Tyre-d Out – Part I

by Ed Urzi

If God wanted to send a written message to people, how could He send that message and still prove that the message really was from Him? After all, anybody with a pencil could write something and then claim that what they wrote is “the word of God” right? In fact, there are lots of books around that claim to contain God’s message to people- so how can we tell if they’re really true or not?

Well, one of the ways that we can validate the Bible as the genuine, authentic Word of God is by looking at some examples where the Bible predicted future events before they actually happened. Because God is the only one who can predict the future with 100% accuracy, this represents a good way to test and see if the Bible really came from God.

Although there are many examples that we could use, we’re going to take some time and look at a specific prediction found within in the Biblical book of Ezekiel- a prediction that was fulfilled in such an incredible way that it even involved the well-known historical figure Alexander the Great.

But we’re getting a little ahead of the story so let’s start first by setting the stage…

In the first 24 chapters of the book of Ezekiel, we find God speaking through the prophet about many of the things that His people were doing wrong and explaining why He was getting ready to punish them. If you read through these chapters, you’ll find lots of word pictures, comparisons, demonstrations and prophetic sayings designed to warn the people about the big trouble that they were about to get into.

But starting in chapter 25 the focus begins to shift to some of the cities and nations that surrounded the nation of Israel at the time. Out of this group, one particular city was pointed out as a place where the citizens had done some things that had really offended God. That city was the city of Tyre.

Tyre was a beautiful city located on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. Tyre was a seaport town, famous for the purple dye that was made from the shellfish that could be found near the shore. The people of Tyre were also well-known for the glass and metal work that they produced. Tyre was a city of great commerce, a city of wealthy people who were responsible for shipping and receiving expensive goods from all over the world.

Now there were other well-known commercial and industrial cities during that time but there was something different about Tyre. You see, Tyre was actually two cities in one. The main portion of the city was located right on the shore of the Mediterranean ocean and measured 15 miles (24 km) long by 2 miles (3 km) wide. It was surrounded by the Mediterranean ocean on the west, the Lebanon mountains on the east and other rocky, mountainous areas all around. This location gave the people of Tyre a great advantage by making the city easy to defend and difficult to invade by anyone who wanted to come in and try to take over.

But there was also a second part to the city of Tyre. This secondary city was located just opposite the mainland city on an island out in the Mediterranean ocean just 1200 yards (1100 m) offshore. This island city had two harbors that were connected by a canal. The city was protected on the mainland side by a 150 ft. (46 m) high wall with shorter walls on the other sides and other walls projecting out into the sea to protect the ports. This part of Tyre was almost a mile (1.6 km) long and 40,000 people lived there.

(By the way, there’s a reason why The Doctor has spent so much time describing the city of Tyre- be patient and all will be revealed).

Ok, so you had this city that was filled with very wealthy people living in a place that was almost impossible to invade. Unfortunately, this caused the people to take on a smug, arrogant, prideful attitude that was displayed by the leader of the city…

“Son of dust, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘The Lord God says: You are so proud you think you are God, sitting on the throne of a god on your island home in the midst of the seas. But you are only a man and not a god, though you boast yourself to be like God. You are wiser than Daniel, for no secret is hidden from you. You have used your wisdom and understanding to get great wealth– gold and silver and many treasures. 

Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich and very proud.’ Therefore the Lord God says: ‘Because you claim that you are as wise as God, an enemy army, the terror of the nations, shall suddenly draw their swords against your marvelous wisdom and defile your splendor! They will bring you to the pit of hell, and you shall die as those pierced with many wounds, there on your island in the heart of the seas. Then will you boast as a god? At least to these invaders you will be no god, but merely man! You will die like an outcast at the hands of foreigners. For I have spoken it,’ the Lord God says” (Ezekiel 28:2-10).

So it seems that pride was a big sin in Tyre. Besides pride, the people of Tyre also displayed some other attitudes that were extremely displeasing to God. Let’s take a look at three other sinful attitudes that God specifically mentions through the prophet Ezekiel…