False Prophecies in the Bible

In AMERICA_THE_GREAT@yahoogroups.com, (email deleted) wrote: Hi Jimmy, there are no failed prophecies of the Bible.

In AMERICA_THE_GREAT@yahoogroups.com, (email deleted) replied:
From: Name deleted
Date: Thu Feb 6, 2003 1:21 pm
Subject: FAILED prophecies

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, O Fundie in Deep Denial of Reality. Let’s dive into scripture and test your statement:

“So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.” Isa. 20:4 When did this happen? Never. The prophecy failed.

“Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a
forest?” Isa. 29:17 When did this happen? Never. The prophecy failed.

“And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without inhabitants” Jer. 9:11 Jerusalem is not in heaps, nor is it a den of “dragons” (nor is there any such thing as a dragon, or an angel, for that matter). Neither is Judah desolate. The prophecy failed.

“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee…. The sun shall no more go down; neither shall the moon withdraw itself….” Isa. 60:19-20 Have you looked in the sky recently and seen the bright sun?

“I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth, says the Lord. I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. I will overthrow the wicked; I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth, says the Lord” (Zeph. 1:2-3, 18 RSV) and “But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their doings” (Micah 7:13).

If your god had made good on his promise to “sweep away EVERYTHING from the face of the earth,” then I don’t see how you and I would be here having this discussion.
Failed Prophecies:

Ezek.12.22″ Son of man, what [is] that proverb [that] ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?”

Years ago I used to believe that I was living in the prophesied “time of the end”, that Christ’s return was imminent. When I first believed that I was 30 yrs younger. A lot has changed in 30 yrs but one thing hasn’t – Jesus still hasn’t returned.

How good is the track record of the Bible? What was specifically prophesied to come about, what actually happened? How valid are these prophecies?

Prophecies in the Book of Daniel: Dan.6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed:
then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters. 7:2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 7:4 The first [was] like a lion, and had eagles’ wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh. 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns. 7:8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten
thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened. 7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, [one] like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which
shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

Summary – List of the Prophecies: the first empire typified by a lion with wings – commonly taken to be Babylon the second empire typified by a bear with 3 ribs in its mouth – commonly taken to be the Medo-Persian empire the third empire typified by a leopard with 4 heads – commonly taken to be the Grecian empire the fourth empire typified by the terrible beast with 10 horns – commonly taken to be the Roman Empire and its revivals which last until the time of God’s kingdom being established on the earth How Accurate Was Daniel’s Prophecy?

Daniel lived in the time of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empire so he saw the first two coming. He therefore only really predicted the Greek and Roman empire. This still seems pretty amazing but remember they probably existed as emerging powers when Daniel was alive and perhaps he had heard informed talk in the royal court from travelers or astute advisors who might have been savvy enough to figure out these two empires would be major players in the future.

The real test of the prophecy’s accuracy is the Roman Empire — would it exist right up until the Ancient of Days sets up his kingdom on the earth?

The last time the Roman Empire had any real influence was in the time of Constantine. He instituted Christianity as the state religion. This perhaps is the basis of the false claim for the continuation of the “Holy Roman Empire”. The state religion is being confused with the state. Christianity has continued to this day – the “Holy Roman Empire” has not.

The emperor Justinian’s reign was a watershed. Paganism had been replaced by Christianity but the Roman Empire was no longer able to conquer other nations militarily.

Over the centuries some rulers have adopted symbolic titles linking them to “the Holy Roman Empire” but saying something doesn’t make it so.

Charlemagne was made an honorary Roman emperor but calling a gopher an elephant doesn’t make it weigh any more. He was French and his empire was French. Just because the decaying Roman Empire bestowed recognition on him didn’t turn him into a true Roman. By this time the “Empire” had faded into obscurity.

Napoleon was also claimed by some to be connected to the “Holy Roman Empire”. Another Frenchman (well, a Corsican really) – Daniel should have perhaps prophesied about the great French emperors.

Next along the timeline some claim Mussolini was the head of another resurrection of the “Holy Roman Empire”, albeit an extremely weak one. Mussolini was not the leader of any “great empire” – his only claim to fame was that he was allied to Hitler and Hitler’s ancient forefathers were probably Germanic barbarians that helped to dismantle the ancient Roman Empire!!

If Daniel really had been inspired by a great God who could see into the far future what should he have prophesied as far as great world-ruling empires?

