National Shipwreck
Ezekiel 27:26, 27
Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the middle of the seas.

The metaphor employed in this passage by the poet-prophet is peculiarly appropriate. What so fitted to represent the maritime city Tyre as a gallant ship? In figurative language Ezekiel pictures the stateliness and prosperity, followed by the wreck and destruction, of the famous mistress of the seas.

I. TYRE IN ITS PROSPERITY IS LIKE A MAJESTIC AND RICHLY LADEN GALLEY. Commerce and wealth, maritime and military greatness, are characteristic of the famous Phoenician port; and these are represented as the freight of the vessel as she skims the surface of the smooth waters beneath the sunny skies.

II. TYRE IN ITS TIME OF TRIAL IS LIKE A GALLEY OVERTAKEN BY A SUDDEN AND VIOLENT TEMPEST. The vessel is built for calm weather, and is ill fitted to contend with storms. When war was waged against Tyre by "the king of kings," Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, then the power of "the queen of the seas" was put to the proof. Not that Tyre succumbed at once; the resistance offered was long and stubborn; the city was fighting for its life. It was not like a great and populous nation occupying an extensive territory, which may be vanquished, but cannot be exterminated. If the city upon the rock was captured and destroyed, Tyre was annihilated as well as conquered. Hence the severity of the struggle, which was a struggle, not for wealth and power merely, but for existence.

III. TYRE IN ITS DEFEAT AND DESTRUCTION IS LIKE A GALLEY WHICH, WITH ALL ITS CARGO, SINKS IN THE MIDST OF THE SEAS. The great waters and the east wind work their will. The rowers are powerless; skill and strength are of no avail. The richly laden vessel goes down with all her costly freight and gallant crew. Riches and magnificence, valor and experience, are powerless to save when the decree has gone forth that opportunities have been neglected, privileges have been abused, that moral laws have been violated, and that the God of nations has been defied. The lessons of history have been studied to little purpose if they have not taught us that "the Lord reigneth," that he "doeth according to his will among the inhabitants of the earth," that he "brings down the lofty from their seat." The multitude of the host and much strength are a vain refuge from the justice and the power of "the Lord of lords." - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

WEB: Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the heart of the seas.

Broken by the East Wind
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