As the Waves of the Sea, Surging Against the Shore
26 1-2 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, Tyre cheered when they got the news of Jerusalem, exclaiming,
“‘Good! The gateway city is smashed!
Now all her business comes my way.
She’s in ruins
and I’m in clover.’
3-6 “Therefore, God, the Master, has this to say:
“‘I’m against you, Tyre,
and I’ll bring many nations surging against you,
as the waves of the sea surging against the shore.
They’ll smash the city walls of Tyre
and break down her towers.
I’ll wash away the soil
and leave nothing but bare rock.
She’ll be an island of bare rock in the ocean,
good for nothing but drying fishnets.
Yes, I’ve said so.’ Decree of God, the Master.
‘She’ll be loot, free pickings for the nations!
Her surrounding villages will be butchered.
Then they’ll realize that I am God.’
7-14 “God, the Master, says: Look! Out of the north I’m bringing Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king’s king, down on Tyre. He’ll come with chariots and horses and riders—a huge army. He’ll massacre your surrounding villages and lay siege to you. He’ll build siege ramps against your walls. A forest of shields will advance against you! He’ll pummel your walls with his battering rams and shatter your towers with his iron weapons. You’ll be covered with dust from his horde of horses—a thundering herd of war horses pouring through the breaches, pulling chariots. Oh, it will be an earthquake of an army and a city in shock! Horses will stampede through the streets. Your people will be slaughtered and your huge pillars strewn like matchsticks. The invaders will steal and loot—all that wealth, all that stuff! They’ll knock down your fine houses and dump the stone and timber rubble into the sea. And your parties, your famous good-time parties, will be no more. No more songs, no more lutes. I’ll reduce you to an island of bare rock, good for nothing but drying fishnets. You’ll never be rebuilt. I, God, have said so. Decree of God, the Master.
Introduced to the Terrors of Death
15 “This is the Message of God, the Master, to Tyre: Won’t the ocean islands shake at the crash of your collapse, at the groans of your wounded, at your mayhem and massacre?
16-18 “All up and down the coast, the princes will come down from their thrones, take off their royal robes and fancy clothes, and wrap themselves in sheer terror. They’ll sit on the ground, shaken to the core, horrified at you. Then they’ll begin chanting a funeral song over you:
“‘Sunk! Sunk to the bottom of the sea,
famous city on the sea!
Power of the seas,
you and your people,
who lived in your shadows.
But now the islands are shaking
at the sound of your crash,
Ocean islands in tremors
from the impact of your fall.’
19-21 “The Message of God, the Master: ‘When I turn you into a wasted city, a city empty of people, a ghost town, and when I bring up the great ocean deeps and cover you, then I’ll push you down among those who go to the grave, the long, long dead. I’ll make you live there, in the grave in old ruins, with the buried dead. You’ll never see the land of the living again. I’ll introduce you to the terrors of death and that’ll be the end of you. They’ll send out search parties for you, but you’ll never be found. Decree of God, the Master.’”
Tyre, Gateway to the Sea
27 1-9 God’s Message came to me: “You, son of man, raise a funeral song over Tyre. Tell Tyre, gateway to the sea, merchant to the world, trader among the far-off islands, ‘This is what God, the Master, says:
“‘You boast, Tyre:
“I’m the perfect ship—stately, handsome.”
You ruled the high seas from
a real beauty, crafted to perfection.
Your planking came from
Mount Hermon junipers.
A Lebanon cedar
supplied your mast.
They made your oars
from sturdy Bashan oaks.
Cypress from Cyprus inlaid with ivory
was used for the decks.
Your sail and flag were of colorful
embroidered linen from Egypt.
Your purple deck awnings
also came from Cyprus.
Men of Sidon and Arvad pulled the oars.
Your seasoned seamen, O Tyre, were the crew.
were old salts from Byblos.
All the ships of the sea and their sailors
clustered around you to barter for your goods.
10-11 “‘Your army was composed of soldiers
from Paras, Lud, and Put,
Elite troops in uniformed splendor.
They put you on the map!
Your city police were imported from
Arvad, Helech, and Gammad.
They hung their shields from the city walls,
a final, perfect touch to your beauty.
12 “‘Tarshish carried on business with you because of your great wealth. They worked for you, trading in silver, iron, tin, and lead for your products.
13 “‘Greece, Tubal, and Meshech did business with you, trading slaves and bronze for your products.
14 “‘Beth-togarmah traded work horses, war horses, and mules for your products.
15 “‘The people of Rhodes did business with you. Many far-off islands traded with you in ivory and ebony.
16 “‘Edom did business with you because of all your goods. They traded for your products with agate, purple textiles, embroidered cloth, fine linen, coral, and rubies.
17 “‘Judah and Israel did business with you. They traded for your products with premium wheat, millet, honey, oil, and balm.
18 “‘Damascus, attracted by your vast array of products and well-stocked warehouses, carried on business with you, trading in wine from Helbon and wool from Zahar.
19 “‘Danites and Greeks from Uzal traded with you, using wrought iron, cinnamon, and spices.
20 “‘Dedan traded with you for saddle blankets.
21 “‘Arabia and all the Bedouin sheiks of Kedar traded lambs, rams, and goats with you.
22 “‘Traders from Sheba and Raamah in South Arabia carried on business with you in premium spices, precious stones, and gold.
23-24 “‘Haran, Canneh, and Eden from the east in Assyria and Media traded with you, bringing elegant clothes, dyed textiles, and elaborate carpets to your bazaars.
25 “‘The great Tarshish ships were your freighters, importing and exporting. Oh, it was big business for you, trafficking the seaways!
26-32 “‘Your sailors row mightily,
taking you into the high seas.
Then a storm out of the east
shatters your ship in the ocean deep.
Everything sinks—your rich goods and products,
sailors and crew, ship’s carpenters and soldiers,
Sink to the bottom of the sea.
The cries of your sailors
reverberate on shore.
Sailors everywhere abandon ship.
Veteran seamen swim for dry land.
They cry out in grief,
a choir of bitter lament over you.
They smear their faces with ashes,
shave their heads,
Wear rough burlap,
wildly keening their loss.
They raise their funeral song:
“Who on the high seas is like Tyre!”
33-36 “‘As you crisscrossed the seas with your products,
you satisfied many peoples.
Your worldwide trade
made earth’s kings rich.
And now you’re battered to bits by the waves,
sunk to the bottom of the sea,
And everything you’ve bought and sold
has sunk to the bottom with you.
Everyone on shore looks on in terror.
The hair of kings stands on end,
their faces drawn and haggard!
The buyers and sellers of the world
throw up their hands:
This horror can’t happen!
Oh, this has happened!’”