Answering Bible Critics

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cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Critics of the Bible say that the prophecy contained in Isaiah 7:1-7 failed to come to pass. They say that 2 Chronicles 28:5 is proof that it did not come to pass. How would you respond to this?

In Isaiah 7:1-7, God tells the king of Judah that he will not be harmed by his enemies.

This passage says the following:

"Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it.

When it was reported to the house of David, saying, "The Arameans have camped in Ephraim," his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind.

Then the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller's field,

and say to him, 'Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.

'Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying,

"Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,"

thus says the Lord GOD: "It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass. "

It is claimed that 2 Chronicles 28:5 is proof that it did not come to pass. The king of Judah was harmed by his enemies.

2 Chronicles 28:5 states, "Wherefore, the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Aram; and they defeated him and carried away from him a great number of captives and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who inflicted him with heavy casualties."
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I think you look at Isaiah 7:9. Ahaz did not believe, and so he was not established.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
There's also a chronological question. In Is.7, the king is inspecting Jerusalem's defenses. It could well be that this incident occurs after the troubles reported, see 2Ch.28:16. There it is reported Ahaz' cozying to Assyria, the unbelieving acts that Isaiah denounces in Is.7.

Lastly, we need to remember that 1&2Chronicles are among the last books of the OT. They are partly historic, and add details to the prophetic history of the Monarchy (1&2Kings); but they are also partly theological reflection, written about a century after the Monarchy.

Therefore, we should appreciate that the writer (Ezra?) is less concerned about ensuring his narrative follows a sequential chronological path, than he is in making his didactic points. And why not? He has the prophetic history in front of him, and borrows copiously from it. He expects his readers to be familar with those books, as well as his original audience would have standard contemporary history materials by which to judge him.

Therefore, for some modern reader to point out what looks to him like a "contradiction", while apparently assuming that folks from back in the day would have received an obvious contradiction without question, is simple arrogance coupled with ignorance. Such a man is showing his incompetence in handling ancient texts, appreciation of genre, relation of parts-to-whole, etc. He applies standards of judgment he wouldn't want applied to his own letters or essays.
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

Some people say that Isaiah's predictions about Bablyon's soon defeat was never fulfilled and that Ezekiel's prophecy that Tyre would be defeated by Nebuchadnezzar never came to pass. How would you respond to these claims?
 
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