Scripture reading – Ezekiel 25; Ezekiel 26
Ezekiel 25 introduces us to the third segment in our study of the Prophecies of Ezekiel. We have considered so far: I. The Call and Commission of Ezekiel (1:1-3:27); II. The Coming Judgment of Judah and Jerusalem (4:1-24:27). Ezekiel 25 marks the beginning of a third section: The Coming Judgment of the Nations (25:1-32:32).
Because God is jealous for His people, we should not be surprised the main adversaries of Israel are identified in Ezekiel 25 as the focus of His judgment. Seeing the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the heathen nations rejoiced in the sorrows and sufferings of Judah, even as they were led away captive. In spite of their sins, the LORD took no pleasure in judging Jerusalem and Judah, and He despised the heathen rejoicing in the sorrows of His people.
The Judgment of the Ammonites (25:1-7)
The children of Ammon were descendants of Lot’s incest with his youngest daughter, following the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:36, 38). They were perpetual enemies of Israel (25:3), and cheered the destruction of the Temple (25:3). Therefore, the LORD determined to destroy Rabbah, the capital of Ammon (25:4-5). Because the Ammonites clapped their hands and stamped their feet in delight when Jerusalem was destroyed (25:6), God pronounced His judgment the nation of Ammon would cease to exist (25:7).
The Judgment of the Moabites (25:8-11)
The Moabites were descendants of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter (Genesis 19:36-37). They would take delight in the destruction and desolation of Judah, saying, “the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen (25:8). 2 Kings 24:2 recorded how Moab united with Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar’s army invaded Judah. As with Ammon, the destruction of Moab would be so complete, they would “not be remembered” (25:10).
The Judgment of the Edomites (25:12-14)
The Edomites were of Esau’s lineage (Genesis 36:11), and had a long history of anger, bitterness and revenge against Israel. The prophet Obadiah condemned them for their brutality (Obadiah 1:13-15). Edom had oppressed Israel for centuries, and the LORD declared He would punish them (note – Numbers 20:14-22; 2 Chronicles 20:8-21). In the last days, Obadiah foretold the LORD will take vengeance on Edom (Obadiah 1:8).
The Judgment of the Philistines (25:15-17)
Like the Edomites, the Philistines had a long history of distressing Israel, and took pleasures in the sufferings and sorrows of God’s people. Their cities along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea would be destroyed, as the LORD executed vengeance on them. To what end did the LORD “execute great vengeance upon” the heathen nations? That they would all know the God of Israel is LORD (25:17).
Ezekiel 26 – The Prophecy of the Destruction of Tyrus (Tyre)
The focus of Ezekiel 26 is entirely upon Tyrus (i.e., Tyre), the capital of Phoenicia that was built on an island off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Like other nations, the LORD’s wrath was stirred against the citizens of Tyrus who took pleasure in the destruction of Jerusalem (26:2). The people boasted in their pride, and in their greed, took advantage of the fall of Jerusalem (26:2).
As with the other nations, the LORD set Himself against Tyrus, and commanded Ezekiel to prophesy against that city (26:3). Because Tyrus was built on an island, the people were confident their great fortress would make them invincible to Nebuchadnezzar’s army which depended on horses and chariots. The prophet foretold the fall of Tyrus would be great, and the walls of the city would be destroyed, and her defenses leveled so flat they became a place for fisherman to spread their nets (26:4). The “daughters” of Tyrus were the land-bound cities of the empire along the seacoast (26:6). History reveals Nebuchadnezzar lay siege to Tyrus for 13 years, and overwhelmed the city (586 BC – 573 BC).
Closing thoughts (26:15-21) – Our study concludes with other city-states of the world trembling as Tyrus, the once invincible port of commerce, was destroyed (26:15). The kings of neighboring states trembled in astonishment (26:16), and lamented the destruction of Tyrus (26:17).
In 332 BC, Alexander the Great utterly destroyed Tyrus. After taking the ruins of the cities he conquered on the mainland, the Greeks engineered a causeway that reached from the mainland to the capital city (26:7-14). Using the causeway, Alexander’s army crossed the sea, taking with them their “engines of war” and breached the walls of Tyrus (26:12). All this was of the LORD, who declared the songs and harps of Tyrus would be stilled, and the city fall silent (26:13-14). That which Ezekiel prophesied was fulfilled as Tyrus would “never be found again” (26:20-21).
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith
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