Ezekiel 26



The prophetic messages against Ammon, Moab, Edom, and the Philistines

were comparatively short. That against Tyre spreads over three chapters

(ch.26:1-29:18). The special prominence thus given to the latter

city was probably due to its political importance in Ezekiel’s time, possibly

also to the personal knowledge which may be inferred from his minute

description of its magnificence and its commerce. It is ushered in with

special solemnity as “a word of Jehovah.”


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 the eleventh year, etc. The last date given (ch.24:1)

was the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year (sc. B.C. 590). We

have now come to the eleventh year, on which, on the ninth day of the

fourth month, Jerusalem was taken, while its destruction followed in the

seventh day of the fifth month (Jeremiah 52:6, 12). Here the number of

the month is not given in the Hebrew or the Vulgate, while the Septuagint

inserts the “first month.” In ch. 32:17 we have a like omission, and

in both cases it is natural to assume an error of transcription. The tidings of

the capture may have reached both Tyre and Tel-Abib, and Ezekiel may

have heard of the temper in which the former had received them, just as he

had heard how the nations named in the previous chapter had exulted in the

fall, imminent and, as they thought, inevitable, of the holy city.


2  “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:”

 Because that Tyrus, etc. As the nearest great commercial city,

the Venice of the ancient world, Tyre, from the days of David (II Samuel 5:11)

and Solomon (I Kings 5:1) onward, had been prominent in the eyes of the

statesmen and prophets of Judah; and Ezekiel follows in the footsteps of

Joel 3:4; Amos 1:9-10; Isaiah 23., in dealing with it.  The description in vs. 5

and 14 points, not to the city on the mainland, the old Tyre of Joshua 19:29,

which had been taken by Shalmaneser and was afterwards destroyed by

Alexander the Great, but to the island city, the new Tyre, which was, at this

time, the emporium of the ancient world. The extent of her commerce will

meet us in ch.27. Here, too, as in the case of the nations in ch.25.,

Ezekiel’s indignation is roused by the exulting selfishness with which Tyre

had looked on the downfall (actual or imminent, as before) of Jerusalem.

“Now,” her rulers seem to have said, “we shall be the only power in the land

of Canaan.” Jerusalem, that had been the gate of the peoples, was now

broken. The name thus given may imply either:


  • that Jerusalem was regarded as to a considerable extent a commercial

city, carrying on much intercourse with the nations with which she was in

alliance, (ch.23:40-41; I Kings 9:26-28; 22:48; Isaiah 2:7; Herod., 3:5,

of Cadytis, i.e. probably Jerusalem); or


  • that its temple had, under Hezekiah and Josiah, drawn many proselytes

from the neighboring nations, as in Psalm 87:4-6, and was looking

forward to a yet fuller confluence of men of all races, as in the prophecies

of Micah 4:1-2 and Isaiah 2:2-3 — expectations which may well

have become known to a city like Tyre, in frequent intercourse with Judah.

“Now,” the Tyrians might say, “that hope is shattered.” I shall be

replenished. The interpolated “now” indicates what is, of course, implied,

that Tyre expects her prosperity to increase in proportion to the decline

and fall of Jerusalem.




                        An Unworthy Anticipation (v. 2)


The destruction of Jerusalem afforded delights to Tyre, because the

mercenary Tyrians imagined that they would gain by the loss of the Jewish

capital. This was an unworthy anticipation, and the event proved that it

was founded on a delusion. Tyre did not ultimately profit by the ruin of




OF OTHERS. Tyre should have sympathized with her old ally in the time

of adversity. But her commercial greed bears down all thoughts of

friendship and all feelings of sympathy. She only looks at the direful

event as an opportunity for enlarging her trade. Nations are guilty of this

wickedness when they exult in the downfall and misery of their neighbors,

expecting to reap a harvest of gain for themselves. Thus while two peoples

are in the agonies of war, a third may be delighted at the opportunity of

coining wealth by seizing the ground for commerce which the belligerents

have been forced to relinquish. It may come more nearly home to us to see

the same greedy spirit in the shopkeeper who inwardly rejoices over the

bankruptcy of his rival, believing that now the custom will be all in his own

hands. The same miserable, mercantile selfishness is even witnessed in

ecclesiastical regions, when one Church takes pleasure in the misfortunes

of a neighboring Church, expecting thus to have grist brought to its mill. In

this case there is far less excuse, for Christians profess brotherhood, and a

true Church exists for the glory of God, not for the pomp and

aggrandizement of its members. God is not glorified when one Church

fattens on the wreck of another Church.



FAILURE. Tyre did not gain by the overthrow of Jerusalem; on the

contrary, she was swept away by the same besom of destruction that she

had greedily rejoiced to see turned against her ancient ally, We are

members one of another. What is hurtful to one part of the body injures the

whole body. War brings nothing but loss in the long run. Selfish commerce

does not ultimately pay. Greedy competition overreaches itself and reaps a

Nemesis of general commercial depression. It is often found that the ruin of

one house of business is followed by that of others. A market is injured,

and all concerned with it suffer. Selfishness, envy, jealousy, and greed

destroy mutual confidence. They introduce a condition in which every

man’s hand is against his fellow. This must be one of general disaster,

because it is one of general distrust. We do not suffer in the end by being

magnanimous. Assuredly these considerations apply with double force to

religious communities. The Church that exults in the downfall of its rival

cannot truly prosper. Here, indeed, what hurts a member of the body hurts

the whole body. Far wiser as well as higher was the spirit of St. Paul, who

rejoiced in the preaching of the gospel by all means, even though, in some

cases, it involved enmity to himself (Philippians 1:18).




                                    The Jealousy of Tyre (v. 2)


It is a singular fact that, in his reproaches and censures directed against the

states and tribes by which Israel was surrounded, Ezekiel does not confine

himself to a condemnation of their idolatries and their vices and crimes

generally, but refers especially to the attitude these peoples had taken

towards his own countrymen, their land, and their metropolis. No doubt

there was patriotism in this way of looking at matters. But the frequency

and evident deliberateness of such references show that it was not mere

personal and patriotic feeling which animated Ezekiel. He spoke as a

religious teacher and as the prophet of the Lord; and he recognized, as

underlying hostility to Israel, hostility to Israel’s God. It is observable that

in the powerful and eloquent denunciation of Tyre’s offenses, in the awful

prediction of Type’s impending fate, which forms so interesting and

instructive a portion of this book, Ezekiel puts in the very forefront of his

indictment Type’s attitude towards Jerusalem, the Hebrew metropolis.

Tyre’s jealousy of Jerusalem’s historic power, prosperity, and wealth,

Tyre’s malicious delight in Jerusalem’s humiliation and fall, are adduced as

reasons for the Divine displeasure, and for the execution of the sentence of

Divine condemnation. The proud queen of the seas was to be smitten and

deposed, not only because of her luxury, pride, and idolatry, but especially

because of her jealousy and malevolence towards the beloved and chosen

city of Jehovah.




poetical language of the prophet, Jerusalem had been “the gate of the

peoples.” In the reign of Solomon especially, and to some extent

subsequently, the metropolis of the Jewish people had been an emporium

of commerce. Its situation in some degree fitted it to be the center of

communication between the great Eastern countries, and Egypt on the

south, and the Mediterranean and its traffic Westwards. We are not

accustomed to think of Jerusalem in this light; but this verse in Ezekiel’s

prophecies brings before our minds the unquestionable fact that there was a

time when this city was a mart in which the surrounding nations were wont

to exchange their produce and their commodities.



