Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 27

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-36

Chapter 27

So the word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation ( Ezekiel 27:1-2 )

This is a wailing, a cry for Tyrus. This is lamenting the destruction that is come.

And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate [or situated] at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people of many coasts, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty ( Ezekiel 27:3 ).

Now, the city of Tyre is in the first part of chapter 27 likened unto one of the ships of Tyre. And the city was the perfection of beauty. It was a very extremely... of course, the Mediterranean area there is just beautiful anyhow. It's just a glorious area along the Mediterranean. The weather is just ideal. It has an ideal year-round type of a climate. And the island just there in the sea was no doubt extremely beautiful, and there was so much wealth that the homes and all were no doubt just luxurious. So he likens it unto a beautiful ship of Tyrus.

Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. Of the oaks of Bashan have they made your oars; the company of the Ashurites have made your benches of ivory ( Ezekiel 27:4-6 ),

That would be... Ashurites would be Cyprus. And brought out the... I beg your pardon. The isles of Chittim is Cyprus, the coast of Chittim is Cyprus.

and have brought out the isles [or the coasts] of Chittim. Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which you have spread forth to be thy sail; and the blue and the purple from the coast of Elishah was that which covered thee. The inhabitants of Sidon ( Ezekiel 27:6-8 )

Which was a sister city some fifteen miles north, also a seaport.

and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: and the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise ( Ezekiel 27:8-9 ).

And so all of this merchandise, the ivory, the linens from Egypt with the embroidered work, the furs, the cedars, the oaks and all of the luxury items that were a part of the whole system of Tyrus.

Verse Ezekiel 27:10 :

They of Persia and Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness ( Ezekiel 27:10 ).

So they had a mercenary army from various nations.

The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect. Tarshish [England] was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, and they traded in thy fairs ( Ezekiel 27:11-12 ).

And so the trade fairs that were there.

Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded in slaves and vessels of brass in your markets. And they of the house of Togarmah [the Balkan States] they traded in your fairs with horses, horsemen and mules. And the men of Dedan [down towards Saudi Arabia] were thy merchants; and many coasts were the merchandise in your hand: they brought thee for a present, horns of ivory and ebony. Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in your market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market ( Ezekiel 27:13-19 )

The various spices and all. Actually, if you go through the old city of Jerusalem, walking through the suk, you get somewhat of an idea of what was the ancient Tyre as far as all kinds of merchandise. The white wool coats, and the linens, the embroidered work that you can purchase, the various jewelry stores and the spice stores and the shops. And so in Tyrus was a tremendous commercial center with all of these goods that were brought from all of the areas of the ancient world. And it was sort of a... well, it was sort of a Hong Kong of the ancient world as far as you're able to shop and buy almost anything at great prices. But there was tremendous market there in Tyre. "Dan also, Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia and calamus, were in thy market."

Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were thy merchants. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants. These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: but the east wind has broken thee in the midst of the seas ( Ezekiel 27:20-26 ).

The east wind, of course, being Nebuchadnezzar. And this great commercial center broken by Nebuchadnezzar.

Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin. The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: And they shall make themselves ( Ezekiel 27:27-31 )

Now these are the people that have been doing business, the merchants that have lost now this glorious trade center.

And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee ( Ezekiel 27:31 ),

That is, shaving themselves in sorrow.

and gird themselves with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, you filled many people; you did enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of your riches and of thy merchandise. And in the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall. All the inhabitants of the coasts shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance. The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never to be any more ( Ezekiel 27:31-36 ).

Now, again, notice the wailing. They'll take up the lamentation, "What city is like Tyrus, like that which has been destroyed?"

In Revelation as the destruction of the commercial Babylon system takes place, it declares again how that, "The kings of the earth," verse Ezekiel 27:9 , "have committed fornication, lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for fear of the torments saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour her judgment is come.' And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buys her merchandise anymore. The merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple silk, scarlet and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, all manners of vessels of most precious wood and brass and iron and marble; cinnamon and odors and ointments and frankincense and the fruits of thy soul lust and departs" ( Revelation 18:9-14 ), and so forth. And how that they cry when they see the smoke of the burning and they say, you know, "What city is like this city?"

So it's an interesting parallel between the destruction of Tyrus, which becomes a type of the destruction of the Babylonian commercial system in the last days. And the lamentation is much the same as people mourn for the loss of all of these luxurious goods that were once offered there in the fair, the trade fairs in Tyrus. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-27.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile