Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ezekiel 26: Tyre Down

Ezekiel has a simple message to the proud city of Tyre, currently exulting in Judah's downfall: You're next.

Chapter 26 begins with Tyre's joyful proclamation at Jerusalem's woes: “Aha, broken is the gateway of the peoples; it has swung open to me; I shall be replenished, now that it is wasted" (vs. 2).  The people of Tyre are salivating at the prospect of their ascendancy now that Nebuchadnezzar has utterly defeated the Jews.  But Ezekiel says a surprise is in store for them.  The very same thing will happen to Tyre!

As it turns out, Ezekiel doesn't just have messages of gloom and doom for his homeland.  He also "tells it like it is" to other nations and city-states, like Tyre.  "For thus says the Lord God: I will bring against Tyre from the north King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, king of kings, together with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a great and powerful army.  Your daughter-towns in the country he shall put to the sword.  He shall set up a siege wall against you, cast up a ramp against you, and raise a roof of shields against you" (vs. 7 and 8).  What Nebuchadnezzar did to Jerusalem he will continue doing to others, and Tyre is on the docket.

The end result is that Tyre will be thrown down.  Readers with a knowledge of Tyre and its historical and geographical features will appreciate Ezekiel's references to it being made a "bare rock" (vs. 4) and thrown into the sea (vs. 19).  Tyre, the prophet says, will be "thrust down" into the world below (vs. 20).  Jerusalem may be down at the hands of the Babylonians, but Tyre is going down next!

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