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Verse 10

I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre - Tyre had long ere this become tributary to Assyria. Asshur-ban-ipal (about 930 b.c.,) records his “taking tribute from the kings of all the chief Phoenician cities as Tyre, Sidon, Biblus and Aradus” . His son Shalmanubar records his taking tribute from them in his 21st year about 880, b.c.), as did Ivalush III , and after this time Tiglath-pileser II , the same who took Damascus and carried off its people, as also the east and north of Israel. The Phoenicians had aided Benhadad, in his unsuccessful war or rebellion against Shalmanubar , but their city had received no hurt. There was nothing, in the time of Amos, to indicate any change of policy in the Assyrian conquerors.

They had been content hitherto with tribute from their distant dependencies; they had spared them, even when in arms against them. Yet Amos says absolutely in the name of God, “I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,” and the fire did fall, first from Shalamaneser or Sargon his successor, and then from Nebuchadnezzar. The Tyrians (as is men’s custom) inserted in their annals their successes, or the successful resistance which they made for a time. They relate that , “Elulaeus, king of Tyre, reduced the Kittiaeans (Cypriotes) who had revolted. The king of Assyria invaded all Phoenicia, and returned, having made peace with all. Sidon and Ace and old Tyre, and many other cities revolted from the Tyrians, and surrendered to the king of Assyria. Tyre then not obeying, the king returned against them, the Phoenicians manning 60 ships for him.” These, he says, were dispersed, 500 prisoners taken; the honor of Tyre intensified. “The king of Assyria, removing, set guards at the river and aqueducts, to hinder the Tyrians from drawing water. This they endured for 5 years, drinking from the wells sunk.”

The Tyrian annalist does not relate the sequel. He does not venture to say that the Assyrian King gave up the siege, but, having made the most of their resistance, breaks off the account. The Assyrian inscriptions say, that Sargon took Tyre , and received tribute from Cyprus, where a monument has been found, bearing the name of Sargon . It is not probable that a monarch who took Samaria and Ashdod, received tribute from Egypt, the “Chief of Saba,” and “Queen of the Arabs,” overran Hamath, Tubal, Cilicia, Armenia, reduced Media, should have returned baffled, because Tyre stood out a blockade for 5 years. Since Sargon wrested from Tyre its newly-recovered Cyprus, its insular situation would not have protected itself. Nebuchadnezzar took it after a 13 years’ siege (Ezekiel 26:7-12, see the notes at Isaiah 23:0).

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