A Lamentation for Tyrus
Ezek 27:1-36 contains a prophetic lamentation for Tyrus, because the great sea port trading center gets destroyed. In this chapter we’ll see the beauty of Tyrus, the merchants of Tyrus, and the fall of Tyrus.
The Beauty of Tyrus
Tyre was situated at the “entry of the sea”. So, this was a great port for delivering the merchandise from the countries all around the Mediterranean Sea to the rest of the world. And it was likewise perfect for receiving the merchandise from the rest of the world for trade on the sea.
The Lord reminded Tyre that she had said, “I am of perfect beauty”. v.4 Tyre was beautiful. She was right on the coast and her builders perfected her beauty.
In the next few verses Tyre is likened to a beautiful ship. v. 5 Her ship boards were fir from Senir (Mt Hermon, inland east of Tyre). Her masts were cedars from Lebanon (1 Ki 5:6 used in the construction of the temple at Jerusalem). v.6 Her oars were oaks from Bashan (east of the Sea of Chinnereth; in Is 2:13 with the cedars of Lebanon, they were lifted up in pride).
v.6 the Ashurites made her benches of ivory from the isles of Chittim (Cyprus, northwest of Tyre in the Mediterranean Sea). v.7 her sails were fine linen with broidered work from Egypt. And she was covered with blue and purple from the isles of Elishah (Cyprus).
v.8 Her mariners were from Zidon and Arvad (north of Zidon on the coast). Her pilots were the wise men of Tyre. Her calkers were the ancients and wise men of Gebal (on the coast between Zidon and Arvad). She was visited by all the ships in the sea.
v.10 Her men of war were from Persia (Iran), Lud (modern day western Turkey), and Phut (Libya, north African coast west of Egypt). v.11 Her walls were protected by her men with the men of Arvad. The Gammadims (only mention) were in her towers.
The Merchants of Tyrus
These are the cities or countries that traded with Tyre and the merchandise that they traded.
v.12, Tarshish (Spain) traded in silver, iron, tin, and lead. Thy fairs, v.16, 19, are like county fairs where buyers and sellers gather at a time and place for trade.
v.13, Javan (western coast of Turkey), Tubal (Turkey, east of Javan), and Meshech (Turkey, between Javan and Tubal) traded men (slaves) and vessels of brass.
v.14, Togarmah (Turkey, east of Tubal) traded horses, horsemen, and mules.
v.15 men of Dedan (Arabia, east of the Red Sea) brought horns of ivory and ebony.
v.16 Syria traded in emeralds, purple, broidered work, fine linen, coral, and agate. Wares of thy making, v.18, are a reference to the wares Tyre traded with the countries who traded with them.
v.17 Judah and Israel traded wheat of Minnith and Pannag, and honey, oil, and balm.
v.18 Damascus trade the wine of Helbon (just north of Damascus), and white wool.
v.19 Dan and Javan traded in bright iron, cassia, a spice, and calamus, a perfume.
v.20 Dedan merchandised precious clothes for chariots.
v.21 Arabia and the princes of Kedar (region just northwest of Arabia), occupied them in lambs, rams, and goats.
v.22 Sheba an Raamah (region of Yemen today) along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, occupied them with all spices, precious stones, and gold.
v.23 -24 Haran, Cannes, Eden, Asshur, Chilmad (Assyria), and Sheba traded all sorts of things including blue clothes, broidered work, and cedar chests of rich apparel.
v.25 those on the ships of Tarshish sang in the market. Tyre was replenished and made glorious by these merchants.
The Fall of Tyrus
v.26 Metaphorically, Tyre is compared to a ship rowed out to sea and destroyed by the east wind. The east wind, like Euroclydon in Acts 27:14, is a destructive wind, Ps 48:7. Here, the east wind stands for those who destroy the city. As we saw in the previous lesson, Nebuchadnezzar besieged her and Alexander the Great ultimately destroyed her.
v.27 Tyre’s fall brings down her riches, fairs, merchandise, mariners, pilots, calkers, occupiers, and men of war. Her fall is an economic disaster to the entire region and all of its merchants.
The Lamentation for Tyrus
v.28-33 the pilots, rowers, and mariners weep with bitter wailing when Tyre falls. Their weeping against (before) the city is so loud, the suburbs shake. When they cry, they cast dust on their heads, wallow in ashes, make themselves bald, and gird themselves with sackcloth. They take up a lamentation for Tyre’s destruction and for the loss of merchandise that filled the people and enriched the kings of the earth. The lamentation is v.32-33.
v.34-36 the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished, the kings shall be afraid, and the merchants shall hiss (the sound of quickly drawing in their breath in their astonishment) at the destruction of Tyre. Tyre shall be a terror.
When you compare Ezek 27 with Rev 18, you understand that Tyre and Babylon are similar in their merchandise and trading and in their destruction. As you will see in Ezek 28, the devil is associated with Tyre, as he will be with Mystery Babylon in Rev 17. And for this reason, both of these cities are ultimately and totally destroyed and shall never be anymore.