Ezekiel Chapter 26
Ezekiel 26:1 “And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
(In 585 B.C.), the 11th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, on the tenth day of the fifth month, Jerusalem was captured.
We have now passed the destruction of Jerusalem, and Nebuchadnezzar has moved on to other countries to conquer. This is a new prophecy, and a more extensive explanation than the countries we have just read of.
Ezekiel 26:2-3 “Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken [that was] the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, [now] she is laid waste:” “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.”
This is speaking of Tyre just before her destruction. Tyre was one of the richest cities in the east. We find they were a land of merchants. Their wealth came from their shipping trade. Tyre was like the others, who were pleased to see the fall of Jerusalem. God will not bless anyone who is opposed to Jerusalem. They were proud of their wealth, and did not want to be second to Jerusalem in popularity.
Tyre was an ancient city located on the Mediterranean Sea. They were actually on an island just off the coast. The warning is given to Tyre, as it had been given to Jerusalem, before their fall. It will seem like waves of the sea, when the great Babylonian army, with many nations as fellow soldiers, come against Tyre.
Ezekiel 26:4-5 “And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.” “It shall be [a place for] the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.”
Tyre had a vast fleet of trade vessels and was very wealthy from their trade. These are destroyed, as well as the city being destroyed. It matters not, how great Tyre was in the sight of mankind, she will fall when the judgment of God comes. This verse is speaking of a devastation that leaves her desolate. Afterwards, she would never be the great city of trade again.
Tyre extended out into the water from the mainland. Tyre had built a land bridge to the mainland and at some points it grew to be a half mile in width, by debris and sand sticking to it. It was difficult to attack her, and bring her walls down, because of the lack of land for the soldiers to come on to attack her. Plus, they had built a fortification wall 150 feet high.
Shalmaneser had sieged Tyre for 5 years unsuccessfully and Nebuchadnezzar for 13 years. In only 7 months Alexander made a giant mound from the main inland to the island of Tyre, breached the walls and killed thousands of defenders. This giant mound was 30 stadia or 700 paces which depending on whose measurement you use, is approximate 3-1/2 miles from the mainland.
Afterwards, it was never rebuilt. Alexander burned the city to the ground. There were tens of thousands killed in the siege, and the women and children were carried into slavery.
There is no fortification strong enough, when the judgment of God is upon you.
This is speaking of the great habitation leaving here, and it becoming a fishing village. It was never completely annihilated, but was devastated to the point of not becoming a great city again. God had spoken a curse upon her, and that is what really happens to her.
Ezekiel 26:6 “And her daughters which [are] in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
This is speaking of some cities on the coast who have had friendly relations with her.
Ezekiel 26:7 “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.”
(In verses 7-14), there is a vivid description of the original devastation by Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar called “king of kings” (verse 7), because so many other rulers were subject to him. God had given him universal rule. (Verses 8-9), describe the siege (verses 10-14), the devastation.
The cities on the coast will be no match for this vast army of Nebuchadnezzar’s, who is equipped with horses, and chariots, and everything an army of that day needs. Tyre had not spent their money on the military. They had gotten rich with their trade, but had not put together an army to protect themselves. The king of Babylon had a reputation to go with his military might.
Ezekiel 26:8 “He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.”
The army from Babylon will destroy anything standing in its way, including the cities in alliance with Tyre. The army of Nebuchadnezzar has no compassion. They just kill anyone who gets in their way.
Ezekiel 26:9 “And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.”
They tore down the walls and gates with battering rams, and cut down the towers with axes.
Ezekiel 26:10 “By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.”
This is speaking of a vast army of mounted soldiers. There were, possibly, thousands of horses and chariots. There were enough to shake the wall from the noise of the hoofs of the horses. They will break through where the battering rams broke the wall, and enter in. It will be like night, because of the dust from the horses’ hoofs.
Ezekiel 26:11 “With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.”