He should have mentioned the Spanish who started the colonization of the new world. And being a Jew shouldn’t he have been given foresight of the Spanish Inquisition and the persecution/expulsion of the Jews?

He should have surely foreseen the British Empire upon which at one time the sun never set – it encircled the globe. Was this too small an accomplishment to be mentioned? What other “world-ruling empire” actually spanned the entire globe – only the British Empire did and Daniel forgot to mention this.

What about the Soviet Union? Until its breakup in the early 1990’s it ruled almost half of the earth.

What about the People’s Republic of China? It is the most populous nation on the earth – Daniel couldn’t see the great dragon of the east?

What about the United States of America? It is the last remaining superpower on the earth. Its freedoms far exceed those available under the constitution of ancient Babylon – which was supposed to be the most “morally excellent” of the world-ruling empires. It has the highest living standard of any civilization in recorded history. The mythical blue-collar “Joe 6-pack” living in his modest apartment has access to better food, medical care and education than Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon! Also the United States allows freedom of worship which is something that was not available in those other “great empires”. It seems strange that the God of truth and justice would overlook that. The United States has behaved more nobly
than other great empires in that although it has the power it hasn’t gone out to conquer other nations. Shouldn’t this also have been noted by righteous Daniel?

Daniel it seems couldn’t see the half of it! The book of Daniel has been held up by many to supposedly show the “supernatural” origin of the Bible. When we look at Daniel more objectively we see how much it actually misses when listing the world ruling empires up to the time when the kingdom of God is set up on the earth. The last time I looked God hasn’t returned, the Roman Empire is long gone and Daniel missed a whole lot of empires in his list.

Dan. 7:16 I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth. 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 7:19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth [were of] iron, and his nails [of] brass; [which] devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 7:20 And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows. 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn
made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom [are] ten kings [that] shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 7:25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they
shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy [it] to the end. 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 7:28 Hitherto [is] the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Ezekiel prophesied against the city of Tyre that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the city and throw its stones into the sea. This never came to pass. Although Nebuchadnezzar did lay siege to Tyre he was not able to conquer the city. As a consolation prize he was given Egypt.

EZEK. 26:7 “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. 26:8 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. 26:9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. 26:10 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 in which is made a breach. 26:11 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. 26:12 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. 26:13 And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.

EZEK.29:17 “And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, inpar the first [month], in the first [day] of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 29:18 Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyre: every head [was] made bald, and every shoulder [was] peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyre, for the service that he had served against it: 29:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. 29:20 I have given him the land of Egypt [for] his labor with which he served against it, because
they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel prophesied that Egypt would be a wasteland for 40 yrs as the Egyptians were taken into captivity. This never happened.

EZEK. 29:6 ” And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I [am] the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house ofpar Israel. 29:7 When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou didst break, and make all their loins to be at a stand. 29:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. 29:9 And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD: because he hath said, The river [is] mine, and I have made [it]. 29:10 Behold, therefore, I [am] against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste [and] desolate, from the tower of Syene even to the border of Cush. 29:11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass
through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. 29:12 And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries [that are] desolate, and her cities among the cities [that are] laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.”
Ezekiel predicted Babylon would conquer Egypt and was wrong.

Ezekiel predicts that Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon will conquer Egypt utterly destroying it, slaying and scattering it’s people, and that it will stay uninhabited for 40 years.

In 568 BCE Nebuchadrezzar tried to conquer Egypt and Egypt survived with no apparent damage.

Aahmes ruled for another generation over a prosperous Egypt and lived to see Nebuchadrezzar die. No Egyptians were scattered or dispersed.

(Ezek 29:10 NRSV) therefore, I am against you, and against your channels, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia.

(Ezek 29:11 NRSV) No human foot shall pass through it, and no animal foot shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years.

(Ezek 29:12 NRSV) I will make the land of Egypt a desolation among desolated countries; and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries.

(Ezek 30:10 NRSV) Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt, by the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon.

(Ezek 30:11 NRSV) He and his people with him, the most terrible of the nations, shall be brought in to destroy the land; and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
Ezekiel predicts the destruction of Tyre (Tyrus) by Nebuchadrezzar and is wrong again.

Ezekiel incorrectly predicts that the island of Tyre (Tyrus) will be utterly destroyed and “made a bare rock” which will “never be rebuilt”.

