Ezekiel 26 is an entire chapter about one of the enemies of God’s children – the folks from Tyre. This chapter is God’s prophecies against Tyre. The siege of Tyre lasted thirteen years beginning 585 b.c., about three years after the capture of Jerusalem. While besieging Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar had driven Pharaoh back to the borders of Egypt. Tyre was relieved from a dangerous enemy, was celebrating her own deliverance, and in her neighbor‘s ruin, when Ezekiel predicted the calamity about to befall her. So this was a big wakeup call as they were not thinking about anything but celebrating their future.
God is pretty clear that their celebration would be short lived. He is graphic in what He is going to do. And as we learned in the previous chapter, when Ezekiel spoke of four other enemies and captors of God’s people, the reason is to honor His covenant and make sure that “they will know that I am the Lord”. Tyre has been at war with God’s people for years, and has captured and destroyed the city, but now God is going to level the playing field and even the score.
He says, among other things “I will stop the music….I will make you a bare rock….You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord….I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more”. God’s punishment of Tyre is going to be forever. The Biblical Illustrator talks about the the reality of how this prophecy actually played out. Check out what it says: “Her is the literal fulfilment of judgment. In the year 1291 the Sultan of Egypt laid siege to the strong city of Ptolemais or Acre. Terror spread through the crusaders’ kingdom. Tyre shared it. Capture meant massacre and slavery. Ptolemais fell on the very day on which the evil news reached Tyre. At vespers the people in mass forsook their city. In panic and haste they embarked upon their galleys, and went out never to return.
“The Mahometan came. He overthrew the city. He choked one of the matchless harbours with the ruins. He cast into the sea, statues and columns and the huge stones of warehouses and palaces. He set the last fire to her splendour. He scraped the rock. Standing amid the ruins we may see the dust and ashes of her conflagration, the broken marble columns beneath the sea and scattered upon the shore, the fishers’ nets spread upon the rock, and feel, with every traveller who thus stands, that the last prophecy concerning her must also prove true, “That shalt be built no more.” God does what He says. Ezekiel’s prophecy was carried out exactly as God had told him.