DOWNFALL OF JERUSALEM. “She is broken,” was the exulting

exclamation of Tyre upon beholding the distress of her rival. That

Jerusalem deserved her fate there is no room for doubting; yet it was not

generous in Type thus to triumph over the misfortunes and calamities of

her neighbor. The wealth and prosperity of the Jewish capital was about to

end; the days of her glory were over; her streets were to be forsaken; the

caravans of the merchants were no more to thread their way through the

proud gates of the city. And in this change, in these disasters, Tyre





TYRE. The Phoenician city anticipated that she would gain what Jerusalem

was about to lose: “I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste.” The

greatness, opulence, and renown of Tyre were such that it seems scarcely

credible that her prosperity could be affected by anything which could

happen to a small and inland capital such as Jerusalem. Yet it is evident

that the Tyrian spirit was a spirit of selfishness, exclusiveness, and

grasping. Nothing was too great for Tyre’s ambition, nothing too small to

be beneath her notice and covetnousness.



follows Ezekiel displays the pomp, splendor, and magnificence of the great

seaport of Phoenicia; it is strange that he should put in the forefront of his

address to Tyre this imputation of littleness. There is a reason for this; it

may be that the prophet spoke, not only as a patriot who resented Type’s

jealousy, but as a religious teacher for whom moral distinctions were all

important, and for whom a moral fault was of more consequence than all

material splendor.




against thee, O Tyre!” The city which had envied and hated His own

Jerusalem, the seat of His worship, and the metropolis of His chosen; the

city which was pained by Jerusalem’s prosperity, and which rejoiced in

Jerusalem’s fall, — incurred the indignation as well as the disapproval of

the Most High. For dispositions were revealed discreditable to human hate,

ire, and repugnant to Divine purity. Because Tyre was against Jerusalem,

the Lord God was against Tyre.


3 “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.  4 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.”  As the sea causeth, etc. We note the special appropriateness

of the comparison to the position of the island city.



Tyre, the England (United States – CY – 2014) of antiquity (vs. 1-3)


We have here an outline of the great, desolating judgment that was to fall

upon Tyre; it is more fully described in the succeeding verses of the

chapter, and lamented over in the next chapter. There are several points in

the condition and history of Tyre that call for especial attention to the fate

of this famous city; but the resemblance between Type and England (USA)

is so striking, that we may feel much more interest in Ezekiel’s utterances when

we consider their bearing on our own country in the present day.




Ø      In wealth. Tyre was one of the richest cities of the East, if not the very

richest. Her splendor was renowned, and the wealth of her merchants

was proverbial. Like England (America) today, she was envied by

other peoples for her worldly prosperity.


Ø      Through commerce. The wealth of Tyre was not drawn from rich mines

or fertile soil of her own territory. It was not booty taken in war, like that

of Babylon. Her riches came by trade. Her princes wore merchants. Thus

she was like our “nation of shopkeepers” (or “stockholders – CY – 2014)


Ø      By seafaring. The early commerce of Syria was carried on by Midianites

over the desert (Genesis 37:28); but the later and more profitable

commerce was over the waters westward, round the coast of the

Mediterranean and to as far as Cornwall in Britain, perhaps even to the

distant Azores. Like Venice in the Middle Ages, like Spain later, like the

Netherlands after the Reformation, like England today, Tyro in ancient

times was the mistress of the sea. Hence a certain cosmopolitan character.


Ø      With constructive art. The vast foundations of Baalbec tell of the

building powers of Tyre. Solomon’s temple was a grand specimen of

Tyrian architecture, built with Tyrian art. We do not equal those great

builders in originality. But inventive genius and manufacturing energy

are characteristic of our race. Thus the material splendor of Tyre has

passed to England (and further points west!  CY – 2014)



The splendor and prosperity of Tyre did not save her from ruin. Can we see

in her fall any hint of a similar danger threatening our own country?

Consider both its immediate cause and the providential necessity that lay



Ø      The immediate cause. Tyre was overthrown by Babylon (v. 7). She

was not able to withstand the terrific onward march of the Eastern

power.  She was strong at sea, but feeble ashore. She was not a

military power. She proves that wealth will not protect from ruin,

but will rather invite it. The wealth of London (America) is a

temptation to the invader. (Witness terrorism and immigration –

these threats just happens to coincide with America’s turning

her back on God.  Let us remember  “When a man’s ways

please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace

with him.”  - Proverbs 16:7 - CY – 2014).  Prosperity is not its

own security.


Ø      The providential necessity. Wealth enervates, and no doubt Tyre was

weakened by luxury. But behind such natural operations God, the

Judge of all the earth, saw the sin of Tyre/England/USA.  She/they

Was/were greedy and selfish (v. 2).  Commerce does not always win

friends. By competition it stirs up jealousy. When deceptive or

overreaching, it rouses the antagonism of those on whom it preys.

Tyre was a most wicked city. Her very religion was

shamefully immoral. Though the temple of Jehovah was built by

Tyrian artists, the worship of Jehovah was not accepted by the

Tyrian citizens.  Like Tyre, we may build a temple for others, and

never worship in it ourselves. We may patronize religion, and be

none the better for it. We may send the gospel to the heathen, and

BECOME PAGANS AT HOME!   The temple they built for the

Jews did not save the Tyrians. Nothing can save England (or

The United States – CY – 2014) but the uprightness and the

personal religion of her people.



Divine Antagonism (v. 3)



We have come to regard the quarrel between man and God as one-sided.

Now, it is one-sided in its origin, its evil, and its malice. God never wishes

to be at war with men, and never originates any breach of the peace. His

conduct throughout is just, considerate, marvelously long-suffering. Even

when the conflict is forced on to an extremity, God never ceases to love His

foolish, fallen children. He is ever waiting to be gracious, longing for signs

of contrition and a door of reconciliation. The origin of the quarrel, its evil,

and its malice are ALL ON OUR SIDE!   But this does not mean that God

takes no part in it, that He only stands before us as an impassive and immobile

granite wall that we may dash our heads against, but that never moves an

inch against us; much less that He gives way before our rebellious

onslaught, and weakly yields to willful opposition on our part. We can

provoke the Lord to anger (Psalm 78:58). “God is angry with the

wicked every day” (Ibid. ch. 7:11). As Lord and Judge, He executes

sentence. By necessity of righteousness, He sets himself in array

against His sinful creatures.



with Tyre for its wickedness, and His anger was not mitigated by the fact

that the greedy were rejoicing over the calamities of their neighbors. All sin

rouses the anger and active opposition of God. He is not opposed to any

one from prejudice, as men are too often opposed to their neighbors. But

sin, which is opposition to the will of God, must needs be opposed by Him

if that will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven. This, then, is not a

question for a few rare souls in the awful condition of victims of Divine


The fatal punishment of others ought to be a warning. It was not so taken

by Tyre. Instead of seeing a dreadful lesson in the ruin of Jerusalem, the

Tyrians rejoiced over it. Such wickedness the more stirred up the antagonism

of God. Now, these Tyrians were heathen people, judged only according to

their light. Yet they were condemned, for the ground of judgment was

moral evil, not defective theology. But much more must God be in

antagonism to those who have fuller light and yet rebel against Him.

“Therefore thou art inexcusable,” etc. (Romans 2:1).



ANTAGONISM. This does not mean that God is reluctant to sheathe

His sword, till Christ succeeds in persuading Him to do so; for our Lord was


But the cause of the antagonism had to be removed, and Christ came to

effect that end by making HIS GREAT ATONEMENT FOR SIN! 

Through this also He brought men into a new state of repentance, and

reconciled them to God. Now, we are under the doom of Divine

 antagonism, so long as we live in UNREPENTED SIN.   But the

offer of the gospel shows the way of escape from it in FREE






            The Exultation of the World over the Church (vs. 2-4)


“Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha! she is

broken that was the gate of the peoples,” etc. Type is viewed by the

prophet, not merely in its literal aspect, but also in a typical one. “Tyre, in

the prophets,” says Schroder, “comes into consideration, not in a political

respect, but as the representative, the might, of the world’s commerce.

Jehovah and mammon are the counterpart to Jerusalem and Tyre.” And

says Hengstenberg, “Along with Babylon and Egypt, Tyre was then the

most glorious concentration of the worldly power. In the queen of the sea,

the thought of the vanity of all worldly power was strikingly exemplified.

