EZEKIEL CHAPTER 26.
The Judgment upon Tyre.
A GENERAL OUTLINE OF THE JUDGMENT. — V. 1. And it came to pass in the eleventh year, namely, after the deportation of Jehoiachin, in the first day of the month, the month of the year not being mentioned, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, v. 2. Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, in the same malicious joy which had been found in the Ammonites, chap. 25, 3, Aha! she is broken that was the gates of the people, Jerusalem being the chief commercial rival of Tyrus, the great mart of trade on the Mediterranean. she is turned unto me, that is, good fortune had begun to favor Tyre, as she now thought; I shall be replenished, literally, “I will become full,” that is, gain all the trade formerly held by her hated rival, now she is laid waste, for it seemed that Jerusalem was now definitely disposed of and could no longer come into consideration as a rival: v. 3. therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, the Lord setting himself in stern opposition to her ambitions, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, namely, in the armies mustered for the conquest of the proud city, as the sea causeth his waves to come up, especially in the form of an immense tidal wave, which overwhelms all that comes in its way. V. 4. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, whose business section was built on an island and was strongly fortified, and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, as it were, the last bit of fruitful soil, and make her like the top of a rock, absolutely bare and without even the ruins of buildings to indicate the former proud metropolis. V. 5. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, this very point of the fulfillment of the prophecy standing out plainly, as travelers relate; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God, whose word cannot fall to the ground; and it shall become a spoil to the nations, instead of amassing further fortunes, as she had hoped to do. V. 6. And her daughters which are in the field, the cities and towns tributary to Tyrus on the mainland, shall be slain by the sword, overthrown by the conquering invaders; and they shall know that I am the Lord. Men who refuse to acknowledge the Lord willingly are often obliged to do so under the stress of the convincing power of His judgments.
THE PROPHECY CONCERNING NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S COMING. — V. 7. For thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, a king of kings, a ruler excelling in power, from the north, for it was from that side that the attack would naturally be made, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people, both infantry and cavalry being strongly represented in his armies of conquest. V. 8. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field, quickly subduing the smaller cities tributary to Tyre; and he shall make a fort against thee, battering-towers from which the attacking troops could throw missiles into a besieged city, and cast a mount against thee, breast-works behind which trenches could be constructed, and lift up the buckler against thee, setting the infantry in array for an attack upon the city, one section of which was built on the mainland. V. 9. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, literally, “wall-breakers,” that is, battering-rams. and with his axes he shall break down thy towers, the swords of the invaders killing the soldiers on the towers and leaving the towers of the walls unmanned, so that they could easily be torn down by the enemy. V. 10. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee, a strong picture to emphasize the immense mass of horses in the invader’s army; thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, as they move forward, galloping to the attack, and of the wheels and of the chariots when he shall enter into thy gates, after a victorious onslaught, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach, which can no longer hold out in the siege. V. 11. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets, tramping the pavement to pieces; he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground, literally, “and the pillars of thy strength shall sink to the ground,” probably a reference to two monuments in the temple of Hercules and expressing the proud boast of the citizens that they could not be conquered. V. 12. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, the great treasures stored up in this great commercial city, and make a prey of thy merchandise, taking it away as a welcome booty; and they shall break down thy walls and destroy thy pleasant houses, the proud palaces of the merchants, cp. Is. 23, 13; and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water, thus razing the city down to the very rock on which it was built. V. 13. And I will cause the noise of thy songs, shouted in the proud consciousness of prosperity, to cease; and the sound of thy harps, as expressing the joyousness of the inhabitants, shall be no more heard, for all joy would give way to sorrow and grief. V. 14. And I will make thee like the top of a rock, utterly bare, with not even a heap of ruins to mark the spot; thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon, the draw-nets of fishermen being stretched out there to dry. Thou shalt be built no more; for I, the Lord, have spoken it, saith the Lord God. Throughout the entire passage the overwhelming strength of the invading host is vividly pictured; for, as the instruments of Jehovah in carrying out His punishment, no one was able to withstand them.
THE EFFECT OF THE FALL OF TYRE. — V. 15. Thus saith the Lord God of Tyrus, Shall not the isles, including the colonies located along the shores of the Mediterranean, shake at the sound of thy fall, being filled with agitation and terror when the report of Tyre’s fall reaches them, when the wounded cry, groaning in their pain, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? namely, at the taking of the city, when the sword mowed down with unrestrained fierceness. V. 16. Then all the princes of the sea, the rich merchant princes who were at the head of Tyre’s rich colonies, shall come down from their thrones, losing all their power, obliged to give up their princely might and pomp, and lay away their robes, their outer garments, and put off their broidered garments, their rich dresses of state, all this indicating the depth of their mourning; they shall clothe themselves with trembling, with terrors, the strong figure indicating the extremity of their position; they shall sit upon the ground, instead of the thrones formerly occupied by them, and shall tremble at every moment, with fear shaking them again and again, and be astonished at thee, horrified at the catastrophe which had come upon the great metropolis. V. 17. And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, a song of mourning, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, being overthrown in such a great calamity, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, literally, “inhabited from out of the seas,” for Tyre had, as it were, arisen out of the seas as a mighty metropolis, the renowned city, spoken of in words of praise by men everywhere, which wast strong in the sea, not only impregnable in her location, but also dominating the seas with her marine, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it, for the city with all its inhabitants spread a fear of itself wherever its name was heard. V. 18. Now shall the isles, the colonies imbued with this spirit, tremble in the day of thy fall, frightened at the fall of the metropolis upon which they depended; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure, at the horrible end of their proud mistress. V. 19. For thus saith the Lord God, When I shall make thee a desolate city, in exact accordance with these and other prophecies, like the cities that are not inhabited, which have already been turned into desert wastes; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee, as by the inundation of an immense tidal wave; v. 20. when I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, to all those destroyed in former times, by similar catastrophes, with the people of old time, particularly those swept away in the Deluge, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in the abode of the dead, in places desolate of old, amidst the ruins of ancient civilizations, with them that go down to the pit, to share the fate of the godless generation before the Flood, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living, by once more establishing His people in power; v. 21. I will make thee a terror, an object of horror and aversion, and thou shalt be no more, destroyed completely by a sudden calamity; though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God. In the case of Old Tyre, this prophecy was literally fulfilled, not a vestige of the former proud city being left.