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THE UNRETIRING PREDICTIONS OF
AND THEIR POWERFUL PERFORMANCE IN DOCILE HISTORY,
THE CONQUERING COLLECTIVE
Prophecy often gives preludes to judgment, that awesome alternative to truth and mercy.
There is a remarkable prophecy concerning the famous, one might advisedly even say fabulous, dynamic and rich city of ancient Tyre, found in Ezekiel 26:1 - 28:20.
Its components are at times deep, penetrating, with spiritual premises from biblical foundations, while at other times as simple as the sun rising. It is a profound rebuke and a decisive judgment, both intertwined, with practical consequences of various kinds for the city of Tyre and its surrounds.
In sum, it is of this kind. Let us see it as if we were there at that ancient time, graphically, using the biblical premises. Tyre is a proud, self-glorifying city, a law and a lord to itself. Filled with itself, efficient, proficient in gathering wealth and making select use of many for such purposes, it is like a descendant from heaven with the profile of earth, monstrous, selling wares and slaves (Ezekiel 27:13).
It is as if indifferent in its hauteur and haughtiness; its pseudo-transcendence from the things of earth is both illusory and contemptible. Yet, this being known to God, it is a basis for action. We will look at it from various perspectives. At once, it reminds one of the present profile of Russian leadership, appearing at once domineering and cunning. Thus, the prophet Ezekiel is sanctioned in the Lord's name to announce Tyre's fate. Would it even gloat over Israel's fall (Ezekiel 26:2), asking for the trouble it received ?. The prophet predicted its subjection to the rising king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who would pounce, prey on surrounding towns, use battering rams on the city (Ezekiel 28:9), take it and wreak no small havoc in it.
However, he is only one of the nations cited to move against Tyr (Ezekiel 26:3,12). Thus "many nations" are to be involved in the total and progressive disaster to befall the so very well-established Tyre, tyrant of merchants, pseudo-substitute as if itself some kind of god. One categorical reason (Ezekiel 26:21) answers the query above: for Tyre's multiply-indicted condemnation includes her vying, gloating, engulfing lust to exalt herself in the overthrow of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar here ironically would overthrow mainland Tyre itself, and humble the whole collection of its majesty; and he did. We have the counterpart concerning Israel today, except that having been disciplined and brought back as promised, Israel has both an imminent wonder of salvation to come to it, and a hope.
It had a first phase of this in Tyre's day. Thus, what Tyre had gloated over, conceiving herself a beneficiary of Israel's fall, she is in fact herself to experience, being no beneficiary of another's temporary fall, but at last, the unveiled victim herself. Such was the situational graphic.
What then ? This did not alter Israel's fall for reasons rehearsed in Ezekiel, Jeremiah 1-17 especially, and Isaiah as in Ch. 5. Yet unlike this, the fall of Tyre was to have and did have a quite different ultimate flavour, like a taste of some food that lingers most unpleasantly in the mouth for some time. Think back to that day and experience the prophecy. Not for some time to come is Tyre's fall, at the hand of many nations (26:2). Its demise is, through Ezekiel's forecast, shown to be both permanent and irretrievable.
THE ONSET - THINGS TO BE DONE
It is these many nations which will
break down its towers,
ii) destroy its walls
iii) scrape her dust from her,
iv) plunder her and throw her timber, stone and soil into the
v) make her like the top of a rock (26:4).
What a monumental enterprise! what diligence would be required, what properly imperial resources, what an aroused spirit to accomplish so much!
Could God accomplish all that in man, in method, in sequence, in precision, with power ? Of course, and this was the point, so that they might KNOW He was there, active and available, precise and reliable, lest they merely fiddled with idols and idolatrous, became inane. He accomplished far more in building man in the first place. He both COULD to it and DID!
Now all THAT in Ezekiel is predicted to come to Tyre, was statedly a multi-national work, so that no one nation is predicted to accomplish it; for if it were, then it would be a national work, such a program excluded from the first in Ezekiel 26. Similarly, the results for Tyre were not in one depth, detail or dimension only, but multiple, cumulative, transcendental in meaning, signified in overpowering proportions, properties lost, spiritual condescension smashed, its dominant metropolitan singularity lost forever, much of it tipping into the sea physically, with ardent results commercially, socially and psychological.