Hand-in-hand with this thought goes, in Ezekiel, that of the

indestructibleness of the kingdom of God.” If, then, we take Tyre as

representing the world with its riches and pomp and power, and Jerusalem

the Church, the text gives us as a subject the exultation of the world over

the Church. But it behooves us to be clear as to what we are to understand

by the world — the world that is antagonistic to the Church. It is neither

the material world, nor the human world — the world of men, nor our

worldly or secular occupation. Very admirably has F. W. Robertson, on

<1 John 2:15-17, brought out the meaning of the world which is

forbidden to Christians. “Now to define what worldliness is. Remark, first,

that it is determined by the spirit of a life, not the objects with which the

life is conversant. It is not the ‘ flesh,’ nor the ‘eye,’ nor ‘life,’ which are

forbidden, but it is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the

pride of life.... Look into this a little closer. The lust of the flesh. Here is

affection for the outward: pleasure, that which affects the senses only: the

flesh, that enjoyment which comes from the emotions of an hour, be it

coarse or be it refined. The pleasure of wine or the pleasure of music, so

far as it is only a movement of the flesh. Again, the lust of the eye. Here is

affection for the transient, for the eye can only gaze on form and color; and


of life. Here is affection for the unreal — men’s opinion, the estimate which

depends upon wealth, rank, circumstances. Worldliness, then, consists in

these three things — attachment to the outward, attachment to the transitory,

attachment to the unreal, in opposition to love for the inward, the eternal,

the true; and the one of these affections is necessarily expelled by the

other.” In this view of worldliness, Type was representative of the world.

She gloried in her secure situation, her commercial prosperity, her great

riches, etc. We remark that the exultation of the world over the Church —


·         IS BITTER AND BOASTFUL. “Tyre hath said against Jerusalem, Aha!

she is broken that was the gate of the peoples” etc. (v. 2). As we have

already shown (in our homily on the chapter as a whole), this unseemly

triumphing arose from the selfishness which anticipated that the fall of

Jerusalem would promote the commercial prosperity of Type. But probably

this was not the only reason for the rejoicing of the Tyrians in the ruin of

the sacred city. The antagonism between their religion and the religion of

the Jews would increase their joy at the downfall of Jerusalem and the

destruction of the temple. “Only thirty-four years before the destruction of

Jerusalem,” says Mr. Twisleton, “commenced the celebrated reformation of

Josiah (B.C. 622). This momentous religious revolution (II Kings 22., 23.)

fully explains the exultation and malevolence of the Tyrians. In that

reformation Josiah had heaped insults on the gods who were the objects of

Tyrian veneration and love; he had consumed with fire the sacred vessels

used in their worship; he had burnt their images and defiled their high

places — not excepting even the high place near Jerusalem, which

Solomon the friend of Hiram had built to Ashtoreth the queen of heaven,

and which for more than three hundred and fifty years had been a striking

memorial of the reciprocal good will which once united the two monarchs

and the two nations. Indeed, he seemed to have endeavored to exterminate

their religion, for in Samaria (ibid. ch. 23:20) he had slain upon the

altars of the high places all their priests. These acts, although in their

ultimate results they may have contributed powerfully to the diffusion of

the Jewish religion, must have been regarded by the Tyriaus as a series of

sacrilegious and abominable outrages; and we can scarcely doubt that the

death in battle of Josiah at Megiddo, and the subsequent destruction of the

city and temple of Jerusalem, were hailed by them with triumphant joy as

instances of Divine retribution in human affairs.”  Moreover, it is very

probable that some of the predictions of the Hebrew prophets concerning

Tyro in its relation to Jerusalem were known to the people of the island city,

and increased the bitterness of their joy over the calamities of the

Jews. “In the Messianic announcements, the homage of Tyre to Jerusalem,

and its incorporation into the kingdom of God, were expressly celebrated”

(see, as examples, Psalm 45:12; 87:4; Isaiah 23:18). “Without

doubt,” says Hengstenberg, “these bold hopes of Zion were known in Tyre,

and caused much bad blood in the proud queen of the sea.” And still there

are those who, worldly in spirit, are bitter against the Church of God. They

deride its noblest enterprises; they ridicule its vital beliefs; they mock its

most cherished hopes. If Christians are rigid and scrupulous in their

religious duties and observances, the world reproaches them for their

narrowness and Pharisaism. If Christians stumble and fall, the world

rejoices in their overthrow and scoffs at their religion. But the exultation

of the world over the Church —


·         IS VAIN. The things from which the world draws its satisfaction, and

upon which it rests its hopes, are uncertain and delusive. Tyre rejoiced in

her security, her riches, her commercial prosperity; but these things failed

her in her time of need. That these things are unstable, impermanent,

transient, is a truth which no one attempts to deny. How vain, then, to

exult in the ascendancy which such things give! The world’s triumph, even

at the best, is more in appearance than reality. “The world passeth away,

and the lust thereof.” (I John 2:17)  But the essential elements of the

Church’s  life are real and abiding verities. The Church may be brought

down very low, but it shall rise again. Its course leads on to splendid triumph.

But the ungodly world shall sink. Its rank and riches, its pomp and power

and pleasures shall pass away as the dreams of night fade before the light

and the activities of day.


·         IS OBSERVED BY THE LORD GOD. He knew and took notice of

the cruel triumph of proud Tyre over prostrate Jerusalem. He made known

the fact of that triumph to His servant Ezekiel on the banks of the Chebar.

He still observes the attitude of the world towards His Church. No persons

or powers can exalt themselves against His people without attracting the

notice of His ever-watchful eye (compare II Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 34:15-16;

1 Peter 3:12-13).


·         WILL BE PUNISHED BY THE LORD GOD. “Thus saith the Lord

God; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyre,” etc. (vs. 3-4). The Lord here

proclaims Himself against Tyre, and threatens to strip the proud city of her

boasted pomp, prosperity, and power. He would break down her defenses,

level her to the ground, make an utter end of her, leaving nothing but the

bare rock on which she had stood. The defenses of the irreligious world are

subtle policies, material riches, social power, etc. These are all

impermanent things. And should they endure, the time comes when they

will fail to meet the needs of those who put their trust in them. If no other

punishment awaited the votaries of this world, surely this would be a heart

crushing, a heart-breaking one, to awake to the sad realization of the stern

truth that the objects for which they had striven in life, which they had

looked upon as their chief good, and in which they had trusted, WERE

VAIN, having no power or fitness to answer the deep cravings of their souls,

or to help them in the awful needs of their being. “Whose confidence shall

break in sunder, and whose trust is a spider’s web;” (Job 8:14)  “And their

hope shall be the giving up of the ghost.”   (ibid. ch. 11:20)


5 “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.”  It shall be a place for the spreading of nets, etc. The

prediction is repeated in v. 14, and after many chances and changes,

apparent revival followed by another period of decay, the present condition

of Tyre strikingly corresponds with it. The travelers of the seventeenth and

eighteenth centuries report that “its inhabitants are only a few poor

wretches that harbor in vaults and subsist upon fishing” (Mandrell, in

1697); that the number of those inhabitants was “only ten, Turks and

Christians” (Hasselquist, in 1751); that there were, a little later on, “fifty or

sixty poor families (Volney, in 1766). During the present century there has

been a partial revival, and Porter, in 1858, estimates its population at from

three to four thousand. The present state of its harbor, as compared with

that of Beyrout, is against any future expansion of its commerce (‘Dict.

Bible,’ s.v. “Tyre”).


6 “And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the

sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

The daughters in the field are, according to the usual

symbolism of prophecy, the subject or allied cities on the mainland.



Collision Between Man’s Plans and God’s Plans (vs. 1-6)


Appearance is never a safe guide. It might seem to a carnal eye as if the

downfall of Israel would bring worldly advantage to Tyre. But that

prospect was soon overrun. Righteous obedience is the only safe guide to

men. The path may be, for a time, rough and dark, yet it will bring us into a



  • NATIONAL SELFISHNESS IS SIN. Nations have their vices as well as

individual persons. If the leaders of a nation cherish evil purposes or pursue

evil plans, unchecked by the subjects of the realm, the whole nation

contracts guilt. Yet if one person or more, moved by better feelings,

discountenances the national deed, that person is exculpated from the

common blame, and shall be owned by God. (Remember that God told

the man with the inkhorn “Go through the midst of the city, through the

midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that

sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst

thereof.”  - ch. 9:4 – I believe that the same is happening in the United

States and the world today, in preparation for the Return of Jesus Christ!

- CY – 2014).  The protection of Noah and his family, of Lot and his

daughters, amid the general destruction, proves the fatherly care of God

for individuals. The single grain in a heap of chaff shall be cared for

by God.



