Ezekiel 28

CHAPTER XXVIII

The first part of this chapter relates to a King of Tyre,

probably the same who is called in the Phoenician annals

Ithobalus. He seems to have been a vain man, who affected

Divine honours. The prophet treats his foolish pretensions

with severe irony, and predicts his doom, 1-10.

He then takes up a funeral dirge and lamentation over him, in

which his former pomp and splendour are finely contrasted with

his fall, in terms that seem frequently to allude to the fall

of Lucifer from heaven, (Isa 14:12 &c.,) 11-19.

The overthrow of Sidon, the mother city of Tyre, is next

announced, 20-23;

and the chapter concludes with a promise to the Jews of

deliverance from all their enemies, and particularly of their

restoration from the Babylonish captivity, 24-26.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXVIII

Verse 2. Say unto the prince of Tyrus] But who was this prince of

Tyrus? Some think Hiram; some, Sin; some, the devil; others,

Ithobaal, with whom the chronology and circumstances best agree.

Origen thought the guardian angel of the city was intended.

I am a god] That is, I am absolute, independent, and accountable

to none. He was a man of great pride and arrogance.

Verse 3. Thou art wiser than Daniel] Daniel was at this time

living, and was reputable for his great wisdom. This is said

ironically. See Eze 14:14; 26:1.

Verse 5. By thy great wisdom] He attributed every thing to

himself; he did not acknowledge a Divine providence. As he got all

by himself, so he believed he could keep all by himself, and had

no need of any foreign help.

Verse 7. I will bring strangers upon thee] The Chaldeans.

Verse 9. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee] Wilt

thou continue thy pride and arrogance when the sword is sheathed

in thee, and still imagine that thou art self-sufficient and

independent?

Verse 10. The deaths of the uncircumcised] Two deaths, temporal

and eternal. Ithobaal was taken and killed by Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 12. Thou sealest up] This has been translated, "Thou

drawest thy own likeness." "Thou formest a portrait of thyself;

and hast represented thyself the perfection of wisdom and beauty."

I believe this to be the meaning of the place.

Verse 13. Thou hast been in Eden] This also is a strong irony.

Thou art like Adam, when in his innocence and excellence he was in

the garden of Eden!

Every precious stone was thy covering] For a description of

these stones See Clarke on Ex 28:17.

Verse 14. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth] The irony

is continued; and here he is likened to the CHERUB that guarded

the gates of Paradise, and kept the way of the tree of life; or to

one of the cherubs whose wings, spread out, covered the

mercy-seat.

Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God] The irony is still

continued; and now he is compared to Moses, and afterwards to one

of the chief angels, who has walked up and down among the stones

of fire; that is, thy floors have been paved with precious stones,

that shone and sparkled like fire.

Lucan, describing the splendour of the apartments of Cleopatra,

queen of Egypt, speaks in nearly a similar language:-

Nec summis crustata domus, sectisque nitebat

Marmoribus, stabatque sibi non segnis achates,

Purpureusque lapis, totusque effusus in aula

Calcabatur onyx--

Pharsal. lib. x.

Rich as some fane by slavish zealots reared,

For the proud banquet stood the hall prepared:

Thick golden plates the latent beams infold,

And the high roof was fretted o'er with gold.

Of solid marble all the walls were made,

And onyx e'en the meaner floor inlaid;

While porphyry and agate round the court

In massy columns rose, a proud support.

Of solid ebony each post was wrought,

From swarthy Meroe profusely brought.

With ivory was the entrance crusted o'er,

And polished tortoise hid each shining door;

While on the cloudy spots enchased was seen

The trusty emerald's never-fading green.

Within the royal beds and couches shone,

Beamy and bright with many a costly stone,

The glowing purple rich.

ROWE.

Verse 15. Thou wast perfect in thy ways] The irony seems still

to be kept up. Thou hast been like the angels, like Moses, like

the cherubs, like Adam, like God, till thy iniquity was found out.

Verse 16. I will cast thee as profane] Thou shalt be cast down

from thine eminence.

From the midst of the stones of fire.] Some, supposing that

stones of fire means the stars, have thought that the whole

refers to the fall of Satan.

Verse 18. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries] Irony continued. As

God, as the angels, as the cherubim, thou must have had thy

sanctuaries; but thou hast defiled them: and as Adam, thou hast

polluted thy Eden, and hast been expelled from Paradise.

Verse 19. Thou shalt be a terror] Instead of being an object of

adoration thou shalt be a subject of horror, and at last be

destroyed with thy city, so that nothing but thy name shall

remain. It was entirely burnt by Alexander the Great, as it had

been before by Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 22. I am against thee, O Zidon] Sidon for a long time had

possessed the empire of the sea and of all Phoenicia, and Tyre was

one of its colonies; but in process of time, the daughter became

greater than the mother. It seems to have been an independent

place at the time in which Tyre was taken; but it is likely that

it was taken by the Chaldeans soon after the former.

Verse 23. And the wounded] chalal, the soldiery. All

its supports shall be taken away, and its defenders destroyed.

Verse 24. There shall be no more a pricking brier] Nothing to

excite Israel to idolatry when restored from their captivity.

Perhaps there is an allusion to Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king

of Sidon, and wife to Ahab, king of Israel, who was the greatest

curse to Israel, and the universal restorer of idolatry in the

land, see 1Ki 16:31. Sidon being destroyed, there would come no

encourager of idolatry from that quarter.

Verse 25. When I shall have gathered the house of Israel] In

their long captivity, God had been preparing the land for them so

as to make it a safe dwelling; and hence he executed judgments on

all the heathen nations round about by means of the Chaldeans.

Thus Tyre and Sidon were destroyed, as were the Ammonites and

others who had been the inveterate enemies of the Jews. Judgment

first began at his own house, then proceeded to the heathen

nations; and when they were brought down, then he visited and

redeemed his people. Thus God's ways are proved to be all equal;

partialities and caprices belong not to him.

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