At the time of the prediction, it seemed like to be a sure thing, but 13 years of seige later Nebuchadrezzar gives up. The Island of Tyre is not destroyed or even conquered. It is not made “a bare rock” that will “never be rebuilt”.

Ezekiel admits his error in Ezek 29:17

(Here the conquest of Trye looks like a sure thing so Ezekiel makes his prediction)

(Ezek 26:1 NRSV) In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:

(Ezek 26:7 NRSV) For thus says the Lord GOD: I will bring against Tyre from the north King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, king of kings, together with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a great and powerful army.

(Ezek 26:14 NRSV) I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets. You shall never again be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, says the Lord GOD.

(Ezek 27:32 NRSV) In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you, and lament over you: “Who was ever destroyed like Tyre in the midst of the sea?

(13 years of futile effort by Nebuchadrezzar later…)

(Ezek 29:17 NRSV) In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:

(Here Ezekiel admits he was wrong)

(Ezek 29:18 NRSV) Mortal, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had expended against it.

(So he then predicts that God decides to give Egypt to him instead, another Ezekiel prophecy that completely failed)
Micah predicts the destruction of Jerusalem (which at the time was about to be invaded by Sennacherib and seemed inevitable) blaming the destruction on the corruption of the priesthood of Judah.

Jerusalem was sieged, but the destruction didn’t happen.

A century later Jeremiah quotes Micah and tries to excuse the failed prophecy by saying that “the Lord changed his mind” about that destruction.

(Micah 3:12 NRSV) Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

(~100 years and no destruction later…)

(Jer 26:18 NRSV) “Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.’

(Jer 26:19 NRSV) Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and did not the LORD change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? …
The prophet Daniel incorrectly states that in the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim Nebuchadnezzar is king and that he conquers Judah.

The third year of Jehoiakim’s reign was 606 BCE, at which time Nebuchadnezzar was not yet king of Babylon. It was in 597 BCE that Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem, by then Jehoiakim had died.

(Dan 1:1 NRSV) In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

(Dan 1:2 NRSV) The Lord let King Jehoiakim of Judah fall into his power, as well as some of the vessels of the house of God. These he brought to the land of Shinar, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his gods.
Jeremiah incorrectly predicts 70 years for the Babylonian exiles but they only lasted 59 years.

The 1st exile started in 597 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar first takes Jerusalem and appoints Zedekiah king (Judah’s last king).
Nebuchadnezzar has temple equipment taken away.

The start of the 2nd exile was in 586 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem a second time putting down a rebellion and destroys the temple.

The end comes in 538 BCE when Cyrus takes Babylon and ends the Babylonian kingdom. Jews are then allowed to return to Judah.

(Jer 29:10 NRSV) For thus says the LORD: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
Isaiah’s Failed Prophecies
The prophet Isaiah, for instance, foretold the drying up of all the waters of the Egypt, and the destruction of all land used for
plantation due to this drying up of the River Nile. Isaiah 19:5-7 And the waters of the Nile will be dried up, and the river will be parched and dry; and its canal will become foul, and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away. There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up, be driven away, and be no more.

This part of Isaiah, widely accepted by scholars to be written around the eighth century BC, is about 2750 years old. And in all this period of two and three quarters millennia, this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled! Moreover it is clear from the context that Isaiah prophecy was meant for the Egypt of his time. For it was with that Egypt that Isaiah and his people had a grievance against, and the prophecy was a warning to them. Obviously this is a clear example of an unfulfilled prophecy.[1]

In a similar vein, Isaiah predicted the complete and utter destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1-2
An oracle concerning Damascus. See, Damascus will cease to be a city, and will become a heap of ruins. Her towns will be deserted forever…

As we noted above, it is now almost three millennia since that prophecy and Damascus remains a vibrant city to this day. While Damascus had been overran many times in its past, it is still around. Thus the prophecy that says Damascus will cease to be a city forever is obviously false.[2]

Isaiah also spoke of a prophecy God made to Ahaz, the King of Judah that he would not be harmed by his enemies:

Isaiah 7:1-7 In the days of Ahaz,…king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but they could not conquer it…And the Lord said to Isaiah “Go forth to meet Ahaz…and say to him, `Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint…at the fierce anger of Rezin…and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria…and the son of Remaliah has devised evil against you saying “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it and let us conquer it for ourselves…” thus says the Lord God: “It shall not stand and it shall not come to

