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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 28

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-26

Chapter 28

Now as we get into chapter 28, the attention now is directed against the king of Tyre. Chapter 26 against the city of Tyre, chapter 27 against the merchandising of Tyre, chapter 28 now is directed against the king or the prince of Tyre. And as we get into this, suddenly there is a transition and he begins to address himself unto Satan, the power behind the earthly kingdom. Now the Bible says that Satan is the prince of this world. And unless a nation is really dedicated to God and its leaders dedicated to God, then Satan is controlling and seeks to control the leadership of the world. Hitler was a man who was controlled by the white masters, these men who after the fall of the Third Reich moved down into Peru, and still many of them are living in Peru today. Men who are into all kinds of spiritism. They controlled Hitler during the period of the Third Reich. And he was a man who was controlled by these demonic forces, guided by these men who were high in the area of white magic.

The rebuke of the king of Tyre in chapter 28:

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the throne of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thy heart as the heart of God ( Ezekiel 28:1-2 ):

Now immediately this causes us to think of Second Thessalonians, chapter 2, where it declares that the antichrist is going to come and stand in the temple of God and declare that he is God and demand to be worshipped as God in the last days. So the prince of Tyrus becomes an interesting type of the antichrist, declaring himself to be God and setting himself up as a god. Now this indeed did happen. The king of Tyrus assumed the god role and proclaimed himself to be God and began to demand the worship of the people.

Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel ( Ezekiel 28:3 );

That is what he was saying of himself, that he was wiser than Daniel. Of course, it is interesting that again Daniel is mentioned who was a contemporary to Ezekiel. And already Daniel's fame was no doubt being spread abroad, and probably because of his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. That probably brought Daniel to instant fame and recognition, because after he had interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar made him one of the chief counselors for the Babylonian kingdom. And so Daniel's fame, especially, of course, among the children of Israel, had spread abroad.

So Ezekiel, who was a contemporary to Daniel, lived at the same time in Babylonian captivity, makes mention of Daniel, not only here but in other passages. And here the wisdom of Daniel is referred to.

With thy wisdom and with thy understanding you have gotten riches, you've gotten gold and silver into your treasury: And by thy great wisdom and by your trafficking [that is, the merchandising] you have increased your riches and your heart is lifted up because of your riches ( Ezekiel 28:4-5 ):

The Bible tells us that it's hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Then it qualifies it and says, "How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven." Jesus said, "It's easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven" ( Matthew 19:24 ). The Bible says that they that will be rich will fall into divers temptations or lust which drown men's souls in perdition. But again the Bible says, "If riches increase, just don't set your heart upon them."

Now that was the problem with the king of Tyrus, his heart was set upon his riches. He was increased with riches and his heart was lifted up because of his riches.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, and the awesome of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am a god? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 28:6-10 ).

And so his destruction is predicted. And though he declares himself to be God, when the enemy comes over the wall, you're not going to move him to thinking that you are God. You'll die like a man.

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 28:11-12 );

Now, at this point there is a switch and we go behind the scenes and God is now addressing Himself unto Satan. And this is probably one of the most graphic descriptions of Satan that exists in the Bible. And he isn't, contrary to popular notion, wearing a red suit, holding a pitchfork and having a forked tail. And some evil sinister-looking creature with pointed ears and a goatee.

Thou sealest up the sum ( Ezekiel 28:12 ),

It means you are the sum total. You've got it altogether. You are the sum total.

you are full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God ( Ezekiel 28:12-13 );

Yes, he was there and was talking to Eve and tempting her to eat of that fruit that God had forbidden.

every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, gold: and the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that you were created ( Ezekiel 28:13 ).

So here is a description of Satan prior to his... of course, prior to his fall, after his fall, he had been in Eden, but every precious stone is covering and all.

