Atheists claim that the Bible teaches many false things about the nature of our world - things that have been disproved by science. Others claim that the Bible contradicts itself. This page is a somewhat random collection of such allegations and their rebuttals. Most of the "false teachings" are based upon selected translations of the Bible (atheists love to use the KJV, since the archaic language had different meanings in the past) that are often taken out of context.
The Earth is flat
Many atheists claim that the Bible says that the earth is flat. Specific examples are seldom given - for good reason - they don't exist. The word "flat" occurs only a few times in the Bible,1 none of which is associated with the Earth. Synonyms, such as level,2 plain,3 plane, even, or horizontal are never used in reference to the entire Earth, but only to specific geographic areas. In addition, the Bible indicates in several places that the earth is a sphere suspended in space, with day and night existing simultaneously (see Science and the Bible: Does the Bible Contradict Scientific Principles?). If a flat earth were a doctrine of the Bible, it would have to rank as one of the most obscure.
The Earth is covered by a dome
Atheists claim that the firmament (KJV) or expanse (NASB, NIV) was a solid dome in which the stars and sun were placed. However, the Hebrew word, raqia,4 translated "firmament" is definitely not a solid structure, as indicated in Genesis 1:20,5 since birds cannot fly through solid material. The only verse in which the word "dome" is used is an obscure verse from the book of Amos, only in the NASB translation.6 The Hebrew word in question is aguddah, meaning a band:- band(1), bands(1), bunch(1).7 The other translations use the word "foundation" (NIV) and troop" (KJV). A Hebrew colleague indicated that the word refers to human beings (His gathering).
- he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation [aguddah] on the earth, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name. (Amos 9:6, NIV)
- It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop [aguddah] in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name. (Amos 9:6, KJV)
- He builds His chambers (layers) in the heavens and established His beings (gathering) [aguddah] on earth. (Amos 9:68)
Here are the other three verses in which the word aguddah appears:
- "And you shall take a bunch [aguddah] of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning." (Exodus 12:22)
- And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one band [aguddah], and they stood on the top of a certain hill. (2 Samuel 2:25)
- "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands [aguddah] of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free, And break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6)
It is obvious that the NASB translation of Amos 9:6 is off base. This example is typical of the kind of objections raised by atheists. Their MO is to find an unusual translation (usually found in only one translation) and use this as "proof" that the Bible is inaccurate.
Another example given for the claim that the Bible teaches there is a dome that holds the stars comes from the book of Job:
"Can you, with Him, spread out the skies, Strong as a molten mirror?" (Job 37:18)
Out of context, it seems like an open and shut case that the Bible teaches that the skies are solid. What the atheists don't want to tell you is who was talking (Elihu, one of Job's "friends") and what was God's response to these teachings. In fact, in the next chapter, God answers Job's "friends" teachings with this comment:
"Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2)
In other words, God tells Job that his friends don't know what they are talking about. So much for the claim that the Bible endorses the idea that the skies are a solid dome. Since God Himself answered Job in the next 5 chapters, atheists would have a valid point if they found an error in any of those chapters. However, you won't find any complaints about the content of chapters 38-42. In fact, chapter 38 accurately establishes the initial conditions of the earth (covered with a thick layer of clouds):
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?... When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band" (Job 38:4, 9)
For more information, please see The Bible Teaches That the Heavens Were a Solid Dome, Embedded with Stars?
Stars were created in the sky
Related to the dome question is where the Bible says God created the Sun, moon, and stars. Here is what the Bible says:
God made the two great lights, the greater light to
govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the
stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the
heavens to give light on the earth, (Genesis
God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, (Genesis 1:16-17, NIV)
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, (Genesis 1:16-17, KJV)
One word is "expanse" (or "firmament" in the KJV) which is the Hebrew word "râqîya". The other two English words are "sky" and "heaven" (or "heavens"). In the Hebrew, these words are actually the same. There is no specific word that differentiates "sky" from "heaven," since they are all the same Hebrew word, "shâmayim." Essentially, it was the translators choice whether to use the word "sky" or "heaven." So, there is no differentiation whether the stars were created in the sky or heaven. Secondly, God defines the râqîya as being equal to the shâmayim:
God called the expanse [râqîya] heaven [shâmayim]. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. (Genesis 1:8)
So, contrary to the claim, the Bible does not say that the sun, moon and stars were created in the sky or atmosphere.
