Chapter 26:1-14 (ESV) - In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,’ therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.
Question to consider: Why would Tyre rejoice that the “gate of the peoples” is broken?
Tyre is the fifth of seven nations which either rejoiced or benefited from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and were now facing the wrath of God for their actions. Often when God pronounced judgment on the nations, He made wordplay of their name. Tyre means “rock” and so God said He would make her a “bare rock”.
Tyre was known for its ports along the Mediterranean Sea. One of the key things to note about Israel was that it was in the middle of a number of trade routes so its strength and wealth came by being the gatekeeper for these trade routes. So when Jerusalem fell, Tyre rejoiced that they were no longer a gate to the peoples. This would not only increase the amount of trade that could come through Tyre, but it would eliminate the cost associated with having to go through Jerusalem.
Believe it or not, to rejoice in the calamity of others because it will increase your profit margin is not considered to be righteous behavior by God. There are a number of companies, governments and individuals today who make money by exploiting others. Anyone associated with these practices will be judged for them, and anyone who professes to belong to Christ but earns money by exploiting others should see this passage as a call to repent and to find another way to earn a living.
As much as Tyre may have thought that the toppling of Jerusalem would be to their benefit, in their greed they did not consider that their newfound wealth would attract the attention of Nebuchadnezzar and the growing empire of Babylon. Jerusalem serving as a gateway would actually be an important barrier to obfuscate the trade potential in the East. Now that Babylon had conquered Jerusalem, there was strategic value to conquer Tyre, plunder it, and take over their ports. As Nebuchadnezzar increased in wealth and power, he began to consider himself to be among the gods, and he didn’t care that he was murdering people or destroying their homes as long as his empire could grow. He reminds me of billionaires today who deem themselves to be gods among men and will make merchandise out of people or destroy them as a means to generate wealth and power for themselves. They too should consider the fate of Nebuchadnezzar and repent.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for providing for our needs even in a world that seeks to exploit and destroy us. Our hope is in Christ, and we look forward to the day in which He will return to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end. Amen.