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Wednesday, July 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 26

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Eze 26:1. The chapters in the "interval" (see "General remarks” at the beginning of Chapter 25) are interspersed with dates, but they are not always chronological. All of them, however, are dated from the captivity of Jeboiachin at which time Ezekiel was taken to Babylon. The present chapter is the eleventh year since that event, and it happens to be the last year of the reign of Zedekiah. There is no particular connection between these dates and the predictions uttered against the various nations. All we know is that the Lord saw fit to give us some of the dates.

Verse 2

Eze 26:2. Phoenicia was a narrow tract of country north of Palestine and lying along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Its principal cities were Tyrus (or Tyre) and Sidon and es-pecially the former. Because of its outstanding importance It has been referred to in the prophecies and histories, even when the writers may have been considering the country in general. There are several chapters devoted to this nation and city beginning with this verse. See Eze 25:3 for the meaning of aha, Gates of the -people is a figurative expression used because of the position of the city as a commercial center. Turned unto me. The first person is used because Tyrus is the speaker, gloating over her imagined supremacy in her traffic against Jerusalem,

Verse 3

Eze 26:3. Therefore expresses the conclusion of the Lord against Tyrus. He decrees that many nations were to come against this city, so many and so powerful that it is compared to the waves of the sea dashing up against the land.

Verse 4

Eze 26:4. In connection with this verse I shall make a quotation from Smith's Bible Dictionary, and I request the reader to note especially the words walls, dust and rock as he reads the quotation because they are important words in the verse of the present paragraph, “At that time [Alexander's attack in 332 B.C.l Tyre was situated on an island half a mile from the mainland: it was completely surrounded by prodigious [huge] walls, the loftiest portion of which on the side fronting the mainland reached a height of not less than 150 feet; and notwithstanding the persevering efforts of Alexander, he could not have sue ceeded iu his attempt if the harbor of Tyre to the north had not been blockaded by the Cyprians and that to the south by the Phoenicians, thus affording an opportunity to Alexander for uniting the island to the main-land by an enormous mole. (The materials for this he obtained from the remains of old Tyre, scraping the very dust from her rocks into the sea, as prophesied by Ezekiel. Eze 26:3-4; Eze 26:12; Eze 26:21, more than 250 years be-fore.)”

Verse 5

Eze 26:5. Spreading of nets refers to the act of washing out their nets by fishermen and spreading them out to dry. Such a use of a place would indicate that the region was practically barren, its inhabitants having been either slain or deported. Midst of the sea has reference to the new city of Tyre that was built on an island half a mile out into the sea when the inhabitants of the city on the mainland realized they were losing the contest to Nebuchadnezzar. Become a spoil to the nations means the reduced condition of the city would expose her to the nations who would take advantage of her lot and take her possessions to themselves. In corroboration of the many statements in this verse and elsewhere about Tyre, I shall give a quotation from history. The emphasis will be mine, added for the purpose of directing the attention of the reader to words of special significance. “With Jerusalem subdued. Nebuchadnezzar pushed with all his force the siege of the Phoenician city of Tyre, whose investment [formation of a siege] had been commenced several years before. In striking language the prophet Ezekiel (29:18) describes the length and hardness of the siege: ‘every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled.’ After thirteen years Nebu-chadnezzar was apparently forced to raise the siege." Myers, Ancient History, page 72. “Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to the great merchant-city, Tyre, which was still rich and strong enough to hold out for thirteen years. Ezekiel says that Nebuchadnezzar and his host had no reward for their heavy service against Tyre, and the presumption is that the city capitulated [ surrendered] on favorable terms." Britannica, Volume 18, page 808. "Accordingly, at the time we are speaking of, she (Tyre) was in a condition to resist, thirteen years together, a monarch to whose yoke all the rest of the East had submitted. It was not till after so many years that Nebuchadnezzar made himself master of Tyre. His troops suffered incredible hardships before it; so that, according to the prophet’s expression, ‘every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled,' Before the city was reduced to the last extremity, its inhabitants retired, with the greatest- part of their effects, into a neighboring ISLE, half a mile from the shore, where they built a new city; the name and glory of which extinguished the remembrance of the old one, which from thenceforward became a mere village, retaining the name of ancient Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar and his army having undergone the utmost fatigues during so long and difficult a siege, and having found nothing in the place to requite them, for the service they bad rendered to Almighty God in executing his vengeance upon the city. God was pleased to promise by the mouth of Ezekiel that he would give them the spoils of Egypt for a recompence." Rollin’s Ancient History, volume 1, page 472. “The Tyrians also offered submission, but refused to allow Alexander [The Great] to enter the city and sacrifice in the temple of Hercules. Alexander was determined to make an example of the first sign of opposition that did not proceed from Persian officials, and at once began the siege. It lasted seven months, and, though the king, with enormous toil, drove a mole [huge wail laid in the sea] from the mainland to the island, he made little progress till the Persians were mad enough to dismiss the fleet and give him com-mand of the sea through his Cyprian and Phoenician allies. The town was at length forced in July, 332: 8,000 Tyrians were slain, 30,000 inhabitants sold as slaves, and only a few notables . . . were spared. Tyre thus lost its political existence, and the foundation of Alexandria presently changed the lines of trade and gave a blow perhaps still more fatal to the Phoenician cities.” Brltannica, volume 18, page 809, Myers’ Ancient History, page 275. Josephus, Antiquities, 11-8-3,

