|Coins from Tyre courtesy of Gabriel Vandervort AncientResource.com|
Tyrus a Land Known for Commerce and Trade
The final world empire is synonymous with international trade. The writings of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and John in the Revelation evidence this fact. Ezekiel chapters 27 and 28 foretold the destruction of the ancient city of Tyrus, once located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Under Solomon, the Hebrews and the Tyrians had a close alliance. Through trade relations, Solomon obtained supplies from Tyrus for the building of the Temple (I Kings 9:11-14, 26-28; 10:22). This good relationship changed as the Tyrians and neighboring Phoenicians began to buy Hebrew captives from their enemies. They sold them as slaves to the Greeks and Edomites. These acts brought God's judgment upon the City of Tyrus (Joel refers to it as Tyre), as predicted by the prophets.
Throughout Tyrus's history, several conquerors invaded it. From the time of Christ up to the Crusades, it was a flourishing city, renowned for the great wealth it derived from dyes of Tyrian purple-extracted from shellfish on its coast. Its present condition is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 26:5, which describes it as "a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea." It contains fifty or sixty poor families, who live in part by fishing, and is a rock where fishers dry their nets.
Ezekiel chapter 26 records Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Tyrus. Chapter 27 describes the city's wealth, and the amount of trade that passed through its borders. Fourteen verses detail the merchandise, and name the many nations that traded with Tyre.
In chapter 28, literal Tyrus, the city of ancient times, changes to illustrate the Antichrist. The Prince of Tyrus is none other than Satan in a man's body. Situated in the midst of the seas, he claims that he is a god sitting in God's seat. He is proud because of his wealth, which he increased through trade. God tells him that he is a man, and not God. Verses 12 to 16, identify the Prince as Satan himself, who was the most prominent angel in all of heaven, and who was cast out by God on the day he sinned.
Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God; You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz and the diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper. Sapphire, turquoise and emerald, with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.
You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God: and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;: I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they may gaze at you.
You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you.
All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you: you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.
Joel foretells the Battle of Armageddon, and names Tyre as guilty of selling his people and robbing the treasures of Israel (Joel 3:4-6). The Antichrist, like Tyre's king, invades Israel, takes spoil, and persecutes the Jews. Tyrus, as the final world power, obtains its wealth through trade, and its king claims to be God. Verses 18 and 19 describe the Antichrist's and False Prophet's judgment at the Battle of Armageddon. God will cast them alive into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20-21).
Joel foretells the Battle of Armageddon, and names Tyre as guilty of selling his people and robbing the treasures of Israel (Joel 3:4-6). The Antichrist, like Tyre's king, invades Israel, takes spoil, and persecutes the Jews. Tyrus, as the final world power, obtains its wealth through trade, and its king claims to be God.
To better understand prophecy in Scripture one must consider that the prophetic writings retain continuity from author to author and time does not count as we measure it. In the forecasts events take place all in the same time period. The Scriptures note that certain events will take place in the latter or end of days because the Bible describes ancient and future locations in the present tense. Their beginning, era of notoriety and their end are relayed as if in the same time frame. Although these places have passed out of existence the Bible views them in existence. There exists no differentiation from their end and the people and nations that arrived in their stead as exampled by Tyrus and Babylon.