So great would be Tyre's humiliation, that it would become a place for spreading nets, in the midst of the sea, and the Lord assures us this is so, declaring this: "for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD," as in Ezekiel 26:5.
The possible nearness of the sunken city to a lowly substitute is indeed a point of interest*1. Would the inconsequential midge view the fallen giant! Indeed from the performance of these things they will KNOW that He IS the Lord of life (26:7); for the testimony from all is to all.
Indeed from the performance of these things they will KNOW that He IS the Lord of life (26:7); for the testimony from all is to all. In fact, testimony from of old is that at least much of the original, old site fell into the sea, was swallowed up, bared, blighted, forgotten in its last end. You cannot rebuild a city on maritime foundations, or rebuild on the ocean. Evacuation is no sound foundation, nor is unavailability a substitute for the old Tyre, nor is any recrudescence available for its Phoenician arrogance and imperial even theophanic pretensions. THAT city is dead with a thousand deaths, as if power is replaced by picnic, and lordliness by the occupations of lowliness.
As for imperial Tyre, the sea hides it in engulfings unknown in extent; shame hides in eternal derelictions of its type, its hype, its debased hallowing and hideous evils; imperial aspirations: impregnabilities and fortifications are all gone. It was like a life slipping away under anaesthetic. Never again would such a city be in this place, nor any more such a base or basis for unbelief be found on the site evacuated by this mystery of slippage. Scooped from the earth went its riches; its powers, its pinnacles, its ravishing imperia, buried; its head-tossings and its savvy cunnings, its encompassing controls dispersed. THAT city, it is lost, the sea laughing at it, the very sea it once had so vastly controlled, now its mentor and tormentor, its very laps reminding of ruin.
On the other hand, the island part, glorious in magnificence, brilliantly defended with sea wall and ships, at first escaped, this being a work for MANY NATIONS; but not without an initial, post-siege surrender to Babylon*2, reportedly leading to royal princes being taken captive, and a servile state under Babylon, proceeding with limping residue, with perhaps some measure of hope awaiting something better, for many years, before blow on blow by various nations, at last led to the catastrophe PRECISELY as predicted.
As to that, even it was fulfilled to the letter in one of the most transformative attestations to divine truth one could well wish. Imagine! but you do not need this, for even the things to be tossed into the sea were noted, and indeed, such were to be LAID in the sea. The impregnable would not fall, merely; it would have its old and broken foundations USED as causeway for its destruction, prelude to it, a laying of the lost.
The devastating finale was wrought by Alexander the Great. While Nebuchadnezzar reportedly took 13 years to subdue Tyre*3 into treaty position, taking the mainland city and doing whatever came into his head as he sought and found surrender, there is no evidence that he took and broke the island part. That was left for another body, the great Macedonian, Alexander, who would in later exploits in an Asian land, apparently be wounded and die close to festive mode. ALL were humbled, from the greatest to the least, from the destroyer to the destroyed.
Indeed, ALL was done from the height to the depth, including this, that "though you be sought for, you will never be found," Ezekiel 26:21, a feat wrought in the falling into the sea of much of its former mainland site, and this again, for not only would fishermen*1 use rocky places for fishing, instead of finding the magnificent pomp and power of the unresurrectable city (26:14), but there would be, as there was, a highly specialised work to be wrought by the nations. Acclaim and domain of the cursed city would become remnant and relinquishment, as if London were replaced by a fishing village, or Paris by a lake and a set of rural vineyards, and interesting oddities.
How remarkable, then, was the apportionment of tasks to the nations! To Babylon, just so much was to be done; to the generality of the unspecified other nations to be like attack sharks, assault troops, there was the residue, what was not assigned to Nebuchadnezzar. We know this because not only were there many nations specified in the prediction of destruction, for the entire overall action, and that twice (Ezekiel 26:2-5), but the sector on Nebuchadnezzar, leading ONE of the nations, is specified by the pronoun "he" following his name, as one from the North, in verses 7-11. Then this duly apportioned to the famous name invader, the multiple work of the others already noted is refocussed, in verse 12, with its resumption of the "they" feature, so cardinal in the compound work and complex works to be performed. First Babylon does this; they do the REST!