Yet according to II Chronicles, Syria and Pekah did conquer Judah! II Chronicles 28:1, 5-6 Ahaz was 20 years old when he began his reign…[T]he Lord God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people…He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel who defeated him with great slaughter. For
Pekah the son of Remaliah slew a hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day…
Ezekiel’s Failed Prophecies on Tyre and Egypt

Ezekiel made a prophecy that, at the time he wrote, seems most likely to be fulfilled. The prophet was writing, in 587BC, at the time when Nebuchadnezzar was laying siege on Tyre. With such a powerful army like Nebuchadnezzar’s, it was not surprising that Ezekiel prophesied the fall of Tyre to the Babylonian king.

Ezekiel 26:7-14
For thus says the Lord: “Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a hosts of many soldiers. He will slay with the sword your daughters on the mainland; he will set up a siege wall against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers…With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people with the sword and your mighty pillar will fall to the ground…they will break down your walls and destroy your
pleasant houses… I will make you a bare rock…you shall never be rebuilt, for I have spoken,” says the Lord God.

The whole passage clearly prophesied the sack and complete destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. However, the vivid description of the sack and fall of Tyre never happened. After a siege of thirteen years, until 573BC, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his siege on Tyre and had to arrive at a compromised agreement.[3] Thus Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy Tyre. Tyre was destroyed by Alexander the Great, 240 years later. And furthermore, despite the prophet, the city of Tyre was eventually rebuilt.[4].

Its amazing that despite these disconfirming evidence some apologists actually try to salvage that prophecy. One example is Josh McDowell in his Evidence that Demand a Verdict.[5] In it he claims that the prophecy was actually fulfilled. We will look at two of his specific arguments regarding the prophecy. First this is what McDowell writes about the “destruction of Tyre”:

When Nebuchadnezzar broke the gates down he found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved by ship to an island about one half mile off the coast and fortified the city there. The mainland city was destroyed in 573, but the city of Tyre on the island remained a powerful city for several hundred years.

The implication of this paragraph is clear: that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed a major portion of Tyre. However McDowell got it wrong! Tyre’s main city was always on the island. The part of the city on the mainland is nothing more than a suburb. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar could achieve no more than take over a relatively minor part of the city. Furthermore it is obvious from the passage in Ezekiel that the complete destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar was prophesied. McDowell tried to argue that the complete destruction by Alexander the great was the one actually prophesied here. This is a forced reading on the passage-nowhere in the passage was anyone else except Nebuchadnezzar mentioned. However the most powerful argument against McDowell’s apologetics is that Ezekiel himself admitted that this prophecy was a mistake!

Ezekiel 29:17-20 …the Lord God came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against it…”

McDowell tried to twist history to show that Tyre has never been rebuilt. His argument is that the modern city of Tyre is not the old city of Tyre since the former was not on the exact location of the latter. Suffice to say that no one agrees with such a twisted method to fulfill prophecy. Furthermore the prophecy says that Tyre shall never be rebuilt after the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar-which never happened-since he never destroyed the city. Even after the destruction by Alexander the Great, the city was still rebuilt. In fact the city of Tyre was even referred to, by that name, in the New Testament (Mark 7:24, Acts 12:20). Tyre exists to this day and has a population of about 12,000.

Having failed in one prophecy did not make Ezekiel shy about making more:

Ezekiel 29:8-12 …thus says the Lord God ..and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste…no foot of man shall pass through it and no foot of beast shall past through it; it shall be uninhabited for forty years. And I will make the city of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated countries; and her cities shall be desolated forty years… I will scatter Egyptian among the nations, and disperse them through the countries.

This passage must take the cake for the most prophecies proven wrong!

Egypt has never been desolate and waste. Men and people have always walked through it. There has never been a single moment (let alone forty years) when Egypt was uninhabited. Egypt has never been a desolated countries surrounded by more desolated countries. Its cities has never been desolated for any period of time and finally there was no Egyptian diaspora[6]. Ezekiel tried his luck with another prophecy regarding Nebuchadnezzar:

Ezekiel 29:20 I have given him [Nebuchadnezzar] the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he has laboured, because they worked for me, says the Lord God.