Heaven consists of water
Atheists claim that the Hebrews thought that heaven (Hebrew word is shamayin) consisted of water. However, the word shamayin occurs 39 times in conjunction with birds flying through shamayin (no, these verses are not referring to diving water fowl!). Obviously, shamayin means more than heaven, and often refers to the atmosphere, or sky. One needs to be careful in looking at the context to determine the true English meaning.
The Earth was created from water
A verse from 2 Peter makes the statement that "the earth was formed out of water and by water." In reading the English translation, one would think that the verse states that planet Earth was created from water. Let us look at the verse 2 Peter 3:5 from the context in which it appears:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:5-7)
This chapter is talking about judgment. It is clear from the context the Greek word, gay, translated "earth" in the NASB is better translated as "land," "soil" or "ground," since this verse refers to this same "earth" being destroyed in the judgment of mankind at the flood. It is obvious that the planet earth was not destroyed by water, but the land was covered with water. The Greek word, sunistaymi, is only in this instance translated "formed" and is, in every other instance, translated "to commend" or "to establish" and does not have the meaning "create." This verse is an obvious reference to the formation of continents mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10.9 Therefore, the concept of the earth being created out of water is supported by neither the context of the verse nor the original language. It is obvious that the NASB translation of 2 Peter 3:5 is a very misleading and a poor rendering of the original. Although the meaning of the original language of this verse is clear, a lack of understanding of science allowed scholars to translate the verse into something that makes no sense scientifically.
Hell is under the Earth
Atheist claim that the Bible says that Hell is under the Earth. The Greek word for hell, genna, occurs only 11 times in the Bible, none of which refer to a place under the Earth. In fact, all the references to under the Earth refer to either Sheol (Hebrew) or its Greek equivalent (Hades), both of which refer to the grave, which is under the Earth. Obviously, all people end up in the grave at death. Here are the verses commonly cited:
- "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. (1 Samuel 2:6) (refers to death and resurrection)
- that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, (Philippians 2:10) (at Jesus' second coming all will acknowledge Him, the Angels, those still alive, and those in the grave.)
Here is a list of all verses that refer to Hell:
- "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell." (Matthew 5:22)
- "And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29)
- "And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell." (Matthew 5:30)
- "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)
- "And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell." (Matthew 18:9)
- "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." (Matthew 23:15)
- "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?" (Matthew 23:33)
- "And if your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire," (Mark 9:43)
- "And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having your two feet, to be cast into hell," (Mark 9:45)
- "And if your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell," (Mark 9:47)
- "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:5)
- And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. (James 3:6)
As noted before, none of these verses says that Hell is under the Earth. In fact, the Bible says that the Earth will be destroyed10 and that Hades (or the grave) will be thrown into Hell (Lake of Fire).11 It would be rather difficult for Hell to be thrown into itself, or for Hades to be thrown into the Earth when the Earth was already destroyed. So, it is pretty clear that the Bible does not say that Hell is under the earth, but is a place separate from earth (and probably separate from the universe, since the entire universe will be destroyed and replaced with the new creation).
John would not die before Christ returned
Atheists claim that there are false prophesies in the Bible, such as the one that predicts that the early saints would be there for Christ's glorious (2nd) coming, and that John would not taste death. This is the specific prophecy that they are referring to:
"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28)
This prophecy was actually fulfilled in its entirety in the late first century. If you read the book of Revelation, you will see that John, the apostle to whom the prophecy was directed, saw Jesus coming in His glory to establish His kingdom. This is what the entire book of revelation describes - the second coming of Jesus Christ. John saw it all in a vision, as it will happen. The prophecy was fulfilled! The prophecy does not say that John would not die before Christ returned. It said that he would not die before seeing the return of Jesus Christ. What is awesome about the vision reported by John is that he did not understand what he was seeing, but reported it as he saw it. As such, he includes descriptions of a giant meteor collision with the earth, battles with mechanized machines that sound like tanks, and huge armies (200,000,000 men), which would not even be possible until at least the 20th century.
