Re: Tyre

Murphy (
Sun, 02 Mar 1997 21:47:21 -0500

Dick Fischer wrote:

> The prophesy may be more accurate than that. Remember, there were no
> vowels or punctuation in the original text. In Eze. 26:7, the King
> translators placed a comma after the phrase, "I will bring upon Tyrus
> (Tyre) Nebuchadrezar king of Babylon ...." Yet what follow is this,
> "a king of kings from the north with horses, and with chariots ..."
> It is doubtful that the king of Babylon could be called a "king of
> kings," whereas Alexander the Great was indeed. Also, Babylon is east
> and a little south of Tyre. A conqueror from the north better describes
> Alexander. See what a difference it makes if a period replaces the
> comma. That would separate the king of Babylon who waged war against
> Tyre from the conqueror (unnamed) who would waste Tyre eventually.

Of course N could be called king of kings both because he
literally was (with various tributary kings - e.g. Judah) & because that
is simply the Hebrew superlative - "the most kingly king", which at the
time he was.
Since N wouldn't march his army straight across the Syrian
desert, he would in fact be coming upon Tyre from a generally northern
The whole sequence of oracles in chs.25-30 has to do with N's
campaigns against the various tributary states which had rebelled
against him & the other great powers which were opposing him -
campaigns which, among other things, resulted in the destruction of
Jerusalem in 587.
The oracles against the Prince of Tyre (& they are against him
personally as well as the economically powerful city) would totally lose
their force if they were really directed against his descendants
centuries in the future: "In the long run we are all dead."
29:17-20 states explicitly that N's army besieging Tyre had been
working for God. Doing what? The inclusion of these verses serves no
purpose on your interpretation.
All of which is overkill, because trying to find a mysterious
stranger in the oracle which speaks quite straightforwardly of N seems
to me an evasion of the plain meaning of the text.
George Murphy