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DISSERTATION XI.

THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING TYRE.

ANOTHER city that was an enemy to the Jews, and another memorable instance of the truth of prophecy, is Tyre, whose fall was predicted by the prophets, and particularly by Isaiah and Ezekiel. But it hath been questioned among learned mer, which of the Tyres was the subject of these prophecies, whether Palætyrus, or old Tyre, that was seated on the continent, or new Tyre that was built in an island almost over against it. The truest and best answer I conceive to be, that the prophecies appertain to both, some expressions being applicable only to the former, and others only to the latter. In one place, Ezek. xxvii. 3, it is described as “situate at the entry of the sea :' in others, ver. 4 & 25, as •in the midst of the seas,' or according to the original in the heart of the seas.' Sometimes, Ezek. xxvi. 7, &c. it is represented as besieged with horses and with chariots ;' a 'fort,' a 'mount,' and engines of war' are 'set against it:' at other times, Is. xxiii. 2,4,6, it is expressly called “an island,' and 'the sea, even the strength of the sea.” Now it is said, Ezek. xxvi. 10,— By reason of the abundance of his horses, their dust shall cover thee, thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.' Then it is said. ver. 12,--- They shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses, and they shall lay thy stones, and thy timber, and thy dust in the midst of the water;' and again, Ezek. xxviii. 8,---- They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the inidst of the seas.' The insular Tyre therefore, as well as the Tyre upon the continent, is included in these prophecies ; they are both comprehended under the same name, and both spoken of as one and the same city, part built on the continent, and part on an island adjoining. It is commonly said indeed, that when oid Tyre vas closely besieged, and was near falling into the hands of the Chaldæans, then the Tyrians fled from thence, and built new Tyre in the Island: but the learned Vitringa* hath proved at large from

Vitring. Comment. in lesaiam. cap, 23, vol. I, p. 667–671

good authorities, that new Tyre was founded several ages before, and was the station for ships, and considered as part of old Tyre; and Pliny* speaking of the compass of the city, reckons both the old and the new together.

Whenever the prophets denounce the downfal and desolation of a city or kingdom, they usually describe by way of contrast its present flourishing condition, to show in a stronger point of view how providence shifteth and changeth the scene, and ordereth and disposeth all events. The prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel observe the same method with regard to Tyre. Isaiah speaketh of it as a place of great antiquity, xxiii. 7,— Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? And it is mentioned as a strong place as carly as in the days of Joshua, Josh. xix. 29,—the strong city Tyre,' for there is no reason for supposing with Sir John Marsham, that “the name is used here by way of prolepsis or anticipation.”+ Nay there are even heathen authors, who speak of the insular Tyre, and yet extol the great antiquity of the place. The Greek geographer Strabo saith, that “after Sidon, the greatest and most ancient city of the Phænicians, is Tyre, which is a rival to Sidon in greatness, and lustre, and antiquity."I The Roman historian Quintus Curtius saith, that “it is a city remarkable to posterity both for the antiquity of its origin, and for its frequent change of fortune."'S Herodotus, who was himself at Tyre, and inquired into the antiquity of the temple of Hercules, “was informed by the priests, that the temple was built at the same time as the city, and from the building of the city they counted two thousand and three hundred years." The ironical expression of the prophet, “Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days ? implies that the Tyrians were apt to boast of their antiquity; and by this

* Cercuitus XIX mill. passuum est intra Palætyro inclusa. [A circuit of nineteen miles is included within old Tyre.] Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. 5, cap. 17, edit. Harduin,

+ Marshami Chron. Sæc. XI, p. 290. Nomen id per prolepsin usurpatur, &c. [Translated in the text.]

1 Μετα δε Σιδονα, μεγις και των Φοινικων, και αρχαιοτατη πολις Τυρος έσιν, ή εναμιλλος αύτη κατα το μεγεθος, και κατα την επιφανειαν, και την αρχαιοτητα. Post Sidonem maxirma et antiquissima Phænicum est Tyrus, cum Sidone et magnitudine et forma et antiquitate comparanda. [Translated in the text] Strabo, lib. 16, p. 756, edit. Paris.; p. 1097 edit. Amstel. 1707.

Urbs et vetustate originis et crebra furtunæ varietate ad memoriam posteritatis insignis. [Translated in the text.) Quint. Curt. lib. 4, cap. 4.

Η 'Eφασον γαρ, αμα Τυρω οικιζομενη και το ίορν τε θεα ίδρυνθηναι" είναι δε ετεα αφ' και Τυρον οι κεεσι, τριηκοσια και δισχιλια. Quippe dicentes ab urbe condita fuisse dei templum pariter extructum : esse autem a Tyro co ita annorum duo millia ac trecentos Translated in the text.] Herod. lib. 2, cap. 44, p. 107, edit. Gale.

account of Herodotus it appears that they did so, and much exceeded the truth: but there could have been no pretence for their boasting of thousands of years, if the city had not been built (as some contend) till after the destruction of the old city by the Chaldæans, that is not 130 years before. Josephus asserts, that from the building of Tyre to the building of Solomon's temple, were 240 years :* but he is with reason supposed to speak of the insular Tyre;t for the other part of the city on the continent was much older, was a strong place, as we have seen in the days of Joshua, and is mentioned in the fragments of Sanchoniathon, the Phænician historian, who is reckoned to have lived about the time of Gideon, ş or somewhat later.||

