Zechariah 9:3
And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
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9:1-8 Here are judgements foretold on several nations. While the Macedonians and Alexander's successors were in warfare in these countries, the Lord promised to protect his people. God's house lies in the midst of an enemy's country; his church is as a lily among thorns. God's power and goodness are seen in her special preservation. The Lord encamps about his church, and while armies of proud opposers shall pass by and return, his eyes watch over her, so that they cannot prevail, and shortly the time will come when no exactor shall pass by her any more.And Tyre did build herself a stronghold - She built it for herself, not for God, and trusted to it, not to God, and so its strength brought her the greater fall. The words in Hebrew express yet more. "Tyre" (Zor) literally, "the rock," "built herself mazor, tower," a rock-like fort, as it were, a rock upon exceeding strength, binding her together. . "The walls, 150 feet high and of breadth proportionate, compacted of large stones, embedded in gypsum," seemed to defy an enemy who could only approach her by sea. "In order to make the wall twice as strong they built a second wall ten cubits broad, leaving a space between of five cubits, which they filled with stones and earth." Yet high walls do not fence in only; they also hem in. Mazor is both "a stronghold" and "a siege." Wealth and strength, without God, do but invite and embitter the spoiler and the conqueror."

And she heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets - "Though he heap up silver as the dust," Job says, "The King" Job 27:16, Solomon, "made silver in Jerusalem as stones" 2 Chronicles 9:27. Through her manifold commerce she gathered to herself wealth, as abundant as the mire and the dust, and as valueless. "Gold and silver," said a pagan, "are but red and white earth." Its strength was its destruction. Tyre determined to resist Alexander, , "trusting in the strength of the island, and the stores which they had laid up," the strength within and without, of which the prophet speaks.

3. The heathen historian, Diodorus Siculus [17.40], confirms this. "Tyre had the greatest confidence owing to her insular position and fortifications, and the abundant stores she had prepared." New Tyre was on an island seven hundred paces from the shore. As Isaiah's and Ezekiel's (Eze 27:1-36) prophecies were directed against Old Tyre on the mainland and were fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar, so Zechariah's are against New Tyre, which was made seemingly impregnable by a double wall one hundred fifty feet high, as well as the sea on all sides. Tyrus; which was naturally a strong hold, situate on a great rock in the sea.

Did build herself a strong hold; fortified herself mightily, and then thought herself impregnable.

Heaped up silver; gathered treasure, and laid it up, so that there was no end of it.

As the dust: it is a proverbial speech, and speaks the very rich stores of their gold and silver, by which they might buy their peace, or maintain their war. So that here is wisdom, strength, and treasure, the master sinews of war, yet all these cannot profit them in the day of their calamities approaching. And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold,.... Tyre was built upon a rock, and was a strong fortress itself, from whence it had its name; and, besides its natural defence, it had a wall one hundred and fifty feet high, and its breadth was answerable to its height (e); but yet, as it could not defend itself against Alexander the great, who took it; so neither against the Gospel of Christ, which found its way into it, and was mighty to pull down strong holds in a spiritual sense:

and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets; the riches of these cities, especially Tyre, are often made mention of; they were famous for their wealth, being places of great trade and merchandise; see Isaiah 23:2 all which were to be holiness to the Lord, and for the sufficient feeding and durable clothing of them that dwell before him, Isaiah 23:18 his ministers.

(e) Arrian. de Exped. Alex. l. 2. c. 21.

And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
3. a strong hold] There is a paronomasia, or play on the words ‘Tyre’ and ‘stronghold,’ in the Hebrew. The reference is to the strongly fortified position of Tyre, which when Alexander attacked it “was situated on an island, nearly half a mile from the mainland. It was completely surrounded by prodigious walls, the loftiest portion of which on the side fronting the mainland reached a height not less than 150 feet; and notwithstanding his persevering efforts he could not have succeeded in his attempt, if the harbour of Tyre to the north had not been blockaded by the Cyprians, and that to the south by the Phœnicians, thus affording an opportunity to Alexander for uniting the island to the mainland by an enormous artificial mole.” Dict. of Bible, Art. Tyre. “Plurimum fiduciæ Tyro munitionibus insulæ et præparatis rerum copiis.” Diod. Sic. xvii. 40.

as the dust] Comp. Job 27:16; 2 Chronicles 9:27.Verse 3. - Tyrus (Zor) did build herself a stronghold (mazor). Wright endeavours to imitate the parouomasia, "Tyre built for herself a tower." It was in her strong fortifications and her amassing of riches that Tyre showed her worldly wisdom. The city was built partly on the mainland, and partly on an island nearly half a mile distant, which rose abruptly out of the water in rocky precipices, and was surrounded with walls a hundred and fifty feet high. The insular portion of the town was that which so long mocked the Macedonian's utmost efforts, which were only successful when he had united the island to the mainland by erecting an enormous mole between them. This causeway has now become an isthmus of some half mile in width, owing to accumulations of sand and debris. As the dust (comp. 2 Chronicles 9:27; Job 27:16). This penitential state of mind on the part of the people and their rulers was met by the Lord with the promise of His assistance, in order to elevate this disposition into determination and deed. Haggai 1:13. "Then spake Haggai, the messenger of Jehovah, in the message of Jehovah to the people, thus: I am with you, is the saying of Jehovah. Haggai 1:14. And Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, and the spirit of Joshua, and the spirit of all the remnant of the nation; and they came and did work at the house of Jehovah of hosts, their God." The prophet is called מלאך in Haggai 1:13, i.e., messenger (not "angel," as many in the time of the fathers misunderstood the word as meaning), as being sent by Jehovah to the people, to make known to them His will (compare Malachi 2:7, where the same epithet is applied to the priest). As the messenger of Jehovah, he speaks by command of Jehovah, and not in his own name or by his own impulse. אני אתּכם, I am with you, will help you, and will remove all the obstacles that stand in the way of your building (cf. Haggai 2:4). This promise Jehovah fulfilled, first of all by giving to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people, a willingness to carry out the work. העיר רוּח, to awaken the spirit of any man, i.e., to make him willing and glad to carry out His resolutions (compare 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 21:16; Ezra 1:1, Ezra 1:5). Thus filled with joyfulness, courage, and strength, they began the work on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of king Darius (Haggai 1:15), that is to say, twenty-three days after Haggai had first addressed his challenge to them. The interval had been spent in deliberation and counsel, and in preparations for carrying out the work. In several editions and some few mss in Kennicott, in Tischendorf's edition of the lxx, in the Itala and in the Vulgate, Haggai 1:15 is joined to the next chapter. But this is proved to be incorrect by the fact that the chronological statements in Haggai 1:15 and Haggai 2:1 are irreconcilable with one another. Haggai 1:15 is really so closely connected with Haggai 1:14, that it is rather to be regarded as the last clause of that verse.
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