Re: Tyre

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 02 Mar 1997 21:50:55 -0600

At 06:49 PM 3/2/97 -0500, Murphy wrote:

> It's interesting to contemplate the very clear prophecies in
>Ez.26:1 - 28:19 that Nebuchadrezar will completely destroy Tyre. They
>contain powerful poetic language & profound theology, but there is
>also no doubt what is predicted (e.g., 26:7-14). & it didn't happen.
>We know this not only from secular history but from Ezekiel himself! In
>30:17-20, God says, "Nebuchadrezar didn't get anything for all his
>work against Tyre. I'll give him a consolation prize." & in fact Tyre
>didn't fall to seige until Alex the Great, some 250 years later.

Thank you for this George. This is a good tough problem.

Admittedly, I am getting far from what I believe my area of expertise is,
but let me note something. From Ez 26:3-6 the prophecy is to many nations.
The pronoun "they" is used throughout this section. The statement to the
scraping of the rock bear and the spreading of fishnets was attributed to
the many nations in 26:3. It does not say which nation would scrape the rock

From Ez 26:7-11 it is clearly speaking of Nebuchadnezzar. The pronouns "he"
and "his" predominate with the only occurrence of "they' referring to 'his
horses' in verse 10. In this section it is clear that it is the mainland
which will be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Suddenly in verse 12, the
pronouns go back to "they" and a repeat of the scraping and throwoing things
into the sea and finally the statement in this last part to the effect that
Tyre would not be rebuilt. Both sections, the one using the pronoun 'they'
and the one referring to Nebuchadnezzar say that the mainland will be taken.
Both in Nebuchadnezzar's conquest and Alexander's the mainland section of
Tyre fell. If these pronouns are reflected in the hebrew,then I would say
that this is good evidence that the prophecy about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled.

Tyre was divided into two, with a mainland burough and an island burough.
Josephus (Against Apion, bk 1 section 21) says that Nebuchadnezzar besieged
them for 13 years. But since the Tyrians were able to move most of their
wealth offshore to the island, Nebuchadnezzar was unable to get a lot of it
for the 13 year seige, in spite of having won the mainland. So that
explains the statements in Ez 29:17-20.

> Biblical prophecy apparently is sometimes more subtle than
>straightforward prediction. (& most of the prophetic writings of the OT
>have nothing to do with prediction at all - but that's another matter.)

So is the Biblical use of pronouns subtle. I had never noticed the detail
that the pronouns shift from plural to singular to plural before. Such
things can alter an interpretation significantly.


Foundation, Fall and Flood