On the date commonly believed to be January 15, 588 BC, Nebuchadnezzar’s army laid siege to Jerusalem. The siege would last for thirty months. Ezekiel recounts the beginning of the siege in chapter 24. The fall of Jerusalem was a time of rejoicing for the nations around Judah, and though God’s people deserved what they got, and what they got was a judgment from the Lord, the rejoicing of Judah’s enemies against the misfortune of the people of God was more than the Lord would stand. His judgment against them all is recounted in the next eight chapters of Ezekiel’s book.
Two nations, Phoenicia and Egypt, are particularly singled out with long sections devoted to them.
In reading Ezekiel 27, let your imagination run free. Picture a nation whose capital city is a shining monument to splendor. Everyone wants to live there. Because the nation is so successful in business, because she facilitates business so well, everyone wants to see her succeed. Never mind “too big to fail,” absolutely no one wants to see her fail because everyone is dependent on her. It is why men from surrounding nations join her army and diplomats bring her treasure to curry her favor. Tyre was a bastion of free enterprise.
But Tyre’s end is coming. Ezekiel provides us with “an extended allegory about the good ship Tyre, superbly fitted out and expertly crewed, but so laden with merchandise that in heavy seas she sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Thereupon all the sailing peoples of the Mediterranean gather on the shore to bewail her loss.”
God does not, in chapter 27, provide the reason for Tyre’s utter and “horrible” end. But in reading the chapter, what do you think is the reason?