Eze 28:1-26. Prophetical
Dirge on the King of Tyre, as the Culmination and Embodiment of the
Spirit of Carnal Pride and Self-sufficiency of the Whole State. The
Fall of Zidon, the Mother City. The
Restoration of Israel in Contrast with Tyre and Zidon.
2. Because, &c.—repeated
resumptively in Eze 28:6. The
apodosis begins at Eze 28:7.
"The prince of Tyrus" at the time was Ithobal, or Ithbaal II; the name
implying his close connection with Baal, the Phœnician supreme
god, whose representative he was.
I am a god, I sit in … seat of God …
the seas—As God sits enthroned in His heavenly citadel exempt
from all injury, so I sit secure in my impregnable stronghold amidst
the stormiest elements, able to control them at will, and make them
subserve my interests. The language, though primarily here applied to
the king of Tyre, as similar language is to the king of Babylon (Isa 14:13,
14), yet has an ulterior and
fuller accomplishment in Satan and his embodiment in Antichrist (Da 7:25; 11:36, 37; 2Th 2:4; Re 13:6). This feeling of superhuman elevation
in the king of Tyre was fostered by the fact that the island on which
Tyre stood was called "the holy island" [Sanconiathon], being sacred to Hercules, so much so
that the colonies looked up to Tyre as the mother city of their
religion, as well as of their political existence. The Hebrew
for "God" is El, that is, "the Mighty One."
yet, &c.—keen irony.
set thine heart as … heart of
God—Thou thinkest of thyself as if thou wert God.
3. Ezekiel ironically alludes to Ithbaal's
overweening opinion of the wisdom of himself and the Tyrians, as though
superior to that of Daniel, whose fame had reached even Tyre as
eclipsing the Chaldean sages. "Thou art wiser," namely, in thine own
no secret—namely, forgetting riches
that they can hide—that is, that can
5. (Ps 62:10).
6. Because, &c.—resumptive of Eze 28:2.
strangers … terrible of the
nations—the Chaldean foreigners noted for their ferocity
against the beauty of thy wisdom—that
is, against thy beautiful possessions acquired by thy wisdom on which
thou pridest thyself (Eze 28:3-5).
defile thy brightness—obscure the
brightness of thy kingdom.
8. the pit—that is, the bottom of the
sea; the image being that of one conquered in a sea-fight.
the deaths—plural, as various
kinds of deaths are meant (Jer 16:4).
of them … slain—literally,
"pierced through." Such deaths as those pierced with many wounds
9. yet say—that is, still say; referring
but, &c.—But thy blasphemous
boastings shall be falsified, and thou shalt be shown to be but man,
and not God, in the hand (at the mercy) of Him.
10. deaths of … uncircumcised—that
is, such a death as the uncircumcised or godless heathen
deserve; and perhaps, also, such as the uncircumcised
inflict, a great ignominy in the eyes of a Jew (1Sa 31:4); a fit retribution on him who had
scoffed at the circumcised Jews.
12. sealest up the sum—literally, "Thou
art the one sealing the sum of perfection." A thing is sealed
when completed (Da 9:24).
"The sum" implies the full measure of beauty, from a
Hebrew root, "to measure." The normal man—one formed after
13. in Eden—The king of Tyre is
represented in his former high state (contrasted with his subsequent
downfall), under images drawn from the primeval man in Eden, the type
of humanity in its most Godlike form.
garden of God—the model of ideal
loveliness (Eze 31:8, 9; 36:35). In the person of the king of Tyre a
new trial was made of humanity with the greatest earthly advantages.
But as in the case of Adam, the good gifts of God were only turned into
ministers to pride and self.
every precious stone—so in Eden (Ge 2:12), "gold, bdellium, and the onyx
stone." So the king of Tyre was arrayed in jewel-bespangled robes after
the fashion of Oriental monarchs. The nine precious stones here
mentioned answer to nine of the twelve (representing the twelve tribes)
in the high priest's breastplate (Ex 39:10-13; Re 21:14,
19-21). Of the four rows of
three in each, the third is omitted in the Hebrew, but is
supplied in the Septuagint. In this, too, there is an ulterior
reference to Antichrist, who is blasphemously to arrogate the office of
our divine High Priest (Zec 6:13).
pipes—literally, "holes" in musical
pipes or flutes.
created—that is, in the day of
thine accession to the throne. Tambourines and all the marks of joy
were ready prepared for thee ("in thee," that is, "with and for thee").
