Thread: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
February 20th 2012, 08:05 PM #1
Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
Me and a YouTuber called TheMathLife have been speaking on the topic of Biblical Prophecy. He's claiming that Ezikiel 30 is a false prophecy, but not wanting to straw man him I'm letting him sum up his argument in his words, Take it away.
(I hope I am allowed to do this That is, move a discussion here like this, If I'm not we'll go to League of Reason)ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
February 22nd 2012, 08:20 PM #2
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
Thanks for starting the thread up!
To begin I would like to start with Ezekiel chapter 26 (though I shall go on to chapter 30 later). Within this chapter we see that Tyre is doomed to fall, as proclaimed by Ezekiel and purportedly revealed to him by The Lord (God). Let us first go into the important details of this prophecy and decide whether or not this supposed prophecy will stand up to even the most minimal of skepticism. The following quotes will all be from the KJV and of course Ezekiel Ch. 26:
"(2) 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: (3) 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 up."
In these verses we first see the reason why God has decided to condemn the city of Tyre (Tyrus). This prophecy was made during the times of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. During this invasion the Phoenician city-state of Tyre lent Jerusalem no help, and it would also seem took a sort of antipathetic stance toward the fall of Jerusalem. This would no doubt anger God that an entire state would watch with glee the conquest of his people.
"(7) 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. (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."
Here the prophet makes very specific claims of what will happen to Tyre. King Nebuchadnezzar would act as an agent of God's wrath and bring great destruction (though as the apologist will point out, not necessarily total destruction) to Tyre.
"(13) And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. (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. (15) Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?"
Here we see yet another very specific prediction; the city shall never be built again, and we have God's word on it. Not only this but God promises that other islands will look at this devastation and tremble. And not to simply be pleased with the destruction of the city and all who dwell in it, Yahweh seems to wish to wipe it off the map!
(19) For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;
Bearing this in mind, what can we, if anything, went wrong with the prophesy? First of all, the island of Tyre is still there! The ocean has not swallowed it, seemingly not being concerned with the death sentence verse 19 seemed to render. Second, there are buildings and a large population living on Tyre today, and it was in fact rebuilt! This flies in the face of verse 14. Thirdly, Nebuchadnezzar never did wreak the destruction on Tyre promised in verses 7 through 12. In fact Nebuchadnezzar tried and failed, but was turned back by the military of Tyre. So much for being a vessel of God's wrath. Finally, as the apologist happily clings to, the Island city of Tyre was finally conquered and destroyed; 250 years later by Alexander the great.
Now most apologists will claim that the 'Nations' that will conquer and destroy Tyre in verses 3 to 6 actually referred to Alexander the Great. The problem with this interpretation of the prophecy comes from verses 2 and 3 in which God says, quite specifically, that the reason for his judgment is the anti-pathetic attitude of Tyre to Babylon's conquest of Jerusalem (not to mention the destruction of the temple). Why would God punish Tyrenians 250 years removed from the callous feelings felt by the Tyrenians of that day? This is a grave injustice at best, and simple stupidity at its worst. Furthermore, verses 2 and 3 can't refer to Alexander's conquest of Jerusalem as it involved no destruction and was simply surrendered by the Persians! He also didn't destroy the temple, which it would seem was God's main gripe.
What can we conclude from this? Well, at best the majority of the prophecy (Tyre never to be rebuilt, the ocean reclaiming Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar specifically causes destroys the fortifications of Tyre and brings a large cavalry into the city) has utterly failed. An apologist may squirm and say, "But it could still happen", as far as Tyre falling into the mediterannean or Tyre being destroyed and never rebuilt, but again we would be left with the problem of punishing Tyrennians THOUSANDS of years removed from the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. We can possibly accept that Alexander was who was meant to conquer Tyre, but then we have a problem of divine justice to consider, or we can accept that a just God would not punish people for something ancestors of centuries past did and that the prophecy was an utter failure.
There is however a third way out that the apologist may attempt. What if the prophecy was a conditional one? In that the failure of the prophecy to come to pass, was because of some redemptive quality of the people of Tyre. Perhaps the 13 year siege made them more sympathetic to the people of Jerusalem, and so God spared the city and its people. This apologetic strategy, I contend, also fails skeptical muster. Such a tactic would render any prophecy that fails a 'get out of jail free' card of sorts and makes them immune to disproof. If such a strategy were employed, then to be fair, the Christian apologist would have to grant the same leniency to prophets, oracles, and druids of any of the other assorted religions. Do any of us really apply this standard to modern day psychics or even (excepting his stalwart supporters) Nostradamus? Of course not. We let the prophecies stand as they are, take them at their word, and historically evaluate it. The only reasonable conclusion, as I see it, is to call the prophecy a failure and deny its prophet's divine inspiration.
I have written this first response in some haste and I fear I may not have been as clear as I could have been, but I wanted to get the ball rolling. Please let me know if any segment of my reasoning seems confused. It may also be a few days before I can respond to your response so please be patient.
February 23rd 2012, 12:03 AM #3
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLifeFrom Sidon it is half a day’s journey to Sarepta (Sarfend), which belongs to Sidon. Thence it is a half-day to New Tyre (Sur), which is a very fine city, with a harbour in its midst.... There is no harbour like this in the whole world. Tyre is a beautiful city.... In the vicinity is found sugar of a high class, for men plant it here, and people come from all lands to buy it. A man can ascend the walls of New Tyre and see ancient Tyre, which the sea has now covered, lying at a stone’s throw from the new city. And should one care to go forth by boat, one can see the castles, market-places, streets, and palaces in the bed of the sea
ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
February 24th 2012, 08:00 PM #4
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
Well, I'm actually a little disappointed that the responses I'm getting from you show such little regard for the actual concerns raised. One liners like these would not do anything to convince non-Christian, disinterested readers that the prophecy is not a failure. However, I'll still respond to these simplistic and abrupt "arguments".
