Jerusalem has been under siege by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and finally the city has been ransacked and brought to ruin. Many Israelites were killed, many taken captive to Babylon, and some escaped. So Israel now consisted of the slaughtered in Jerusalem, the exiles in Babylon, and the fugitives among other nations.
Ezekiel was among the exiles in Babylon who had been taken captive years earlier. He was appointed by God to watch over the Israelite captives and teach them by sharing his visions, preaching oracles from God, and performing symbolic acts. Not many paid heed to Ezekiel.
King Nebuchadnezzar was attacking other nations besides Judah, and other cities besides Jerusalem. Prominent among these was the kingdom and city of Tyre. God promised that Tyre, because it had become corrupt, would be attacked by the Babylonians and by "many nations" and eventually be destroyed like Jerusalem.
Ezekiel delivers God’s counsel to Tyre in a series of prophecies, laments, and oracles.
2 Outline of Ezekiel 26
11th YEAR (Ezekiel 26:1).
Prophecy Against Tyre
Jerusalem is in ruins and Judah is desolate. The coastal kingdom of Tyre thinks that opens the gate for Tyre to expand and profit. (Ezekiel 26:1-2).
But God is against Tyre, and the kingdom will eventually suffer the same ruin as Jerusalem. This will result from "many nations" making wave after wave of assault (Ezekiel 26:3-6).
Nebuchadnezzar will Attack Tyre
Babylon will be the first of the nations to attack Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar’s mighty armies and cavalry will make slaughter in the villages and lay siege to the city (Ezekiel 26:7-10).
The hooves of the horses will trample the streets. There will be slaughter by the sword, pilliage and plunder, and the beautiful houses will be torn down (Ezekiel 26:11-12).
Many other Nations Will Attack Tyre
The day will come when the joyful music of Tyre will be silenced forever. [Instead there will be lament.] The rock on which the city was built will be laid bare and fishermen will spread their nets there. Tyre will never regain its former glory (Ezekiel 26:13-14).
The princes of Tyre will be stripped of their finery, and will be clothed in terror (Ezekiel 26:15-16).
The lament of the princes (Ezekiel 26:17-18).
God’s curse on the city (Ezekiel 26:19-21).
3 Outline of Ezekiel 27
Laments for Tyre
God gives Ezekiel a lament for Tyre (Ezekiel 27:1-2).
Tyre the perfect city [physically](Ezekiel 27:3-4).
Constructed of choice timbers from afar (Ezekiel 27:5-6).
Ships of fine sail (Ezekiel 27:7).
Ships manned by choice men (Ezekiel 27:8-9).
A city guarded by choice soldiers (Ezekiel 27:10-11).
A merchant city trading with many nations (Ezekiel 27:12-24).
The east wind will blow [eastern nations will attack]. Cargo ships will be destroyed and the sailors brought ashore [as prisoners] (Ezekiel 27:25-29).
A proud hearted man who claims to be God (Ezekiel 28:1-2).
He is wiser than Daniel, and has gained great wealth, but his heart has grown proud (Ezekiel 28:3-5).
The Lord’s message to him. Ruthless nations will come against you and destroy your beauty. Will you say, 'I am a god' to those who slay you? (Ezekiel 28:6-10).
A Lament for the King
He was in Eden [as it were], in a city of many jewels. (Ezekiel 28:11-13).
He had been appointed and anointed by God as the nation’s guardian. He walked with God. (Ezekiel 28:14-15).
Because he became corrupt, God banished him and brought him to ashes (Ezekiel 28:16-19).
A Prophecy against Sidon
Sidon was a city near Tyre. God promises the same punishment for Sidon as he promises for Tyre (Ezekiel 28:20-23).
The Restoration of Israel
Israel will one day no longer be pricked by the thorns of the nations around them (Ezekiel 28:24-26).
God will gather the remnant of the Israelites from all the places where they were scattered (Ezekiel 28:25).
They will dwell in their own land, which God gave to Jacob. They will build houses, and plant vineyards. God will execute judgments against all those around them who treat them with contempt (Ezekiel 28:25-26).
This prophecy came true after the fall of Babylon, but it also has a second fulfilment in the church or kingdom of Jesus.
5 Promised Return and Rebuilding.
There are other statements in Ezekiel promising that the scattered Israelites would return to Judah, and Jerusalem will be rebuilt. (We know that this indeed happened in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.)
For example, in the early chapters of Ezekiel we find the following...
Ezekiel heard God’s promise in clear and literal terms: "I will leave a remnant, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the nations and throughout the lands">" (Ezekiel 6:8).
In vision, God tells the executioners to follow the man with the inkhorn, and slaughter everyone, man, woman, and child, but not to touch those with the mark from the inkhorn. Here is hope for Israel’s future (Ezekiel 9:5-7).
The man with the inkhorn returns and says, "I have done what you commanded". This means some of the people have been marked with ink and so a remnant will be spared by the executioners (Ezekiel 9:11).
God states the aim of the imminent punishment: "that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but instead be my people and I their God"(Ezekiel 14:11). This implies that, after all, there will remain an Israel to follow God.
In all of the gloom, God gives hope. He repeats his promise that a remnant of righteous people, marked for deliverance by their righteousness, will restore Israel. And God promises that there is a good purpose in his punishments. He has done nothing without cause (Ezekiel 14:21-23).
God will restore the fortunes of Jerusalem and surrounding nations (Ezekiel 16:53-55).