5 Failed Biblical Prophecies

5 Failed Biblical Prophecies (out of many)

1. Hezekiah won’t get well.

The prophet Isaiah prophesied that Hezekiah was going to die and that he should set his affairs in order. 2 Kings 20:1 says, “Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: ‘This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.'”

Well… Hezekiah recovered. Hezekiah prayed and God sent Isaiah back with a new and improved prediction: “I will add fifteen years to your life” (2 Kings 20:6).

2. No heirs for the king.

The Lord states in Jeremiah 36:30, “King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David.”

Apparently the writer of 2 Kings missed that prophecy because in 2 Kings 24:6 is says, “When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin became the next king.”

3. Damascus will become a heap of ruins.

Isaiah 17 begins with a bleak prophecy about the future of Damascus, “A prophecy against Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.  The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites,” declares the Lord Almighty.”

However, Damascus went right on existing. Today, Damascus is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and is the capital, and second largest city in Syria. Since the rest of the prophecies have already failed, this prophecy is dangerous because there are people actively working to fulfill it.

4. Tyre would be laid bare and never be rebuilt.

In Ezekiel 26, God promises to bring a terrible end to the city of Tyre. God declares that King Nebuchadnezzar will come against the city, trample the people, destroy the walls, make the city a desolate bare rock, and bury the city under the ocean so that it will never be found ever again.

Most likely due to this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar went on a 13-year siege of the city of Tyre, but he did not fulfill the prophecy. The city was severely ransacked later by Alexander the Great, but this prophecy was not fulfilled. Tyre remains a beautiful coastal city and one of the lushest green areas in the Arabian region.

5. Nineveh did not fall. 

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach its destruction. Jonah prophesied, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:5).

Much to Jonah’s dismay, God changed his mind. In Jonah 3:10, God observed the changed behavior of the people of Nineveh and he relented. Wait, isn’t he omniscient? :p

Bonus: Jesus would return before the people he was preaching to would die.

In Matthew 16, Jesus predicts his own death and then makes a startling claim, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28).

Needless to say, those people died and Jesus did not return. No matter how much they believed Jesus and how fervently they spread the gospel, it did not change the fact that Jesus failed, lied, or was wrong.

In the video I explain why the apologetic, “A failed biblical prophecy can be a success”, is a ridiculous argument and how it makes everything that is “said by God” irrelevant.


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2 thoughts on “5 Failed Biblical Prophecies”

  1. A few small things.

    1 and 5 could be seen more as warnings than actual prophecies. When those warned relented, the punishment was averted.

    I’m not even sure you can call it a point against omniscience since it would stand to reason that an omniscient god would know what it would take to convince them to change.

    The one about Jesus prophesizing his 2nd return also has problems.

    He was prophesizing the transfiguration, not his second coming. I know of no scholar that see Matthew 16:28 as a prophecy of his second coming. The transfiguration, however, can be found in the very next chapter.

    And before it’s flung at me, no I’m not a theist. I just spent a lot of time in the Bible long before I became an atheist.

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    1. These prophecies are considered prophecies by all the theologians I studied under, and based on what I know about the text, I would say they are as well. I spent a lot of a time in the Bible as well, 6 years of religious studies to be exact. Matthew and Luke copied Mark. This is no secret. Why is this relevant? Mark, the first gospel, places the transfiguration before Jesus’ prophecy. So does Luke. Therefore, it is far more likely that Matthew attempted to correct the mistake. Also, the first century writers were certain that they were living in the last days. because Jesus told them so. They reference it a lot (Hebrews 1:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 John 2:18, James 5:8-9, 1 Peter 4:7, there are many more examples). Apologetics help no one. They make excuses for an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent creator. No excuse will suffice for any being with those attributes.

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