(21 verses, 2:40 to read)
What I am about to READ
Ezekiel preaches the word of the Lord against the city of Tyre
MARK and LEARN
- “In the eleventh year…” 587 BC.
- Tyre was a prosperous Phoenician port city on the Mediterranean sea. Initially a city on the mainland, the city was later greatly expanded into the sea by connecting an adjoining island to the city via a great causeway and later earth.
- Through the prophet, God prophesies against the city of Tyre, promising that the city will be laid waste and destroyed by “many nations…as the sea brings up its waves” (vs. 3). Indeed the city of Tyre would be attacked and destroyed many times, just as the Lord had spoken. Many waves of nations would come up against the city, eventually turning it into a barren wasteland.
- While the Lord promises that “many nations” (vs 3) would come up against and lay Tyre to the ground he highlights one by name, Nebuchadnezzar – king of Babylon. After he laid siege and took Jerusalem, he turned his sights on Tyre and laid siege to her for 13 years, eventually taking the “Old City” of Tyre on the mainland. The military fortification on the island however remained unconquered. This does not nullify the Lord’s promises to destroy Tyre however, for the old city was indeed taken and “many nations” were yet to attack her.
- In the years following the time of Ezekiel, Tyre would be taken by Alexander the Great (322 BC) and the island fortress would be destroyed. Ezekiel 26:12 reads “They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters.” This was fulfilled during the time of Alexander who used rubble from the “Old City” to build a causeway to the island fortress.
- The Lord promised the utter destruction of the city, that the very soil would be scraped from her rock. Tyre would be utterly decimated by the Arabs who conquered the city in 638 AD. In 1124 AD Tyre was taken by Crusaders. In 1291 Tyre was taken by the Mameluke Muslims who after their fashion reduced the entire city to rubble. After this final attack the city lay largely uninhabited for hundreds of years, even through the early 20th century, fulfilling the word of the Lord that the city would be utterly destroyed.
What the Lord promises comes to pass. Time and again we see in the Scriptures how the word of the Lord is preached and how it goes largely unheeded. We should heed the Lord’s word of judgement, as well as his gospel promises in his Son Jesus Christ. He has forgiven us our trespasses and still sends his word of Law and promises to us through his word. When the Lord speaks “you are forgiven” we should grab hold of it and trust in that word as the surest thing on the face of the earth.
Pr. Brandon Ross
Faith Ev. Lutheran Chruch