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Bible Commentaries

Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Ezekiel 27

Verse 2


‘A lamentation for Cyrus.’

Ezekiel 27:2

I. This is a funeral dirge over Tyre.—She is compared to a vast ship, for the construction and manning of which all nations are laid under contribution. Her snow-white sails, her gay pennons, her skilled pilots, her renowned warriors, her widespread traffic, seem to guarantee a prosperous voyage; but her rowers bring her into very great waters, and she is broken in the heart of the seas. Tyre, with all her worldly advantages, and the spiritual ones which accrued from her close proximity to Israel, had not sought God’s favour; oppression and injustice were in her midst; therefore her apparent sources of wealth and stability failed to arrest her decay, and she fell into the midst of the seas in the day of her ruin ( Ezekiel 27:27).

It was strikingly said of Napoleon Bonaparte: ‘He did all that in him lay to live and thrive without moral principle.’ But the eternal law baulked and ruined him; and the result in a million of experiments will be the same. Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail. Let our great mercantile nation, the Tyre of modern times, beware. She must rest her security, not on her navies or material resources, not even on the bravery or industry of her sons, but on the favour of God and the righteousness which alone exalteth a nation.

II. How often it happens that individual souls pass through experiences like those described here.—They start in life richly dowered with every advantage that rank, wealth, and education can confer, but their career is one of bitter disappointment; their companions or their own passions, their love of pleasure and the absence of self-control, bring them into great waters, where they become irretrievably broken. Only One can arrest that fate—He Who slept through the night-storm till the disciples awoke Him: He arose and rebuked the fury of the elements, and upbraided them for their lack of faith.


‘As their enemies behold the children of God, they are apt to suppose that there is no difference between them and others. They cannot see the Divine environment within which they live, and they suppose that they can easily work their will. They say, Behold these people are like other people; we have but to stretch out our hand, and can spoil them as a boy the nests of spring. Then they discover that they have another to reckon with, and that God will arise to plead the cause of His people and to execute judgment upon their oppressors. Not in vain did He say to Abraham, and through him to all that believe: “I will bless him that blesseth thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” ’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.