Stars cannot fall on the Earth
Atheist claim that the Bible describes an impossible event - the falling of stars onto the Earth. Revelation 6:13-1412 is talking about an event yet to come, and as such cannot be proven or disproved from science. In fact the book indicates that the events are not natural, but supernatural. To say that they describe something that is not naturally possible is to state what the book already tells us. Revelation is the book of the Bible, which the apostle John received in a vision. As in many visions given to men by God, the receiver was not always able to explain or understand exactly what he saw. The description of the events are those as perceived by John. The Greek word, astayr, besides being translated "star" can also have the meaning "comet," "meteor" or "asteroid", since there is no Greek word having this meaning. Even our English language refers to meteorites as "falling stars." The description of the "star" Wormwood seems to be that of a large meteorite or comet.13 The impact of one or a number of large meteorites on the earth will have the effect of a several thousand to hundreds of thousands megaton or larger nuclear explosions. It would appear to the observer that the sky was split apart by the large amount of ejecta thrown into the atmosphere. This interpretation makes sense from the description by John.12 An article in Scientific American (August, 1995, page 86) described the result of a collision of a large meteor with the earth:
"Sixty-five million years ago an object somewhat larger than Haley's comet slammed into what is now the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. The impact gouged a crater 170 kilometers across and launched debris world-wide. As the multitude of tiny ballistic missiles fell beck to earth, meteors filled the sky, and the atmosphere became red-hot. Fires erupted over the earth's surface, but the global inferno was soon followed by persistent darkness."
This seems to be the scenario described in Revelation and by Peter, who stated that this world will be judged by fire.14 The impact of a comet would specifically address the issue of the poisoning of the waters as nitric acid rain poured down near the comet's impact:
First rainbow did not appear until the flood
Atheists claim that God did not create the first rainbow until the flood, implying that the laws concerning the refraction of light were not in effect until then. However, the Bible does not make this statement at all. Here are the relevant verses:
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9:12-13)
The Hebrew states that the setting of the rainbow in the clouds was something accomplished in the past (notice the English translation. "I have set"). Nowhere does the Bible state that this was the first time a rainbow was visible on the earth.
Fire consumes wet wood, stones, and dust and licks up water
This is a reference to the "contest" between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Here is the relevant verse:
Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. (1 Kings 18:38)
Presumably, no fire could be hot enough to burn wet wood, stone, and dust. However, the verse makes it clear that this is no ordinary fire. The fire was called for by a prayer from Elijah, and answered by the Creator of the universe. Obviously, if God exists, He would be capable of creating a fire hot enough to burn wet wood, and stones and evaporate water.
The earth is square and has four corners
There are some verses in the Bible that suggest (from the English translations) that the earth has four corners. An example is from Isaiah:
And He will lift up a standard for the nations, And will assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12, NASB)
Actually, what these four "corners" refer to are the points of the compass - north, south, east, and west. In reality, the Hebrew word has nothing to do with corners at all. In fact, the word kanaph refers to the wing or extremity of birds.15 The word is translated as a form of "wing" in nearly every instance.16 It is also used to refer to the wing of an army. However, it would sound rather strange to refer to the wings of the earth, so the English translators used the word "corners." Some of the newer translations use the word "quarters."17 It certainly has nothing to do with squares, but refers to the uttermost parts of the earth. By the way, this prophecy was fulfilled in 1948 with the establishment of the nation of Israel following nearly 2,000 years of dispersion. Jews from literally the uttermost parts of the earth were reunited in that new nation.
