Ezekiel 28

A Prophecy Against the King of Tyre

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince
Or “ruler” (NIV, NCV).
of Tyre, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Your heart is proud
Heb “lifted up.”
and you said, “I am a god;
Or “I am divine.”

I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas” –
yet you are a man and not a god,
though you think you are godlike.
Heb “and you made your heart (mind) like the heart (mind) of gods.”

Look, you are wiser than Daniel;
Or perhaps “Danel” (so TEV), referring to a ruler known from Canaanite legend. See the note on “Daniel” in 14:14. A reference to Danel (preserved in legend at Ugarit, near the northern end of the Phoenician coast) makes more sense here when addressing Tyre than in 14:14.

no secret is hidden from you.
The tone here is sarcastic, reflecting the ruler’s view of himself.

By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself;
you have amassed gold and silver in your treasuries.
By your great skill
Or “wisdom.”
in trade you have increased your wealth,
and your heart is proud because of your wealth.
“‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:
Because you think you are godlike,
Heb “because of your making your heart like the heart of gods.”

I am about to bring foreigners
This is probably a reference to the Babylonians.
against you, the most terrifying of nations.
They will draw their swords against the grandeur made by your wisdom,
Heb “they will draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom.”

and they will defile your splendor.
They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die violently
Heb “you will die the death of the slain.”
in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, “I am a god,” before the one who kills you –
though you are a man and not a god –
when you are in the power of those who wound you?
10  You will die the death of the uncircumcised
The Phoenicians practiced circumcision, so the language here must be figurative, indicating that they would be treated in a disgraceful manner. Uncircumcised peoples were viewed as inferior, unclean, and perhaps even sub-human. See 31:18 and 32:17–32, as well as the discussion in D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:99.
by the hand of foreigners;
for I have spoken, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
11  The word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Son of man, sing
Heb “lift up.”
a lament for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘You were the sealer
For a discussion of possible nuances of this phrase, see M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:580–81.
of perfection,
full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13  You were in Eden, the garden of God.
The imagery of the lament appears to draw upon an extrabiblical Eden tradition about the expulsion of the first man (see v. 14 and the note there) from the garden due to his pride. The biblical Eden tradition speaks of cherubs placed as guardians at the garden entrance following the sin of Adam and Eve (Gen 3:24), but no guardian cherub like the one described in verse 14 is depicted or mentioned in the biblical account. Ezekiel’s imagery also appears to reflect Mesopotamian and Canaanite mythology at certain points. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:119–20.

Every precious stone was your covering,
the ruby, topaz, and emerald,
the chrysolite, onyx, and jasper,
the sapphire, turquoise, and beryl;
The exact identification of each gemstone is uncertain. The list should be compared to that of the priest in Exod 28:17–20, which lists twelve stones in rows of three. The LXX apparently imports the Exod 28 list. See reference to the types of stones in L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.

your settings and mounts were made of gold.
On the day you were created they were prepared.
14  I placed you there with an anointed
Or “winged”; see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.
The meaning of this phrase in Hebrew is uncertain. The word translated here “guards” occurs in Exod 25:20 in reference to the cherubim “covering” the ark.
Heb “you (were) an anointed cherub that covers and I placed you.” In the Hebrew text the ruler of Tyre is equated with a cherub, and the verb “I placed you” is taken with what follows (“on the holy mountain of God”). However, this reading is problematic. The pronoun “you” at the beginning of verse 14 is feminine singular in the Hebrew text; elsewhere in this passage the ruler of Tyre is addressed with masculine singular forms. It is possible that the pronoun is a rare (see Deut 5:24; Num 11:15) or defectively written (see 1 Sam 24:19; Neh 9:6; Job 1:10; Ps 6:3; Eccl 7:22) masculine form, but it is more likely that the form should be repointed as the preposition “with” (see the LXX). In this case the ruler of Tyre is compared to the first man, not to a cherub. If this emendation is accepted, then the verb “I placed you” belongs with what precedes and concludes the first sentence in the verse. It is noteworthy that the verbs in the second and third lines of the verse also appear at the end of the sentence in the Hebrew text. The presence of a conjunction at the beginning of “I placed you” is problematic for the proposal, but it may reflect a later misunderstanding of the syntax of the verse. For a defense of the proposed emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.

you were on the holy mountain of God;
you walked about amidst fiery stones.
15  You were blameless in your behavior
Heb “ways.”
from the day you were created,
until sin was discovered in you.
16  In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence,
Heb “they filled your midst with violence.”
and you sinned;
so I defiled you and banished you
Heb “I defiled you.” The presence of the preposition “from” following the verb indicates that a verb of motion is implied as well. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.
from the mountain of God –
the guardian cherub expelled you
Heb “and I expelled you, O guardian cherub.” The Hebrew text takes the verb as first person and understands “guardian cherub” as a vocative, in apposition to the pronominal suffix on the verb. However, if the emendation in verse 14a is accepted (see the note above), then one may follow the LXX here as well and emend the verb to a third person perfect. In this case the subject of the verb is the guardian cherub. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:91.
from the midst of the stones of fire.
17  Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom on account of your splendor.
I threw you down to the ground;
I placed you before kings, that they might see you.
18  By the multitude of your iniquities, through the sinfulness of your trade,
you desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I drew fire out from within you;
it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
before the eyes of all who saw you.
19  All who know you among the peoples are shocked at you;
you have become terrified and will be no more.’”

A Prophecy Against Sidon

20  The word of the Lord came to me: 21 “Son of man, turn toward
Heb “set your face against.”
Sidon was located 25 miles north of Tyre.
and prophesy against it.
22 Say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Look, I am against you,
Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201–2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘hinnenî êlêkâ,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
and I will magnify myself in your midst.
Then they will know that I am the Lord
when I execute judgments on her
and reveal my sovereign power
Or “reveal my holiness.” God’s “holiness” is fundamentally his transcendence as sovereign ruler of the world. The revelation of his authority and power through judgment is in view in this context.
in her.
23  I will send a plague into the city
Heb “into it”; the referent of the feminine pronoun has been specified in the translation for clarity.
and bloodshed into its streets;
the slain will fall within it, by the sword that attacks it
Heb “by a sword against it.”
from every side.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.
24  “‘No longer will Israel suffer from the sharp briers
Similar language is used in reference to Israel’s adversaries in Num 33:55; Josh 23:13.
or painful thorns of all who surround and scorn them.
Heb “and there will not be for the house of Israel a brier that pricks and a thorn that inflicts pain from all the ones who surround them, the ones who scorn them.”
Then they will know that I am the sovereign Lord.

25  “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When I regather the house of Israel from the peoples where they are dispersed, I will reveal my sovereign power
Or “reveal my holiness.” See verse 22.
over them in the sight of the nations, and they will live in their land that I gave to my servant Jacob.
26 They will live securely in it; they will build houses and plant vineyards. They will live securely
This promise was given in Lev 25:18–19.
when I execute my judgments on all those who scorn them and surround them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’”

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