Verse 6

Eze 26:6. The original for daughters has a very wide range of raeaningB, even including "cities” and "townships.” Land or earth cannot be literally slain bp the sword, so the evident bearing of the clause is that not only will Tyre be attacked and her citizens slain, but the ones living in the surrounding areas will be killed, The purpose is to make the people realize that 1 am, the Lord.

Verse 7

Eze 26:7. This verse specifically predicts the attack by Nebuchadnezzar on the city of Tyre. For the historical fulfillment of this prediction, see the long quotation In connection with verses 4, 5. From the north is explained by the historical note offered in connection with Isa 14:31 in volume 3 of this Commentary,

Verse 8

Eze 26:8. Daughters in the field is explained at verse 6. Fort and mount means the embankments raised against a city, and buckler means a pointed instrument for the purpose of bodily defense in close-up conflict.

Verse 9

Eze 26:9. Engines of war were large instruments for the hurling of stones with the intent of battering down the wallB. The towers were the structures erected in the most important places and the axes were for the purpose of cutting them down.

Verse 10

Eze 26:10. The great number of horses in the cavalry of the Babylonians is indicated by the dust they could stir up. It was to be so dense that it would envelop the people of Tyre, The noise would not literally shake the walls. The idea is that they would shake at the time of the noise, and the physical cause would be horses and chariots and other instruments and men of the invading army.

Verse 11

Eze 26:11. These horses were both the ones that drew the war chariots and those that carried the cavalrymen, The men In both divisions of the service were to use the sword against the common citizens of the city, and likewise the garrisons or fortified groups of soldiers were to be slain.

Verse 12

Eze 26:12. The invaders were to take possession of the personal effects and also were to seize upon their commercial wares. They were also destined to wreck the houses, both the ones used for storage and the ones used as homes. Dust in the midst of the water is explained at verse 4.

Verse 13

Eze 26:13. In captivity the people of Judah would not feel like singing or playing on their instruments. This state of mind is well described in Ihe 137th Psalm.

Verse 14

Eze 26:14. The top of a rock would be a bare spot with no earth or other substance for supporting life. It would be fit only for uses such as the spread ing out of nets for drying. Such a circumstance is used to describe the desolate condition Judah would be In after the Babylonians conquered them.

Verse 15

Eze 26:15. The Lord's feeling against Tyrus was so intense that the city is named 14 times in course of the chapters in this "interval.” Isles is from an original that Strong defines “a habitable spot,” and it means the people of various areas will shake or be shocked at the downfall of Tyrus.

Verse 16

Eze 26:16. Princes of the sea refers to the merchants of Tyrus whose traffic was conducted on the sea. In Isa 23:8 they are spoken of as such where the passage says "whose merchants are princes." Thrones and robes are figurative and so used in view of the control that the merchants of Tyrus had over the sea traffic. In the place of such gorgeous or showy garments they were to wear those of trembling. That will be caused by the attack of the nation that God will bring against them.

Verse 17

Eze 26:17. They refers to the people of the “isles" as explained in verse 15. The lamentation here signifies the same as "shake” in the other verse. The frequent reference to the sea in one form or another is due to the position of Tyrus geographically. The city was located on the shore of the mainland at first, then it was situated on the island half a mile out into the sea. Such a location gave her an advantage over others in regard to sea traffic. But, the City was very boastful of her advantage and became overconfident of her power against other cities.

Verse 18

Eze 26:18. The word isles still means habitable spots wherever located, but in this verse it has both meanings. They were isles because they were surrounded by the water of the Mediterranean Sea, and they were inhab-ited spots, hence were "isles" In that sense and their people were concerned in the predictions being made.

Verse 19

Eze 26:19. Great waters shall cover thee is both literal and figurative. The enemy army would be so overwhelming that it would be like a flood. And by destroying the walls and other structures of the city, the waters of the sea would actually flow over it.

Verse 20

Eze 26:20. Pit means a state of obscurity or forgetfulness, and such a lot was decreed against Tyrus. With the people of old times means people of earlier times who had gone down in defeat under the attacks of hostile forces. Set glory in the land, of the living. By putting an end to the greatness of Tyrus so her glory will he dead, God’s own glory will shine in the lands where national life still shines.

Verse 21

Eze 26:21. Nothing new is contained in this verse; it is a summing up of the desolate condition to be brought by the Lord upon Tyrus.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 26". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-26.html. 1952.
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