The earth can be turned upside down scattering the inhabitants
This is a typical example of the deceptive atheists practice of taking verses from archaic English translations (KJV) and making conclusions that are completely unsupported. Here is the verse from the KJV translation:
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. (Isaiah 24:1, KJV)
Of course, the other English translations are never cited for this verse, since they obviously do not show that the Bible is errant:
Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants. (Isaiah 24:1, NASB)
The Hebrew verb used in this verse is avah, which means to "bend" or "twist" or "distort."18 The noun to which it refers is panim, which is most often translated face,19 in this instance referring to the face (or surface) of the earth. The verse seems to be an obvious reference to earthquakes. It has nothing to do with turning the earth upside down.
Plants created before the sun?
Sun was created "in the beginning". The Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The Hebrew construction "heavens and the earth" refer to the entire created universe. The light of the Sun first fell on the surface of the earth on the first "day," since the Bible describes day and night on the first "day" (Genesis 1:2-3).20 In contrast, the plants were not created until the third "day."21 For more information, see Day-Age Genesis One Interpretation.
The sun orbits the earth
Atheists claim that the Bible teaches geocentrism, the idea that earth is the center of the universe and that everything orbits around it. One example given is the long day of Joshua, where the sun stood still to provide more daylight. The Bible says that Joshua prayed to God and God performed a miracle.22 The text makes it clear that Sun "stopped in the middle of the sky".23 We still use phrases like the "Sun rose", "Sun set". There is no English (or Hebrew) phrase indicating that the earth rotates until the horizon covers the Sun.
Rabbits chew the cud
The Bible does say that rabbits chew the cud.24 As most people know, ruminant animals eat their food, swallow it, then regurgitate it and chew it a second time. This process is called "chewing the cud." Rabbits don't regurgitate their food, but they do eat it a second time. The process is called "coprophagy."25 The rabbit sends its food through the intestines, then produces soft fecal pellets at night that it eats. Because the process resembles that of ruminants, it has been called pseudorumination.26
Insects have four legs
There are several verses that are translated in our English Bibles to imply that insects have four legs. In reality, the Hebrew word sherets, translated as "insect" is not nearly as specific as the term "insect" would imply. The word really refers to crawling or swimming creatures that tend to swarm together. For example, in Genesis, sherets refers to swarming sea creatures,27 in the flood account (Genesis 7) sherets refers to rodents,28 and in Leviticus, sherets refers to crustaceans,29 insects,30 rodents,31 and reptiles.32 The term sherets was never intended as a biological classification system, so to say that it specifically refers to "insects" is deceptive.
What is common among all the creatures mentioned is that they have short legs and often travel together in groups. In fact, the Bible defines sherets as "crawling on its belly" and "whatever walks on all fours."33 What is common in this group of crustaceans, insects, rodents, and reptiles is that they all crawl on "all four" legs. Some from this group actually have more than four legs. However, the Hebrew idiom "on all fours" refers to any creature that crawls low to the ground on at least four legs. Were the writers of the Bible unaware that insects have six legs? This statement would seem rather silly, but atheists actually make this claim. However, one of the verses clearly indicates that these "four-legged" insects have six legs:
'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects [sherets] which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. (Leviticus 11:21)
The key part of the verse is the phrase "above their feet jointed legs." The Hebrew uses two different words to describe the "feet" (regel) and "legs" (kera). What the verse says is that these insects walk on four "feet" (their anterior four short legs), with an additional two "legs" that are used for jumping. Therefore, all six appendages are described.
Snakes, donkeys can talk
Critics of the Bible claim that it says that a snake came to Eve and had a conversation with her to tempt her to eat the forbidden fruit.34 However, the Bible describes that this "snake" was none other than Satan,35 who, being an angel, took on the form of an animal. As such, this event is clearly a description of a supernatural, rather than a naturalistic event. Another example is when a donkey talked to Balaam. However, the passage clearly states that it was God who caused the donkey to talk.36 This, likewise was a supernatural event.
