Ezekiel 26


This prophecy, beginning here and ending in the twentieth verse

of the twenty-eighth chapter, is a declaration of the judgments

of God against Tyre, a very famous commercial city of

antiquity, which was taken by Nebuchadnezzar after an arduous

siege of thirteen years. The prophet begins with introducing

Tyre insulting Jerusalem, and congratulating herself on the

prospect of accession to her commerce now that this city was no

more, 1, 2.

Upon which God denounces utter destruction to Tyre, and the

cities depending on her, 3-6.

We have then a particular account of the person raised up in

the course of the Divine providence to accomplish this work.

We see, as it were, his mighty hosts, (which are likened to the

waves of the sea for their multitude,) raising the mounds,

setting the engines, and shaking the walls; we hear the noise

of the horsemen, and the sound of their cars; we see the clouds

of smoke and dust; we see the sword bathed in blood, and hear

the groans of the dying. Tyre, (whose buildings were very

splendid and magnificent, and whose walls were one hundred and

fifty feet in height, with a proportionable breadth,)

immediately disappears; her strong (and as she thought

impregnable) towers are thrown down; and her very dust is

buried in the sea. Nothing remains but the bare rock, 7-14.

The scene is then varied. The isles and adjacent regions, by a

very strong and beautiful figure, are represented to be shaken,

as with a mighty earthquake by violent concussion occasioned by

the fall of Tyre. The groans of the dying reach the ears of the

people inhabiting these regions. Their princes, alarmed for

themselves and grieved for Tyre, descend from their thrones,

lay aside their robes, and clothe themselves with-sackcloth?-no,

but with trembling! Arrayed in this astonishing attire, the

prophet introduces them as a chorus of mourners, lamenting Tyre

in a funeral song or dirge, as customary on the death of

renowned personages. And pursuing the same image still farther,

in the person of God, he performs the last sad office for her.

She is brought forth from her place in solemn pomp; the pit is

dug for her; and she is buried, to rise no more, 15-21.

Such is the prophecy concerning Tyre, comprehending both the

city on the continent and that on the island, and most

punctually fulfilled in regard to both. That on the continent

was razed to the ground by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 572, and that

on the island by Alexander the Great, B.C. 332. And at present,

and for ages past, this ancient and renowned city, once the

emporium of the world, and by her great naval superiority the

centre of a powerful monarchy, is literally what the prophet

has repeatedly foretold it should be, and what in his time was,

humanly speaking, so highly improbable-a BARE rock, a place to

spread nets on!


Verse 1. The eleventh year] This was the year in which Jerusalem

was taken; the eleventh of the captivity of Jeconiah, and the

eleventh of the reign of Zedekiah. What month we are not told,

though the day is mentioned. There have been many conjectures

about this, which are not of sufficient consequence to be


Verse 2. Tyrus hath said] From this it would appear that

Jerusalem had been taken, which was on the fourth month of this

year; but it is possible that the prophet speaks of the event


She is broken that was the gates of the people] Jerusalem, a

general emporium.

I shall be replenished] The merchandise that went to Jerusalem

will come to me, (to Tyre.)

Verse 3. Will cause many nations to come up against thee] We

have already seen that the empire of the Chaldeans was composed of

many different provinces, and that Nebuchadnezzar's army was

composed of soldiers from different nations: these may be the

people meant; but I doubt whether this may not refer to the

different nations which in successive ages fought against Tyre. It

was at last finally destroyed in the sixteenth century of the

Christian era.

Verse 4. I will also scrape her dust from her] I will totally

destroy her fortifications, and leave her nothing but a barren

rock, as she was before. This cannot refer to the capture of Tyre

by Nebuchadnezzar. It flourished long after his time.

Verse 5. A place for the spreading of nets] A place for the

habitation of some poor fishermen, who spent the fishing season

there, and were accustomed to dry their nets upon the rocks. See

on Eze 26:11.

Verse 6. And her daughters] The places dependent on Tyre. As

there were two places called Tyre, one on the main land, and the

other on a rock in the sea, opposite to that on the main land,

sometimes the one seems to be spoken of, and sometimes the other.

That on the land, Palaetyre, was soon taken; but that in the sea

cost Nebuchadnezzar thirteen years of siege and blockade. The two

formed only one city, and one state.

Verse 7. Nebuchadrezzar-king of kings] An ancient title among

those proud Asiatic despots [Arabic] shahinshah and padshah,

titles still in use.

Verse 8. Thy daughters in the field] This seems to be spoken of

Palaetyre, or Tyre on the main land; for forts, mounts, engines

of war, horses, and chariots could not be brought to act against

the other.

Verse 12. And they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy

dust in the midst of the water.] This answers to the taking of

Tyre by Alexander; he actually took the timbers, stones, rubbish,

&c. of old Tyre, and filled up the space between it and new Tyre,

and thus connected the latter with the main land; and this he was

obliged to do before he could take it.

Verse 14. Thou shalt be built no more] If this refer to

Nebuchadnezzar's capture of the city, old Tyre must be intended:

that was destroyed by him, and never rebuilt. But I doubt whether

the whole of this prophecy do not refer to the taking of Tyre by

Alexander, three hundred years after its capture by

Nebuchadnezzar. Indeed it may include more recent conquests of

this important city. It went through a variety of vicissitudes

till 1289, when it and the neighbouring towns were sacked and

ravaged by the Mamelukes. Mr. Maundrell, who visited this place,

says, "it is a Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c., there

being not so much as one entire house left! Its present

inhabitants are only a few poor wretches, harbouring themselves in

the vaults, and subsisting chiefly on fishing; who seem to be

preserved in this place by Divine Providence as a visible argument

how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, that it should be

the top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry their nets on."

Verse 15. The isles shake at the sound of thy fall] All those

which had traded with this city, which was the grand mart, and on

which they all depended. Her ruin involved them all, and caused

general wailing.

Verse 16. The princes of the sea] The chief maritime states,

such as Leptis, Utica, Carthage, Gades, &c. See Calmet.

Verse 17. Wast strong in the sea] The strength of Tyre was so

great, that Alexander despaired of being able to reduce it unless

he could fill up that arm of the sea that ran between it and the

main land. And this work cost his army seven months of labour.

Verse 20. And I shall set glory in the land of the living.]

Judea so called, the land of the living God.

Verse 21. Yet shalt thou never be found again] This is literally

true; there is not the smallest vestige of the ancient Tyre, that

which was erected on the main land. Even the ground seems to have

been washed away; and the new Tyre is in nearly a similar state. I

think this prophecy must be extended to the whole duration of

Tyre. If it now be found to be in the state here described, it is

sufficient to show the truth of the prophecy. And now it is found

precisely in the state which the above prophetic declarations,

taken according to the letter, point out! No word of God can ever

fall to the ground.

Notwithstanding the former destructions, Tyre was a place of

some consequence in the time of St. Paul. There was a Church

there, (see Ac 21:3, 4, &c.,) which afterwards became famous.

Calmet observes, it afforded a great number of martyrs for the

Christian Church.

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