Glory Departed
Ezekiel 26:15-21
Thus said the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry…

A more imaginative and pathetic picture than that painted in these words will scarcely be found in revelation, or indeed in all literature. The anticipation of Tyre's destruction seems to have awakened all the poetry of the prophet's nature. And no wonder; for never was a contrast more marked and more significant than that between Tyre in its grandeur and Tyre in its desolation. The isles shake with the resounding crash of the city's fall. The groans of the wounded and the dying are heard afar. Princes exchange their splendor for trembling and astonishment. The city strong in the sea has fallen weak and helpless in the day of Divine judgment. And the seamen who were Tyre's glory and security are no more to be found. Terror and trembling are upon those who dwell in the islands of the deep. Where Tyre reared herself in opulence, grandeur, and pride, the sea breaks upon the deserted rocks, and upon the ruins strewn in disorder by the lonely shore. The waters engulf the merchants, the seafaring men, and all those who minister to the pomp and pleasures of a wealthy and luxurious city. Tyre is as though it had not been; men seek the city, and it is not found.

I. THE GRIEF AND LAMENTATION OF THOSE WHO SHARED IN THE CITY'S PROSPERITY AND GREATNESS, AND WHO LOSE AND SUFFER BY ITS FALL. Some survived the destruction of Tyre, to cherish the memory of days of wealth and feasting, haughtiness and boasting. Some escaped with life, but with the loss of all which to them made life precious. And others, who had brought their merchandise to the great Phoenician emporium, now found no market for the commodities they produced. For all such material loss gave sincerity and even bitterness to their mourning and woe.

II. THE GRIEF AND LAMENTATION OF THOSE WHO WITNESSED THE CITY'S DESTRUCTION, AND WHO WERE IMPRESSED AND APPALLED BY THE SPECTACLE. Ezekiel himself was one of these. Even the conquerors could scarcely fail to feel the pathos of the situation, and to cherish some sympathy for the city whose splendor and power their arms had brought to an end. The ruin of Tyre was a loss to the nations of the world. Embodying, as the city did, the world-spirit, civic and commercial greatness, it must needs have awakened poignant feelings of desolation in the hearts of many who had no personal, material interest in Tyrian commerce. The lesson of the frailty and perishableness of earthly greatness, even if its moral side was missed, could not but impress the historical imagination.

III. THE GRIEF AND LAMENTATION OF THOSE WHO IN AFTER-TIME INQUIRE FOR THE CITY WHOSE GREATNESS AND SPLENDOR ARE RECORDED IN TRADITION AND IN HISTORY. The traveler who, impelled by curiosity or by historical interest, seeks for the site of Tyre the magnificent, learns that every trace of the city has vanished. Some ruined, deserted cities, famous in story, leave behind them some ruin, some memorial, to which imagination may attach the traditions of the past. But for Tyre the traveler can only inquire from the waves that beat upon the shore, from the rocks where the fishermen spread their nets. "Though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God."

IV. THE TEMPORARY AND DEPARTED SPLENDORS OF EARTH SUGGEST BY CONTRAST ETERNAL AND UNFADING GLORY. Who can contemplate the ruin of such a city as Tyre without being reminded of "the city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God"? which the glory of God illumines with nightless splendor, and into which are brought the glory and honor of the nations? - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Tyre: shall not the islands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you?

A Lamentation Over Fallen Greatness
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