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TYRE     6'2m0f Tyre: why justice was delayed

JESUS -- (enters wearing white tunic and sandals, crosses to DC,
looks over front lip of stage to floor below, shouts)
Lieutenant.

LIEU -- (enters briskly wearing army fatigues with binoculars on
strap around neck, approaches) Yes, Commander Jesus, sir.
(stands at attention)

JESUS -- You see the land of Phoenicia down there?

LIEU -- (bends, peers through binoculars) Phoenicia....
Phoenicia....

JESUS -- (points down) Just north of the land of Israel.

LIEU -- I knew that. Yes. There it is. Phoenicia.

JESUS -- You see the small island off the coast, there? (points)

LIEU -- That would be Sidon.

JESUS -- Tyre.

LIEU -- Tyre. I meant Tyre. Beautiful Island, Tyre.

JESUS -- I'm going to destroy it.

LIEU -- I was just thinking what a dreadful place the island of
Tyre is, Commander. All the nations surrounding the land of
Israel are idol worshippers. It's about time we wipe them out.

JESUS -- I'm not going to wipe them out for idol worship.

LIEU -- Of course not. You're going to wipe them out for...
you're going to wipe them out for... (drops binoculars) Wait a
minute. Isn't it a little late to be wiping out the Phoenicians
now, Commander? I mean, they no longer pose a threat to the land
of Israel. The Jews have been conquered by the Babylonians.

JESUS -- Correction, Lieutenant. I'm not going to wipe out ALL
the Phoenicians, just the people of Tyre.

LIEU -- Why just the people of Tyre, sir?

JESUS -- Because they rejoiced in the fall of Jerusalem. Nobody
rejoices in the defeat of my chosen people and gets away with
it.

LIEU -- I see. Well, sir, may I suggest a repeat of our victory
over the city of Jericho? I rather enjoyed the earthquake and
fire scenario.

JESUS -- No.

LIEU -- No?

JESUS -- No. In the battle of Jericho, we left part of the city
wall standing.

LIEU -- But that was a deliberate strategy, sir. We left part of
the wall standing because Rahab and her family were living on
top of that section of the wall.

JESUS -- That's right. But in this case nobody in the entire
city of Tyre has repented, so the entire wall around the city
will be destroyed. Not one brick will be left upon another.

LIEU -- My kind of battle, sir! Swift and sure destruction!
HoooYah!

JESUS -- In addition to the city, the settlement along the coast
across from the island will be destroyed also.

LIEU -- Yes, sir, Commander.

JESUS -- All of the building materials on both the island and
the shoreline will be thrown into the sea. Not a trace of the
city will survive.

LIEU -- Hoooyah!

JESUS -- The city will never be rebuilt and the only activity
they will ever see on that site will be the drying of fishing
nets on the shore.

LIEU -- They'll know who's boss!

JESUS -- They will know that I am the Lord.

LIEU -- (turns) I'll mobilize your army at once!

JESUS -- Not just yet.

LIEU -- (stops, turns) Not yet?

JESUS -- Not yet.

LIEU -- Then, we'll attack at dawn?

JESUS -- No.

LIEU -- When, then?

JESUS -- In four hundred years.

LIEU -- Four hundred years?!

JESUS -- That's correct.

LIEU -- But, why such a delay?!

JESUS -- I need to warn them first.

LIEU -- You know, Commander, I remind you every time you do
this, that warning the enemy ruins the element of surprise.

JESUS -- I don't want to surprise them.

LIEU -- You never do. You ALWAYS warn them! Just ONCE, I'd like
to do a military operation the way military operations were
meant to....

JESUS -- It's not going to happen, Lieutenant.

LIEU -- Of course not. That would be too easy. You never do
things the easy way.

JESUS -- If I did things the easy way, people would explain it
away as the works of man or a natural disaster.

LIEU -- Yes, but isn't four hundred years of warning a little
excessive, sir?

JESUS -- I don't want them to have any excuses, Lieutenant. So,
I'm going to warn them about the fall of Tyre through my
prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Amos and Zechariah. I don't
want my critics to complain that I didn't give them plenty of
time to repent.

LIEU -- Yes, but four hundred years?! Why four hundred years?

JESUS -- I want everyone to see how difficult it is to conquer
this city. Before I bring down the city of Tyre, I'm going to
allow the Babylonians, the Medes, and the Persians to fail at
trying to destroy it, so that everyone will know that its final
destruction was not the work of man.

LIEU -- The Babylonians are the most powerful army in history.
Are you sure the city will survive their attack?

JESUS -- Am I sure?

LIEU -- You're omniscient. Of course your sure. Alright, I'll
have the troops stand down for a while. But after the
Babylonians, the Medes, and the Persians have all had a whack at
them, my men will...

JESUS -- Not quite.

LIEU -- Please don't tell me you're going to do this without
your army!

JESUS -- I'm going to have the Greeks destroy the city of Tyre.

LIEU -- But... But the Greeks don't even have an army!

JESUS -- Not yet.

LIEU -- Why must you always do things the hard way.... sir?

JESUS -- That way there's no mistaking who gets the credit.

LIEU -- You're the commander, Commander.

JESUS -- (exiting) Dismissed, Lieutenant.

LIEU -- (looks through binoculars) My men could have made mince
meat of that city!

JESUS -- Dismissed, Lieutenant! (exits)

LIEU -- (salutes) Yes, sir, Commander Jesus! (turns, exits
opposite mumbling) What kind of battle plan is that?! The Greeks
don't even have an army!

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