrive by sea routes. This shows that Tyre was more important by trade at sea than on land.

(v 16) "Then all the princes of the sea will go down from their thrones, remove their robes, and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling (tremblings); they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be appalled at you.

This verse suggests that the destruction of Tyre was a very fearful one; causing more sorrow to kingdoms dependent on sea trade than the fall of other cities. A terrible fall of the city in historic proportion.

The prophesy of this verse is so distinctive that the words of Ezekiel will be laughed at and not any more taken seriously if this great destruction was not in such great proportion at the time Tyre fell under the seige of Nebuchadnezzar.

(v 17) "And they will take up a lamentation over you and say to you, 'How you have perished, O inhabited one, From the seas, O renowned city, Which was mighty on the sea, She and her inhabitants, Who imposed(put) her(their) terror On all her inhabitants!

The destruction of Tyre will be known to her contemporary as a unique one.

O renowned city refer to Tyre in this chapter as a city well-known to the contemporary world.

Terror on all their inhabitants refers to Tyre being a terrible place to live in.

Tyre is a metaphor for Hell (Sheol - the underworld for suffering (punishment)) in the Old Testament.

(v 18) 'Now the coastlands will tremble On the day of your fall; Yes, the coastlands which are by the sea Will be terrified at your passing.'"

A unique and terrible fall.

The term passing suggests that Tyre was no more at her destruction.

(v 19) For thus says the Lord God, "When I shall make you a desolate city, like the cities which are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep over you, and the great waters will cover you,

This verse does not mention how long Tyre will remain a desolate city. But the degree of devastation is said to be so severe as uninhabited cities.

The later part of this verse indicated that the city of Tyre will be immersed in great waters [ the sea ].

When Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great threw the building material (eg: original city wall and houses) into the sea, in an effort to build a causeway to reach the island, the structures of Tyre were immersed in the sea. Nobody live in the causeway ( original structures of mainland Tyre ). The mainland city is therefore uninhabitable. The city relics now seen under the sea shores are not suitable for air-breathing human to inhabit. They can not be built upon or lived in.

It is rare that an ancient city would be thrown into the sea to reclaim land.

This prophesy has unique fulfilment.

(v 20) then I shall bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I shall make you dwell in the lower parts of the earth, like the ancient waste places, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited (or return); but I shall set glory in the land of the living.

Ezekiel compared the destruction of Tyre with the dead going down to the pit (another term for Hell). Tyre must have sunk under the sea as it did not sink into the soil.

An underwater ruin can not be inhabited by human and animals on land without constant need of appliances.

The structures/buildings that signified Tyre could not be inhabited by men if they are all thrown into the sea and sank into the water. They became the underworld.

(v 21) "I shall bring (give you terrors) terrors on you, and you will be no more; though you will be sought, you will never be found again," declares the Lord God.

This suggests lasting destruction. Tyre is not located on survey anymore.

Skeptics insist that Tyre still exists today as a populated peninsula.

Skeptics refuse to accept that there was a mainland city of Tyre. The fishing village/town on the peninsula today is known as Sur, but not the City of Tyre.

The island ceased to exist, as it has become a man made peninsula.

Mainland Tyre is not located as an Archaeological site.