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cornucopia of precious goods

The Jewish prophet Ezekiel, jealous of the prosperity of the Phoenician city of Tyre, dreams of a day when God will turn it into a 'desolate city, where no man can live'. In his imagination he gloats over what Tyre has lost, giving a past tense to what is still, in Ezekiel's day, very much in the present. In doing so he provides a fascinating list of the goods which pass through this great city of trade:

'You had sea-going ships and their sailors to market your wares. Tarshish was a source of your commerce, offering silver and iron, tin and lead. Javan, Tubal and Meshech dealt with you, offering slaves and vessels of bronze. Togamarh offered horses, mares and mules. Rhodes dealt with you, paying what was due to you in ivory and ebony. Edom offered purple garnets, brocade and fine linen, black coral and red jasper. Judah and Israel offered wheat and meal, syrup, oil and balsam. Damascus was a source of wine of Helbon and wool of Suhar, and casks of wine from Izalla, and wrought iron, cassia and sweet cane. Dedan dealt with you in coarse woollens for saddle cloths. Arabia was the source of your commerce in lambs, rams and billy goats. Sheba and Raamah offered the choicest spices and every kind of precious stone and gold. Ashur and Persia were your dealers in gorgeous stuffs, violet cloths and brocades, and stores of coloured fabric rolled up and tied with cords.'

Ezekiel, chapter 27

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