I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread the fishing nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I, the LORD, have spoken, declares the Lord GOD.'
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.
And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease.
Monday Club Sermons .The classics tell of a lake called Avernus, which means "birdless." A poisonous vapour arises from its foul waters. Birds attempting to fly across it fall stupefied into its bosom. The eagle's wing becomes powerless, and gradually the proud bird sinks down, until its lifeless body floats upon the dark waters. The nightingale loses by degrees her power of song, and at length the sweet singer falls trembling into the waves of death. This may be a fiction; it is nevertheless a picture of life. There is a lake of sinful pleasure lying along our path. Heedless of it, many spread their wings of strength and beauty upon its outer shore. They think to go a little beyond its margin, and then return. But the spell is on them. Before they are aware the wing has lost its strength and the voice its charm. The momentum gained bears them onward and down until they sink in the dark and fatal flood.
(Monday Club Sermons .)
PeopleEzekiel, Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar
PlacesBabylon, Edom, Jerusalem, Tyre
TopicsAffirmation, Bare, Building, Built, Clear, Declares, Fishnets, Nets, Rebuilt, Rock, Says, Sovereign, Spoken, Spread, Spreading, Spreading-place, Stretching, Uncovered
Outline1. Tyrus, for insulting Jerusalem, is threatened with destruction
7. The power of Nebuchadnezzar against her
15. The mourning and astonishment of the sea at her fall
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 26:11-14
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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