In this group of nations there was assigned both before and after the Nebuchadnezzar passage, a further work, beyond the Babylonian specifications. This was to proceed until the dénouement should come, and that ? When of course, the island sector, the escape resort, was taken, the timber would be put into the sea, along with the stones and soil. It was then that the place of rocks and fishermen was to come, as it did, with that profound opprobrium and shame apt for a city without spiritual foundations, replacing these necessities with nebulous fiascos.
Thus it had neither recourse nor ground for restoration, becoming a name for the lost empire, its lost centre, its lost soul if you want to see the harrowing sense of obliteration involved. THAT was gone; nothing could revive it; its very site became a mockery, a slippage despoiling it, the curling waves exhibiting their mirth and power that outlasted it, never to be rebuilt, majesty met by doom.
Thus King Nebuchadnezzar is shown by historical references to have done his part, inducing surrender, submission, evidently in due time making a treaty with the island residue*4, which included a servile State, if one of some temporary respite. Others, in turn, continued the battering and plunder, until Macedonia's prime export in dynamism and temporary exultation, Alexander delivered the thing to its finale, its Act 5 as in a Shakespearian play, to its ultimate, to its almost grimly humorous end. So ?
The island fortress escape set-up would defy any and all, and
having such walls and such seas to surround it, it would mock its military
tormentor, and escape the prophetic word of God at the same time ? Would this
be the result of the team work of the nations which God had so solemnly and in
such detail announced, and let us be very clear, sovereignly pronounced! Would
man take comfort in his immoralities, proclivities, arrogant aspirations and
virtual divinity ?
THE RAPID GALA EVENTS OF ALEXANDER
AS IF HIS FEET COULD NOT TOUCH THE GROUND,
AND THE REDUCTION OF GLAMOUR TO CLAMOUR
Not so! The Controller of history (Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 41-46) would not have it so, having said the contrary. He drafted Alexander. Thus the ruins present and extended in the afflicted mainland city, used to make a causeway, enabled direct assault on the (former) island extension of mainland Tyre, that is, with plunder of its hideaway property, Alexander was both ruthless and thorough, and the word of the Lord GOD was both fulfilled in tenor, temper and in truth. This extended to the very stones, dust and timber of that proud city, their destination in the sea, their destiny in the invasive purpose of their placement. God speaks; events fulfil.
Through Alexander, Tyre would be used to destroy Tyre, even to its extremities. A dismal desolation would he leave it, his pride over theirs, his punitive thrust over their meticulous defence, his invention over their protection; for as to God, He was not in any defence of it. On the contrary, its predicted end had to come in one of the most amazing military projectiles of all time. It was through this speedy Alexander, even in his nation, his Grecian lair. Predicted for harassing speed, in Daniel 8:5-8, 21-22, he used it.
That was in the Third Empire of Daniel's specifications of the Empires to come, this being the one after that of Media-Persia, and before the Roman. Expressions of the sheer dynamic intensity and rush of this internationally directed power include such phrasings as these: he would work with "furious power," "moved with wrath," being directly confrontational, with none to break or even brake him in his initial thrusts. Such was the nature and the predicted character of this Alexander, who showed it to the uttermost in his particular dealings with the maritime wonder of Tyre, on his way to India, insatiable in destruction, cunning in approach, defeating the invincible in spirit and defence, ignoring the apparently impossible, consuming the strong.
Both ruthless and thorough did he show himself to be, and in this extraordinarily famous plunderer and strategist, the word of the Lord GOD was fulfilled not only in tenor, but in temper and in truth, even to the very stones, dust and timber of that proud city, even to their destination and its placement, amidst their maritime grave. Their destination in the sea was their lot, the invasive purpose of the conqueror their seal. Thus the ruins present and extended in the afflicted mainland city, used to make a causeway, enabled direct assault on the island extension of mainland Tyre, now plundered of its hideaway property.
Thus, through him, Tyre would be used to destroy Tyre, even to its extremities. A dismal desolation would Alexander leave it, his pride over theirs, his punitive thrust over their meticulous defence, his invention over their protection; for as to God, He was not in any defence of it. On the contrary, its predicted end had to come in one of the most amazing military projectiles of all time. It was through this speedy Alexander, even in his nation, his Grecian lair. Predicted for harassing speed, in Daniel 8:5-8, 21-22, he used it.
