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Ezekiel had a message for Africa, Asia, and Europe. Egypt was the lead African empire, Babylon was a center of civilization in Asia, and Greece was the light of Europe. These peoples lived between the Mediteranean sea in the north west and the Indian ocean in the south east (see map); they mixed through trade, education, culture including marriages, and war.
Israel was placed by God on the most important trade road at that time – the Via Maris. On this road was the great sea-port of Tyre, north of Jerusalem. Ships came from Spain, Greece, Egypt, Israel, to trade at Tyre with people that came from as far as India. They heard about the golden Temple in Jerusalem and visited it for themselves. Israel was put in this position to be a messenger for truth and light.
This is why after Solomon built the Temple, he prayed: “People from other places will hear about your greatness and your power. They will come from far away to pray at this Temple. From your home in heaven, please… do everything the people from other places ask you. Then they will fear and respect you the same as your people in Israel…” (1 Kings 8:41-43 Easy-to-Read Version Bible).
These people coming from “other places” – Africa, Asia, Europe were the focus of Ezekiel Chapter 25 to 32. In the warning to Tyre and to Egypt, we read that these nations had become very wealthy, powerful, and influential, such that their Kings considered themselves to be gods.
The prophet stated that Tyre will fall and proclaims in Ezekiel 27:36 (Easy-to-Read Version Bible): “The merchants in other nations [Africa, Asia, and Europe] whistle about you. What happened to you will frighten people, because you were destroyed. You are gone forever.’”
Ezekiel 29:13-15 (Easy-to-Read Version Bible) says of Egypt: “This is what the Lord God says: “I will scatter the people of Egypt among many nations. But at the end of 40 years, I will gather those people together again… But their kingdom will… be the least important kingdom. It will never again lift itself above the other nations. I will make them so small that they will not rule over the nations.”
Ezekiel advanced Israel’s mission to preach truth and light to the world. Ezekiel spoke to the world – teaching us that God is watching; leaders who think they are gods will fall; God wants people everywhere to worship him; he is God of all the nations, not just Israel.
May our hearts respond positively to the God of the nations, Amen!