Ezekiel 26


Judgment against Tyre, mistress of the sea

Prediction of Tyre’s doom, broken and destroyed. Ezekiel 26:1-6.

Nebuchadnezzar will bring about their destruction. Ezekiel 26:7-14.

The people will mourn their princes. Ezekiel 26:15-18.

Tyre will be totally destroyed. Ezekiel 26:19-21.

Sin: They sought to prosper from Judah’s downfall. Pride.

‘In the eleventh month of the twelfth year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: ‘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,’ 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. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD. 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. 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. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 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. 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. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ Ezekiel 26:1-14

Tyre and Sidon were prominent gateway seaport cities. Palestine, and the nations immediately east of Palestine, were able to trade with the Mediterranean cities through the ports of these two cities. The Israelites evidently functioned as ‘customs control’ when nations such as Syria, Ammon and Moab to her north, and cities to the east and south, traded with the coastal cities of the Mediterranean Sea, Ezekiel 27:5-25. But when Judah fell, the traders had free access to these nations.

However, such was not to be for God wanted to destroy both Tyre and Sidon in order to desolate the land of Palestine and punish those neighbouring nations of Israel who sought her demise. Because of their strategic location and trade with many nations, the people followed after the pride of their King Ithobaal II, Ezekiel 28:12. They lifted themselves up, but they would be brought down.

According to Josephus, Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre for thirteen years. Once he conquered the city, the port came under Babylonian control, but never functioned as it did prior to the Babylonian destruction.

Years later Alexander the Great also besieged the city. During the siege by the Greeks, a remnant of the people of Tyre fled from Alexander to a small island off the coast of the mainland city.

In order to completely devastate the city, however, the army of Alexander built a causeway with the remains of the coastland city by throwing stones into the sea. A causeway was thus made in order to access the small island. The city was never rebuilt in ancient times to the former glory that it enjoyed prior to its destruction by the Babylonians.

‘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? 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. 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. Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; the islands in the sea are terrified at your collapse.’ ‘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, 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. 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.’ Ezekiel 26:15-21

The kings of all the Mediterranean coastal nations would lament the fall of Tyre simply because they would lose a very strategic trade port to the Near East nations. They would be economically devastated by the demise of a great amount of trade.

Not only would the city fall, but the unrighteous would be brought down to the pit. What is symbolized in verse 20 is not a location of the dead, but a metaphorical understanding in reference to the beliefs of the people.

Shrines and temples were built on high places because of the peoples’ belief that God could be better accessed on hills and mountains.

The opposite to such locations would be the depths of the earth. This was the location, therefore, where it was believed that demons existed.

Go To Ezekiel 27