For thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring on Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses…
The fate foretold for the famous city is here related, so to speak, beforehand, with singular copiousness and exactness of detail.
I. THE ENEMY - THE KING OF BABYLON. Tyre had many foes, but at most of them she could afford to laugh, for they had no power to carry their hostility into effect. But Nebuchadnezzar, the king of kings, was an enemy that none could despise. His power and his resources were such as to render him formidable even to the mightiest. Flushed with previous successes, confident in the irresistible force of his arms, this puissant monarch, in unconscious obedience to Divine behests, turned his sword against the proud mistress of the seas.
II. THE HOSTILE ARMY AND THE APPARATUS OF WAR. Ezekiel describes, with the accuracy and minuteness of one who beheld it, the force which the King of Babylon directed against Tyre. We see the dreaded conqueror of the nations advance from the north-east "with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company of much people." The undertaking was only possible to a power which commanded abundance of military resources, and which was able to bring up successive reinforcements, and to continue warlike operations through the changing fortunes and the long delays often incident to ancient campaigns. All that was necessary for his purpose, Nebuchadnezzar knew, before he commenced operations, that he could command.
III. THE SIEGE. The several stages of this enterprise are described as by an eyewitness. First, engagements take place with the neighboring powers dependent upon and in alliance with Tyre. These are defeated, and their opposition is subdued. Then forts are constructed and a mount is raised from which the besiegers can direct their attack against the beleaguered city. Further, battering-engines are brought forward to play against the walls, and the towers are assaulted by the battle-axes of the besiegers. The dust raised by the galloping horses marks where the cavalry repel the sally from the garrison. The sights of warfare rise before the eye, its sounds salute and deafen the ear. Through long years these military maneuvers go forward with changing fortune; yet leaving the city weaker and less able, even with the open communication seawards, to sustain the siege.
IV. THE ASSAULT, CONQUEST, AND SUBJUGATION. At length the fatal breach is made in the city wall, and we seem to see the victorious army rush forward to overpower the gallant but now disheartened defenders. The walls shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, as the conquerors pour into the streets of the city. The conquering troops, mad with long-delayed success, ride over and cut down every armed man they meet, and even slay the defenseless inhabitants with the sword. The famous city, which had boasted itself invincible and impregnable, is taken and occupied by the Babylonian forces.
V. THE SPOILING AND DESTRUCTION. The riches and merchandise fall a prey into the hands of the victors, who are satiated with booty. The monuments of Tyrian pride and grandeur are leveled in the dust. The fortifications are demolished, the pleasant houses, luxurious abodes of merchant-princes, are pulled down, and the stone and timber are flung into the sea. Precious goods are appropriated or wantonly destroyed. As ever in warfare, so here, the spoils go to the conquerors, Vae victis!
VI. THE DESOLATION AND WASTE. In those palaces and halls were once heard the songs of joy and of love, of feasting and of mirth - the strains of music vibrating from harp and lyre, and breathing from the tuneful flute. Now a mournful silence reigns, broken only by the cry of the sea-bird or the plash of the wind-smitten waves. In those harbors rode but lately the fleets laden with the commerce of the world, and Tyrian merchants gazed with pride upon their noble and richly laden argosies. Now the fisherman spreads his nets upon the deserted rocks, and looks wistfully over the forsaken roadsteads and the waste of waters where no sail curves before the wind or glitters in the sunshine. "The Lord has spoken it," and what he has said has come to pass. The Tyrian splendor and opulence were of this world, and they are no more. Sic transit gloria mundi! - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
WEB: For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company, and many people.