|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:1-14 To be secretly pleased with the death or decay of others, when we are likely to get by it; or with their fall, when we may thrive upon it, is a sin that easily besets us, yet is not thought so bad as really it is. But it comes from a selfish, covetous principle, and from that love of the world as our happiness, which the love of God expressly forbids. He often blasts the projects of those who would raise themselves on the ruin of others. The maxims most current in the trading world, are directly opposed to the law of God. But he will show himself against the money-loving, selfish traders, whose hearts, like those of Tyre, are hardened by the love of riches. Men have little cause to glory in things which stir up the envy and rapacity of others, and which are continually shifting from one to another; and in getting, keeping, and spending which, men provoke that God whose wrath turns joyous cities into ruinous heaps.
Verse 5. - It shall be a place for the spreading of nets, etc. The prediction is repeated in Ver. 14, and after many chances and changes, apparent revival followed by another period of decay, the present condition of Tyre strikingly corresponds with it. The travelers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries report that "its inhabitants are only a few poor wretches that harbor in vaults and subsist upon fishing" (Mandrell, in 1697); that the number of those inhabitants was "only ten, Turks and Christians" (Hasselquist, in 1751); that there were, a little later on, "fifty or sixty poor faro nee (Volney, in 1766). During the present century there has been a partial revival, and Porter, in 1858, estimates its population at from three to four thousand. The present state of its harbor, as compared with that of Beyrout, is against any future expansion of its commerce ('Dict. Bible,' s.v. "Tyre").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea,.... Where only fishermen would be seen washing their nets, and then spreading them upon this rock, where Tyre stood, to dry them and this has been confirmed by travellers, who have seen fishermen spreading and drying their nets, and having no other habitations on it but the huts of these men. Huetius (c) relates, that he remembered one Hadrian Parvillarius, a Jesuit, a candid and learned man, particularly in the Arabic language, who lived ten years in Syria; and to have heard him say, that when he saw the ruins of Tyre, its rocks to the sea, and scattered stones on the shore, and made clean smooth by the sun, waves, and wind, and only used for drying fishermen's nets, it brought to his mind this passage of the prophet; as it did to Mr. Maundrell (d) when on the spot, a few years ago; who says,
"you see nothing here but a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as one entire house left; its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches, harbouring themselves in the vaults, and subsisting chiefly upon fishing; who seem to be preserved in this place by divine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, viz. "that it should be as the top of a rock", &c.'':
so Dr. Shaw (e) says, this port, small as it at present, is choked up to that degree with sand and rubbish, that the boats of these poor fishermen, who now and then visit this once renowned emporium and "dry their nets upon its rocks and ruins", can with great difficulty only be admitted:
for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God; and therefore it should certainly come to pass, as it has:
and it shall become a spoil to the nations; the army of many nations, that besieged it for thirteen years under Nebuchadnezzar.
(c) Evangel. Demonstrat. prop. 6. p. 328. (d) Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 48, 49. Ed. 7. (e) Travels, p. 273. Ed. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. in the midst of the sea—plainly referring to New Tyre (Eze 27:32).
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