Boyd on the Seige of Tyre

Gregory Boyd explains that the prophecy of Tyre did not conclude as predicted:

Perhaps most impressively, in Ezekiel 26-28 we find a lengthy prophecy against the city of Tyre. It is said that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, would utterly defeat Tyre, killing its inhabitants, plundering all its wealth and leveling all its walls so that it ends up being flat as a rock. Indeed, it is prophesied that it would virtually vanish from the earth and never be found again. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way, as Goldingay notes.

Nebuchadnezzar did lay siege to Tyre, but, while he did gain some control of the city, it was “nowhere near as decisive as Ezekiel had implied” (Old Testament Theology, Vol. II, 83). The city wasn’t completely conquered and laid flat until Alexander did this several hundred years later.

Because his campaign failed, Nebuchadnezzar failed to get much of Tyre’s wealth. So, says Goldingay, Yahweh made “ a new decision.” He decided to turn Egypt over to him in order to repay him for his expenses in his “vain effort” to take Tyre (Ezek. 29:17-20; Goldingay, ibid., 84). The amazing thing is that this campaign also seems to have failed! Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt, but “the achievement did not amount to conquest” (op.cit.).

One comment

  1. i disagree that it was an unfulfilled prophecy. i think this website has a great exegetical approach to the verse to show that Nebuchadnezzar wasent suppose to do everything that is prophesied about it in exekiel. and shows that actually alexander the great probably did the final fulfilment . and i have heard you say that the egypt prophesy was unfulfilled also. but history shows that they did sack egypt and carried away the treasures which is what the bible prophecies. would love to know your thoughts.

    “all the nations prophesied for destruction would have been overcome in the course of history eventually, but that does not change the fact that Tyre was destroyed in a means which strikingly matches the prediction of Ezekiel, of the fact that Babylon, Persia and Greece were overcome in fantastically dramatic agreement with the prophecies in Daniel (see the notes and power point referred to above for references. It is not that these nations were eventually destroyed, but the way it happened. About Babylon, it is true that Nebuchadnezzar imposed a stunning and devastating defeat on Egypt at the battle of Carchemish. Although he did not occupy the entire nation of Egypt, his defeat of Egypt at Carchemish made him the major power in the Middle East, and Egypt was subject to him through tribute. Then, much later in 568 BC Nebuchadnezzar did in fact actually invade Egypt proper. A fragmentary historical document indicates that Nebuchadnezzar actually campaigned in Egypt, subjugating parts of the country during the rule of Amasis, about 568 BC. Naturally, during this campaign, Nebuchadnezzar took massive booty, as predicted by Ezekiel. Ezekiel never prephesied that Nebuchadnezzar would conquer all of Egypt. It says that he will campaign there, taking land and plunder as his reward. Ezekiel 29:19 was in fact fulfilled at that time to the letter.
    As for Ezekiel 30:12, let me quote: “They [the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar] will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain. I will make the streams dry and sell the land into the hands of evil men. I will bring destruction on the land and everything in it by the hands of foreigners. I, the Lord, have spoken.” Note that nowhere here does it say that the Nile River will run completely dry. To be honest, this prophecy is really somewhat vague (unlike many other extremely precise and specific biblical prophecies). It seems to describe a campaign in Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar–almost certainly the one which we know happened in 568 BC. At the time it is prophesied that the streams will dry up. Presumably this means that it will be a time of drought. I do not see a reason to doubt that this prophecy was fulfilled,
    – See more at: … 16TMP.dpuf”

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