He was to come, as he in fact came, thrusting like a low-flying hovercraft. From his Grecian lair he moves, incessantly abroad. It was to make a feast of conquests; as ironically, his death came in a time of feasting, where wounds in India may have prepared his body for that end.
In his short life, expressions of the sheer dynamic intensity and rush of this internationally directed power include such phrasings as these. His force worked with "furious power," as he was "moved with rage" against the opposition to his will, being directly confrontational, with none to break or even brake him in his initial thrusts. Was there an empire, his interest, conquer it! Tyre was such: what engineering patience to implement such fury! However, it was far from an inactive wait, being a labour of profound thrust into the sea.
Such was the nature and the predicted character of this ruler from Greece, exposed as Alexander, allegedly great, and certainly with great impact on the world, and the opponents whom he sought to subdue. This he showed it to the uttermost in his particular dealings with the maritime wonder of Tyre, insatiable in destruction, cunning in approach, defeating the seemingly invincible in spirit and defence, ignoring the apparently impossible, consuming the strong. In so acting, as noted, he fulfilled the particular prophecy of Daniel 8, concerning the imperial rule between Media-Persia and that of Rome to come. His feet, Daniel predicted (8:5-8), would barely touch the ground as he moved to his international rule (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 8).
This was the wrecker against the reckless. But let us look further.
Of course, there were further elements in the exposure of the entire spiritual situation concerning Tyre. It not only was dynamically directive among men, but invited the divine interrogation of Ezekiel 28:9-10.
"Will you still say before him who slays you,
I am a god ?
But you will be a man and not a god,
in the hand of him who slays you.
You will die the death of the uncircumcised
By the hand of aliens;
for I have spoken," says the Lord God."
Without covenant, without concession, from God or man, Tyre in the splendour of its former magnificence, left alone and plundered, taken apart and sundered, would become a perpetual wonder. Never would its oceanic slippage become available for rebuilding, for it was a maritime acquisition, the sea swallowing up its fabled estates; and most importantly, Phoenician Tyre, glory of its race and base depravity of its gods, obsessions and exaltation, was to be to the uttermost, humbled and replaced by aliens, any restorations on island and causeway to be mere testimonies to the loss, post-pounding relics without glory or domination, pride or power.
Thus abandoned, ruined, the impotent replaced the imperial, the normal the hub of hubris, the lowly the height of extravagant power, never to be rebuilt, the mercantile megapolis slidden from the record forever, the sea pulsing over its seized wonders, whatever remained for its maritime incognito (Ezekiel 26:21).
Phoenician Tyre and its Tyrians were gone, humbled, abased, their architecture broken, or in the sea*1 , seized, despised, their exaltation in lapse; and if foreigners should seek to build in its extinguished premises, it would be a work of aliens, alien to Tyre, its very site stripped to the point of a testimonial submersion, a place for immersion rather than towers, of woe rather than walls, of unknown dimensions rather than conspicuously glorified. Some elements of land might remain humbled, but never would they be the old Tyre, the city of magnificence; nor could the original site be refounded, in view of its ignominious maritime excursion and overgrowth with sundry bits of housing for this and for that, leaving the vanquished in spirit, desolate in site.
She would never be found again (Ezekiel 26:21), either in glory, or domination, or in the recovery of the site which was once its exhibit; but now under aliens, what could be built might be, but not where the ocean ruled or the spiritual signature of the city might be placed. Found ? it was confounded multiply.
More than this is put into this exceedingly thorough devastation of racial power, mercantile marvels, religious self-regard in the god direction, royal rule as before, of claim to greatness and that exceedingly intensive independence of this non-God-fearing city, one without covenant or covenantal protection from God. That capital commercial palace of power, art and immoral trading in no small part, was gone for ever. To this aspect, we will return shortly. But let us now dwell on the spiritual entities involved, giving to all the so glorious agents condemned, their eventually defunct state. Let us move up, not a step, but a sphere!
In fact, the devil in his own sensation-seeking, self-glorification is discerned as back of the spirit of the powerful majesty and mercantile splendour of all-consuming Tyre, selling goods and slaves (Ezekiel 27:13). Its vacuous glory and its disregard of life is well shown in Ezekiel 27, including this implicit indictment, Of the reciprocities of trade, we read this,
"They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise."