=As the previous quote established, likely not in the same place. So it's another city with the same name, it's not the same city. By abuse of language we could say it was "Rebuilt" but it is indeed abuse of language.
"A man can ascend the walls of New Tyre and see ancient Tyre, which the sea has now covered, lying at a stone’s throw from the new city. And should one care to go forth by boat, one can see the castles, market-places, streets, and palaces in the bed of the sea"
Such a quote dating back to the 12th century may very well wow an impassioned Christian apologist in light of the prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 26, but this excitement is only warranted with, first, a lack of skeptical inquiry, and second, historical ignorance. After the above quotation, Apologetics Press goes on to note, "From this twelfth-century A.D. text, then, we learn that by that period of time the city known as ancient Tyre lay completely buried beneath the sea and a new city, most likely on some part of the island, had been erected." However archaeology will beg to differ. What we do know is that the south harbor of Tyre has in fact silted over, but most unfortunate for the apologist, history shows that the entire island of Tyre was developed as a city, with a harbor to the north, and fortifications around the boarder (See Nina Jidejian's 'Tyre Through the Ages' and this article http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/0...ndbar_arc.html). While Apologetics Press clumsily leaps to the conclusion that "the city known as ancient Tyre lay completely buried beneath the sea" they completely ignore that the entire island was a developed ancient harbor and metropolis! One may be entitled to interpret a prophecy liberally, however apologists should be reminded to not treat historical facts with so little rigor. So we see that in fact Tyre has been rebuilt, and no amount of apologetic mental gymnastics, no matter how high flying, can leap over the gap that lies between their narratives and reality. Sorry to dispel your accusation of abusing the word 'rebuilt' though!
In response to my concerns of a supposedly perfect God, divining an unjust and anachronistic punishment to the Tyre of Alexander the Great's age,
At first I thought it would be a good idea to engage you outside the 500 character responses of YouTube, to allow us to have a more meaningful dialogue, but in hindsight I see no original ideas, thoughtful responses, or even a hint of a hope of honest scholarship with you. The best I've gotten was the Apologetics link from you, which I feel was EXTREMELY weak. I don't bolster my arguments on this commentary, but only hope to provoke you into more thoughtful responses.
February 24th 2012, 10:23 PM #5
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
Last edited by ThePuppyTurtle; February 24th 2012 at 10:30 PM.ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
February 24th 2012, 11:22 PM #6
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
would also like to remind ThePuppyTurtle that it was his idea that we actually discuss this subject on this forum, yet instead of contributing in an engaging dialogue and actually educating himself on the subject (go to a library and read a damn book), he instead wishes to respond with knee jerk one-liners and doesn't care to bring to light any of his thoughts on this in a meaningful way. So what was your game plan? Any interested person will look at this thread and recognize you as being disingenuous. Are you actually trying to defend your faith, or make your faith look like a herd of unresponsive zombies?
"Alexander's causeway had effected a sanding up of what was known in classical texts as the ancient 'Sidonian' port of Tyre, the port facing north..." page 4, Tyre Through the Ages. If you actually care to educate yourself, you may want to read it. I found it at Valparaiso University's library, and was pointed to it by reading critical biblical scholarship. What fun investigation is! If you don't believe those mean nasty secular sources, here is a purdy picture from heaven awaits!
Also here are some from Emerson Kent
Notice the walls surrounding the island? The whole of the island was a developed metropolis! Do you actually think an Island without garrisons and wall on one of its sides would be the impregnable fortress Nebuchadnezzar found it to be? Sail your ships to that side, drop your infantry off, and make a safe harbor. Blockade their harbors and let the war of attrition begin, then you win! Also, if you bothered to research, you would have learned about the islands of Hercules which are now under water, problem is that this is NOT Tyre.
In regards to not having the time: I work full time, train for a half-ironman triathlon, and still found time to do some research. Your laziness and incredulity do nothing to refute my arguments. You however, can't even be bothered to even evaluate my arguments and respond to them. Sorry to be a little bit of a jerk here, but I would react differently if you said "Hey, let's move this discussion to theology web, where you can give your arguments and I won't evaluate them or give them any credulous thought!"
How about this though Puppy, I challenge you on that absurd Fish Of Time Show, to DEBATE the prophecies of Ezekiel. This way I can actually call you out in real time on all of your non-sense and deflections.
Anyway, Fish of Time, get back to me on that. I'll be sure to have all my sources, links, citations, and arguments written down ready to go, you come prepared with impenetrable ignorance, laziness, and inability to address arguments effectively.
February 24th 2012, 11:24 PM #7
Re: Ezekiel 30 And TheMathLife
And one more time, going from Babylonians bringing axes to walls, and then switching to they in the next sentence knocking down walls... It means the damn babylonians.
By TyRockwell in forum Eschatology 201Replies: 13Last Post: April 20th 2010, 01:39 AM
By wonbyone in forum LDS - MormonismReplies: 29Last Post: January 4th 2010, 07:03 PM
By Calminian in forum Biblical Languages 301Replies: 2Last Post: May 5th 2008, 06:50 PM
By InChristAlways in forum JudaismReplies: 1Last Post: June 12th 2005, 12:38 PM
By stevencarrwork in forum Apologetics 301Replies: 1Last Post: April 30th 2003, 06:55 PM