GOD. Tyre had rejoiced in Jerusalem’s overthrow. Instead of lamenting

Israel’s sins, the people of Tyre had room only for one thought-their own

selfish advantage. The trade of Jerusalem would flow to Tyre. This

calamity in Israel would bring a talent or two of gold into the pockets of

Tyrian traders. What base ground for jubilation! No matter what suffering

or humiliation the Jews may endure, Tyre would add to the smart by taunt

and triumph. But God is not deaf. Into His ears every sound of selfish

boasting came. He weighs every thought and word of man in His balances

of justice. That selfish taunt will not float idly on the summer gale. It is a

grief to Jehovah, and He will repay. “The Lord executeth righteousness and

judgment for all that are oppressed”  (Psalm 103:6).   In all human affairs,

individual or national, God has a real interest. He will never be left out of

 the scenario.



shall be replenished.” God said, “I will make her like the top of a rock.”

Tyre had “reckoned without her host.” Instead of security, she was to be

inundated with invasion. Instead of wealth, there should be want. Instead

of glory, desolation. Her selfish hope should burst like a bubble. The

golden eggs she expected soon to be hatched proved to be the eggs of a

cockatrice. Selfish greed is a bad investment. The desire to promote our

national interests, to the injury of another nation, is not patriotism; it is

selfish envy and pride. Triumph over another’s fall is base, is diabolic.



know that I am the Lord.” This is a gain of the noblest kind — a gain that

is abiding and permanent. Such knowledge is better than rubies. The bulk

of men will not learn this lesson in the day of prosperity, but in the cloudy

days of adversity, when all earthly good has vanished, the lesson stands out

clearly before their eyes. Some earthly sciences are best learned in the dark.

This knowledge of God is best learned in the dark hour of affliction. For

when all human calculations have failed, and all human plans have

collapsed, men are compelled to feel that an unseen hand has been

working, an unseen Being has been presiding in their affairs. Of a truth,





                                    The Fate of Tyre  (vs. 3-6)


From such obscure peoples as the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites,

who — except for their occasional association with Israel — are quite

aside from the world’s history, the prophet passes to deal with Tyre, one of

the greatest and most commanding cities whose deeds and fame adorn the

annals of mankind. The Ruler of men does not, indeed, allow the meanest

to defy His authority with impunity; His sway extends to the most

insignificant of peoples, of tribes. But on the other hand, the proudest and

the mightiest are subject to His control, and, when rebellious and defiant,

must feel the weight of His irresistible hand.


·         THE GREATNESS OF TYRE. The elements of this greatness, the

causes which conspired to produce it, were many and various. There may

be noticed:


Ø      Its commanding maritime situation. Partly upon a rock, partly upon the

mainland, Tyre sat — a queen. To the east, the north, the south, were

countries which poured their produce into the Phoenician port; before her,

to the west, were the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, upon whose shores

lay the great states and cities of the ancient world. Tyre was thus the highway

of the nations.


Ø      Its commerce. This was carried on with all the known countries

accessible to the Tyrian fleets. Her supremacy upon the sea gave Tyre a

foremost position among the nations; her adventurous mariners not only

visited every port of the Mediterranean, they passed the Pillars of Hercules,

and traded with “the islands of the West.”


Ø      Its wealth. Every nation paid tribute to Tyre. The exchange, the mart, of

the world, it acquired and retained riches scarcely equaled.


Ø      Its splendor — such as is described by Ezekiel — was the natural result

of the opulence of its enterprising merchants and sea-captains.


Ø      Its political power was out of all proportion to its territory, its

population; its alliance was sought, and its hostility was dreaded.


·         THE ENEMIES OF TYRE. These were many and formidable. It is a

sad symptom of human depravity that unusual prosperity should excite

general dislike, jealousy, envy, and ill will. “Many nations came up against

Tyre, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.” But some of these

adversaries Tyre could treat with derision or contempt. This was not so,

however, with Babylon. A different type of civilization and national life

was no doubt exhibited in the great kingdom of the East; but the

population and armies of Babylonia were enormous, and the resources of

the kingdom all but inexhaustible. When the King of Babylon turned his

arms against Tyre, brave and powerful as was the regal city by the sea,

there was no disguising the fact that the time of trial and of danger had



·         THE SIEGE AND CONQUEST OF TYRE. It is matter of history

that the prophet’s predictions were fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar King of

Babylon came up against Tyre, and, notwithstanding its boasted

impregnability, laid siege to it, and directed against it all the vast military

resources of his kingdom. For long years the siege was maintained. The

besieged, having open communication by sea, were able to withstand the

assaults of the enemy; and it was only the patience and indomitable

perseverance of the Babylonians that gave them the final victory.



striking and detailed prediction than this was never uttered; and never was

prediction more strikingly and literally fulfilled. The downfall of Tyre was

complete. The walls and towers of the city were broken down. The rock

upon which she stood — a stronghold of defiance — was left bare and

desolate. The nets of the solitary fisher were spread where magnificence

and revelry had reigned. Tyre became a spoil to the nations. Her

dependencies were vanquished and destroyed with her; in her they had

trusted, in her favor they had basked, and in her ruin they were

overwhelmed. The destruction and desolation were in awful contrast to the

light and glory, the splendor and power, of bygone days.


·         APPLICATION. The time of national greatness and prosperity is to any

people a time of trial. Then especially does it behoove a nation to beware

of pride and self-confidence. For the rebellious, contumacious, and ungodly

there is assuredly retribution prepared. The King of all is God of hosts, and

he never lacks means and agencies to carry out his own righteous and

judicial purposes. Resistance to God is vain; it can last but for a short time.



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.” I will bring against thee, etc. There is a special emphasis

of abruptness in the way in which Ezekiel brings in the name of the great

Chaldean conqueror (we note, by the way, that he adopts the less common

spelling of the name), of whom he speaks as “king of kings.” The title is

used by Daniel (2:37) of Nebuchadnezzar, and by Artaxerxes of himself

(Ezra 7:12), by Darius in the Nakshi Rustam inscription (‘Records of

the Past,’ 5:151), by Tiglatb-Pileser, with the addition of “lord of lords”

(ibid., 5:8).




                                    The Mission of Nebuchadnezzar (v. 7)


·         GOD EMPLOYS HUMAN AGENTS. He does not shatter Tyre as He

created the world, with a word. Nor does He send Michael and the hosts of

heaven with flaming swords to smite the devoted city. The devastating

conquests of Babylon effect his purpose. Nebuchadnezzar is His “servant.”

(Jeremiah 25:9). In the happier work of bringing salvation to a ruined

world God uses human agents. God appeared incarnate in a human form.

Apostles were next sent forth to proclaim the glad tidings. In the present

day God uses human ministers of justice and human ministers of mercy.



HIM. This is the singular fact brought before us in relation to the use of

Nebuchadnezzar as a minister of Divine judgment. The King of Babylon

was a heathen monarch, who did not acknowledge the true God (see Daniel

3:15). Yet he was impressed into the Divine service. We may serve God

unconsciously. It is possible to be an instrument for effecting His purposes

even when we are thinking that we are resisting them. The Jews who

crucified Christ were unconsciously the means of leading His work on to

completion. Thus God controls men. He claims all; he uses all. For He is

the God of all, though all do not own or even know Him.


·         GOD EMPLOYS BAD MEN AS HIS AGENTS. The worst thing

about Nebuchadnezzar was not his paganism, for which he was not

responsible, as he had inherited it from his ancestors; but his wickedness,

his cruelty, his ambitious greed and intolerant despotism. Yet not only was

this man unconsciously enlisted in the service of God. His very wrath was

made to praise God, and the very exercise of his wicked disposition was

just the thing that carried out the Divine purpose. The nations were

chastised according to the ends of Divine justice by the unjust and wicked

scourge of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasions. This wonderful fact does not solve

the enigma of evil, but it helps to lighten the burden of that great mystery.

We see that evil itself may be turned into a ministry of good.



JUSTIFICATION OF THEIR CONDUCT. The use of their action is no

defense for it. God does not approve of Nebuchadnezzar because he seizes

that cruel monarch’s plans and makes them to fall in with His own holy

purposes. Nebuchadnezzar must be content to be judged by the moral

character of his deeds, not by the unsuspected Divine issue of them. It is no

excuse for sin that God may overrule it for good. The Jews were not

exonerated from blame in rejecting Christ because this rejection was the

means of the world’s redemption. We may be used by God to high ends,

and then cast away as worthless souls unless we serve Him consciously and

do His will from our hearts.