Striped sticks cause livestock to become genetically altered
In the story of Jacob, Laban, his father-in-law, cheated him out of his pledged wife. Jacob had offered to work for Laban seven years to be married to Rachel. However, on the wedding night, Laban switched daughters and gave him Leah. In the light of the next day, Jacob discovered the switch, but Laban would not offer Jacob Rachel as his wife unless he agreed to work another seven years for him. After the second seven years were completed, Jacob asked to be allowed to leave, but Laban did not want him to leave, since Jacob had greatly increased Laban's flocks and herds. Laban offered Jacob to take some of his animals, so Jacob chose the black, spotted, and striped ones for himself.37 Jacob separate the spotted and striped animals and kept them separated from Laban's flocks. Jacob believed that by putting striped rods in front of where the animals mated that more striped and spotted animals would be born.38 Atheists claim that the Bible says that doing this would actually produce more animals that have altered genetics. However, what they fail to mention is that the Bible clearly states in the verses following that the reason for the increase of striped and spotted animals is due to a miracle from God:
"Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.' "And he said, 'Lift up, now, your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 'I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.'" (Genesis 31:11-13)
God caused the animals to have altered genetics, although Jacob thought that it was due to his little trick of putting the striped rods in front of where the animals mated. As such, this is an example of a supernatural rather than a naturalistic event.
Stephen contradicts Moses on the death of Terah
According to atheists:
Acts 7:4--Stephen tells us that Abraham departed from Haran "after his father died." Had he studied the Book of Genesis (11:26,32; 12:4), he would have realized his error: Abraham departed from Haran at age 75, at a time when his father Terah was 145; since Terah lived for 205 years, he still had another 60 years of life remaining.
However, what does Genesis really say about Abraham and Terah?
After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. (Genesis 11:26)
Unless he had triplets, all three of these sons were not born when Terah was 70 years old. One cannot assume from the order in the text that this was the order in which the sons were born. The text tells us that Haran became the father of Lot, but died before Terah died.39 It is possible, maybe even likely that Haran was the oldest son, and was born when Terah was 70 years old. What you do notice is that the order of sons in Genesis 11:26 is given by order of importance, with Abram being first and Nahor second with Haran third.40 However, in discussing the sons, Haran is discussed first (Genesis 11:27-28),39 indicating that he was, most likely, the firstborn. Nahor and Abram could have been born after Haran, maybe even 60 years after Haran was born. This would solve any kind of contradiction.
Did Jesse have seven or eight sons?
1 Chronicles says that David was the seventh son of Jesse, whereas 1 Samuel says that Jesse paraded the first seven of his sons in front of Samuel, with David still in the fields (making eight sons). It appears to be a direct contradiction - but is it?
Here is the list from 1 Chronicles:
- and Jesse became the father of Eliab his first-born, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, (1 Chronicles 2:13)
- Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, (1 Chronicles 2:14)
- Ozem the sixth, David the seventh; (1 Chronicles 2:15)
Here is the list from 1 Samuel:
- And he said, "In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. (1 Samuel 16:5)
- Then it came about when they entered, that he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before Him." (1 Samuel 16:6)
- But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
- Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." (1 Samuel 16:8)
- Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." (1 Samuel 16:9)
- Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these." (1 Samuel 16:10)
- And the three older sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the first-born, and the second to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. (1 Samuel 17:13)
It seems that there is a discrepancy between 1 Chronicles and 1 Samuel. In 1 Chronicles, the third son is "Shimea," whereas in 1 Samuel it is "Shammah." These are different Hebrew words that have different origins, so they seem to represent two different sons. 1 Samuel gives only the first three sons of Jesse (Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah). The 1 Chronicles account gives the 4th-6th sons, none of which appear anywhere else in scripture. So, if we add up all the names that we have, we end up with 8 sons. It seems that one of Jesseís sons (Shammah) shown to Samuel at Bethlehem might have died while young and without posterity. Thus, at one time David was the youngest of eight sons (at the time of 1 Samuel), and at another time he was the youngest of seven sons (after the death of Shammah). If we keep in mind that Hebrew genealogies often included only the names of those who have some significance for future generations, it makes sense that Shammah would have been left out of the later genealogy in 1 Chronicles.
False Prophecy by Joshua?
