Look at Ezekiel chapter 28 and I’ll just give you this one insight which is so great to show you the accuracy of Scripture historically.
Ezekiel 26 to 28, we’ll go back to 26. Here comes a prophecy to Ezekiel about the destruction of the city of Tyre. Tyre was a Phoenician stronghold. Tyre was a fairly significant city, large city on the coast of Phoenicia, now known as Palestine?? (Lebanon).
And the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in verse 2 of chapter 26 telling about the destruction of the place. ‘Son of man because Tyre has said concerning Jerusalem, Aha, the gateway of the peoples is broken, it is open to me. I shall be filled now that she is laid waste.’
In other words, because Tyre mocked Jerusalem, therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, I will bring upon you many nations against you as the sea brings up its waves. They will destroy the walls of Tyre. Break down her towers. I will scrape her debris from her, make her a bare rock. 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. Also her daughters who are on the mainland will be slain by the sword and they will know that I am the Lord.
Nebuchadnezzar’s predicted siege of the City
For thus says the Lord God, Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, king of kings and horses, chariots, calvary and a great army. He will slay your daughters on the mainland with the sword. He will make siege walls against you, cast up a mound against you and raise up a large shield against you. And the blow of his battering rams he will direct against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.
Because of the multitude of his horses, the dust raised by them will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of calvary and wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city that is breached. With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets, he will slay your people with the sword and your strong pillars will come down to the ground. Also they will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise, break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses and throw your stones and your timbers and your debris into the water. So I will silence the sound of your songs and the sound of your harps will be heard no more. 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, thus says the Lord God to Tyre.
Now that’s pretty detailed stuff, folks. I mean, that is not some kind of general prophecy. Very specific. This is a great Phoenician city. From the seventh century B.C. it controlled Phoenicia. It had strong walls, about 150 feet high was the wall…that’s very high, fifteen feet thick. And it was flourishing when Joshua led Israel into Canaan. Hiram the first was its king. He helped David build the palace. And according to 2 Chronicles 22…1 Chronicles 22, he helped Solomon build the temple.
Nebuchadnezzar shows up
Three years after this prophecy was given, Nebuchadnezzar came and laid a 13 year siege on that city. See, they were walled cities so all you had to do was, if you couldn’t get into the city, you just cut off anything coming into the city and they eventually starved. Took him 13 years from 585 to 573. Finally the city surrendered because they were all dying. And Nebuchadnezzar broke down the walls and the towers, destroyed the city, did every single thing Ezekiel said he would do and of course he wasn’t reading Ezekiel when he did it.
Nebuchadnezzar gains no plunder
He got in the city. He didn’t find the spoils. He thought he was going to find spoils but they had used their fleet to take the spoils out. They took all the spoils to a half mile away island off the coast and, of course, in chapter 29 Ezekiel said you will gain no plunder, you’ll gain no plunder.
Just exactly that happened.
When he got there they had taken all the valuables off to the island, Nebuchadnezzar had no naval force to go off and get it. The island then became the new city. And it flourished for 250 years out on that island.
Only part of the prophecy was fulfilled. The part about Nebuchadnezzar, the part about destroying the walls, smashing it down, slaughtering the people, not getting the spoil, but not all of it was yet complete.
Enter, Alexander the Great
The ruins were still on the old sight. The rubble was still there. After 250 years, a 24 year old guy came by the name of Alexander the Great. He had 33,000 infantry men, he had 15,000 calvary. He had just defeated the Persians and he was on his way to Egypt.
He needed supplies.
So he came by the now island city of Tyre and he sent word;
“I want you to supply all of my men and all of my horses and all of my army.”
And they said;
“You don’t have a navy and we’re on an island, we’re not going to help you at all.”
He didn’t like that. And it wasn’t good to get Alexander mad.
He didn’t have a fleet so he decided he had to get a way to go to that island so he did what Ezekiel, the prophet, said would be done.
It said that the place would be scraped bare as rock and all the rubble would be thrown into the sea.
Alexander Builds a Causeway
Well what conqueror in his right mind would ever do that.
Why waste your time once you’ve conquered the place, picking up everything and throwing it in the ocean?
All the stone and all the rest of it. But that’s exactly what had to happen. So Alexander did it. He took all the debris and built a 2,000 foot wide, pardon me, a 2,000 foot long, 200 foot wide causeway all the way to the island with all the debris.
Now the island had fortified itself as well with powerful walls that reached right down to the edge of the sea. And as Alexander got closer he realized he’s going to have to get over those walls. So, in order to pull it off he built these massive towers called Heliopolis(?), 165 feet high, according to the record, 20 stories high and they held artillery and they held a drop bridge. And just pushed the towers out the causeway, shot at the people from them, when they got to the wall, dropped the bridges down and walked right in.
In the process, of course, all the way along the people are throwing things and shooting things off the wall and they invented what were called tortoises, big shells that they held over the workers who were building the causeway. It took him seven months. He went in and murdered 8,000 people, over a period of a few months executed 7,000 more and sold 30,000 into slavery and fulfilled every single detail of the prophecy.
And though the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt 17 times, Tyre has never been rebuilt. And that’s exactly what God said. You will be built no more.
Philip Myers, a secular historian (and not a theologian by any means) made an intriguing quote, which can be found in a history textbook, “Alexander the Great… reduced it to ruins (332 BC). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site of the once great city is now bare as the top of the rock – a place where the fisherman that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry.”