And there are some who say that Satan is the author of music because of "the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." And so that Satan is the author of music. I think that that is just stretching the point beyond breaking. I can't stand that type of biblical exposition that takes a verse like this and then builds an entire case from it. And how that music is evil because Satan was the originator of music because he was the one with the tabrets and pipes and so forth. And so that music is satanic in its origin and all and that he is the master over music. That's stretching scripture; it's taking it out of context. It is taking one verse and just blowing it beyond its intent and beyond what it declares. And yet, there are those foolish and ignorant men who will take some kind of a passage like this and try to make a big discourse out of it and a big theory and come down on all kinds of musical instruments and everything else. Of course, some book has been written lately against rock music and saying it's of Satan and this is the scripture that proves it. If they can find proof of that in this scripture then they have done phenomenal bit of scriptural jugglery.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth ( Ezekiel 28:14 );

Now he was an anointed cherub. A cherub, of course, is an angel. Cherub is singular; cherubim is plural. Now we find in the scriptures that there are the four cherubim that are about the throne of God, plural, of cherubs. Satan once, no doubt, dwelt there near God in the heavenly scene. In fact, he would seem to have had a very high standing at one time. So high that when Michael was contending against, having respect for the position that Satan once held in high authority in the heavenly scene, Michael did not bring any railing accusation against him when they were disputing over the body of Moses, but Michael just said, "The Lord rebuke you." Satan did have an extremely high position prior to his fall in the heavenly kingdom. "The anointed cherub that covereth."

I have set thee so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. And you were perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee ( Ezekiel 28:14-15 ).

Now, here is what makes Satan not the opposite of God. "You were perfect in all of your ways from the day that you were created." But Satan was a created being. God is self-existent. He has always been. Satan was created. So that it is wrong for us in our minds to think of Satan as the opposite of God. He opposes God, but he in no wise is the opposite of God. And we ascribe to Satan much more power and much more than what he actually is if you think of him as the opposite of God. And thus, we should never consider or think of Satan in the terms of the opposite of God. God stands alone in the universe. The infinite, eternal God. There is nothing to compare with in likenesses or opposites. He is alone. The eternal God.

Satan was a created being, an anointed cherub. If he is the opposite, or to be thought of as the opposite, it might be of Michael or of Gabriel, these two angels that seem to have much authority and power in heaven, who remain true unto God. But never think of Satan as the opposite of God. You're ascribing much more to him than what actually is. And that is dangerous.

He was perfect until the day that iniquity was found in him. What is the iniquity that was found in him? If you turn back to Isaiah chapter 14, Isaiah gives us a little insight into this iniquity that was found in Satan. Verse Ezekiel 28:12 , chapter 14 Isaiah, "How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning. How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thy heart," here is the iniquity, "In your heart you said, 'I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.'"

The five "I wills." And that is the exercise of my will against the authority of God. "I will exalt myself. I will sit in the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the stars. I will be like the Most High." In one of Shakespeare's plays there is that phrase, "Flee ambition, for by this sin the angels fell." Satan's ambitious plans against God's authority, "I will, I will."

So up until that point, he had been a model, perfect in all of his ways. "Until iniquity was found in thee."

And by the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. For thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before the kings, that they may behold thee ( Ezekiel 28:16-17 ).

Now going back again to Isaiah 14 , it's an interesting thing that when we look upon Satan, and one day you will have a chance to look at him, and when you do, you'll be astonished. Verse Ezekiel 28:15 of chapter 14 Isaiah, "Yet," you said I'm going to be like the Most High, "yet, thou shalt be brought down to hell to the sides of the pit and they that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee saying, 'Is this the man that made the earth to tremble and did shake kingdoms?'" Wow, is that the one that gave me such a bad time? Wow! "So I will lay thee before kings that they may behold thee." It's gonna be an awesome experience, an awesome sight when that day comes.

Now the question, of course, does remain: when did God create Satan? And when did Satan fall? Now his fall, no doubt, came before his coming into the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve. Therefore, I would have to conclude that his fall came before Genesis chapter 1, verse Ezekiel 28:3 , which speaks of God beginning the re-creative processes saying, "Let there be light." And the fact that darkness covered the face of the deep. God is light; in Him is no darkness at all. That darkness that enshrouded the world must have been satanic in its origin, as he is the prince of darkness.

Now, there is what is known as a gap theory. Of late there has been an endeavor to more or less discredit the gap theory. But I still hold it open in my own mind as a very viable option. One of the chief verses that they use to destroy the gap theory is when God gave the law. He said, "For six days shalt thou do thy labor and the seventh day thou shalt rest. For in six days God created the heaven and the earth, and all that is in them, and on the seventh day God rested." And taking that in a very literal, narrow sense, it would mean that the creation days did take place somewhere around six thousand years ago or six to ten thousand years ago. And thus, the whole universe is only six to ten thousand years old, and we can't really prove that this position is wrong. It is quite possible it is.

