Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wednesday - Ezekiel 26 - Tyre (part 1)

HE climax of the prophecy of Ezekiel against Tyre is found in verses 4 & 14, where it is recorded that God said that He would make Tyre like the top of a rock. Famously, Alexander the Great ultimately fulfilled this prophecy when he pushed the ruins of old Tyre into the sea in 322 BC (in order to build a causeway out to the surviving section of the city that existed on a small island just off shore). However, the reason that this prophecy was given is actually more important than the precision of the fulfillment of it. So, what was Tyre's infraction? Much like the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites and Philistines, the people of Tyre chose to be on the wrong side in the great and invisible war of the ages. The people of Tyre rejoiced at the fall of Jerusalem.

Now clearly, God took their attitude against Him and against His people very personally.  So, he sent first Nebuchadnezzar and later Alexander to punish that city.  There is a conundrum with this text (vs. 14 & 21). There was to be a great finality in the judgment of God against Tyre. Yet, while it has ceased to exist at times, there is a modern city that occupies the same real estate today that would have been occupied by Tyrannies centuries and millennia ago. There are sections that have not been rebuilt, but an objective opinion would be that the city has been rebuilt and does exist. How then must we understand this section of the prophecy?

There are two very likely possibilities that should satisfactorily solve this puzzle. It has been suggested by some scholars and theologians that the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:14 & 21 were issued in reference to Tyre's great economic influence. In other words, today every person in Tyre could die, every business there could fold, and the impact on the world economy would be nonexistent. It is no longer an international hub, as it once was. There is another possibility. Perhaps God is not through fulfilling His words against Tyre. If Tyre and the people of Tyre are still to this very day anti-God and anti-Israel, then perhaps their ultimate destruction is yet future.

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