There are a number of prophecies that remain unfulfilled. For example, God's promise to Abraham that his descendants would possess the land between the Euphrates and Nile Rivers has not yet occurred (Genesis 15:18-21). However, not every prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled in the past. Revelation suggests that this Genesis prophecy (along with Joshua prophecy41) will not be fulfilled until the Millennial kingdom rule of Christ.
Shortly before the Israelites entered Canaan, God instructed Israel, through Moses, concerning the conquering of these territories, as related in Deuteronomy 20:16-18:
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites as the LORD your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 20:16-18)
Yes, God was going to drive the other people groups out, but it was the responsibility of the people to follow God's instructions. Joshua began by destroying certain peoples,42 but did not continue with the destruction of Jebusites, Canaanites and the Amorites listed in Genesis 15:18-21, Deuteronomy 20:16-18, and Joshua 3:9-10. If Joshua had followed the instructions completely, the prophecy would have been fulfilled in his lifetime. Instead, the latter part of the prophecy, "they will teach you to follow all the detestable things," was fulfilled in the days of Israel's kings.
Egypt, an uninhabited wasteland for forty years?
Ezekiel 2943 is clearly a future prophecy. The reason why they don't continue the prophecy beyond chapter 29 is that three verses later it says that all this will happen in the day of the Lord, which is still in the future:
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "'Wail and say, "Alas for that day! For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down." (Ezekiel 30:4)
- Biblical "Contradictions" and False Teachings in the Bible? Links to other "Bible contradictions" pages on the web
- Science Contradicts the Bible? Accurate Biblical Descriptions of Scientific Principles
- "Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat
cake not turned over. (Hosea 7:8)
"And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead." (Joshua 6:5)
So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and it came about, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)
When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, "Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat." (Judges 7:13)
For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, (Leviticus 21:18)
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. (Numbers 22:31)
- H4334. mishor, mishor, [449d]; from H3474; a level place, uprightness:-- fairness(1), level(2), level place(1), plain(12), plains(1), plateau*(1), plateau(1), tableland(1), uprightness(3).
- H1237. biqah, [132c]; from H1234; a valley, plain:-- broad valley(1), plain(7), valley(8), valleys(4).
- H7549. raqia, [956a]; from H7554; an extended surface, expanse:-- expanse(m)(16), expanse of heaven(m)(1).
- Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." (Genesis 1:20)
- The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens, And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth, The LORD is His name. (Amos 9:6)
- H92. aguddah, [8a]; from an unused word; a band:-- band(1), bands(1), bunch(1).
- Translated by my boss, an orthodox Jew, who studies the Hebrew scriptures daily. Her husband is a rabbinical scholar (teaches Rabbis about the scriptures).
- Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10)
- But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)
- And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14)
- and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (Revelation 6:13-14)
- And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood. (Revelation 8:10-11)
- But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)
- Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #3671 - kanaph (kaw-nawf) from 3670; an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed-clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle:--+ bird, border, corner, end, feather(-ed), X flying, + (one an-)other, overspreading, X quarters, skirt, X sort, uttermost part, wing((-ed)).
- NASC Hebrew Dictionary - H3671. kanaph, [489b]; from an unused word; wing, extremity:-- bird*(1), corner(1), corners(4), covering(1), each other(1), edge(5), edges(1), ends(3), fold(m)(2), garment(m)(1), kind(m)(3), skirt(3), skirts(1), sorts(m)(1), wing(14), winged(5), wings(59), wingspan(1). Number in parentheses indicate number of time English translation is used
- He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12, NIV)
- NASC Hebrew Dictionary - H5753a. avah, [730c]; a prim. root; to bend, twist:-- bent(1), bewildered(1), distorts(1), made crooked(1), perverse(2), perverted(2).