You want it ? We have it! seemed to be the way. ANYTHING could be obtained, forget the morals: we sell, you buy, you sell, we buy; for we are proficient, efficient and irresistible, seemed the song of the chorus. The seemingly unmarked manner in which bronze and human lives are put together as merchandise has its own sense of precipitous horror, as if to mimic the indifference to life of the thrust of the mercantile city, this agent for events, this actor in any number of dramas which come and go, like the waves of the sea which would engulf part of it, including the very towers and titles of its former glory.
Tracing this spirit back to Eden (Ezekiel 28:11-19), we find this, that
"you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty."
Wonders of beauty were there for the experience!
This continued until the rottenness showed in the core of the apple:
"You were perfect in your ways from the day you were
till iniquity was found in you."
ALL that is not God was created (John 1:1-3), the spirit of the devil was among those created, this one with peculiar eminence and beauty, which as so often led to the doleful chorus:
"You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness,"
comes the divine condemnation.
It is poignant; there is no doubt about that. There was genuine wonder in the initial phases of this creation, the seditious spirit of which was lent all too readily and powerfully so that the city of Tyre became recipient of follies like those exposed in the garden of Eden. The purport, as of the devil there, was firstly, that God's word was merely an event, to be estimated, and the second that God's place was just a set-up where one could, on equal terms, pursue one's life.
SPIRITUAL MADNESS IN THE BIBLICAL DEPICTIONS
OF THE MAXIMALLY MISLED
That spiritual madness (Hosea 9:7) is still current in the drifting nebulosities of evolutionism*5, biological, political or personal, a mirage without water, one which has any amount of glory on tap, though there is no water from which it could come, and touts its imaginary reservoirs of wonder to find only thirst, as they do not come to life, but go like the endings of a dream, leaving drab propaganda the only relic in a fallen, self-destructive world. With increasing clarity (if possible), it is a world of competing follies, favoured in this or that propulsive and repulsive passion now of this group, now of that, as the body of mankind, like a limousine smashing off the so obvious highway (Isaiah 35:8ff.), ends in increasing turmoil amid the fatal obstructions.
Man came with encyclopedic information inset in his very cells, nucleated with wonder at the engineering and communication levels; but as he grows old as a race, he is moving towards the normal entropy*6, as the very genome of man is corrupted, to render his inane self-glorying more like the mode of insane (as in Hosea 9:7, when you consider the spiritual basis). Such is the application to today.
Tyre is illustrative. This interlude with spiritual basics in Ezekiel 28 fades away, like a light cast upon a statue, which then comes back to the actualities surrounding, and like master, like savvy servant, there is the result: "You have become a horror, and shall be no more forever," as in Ezekiel 28:19. No more is this exalted, Phoenician grandiosity and majestic self-contemplation is no more to occupy this site, humbled to a sense of loss and irrelevance, a decapitated capital; and the entire apparatus will become a drain, with an expulsive blast of realism into the fairy-tales of the naturalistic, and exotic imaginations housed in that culture, in the city and religious edifice, situated at Tyre.
Aliens might build alien oddments, but the civilisation housing Tyre was defunct, its site slipping into the sea, foreign remnants a sad flag to the ruin of an Empire, the desecration of a sovereignty, the humbling of a majesty. It would never, because it could never be rebuilt, its terminus as a disaster to the dynasty of dynamism complete, its very basic site unrecoverable to show, a desolation unresurrectable by man, God's divine signature even on the corpus once called Tyre, attesting the document of its desolation, destitution past all restitution.
That marvel could never be rebuilt, fishermen able to regale themselves on the very site of its former majesty, a fitting affront. Gone its dynasty, its loot lost, its vanquishment a trembling attestation to history against all glory in the flesh, in the fetid fevers of human self-exaltation, give it whatever strength, wisdom, domination, domineering, immoral recklessness, whatever you wish. Put walls around it and protect it with natural wonder. Even this will swallow it up, and wisdom of man in defiance against his Maker is left a pitiable and in the end a profound horror, because it would not heed, saw no need, and trusted in itself.
Will an air-liner contemptuously (if it could), ignore its maker, the factory specifications, the hangars, the proper and due attendances to cleanse, refit, renew it as the case requires ? Will man vastly in advance of such relatively trivial creations as these, be so superior that he laughs at his need, and procures his corruption!
