Judgment on Tyre
Text: Ezekiel 26-28
I. We jump ahead in time once again
A. It is now the first of an unspecified month in the eleventh year
1. Some speculate that it is the first of the month after Jerusalem fell, but there is no supporting proof.
2. However, it does mention that Jerusalem has fallen in verse two, so we can assume this takes place after that event.
a. The gates fell on the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year - Jeremiah 52:5-7
(1) January 4, 587 BC
b. The city was burnt on tenth day of the fifth month of the eleventh year - Jeremiah 52:12-13
(1) February 3, 587 BC
3. Hence, we are most likely somewhere in 587 BC
II. The focus is on Tyre
A. The name literally means “rock city.”
1. The original Tyre was founded on the rocky coast line in Phoenicia
2. It was later moved to a rocky island ½ mile off of the coast.
a. It was successful in withstanding a siege from Assyria for five years.
b. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to it for thirteen years. He destroyed Old Tyre, but couldn’t bring down New Tyre (573 BC). - Ezekiel 29:18
c. It recovered after 70 years - Isaiah 23:14-17
d. Greece conquered it when Alexander the Great took the rubble of old Tyre and used it to build a causeway to the island Tyre (332 BC)
e. It recovered 19 years later and withstood a siege by Antigonus.
f. It eventually fell 1500's.
g. “I will cause many nations to come up against you” - Ezekiel 26:3
B. Tyre rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem
1. Wrong to rejoice over the fall of an enemy Psalm 35:25-26
2. Tyre generally held friendly relations with Jerusalem
a. They were dependent on Israel for grain - Ezekiel 27:17
3. However, Tyre was a city of merchants who dominated the seas.
a. Israel controlled the land routes, being located between the desert and the sea.
b. Hence, the greedy merchants came to see Jerusalem as a rival. Their fall would increase their profits as trade is redirected toward Tyre.
4. When Edom fell, Tyre turned over Edom to its destroyers - Amos 1:9-10
C. God would scrape her clean - Ezekiel 26:4-6
1. That is what happened was Alexander carted Old Tyre into the sea to reach New Tyre.
2. Zechariah 9:3-4 - Her wealth cast into the sea
3. Eventually nothing will remain, but rocks to dry nets upon.
4. The daughter cities (the supporting towns in the vicinity would also be razed.
D. Details of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege - Ezekiel 26:7-14
1. This details the fall of the coastal Tyre (Old Tyre)
2. The attack would come from the north
3. The surrounding “daughter cities” would be destroyed.
4. A siege wall would be erected
5. Battering rams would break the walls and its towers would fall.
6. The attacking army would be so great that the very ground would shake from their movement.
7. The raiders would ride through the streets killing the people
8. Their wealth will be plundered.
E. The remains thrown into the water
1. Forward reference to Alexander, probably. It took seven months.
2. Notice change in pronoun from “he” to “they” between verse 11 and 12
3. Songs of joy will be replaced with silence
F. The city would eventually become barren
1. The causeway caused the natural harbors to become choked with debris.
2. When the remains fell in the 1500's it never was rebuilt.
III. The other nations will tremble at mighty Tyre’s fall - Ezekiel 26:15-21
A. Other sea trading nations, many founded by Tyre, will tremble because if mighty Tyre can fall, what of them? - Isaiah 23:8
B. Tyre’s power was in her merchant ships
C. In attempting to escape the fall, many went to the colonies, such as Tarshish, and Cyprus - Isaiah 23:6, 12
D. Tyre would die (go down to the pit) while Jerusalem would remain in the land of the living
E. The Tyre, the ruler of the seas, would no longer exist
IV. A Lamentation for Tyre - Ezekiel 27
A. Tyre rejoiced at Israel’s fall. Here God sorrows for the fall of Tyre, listing out her good qualities from the past.
B. Tyre was well situated to be sea merchants, serving many nations and gaining great wealth - Isaiah 23:3
1. At the entrances to the sea - just off the coastline.
2. Tyre had two harbors
C. Tyre is likened to a ship. Being on an island, it is appropriate - Ezekiel 27:4-11
1. The island is in the sea. The walls of the city reached to the edge of the water.
2. Wood imports: Fir from Senir, cedar from Lebanon, oak from Bashan
3. Skilled workmen from Assyria to inlay ivory into boxwood from Cyprus
4. Linen from Egypt and Blue and purple cloth from Elishah (the southern tip of Greece).
5. Drew sailors from Sidon and Arvad. Tyre’s own people became the rulers.
6. Ship builders from Gebal, a city of Phoencia
7. Their garrison was filled with armed men from Arvad and Gammad
8. Ships from other nations came to Tyre to trade.
D. Tyre established many distant trading ports in a hub like system - Ezekiel 27:12-25
1. Tarshish in Spain traded luxury items for silver, iron, tin and lead
2. Javan (Greece), Tubal and Meshech (in the mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) supplied slaves and bronze ware
3. Togarmah in Armenia traded horses, steeds, and mules
4. Dedan near the Persian Sea, which provided access to India, supplied ivory and ebony
5. Syria supplied emeralds, purple dye, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies
6. Judah supplied wheat, millet, honey, oil, and balm
7. Damascas supplied wine and white wool
8. Dan (or Vedan) and Javan (Greek colonies in Arabia) (“going to and fro” might be a proper name “Uzal”) supplied wrought iron, cassia, and cane.
