Obrazy na stronie

he defeated Darius, whose army consisted of six hun dred thousand men. Above one hundred thousand Persians were left dead in the field; and a great num. ber trampled to death by their own party, as they were endeavouring to escape through a narrow pass. In this battle Darius, was in great danger of losing his life; and his wife, children, and family, were taken captives.

After ALEXANDER had defeated Darius, he marched along the sea-coast towards Phoenicia: every place he came to yielded, but none more readily than Sidon. We have before related, that this city was miserably destroyed in the reign of ARTAXERXES-OCHUS; but it happened that some of its inhabitants were absent on merchandise and other occasions: these returned and rebuilt the city; but, having an inveterate hatred to the Persians, gladly submitted to Alexander.

The whole of Syria and Phoenicia was now subdued by the Macedonians, excepting the city of Tyre, which being excellently situated for commerce, standing on an island, and having noble ports, was not so much a city belonging to any particular nation as the common city of all nations, to which they sent their different commodities, and from whence they received the product of other lands.

The prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel, concerning this kingdom, were partly fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar in the destruction of Old Tyre; but the new city rose to still greater power and grandeur than the other, and was in a very flourishing condition in the time of Alexander. Let us now see what these prophets predicted concerning it.





From Isai. Chap. xxiii.-Ezek. Chap. xxvii. I. THE burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in. From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle, thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.

And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.

Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins.

As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.

Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.

Who hath taken his counsel against Tyre the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? 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.

[ocr errors]

Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.

He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms, the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.


And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim there also shalt thou have no rest.

Behold, the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid


And it shall come to pass, after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit abomination with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

II. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east-wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the days of thy ruin.

The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.

And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; and shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow

themselves in the ashes:

And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart, and bitter wailing.



And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.

In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.

All the inhabitants of the Isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.

The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shall be any more.


From the first of these predictions we understand, that it was foreknown to the ALMIGHTY that Tyre would provoke Divine Justice to inflict another heavy judgment upon it, and that he ordained Chittim, which is Macedonia, to be the instrument of Divine vengeance. The second extract describes all the commercial and maritime world as grieved and astonished at her fate, and greatly alarmed for their own. Let us now enquire after Alexander's proceedings in respect to this kingdom. The Tyrians, hearing of the rapid success of the Grecian conqueror, were desirous of securing the friendship of this mighty monarch, for which purpose they sent ambassadors to him with provisions for his army; but he insisted on their submitting to him as their master, on which they denied him admittance into their city. He then resolved to besiege it; and at length, with great skill and labour, accomplished the conquest of old Tyre, and afterwards burnt new Tyre to the ground, and de


stroyed or enslaved all its inhabitants. Eight thousand he slew in battle, two thousand of those whom he took prisoners he caused to be crucified; the rest, to the number of thirty thousand, were sold for slaves. Some had, before the siege, sent their wives and children to Carthage for safety; and some were preserved by the Sidonians, who conveyed them away privately in ships. These were very heavy judgments, but from the prophetic writings we learn that they were deservedly inflicted; for the remembrance of the former misfortunes which had befallen Tyre, was obliterated by a series of prosperity, and the inhabitants once more regarded her as the queen of cities; pride, luxury, avarice, licentiousness, and impiety, again ruled their actions; they again confided in their own strength and power, forgetful of the ALMIGHTY, who had before humbled them in the dust.

The following extract from the prophecy of Ezekiel gives a lively idea of the magnificence and importance of this famous city.



From Ezekiel, Chap. xxvii.

O THOU that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles; Thus saith the LORD GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said I am of perfect beauty.

Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.

They have made all thy ship boards of fir-trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.


« PoprzedniaDalej »