Alas, better to reflect than be a saucy reject! Consider it. With even its site was wandering off in unknown amounts, leaving sea, land and alien culture a treble occupancy of its vacancy, and humiliation its memory, it joined the litany of the lost. It was as if the fallen empires could now count this one among them, as the bell of departure sounded, as for slain soldiers, one by one (Ezekiel 27:35, 28:18-19). Was it to be banished like the imperial Parisian rulers, in the revolution as the 18th century ended, even the dauphin humbled to express in commonality, the crucial crushing, never to return, a forgotten remnant in a sea where the imperial was lost, gone, unrecognisable, never to be rebuilt! Yes, and yes again, for the name of Tyre has rotted, its power has decayed, its very being has no horizon, its dream a nightmare and its pomp a pleasantry touched with horror on better recall.
The spiritual was the ultimate as seen in Ezekiel 28, with the vexatious lust and gratuitous ogling against Israel giving to this imperial city, increments or applications of its odium. Now it was to be itself, as gutted as Israel, but in its own time. Yet it would NEVER be rebuilt, while Israel as such, the site, the city, the power, the meaning, though it waited long, was step by step rebuild as the meaning of life surged, and will surge into that body (as in Zechariah 12:10-13:1, Ezekiel 37's depiction).
One was gone as a testimony of self-glorying in its end, so that Tyre the mighty retired, its special place no more, its height its fall; the other, Israel, it went with Nebuchadnezzar and then after the judicial murder of its Prince of Peace, for all but two millena, gone as a testimony of discipline and the horror of breach of what is more intimate than marriage (Ephesians 5, Hosea), it also, it spoke. For Tyre, the spiritual, turned evil, ceased irremediably, the elevated solipsism categorically, the imperial imperiously ruined, even the site itself literally, in ultimate trivialisation, bent on falling into the sea, this strange but striking phenomenon perhaps once viewable as one ancient testimony has it*3 . From every dimension it was gone.
In such ways, and with such overpowering and encompassing zeal was the entirety of Tyre, that religious, spiritual, cultural, dominating body, delirious with self-admiration, that was so great, by MANY NATIONS brought to bondage. To ruin at every level was joined desolation, its depravities and pseudo-divine aspirations as lost as some of its very site to the sea, a horror to remember, with not asphalt as perhaps with Sodom, but the waters of the sea its recipient, as were the seas of other cultures on other grounds, for other reasons, indifferently free to occupy some of the parts left, like haggis fed into the intestines.
Neither could it once again occupy its site nor its sovereignty, its glory nor its grandeur, its imperial status nor its lands as of yore; its lordliness lapsed, its aspirations lashed as were Hitler's in his Berlin bunker. No more than could be be brought back with his specialised boastings and imperial power in Berlin, could Tyre to its cultural vainglory and incessant debasement, even at its height (Ezekiel 28:1-10,18-19)! Just as Hitler had sailed into judgment, and been sunk, metaphorically, so was the case with Tyre, this case both literal and metaphorical in kind.
Tyre joined the ranks of the ruined. To it, FINISHED was written; for its glory had departed, its name rotten, its site slipping ignominiously into the covering waters a symbol as well as a fact, protecting it from restoration, just as its dashed dynamic to rule, was forever lost to dimness, consigned to darkness, as indeed will be the case of this world, when its own due time comes (Matthew 24:35). God will make a new heavens and earth; but the old will, like Tyre the magnificent, be gone forever. It will become a mere memory, fed by triviality, consigned to mockery, judgment sitting on its body like an active darkness.
TYRE THE TYPE
There is much which is typical in Tyre, and much that is precise in prediction, and all of it has happened in layers of scraping, rocks and barrenness of heart, the joint and declarative residues, with alien cultures moving in modest paths, here and there, the grandeur gone both in architecture, amazing sights and restless, driving power. So does the word of God, interpreted in its own context, like any legal document, fulfil itself, to the last jot and tittle, whether the call be construction or destruction, abasement or on the other hand, exultation, yes exaltation, as with Jesus the Christ Himself, who teaches by these and all means, that life is not an imperium for emperors of the spirit.
It is not for psychic marauders, busy surviving as if rats were not as good at it as they, with an immoral indifference to anything else, like a pen which, were it able, would not mind being used on the clumsy labouring hands of its owner, to remove calluses, or a pin being artlessly deployed in an effort to bend steel.
This entire world ? Many a lesson has it been taught, has it chosen in its meaning and thrust to ignore; but these have been given, and dismissal is the forerunner of destruction. For those who do not lust to be equal with the Maker, ignorant governors, merely created, there is a place. Under God the Maker of it and of all the information in it, once inserted, never found again in that, its dramatic input, in all the history of this world, those who do not despise this empirical fact, both it and ourselves are to be used UNDER SUPERVISION. It is physical, moral, intellectual, spiritual, a scene of salvation.
Provisions have been made; the Redeemer has come to the laboratory of history and shown even in it His ways, His love and mercy, His truth. He loves those who seek Him with all the heart, and brings truth to the domain of their spirits who receive His ministrations, with such relish as is never duplicated elsewhere; for the more of truth He gives, the more it fits together, like a vast building, never to be lost, never to be destroyed. In this, all reason is found, all coherence, all conflicts resolved, all peering mysteries exposed as by a bright light and the wonder of truth is relished beyond all measure.
That the ultimate is spiritual in essence, mental in application and physical in forum of creatively incomparable abilities does not remove, but vastly accentuates its significance. To treat as insignificant, the propounder of its information, the maker of its technicalities that transcend the works of man in brilliance, in design characteristics definably (cf. Deity and Design ...); to disregard or avoid God, the majesty which is never put down because it never came up but always was (as the logical alternative to the vacancy of nothing): all this is not merely an option.
To be averse, apathetic, and all the more intransigently contrary, rebelling against results and reason, beginnings and ends: It is folly and self-hypnosis, anesthetising to fact, a war on the empirical, unholy alliance against reality, an autocratic dissembling of dependency. It is however FAR worse than that. It is to trifle with that biblical domain of salvation, free grace which requires as in any other operation, acceptance of diagnosis and of the surgical action, yes even the regenerative gift (Titus 3, John 3, Romans 3:23-27).
The surgery on the soul ? If it cuts you to the quick (John 16:5-8), it is both decisive and a grand prelude to the restoration with a new generation of the heart of life, issuing like the flowers of Spring after a cold Winter. That seasonal matter is natural, perhaps a picture. THIS however is supernatural, involving the restoration of relationship of a constructive and communing kind with God Himself, in terms of the New Covenant in which Christ having died for the remission of sins. lives in peace with and by His Spirit even IN the restored heart and life of the believer (Colossians 1:27). It is Tyre or truth; and if the humble soul is too humble to believe God, this is mere a monstrous misapplication - for to doubt God is the noose, and to continue it, that is the pull.
Apologetics Press has an interesting presentation at this point. See
Here, author Kyle Butt, refers to an historical record of great interest.
"In approximately A.D. 1170, a Jewish traveler named Benjamin of Tudela published a diary of his travels. “Benjamin began his journey from Saragossa, around the year 1160 and over the course of thirteen years visited over 300 cities in a wide range of places including Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Persia” (Benjamin of Tudela, n.d.). In his memoirs, a section is included concerning the city of Tyre."
Within this diary, these words are reported:
"A man can ascend the walls of New Tyre and see ancient Tyre, which the sea has now covered, lying at a stone's throw from the new city. And should one care to go forth by boat, one can see the castles, market-places, streets, and palaces in the bed of the sea."
The presence of fishermen on those rock is scarcely surprising.
Further confirmative data is found in this same Apologetics Press site, very worthy of study, expanding this testimony. This includes one analysis suggesting that the island city was once termed Little Tyre and the mainland one, "Old Tyre," and citations concerning 1) the burial of Phoenician Tyre, not to be restored, relics being mainly from Graeco-Roman times, now overlying what is left, and 2) one concerning the burial of the early city with changing coasts following Alexander's seascaping efforts. Where is the city of that day ? where indeed!
In the end it made little difference, for the little one, after the fall of the old and historic complex on the mainland, had become ready like a plum to drop. And this ? it was prepared for the mouth of Alexander, who finished the destructive work with an industry and conscientious thoroughness which would have been outstanding in inventiveness and imagination, and to be praised for this, were it not on so lugubrious a mission. Even there, however, it was a punitive expedition to fulfil a judgment of God, so that poor Alexander the Great, not so great himself in his mode and time of death, became an agent to fulfil the prophecy.
In Josephus' work, Against Apion, 1 (20), there is, for example, implicit reference to the surrender of Tyre to Babylon.
On these matters the Chaldaean
account must surely be accepted. Moreover, statements
in accordance with those of Berosus are found
in the Phoenician archives, which relate how the
king of Babylon subdued Syria and the whole of
To the same effect writes Philostratus
in his History, where he mentions the siege of Tyre,
and Megasthenes in the fourth book of his History
of India, where he attempts to prove that this king
of Babylon, who according to this writer subdued the
greater part of Libya and Iberia, was in courage and
in the grandeur of his exploits more than a match for
Again, Associates for Biblical Research, with a site at http://biblicalarcheology.org
indicate the following, at
"Apparently both Tyre and Sidon surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, based on a fragmentary Babylonian administrative document which mentions the kings of Tyre and Sidon as receiving rations from the royal Babylonian household."
References include Pritchard, 1969 - Ancient Near Texts Relating to the Old Testament, third edition, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Tyre. Josephus, Antiquities, 10.28 is one of those who mention this figure.
Nebuchadnezzar is NOT given the plunder phase, only what is specified in vv. 7-11. This becomes an important part of the prediction in Ezekiel. Let us consider the total situation a little.
In Biblical Studies http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_tyre.html
we have an interesting summary, more of which may be found on site.
"The city’s population is estimated to have been about 30 000 in its heyday (Katzenstein & Edwards, 1992). To support these inhabitants water and food had to be ferried to the island from the mainland city which contained large freshwater springs (Pritchard, 1955: 477). Mainland Tyre was originally an independent city called Ushu, it later became a suburb of the island city (Liverani, 1988: 933)."
N.B. This includes for 573 B.C., "Mainland city captured, but everything of value removed to the island." Incidentally, the reference above to Liverani, is to his work, "Tyre", G.W Bromiley General Editor, in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised, Vol. 4, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans: 932-935.
If this is correct, then it would explain, both in terms of event and attitude of the Tyrians, so competent, so careful of their gear, so ingenious in their defence, why Nebuchadnezzar after thirteen years of INVESTMENT (in both sense of the term, monetary and military) did not get enough reward to count from the prize of the mainland city, a whole army having been involved in the siege. Thus the Lord acted, showing that HE uses servants, deploying the evil as well as the good to His purposes, once their own characters are shown, as He will, to illustrate what these very things mean (Ephesians 1:11).
Of this divine action, we read in Ezekiel 28:17-21, that Nebuchadnezzar had performed in causing his army to "labour strenuously against Tyre," so that he would be granted by God, wages for the job (the consignment of work to be done by him, as specified in Ezekiel 26, specifically for the Babylonian sector). The securing of the mainland city would be the site, but the insular retreat evidently under covenant and submission, would not as yet yield its own probably inflated riches.
Thus, just as plunder for Nebuchadnezzar was not specified in the divine allocation of Ezekiel 26:7-11, so the divine counsel was with precision fulfilled, both there and later in the more general consignment to the nations; moreover, the wages were paid with no small generosity, but not without those strictures which warn such as that king, who needed it greatly, as in Daniel 4. God works everything out and everything in, giving no ground for presumption and arrogance, even when those like oceanic whirlpools, clash.
It was the, the later Macedonian who grew, slew and defeated in a way so disastrous for Tyre; and the nations including that one took the booty; but that treasure was not assigned to Babylon, to whom God gave Egypt as 'wages'.
Thus the booty was assigned to the nations more generally, and with Alexander for one, this would come (as in Ezekiel 27:12).
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth,
he gods of naturalism have no go! and
Deity and Design...,
The work of Professor Sanford of Cornell University, still connected to it, but now retired, is of great interest here. A book of his on this topic is entitled, Genetic Entropy, dealing with the Mystery of the Genome. Not superman but sinking man is genetically attested in terms of experimental evidence. It follows the norm in the Second Law of Thermodynamics which attests generality in increase in entropy, not increase, movement from specialised heights, not to them.
On this, see Waiting for Wonder, Appendix and TMR Chs. 1 and 5. For further elaborations of great interest and to the same general issue, see Journal of Creation, pp. 75ff., Vol. 28(2), 2014, a work from Alex Williams, this the second from him in the series on these topics. This has been given review, before publication.