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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 26–36
Verses 26–36

We have seen Tyre flourishing; here we have Tyre falling, and great is the fall of it, so much the greater for its having made such a figure in the world. Note, The most mighty and magnificent kingdoms and states, sooner or later, have their day to come down. They have their period; and, when they are in their zenith, they will begin to decline. But the destruction of Tyre was sudden. Her sun went down at noon. And all her wealth and grandeur, pomp and power, did but aggravate her ruin, and make it the more grievous to herself and astonishing to all about her. Now observe here, 1. How the ruin of Tyrus will be brought about, Ezek. 27:26. She is as a great ship richly laden, that is split or sunk by the indiscretion of her steersmen: Thy rowers have themselves brought thee into great and dangerous waters; the governors of the city, and those that had the management of their public affairs, by some mismanagement or other involved them in that 1824 war with the Chaldeans which was the ruin of their state. By their insolence, by some affront given to the Chaldeans or some attempt made upon them, in confidence of their own ability to contend with them, they provoked Nebuchadnezzar to make a descent upon them, and, by their obstinacy in standing it out to the last, enraged him to such a degree that he determined on the ruin of their state, and, like an east wind, broke them in the midst of the seas. Note, It is ill with a people when those that sit at the stern, instead of putting them into the harbour, run them aground. 2. How great and general the ruin will be. All her wealth shall be buried with her, her riches, her fairs, and her merchandise (Ezek. 27:27); all that had any dependence upon her, and dealings with her, in trade, in war, in conversation, shall ball with her into the midst of the seas, in the day of her ruin. Note, Those who make creatures their confidence, place their happiness in their interest in them and rest their hopes upon them, will of course fall with them; happy therefore are those that have the God of Jacob for their help, and whose hope is in the Lord their God, who lives for ever. 3. What sad lamentation would be made for the destruction of Tyre. The pilots, her princes and governors, when they see how wretchedly they have mismanaged and how much they have contributed to their own ruin, shall cry out so loud as to make even the suburbs shake (Ezek. 27:28), such a vexation shall it be to them to reflect upon their own bad conduct. The inferior officers, that were as the mariners of the state, shall be forced to come down from their respective posts (Ezek. 27:29), and they shall cry out against thee, as having deceived them, in not proving so well able to hold out as they thought thou hadst been; they shall cry bitterly for the common ruin, and their own share in it. They shall use all the most solemn expressions of grief; they shall cast dust on their heads, in indignation against themselves, shall wallow themselves in ashes, as having bid a final farewell to all ease and pleasure; they shall make themselves bald (Ezek. 27:31), with tearing their hair; and, according to the custom of great mourners, those shall gird themselves with sackcloth who used to wear find linen, and, instead of merry songs, they shall weep with bitterness of heart. Note, Losses and crosses are very grievous, and hard to be borne, to those that have long been wallowing in pleasure and sleeping in carnal security. 4. How Tyre should be upbraided with her former honour and prosperity (Ezek. 27:32, 33); she that was Tyrus the renowned shall now be called Tyrus the destroyed in the midst of the sea. “What city is like Tyre? Did ever any city come down from such a height of prosperity to such a depth of adversity? Time was when thy wares, those of thy own making and those that passed through thy hands, went forth out of the seas, and were exported to all parts of the world; then thou filledst many people, and didst enrich the kings of the earth and their kingdoms.” The Tyrians, though they bore such a sway in trade, were yet, it seems, fair merchants, and let their neighbours not only live, but thrive by them. All that dealt with them were gainers; they did not cheat or oppress the people, but did enrich them with the multitude of their merchandise. “But now those that used to be enriched by thee shall be ruined with thee” (as is usual in trade); “when thou shalt be broken, and all thou hast is seized on, all thy company shall fall too,” Ezek. 27:34. There is an end of Tyre, that made such a noise and bustle in the world. This great blaze goes out in a snuff. 5. How the fall of Tyre should be matter of terror to some and laughter to others, according as they were differently interested and affected. Some shall be sorely afraid, and shall be troubled (Ezek. 27:35), concluding it will be their own turn to fall next. Others shall hiss at her (Ezek. 27:36), shall ridicule her pride, and vanity, and bad management, and think her ruin just. She triumphed in Jerusalem’s fall, and there are those that will triumph in hers. When God casts his judgments on the sinner men also shall clap their hands at him and shall hiss him out of his place, Job 27:22, 23. Isa. this the city which men called the perfection of beauty?