Thou hadst not, like others, to work thy way to the throne through
arduous struggles. No sooner created than, like Adam, thou wast
surrounded with the gratifications of Eden. Fairbairn, for "pipes," translates, "females"
(having reference to Ge 1:27),
that is, musician-women. Maurer explains
the Hebrew not as to music, but as to the setting and
mounting of the gems previously mentioned.
14. anointed cherub—Gesenius translates from an Aramaic root,
"extended cherub." English Version, from a Hebrew root,
is better. "The cherub consecrated to the Lord by the anointing oil"
covereth—The imagery employed by
Ezekiel as a priest is from the Jewish temple, wherein the cherubim
overshadowed the mercy seat, as the king of Tyre, a demi-god in his own
esteem, extended his protection over the interests of Tyre. The
cherub—an ideal compound of the highest kinds of animal existence
and the type of redeemed man in his ultimate state of
perfection—is made the image of the king of Tyre, as if the beau
ideal of humanity. The pretensions of Antichrist are the ulterior
reference, of whom the king of Tyre is a type. Compare "As God …
in the temple of God" (2Th 2:4).
I have set thee—not thou set
thyself (Pr 8:16; Ro 13:1).
upon the holy mountain of God—Zion,
following up the image.
in … midst of … stones of
fire—In ambitious imagination he stood in the place of God,
"under whose feet was, as it were, a pavement of sapphire," while His
glory was like "devouring fire" (Ex 24:10, 17).
15. perfect—prosperous [Grotius], and having no defect. So Hiram was a
sample of the Tyrian monarch in his early days of wisdom and prosperity
till iniquity … in thee—Like the
primeval man thou hast fallen by abusing God's gifts, and so hast
provoked God's wrath.
16. filled the midst of thee—that is,
they have filled the midst of the city; he as the head of the
state being involved in the guilt of the state, which he did not check,
cast thee as profane—no longer treated
as sacred, but driven out of the place of sanctity (see Eze 28:14) which thou hast occupied (compare Ps 89:39).
17. brightness—thy splendor.
lay thee before kings—as an example of
God's wrath against presumptuous pride.
18. thy sanctuaries—that is, the holy
places, attributed to the king of Tyre in Eze 28:14, as his ideal position. As he "profaned"
it, so God will "profane" him (Eze 28:16).
fire … devour—As he abused his
supposed elevation amidst "the stones of fire" (Eze 28:16), so God will make His "fire" to
21. Zidon—famous for its fishery (from a
root, Zud, "to fish"); and afterwards for its wide extended
commerce; its artistic elegance was proverbial. Founded by Canaan's
first-born (Ge 10:15).
Tyre was an offshoot from it, so that it was involved in the same
overthrow by the Chaldeans as Tyre. It is mentioned separately, because
its idolatry (Ashtaroth, Tammuz, or Adonis) infected Israel more than
that of Tyre did (Eze 8:14; Jud 10:6; 1Ki 11:33). The notorious Jezebel was a daughter
of the Zidonian king.
22. shall be sanctified in her—when all
nations shall see that I am the Holy Judge in the vengeance that I will
inflict on her for sin.
24. no more … brier … unto …
Israel—as the idolatrous nations left in Canaan (among which
Zidon is expressly specified in the limits of Asher, Jud 1:31) had been (Nu 33:55; Jos
23:13). "A brier," first
ensnaring the Israelites in sin, and then being made the instrument of
bitterness." The same Hebrew is translated "fretting"
13:51, 52). The wicked are
often called "thorns" (2Sa 23:6).
25, 26. Fulfilled in part at the restoration
from Babylon, when Judaism, so far from being merged in heathenism,
made inroads by conversions on the idolatry of surrounding nations. The
full accomplishment is yet future, when Israel, under Christ, shall be
the center of Christendom; of which an earnest was given in the woman
from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon who sought the Saviour (Mt 15:21, 24,
26-28; compare Isa 11:12).
dwell safely—(Jer 23:6).