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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 26: A prophecy against Tyre



Part 5a: Tyre

Ch.26 – A prophecy against Tyre

Ch.27 – A lament that will be sung over Tyre

Ch.28 – A prophecy against the king of Tyre



[Preliminary Comment: The records now move for the next three chapters to speak against Tyre in the far north. Tyre was a major trading city on the coast with two harbours, one located on a rock linked to the mainland and the other harbour, by a causeway [hence the reference to a rock in v.4 The name ‘Tyre' means ‘rock'.

Although Tyre has been friendly with Israel in the days of David and Solomon and even in the days later during the restoration after the Exile, Tyre had very much been a self-centred city of commerce and out for themselves and saw that when Jerusalem suffered, a trade competitor was taken down. For their pride and oft bad attitude, they would be punished. Even more explained in the third chapter.

This chapter is a straight forward prophecy against Tyre, chapter 27 turns into a lament for Tyre, and chapter v.28 is all about the pride of the king of Tyre, the reason so much space is given to speak against Tyre.]



v.1,2 Tyre thinks Jerusalem's fall can be a benefit for them


v.1 In the eleventh month of the twelfth year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me:

v. 2  ‘Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, “Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,”


[Notes: The dating is difficult – see notes in the Introduction – but it would appear that this word came to Ezekiel at the time of, or shortly after, the fall of Jerusalem. Their condemnation here, therefore, is in respect of their response to the quickly spreading news that Jerusalem has fallen.]



v.3-6 For this treason Tyre will be plundered


v.3  therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.

v.4  They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock.

v.5  Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishing nets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations,

v.6  and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.


[Notes: Tyre had felt impregnable but because of her bad attitude she will be brought down. Note in what follows the emphasis that this is what God says, that brings a certainty to what is coming. First who will bring it.]



v.7-12 Nebuchadnezzar will do it


v.7  ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: from the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army.

v.8  He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you.

v.He will direct the blows of his battering-rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons.

v.10  His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the war horses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through.

v.11  The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground.

v.12  They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea.


[Notes: Even as the Lord has used Nebuchadnezzar to bring down Jerusalem, so He will use him to bring down Tyre.]



v.13,14 Your revelry will be no more, you will be stripped


v.13  I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more.

v.14  I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishing nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.


[Notes: Their self-confidence, seen in their revelry while others are suffering, will disappear when they are stripped of all they have.]



v.15,16 The surrounding people will be in fear because of this happening

v.15  ‘ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: will not the coastlands tremble at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan and the slaughter takes place in you?

v.16  Then all the princes of the coast will step down from their thrones and lay aside their robes and take off their embroidered garments. Clothed with terror, they will sit on the ground, trembling every moment, appalled at you.


[Notes: When their fall is seen by their neighbours in the region, they will gasp – and fear! This is the second emphasis that it is the Lord speaking.]



v.17,18 They will sing a lament over Tyre


v.17  Then they will take up a lament concerning you and say to you:

‘“How you are destroyed, city of renown,
    peopled by men of the sea!
You were a power on the seas,
    you and your citizens;
you put your terror
    on all who lived there.
v.18  Now the coastlands tremble
    on the day of your fall;
the islands in the sea
    are terrified at your collapse.”


[Notes: The only real response to such a thing happening is to sing a lament that puts words to their fall and the awfulness of it.]



v.19-21 The Lord decrees your end


v.19  ‘ This is what the Sovereign Lord says: when I make you a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited, and when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you,

v.20  then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living.

v.21  I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord.'


[Notes: The third emphasis of this being the voice of the Lord comes with an awesome and certain solemnity “when I make you a desolate city.” How terrible.]



Continue to Chapter 27