Today we commence with Isaiah Chapter 23 and the Word of Lord against Tyre. This merchant city state is probably not as well known as other places such as Egypt, Assyria and Babylon but is does behoove us to stop a little and pay attention to it. Tyre (part of Lebanon) juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean and is located about 80 km (50 mi) south of Beirut. Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centers, Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore, and the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland coast by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.
Who were the Prophets and what did they say? The Prophet Isaiah Part Six (6)
I ended the last Article at Isaiah Chapter 22 and concluded with the following comment:
For the most part however these chapters concern countries which still today afflict Israel - Moab (Jordan), Syria, Ethiopia/Egypt, Assyria (Iraq) and Babylon (Iran). The difference between then and now is that in the days of these prophecies, these nations were tools of judgment that God used against his faithless people whereas today Israel has just been reborn - regathered from all the nations of the earth unto which God had scattered them. Today, he who touches Israel is he who stands opposed to the will of God.
Today we commence with Isaiah Chapter 23 and the Word of Lord against Tyre. This merchant city state is probably not as well known as other places such as Egypt, Assyria and Babylon but is does behoove us to stop a little and pay attention to it.
(Bible References are those found in the King James Version of the Bible found at Minister Book . Com)
Isaiah Chapter 23
V.1 The burden of Tyre.
Tyre (part of Lebanon) juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean and is located about 80 km (50 mi) south of Beirut. Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centers, Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore, and the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland coast by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.
Isaiah chapter 23 gives an account both of the desolation and restoration of Tyre, an ancient city of Phoenicia (John Gill's Exposition)
The point to note is that Tyre will be laid waste 70 years (verse 15). Tyre suffered many sieges (Shalmaneser king of Assyria - 5 years: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 13 years and Alexander the Great).
The John Gill's commentary sees the fulfillment of this prophecy in Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Tyre. Tyre by Robert I Bradshaw presents the following picture:
Nebuchadnezzar's Campaign against Tyre. In 605 Assyrian rule was brought to an end by the Babylonian victory at Carchemish. By 594/593 we find Tyre plotting along with Sidon, Judah, Edom, Ammon and Moab against Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 27:3) (Bright, 1980: 329). No co-ordinated strategy of rebellion seems to have come from that meeting, for we know only of Nebuchadnezzar's subsequent campaigns against Judah in 589 (2 Kings 24:20b-25:21), Ammon (Ezek. 21:18-23) and Tyre in 586 (26-28; 29:17-20) (Miller & Hayes, 1986: 413).
In 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar brought his forces against Tyre.
This siege lasted for 13 years, during which the Babylonian soldiers aged (Ezekiel 29:18 ): "Their heads have all gone bald, their shoulders are all chafed," all to no avail as Tyre did not capitulate (Bikai: 1992, 52).
At the end of thirteen years Nebuchadnezzar had little to show for all his efforts. He had captured the mainland city and left it in ruins, but he won none of the cities great wealth (Ezek. 26:7-14; 29:17-18 ). The island city grudgingly acknowledged his suzerainty, but remained a semi-independent state (Bright, 1980: 352), although her king and the royal family were deported to Babylon. More significantly the political change caused by the rise of Babylon effectively ended much of the cities trade links to the East and the city began to decline (Bikai, 1992: 52). Shortly afterwards two of her largest colonies, Carthage and Kitton, declared itself independent in an attempt to counter Greek expansion in the western Mediterranean.
Tyre did not find proper restoration until the Babylonish Empire was destroyed, at the expiration of seventy years.
Verses 8 and 9 provide us with a reason for its destruction but at first glance it seems at odds with our Christian sensibilities:
Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
The reason behind this judgment is more clearly spelled out in the Book of Amos Chapter 1 Verse 9 (Overview of the Prophet Amos June 10, 2012)
This is what the LORD says: "The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel, selling whole villages as slaves to Edom. (NLTranslation).
It is worth noting that Jezebel, King Ahab's wife was the daughter of King Ethbaal (1 Kings 16:31) of Sidon / Tyre (Tyre by Robert I Bradshaw)
The precise nature of the Breaking of the Covenant does not appear to be all that clear but what is clear is that prior to the overthrow of the monarchy there, its King Hiram was a great friend to King David and King Solomon and provided King Solomon with both the raw materials and skilled manpower to built the Temple. (King Hiram at Wikipedia)
When foreign nations have dealings with the Nation of Israel they need to be very mindful of who it is that watches over Israel and very careful to abide by any covenant they make with Israel.
Isaiah Chapter 24
Isaiah Chapter 24 is a general prophecy of God's judgment on the whole world.
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste - The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled - the world languisheth and fadeth away - (v.5) The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (V.6.) Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. (Verses 21-23)
We can sense in the passage above themes similar to those found in the book of revelations in relation to judgment and the new heavens and new earth. Isaiah Chapter 25 also reinforces this theme.