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.  9 And he shall set engines of war against thy

walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.

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.”  (For the usual operations

of a siege, see notes on ch. 4:1-2) The buckler was the roof of shields under

which the besiegers protected themselves from the missiles of the besieged.

For engines of war, read battering-rams; for wheels, wagons. The final result

will be that the breach will be made, with results such as those described in v. 1.


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.”  Thy strong garrisons; literally, the pillars of thy

strength (Revised Version). So the Vulgate, nobiles statuae. So the word is used in

Isaiah 19:19; Jeremiah 43:13; II Kings 3:2. The words probably refer to the two

famous columns standing in the temple of the Tyrian Hercules, one of gold and

one of emerald (possibly malachite or lapis-lazuli), as symbols of strength, or as

pedestals surmounted by a statue of Baal (Herod., 2:44).


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.”  Thy pleasant houses; Hebrew,

houses of desire. The palaces of the merchant-princes of Tyro, stately as

those of Genoa or Venice. In the midst of the water. We are again reminded

that it is the island city of which the prophet speaks.


13 “And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps

shall be no more heard.”  There is a time for everything, and singing is not always

seasonable. Nothing can be more unnatural than a forced song. Now, there are

sorrows that quench the most vigorous soul’s delights, as there are storms that beat

down the strongest wings. Such were the calamities that accompanied

Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion. Such too were the troubles of the Jewish captives

when they hung their harps upon the willows, and refused to sing the Lord’s song

in a strange land (Psalm 137:2-4). But there will be worse causes of the

silence of old songs in God’s future judgments on sin. Pleasure is no refuge

from trouble. It tempts to hopes that are delusive. No one is safe just

because he feels himself happy. Cheerful people may be in as great danger

as despondent ones.



                                    Songs Silenced (v. 13)


Songs may be silenced either because they are found to be unworthy to be

sung or because the singers are no longer able to sing them. The harp may

be broken, or the minstrel may be in no mood to touch its chords. Our old

joys may be given up for either of these reasons. We may find them to be

unworthy, or, if no fault is discovered in them, sorrow may extinguish




UNWORTHINESS. The songs of Tyre were not like those of Zion.

Heathen songs are too often degrading to the singers of them, because

false religion and immoral conduct are therein celebrated. There are

pleasures of sin which it is a shame to permit unchecked. The awakening of

conscience necessarily extinguishes such pleasures and stills their

accompanying songs. In this way the thoughtless world may be brought to

regard religion as a gloomy, repressive influence, hateful to joy, and

therefore very unattractive. We should look a little deeper. The wicked

song must be stopped at any cost. But it need not be followed by a reign of

perpetual silence. A new song may follow, and this may be as joyous as it

is innocent. Christianity is not the enemy of gladness, it is only the enemy

of wickedness; and when joy is purged from evil, joy is found to be deeper,

stronger, and sweeter than ever it was while intoxicated with the old



·         SONGS ARE SILENCED BY SORROW. There is a time for

everything, and singing is not always seasonable. Nothing can be more

unnatural than a forced song. Now, there are sorrows that quench the most

vigorous soul’s delights, as there are storms that beat down the strongest

wings. Such were the calamities that accompanied Nebuchadnezzar’s

invasion. Such too were the troubles of the Jewish captives when they

hung their harps upon the willows, and refused to sing the Lord’s song in a

strange land (Psalm 137:2-4). But there will be worse causes of the

silence of old songs in God’s future judgments on sin. Pleasure is no refuge

from trouble. It tempts to hopes that are delusive. No one is safe just

because he feels himself happy. Cheerful people may be in as great danger

as despondent ones.



desolate utterly and eternally. The songs of her gay citizens are no more

heard. Her very rocks are scraped bare, and the fisherman spreads his nets

on her once populous places. Thus cities are doomed to irretrievable ruin.

But it is not so with souls. There are restoration and redemption for

individual men. At all events, though a dark shadow of mystery hangs over

the grave, this is the case on earth. Now, it would be best for the singer to

silence his old thoughtless song in the sober reflection of repentance. The

silence may be a first step to better things. We are too noisy and too

superficial. The hush of demonstrative life gives us an opportunity of

hearing the still small voice of God.  (Psalm 46:10)  When our songs are

silenced we may listen to the songs of the angels. Then that heavenly music

may teach us to tune our harps to its higher melody and inspire our souls

with new songs of redemption (Revelation 5:9-12).


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.” The noise of thy songs. As in the imagery, of Isaiah 23:16,

Tyre seems to have been famous for its music — the operatic city, as it were,

of the ancient world — eminent no less for its culture than its commerce

(compare ch.28:13).  The description of the desolation of the captured city is

summed up once more in the words of v. 5. It shall be a place to

“spread nets upon.”



A Miracle of Foreknowledge (vs. 7-14)


False prophets discourse only in general terms and in ambiguous language.

Their announcements may have the most contrary meanings. At best they

are happy conjectures, fortunate guesses. But the prophecies of Scripture

are like sunlight compared with such a phosphorescent flame. The

clearness and fullness of these prophetic utterances can be accounted for




SUBSTANCE. The predictions of pretentious men are usually trivial —

the effect of a prurient curiosity. God’s revelations of the future are always

concerned in the rebuke of sin and in the furtherance of righteousness. As

in the manufacture of cordage in our Government arsenals a worsted

thread of a distinct color runs through every yard of rope, so through all

God’s dealings with men this principle of righteousness is ever prominent.

What does not serve a righteous end IS NOT OF GOD!



ANNOUNCEMENTS. There is no ambiguity, no double meaning, here.

No one is left in doubt whether the event to happen is to be favorable or

unfavorable. No one is left in doubt what place or people is the subject

matter of the prophecy. In this case every circumstance is narrated with as

much minuteness of detail as if it were a piece of history acted before the

eye of the speaker. The place to be overthrown, its peculiar situation and

structure, its former greatness and splendor, the name of the invader, all his

military enginery and tactics, the steps by which he should proceed, and the

extent of his triumph, are announced beforehand with a dearness and


SOURCE!   The contents of the prophecy are often so unlikely in themselves

that no human foresight, however shrewd, would conceive such issues; and

the fulfillment of such improbable predictions most plainly indicate the

operation of A DIVINE MIND!



FULFILMENT. “I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord.” The true

prophet of Jehovah is modest and self-oblivious. He does not speak in his

own name. He keeps himself in the background. His object is to exalt his

Master and to gain homage for Him. The predictions of God always take

effect. For with God there is no future. He sees things distant as though

they were near. Looking along the vista of ages, He perceives how every

event unfolds from preceding event. The history of men and of nations is,

to His eye, drawn out in long perspective. And His word is the mightiest

force in the universe. He spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9);

 “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made”  (Ibid. v. 6);

“By the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”  (Isaiah 11:4)



INTENTIONS. Wherefore did God declare beforehand this coming

suffering and disaster? Was it not enough to endure the calamity when the

destined hour came? As the main design was to promote righteousness,

this shall be done, if possible, in a way of mercy. The prediction would

serve to instruct and console the Jews in captivity. It would be beneficial

for them to be convinced that Jehovah ruled in all the affairs of men. If the

prophecy reached the ears of the King of Babylon, it would serve a good

purpose for him to know that he was a servant of the King of heaven, that

his army was under the control of God, and that the success of his military

expeditions depended on the good will of Jehovah. And if the prophecy

should be repeated in the ears of the Tyrians, who can tell that some

among them may repent and opportunely escape from the catastrophe? To

foreshadow the dread event is an act of kindness, which the humble and

teachable would appreciate.




                        The Besieging of Tyre (vs. 7-14)


The fate foretold for the famous city is here related, so to speak,

beforehand, with singular copiousness and exactness of detail.


·         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.



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.


·         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.



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.


·         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!  (Woe to the



·         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!   (So passes away worldly renown).


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?” Shall not the isles, etc.? The Hebrew word is

used in a wider sense, as including all settlements on the sea-coast as well

as islands. So it is used of Philistia (Isaiah 20:6), and of the maritime states

of Asia Minor (Daniel 11:18), of the east and south coasts of Arabia

(ch.27:15). Looking to the extent of commerce described in ch.27., it probably

includes all the Mediterranean settlements of the Tyrians, possibly also those

in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The report of the fall of Tyre was

to spread far and wide.


