Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Year of the prophet’s captivity. (Haydock) — He still dates from the transmigration of Joachin, chap. i., &c. (Worthington) — Some think he speaks of the first, fourth, or fifth month. Tyre was not besieged till after the ninth day of the fourth month, when Jerusalem was taken; nor could she express her joy for that event before, unless God allude to her dispositions, &c., chap. xxv. 1. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Gates: places of resort and commerce. The Jews came to Jerusalem frequently from all parts, which increased her beauty and trade. New Tyre expects that more will come to her.
Ver. 3. Up. Nabuchodonosor besieged the city for thirteen years. The profane historians read by St. Jerome took no notice of this; but Josephus quotes several. (Antiquities x. 11., and contra Apion i.) (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Dust. She shall be demolished, and the rubbish thrown into the sea, to make a road by which New Tyre in the island might be attacked, ver. 12. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Sea. St. Jerome explains this of New Tyre; Marsham of the Old. To reconcile the different texts, we only need to suppose that both cities were connected by a road thrown up in the sea by Hiram, and repaired by Nabuchodonosor with great labour, (chap. xxix. 18.) after it had been destroyed by the inhabitants of New Tyre, when they saw the old city on the continent fall a prey. (St. Jerome) (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Kings: Nabuchodonosor (4 Kings xxv. 28.) or Alexander [the Great], who took Tyre. (Menochius)
Ver. 8. Daughters. Many towns were subject to Tyre: almost all Phœnicia acknowledged her dominion, as well as (Calmet) the seas to which her fleets went, ver. 15. (Selden, Mare i. 6.; Curtius iv.) — These smaller cities shall fall, and the town shall be of no service except to dry nets. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Engines. Literally, “vines.” (Haydock) — A covert was thus made for the soldiers, (Veget. iv. 15.) when they approached the walls. (Menochius)
Ver. 10. Destroyed. Old Tyre was taken by storm. It is doubtful whether it was pillaged, chap. xxix. 18. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Statues. The citizens chained the golden statue of Apollo to the altar of Hercules, for fear of its leaving them, when Alexander [the Great] attacked the town. (Curtius iv.) — Hiram placed a pillar of gold in the temple of Hercules. (Josephus, contra Apion i.) — Herodotus (ii. 44.) saw another also of emerald stone, (smaragdon) which illuminated the temple in the night. On such the Tyrians might depend; though some render, “the substance or guard of thy strength,” denoting the soldiers (Calmet) and towers. (Haydock) — The gods were treated like the people, and their precious ornaments plundered.
Ver. 14. More, for seventy years, Isaias xxiii. 15. The people returned at the same time as the Jews. (The year of the world 3468.) Soon after, Zacharias (chap. ix.) speaks of Tyre as then subsisting. It was very strong in Alexander’s time, (who took it with difficulty, as Antigonus did eighteen years later) and had a very extensive commerce when St. Jerome wrote. But all this must be understood of New Tyre. The old city never regained much splendour. (Calmet) — It is still in ruins. A modern traveller was struck with the completion of this prophecy, beholding a few miserable fishermen drying their nets on the spot!
Ver. 16. Sea: colonies, or tributary to Tyre, ver. 8. (Haydock) — Leptis, Utica, Carthage,and Cadiz, were founded by Tyrians. (Pliny, [Natural History?] v. 19.) — Some pretend that these cities were attacked by the conquerors, for manifesting their grief. See Josephus, Antiquities x.; Pineda, &c. — But we shall not here follow conjectures. — Astonishment. Hebrew, “troubles,” or mourning. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Dwellest in. Hebrew, “of the seas.” Protestants, “seafaring men,” (Haydock) being near the sea, or thence deriving thy riches.
Ver. 18. Because. Hebrew, “at thy departure.” (Calmet) — Septuagint, “into captivity.” (St. Jerome)
Ver. 19. Waters; great armies, (ver. 3.) or when thou art in the regions below, Job xxvi. 5. (Calmet) — Tyre was humbled for her pride, but restored after seventy years, Isaias xxiii. Our Saviour retired into those parts, Matthew xv. 21. (Worthington)
Ver. 20. Everlasting: in the grave, till the day of judgment, Psalm xlviii. 12., and Wisdom xii. 5. — Living, assigned to Israel, (chap. xxxii. 24.; Calmet) where holy people adore the true God, and shall rise to life eternal. (Menochius)
Ver. 21. For ever: for a long time, (Theodoret) not at all in thy ancient glory. (Haydock) — The city subsisted after the days of Nabuchodonosor and of Alexander [the Great], (Calmet) ver. 14. — But the ancient city was reduced to a mere nothing. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prophecy of the destruction of the famous city of Tyre by Nabuchodonosor.
1 And *it came to pass in the eleventh year, the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2 Son of man, because Tyre hath said of Jerusalem: Aha, the gates of the people are broken, she is turned to me: I shall be filled, now she is laid waste.
3 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I come against thee, O Tyre, and I will cause many nations to come up to thee, as the waves of the sea rise up.
4 And they shall break down the walls of Tyre, and destroy the towers thereof: and I will scrape her dust from her, and make her like a smooth rock.
5 She shall be a drying-place for nets in the midst of the sea, because I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: and she shall be a spoil to the nations.
6 Her daughters also that are in the field, shall be slain by the sword: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
7 For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, the king of kings, from the north, with horses, and chariots, and horsemen, and companies, and much people.
8 Thy daughters that are in the field, he shall kill with the sword: and he shall compass thee with forts, and shall cast up a mount round about: and he shall lift up the buckler against thee.
9 And he shall set engines of war and battering rams against thy walls, and shall destroy thy towers with his arms.
10 By reason of the multitude of his horses, their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and wheels, and chariots, when they shall go in at thy gates, as by the entrance of a city that is destroyed.
11 With the hoofs of his horses he shall tread down all thy streets: thy people he shall kill with the sword: and thy famous statues shall fall to the ground.
12 They shall waste thy riches, they shall make a spoil of thy merchandise: and they shall destroy thy walls, and pull down thy fine houses: and they shall lay thy stones, and thy timber, and thy dust, in the midst of the waters.
13 *And I will make the multitude of thy songs to cease, and the sound of thy harps shall be heard no more.
14 And I will make thee like a naked rock, thou shalt be a drying place for nets, neither shalt thou be built any more: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
15 Thus saith the Lord God to Tyre: Shall not the islands shake at the sound of thy fall, and the groans of thy slain, when they shall be killed in the midst of thee?
16 Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones: and take off their robes, and cast away their broidered garments, and be clothed with astonishment: they shall sit on the ground, and with amazement shall wonder at thy sudden fall.
17 And taking up a lamentation over thee, they shall say to thee: How art thou fallen, that dwellest in the sea, renowned city, that wast strong in the sea, with thy inhabitants, whom all did dread?
18 Now shall the ships be astonished in the day of thy terror: and the islands in the sea shall be troubled, because no one cometh out of thee.
19 For thus saith the Lord God: When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited: and shall bring the deep upon thee, and many waters shall cover thee:
20 And when I shall bring thee down with those that descend into the pit to the everlasting people, and shall set thee in the lowest parts of the earth, as places desolate of old, with them that are brought down into the pit, that thou be not inhabited: and when I shall give glory in the land of the living,
21 I will bring thee to nothing, and thou shalt not be, and if thou be sought for, thou shalt not be found any more for ever, saith the Lord God.
1: Year of the World 3416.
13: Jeremias vii. 34.