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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 26

Layman's Bible CommentaryLayman's Bible Commentary


Tyre (26:1-28:23)

Tyre was a center of extensive commerce from the days of David and Solomon, when it became the seat of Phoenician power. The city, built on an island connected to the mainland only by a causeway, was almost impregnable from land attack. Widespread Assyrian conquest, which swept everything before it, did not overwhelm this city. Even the Egyptian dominance by Pharaoh Hophra, who forced its surrender (588 B.C.) without capture, was short-lived. After his successful destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar turned his full might against the island stronghold. After thirteen years of siege (585-573 B.C.) the city still stood proud in solitary strength and was given favorable terms by the frustrated Chaldean hosts. Since Ezekiel had clearly predicted the capture of the city and its utter destruction, the prophet does something that prophets seldom do: he admits that the prophecy was not fulfilled (Ezekiel 29:18-20). It remained for Alexander the Great to conquer this city by combined attack from land and sea.

Verses 1-14

Destruction Foretold (26:1-14)

It is obvious that this oracle should be dated after the fall of Jerusalem, which means that "the eleventh year" must be read "the twelfth year," as in Ezekiel 33:21. On this occasion Tyre is pictured gloating over her opportunity for gain at the expense of fallen Jerusalem. This predatory nature, already condemned in Ammon and Moab, is denounced also in Tyre. Destruction at the hands of many nations is forecast for the proud city, so that it will become a denuded island in the sea where nets are spread to dry. Utter destruction of the island is forecast, as well as annihilation of Tyrians in the mainland villages ("daughters").

Nebuchadnezzar is named as the historical personage who will execute the judgment of God on the proud island fortress. First, the Chaldeans will destroy the Tyrian suburbs on the mainland; then, as Esarhaddon, the Assyrian, had done in the previous century, mounds will be raised against the city. The noise and chaotic movement of horses, chariots, and battering rams are felt in the words of verses 9-10, while death, destruction, and pillage come to mind in verses 11-12. Every sign of mirth and happiness will cease. No songs will be sung, nor will the lyre be heard. The rock island city will become a bare rock where fishermen will leave their nets to dry, and no rebuilding will take place. The gaunt remains of ancient Tyre hauntingly remind one of this prediction! The word of God’s judgment has gone forth and has surely come to pass.

Verses 15-18

Effect on Other Nations (26:15-18)

Tyre had become a sign of impregnability among the nations. When all else changed. Tyre remained majestically aloof in her island retreat. News of her fall will have devastating effect upon peoples everywhere, even as the fall of France in 1940 had a crushing and almost disastrous effect upon the modem Western world. Princes of the sea-that is, leaders of the sea peoples — shall be afraid and shall go into mourning at the terrible news that Tyre is destroyed.

Verses 19-21

No Memory of Tyre (26:19-21)

One must understand the dimensions of ancient man’s thought to comprehend what the prophet is saying to the city of Tyre in this passage. From earliest times life had risen out of the "deep," over which God brooded in creation. Return to Sheol or the Pit meant a reversion to a shadowy state of lifelessness. Ezekiel consigns Tyre to the Pit and banishes her from "the land of the living." She will go down with the "people of old" amid the ruins of lost societies and civilizations.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Ezekiel 26". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/ezekiel-26.html.
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