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.” The princes of the sea are not the kings of the isles, but the

merchant-princes of the city (Isaiah 23:8). They shall lay aside their

robes of state — Tyrian purple embroidered with gold and silver — and

shall put on the garments of mourners. Jonah 3:6 presents an

interesting parallel. The word thrones is used, as in I Samuel 4:13, for

any chair of state, as that of priest or judge (Proverbs 9:14; Esther 3:1),

as well as for the specifically kingly throne. For the, most part,

however, the later meaning is dominant.




                                    The Princes of the Sea (v. 16)


The Tyrians were a seafaring people on a large scale. Unlike the poor

Philistines, who did not go beyond the fisherman’s simple toil, those

adventurers swept the Mediterranean with their fleets, and even ventured

to distant shores of the Atlantic. They had the advantages and the evils of a

great maritime nation.



of Tyre were princes. Wealth was got by industry, daring, and enterprise.

Thus the Tyrians anticipated the good fortune of the English. Prosperity is

not often won except by means of energy and adventure. When the spirit

that urges on daring attempts is enervated by luxury, the success that it

once achieved is surely doomed. It is happy when that spirit is transformed

into a higher character, and seeks for better returns than bales of

merchandise. We cannot but feel that the voyages of the Beagle and the

Challenger are nobler in this respect, as their aim was to gather treasures

of knowledge. But better still is it when the command of the waters is used

for the promotion of peace, the extension of liberty, and the check of the

slave trade, and above all, the propagation of Christianity.


·         THE PRINCES OF THE SEA UNITED RACES. In ancient times the

Tyrians were the great link of connection between the East and the West.

Through them the venerable civilization of Asia woke up the genius of

Europe, as yet slumbering in unconscious barbarism. Tyre gave the

alphabet to Europe. Thus she laid the foundation of Greek culture and

started European literature on its wonderful course. She gave more than

she took. Immense and untold good comes from the peaceful

inter-communication of races.



their wealth to the treacherous waves. The Merchant of Venice finds

himself beggared by unexpected calamities. The greatest wealth is usually

won by the most uncertain means, i.e. by foreign trade and home

speculation. This is a warning to the prosperous not to put their trust in

riches which so easily take wings and fly away. The fate of Tyre should

drive us further to seek those better riches in the heavenly treasury, where

neither moth nor rust corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal

(Matthew 6:20). If even the princes of the sea were ruined, who can be

satisfied to rest in the greatest earthly success?



were, but not saints. Their mercenary character was not hidden by all the

splendor of their surroundings. In their gorgeous palaces, among their

well-stocked bazaars, with their heavy-laden ships on many waters, they

were the focus of every eye. Yet in God’s sight they were “miserable,

and blind, and naked,” for they were but mammon-worshippers. More

enlightened than the Tyrian merchants, Englishmen will be guilty of greater

sin and folly if they fall down and worship the same image of gold.


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!”

Inhabited of seafaring, etc.; Hebrew, from the seas. The

sense is the same, but we lose the poetry of the original in the paraphrase.

Possibly, however, the phrase may represent the position of Tyre as rising

out of the sea or as deriving its wealth from it.


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.”  It is noticeable that the

commercial policy of Tyre is not represented as having been oppressive. The

isles do not exult in their deliverance, but mourn over the captured city whose

commerce had contributed to their prosperity. The “terror” of v. 17 is rather

the impression of awe and wonder made on all who came to it.





                        A Lamentation Over Fallen Greatness (vs. 15-18)


“Thus saith the Lord God to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound

of thy fall, etc.? These verses suggest the following observations.




DISMAY. (vs. 15-16; compare Jeremiah 4:7-9.) The isles are the islands

of the Mediterranean, and places on the coast also are perhaps referred to.

The princes are those of the various island and sea-board settlements, and

the wealthy merchant-princes of prosperous commercial centers. Thus it

was said of Tyre, “whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the

honorable of the earth” (Isaiah 23. 8). The fall of Tyre would cause them

extreme astonishment and trembling for their own safety. The Divine

retributions sometimes appall even the stoutest hearts, and lead the highly

placed and powerful to realize (at least for a time) their weakness.




up a lamentation for thee,” etc. (v. 17). This verse seems to suggest that

the fall of Tyre would be bewailed in mournful threnodies (wailing). It is

instructive to notice what it was which the neighboring states lamented in the

downfall of the island-city. The things which are particularized in the text are

such as these: the eclipse of brilliant renown, “How art thou destroyed… the

renowned city!” the destruction of distinguished power, “which was strong

in the sea;” the overthrow of one which had been so formidable to others,

“which caused their terror to be on all that haunt it.” Worldly minds mourn

the loss of worldly prosperity. “When Jerusalem, the holy city, was

destroyed” says Matthew Henry, “there were no such lamentations for it; it

was nothing to those that passed by (Lamentations 1:12); but when

Tyre, the trading city, fell, it was universally bemoaned. Note: Those who

have the world in their hearts lament the loss of great men more than the

loss of good men” But the pions patriot and prophet Jeremiah bewailed the

destruction of Jerusalem in his unrivalled elegies. As Dr. Milman observes,

“Never did city suffer a more miserable fate, never was ruined city

lamented in language so exquisitely pathetic”




Catastrophes like the fall of Tyre startle peoples and nations into short-lived

concern or even alarm. They ought to lead to sober thought and

earnest self-examination. They are fitted to impress beneficial lessons and to

direct to a salutary course of action. May we not say that they are designed

to do so? “When God punishes, He does it not merely on account of the

ungodly, who must feel such punishment, but also on account of other

ungodly persons, that they may become better by such examples.” This

judgment upon Tyre was fitted to teach:


Ø      The limitation of human greatness. Unquestionably, Tyre was great; but

she was not great enough to stand against the forces of Nebuchadnezzar,

or, in after-times, against the might of Alexander. The greatest of human

states is pitiably small when God arrays Himself against it (compare v. 3).


Ø      The uncertainty of secular prosperity. Tyre was a rich and prosperous

city; but where now are its riches, its great commerce, etc.? Fresh

illustrations arise almost daily of the unreliableness of secular success, and

the uncertain tenure of temporal possessions. “For riches certainly make

themselves wings, like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.”  (Proverbs 23:5)


Ø      The insecurity of those who seem most firmly established. The proud

island-city seemed most securely founded and fortified. Her situation was a

source of great strength and safety against any adversary. She was able to

offer long and stubborn resistance to the powerful and victorious King of

Babylon. But she was conquered; and now she is utterly demolished. The

very strongest and most stable of cities or empires may slowly, decline into

insignificance and feebleness, or speedily reel into ruin.


Ø      The ruinousness of sin. The intense selfishness and cruel boasting of

Tyre against Jerusalem led to her overthrow. No state or kingdom can be

strong apart from righteousness. Vice, injustice, oppression, cruelty, will

bring the mightiest city or empire to ruin.


o        “The throne is established by righteousness;” (Proverbs 16:12)

o        “Take away the wicked from before the king, and his

throne shall be established in righteousness;”  (ibid. ch. 25:5)

o        “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be

established forever.”   (ibid. ch. 29:14)


Lessons such as these the fall of Tyre should have impressed upon those

who were affected by it. Others’ miseries should be our monitors.

When God’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world

should learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9).


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;” When I shall bring up

 the sea. The picture of desolation is completed. The sea washes over the bare

rock that was once covered with the palaces of the merchant-princes.


20 “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;” When I shall bring thee down, etc. The pit is sheol, Hades,

the unseen world of the dead. The image may have been suggested by

Isaiah 14:9, where it is used of Babylon. It was obviously one on which

the mind of Ezekiel dwelt, and is reproduced in ch.32:17-32.

Here, apparently, the sinking in the depth of the waters (v. 19) is

thought of as leading to that world of the dead that lay beneath them. The

people of old time may possibly include the races of the old world that

were submerged in the waters of the Flood. The imagery of Psalm 88:3-7

seems to have been floating before the prophet’s mind. I shall set

glory; better, will set. The contrast drawn is that between the shadow-

world of the dead, and the earth with its living inhabitants. There Jehovah

would establish His glory, would, sooner or later, manifest His kingdom,

while Tyre and its pomp should be no more, belonging only to the past.

