The Sin and Judgment of Tyre and Tzidon

Ezeki'el 26:1 to 28:26

585 BC during the exile in Babylon

The prophecies concerning Tyre and Tzidon cover Chapters 26-28. Ezekiel treated Tyre more extensively than did any other prophet, which emphasizes how important it was from God’s point of view. Tyre was an ancient city of the Phoenicians, appearing for the first time in the Bible in Joshua 19:29. It was a great commercial city in the time of the prophets and was prosperous in the time of the Romans as well, even up to Jerome’s day, to the latter part of the fourth century and beginning the fifth. The city was actually composed of two parts, one on the mainland and the other on a rocky island about a half-mile from the coast. The Saracens destroyed Tyre and Tzidon during the Middle Ages, today both are located in Lebanon only twelve miles north of the Israeli-Lebanon border.

During the reigns of David and Solomon Tyre exercised a great influence on the commercial and political, and even religious life of Isra’el. Hiram, king of Tyre, was a devoted friend of David (Second Samuel 5:11), who helped him and Solomon in their building operations (First Kings 5:1-12; First Chronicles 14:1; Second Chronicles 2:3 and 11). Though Tyre and Isra’el were friendly in the reigns of David and Solomon, they drifted apart later. Tyrians sold Jews as slaves to the Greeks and Edomites (Joel 3:4-8; Amos 1:9-10). Tzidon was twenty miles north of Tyre and was probably the parent city. Because from Tzidon had come wicked influences and unspeakable misery from Baal worship, she was likened to a prickling brier and a hurting thorn in the side of Isra’el. The predictions set forth in these chapters have been fulfilled with unmistakable literalness (see the commentary on Isaiah Er - Wail, You Ships of Tarshish; Your Fortress is Destroyed).373

Tyre had, in fact, forfeited her right of existence by her excessive commercialism. Her lust for material gain knew no bounds, and her wealth produced in the population a sense of pride and arrogance that resulted in a complete disregard for human suffering. The demoralization of Tyre was clearly seen by her malicious joy over the destruction of Yerushalayim in 586 BC. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for thirteen years, but it would be Alexander the Great, 254 years after the city of David had fallen, who would finally destroy Tyre forever (see the commentary on Isaiah Eq – The Timeline for Tyre).


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