Ezekiel 26:3–14—How can Ezekiel’s prophecies be included in Scripture if they are wrong about Nebuchadnezzar?

Problem: According to the prophecies in Ezekiel 26, God would bring Nebuchadnezzar against the proud city of Tyre and would utterly destroy it. However, Ezekiel 29:18 indicates that Nebuchadnezzar failed to capture Tyre. How can these two statements be reconciled?

Solution: 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 Ezekiel 29:18.

Further, verse 12 marks a shift from the prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar to prophetic declarations about other invaders. Verse 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. When rightly understood, Ezekiel’s prophecy perfectly fits the historical record.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.