Summary: All religious books claim to be the word of God, but prophecy sets the Bible apart as having God’s seal of authentication. This section looks at the destruction of Tyre and Jesus’ declaration of His fulfillment of prophecy.
How Prophecy is fulfilled. (Part 3 of 6)
Destruction of Tyre
Look at Ezekiel 26:
3 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ’Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up.
4 ’And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
5 ’It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD; ’it shall become plunder for the nations.
6 ’Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’
7 " For thus says the Lord GOD: ’Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people.
8 ’He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you.
9 ’He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.
10 ’Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, when he enters your gates, as men enter a city that has been breached.
11 ’With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground.
12 ’They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; 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.
13 ’I will put an end to the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps shall be heard no more.
14 ’I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD.
At first glance it would appear that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Tyre and before fulfillment, anyone would be confident in predicting how this event would transpire. However, history unveiled this prophecy quite differently than the neat packaging methods that many prophecy experts use today. God did not promise Nebuchadnezzar that he would overthrow Tyre. The first proclamation of this judgment says that many nations will come against it.
Tyre was a very wealthy and very wicked seaport city. Tyre was also so wicked that God called Satan the king of Tyre. It was beautiful and great in splendor on the surface but vile and corrupt to the core and they were lifted up with pride against God. Just as prophesied, Nebuchadnezzar attacked the city, killed those in the fields and began to destroy the walls protecting the city. The inhabitants retreated to the island off the coast and Nebuchadnezzar was unable to reach them or spoil their riches. After Babylon retreated, the city was re-inhabited.
Years later, Alexander the Great began his conquest and built his mighty army out of the nations he conquered. With an army from many nations, he attacked Tyre. Again they withdrew to the island but Alexander would not be deterred. He took every rock, log and even scraped up all the debris he could find and cast it into the ocean to build a bridge to the island. He successfully destroyed and plundered Tyre. If Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Tyre, prophecy would not have been accurately fulfilled. Instead, one prophecy was fulfilled by two separate events. Looking back it is crystal clear. The prophecy was for Nebuchadnezzar to attack and break through the walls, but the destruction and scraping of the city was given to the army from the nations that would come afterward.
I have had critics point out that the prophecy said that Tyre will not be rebuilt, but Tyre was in existence during Jesus’ day, therefore the prophecy failed. If you look at the prophecy, it clearly states that the destroyed city will be a place for fishermen to spread their nets. The prophecy does not say that Tyre will be uninhabited. Critics of the Bible willingly ignore the amazing prediction of any prophecy and instead search for a loophole that they think they can hold against God. In Tyre’s case, if the city was uninhabited, it would be argued that there are no fishermen to spread nets. If it becomes a humble city then it is argued that fishermen have to build houses, therefore it is a failed prophecy. God promised to bring them down from their splendor never to be rebuilt but also said that it would be inhabited as well. Tyre was a mighty world trader filled with wealth but was destroyed and remains humbled throughout the ages just as prophesied. If not for the Bible, how many critics would even know Tyre existed?