Conjectural readings and renderings have been suggested as follows:




                        An Encouraging Assurance for a Depressed People

                                                            (v. 20)


“And I shall set glory in the land of the living.” Accepting this rendering as

expressing the meaning of the original, and as applicable to Judah, we see

in it:



called “the land of the living.” Hengstenberg views “the land of the living”

as standing in “contrast to Sheol, the land. of the dead, to which in the

foregoing the inhabitants of Tyre are assigned.” The expression seems to

refer particularly to Palestine. The ‘ Speaker’s Commentary’ says, “The

land of the living is the land of the true God, as opposed to the land of the

dead, to which is gathered the glory of the world.” And Matthew Henry,

The holy land is the land of the living; for none but holy souls are properly

living souls.” There was propriety in applying this designation to that land,

because there:


Ø      The living God was known and worshipped. “In Judah is God known:

his Name is great in Israel,”  (Psalm 76:1-2); My soul thirsteth for

God, for the living God,” ( ibid. ch. 42:2). The people of other lands

had riches, honors, power; but they were idolaters. Their gods were no

gods, but dead idols. In the highest sense no land can be called living

whose deity or deities are dead, unreal, mere human inventions. To the

people of Judah and Jerusalem the living and true God had revealed

Himself through law-giver, prophet, and. poet, and through His hand

in their history as a nation.


Ø      The living Word was possessed. The sacred writings of the Jews are far

superior to those of heathen nations.


o       They were true: “the Word of truth” (Psalm 119:43, 142, 160).

o       They were vital and lasting: “living oracles” (Acts 7:38);

“the Word of the Lord endureth for ever”  (1 Peter 1:23).

o       They were life-giving . “Thy Word hath quickened, me

(Psalm 119:50, 93). Moreover,

o       their Scriptures were light-giving:  “Thy Word is a

            lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”

(Psalm 119:105, 130).


Ø      The living ordinances were observed. The pure worship of the living and

true God was instituted and practiced there, and, after the return from the

Captivity, without any admixture of idolatry. Worship, when it is

directed to the true Object and offered in a true spirit, develops and

strengthens the noblest life of the worshipper. To the pious Jews the

means of grace were as “wells of salvation.”  (Isaiah 12:3)  In these

respects, then, Palestine was appropriately called “the land of the

living.” And with even greater fullness and force may the designation

be applied to this favored land of ours.



LAND. “I shall set glory in the land of the living” Let us look at this



Ø      In its primary signification. By the side of the utter overthrow of Tyre,

Ezekiel predicts the renewal of the Divine favor and of prosperity to

Jerusalem. Brief as the clause is, it indicates the return of the people of

Judah from captivity to their own land, the rebuilding of the temple of

Jehovah, the re-establishment of religious ordinances, and the restoration

of the sacred city. And all these things were in due season accomplished.

And thus interpreted, the assurance given in the text is the more significant

from the fact that, after their return home, the Jews never obscured the

Divine glory by the practice of idolatry. They neither gave God’s glory to

another nor His praise unto graven images.


Ø      In its other and grander signification. The text prophetically points to

the coming of the Messiah and the proclamation of the glorious gospel. In

the work of redemption by Jesus Christ we have a much more illustrious

display of the glory of God than in the return of the exiles from Babylon to

Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the temple, etc. And this glory is ever

increasing amongst men as the triumphs of the gospel are multiplied. The

enemies of the cause of God are being vanquished by truth and love, and

His true kingdom is constantly being established more and more deeply and

widely in this world. And at length “all the earth shall be filled with the

glory of the Lord.”  (Numbers 14:21-23;  Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 11:9)


·         CONCLUSION. Even in the darkest seasons of its history there is always

a bright and inspiring hope for the true Church of God. By its

unfaithfulness it may bring upon itself severe chastisement from its great

Head; but it shall arise from the dust purified and strengthened, and go

forward in its glorious course, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible

as an army with banners.”  (Song of Solomon 6:10)


21 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.”

I will make thee a terror. Ewald translates, “To sudden death will I bring thee,”

which corresponds with the margin of the Revised Version, I will make thee

a destruction.



                                    The Sin and Doom of Tyre (vs. 1-21)


“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,” etc.


·         THE SIN OF TYRE. “Son of man, because that Tyre hath said against

Jerusalem, Aha! she is broken that was the gate of the peoples; she is

turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste.” The sin

which is here charged against Tyre is extreme and cruel selfishness. There

is no evidence in this chapter that the Tyrians were animated by any hostile

feelings towards the Jews, as the Ammonites, Edomites, and Philistines

were. But Tyre was a great and prosperous commercial city, and the

inhabitants thereof rejoiced in the destruction of Jerusalem because they

thought that they should profit thereby. This is made quite clear in the

verse before us. The Tyrians are represented as speaking of Jerusalem as

“she that was the gate of the peoples.” The plural expresses the fact, says

the ‘Speaker’s Commentary,’ “that many peoples passed through

Jerusalem as the central place on the highway of commerce. This was

eminently the case in the reign of Solomon, when for the time Jerusalem

became the mart to which was gathered the trade of India and of the far

East. The fame of its early greatness as the emporium of Eastern commerce

still clung to Jerusalem, and this city, even in decadence, kept up enough of

its original trade to be viewed with jealousy by Tyre, who owed her

greatness to the same cause, and in the true spirit of mercantile competition

exulted in the thought that the trade of Jerusalem would now be diverted

into her markets.” Their greed of gain had rendered them unfeeling and

even cruel in their attitude towards their suffering neighbors, with whom in

former times they had been in friendly relations. They rejoiced at the

calamity of others because they believed it would contribute to their

prosperity. They exulted in the downfall of others if it was likely to

promote their own rise. This spirit is unbrotherly, selfish, mean, cruel. It is

utterly opposed to the Divine will, and awakens the stern displeasure of the

Almighty. Here is solemn admonition to persons, companies, societies, and

nations, who would secure prosperity without regarding the means which

they employ to do so. Are there not many today who care not who is

impoverished if only they are enriched, who suffers if only they succeed, or

who sinks provided that they rise? However their spirit may be tolerated or

even approved by men, it is abhorrent unto God.




Ø      Its Author. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against

thee, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as

the sea causeth his waves to come up.” God Himself in His providence

brought upon Tyre the punishment of her extreme selfishness and cruel

boastings against fallen Jerusalem. Ill fares it with any city which has

the Lord against it.


Ø      Its instruments. “I will cause many nations to come up against thee

… I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon,” etc. (v. 7).

Nebuchadnezzar had conquered many kingdoms. He was a “king of

kings,” and the army which he led against Tyre was recruited from

“many nations.” He was the first instrument employed by God to

punish Tyre for her sin. And ages afterwards, Alexander and his

forces inflicted terrible sufferings and losses upon the people of the

proud city.


Ø      Its nature. Several features of the punishment of Tyre are exhibited by

the prophet.


o       Siege. “They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her

towers… and he shall make forts against thee,” etc. (vs. 8-10).

Nebuchadnezzar besieged insular Tyre for thirteen years. Very great

must have been the miseries of the people during those weary years.


o        Spoliation. “She shall become a spoil of the nations… and they shall

make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise,” etc.

(v. 12). The riches in which they had prided themselves, and in the hope

of the increase of which they had exulted in the downfall of Jerusalem,

would be seized and possessed by others. The beautiful houses of their

merchant princes would be destroyed and their city ruined.


o        Slaughter. “Her daughters which are in the field shall be slain with

o        the

sword… he shall slay thy people with the sword.” The daughters in the

field are the cities on the mainland which were dependent on Tyre, or

submitted to her supremacy, with special reference, perhaps, to

Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre, “the suburb of the insular Tyre, standing

on the shore.” We are not aware of any record of the extent of the

slaughter by Nebuchadnezzar and his army. Probably it was very

great. When Alexander besieged Tyre, fearful was the slaughter

of the inhabitants thereof. Besides eight thousand men slain in

the attack, two thousand were crucified after the city was taken”



o        Complete and irretrievable overthrow. “They shall destroy the walls

of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from

her, and make her a bare rock,” etc. (vs. 4-5,14, 19-21). This part of

the prophecy was not fully accomplished until centuries had passed

away. Nebuchadnezzar, as we have said, besieged Tyre for thirteen

years. He would be able soon to take Palaetyrus, on the mainland,

which was dismantled, if not entirely destroyed, by him. Whether

at the end of the thirteen years he took the island-city is uncertain.

