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EZEKIEL XXXIII—"THE CITY IS SMITTEN!”
17 | Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
21 [ And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.
22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.
25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? 26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and
defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land?
27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saitń the Lord God; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.
29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.
30 ( Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
The Desolation of Tyre
FROM THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MR. FRANK E.
WRIGHT OF PHILADELPHIA,
“And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses.”—Ezekiel, 26, 12.
AVING completed his prophecies against Judah,
Ezekiel turns his thought, as did most of the
prophets, to other lands as well. The neighbors of Judah rejoice at her downfall; therefore shall they also fall. He predicts the punishment of Ammon, of Moab, of Edom, and of the Philistines. The sword of Babylon shall strike them all. Then he turns to Tyre, the great commercial city of Asia, and describes her fate with a circumstantial completeness that extends over several chapters. A remarkable description is given of the great metropolis. “Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.” “The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots.” “They of Persia, and of Lud, and of Phut, were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness." Yet all this is to be of no avail. Though the king of Tyre is accounted as a god, yet shall the city become helpless, and be given as a prey to the soldiers of Babylon.
As a matter of history, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for thirteen years and reduced it to great misery, but did not capture it. Ezekiel himself says that the city is not to perish wholly. He refers to its escape when,
later, he prophesies the overthrow of
Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar.