Ezekiel 26:15
Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The isles.—This word is constantly used in Scripture, not merely for islands, strictly so called, but for any sea-coasts. The main reference here, no doubt, is to the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean; but as Tyrian commerce extended also beyond, the language need not be entirely restricted to these. The tidings of the conquest of Tyre is poetically represented as “the sound of her fall.”

Ezekiel 26:15-18. Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall? — All those that dwell upon the sea-coast near thee shall be thrown into a consternation at the news of thy being taken and destroyed. All the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones — All the princes and rich merchants (or the merchants who are as princes, as Isaiah speaks) of Zidon, Carthage, and other maritime cities that maintained a trade with Tyre, and got great wealth by that means, shall express a deep grief and concern for the fall of it. They shall clothe themselves with trembling — With fear productive of trembling; or, they shall be afraid on every side, and full of fear and trembling. And they shall take up a lamentation for thee — Shall bitterly bewail thy fall. Compare Revelation 18:9. And say, How art thou destroyed — How totally and irrecoverably, thou who wast such a great, rich, splendid, and well-fortified city! The renowned city, which was strong in the sea — Tyre is called the strength of the sea, (Isaiah 23:4,) being strong at sea, both by its situation and its great naval forces, upon which account it was formidable to all that had trading upon the sea. Now shall the isles tremble — The Vulgate reads, Nunc stupebunt naves, Now shall the ships tremble, &c., that is, all seafaring men. Yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled, &c. — The description given here, and in the foregoing verses, of the lamentation of the neighbouring places, and of the merchants and seafaring people, at the fall of Tyre, is extremely pathetical. By thy departure here, the Chaldee understands the removal of the inhabitants of Tyre into captivity. But Houbigant and others explain it of their forsaking the city, and fleeing away in ships to Carthage, and other distant places.

26:15-21 See how high, how great Tyre had been. See how low Tyre is made. The fall of others should awaken us out of security. Every discovery of the fulfilment of a Scripture prophecy, is like a miracle to confirm our faith. All that is earthly is vanity and vexation. Those who now have the most established prosperity, will soon be out of sight and forgotten.The effect of the fall of Tyre.15-21. The impression which the overthrow of Tyre produced on other maritime nations and upon her own colonies, for example, Utica, Carthage, and Tartessus or Tarshish in Spain.

isles—maritime lands. Even mighty Carthage used to send a yearly offering to the temple of Hercules at Tyre: and the mother city gave high priests to her colonies. Hence the consternation at her fall felt in the widely scattered dependencies with which she was so closely connected by the ties of religion, as well as commercial intercourse.

shake—metaphorically: "be agitated" (Jer 49:21).

Isles, which are places freest from the danger of invasions, and in those days thought themselves safe, will think themselves in danger, and shake with fear, when they hear that Tyre is fallen; it will amaze and fright them all, when they hear thy men were wounded and slain in the midst of thee who dwellest in the sea.

Thus saith the Lord God to Tyrus,.... By his prophet, who very probably delivered this prophecy to the ambassadors of Tyre at Babylon; or to some of their merchants that traded there; or sent it in a letter to them:

shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall; when they hear the noise of Tyre being taken, it will make them tremble, as fearing their turn will be next; that if a city so well fortified by nature and art, so well supplied with men and money, that had held out the siege so long, should at last surrender; what should they, the neighbouring isles, do, if attacked, who were so inferior to it? and besides, they might have much of their goods in it, in which they traded with the inhabitants of it, trusting to its great strength, and which would now give them a sensible concern. The Targum renders it, the suburbs; and anther Jewish (n) writer, the villages; those that were near to Tyre:

when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? upon the enemy's entrance, putting to the sword all they meet with; when those that are wounded shall cry, either to have their lives spared, or through the pain and distress occasioned by their wounds.

(n) R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 42. 2.

Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15–18. Commotion among the princes of the sea caused by her fall; they mourn and take up a lament over Tyre (17, 18)

15. the isles shake] the coast-lands, the island-like countries on the seaboard.

the sound of thy fall] might mean “at the report of thy fall,” but here by a strong hyperbole the prophet appears to represent the crash of the city’s fall and the cries of the wounded as being heard in the neighbouring coasts, ch. Ezekiel 27:28, Ezekiel 31:16; cf. Jeremiah 49:21.

