11-2-3 Tyre in Ezekiel 26
Ez. 26:3-14 speaks of how Babylon will surround and
destroy Tyre. But this never happened- it was done by Alexander
and the Greeks much later. So, did the prophecy just go unfulfilled?
Ez. 29:17-20 explains that because the King of Babylon laboured
so hard to take Tyre- even though he never actually succeeded- God
would give him the land of Egypt as a reward. For me, this doesn't
mean that the word of prophecy failed. Rather does it mean that
God is open to a rethinking of plans and futures in accord with
human response. Although all the conditions for Tyre's fall and
Babylon's victory against her aren't given, evidently there must
have been such unrecorded conditions; and they weren't fulfilled,
hence Tyre was spared destruction by the Babylonians, and yet they
were 'rewarded' for their part in the situation.
The following comment from Ted & Bev Russell
expands upon this: "The prophecy about Tyre, (in Ez. 26) indicated
that the place would be scraped of her dust and made
like the top of a rock, a place for spreading of nets, plundered
for the nations, cast out, devoured with fire,
(Hosea, Amos and Zechariah also), and NEVER REBUILT,
(Ez. 26:21)(11th year). However, later in Chapter 29, (27th year),
we learn that Nebuchadnezzar and his soldiers would be given the
land of Egypt, because they laboured strenuously and long
against Tyre, so long that the soldiers had rubbed heads and shoulders
from their leather helmets and armour, (verse 18), but they did
not overcome Tyre. So instead God would give Nebuchadnezzar
the land of Egypt, for wages. " Spoil and pillage from Egypt
will be the wages that My servant will take from Egypt, instead
of the reward I promised you at Tyre" , (verse 17, 18,
19). Nebuchadnezzar was " God's servant" , and even though
he did a great service for God, in punishment at Tyre, (verse 18),
God changed the terms and conditions of his labour. He would
not conquer Tyre, but he was given Egypt instead! Tyre was NOT laid
bare, and NOT never rebuilt. It thrived and still thrives.
It had its ups and downs, with different conquerors, of course.
To the best of my memory the peninsula that they built into the
sea to defend themselves is not there now, but the seaside town
is. It lays nets out, as a fishing town, but it is not bare. We
have photos of us there. We know it was there in NT times
(Peter). Is it that God changes His mind? Did someone, (of whom
there is no record), plead successfully for Tyre, like Lot did unsuccessfully
for Sodom? Or is it that He tells us something, only a piece of
the future at a time, and then we get a fuller picture later on?
The prophesy goes on and on about Tyre's destruction,
and one has to be quick to see the change of circumstance in a few
verses in Ezekiel 29! The complete destruction of Tyre has
been used to show that the Bible is true, by some undiscerning folk,
in past lectures, in our time, (with lantern slide pictures
of destruction there). Once world travel was easily available
and people more readily saw Tyre, that mistake is not
made now. The point, (that the Bible is true), is better made elsewhere.
We do not need to question God's prophesies. We can
believe Him each time, and believe the changes He makes, as well.
In this prophecy do we know a reason why God changed his mind
about utter and complete destruction of Tyre? It does indicate that
we don't know everything, that we don't need to, and that God does
not tell us. He decides what is best. Certainly the Bible record
keeps us on our toes! For then " They shall know that
I am the Lord" , Ez. 29: 21".
Ted & Bev Russell
To this I would add a comment from Is. 23:1,2,4,15,18. These verses
seem to imply that if Tyre had howled in repentance and then been
silent and ashamed, she would be ‘forgotten’ 70 years and then become
devoted to Yahweh. This never happened. Yet the 70 year period is
of course analogous to Judah’s 70 years in captivity, also without