But ancient as this city was, it was the daughter of Sidon,' as it is called by the prophet Isaiah, xxiii. 12, and ver. 2,—the merchants of Sidon, who pass over the sea, replenished it. Sidon was the eldest son of Canaan, Gen. x. 15, and the city of Sidon is mentioned by the patriarch Jacob, Gen. xlix. 13, and in the days of Joshua it is called 'great Sidon,' Josh. xi. 8, and in the days of the Judges the inhabitants of Laish are said, Judg. xviii. 7, to have • dwelt careless and secure after the manner of the Sidonians. We have seen already that Strabo asfirms, that after Sidon Tyre was the greatest and most ancient city of the Phænicians ; and he asserts likewise, that “the poets have celebrated Sidon more, and Homer hath not so much as mentioned Tyre,”I though he commends Sidon and the Sidonians in several places. It may therefore with reason be inferred, that Sidon was the more ancient: and Justin, the epitomizer of Trogus, hath expressly informed us, that “ the Sidonians being besieged by the king of Ascalon, went in ships and built Tyre."** But though Tyre was the daughter of Sidon,

* 'Απο δε της οικησεως Τυρα εις την οικοδομιαν τα ναν διαγεγoνει χρονος ετων τεσσαρακοντα και διακοσίων. , A Tyri autem conditu usque ad exstructionem templi elapsi sunt anni quadraginta et ducenti. [Translated in the text.] Joseph, Antiq. lib. 8. cap. 3, sect. 1, p. 341, edit. Hudson.

+ Vide Vitring. ibid. p. 669.
† Apud Euseb. Præpar. Evang. lib. 1. cap. 10, p. 35, edit. Vigeri.

Itaque commodè rejicitur in Gideonis tempora, &c. (He is therefore properly referred to the time of Gideon.) Bochart. Chanaan. lib. 2, cap. 17, col. 776.

|| Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ, b. 1, cap. 2.

Σ “Οι μεν εν σοιηται, την Σιδονα τεθρυλληκασι μαλλον. 'Ομηρος δε δε μεμνηται της Τυρο. Poetæ quidem magis Sidonem celebrant, atqui adeo Homerus Tyri non meminit. ('Translated in the text.] Strabo, ibid, p. 1097.

** Post multos deinde annos a rege Ascalionorum expugnati, navibus appulsi Tyron urbem--condiderunt. (Translated in the text.] Justin. lib. 18, cap. 3, sect. 5, p 362. Edit. Grarii,

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yet the daughter soon equalled, and in time excelled the mother, and became the most celebrated place in the world for its trade and navigation, the seat of commerce and the centre of riches, and is therefore called by Isaiah, xxiii. 3, 8,—'a mart.of nations, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth; and Ezekiel, as it were commenting upon those words of Isaiah, 'a mart of nations, chap. xxvii, recounts the various nations, whose commodities were brought to Tyre, and were bought and sold by the Tyrians.

It was in this wealthy and flourishing condition, when the prophets foretold its destruction, Isaiah 125 years at least before it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. An extensive and beneficial trade soon produces luxury and pride. So it fared with the Tyrians : and for these and their other vices, as well as for their insults and injuries done to the Jews, the prophets prophesied against them. Isaiah mentions their pride as the great occasion of their fall, xxiii. 9.- The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.' Ezekiel, xxvii. 3, &c. describes at large their luxury even in their shipping. Cleopatra's sailing down the river Cydnos to meet her gallant, Antony, was not with greater finery and magnificence : nor have the historians and poets painted the one in more lively colours, than the prophet hath the other. * He censu res likewise the pride of the king of Tyre in arrogating to himself divine honors, xxviii. 2, &c.—Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, thus saith the Lord God, Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God :—With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures : By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches : Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because thou hast 'set thine heart as the heart of God ; Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness: They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.' The prophets Joel and Amos had before denounced the divine judgments upon the Tyrians for their wickedness in general,

Plutarch in Antonio, p. 913, vol. 1, edit. Paris. 1624. Shakspeare. Dryden

and in particular for their cruelty to the children of Israel, and for buying and selling them like cattle in the markets. Thus saith the Lord by the prophet Joel, iii. 5, &c.---- Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah, and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border: Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head.' Amos speaketh to the same purpose, i. 9,---Thus saith the Lord, for three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant,' that is, the league and alliance between Hiram, king of Tyre, on one part, and David and Solomon on the other. The Psalmist reckons them among the most inveterate and implacable enemies of the Jewish name and nation, Psal. lxxxiii. 6, 7,---- The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites, of Moab, and the Hagarenes, Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek, the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre.' Ezekiel also begins his prophecy against them with a declaration, that it was occasioned by their insulting over the Jews upon the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, xxvi. 2, 3,---- Son of man, Because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people ; she is turned unto me, I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste : Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.'

These were the occasions of the prophecies against Tyre : and by carefully considering and comparing the prophecies together, we shall find the following particulars included in them : that the city was to be taken and destroyed by the Chaldæans, who were at the time of the delivery of the prophecy an inconsiderable people, and particularly by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; that the inhabitants should fly over the Mediterranean into the islands and countries adjoining, and even there should not find a quiet seitlement; that the city should be restored after 70 years, and return to her gain and her merchandise: that it should be taken and destroyed again; that the people should in time forsake their idolatry, and become converts to the true religion and worship of God; and finally that the city should be totally destroyed, and become a

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