After the wall is broken down, the horses will trample down everything in their way. There will be much death. This affluent society has not prepared for war, and the army of Nebuchadnezzar will have no problem killing whoever they see with the sword.
Ezekiel 26:12 “And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.”
All of their accumulated wealth will now go to these captors. There will be nothing of value left. Their beautiful homes will be destroyed, and the trash from the destruction will go into the water surrounding this island.
“Make a spoil of thy riches”: After Nebuchadnezzar )in verse 7), and “he” and “his” (in verses 8-11), “they” (in verse 12), appears to broaden the reference to others among the “many nations” (verse 3). At his point, “they” are not only Babylonians, but also Alexander’s army which later heaped debris from the ruins into the sea to advance to the island stronghold (Zechariah 9:3-4).
Ezekiel 26:13 “And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.”
Tyre was famous for musicians and now songs and harps, the sounds of merriment, are no longer heard. There will be no joy in this city after this.
Ezekiel 26:14 “And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be [a place] to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.”
This just speaks of the total desolation. A top of a rock is completely bare, absent of anything. So bare, nets could be spread out cleanly.
Ezekiel 26:15 “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?”
So important was Tyre as a center of commerce, it could not be destroyed without affecting all of the nearby nations. We know that this city had been a place of maritime trade, so not only will Tyre suffer, but all who traded with her because of their loss.
Ezekiel 26:16 “Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at [every] moment, and be astonished at thee.”
According to customs of mourning, rulers would descend from their thrones and disrobe. When they see the destruction from the war, they know there will never be another merchant fleet to go from here to the world. Their grief will be so great, they will tremble greatly.
Ezekiel 26:17 “And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, [that wast] inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror [to be] on all that haunt it!”
This “lamentation” is like a funeral for the death of this city and all its wealth. They had been a city of renown.
Ezekiel 26:18 “Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that [are] in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.”
Their life line to merchandise they need will be no more. They tremble realizing that they too, will suffer from this fall.
Ezekiel 26:19 “For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;”
This is speaking of total destruction. There are no walls left. There are no buildings left. The great population is gone. Now, the waves of the sea just come up, and wash the debris into the sea.
Ezekiel 26:20-21 “When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;” “I will make thee a terror, and thou [shalt be] no [more]: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.”
Tyre’s destruction is compared to a dead person placed in the grave.
The “pit” here, is speaking of Sheol, or Hades, the unseen world of the dead. Wealth and fame do not keep a person out of hell. They were in good shape, as the world was concerned, but their souls were lost. The “people of old time” are probably, speaking of the people who died in the flood. It appears from this that they nearly all die. They will not remain in the land of the living. Glory, in this instance, is like life. Life is for the living.
“Thou shalt be no more”, means they will never again be found.
Chapter 27:36 states: “The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shall be a terror, and never shall be any more.”
Gradually Tyre disappeared and its location is not prominent. Meaning as a city of prominence, but nomads and the like have occasioned there.
Ezekiel Chapter 26 Questions
1. When did Ezekiel receive this prophecy?
2. What had Tyrus said against Jerusalem?
3. Tyre was one of the ___________ cities in the east.
4. They were a land of ____________.
5. Who will God cause to come against them?
6. Where was Tyre located?
7. They were actually on an ___________.
8. What is compared to the waves of the sea in verse 3?
9. Why was it difficult to attack her?
10. What is verse 5 speaking of?
11. God had spoken a __________ upon her.
12. Who are her daughters speaking of?
13. What king’s army comes against Tyrus?
14. Why had they not built up their military?
15. What were the engines that the walls and gates were brought down with?
16. What made the walls to shake?
17. Where did all the dust come from?
18. What will become of their riches?
19. What will become of the trash from the destroyed homes?
20. Songs and harps are ________ of ____________.
21. What is verse 14 saying?
22. Why do the isles shake at hearing the news of their destruction?
23. Who are the princes of the sea?
24. What is “lamentation”?
25. They shall descend to the _______.
26. What is the “pit” speaking of?
27. The “people of old time” are speaking of whom?