Isaiah Chapter 25
Isaiah Chapter 25 is a prophetic prayer of thanksgiving, praise and worship.
1 O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things
4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers
6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast....
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. (Revelations 21)
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
This song of jubilation continues into Chapter 26 culminating in what might be seen as a reference to the resurrection of the dead at the judgment of God.
Isaiah Chapter 26
1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
When God has put an end to the punishment on the nation of Israel he shall - as we see in the next chapter - call back his people to his holy mountain.
Isaiah Chapter 27
1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged
12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
Israel - the Kingdom of Judah - went into exile in Babylon in 586 BCE. Their exile was brief - only 70 years, but later after the Death of Jesus of Nazareth, the Romans destroyed the Temple and scattered the people abroad. Today, 2000 years later they are back and once again their traditional enemies seek their destruction.
If there is a lesson to be learned through the words of the Prophets, it is this: God's will - will be done! And His people shall return to the Holy Mount and though God may punish them for a time, he will also punish those who deliver judgment upon the people of his covenant.
The prophetic words of the previous 3 chapters listed in this article can be seen to have both historical and end time application. Israel is a peculiar nation whose very existence speaks to the reality of God in History.
Perhaps that is why so many today seek her destruction.
I would like to thank Mr. BenDedek not only for this opportunity to publish my small contribution to the topic of the prophets, but also for his encouragement and most especially for his assistance in editing and setting these articles out.
Finding his research at Kingscalendar interesting, I would like to take the opportunity to refer readers to two of his articles which are pertinent to the period of history in which these prophets prophesied and the period concerning which they prophesied. They are:
An Overview of the Prophet Amos during the reign of King Uzziah, prior to Assyrian incursions into Syria, Israel and Judah. The prophecies take place about 30 years prior to the destruction of the Northern Kingdom Israel and the exile of its people, and less than 200 years before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the Southern Kingdom of Judah into exile in Babylon and destroyed King Solomon's Temple. Amos Chapter 1 verse one says that the prophet Amos was a herdsman from a place called Tekoa and relates that the things which he saw concerning Israel and Judah occurred in the latter years of the reign of King Uzziah of Judah (2 years before the earthquake of 759 BC) during the final few years of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel - perhaps no more than 6 years.
Hosea's message: The people having chosen kings to lead them, put their faith in the kings rather than God and as the Kings and leaders failed to listen to the voice of God, the people became further and further removed from God. The end result in Israel was the fulfilled promise of the destruction of Samaria. Hosea 1:4-7 states that God will no longer show mercy on the Northern Kingdom but will cause it to cease to exist. This was accomplished in 722 BC when the capital city Samaria was taken by the King of Assyria during the reign of King Hoshea and the people were sent into exile. Mercy is however granted to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
At the height of the reigns of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam II of Israel, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity due mainly to the weak political and military state of affairs in Syria and Assyria. One can only assume that the relative peace, security and prosperity led to a decrease in dependence on religious faith and following the Law of God. Hence we have 4 prophets arise to chastise the people and warn them of impending disaster. (Isaiah, Amos, Micah and Hosea).
The message in the books of Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and Micah are almost identical. Secular and religious leaders and those with the power that comes from wealth neither paid attention to doing what was right in the eyes of God nor treated the common man with decency and dignity. When leadership fails to set the right example for society, that society crumbles, and since these societies - Israel and Judah - were the chosen of God - 'a light of the Gentiles' - the people of God through whom the world would come to know God, that society could not be allowed to degenerate to the level of the common pagan world. Chastisement leading to repentance was a necessity and the time was drawing near.
Faith without works is as equally as dead as works without faith and it is an easy thing to inadvertently shift the focus of our lives away from 'Christ', to a focus of 'being' the faithful servant and doing 'the work of God' and in the process, to become a poor facsimile of what we once were. We must give comfort and give good counsel, but we must remember to trust and rely on the 'Real Counselor' - the Holy Spirit to continue to do his work in any one individual's life. If they reject us, it matters not! We are not masters. We merely serve the master. When our Religion and its ritualism replaces our relationship with God and by default, with our fellow man, we have made our religion a 'false religion', and our ritual practices become idolatry.
God's ways may not be our ways but his judgments tend to be accurate! God sees past all that you do and say. He sees the 'real' you. Only God can truly know whose identity is Holey, Whole or Holy. Jeremiah's job description required saying a lot of things that just didn't sit too well with the 'powers that be', both religious and secular. Moses was a rash man with a temper that made him careless. For decades his life just didn't go the way he had planned it and by the time he was content enough with his life and ready for a peaceful retirement, it was thrown into turmoil again by a pesky deity who for some reason considered him the best person for the job of 'leader'.
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.