Verse 15. - Shall not the isles, etc.? The Hebrew word is used in a wider sense, as including all settlements on the sea-coast as well as islands. So it is used of Philistia (Isaiah 20:6), and of the maritime states of Asia Minor (Daniel 11:18), of the east and south coasts of Arabia (Ezekiel 27:15). Looking to the extent of commerce described in Ezekiel 27, it probably includes all the Mediterranean settlements of the Tyrians, possibly also those in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The report of the fall of Tyre was to spread far and wide. Ezekiel 26:15The tidings of the destruction of Tyre will produce great commotion in all her colonies and the islands connected with her. - Ezekiel 26:15. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to Tyre, Will not the islands tremble at the noise of thy fall, at the groaning of the wounded, at the slaughter in the midst of thee? Ezekiel 26:16. And all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, and will lay aside their robes and take off their embroidered clothes, and dress themselves in terrors, sit upon the earth, and they will tremble every moment, and be astonished at thee. Ezekiel 26:17. They will raise a lamentation for thee, and say to thee: How hast thou perished, thou who wast inhabited from out of the sea, thou renowned city, she who was mighty upon the sea, she and her inhabitants, who inspired all her inhabitants with fear of her! Ezekiel 26:18. Now do the islands tremble on the day of thy fall, and the islands in the sea are confounded at thy departure. - הלא, nonne, has the force of a direct affirmation. קול מפּלה, the noise of the fall, stands for the tidings of the noise, since the noise itself could not be heard upon the islands. The fall takes place, as is added for the purpose of depicting the terrible nature of the event, at or amidst the groaning of the wounded, and the slaughter in the midst of thee. בּהרג is the infinitive Niphal, with the accent drawn back on account of the following Milel, and should be pointed בּהרג . The word איּים, islands, is frequently used so as to embrace the coast lands of the Mediterranean Sea; we have therefore to understand it here as applied to the Phoenician colonies on the islands and coasts of that sea. The "princes of the sea" are not kings of the islands, but, according to Isaiah 23:8, the merchants presiding over the colonies of Tyre, who resembled princes. כּסאות, not royal thrones, but chairs, as in 1 Samuel 4:13, etc. The picture of their mourning recalls the description in Jonah 3:6; it is not derived from that passage, however, but is an independent description of the mourning customs which commonly prevailed among princes. The antithesis introduced as a very striking one: clothing themselves in terrors, putting on terrors in the place of the robes of state which they have laid aside (see the similar trope in Ezekiel 7:27). The thought is rendered still more forcible by the closing sentences of the verse: they tremble לרנעים, by moments, i.e., as the moments return - actually, therefore, "every moment" (vid., Isaiah 27:3). - In the lamentation which they raise (Ezekiel 26:17), they give prominence to the alarming revolution of all things, occasioned by the fact that the mistress of the seas, once so renowned, has now become an object of horror and alarm. נושׁבת מיּמּים, inhabited from the seas. This is not to be taken as equivalent to "as far as the seas," in the sense of, whose inhabitants spread over the seas and settle there, as Gesenius (Thes.) and Hvernick suppose; for being inhabited is the very opposite of sending the inhabitants abroad. If מן were to be taken in the geographical sense of direction or locality, the meaning of the expression could only be, whose inhabitants spring from the seas, or have migrated thither from all seas; but this would not apply to the population of Tyre, which did not consists of men of all nations under heaven. Hitzig has given the correct interpretation, namely, from the sea, or out of the seas, which had as it were ascended as an inhabited city out of the bosom of the sea. It is not easy to explain the last clause of Ezekiel 26:17 : who inspired all her inhabitants with their terror, or with terror of them (of themselves); for if the relative אשׁר is taken in connection with the preceding ישׁביה, the thought arises that the inhabitants of Tyre inspired her inhabitants, i.e., themselves, with their terror, or terror of themselves. Kimchi, Rosenmller, Ewald, Kliefoth, and others, have therefore proposed to take the suffix in the second יושׁביה as referring to היּם ot gnirre, all the inhabitants of the sea, i.e., all her colonies. But this is open to the objection, that not only is ים of the masculine gender, but it is extremely harsh to take the same suffix attached to the two ישׁביה as referring to different subjects. We must therefore take the relative אשׁר and the suffix in חתּיתם as both referring to היא וישׁביה: the city with its population inspired all its several inhabitants with fear or itself. This is not to be understood, however, as signifying that the inhabitants of Tyre kept one another in a state of terror and alarm; but that the city with its population, through its power upon the sea, inspired all the several inhabitants with fear of this its might, inasmuch as the distinction of the city and its population was reflected upon every individual citizen. This explanation of the words is confirmed by the parallel passages in Ezekiel 32:24 and Ezekiel 32:26. - This city had come to so appalling an end, that all the islands trembled thereat. The two hemistichs in Ezekiel 26:18 are synonymous, and the thought returns by way of conclusion to Ezekiel 26:15. איּין has the Aramaean form of the plural, which is sometimes met with even in the earlier poetry (vid., Ewald, 177a). צאת, departure, i.e., destruction.
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