Prophecy

City of Tyrus

The prophet Ezekiel delivered a prophetic judgment against the city of Tyrus — a very famous prophecy. The city of Tyrus was a city somewhat comparable to New York City. It was a trading metropolis of the world. It was a power center of trade and it boasted one of the world’s few sea-going fleets. It was called the City of Tyrus — the Very Powerful City of Tyrus, and the Very Wicked.
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City of Tyrus

Topic#: 962

There are purported "holy" books, such as the Koran, or sections of the (Hindu) Veda, etc., that disciples of those religions claim to be divine inspirations, but nothing can attain the eternally lofty pinnacle in which the majority-text Holy Bible resides. It is blasphemy to even speak the imposters’ names in the same breath as the word of God. God’s word is high and lifted up. There is none beside it or above it. All are beneath, and none of them are even in sight. The word of God is true historically, morally, socially, scientifically, spiritually, etc., even as GodSaidManSaid revels in proving week after week after week after week.

In particular, the scriptures stand alone in predictive prophecy — the supernatural ability to predict the future — and that’s exactly what today’s feature will discuss.

GOD SAID, Ezekiel 26:3-21:

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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.

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And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.

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It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

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And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

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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.

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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.

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And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.

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By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.

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With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.

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And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.

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And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.

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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.

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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?

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Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee.

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And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it!

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Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.

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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;

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When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;

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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.

MAN SAID: Biblical prophecies are vague generalities that could be made to fit a myriad of situations, and they were written by men and not God.

Now THE RECORD. The laws of probability are used extensively in this life, whether employed by insurance actuaries to establish the chances of you successfully navigating a round trip to the convenience store or the life expectancy of an ailing patient, or by the bookmakers in deciding the gambling odds in regard to the outcome of a certain event. Probabilities pervade this temporal life. The laws of probability used in Biblical prophecy will prove beyond any reasonable doubt the veracity of the word of God and God’s ever-present existence.

The prophet Ezekiel delivered a prophetic judgment against the city of Tyrus — a very famous prophecy. The city of Tyrus was a city somewhat comparable to New York City. It was a trading metropolis of the world. It was a power center of trade and it boasted one of the world’s few sea-going fleets. It was called the City of Tyrus — the Very Powerful City of Tyrus, and the Very Wicked.

In the particular scriptural passages written above, there are seven contingent probabilities — seven contingent predictions. In other words, each one is hooked to the next. One of the first things God says is that He is going to bring all the nations of the earth down against the city of Tyrus. And He also names the man who will come as the leader. He says the man’s name is Nebuchadrezzar. This prophecy is made several years before Nebuchadrezzar came. Remember, this is the city of Tyrus, one of the mightiest, wealthiest cities in the entire world. We find that in recorded history, a man by the name of Nebuchadrezzar came and laid siege on the city of Tyrus. For 13 years he cast a mount against it. Nobody could go in and nobody could go out, by land. Nebuchadrezzar had Tyrus in a stranglehold. As he is battling against the city, unbeknownst to Nebuchadrezzar, the people of Tyrus are loading their ships, taking their people and their belongings to an island a half-mile out to sea. They are building a new city at the same time their enemy is trying to tear down the old one. Finally, Nebuchadrezzar knocks down the walls and gets inside the city. Nebuchadrezzar comes into Tyrus with all the nations of the world. At that time Nebuchadrezzar conquers and rules the bulk of the known world. Inside his army are troops from the populations of the world. The armies of the world came against the city of Tyrus, just as Ezekiel said they would. And when he did manage to breach the walls of the city, he found that almost everybody was gone except for a few people, whom he destroyed. The others had already gone a half-mile away to the island and re-established themselves as the new city of Tyrus. It wasn’t until 200 years later that the rest of this prophecy is fulfilled.

