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Ezekiel 26:7-14 (ESV)
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10  His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11  With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. 12  They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13  And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14  I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.

What does verse 14 mean? Does it mean that Tyre will never be rebuilt (i.e. there will never be a city again)? The city of Tyre is still existent today. Was this the implication of the verse or is there something else to be understood from this verse?

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The ancient city-state of Tyre was comprised of the erstwhile island proper (no longer extant) in addition to a cluster of sister cities on the mainland (Ezek 26:6). According to the prophecy of Ezekiel, the city-state would become a place for spreading of fishing nets.

Ezekiel 26:5 (NASB)
She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ declares the Lord God, ‘and she will become spoil for the nations.

Ezekiel 26:14 (NASB)
I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken,” declares the Lord God.

The word for Tyre in Hebrew is צֹר, which means rock. Ezekiel indicated that Tyre would be stripped of its glory as the center of international trade and commerce, so that what would be left would be a "bare rock" -- that is, a bare "Tyre" where fishing nets would be spread. In other words, the prophecy was not that the city-state would be uninhabited, but that its glory and fame would never be rebuilt. What the reader must infer is that when fishing nets are spread out, someone necessarily (in this case fishermen) are spreading the fishing nets, since inanimate fishing nets cannot and do not spread themselves out by themselves. So there is no prophecy that the city-state would never be inhabited again, but that the city-state would never be rebuilt (to its former days of glory). Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord would debase the once glorious city-state, whose glory and arrogance were then compared to an erstwhile anointed but arrogant cherub in heaven (Ezek 28:11-19). It is this glory and fame that would never be rebuilt. The glorious rock of Tyre has become a "bare rock" of fisheries, which is the state of the current area and municipality of "Tyre" today. Please click here.

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    I've noticed this in a couple of other posts of yours and should have said something sooner. Please note the difference between extent and extant. You often use the former when you mean the latter (as in your opening sentence here). – ScottS May 14 '14 at 17:37
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    I take that as an immanent warning. :) – Joseph May 14 '14 at 20:27
  • The words used for bare rock is צחיח סלע which does not have the word צר in it. – aefrrs Dec 9 '20 at 3:44
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While it is true that Tyre never achieved its former glory, I do not see this as the main thrust of fulfillment. The city of Tyre has never been rebuilt. There are not even any Phoenician ruins visible where the city bearing the same name now stands. It is filled with Roman ruins, crusader, ottoman, and macedonian leftovers. Much like NYC of very recent history, Tyre was the center of trade for the known world. The trafficking of goods, and people, have for much of recorded history, been a means of capitalizing on common needs, while maintaining control over societies, which was the main concern of the anointed cherub. His seat was tyre, The fulfillment of GODs prophecy through Ezekiel, occurred with frightening accuracy. It is a sad testimony to what GOD has always offered to man, and man, just like Esau, traded his birthright for a mess of devilish pottage. Not only was the city,( both the mainland, and island portion) destroyed by armies of Persia, Macedonia, etc. It has also been destroyed by earthquake and tsunami. There is no city of Tyre as was . The mainland location due to Alexanders conquest of the Island is not fully agreed upon by historians, but the fact that it took Neb. 13 yrs. to conquer, and provided enough materials for both the first and second of Alexanders moles, should indicate to the world that the mainland portion of tyre must have been extensive. It is now underwater, in the form of an over silted causway. It has never been rebuilt, it is no more. As for the Island portion, a good portion of the island sank in 551AD in an apparently large earthquake, and as said earlier, there isn't anything left to indicate that it was ever a Phoenician city. There is a city bearing the same name, it is there as a stumbling block (my opinion of course) for the skeptic.

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. (+1) This is a great first answer Billy, but could use a little formatting to make it more readable, as well as some references to your sources, which are a requirement on this site. – Steve Taylor Oct 18 '16 at 14:06
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The ancient city of Tyre, was never rebuilt. Ancient Tyre that Nebuchadnezzar attacked and destroyed laid somewhat south of the island of Tyre. Many however escaped to this island (with most of their cities wealth). Various nations attacked new Tyre, the island without much success. Until Alexander the great conquered the island Tyre by building a causeway for his infantry, and with help from other nations naval forces. The causeway was made using the ancient ruins of former Tyre, which as I said has never been rebuilt... It is now a protected reserve, there are relatively no buildings except for the refugee camp today.

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It means "Tyre will not be rebuilt." Tyre was in fact rebuilt. There are a lot of ways to interpret this as meaning something different than it actually says, but it's pretty clear: this is a rare example of a specific, falsifiable prophecy, not symbolic, not ambiguous, just an actual, plain, straightforward prediction. It was falsified. Make of that what you will.

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  • Hi Ian Melchior, welcome. So you are saying the statement was an hyperbole? – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Jan 24 at 10:27
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    I'm saying the thing that was predicted did not come to pass. – Ian Melchior Jan 24 at 21:53
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God told Jonah to preach to the inhabitants of Nineveh that it would be destroyed in 40 days. They repented, and God spared Nineveh. As the king of Nineveh said, "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?" "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not"(Jonah 3:9-10). However, Jonah was upset that God did not follow through (Jonah 4:1). That's why he fled to Tarshish, he said. He knew that God would relent and spare the city, "for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil" (Jonah 4:2). He really had not wanted to go to Nineveh, and he was resentful that he went all that way and the city was spared, anyway. But God answered him, "And should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?" (Jonah 4:10) [After all, the point of a ministry is not the destruction of people, but the saving of their souls, as Jesus teaches in John 3:17.] Let's not, with Jonah, be displeased that God did not follow through on a threat and destroy a place. He doesn't want to do it, and he will relent if only the people repent. In the case of Sodom, He was willing to spare it if only 10 righteous men could be found in it (Gen 18:32).

Jeremiah, also, prophesied a lot of destruction, but in Jeremiah 18:7-8, we read, "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them."

As Peter says in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

As for me, sitting metaphorically secure on my fortified island, may the Lord have mercy on me that I repent before the prophesied doom of Tyre be visited on me.

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  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your contribution. Please remember to take the tour (link below) to better understand how this site works. – Dottard Feb 10 at 8:24
  • Was Tyre rebuilt? What is the implication of Ezekiel 26:14? Or have you answered that question in your last sentence? If so, then it's very subtle! – Lesley Feb 11 at 17:44
  • Tyre was not completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II (see Ezekiel 26 starting with verse 7 for the reference to Nebuchadnezzar). After a long siege, Tyre surrendered and became a client state of Babylon, and its king was either deposed or killed [Wikipedia: Siege of Tyre (586–573 BC)]. They were defeated more devastatingly by Alexander [Wikipedia: Siege of Tyre (332 BC)]. Tyre was rebuilt, and is today the fourth largest city in Lebanon (Wikipedia: Tyre, Lebanon), though certainly, it does not have its former glory, and it is no longer an island. – ulupoi Feb 23 at 20:17
  • See also Ezekiel 29:17-20, which was written 16 years after the initial prophecy of the doom of Tyre which begins in Ezekiel 26. Ezekiel 29:18 states that the Babylon did not profit from its campaign against Tyre, perhaps alluding to a negotiated settlement that was less profitable than their total destruction might have been. – ulupoi Feb 23 at 20:29

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