1. Was Tyrus a merchant city?
Yes, for many people: “(1) The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, (2) Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus; (3) And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty” (Ezekiel 27:1-3).
- The previous chapter was about how Tyrus [Tyre] mocked Jerusalem and was condemned by the Lord for doing so (Ezekiel 26:1-21).
- Now Ezekiel is to take up an lamentation for them (again in Ezekiel 28:12) as he did for the princes of Israel (Ezekiel 19:1) and will for Pharaoh king of Egypt (Ezekiel 32:1-2).
- This port city was a merchant for many islands (Isaiah 23:1-3; 8).
2. Since Tyrus was a beautiful place, did it appear as though they recognized such?
Yes, they knew it “(3) And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. (4) Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty” (Ezekiel 27:3-4).
- They were perfect at one point, until they erred (Ezekiel 28:12-17).
- Remember, these Gentile people were a law unto themselves having a conscience of knowing right from wrong (Romans 2:12-15).
- For a person or people to think so highly of themselves, even if it is true, that is dangerous (Proverbs 16:18-19, Proverbs 25:27, Luke 14:11, Romans 12:3, and Revelation 3:14-22).
- Consider what correction does to beauty (Psalms 39:11).
- Carnally, what is beauty anyway (Proverbs 31:30)?
- What happened to Judah when they trusted in their beauty (Ezekiel 16:15)?
3. Who were some of the cities and peoples that contributed to the success of Tyrus?
“(5) They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. (6) Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim. (7) Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee. (8) The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. (9) The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise. (10) They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness. (11) The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect. (12) Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs. (13) Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market. (14) They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules. (15) The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony. (16) Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. (17) Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. (18) Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. (19) Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market. (20) Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. (21) Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were they thy merchants. (22) The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. (23) Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants. (24) These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise” (Ezekiel 27:5-24).
- What we can see is that this port city was a major hub for trade. Many nations contributed to their prosperity. When a person or people become so established and successful they often fail to consider the Lord and His judgment (Luke 12:15-21).
- As we proceed and consider what we already know happened to Tyrus, did their gains help them (Psalms 49:6-8 and Proverbs 11:4)?
4. In the midst of the seas, did Tyrus stand out?
Yes, the place was very glorious: “The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas” (Ezekiel 27:25).
- The ships of Tarshish were notorious, in their history, for carrying valuable items certainly capable of replenishing markets (I Kings 10:22). This was a song of praise to the greatness of Tyrus.
- Having said all of that, what were the ships of Tarshish in comparison with God (Isaiah 2:11-17)?
5. What was going to fall into the midst of the seas in the day of the ruin of Tyrus?
“(26) Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas. (27) Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin” (Ezekiel 27:26-27).
- The city and her goods could not withstand the east wind of the Lord (Psalms 48:1-7).
- What good was all they had gained when the time of their ruin came upon them (Zephaniah 1:17-18)?
6. Why did so many lament over the fall of Tyrus?
“(28) The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. (29) And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; (30) And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: (31) And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. (32) And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? (33) When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise” (Ezekiel 27:28-33)?
- At the fall of a great city, those whom were dependent upon that place weep. The weeping was over the loss of a business partner, a place to buy goods, and source of income, etc. (Revelation 18:9-19).
7. Was the fall of Tyrus going to bring about any other emotions?
Yes, astonishment, fear, troubles, hissing, and terror: “(34) In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall. (35) All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance. (36) The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more” (Ezekiel 27:34-36).
- The purpose of public rebuke, judgment, correction, etc. is to bring others to fear (Jeremiah 25:9; 18, Acts 5:1-11, I Timothy 5:20; cf. Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).
- The overall lesson: “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be… The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish” (Psalms 37:10 and Proverbs 10:28).