There was another famous man in history by the name of Alexander the Great. He would be the man who would complete the fulfillment of God’s word through Ezekiel. Alexander the Great came against Tyrus when he was making his own world quest for power. He, like Nebuchadrezzar, was overcoming the world, and he also ruled the known world at one time. He was concerned about the city of Tyrus that was situated a half-mile out to sea for it had one of the world’s only fleet of ships. Alexander knew that the ships made it possible to attack his flanks or aid his enemies with supplies as he continued with the rest of his conquests. He decided that he was somehow going to get out to the new city of Tyrus and destroy them, obliterating their power and taking their fleet.

There was only one way for Alexander the Great to achieve his goal and that was to fulfill Ezekiel’s prophecy. Through Ezekiel, God said to Tyrus that the nations would take her stones and her timbers and the dust, casting them into the sea, scraping Tyrus to make it like the top of a rock. When Alexander the Great came upon the scene, there was only one thing he could do. In order to get to the new Tyrus, he created one of the ancient wonders of the world. He built a causeway that was nearly one-half mile long — a bridge from the land all the way to the island where the new city of Tyrus was built. He used every stone and every timber, and he scraped it clean like the top of a rock, using all the scrapings — even the dust — to make the mortar that built his bridge to enable him to get to the island to destroy the great city of Tyrus. When he arrived at the city of Tyrus, he had fulfilled the Biblical prophecy. He scraped the land clean and he went all the way to the city. When he got there, he destroyed all the inhabitants in a massive slaughter. Alexander the Great conquered the people of Tyrus.

In Werner Keller’s book, "The Bible As History," he outlines Alexander’s attack on the Phoenician city of Tyre:

The first occasion was at Tyre. This Phoenician city, heavily fortified and protected by stout high walls, was built on a small island which guarded the coastline. Alexander performed here a miracle of military ingenuity by building a 2,000 foot mole in the sea out to the island city. To safeguard the operations, mobile protective shields, so-called "tortoises" had to be employed. Despite this the construction of the causeway was greatly hindered by an incessant hail of missiles. Meantime his engineers were on shore building veritable monsters: "Helepoleis". These were mobile protective towers many stories high, which held the detachments of bowmen and light artillery. A drawbridge on the front of the towers enabled a surprise attack to be made on the enemy’s walls. They were the highest siege towers ever used in the history of war. Each of them had twenty stories and the topmost platform towered at a height of over 160 feet far above the highest city walls.

    When after seven months preparation these monsters, bristling with weapons, slowly and clumsily rolled towards Tyre, the fate of the maritime stronghold, which was considered impregnable, was sealed.
    Zechariah 9:3-4 reads, "And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire." [End of quote]

Bishop Ussher, writing in the 1600s in his famed historic tome, "The Annals of the World," reports the following:

All of Syria and Phoenicia, with the exception of Tyre, were under Alexander’s control. Alexander and his camp were on the mainland, and between him and Tyre there was a narrow strait. The Tyrians had sent a massive crown of gold to him for a present, congratulating him on his great success. They sent him many provisions from their city, and he received their presents as he would those from good friends. He was very gracious and friendly towards them, expressing his great desire to see their city and to sacrifice to Hercules. They told him there was an altar in Palaetrros, or Old Tyre, on the continent nearby, and that it would be better to offer a sacrifice to Hercules on it, since it was the older of the two altars. When he heard this, he was so enraged that he vowed to destroy their city. It so happened that at that very time, certain select men from Carthage came to perform a yearly sacrifice to Hercules. The Tyrians were the founders of Carthage, and the Carthaginians had honoured them as the fathers of their city. These men exhorted them to hold out and to endure the siege like men. They assured them of speedy supplies and aid from Carthage, since the Carthaginians at that time were a very strong naval power.