Unfortunately, here too he failed! For Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt.
Jeremiah’s Failed Prophecy

The last prophecy we will look at is that by the prophet Jeremiah. He prophesied that Jehoiakim will have no successor:

Jeremiah 36:30
Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah, he shall have none to sit on the throne of David.

Unfortunately his prophecy is proven false by another passage in the Bible: II Kings 24:6So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.
Mistakes in Details Regarding the Fall of Jerusalem

Daniel 1:1-2 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord have Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his God.

The passage if filled with historical errors and anachronisms:

First he got the name of the king of Judah during the siege wrong. II Kings 8-13 showed that it was during the reign of Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, that Nebuchadnezzar laid seige on Jerusalem. Furthermore, the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign would be 606BC. Nebuchadnezzar was not yet king of Babylon at that time! Nebuchadnezzar only become king in 605BC, the fourth year of Jehoaikim’s reign. Secondly the use of the term Shinar is an anachronism. The name was used to refer to Sumeria during the time of Abraham. During the exilic period, around the time the book of Daniel was supposed to have been written, the correct term was Chaldea, not Shinar. And finally, the correct spelling for the neo-Babylonian king was
Nebuchadrezzar. We noticed that books that were actually written during the exilic period such as Jeremiah (25:9) and Ezekial (26:7), got this spelling right at least some of the time. Daniel always incorrectly spells the name with an “n” rather than “r”. [1] [a] Back to the top

Mistakes Regarding Belshazzar:

Daniel 5:1-2 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in front of the thousand. Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and silver which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought…

This innocent looking passage is simply loaded with historical errors.

In the first place Belshazzar, or more correctly Bel-shar-utsur (“Bel, Protect the King”) was never a king. He was a crown prince but never became king of Chaldea, for the kingdom collapsed during the reign of his father. It should also be mentioned that Nebuchadnezzar was not the father of Belshazzar. In fact there is no family relation at all between the two. Nebuchadnezzar died in 562BC leaving the kingdom to his son Amel-Marduk. Amel-Marduk, in turn was murdered by
his brother-in-law Nergal-ashur-usur two years later. Nergal-ashur-usur reigned for only four years. After his death in 560BC, his son, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Labashi-Marduk became king. There was a revolt, and Labashi Marduk was dethroned. The new king was Nabu-naido (“Nabu is glorious”), or in its Greek form Nabudonius. Nabudonius was not related at all to Nebuchadnezzar. He was the last king of the Chaldean Empire, and Belshazzar was his son. [2]
Mistakes Regarding the Succession of Babylonian Kingdoms:
Daniel 6:30-31

That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. And Darius the Mede received his kingdom.

Again another statement that is historically false. In the first place the Chaldean Kingdom, fell not the Medes but to the Persians (in 538BC). The King who conquered Chaldea was Cyrus the Persian. There was no historical Darius the Mede who conquered Chaldea! There was however a Persian king name Darius who became king in 521BC, seventeen years after the fall of Babylon. Darius was a renowned king in antiquity and it is obvious that the author of Daniel erroneously thought he was the conqueror of the Chaldean Empire. [3]

The author of Daniel revealed further his ignorance of history when he wrote:

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede

Now, if he is referring to the historical Darius (the Persian) this is another false statement. The father of Darius was Hystaspes. Ahasuerus, based on Ezra 4:5-6, can be correctly identified with Xerxes I. But Xerxes I was the son of Darius, not his father! [4]

As a coup de grace, the author of Daniel wrote the passage below:

Daniel 6:28 So…Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

A fitting “tribute” to Daniel’s monumental ignorance of history. The passage above clearly shows that he believed that the Chaldean empire fell first to the Median Empire and this, in turn, fell to the Persian. This is clearly unhistorical. History tells us that the Chaldean and the Median empires existed together and both fell to the Persians. [5]
The Dating of Daniel:

The book of Daniel is so filled with historical errors and inaccuracies that most biblical scholars (always excepting the
fundamentalists, of course) now conclude that Daniel was written very much later (between 167 to 164 BCE) than the period it pretends to be (sixth century BC). How do the scholars know this? Let us digress because it is worth knowing[6]:

First we know that the book could not have been written in the 6th century BCE because it made errors that anyone living during that time would know. (see above) Second is this statement from Daniel 9:2; I was studying the sacred books and thinking about the seventy years that Jerusalem would be in ruins, according to what the Lord had told the prophet Jeremiah.

