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Friday, November 20 2015

Ezekiel 27: Tyre's World Trade Center

"Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles"

The Phoenicians were an ancient Semitic people of the "Fertile Crescent" (see Israel's Journeys Along The Fertile Crescent) who became one of the greatest trade and commerce nations of all time. One of their major commercial cities was Tyre, a city on the coast of Lebanon, just north of the border with Israel's Galilee (see Tyre's Island In The Sea). As we will read, Tyre was a free port of world trade, with ships and land traders converging on Tyre from Asia, Europe and Africa - literally all of the known world of the time.

The LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) acknowledged Tyre's beauty and success.

The Siege Of Tyre

"27:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

27:2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus; 27:3 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. 27:4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. 27:5 They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. 27:6 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.

27:7 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.

27:8 The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. 27:9 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.

27:10 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. 27:11 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." (Ezekiel 27:1-11 KJV)

With its location as a major port of the Mediterranean Sea, positioned at the point where the continental landmasses of Europe, Asia and Africa joined, Tyre truly was a world trade center to which all nations looked to do business with, and through, Tyre.

"27:12 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.
27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.
27:14 They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.
27:15 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.
27:16 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.
27:17 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.
27:18 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.
27:19 Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.
27:20 Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.
27:21 Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were they thy merchants.
27:22 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.
27:23 Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants.
27:24 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 27:12-24 KJV)

Tyre's fall came for two reasons. It became arrogant toward those who had made it great ("28:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God" Ezekiel 28:1-2 KJV) and it became hostile to the Kingdom of Judah by benefiting Judah's enemies through trade. The result was that when the LORD permitted the Babylonian Empire to destroy the corrupt Kingdom of Judah (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?), He also had the Babylonians destroy Tyre and its commercial power - so that it would not be a problem for Judah when it returned seventy years later.

The world wept for the fall of Tyre because of what they lost for themselves - after having made the city great through their convergence of trade at Tyre. They went from "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" to "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?"

"27:25 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. 27:26 Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas. 27:27 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. 27:28 The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. 27:29 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; 27:30 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: 27:31 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. 27:32 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?

27:33 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. 27:34 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. 27:35 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. 27:36 The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more." (Ezekiel 27:25-36 KJV)

Fact Finder: As we read in Ezekiel 28:1-2 above, the king of Tyre became Satanically arrogant. Why was the prophecy and condemnation of him dual - why was it applied to Satan too?
See What Did Satan Do In Tyre?

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This Day In History, November 20

284: Diocletian was proclaimed Emperor of Rome (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire; also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

762: During the An Shi Rebellion in China, forces of the Tang Dynasty, with the help of Huihe tribe, recaptured Luoyang from the rebels.

1194: Palermo, Sicily was conquered by the Holy Roman Emperor, German King Heinrich (in English, Henry) VI (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire
1272: Edward I became King of England.

1541: John Calvin, 32, established a religious government at Geneva, creating a center for growing Protestantism in Europe.

1759: In the Battle of Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years War, the British fleet with 23 warships under Admiral Hawke destroyed the French invasion fleet of 21 warships under Admiral Conflans.

1780: Britain declared war on the Netherlands after the Dutch had supplied French and Spanish arms to U.S. rebels (the Dutch were the colonial rulers of the colonies before Britain took them and renamed them "New England," while France and Spain both had colonies throughout North America, that they tolerated no independence for, while they at the same time supported the revolt of the English colonies against Britain).

Queen Elizabeth 1820: An 80-ton whale "attacked" the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The peaceful whale (and members of its family) was actually the one being attacked by the whaling ship, thrashing about in great pain after being harpooned. The falsely-reported event was later used as the basis for the 1851 fictional novel Moby Dick (see also The Origin Of Moby Dick).

1873: In Hungary, the rival cities of Buda and Pest were joined to form the national capital - Budapest.

1910: Francisco Madero issued the Plan de San Luis Potosi that called for revolution against President Porfirio Diaz, thereby starting the Mexican Revolution.

1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), 324 British tanks struck at the German lines in the Battle of Cambrai, France, the first major battle involving tanks. By the end of the battle, no gains had been made and the British lost 43,000 men.

1922: In Switzerland, the Lausanne Conference began to resolve differences between the allied powers after the First World War.

1923: During the inflation crisis in Germany, the Rentenmark replaced the Papiermark as the official currency. It had an initial exchange rate of one Rentenmark to one trillion Papiermarks.

1945: The war crime trials of 24 Nazi leaders began at Nuremberg, Germany. On the same day, the Allied Control Commission approved the transfer of 6,000,000 ethnic-Germans from Austria, Hungary and Poland back to West Germany.

1946: Alberta's oil boom began when the initial drilling was done at the famous Leduc well south of Edmonton.

1947: Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.

1967: Lester Pearson, a Nobel Prize winner who would later become Prime Minister of Canada, was presented with the Medallion of Valour of the State of Israel for his efforts on behalf of Israel at the United Nations.

1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset. Sadat's visit made him the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel.

1980: Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong, went on trial in China on charges of treason.

1985: Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released.

1992: A fire that burned for 15 hours before being brought under control severely damaged part of Windsor Castle in London.

1992: 20 paintings by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) went unsold at an auction after they failed to receive a single bid.

1998: A Taliban court in Afghanistan declared terrorist leader Osama bin Laden to be "a man without a sin."

1998: The first module of the International Space Station was launched on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


Copyright © Wayne Blank