Tyre is Fallen - Exposition of Ezekiel (part 17)
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge xyzz November 04, 2007 (Ezekiel ch. 27-28)
As we should now know ... Judgment begins with God’s House and proceeds to the other nations (Ez. 25-32). Seven nations are judged: Ammon, 25:1-7, Moab, 25:8-11, Edom, 25:12-14, Philistia, 25:15-17, Tyre, 26:1-28:19, Sidon 28:20-24 and seven oracles against, Egypt, 29-32. Much emphasis is given to Tyre (Ez. 26-28).
The Rise of Tyre - Tyre was the principal Phoenician seaport. Tyre allied herself with Israel during David’s reign (2 Sam. 5:11). During Solomon’s reign “Hiram and Solomon . . . the two of them made a treaty” (1 Kgs. 5:12). Tyre was the means of King Solomon’s Mines. “The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons” (1 Kgs. 10:21ff). Hence, Hiram was a worshiper of YHWH and sent fleets around the world, perhaps even to the Americas (note the image above found near Knoxville, TN, ).
The Fall of Tyre - Then came the fall of Solomon, great David’s conflicted son, even with his 666 talents of gold from Ophir (the Americas?) (1 Kgs 10:14). Solomon’s spiritual adulteries (gold, wives, & offensive warfare Dt. 17:16-17) and the official idolatry of Israel (390 years, Ez. 4:9), brought down not just Israel, but the converted people of Tyre. They too fell from grace. Later, Israel, through her apostate king, Ahab (apostate dad, Omri), becomes a Baal worshiper in allegiance with his Phoenician wife, Jeze-baal (1Kgs 16:29-33). Tyre has fallen and so there is a lament. Tyre is lamented as a ship “filled with heavy cargo in the heart of the sea,” enriching the nations of the world with precious cargo (Ez. 27:25). “Who was ever silenced like Tyre, surrounded by the sea?” (v 32). “Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters; your wares and all your company have gone down with you” (v 34). So the story of Tyre and Sidon is a “fall” story. They arose to great wealth and blessing, but they fell. They were saved, but they lost their salvation. They fell from grace. Once I could see, but now I am blind.
Exhortations: The Church seeks expedient idolatries, for idolatry is not altruistic. Then the holy people, the kingdom of priests become an unholy people, a kingdom of priests to Baal, to Baal-zebub. The apostolic warning still stands, “you have fallen away from grace (Gal. 5:4)..., ”continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:21-24 NIV)