This is revealing. The prophet Jeremiah lived during the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar in 587BCE. Thus he was a very near contemporary of Daniel. The time of the supposed Daniel was simply too soon for the book of Jeremiah to be considered scripture (which is another word for “sacred books”) In fact we know that the book of Jeremiah was only canonized, i.e. widely considered as “scripture”, around 200BCE. Thus Daniel could not have been written earlier than
that. Daniel was very accurate in “predicting” events leading to and including the desecration of the Jerusalem temple by Antiochus in December 167 BCE.[b] After this Daniel starts to go wrong again. Daniel 11:45 predicted that Antiochus IV would die “between the sea and the mountain on which the temple stands”, i.e. between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean sea. Yet Antiochus IV died in Persia in 164BCE. To summarize, he made errors regarding events in the distant past (6th century BCE), was remarkably accurate in describing details of the events leading to the desecration of temple in 167BCE and then made errors about events after that. Thus it is obvious that Daniel must have been written at a time after the temple desecration but before the death of Antiochus IV. In short between 167 and 164BCE.[c]

Reason for Daniel’s Pretense

The question then, is this: why did the author of Daniel adopt this pretence of writing in the 6th century BCE? For a simple (but dishonest) reason; by the time it came to be read, many of the so-called “prophecies” would have already been “fulfilled”. This would thus lend credence to the book and add more weight behind the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. In a nutshell, the author of Daniel tried to fool his readers into believing that the book is of an ancient origin in order to have them believe his future prophecies. The summary below on the book of Daniel, made by the historian Robin Fox, is apt:

The book [of Daniel] has the familiar ingredients of a biblical success story: its hero probably never existed; he was credited with visions he never saw and actions he never did; …while its dates and kings are incorrect and its setting is a fiction, posing as history. [7]

In short, the author of Daniel is a fraud.


A. Due to Daniel’s error, the use of Nebuchadnezzar is now more common than the correct term Nebuchadrezzar. Thus the former is now more commonly used. I have decided to follow this convention. However, note that the latter is actually the correct form.

B. Some examples: Daniel 11:1-5 “predicted” that a Greek warrior king will conquer Persia, rule a vast Kingdom, will not pass on the empire to his descendent, and have his kingdom will be divided into the “four winds of heaven”. We know that Alexander the Great, a “Greek warrior” conquered the Persian empire and upon his death 323 BCE had his empire divided among his four generals: Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus. Daniel 11:5-6 “predicted” that “after some years”, the daughter of “king of the south” shall marry the “king of the north” to make peace. We know that around 253 BCE, Antiochus II, the grandson of Seleucus 1 the king of Syria and Palestine (“north”), married Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II, king of Egypt (“south”). Daniel 11:6-7 “predicted” that she (together with her husband and children) will be killed by one from her “own branch”. We know that Berenice and Antiochus were murdered circa 246 BCE by Berenice’s brother Ptolemy III. This remarkably accurate and detailed predictions continued until Daniel 11:20 where he predicted that the succession of a king who “shall send an extractor of tribute through the glory of the kingdom” who shall meet his death “neither in public nor in war”. We know that Seleucus IV, the grandson of Seleucus II, tried to extract money from the temple funds (“extractor of tribute”) in Jerusalem to pay a huge indemnity to Rome and was assasinated by Heliodorus (“died neither in public nor in war”). Finally Daniel predicted the ascension of a “contemptible person” who will set up the “abominable thing that causes desolation”. This is Antiochus IV, who succeeded his brother of Selecus IV, desecrated the Jerusalem temple by placing an altar to Zeus (on which pigs were sacrificed) there. This of course happened in December 167BCE.

C. Around the end of the third century AD a pagan critic named Porphyry called attention to the fact that Daniel’s prophecy stopped being accurate for events after the year 167BC. He thus, rightly concluded that Daniel must have been written around that time. Of course, when Christianity became the dominant power in the Roman Empire, the “Christian thing” was done: Porphyry’s books were burned. It was only around the nineteenth century that biblical scholars began to accept Porphyry’s views as the correct one.

One comment on “False Prophecies in the Bible

  1. I am amazed at how little attention you give to context.
    The Bible also says “there is no God,” but if you look at the context, it is clear what is meant.

    Psalms 14:1 NLT
    Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

    Peace and may Jesus bless you with eyes to see.

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