Speaking the Truth in Love
Lessons from Tyre
Introduction: [Read Luke 10:13-16] “Woe to you Chorazin!”
a. Jesus uses Tyre and Sidon as examples of what happens when the citizens will not repent.
b. They would have been familiar with Tyre and Sidon, because of proximity – they were only 40 to 50 miles away.
c. The history of destruction concerning Tyre and Sidon would have also been well known to these people Jesus was addressing.
d. Jesus’ point is “If the citizens of Tyre and Sidon had seen the mighty works you have seen, they would have repented.” This pronounces doom on those who do not accept Christ.
e. LESSONS FROM TYRE illustrates God’s RETRIBUTION on those who will not REPENT.
I. History of Tyre
a. The City is believed to have been founded in about 2000 B.C.
b. The city experienced its first “Golden Age” of prosperity beginning with Hiram around 1000 B.C.
c. Tyre became a prosperous seaport city consisting of a mainland city and two islands about one-half mile off the coast. Hiram expanded the city by filling in the low places between and surrounding the two islands to form one large island.
d. 1 Kings 5:1-18 – Hiram trades with Solomon to build the temple.
e. 1 Kings 9:10-14 – Hiram and Solomon exchange gifts.
f. The people of Tyre and Sidon worshipped the false gods Melkah and Hercules. Worship to these gods became the most popular religion in the ancient world.
g. The friendship between the Jews and the Phoenicians (people of Tyre and Sidon) ended when King Ahab married a daughter of the King of Sidon (remember what a great guy King Ahab was?).
h. Joel records the mistreatment of the Jews by the Phoenicians in Joel 3:4-8. History tells us that the Phoenicians sold Jewish children as slaves to the Greek.
II. God’s Proclamation – Read Ezekiel 26 (the entire chapter)
a. Many nations would come against Tyre (verse 3)
b. The walls of Tyre would be broken down (verse 4)
c. Dust would be scraped from her and she would be left like a bare rock (verse 4)
d. She would be a place for the spreading of nets (verse 5)
e. Nebuchadnezzer would build a siege wall around her (verse 8). Beginning in 573 B.C. history records that Nebuchadnezzer did this and laid siege to Tyre for a period of 13 years.
f. Nebuchadnezzer would plunder the city (verses 9-12). Again, history reveals that he did so and that the mainland city was abandoned – survivors moved out to the island city.
g. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great sent ambassadors to Tyre from Sidon, where he had just conquered Sidon. The ambassadors sought a peaceable surrender of the city. The leaders of Tyre murdered the two ambassadors and through them into the sea from atop a 200 foot defense wall around the city in full view of Alexander and his men.
h. Alexander commanded that his men begin casting the remains of the old mainland city into the ocean to build a levee out to the island city. This fulfilled what was prophesied in Ezekiel 26:12.
i. History tells us that some of the men of Tyre got in boats and floated past Alexander’s soldiers who were throwing stones and timbers into the sea (it was only 20 feet deep here) and insulted and taunted them (not too bright, these people).
j. In 7 months time, Alexander’s levee was 200 feet wide and reached near enough to the island that his siege machines would reach it. He had also made alliances with other nations and acquired ships to attack from the sea. He took the city, crucified 2,000 of the men and sold the remaining 28,000 citizens into slavery.
k. Ezekiel 26:14 states that the city would not be rebuilt. The mainland city never was and became as a bare rock, because Alexander threw everything remaining into the sea.
III. The Role of Repentance
a. God’s punishment on Tyre might not be as dramatic as that of Sodom and Gomorrah, but it was harsh and long-lasting.
b. God is merciful and forgiving of those who will repent [Read Jonah chapter 3]
The Lesson of Tyre is simple, yet profound. We either repent or receive God’s retribution. Now the question is, “What will you do?” We hope to see you next time on Speaking the Truth in Love.