9. Another Dedan, this one in Arabia, supplied saddle cloth for horses.
10. Arabia supplied lambs, rams, and goats
11. Sheba and Raamah, also on the coast near the Persian Sea, with access to India, was known for their spices, precious stones, and gold
12. Haran, Canneh, Eden, Sheba, Assyria, and Chilmad are cities or regions in Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates. They supplied purple cloaks, embroidered clothing, brightly colored clothing, and woven cords. (The NIV translates the last two as knotted rugs in a variety of colors.)
13. Ships all the way from Tarshish transported the goods.
E. The beautiful ship sinks - Ezekiel 27:26-
1. A storm breaks on the sea, causing the ship to sink and lose all her cargo
2. The coast lands would tremble at the sound of the cries from the ship
3. Shipwrecked sailors will wash up on shores.
4. The fall of Tyre will impact the merchant traders everywhere. Its loss will be lamented
5. There was no other city like Tyre
a. Many gained wealth from Tyre’s tradings
b. Many benefitted from the trade of goods
6. All the nations will be astonished and afraid
a. If Tyre can fall, what about themselves?
b. It turns to mockery. After all, Tyre fell, but they remain.
V. A message for the king of Tyre - Ezekiel 28:1-10
A. Where the wording prior brings up imagery of a ship suffering shipwreck, here the king of Tyre is described in imagery that brings the rebellion of Satan to mind.
B. Tyre’s king was prideful, to the point of considering himself to be a god
1. Ithobaal, connected with the Phoenician god.
2. Saw himself in an impenetrable stronghold in the midst of the sea, like God in heaven.
3. Satan is called the god of this world - II Corinthians 4:4
4. But the reality is that he is just a man.
C. He is mockingly called wiser that the famous Daniel of Babylon - Zechariah 9:2
1. Somehow success is viewed as being due to personal wisdom
2. Yes, he was smart enough to trade profitably and increase his routes. But that doesn’t translate into general wisdom
D. Because he thought himself a wise god, God would send strong nations against his kingdom
1. His kingdom would be thrown into the pit (to the sea bottom)
2. Satan is thrown into a pit - II Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 20:1-3
3. He would die deaths (multiple ways of dying)
E. Would he persist in calling himself a god?
1. He would die like a man cut off from God (suffering two deaths).
VI. A lamentation for the king of Tyre - Ezekiel 28:11-19
A. Again, take note that the prophet doesn’t rejoice at the fall, but is sorrowful.
B. The imagery comparing the king of Tyre to Satan becomes stronger
1. Compare to similar imagery used against the king of Babylon - Isaiah 14:12-15
C. He is called perfect in beauty and wisdom. It was sealed (marked as finished see Daniel 9:24).
D. His home was compared to the garden of Eden, full of beauty and wealth - Genesis 2:12
E. He is compared to Satan, an anointed cherub, beautiful, powerful, and with access to the realm of God - Job 1:6-7; 2:1-2; Zechariah 3:1-2
1. Cherub - a guardian angel
2. Walking amidst fire, brings up images of God - Exodus 24:10, 17; Ezekiel 1:27
F. He was perfect until sin entered his heart
1. The king’s fall was due to his large trade operation - I Timothy 6:9-10
a. Violence instead of justice became the internal rule of his kingdom
b. Though Eliphaz is not accurate, he shows that people believed that angels were corruptible - Job 4:18
c. He is rejected, as was Satan, as a profane or corrupt thing - Revelation 12:7-11
2. He became proud - Proverbs 16:18
a. Again a comparison to Satan - Jude 6; II Peter 2:4
b. Disguised as angel of light - II Corinthians 11:14-15
c. The king allowed his wisdom to be corrupted. Like Pharaoh - Isaiah 19:11-13; Jeremiah 8:9; Romans 1:22
d. The king would be cast down - Psalm 73:18; Job 40:11-12
3. He has polluted his own dwelling places with his sins
a. Recall Jesus’ warning - Mark 8:36
b. God would burn down his dwellings - Amos 1:9-10
G. The destruction would be so complete that his beauty would not be remembered, only the horror of his end.
VII. A prophecy against Sidon - Ezekiel 28:20-23
A. Sidon was the original Phoenician city, which then founded Tyre.
1. Jezebel came from Sidon - I Kings 16:31
B. God would be exalted when Sidon falls because the nations would see that God carries out His word - Psalm 9:16
C. The punishment
2. Battles in her streets
VIII. Israel will dwell in safely - Ezekiel 28:24-26
A. Israel’s problem neighbors would be no more
1. They were problems because Israel did not drive them out - Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13
2. They will recognize that God uprooted them - Jeremiah 12:14
B. God would bring back His scattered people - Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 23:6-8
1. Peace will overtake war - Amos 9:13-14
2. They will have safety - Jeremiah 33:16