The suggestions of the ‘Speaker’s Commentary’ on the point seem

to us very probably correct: “Nebuchadnezzar was indeed determined

not to leave this city, once the vassal of the Assyrian, independent,

and persevered until Tyre gave in. Nebuchadnezzar may then have

insisted upon his right, as a conqueror, of entering the island-city

with his army; but the conquest was probably barren of the fruits

he had expected so far as spoil was concerned (compare ch. 29:18),

and Nebuchadnezzar, having asserted his majesty by reducing the

city to vassalage, may have been content not to push matters further,

and have willingly turned his forces in another direction.” More

than two centuries later, Alexander besieged Tyre. At that time the city

“was completely surrounded by prodigious walls, the loftiest portion of

which, on the side fronting the mainland, reached a height of not less

than a hundred and fifty feet.” The island on which it was built was

nearly half a mile from the mainland. And as Alexander had no fleet,

its situation made his task a difficult one. The difficulty was thus

overcome: The harbor of Tyre to the north being “blockaded by

the Cyprians, and that to the south by the Phoenicians,” afforded

Alexander an opportunity for constructing the enormous mole, or

breakwater, which joined the island to the mainland. This mole was

two hundred feet wide, and was composed of the ruins of Palaetyrus,

the stones and the timber and the dust of which were thus laid

in the midst of the waters (v. 12). Across the mole Alexander marched

his forces, and soon made himself master of insular Tyre. Having done

so, in addition to the ten thousand who were slain, thirty thousand of the

inhabitants, including slaves, free women, and free children, were sold

for slaves. But even after the Chaldean invasion under Nebuchadnezzar,

Tyre” never regained independence, but was great and wealthy under

Persian, Greek, and Roman masters.... It was never again a world

power, capable of raising itself again in its own might against the

kingdom of God. In the present condition of Tyre we note the

fulfillment of Ezekiel’s predictions. In A.D. 638 it formed part of

the conquests of Khalif Omar, who, however, dealt leniently with

the inhabitants, and the city for many years enjoyed a moderate degree

of prosperity. The ruin of Tyre was due to the Sultan of Egypt, who,

in the year A.D. 1291, took possession, the inhabitants (who were

Christians) having abandoned it without a struggle. The Saracens

thereupon laid it in ruins, and did not allow the former inhabitants to

return. In the first half of the fourteenth century it was visited by

Sir John Mandeville, who found it in that state of desolation in which it

has remained ever since” (‘Speaker’s Commentary’). Of modern

travelers we quote the testimony of M. Renan as to its present state:

“No great city which has played so important a part for centuries

has left fewer traces than Tyre. Ezekiel was a true prophet when

he said of Tyre, They shall seek for thee, and thou shalt be

no more’ (v. 21). A traveler who was not informed of its

existence might pass along the whole coast, from La Kasmie

to Ras-el-Ain, without being aware that he was close to an

ancient city.... Tyre is now the ruin of a town built with ruins.”


·         THE LAMENTATION FOR TYRE. (vs. 15-18.)


Ø      The deep and widespread impression made by her destruction. “Thus

saith the Lord God to Tyre; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy

fall,” etc.? (v. 15). The coasts and islands of the Mediterranean are

represented as shaking at the fall of the proud city, because her fall would

denote the instability of all things. When Tyre is overthrown, what place

can be deemed secure?


Ø      The consternation produced by her destruction. “Then all the princes

of the sea shall come down from their thrones,” etc. (v. 16). By “the

princes of the sea,” we should probably understand the chief men in “the

settlements of the Phoenicians in the Sidonian and Tyrian period along

the various coasts, in Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta; in Spain, Sicily, Sardinia,”

etc. These are represented as changing their splendid robes for the garb

of mourners, as coming down from their exalted and luxurious seats and

sitting upon the ground. Persons in great affliction or sorrow are

frequently represented as seated or prostrate upon the ground

(compare Job 2:8, 13; Isaiah 3:26; 47:1; Lamentations 2:10).

Shakespeare, in ‘King John,’ makes Constance say —


                        “My grief’s so great,

That no supporter but the huge firm earth

Can hold it up: here I and sorrow sit;

Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.”


These great men, moreover, were seized with amazement and continual



Ø      The lamentation awakened by her destruction. “And they shall take

up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed,”

etc.! Thus would the fall of the prosperous island-city be bewailed

by neighboring peoples.


·         CONCLUSION. Certain lessons stand out with impressive clearness and



1. The insecurity of worldly greatness, glory, and power.

2. The heinousness of the sin of selfishness.

3. The fleetness of the prosperity which is attained without

     regard to the rights or interests of others.





Glory Departed (vs. 15-21)


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.  (In the end there will be

tsunamis – “the sea and the waves roaring” – Luke 21:25  - CY - 2014).

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





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.  (Since America has turned her back on God,

one of the gods which she has espoused is MATERIALISM.  A

characteristic of mankind, prior to Christ’s Second Coming, will be

accepting the “mark of the beast” – Revelation 13:16-18 – In my

opinion, the current wide acceptance of tattoos is a softening predecessor

of this! – CY – 2014)





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. (The nations are dealt with in ways in which they

fully understand!  “They shall know that I am God”  - I recommend

Ezekiel – God’s Use of the Word Know – this website – CY – 2014)

Embodying, as the city did, THE WORLD SPIRIT – (Dear Reader,

have you ever heard of the term “Global Economy?”  - CY – 2014),

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.





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





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”?  (Hebrews 11:10)  which the glory of God illumines with nightless

splendor, and into which are brought the glory and honor of the nations?

(Revelation 21:23-24




                 National Disaster Becomes a Public Lesson (vs. 15-21)


The world of men is one, although nationalities are many. There is a thread

of unity on which the separate jewels of humanity are strung. What affects

one affects, in some measure, the whole.



like individuals, have been incarnations of selfishness. They have tried to

aggrandize for self alone, but they have failed, and in most cases the failure

has been a disaster. In respect to material property obtained through

commerce, it is emphatically true that the prosperity must be shared by

others. God will not allow any nation to retain every particle of its riches

within itself. To be most prosperous, it must make others partakers of its

wealth. The real welfare of one nation may be the welfare of all. Stable

prosperity is diffusive.


·         MATERIAL PROSPERITY IS POWER. It brings position, honor, and

extensive influence. The isles and lands with which Tyre traded held her in

high repute. Many of the traders in other parts grew rich, gained powerful

influence, became in their circles princes, and sat upon thrones. It is power,

less potent than knowledge — power of an inferior sort — yet it is a

perceptible power. It gives leisure for investigation and discovery. It can

purchase stores of good. It can be converted into various forms of utility.



awakens the envy and the cupidity of others. It germinates pride in its

possessor, and not pride only, but also arrogance and oppressiveness. In

the natural course of things reaction appears. The oppressed classes

combine and rise. Offence given to another nation in a spirit of overbearing

arrogance awakens resentment, provokes vengeance. The wealthy nation is

over-confident in its security and in its natural defenses. But a little

shrewdness or contrivance undermines every natural defense, or else

confidence in men disappoints, and in an hour the fancied security is




“They shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say, How art thou

destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city!” Some

selfish peoples would rejoice that a rival and a menace was overthrown.

But others would be plunged into profound grief. Their traffic would be

diminished, perhaps destroyed. Still worse, if Tyre, so mighty, so well-

defended, be overthrown, what security have we? The downfall of Tyre

shook the foundations of other empires, shook the hearts of many

thoughtful men. It was evident that every kind of material defense was a

broken reed.


·         TRUE LIFE IS THE ONLY TRUE GLORY. “I shall set glory in the

land of the living.” The only permanent life is a righteous life. Other life is

ephemeral. This abides, this is eternal. Righteousness not only “exalts a

nation,” it consolidates and establishes it also. The “land of the living” is

the empire of righteousness — the true holy land. The kingdom which is

built on righteous principles is the kingdom of Christ. Every other kingdom

has wood and hay and stubble intermixed with the gold and silver of

sterling goodness. So far as righteous life prevails in any land on earth, so

far will true and permanent glory abide there. All other foundations, all

other defense, can and will be shaken.





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