New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:

Tyre in Ezekiel 26

Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 26 Sep. 30 
Against Tyre
It happened in the eleventh year in the first day of the month that the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken! The gate of the peoples is now is turned to me; I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste: 3therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I am against you, Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. 4They 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. 5She shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh; and she shall become a spoil to the nations. 6Her daughters who are in the field shall be slain with the sword; and they shall know that I am Yahweh. 7For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, with chariots, with horsemen and a company, and many people. 8He shall kill your daughters in the field with the sword; and he shall make forts against you, and cast up a mound against you, and raise up the buckler against you. 9He shall set his battering engines against your walls, and with his axes he shall break down your towers. 10By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover you. Your walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wagons, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into your gates, as men enter into a city in which is made a breach. 11With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all your streets; he shall kill your people with the sword; and the pillars of your strength shall go down to the ground. 12They shall make a spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise; and they shall break down your walls, and destroy your pleasant houses; and they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the waters. 13I will cause the noise of your songs to cease; the sound of your harps shall be no more heard. 14I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall be built no more: for I Yahweh have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh. 15Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Tyre: shall not the islands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you? 16Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones and lay aside their robes and strip off their embroidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit on the ground and shall tremble every moment, being astonished at you. 17They shall take up a lamentation over you and tell you, How you are destroyed, who was inhabited by mariners, the renowned city, who was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, who caused their terror to be on all who lived there! 18Now shall the islands tremble in the day of your fall; yes, the islands that are in the sea shall be dismayed at your departure. 19For thus says the Lord Yahweh: When I shall make you a desolate city like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep on you and the great waters shall cover you; 20then will I bring you down with those who descend into the pit, to the people of old time, and will make you to dwell in the lower parts of the earth, in the places that are desolate of old, with those who go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited; and I will set glory in the land of the living. 21I will make you a terror, and you shall no more be rebuilt; though you are sought for, yet you will never be found again, says the Lord Yahweh.


26:7 This speaks of how Babylon will surround and destroy Tyre. But this never happened in recorded history- it was done by Alexander and the Greeks much later. 29:17-20 explains that because the King of Babylon laboured so hard to take Tyre (even though he never actually succeeded) God would give him the land of Egypt as a reward. This doesn't mean that the word of prophecy failed. Rather does it mean that God is open to a rethinking of plans and futures in accord with human response. Although all the conditions for Tyre's fall and Babylon's victory against her aren't given, evidently there must have been such unrecorded conditions; and they weren't fulfilled, hence Tyre was spared destruction by the Babylonians, and yet they were 'rewarded' for their part in the situation. Nebuchadnezzar was God's servant, but God changed the terms and conditions of his labour. He would not conquer Tyre, but he was given Egypt instead. Is it that God changes His mind? Did someone (of whom there is no record) plead successfully for Tyre, like Lot did unsuccessfully for Sodom? Or did Tyre like Nineveh get to hear of this prophecy, and repent, so it didn’t happen? Or is Tyre yet to fall in some last days scenario? Or is it that God tells us something, only a piece of the future at a time, and then we get a fuller picture later on? We do not need to question God's prophesies. We can believe Him each time, and believe the changes He makes as well. Ezekiel has a lot of conditional prophecies- not least the last nine chapters with their description of the temple situation which could have come about if Judah had returned from exile and rebuilt the temple as God intended. 
Another approach would be to reconsider our philosophy of history. In this age where science is assumed to have all the answers, the assumption is likewise made that the science of history is somehow complete. But primary sources for ancient history are limited; there are large gaps in ancient history, and primary sources may exist for some incidents which aren’t very significant on the larger canvass; and likewise major incidents are at times unnoticed in the sources currently available. So it’s possible that Nebuchadnezzar did do to Tyre as required by this prophecy, it’s just not recorded; and Alexander also destroyed the city later (this would require special attention to our note on 26:21 about the meaning of the phrase “no more be rebuilt”).  
26:8,9 The references to making mounts against Tyre’s walls show that the “Tyre” referred to here isn’t any island fortification as claimed by some. 
26:12 Lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the waters- Alexander the Great broke down Tyre and carefully laid the rubble in the water in order to build a causeway with which to reach the island castle of Tyre which still held out against him. 
26:21 No more be rebuilt- This also may have been part of a conditional prophecy- see on :7. It could be that the Biblical Tyre wasn’t on the same spot as the city now known as “Tyre”. The Hebrew can bear the translation ‘Not be built any more’, meaning that the building which was then ongoing would end. The same grammatical construction is found in passages like Ex. 9:29, where Moses says that ‘As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord ... there will be hail no longer...’. This doesn’t mean that there would never be any hail ever again; it means that the current hailstorm would stop. Another example in Neh. 2:17.