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Posts Tagged ‘Babylonia’

“Glorious and majestic are his deeds,” the psalmist proclaimed (111:3a).

And what might those glorious and majestic deeds include? The creation of every molecule in the universe. The fact that he sustains creation. The blessings he graciously bestows, the miracles.

But also quite glorious and majestic are the fulfillments of detailed predictions he revealed to prophets, sometimes hundreds of years ahead of time. With pinpoint accuracy, those predictions became historical fact.

Find Tyre just north of Israel.

Here’s one amazing example.

Tyre, located strategically on the Mediterranean Sea, had become a center for international trade by the 500s B.C. And as a result of its healthy commerce, the city also enjoyed political importance.

Yet the prophet Ezekiel foretold that many nations would come against Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3). Sure enough, the army of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar (of fiery furnace fame), began siege in 585 B.C., and continued year after year.

No doubt the inhabitants laughed at his folly. Behind the stout fortifications around the city they felt safe from attack, and enjoyed a constant flow of supplies that came by ship on the coastal side of the city. (Nebuchadnezzar had no navy.)

After twelve years the Babylonians finally broke through the gates, only to find the city abandoned. The mainland Tyrians had simply moved to the island portion of their city, a half mile from shore. It too was fortified. The Babylonian army gave up; Tyre probably thought they were home free.

But Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t the only one who coveted this prime seaside location. Remember, Ezekiel proclaimed many nations would come against this city, and historians have proven the accuracy of this statement.

Over the next 150 years, the Persians, Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Syrians came against Tyre. For 150 years, no one succeeded in conquering the island city. I can only imagine how proud they must have felt.

But according to Ezekiel, their walls would be destroyed and their watch towers pulled down. The rubble would be scraped away and the site of the prosperous city would be laid bare. The city site would become a place to dry fish nets (vs. 4-5).

Right on God’s schedule, Alexander the Great entered the scene in 332 B.C. He executed a very creative idea, no doubt planted in his mind by the Father of Creativity himself.

Alexander instructed his army to take the rubble from the mainland site and build a wide causeway to the island fortress. Then he marched his men across, and conquered the city.

Bust of Alexander the Great, housed in the British Museum.

Isaiah also prophesied concerning Tyre, that after 70 years of devastation, the city would again become a bustling trade center (23:15).  Numerous times in the New Testament Tyre is mentioned.

So what about Ezekiel’s proclamation that Tyre would become a bare rock? Such a fantastic finish to a prediction that must have seemed impossible.

Along came Saladin, sultan of Egypt, who became ruler of the region between Egypt and Arabia. He completely destroyed the city of Tyre in 1187. 

Soon sand built up in the harbors, rendering them useless for ship traffic. For 600 years, fishermen did indeed dry their nets on the rocks and rubble. The city never regained the prominence it once knew.

The ruins of ancient Tyre

Critics might scoff, “Mere coincidence!” But look at the evidence of seven facts proclaimed about Tyre in Ezekiel 26. Note the details of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege, laid out in verses 7-12. What are the odds that such precise predictions could become fact with 100% accuracy?

Perhaps the story of Tyre is one to remember for those times when someone says, “I just don’t know if I can believe the Bible. How can we know it’s not just a collection of allegorical stories?”

Fulfilled prophecy offers compelling evidence.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Thank you, Father, for reminding me of this amazing story, proving once again that You are God, there is no other like you. Your purpose will stand…What you have said, you bring about; what you have planned, you do (Isaiah 46:9-11).  Thank you for being that kind of God, in whom we can have complete trust!

Art & photo credits: http://www.wikimedia.org (2); http://www.worldhistory.org.

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