- NASC Hebrew Dictionary - H6440. panim, paneh, [815d]; from H6437; face, faces:-- above(1), abroad*(1), accept*(3), accepted*(1), account(1), across*(1), adjacent*(1), after*(1), again(m)(1), against*(2), against(6), aged*(1), ahead(15), along*(1), anger(m)(1), another*(1), appearance(2), appease*(1), around(m)(1), as long as(m)(2), attend*(1), attend(1), attended(m)(1), attention(3), attitude(2), awaits(m)(1), battle*(1), because*(80), before(875), before*(137), condition(m)(1), confront*(1), corresponding*(m)(2), countenance(12), covering*(1), defer*(1), defiance*(1), direction(1), disposal(2), east(1), east*(7), edge(m)(2), entertained*(1), expected*(1), face(263), face*(2), faced(6), faced*(4), faces(51), faces*(1), facing(7), facing*(4), favor(9), favor*(3), first(1), former times(2), formerly(14), forward(3), front(88), gaze(m)(1), ground*(1), head(2), headlong(1), honor*(1), honorable*(3), humiliation*(1), insolent*(1), intended(m)(1), kindly(2), land(m)(1), leading(m)(1), led(m)(1), length*(1), lifetime(m)(1), line(1), meet(m)(6), mind(4), mouth(1), old(1), on account of*(2), open(15), openly*(1), opposite*(5), ours(m)(1), outer(m)(1), outran*(1), over(m)(3), over*(1), overlooks*(2), own(m)(1), partial*(3), partiality*(11), personal(m)(2), personally(m)(2), preceded(2), presence(128), Presence(7), presented*(2), previously(1), prior(1), receive*(2), remain*(1), repulse*(2), request(m)(1), respect(1), respected*(1), served*(4), service*(3), shame*(2), sight(26), sight*(1), straight*(3), stubborn*(1), surface(26), table(m)(1), tops(1), toward*(4), toward(1), under(1), upside down*(1), vanguard(1), waited*(1), whole(m)(1), withstand*(1).
- And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:2-5)
- Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so... And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. (Genesis 1:11-13)
- Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD
delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the
sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the
valley of Aijalon." (Joshua 10:12)
And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:14)
- So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. (Joshua 10:13)
- the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not
divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; (Leviticus 11:6)
"Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the rock-badger, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. (Deuteronomy 14:7)
- Eden, A. 1940. Coprophagy in the rabbit. Nature 145:36-37.
- Domestic Rabbits And Their Care
- Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms [sherets] of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." (Genesis 1:20)
- And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming [sherets] thing [sherets] that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; (Genesis 7:21)
- 'But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers, that do not have fins and scales among all the teeming [sherets] life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, (Leviticus 11:10)
- 'All the winged insects [sherets] that walk on all
fours are detestable to you. (Leviticus 11:20)
'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects [sherets] which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. (Leviticus 11:21)
'These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. (Leviticus 11:22)
'But all other winged insects [sherets] which are four-footed are detestable to you. (Leviticus 11:23)
- 'Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming [sherets] things [sherets] which swarm on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the great lizard in its kinds, (Leviticus 11:29)
- and the gecko, and the crocodile, and the lizard, and the sand reptile, and the chameleon. (Leviticus 11:30)
- 'Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming [sherets] thing [sherets] that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. (Leviticus 11:42)
- Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat... (Genesis 3:1-2)
- And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, (Revelation 20:2)
- And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" (Numbers 22:28)
- So he said, "What shall I give you?" And Jacob said, "You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted sheep, and every black one among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. (Genesis 30:31-32)
- Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban's flock. Moreover, it came about whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, that Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might mate by the rods; but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's. So the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys. (Genesis 30:37-43)
- Now these are the records of the generations of Terah.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the
father of Lot. (Genesis 11:27)
And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. (Genesis 11:28)
- The order of sons given by importance is not without
precedence in the Old Testament. The first example is in Genesis 5:
And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Genesis 5:32)
However, the Genesis text later tells us that Shem was born when Noah was 502 years old, not 500 years old. This can be determined from the chronology of the flood chapters and thereafter. Shem became a father at the age of 102, which was 2 years after the flood (Genesis 11:10). Since Noah was 600 years old when the flood started (Genesis 7:6), Shem would have been born when Noah was 502 years old. He was not, therefore, the eldest son.
- Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. (Joshua 3:9-10)
- "Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded." (Joshua 11:12)
- therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. No foot of man or animal will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. (Ezekiel 29:10-11)
Last Modified September 10, 2008