    Thus, Tyre was resolved for a war and endured a seven month siege. Their king Azelmious was absent at sea. He had left Autophradates, his son, behind him in the city. Alexander levelled Palaetyrus, or old Tyre, to the ground. He sent for all the men in the surrounding country to come and help his men throw the stones and rubbish of the entire city into the channel that ran between the two cities. He built a causeway a half mile long from the old city across to Tyre, according to Diodorus. Curtius agreed with him, while Pliny said it was seven hundred paces long. [End of quote]

Several other of Ezekiel’s predictions came to pass after the time of Alexander the Great. One said that fishermen would spread their nets there, but no one would ever build a city there again. As a matter of fact, God said that Tyrus would never be found again, even though it would be sought. He also said that great waters would cover it. To this date, the location of the city of Tyrus cannot be established. It’s known where the island was, but the original city has not been located. To this day, fishermen spread their nets there, but are afraid by night and take up all their nets and return home. Today, ten million gallons of water (that’s enough for a small city) run through the approximate location of Tyrus daily. Local superstition has it that there are spirits there. If you’re wondering whether I believe that or not, the answer is "Certainly."

The following excerpts are from J. McDowell’s 1972 edition of "Evidence That Demands a Verdict:"

Nina Jidejian, in her book "Tyre Through The Ages" writes, "The ’Sidonian’ port of Tyre is still in use today. Small fishing vessels lay at anchor there. An examination of the foundations reveals that granite columns of the Roman period were incorporated as binders in the walls by the Crusaders. The port has become a haven for fishing boats and a place for spreading nets."

    "The destiny of Tyre according to the prophet is a place where fishermen would spread their nets. The existence of a small fishing village [There is a city of Tyre today, but it is not the original city, but is built down the coast from the original site of Tyre.] upon the site of the ancient city of Tyre does not mean that the prophecy is not fulfilled but is the final confirmation that the prophecy was fulfilled. Tyre, the mistress of the seas, the trade and commercial center of the world for centuries, passed away never to rise (re-build) again. The fishermen drying their nets upon the rocks that once formed the foundation of that ancient metropolis are the last link in the chain of prophecy that Ezekiel gave over twenty-five hundred years ago." [End of quote]

Again from McDowell,

Today anyone who wants to see the site of the old city, can have it pointed out to him along the shore, but there is not a ruin to mark the spot. It has been scraped clean and has never been rebuilt.

    Some people may still have trouble accepting fulfillment of the never-be-rebuilt prediction, as well as the fishing village which is now occupying the site of ancient Tyre. No one should deny the fact of the village any more than the fact of predictive prophecy, but recall the entire prophecy, if you will. The site would be the place for spreading of nets, which it is. We must have fishermen to have the nets to have the spreading of nets. The fishermen must live somewhere, and if they spread nets on the site of the ancient city (which the prophecy says must happen), they aren’t going to live ten miles down the coast, they will live where they have their nets.
    Tyre was destroyed in 1291 and then it died forever and never was rebuilt. Something grew up from the same site, but it was no more the ancient city of Tyre than it was the city of Seattle.
    Peter M. Stoner evaluates this miracle in the following manner. His seven predictions were like the ones here except for my final one which he did not use and one of his which has been dropped. This, however, should not alter the idea which Stoner presents:
      "If Ezekiel had looked at Tyre in his day and had made these seven predictions in human wisdom, these estimates mean that there would have been only one chance in 75,000,000 of their all coming true. They all came true in the minutest detail. [End of quote]

This is mind-boggling when you realize the magnitude of Stoner’s calculation. There is only one chance in 75 million that a man could make these predictions and see them come to pass, or 74,999,999 chances out of 75 million that it was God. That’s some serious probability.

God’s prophetic words, his words that foretell the future, establish his supernatural credentials in two very powerful ways:

    1. The bizarre probability, the odds that a man could make such predictions and have them come to pass, and,
    2. Reliable, confirmed written history that records the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies with 74,999,999 chances out of 75 million that it was God. History certifies it.

GOD SAID, Ezekiel 26:3-5:

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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.

      4

And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, 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 the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

MAN SAID: Biblical prophecies are vague generalities that could be made to fit a myriad of situations, and they were written by men and not God.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

Authorized King James Version

Keller, W., "The Bible As History," Barnes & Noble Books, 1980, pp307-308

McDowell, J., "Evidence That Demands A Verdict," Campus Crusade For Christ, pp288-291

Ussher, "The Annals of the World," Master Books, paragraph 1788

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