The Stones Cry Out

by Joseph H Hunting

Whether we like it or not from the moment of our birth we are being conditioned to living in a materialistic environment. All our senses are attuned to what we see, hear, taste or smell to name but a few. On the other hand there is a spiritual environment that is just as real.

A good place to 'tune in' to this spiritual realm is the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever" (40:8). Let's put Scripture to the test by checking out three prophecies made at different times and under diverse circumstances concerning stones -- the stones of Tyre, Samaria and Jerusalem.


Tyre was one of the most important city-ports of the ancient world. Its first mention in the Bible occurred when Joshua made mention of Tyre as a fortified city which was the northern coastal border for the tribe of Asher. It is also interesting to discover that the Hebrew name for Tyre is 'Tsur' meaning rock.

The great logs of cedar for the construction of Solomon's Temple were floated as rafts from Tyre about 1,000 B.C. and two centuries later the famous north African city of Carthage was founded as a colony from Tyre. In due time the very might of the Roman empire was threatened by Carthage.

Ezekiel pronounced judgement upon Tyre because the inhabitants of the city gloated over the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. Because the manner of Ezekiel's prophecy concerning Tyre's destruction had such a literal fulfilment we may read it in full. "Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha! She who is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me, I shall be filled; she is laid waste. Therefore, says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you as the sea causes its waves to come up.

"And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken, says the Lord God" (Ezekiel 26:2-5).

So that we may appreciate the full force of Ezekiel's prophecy we must remember that the main city of Tyre was built on the mainland, whilst just off-shore was an island which also served as part of the port city. Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city on the mainland for thirteen years from 585 to 572 B.C. and destroyed Tyre exactly as prophesied.

Following this destruction of the mainland city, Tyre was rebuilt on the island off-shore where it was considered to be safe from future attacks. The city flourished for another two hundred years and again Ezekiel's further prophecy relating to Tyre was fulfilled. "They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise, they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber and your soil in the midst of the water . . . I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, says the Lord God" (26:12-14).

In the year 332 B.C. Alexander the Great besieged the island-city and built a causeway to it using the stones, timber and debris from the mainland city destroyed two hundred years earlier by Nebuchadnezzar, this literally fulfilling Ezekiel's prophecy of the manner in which the city would be reached. That causeway today is about a mile wide, and both causeway and island have merged to become part of Lebanon's coastline. It is also a place where local fishermen spread their nets.


Whilst God judged Tyre for gloating over Jerusalem's destruction, Samaria was judged for its wickedness and idolatry. After the death of Solomon the ten northern tribes of Israel seceded from Judah and set up their own kingdom of which Samaria became the capital. It was a hill-top city that commanded magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. Without exception, the kings which reigned over the northern kingdom were extremely wicked. Finally Samaria was besieged and captured by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Here is the prophecy of Samaria's destruction given by Micah: "Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field, places for planting a vineyard: I will pour down her stones into the valley, and will uncover her foundations" (1:6).

Lest there be any doubt about the literal fulfilment of Micah's prophecy regarding the manner of Samaria's destruction: there are to this day heaps of stones in the valley that bear witness to God's word after 2,500 years. I've seen them with my own eyes as I've stood at the ruins of Samaria and gazed down at the valley below where they lie with their mute witness.


Whereas a causeway and fishermen's nets bear silent testimony to Ezekiel's prophecy concerning Tyre, and heaps of stones in the valley below the site of ancient Samaria do likewise for Micah's prophecy, it is the LACK of stones that provides the evidence for the fulfilment of God's word relating to Jerusalem. Here is the prophecy; "Then as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, as for these things which you see, the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Luke 21:5-6).

If Solomon's temple has been estimated to be the most costly structure ever built, it has also been said that Herod's temple was one of the architectural wonders of the then-known world. Yet it was of this magnificent structure that Yeshua startled His disciples by foretelling its destruction with the words: "Not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down" . It is also worthy of our attention that on that occasion He wept over Jerusalem saying: " . . . Your house (the Temple) is left unto you desolate. For I say to you, You shall not see Me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:38-39).


I commenced by suggesting that for each of us there is a spiritual as well as a physical environment. The difference between them is that the physical is the one we are more conscious of from our earliest days. However, the spiritual is just as real nevertheless.

Both the physical and spiritual environments are embodied in the massive stones which form the lower courses of the Temple retaining wall, known as the Western Wall. Apart from those stones which represent the physical realm, there is no trace of the magnificent stones referred to by Yeshua which embodies the spiritual realm. How truly have His words come to pass concerning the Temple: "Not one stone shall be left upon another" ! Furthermore, there is not a single stone on the Temple Mount to cry out that the Temple of God once stood there. If there is evidence that a Temple once stood there it is buried beneath the debris of centuries.

Nearly two thousand years have elapsed since the Romans fulfilled the prophecy made by Yeshua "not one stone shall be left upon another" . May we grasp the spiritual significance of His words regarding this destruction: "Your house (the Temple) is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, You shall not see Me henceforth till you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord" . May our response be, "EVEN SO COME, ADON YESHUA" (Revelation 22:20).