You say, "Well, how do you explain then the fossils? And the dating processes that show that the earth is millions of years, or whatever." And of course, there is, number one, the challenging of the dating methods, which is a legitimate challenge, because a part of that lava flow from Kilauea in Hawaii that big flow in 1973 was taken to three different laboratories that have their specialty of dating processes through the carbon argon and so forth. And the three laboratories taking these samples from the 1973 flow of Kilauea came up with age dates of anywhere from 180 million years to 250 million years old. And yet, it was chipped right out of the flow of 1973. So there is reason to question and challenge the accuracy of the dating methods, because in dating, you have to assume that there was so much argon in the beginning. And this assumption is made, and so much lead in the beginning an all, and those are assumptions that we really don't know.

The second argument is how old was Adam the day God created him? You say, "Well, he was a day old." Well, then did he have teeth? How big was he? So that when God created Adam, there were, no doubt, what we would call age-dating factors built in. So that if you looked at Adam the day that God created him, you'd probably say, "Well, he must be thirty years old at least. Look at the skeleton development, the muscular development, look at the teeth and all. Well, he must be thirty years old." So that God created him not as an infant, but as a man with age-dating factors. Now, of course, we know God could do anything, so that God could have created the earth with fossils already in its structure. With age-dating factors there, if He so chose to do so. Now, the problem that I see with this using... for in six days, God created the heaven and the earth and all that is in them, the problem I see with that is that that would have to then include Satan and when did God then create Satan in this six-day creation period, you see. And then when did Satan fall? And how is it that he got into the Garden of Eden so early.

Now, the gap theory, which I do feel has a great deal of credence and is probably best set out by Pember in his book Earth's Earliest Ages. Take Genesis 1:0 as an account of original creation. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In the beginning, whenever that was. How many billion years ago, there is no date. No estimate. And that the earth perhaps was a part of Satan's kingdom as the anointed cherub that covered. And in a beautiful mineral kingdom upon the earth, until the day that iniquity was found in him and he was destroyed and cast out. And at that time, the earth became wasted and desolate and darkness covered the face of the deep. And that what you have then in Genesis from verse Ezekiel 28:3 on is the re-creation of the earth, in order that man might inhabit it in his present form. But what types of animals, creatures that are all there in the fossil record could have existed in the billions of years prior to Genesis verse Ezekiel 28:3 , chapter 1. And thus, all of the ages would be all accounted for, because we don't know when the original creation took place. And there are viable arguments, and of course, the fact that Satan came along so early; he had already fallen to tempt Eve, and that there was darkness over the face of the deep and all. All tend to give credence to this gap theory and that the earth was somehow disheveled and destroyed at Satan's rebellion in sin against God.

And a literal reading of verse Ezekiel 28:2 can read, "but the earth became wasted and desolate." And it is not consistent with God's creative acts to create something wasted and desolate. When God creates it, He creates it perfect. God saw the light that it was good. God saw the land that it was good. God saw the animals; they were good. It isn't consistent with God to create something wasted and desolate, without form and void. So there are some arguments, very powerful arguments for the gap theory, and I have not in my own mind totally set it aside as not worthy of consideration. I think that it has some very worthy points, and thus I have no firm set in my own mind as far as creation is concerned. It's still an open chapter, an open file, and I await further information.

I know that God could have created the whole thing just ten thousand years ago, six thousand; I have no problem with that. But I also realize it could have been billions of years ago, and that between Genesis 1:0 and 2 you have a long gap, at which time somewhere in there Satan was created and Satan fell and rebelled against God, and the whole system was brought into a chaotic state. The earth became wasted and desolate, with form and void and all. So, you can't be dogmatic in my mind on these things, though I know many people are dogmatic on it.

Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of the traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee ( Ezekiel 28:18 ).

Satan will ultimately be cast into the lake that is burning with fire, and this is the reference to it here. Right now Satan has great liberties. God has allowed him these liberties. They are liberties within boundaries. Satan works within prescribed boundaries that God has placed upon him.

When he came to God concerning Job, he said, "You've put a hedge around him. I can't touch him." God put the boundaries upon Satan, the perimeters in which he can work. As far as I'm concerned, he still has too much liberty. When Jesus comes again and establishes the kingdom of God upon the earth, Satan will at that point be bound and placed into the abusso, the bottomless pit, where he will stay for almost a thousand years. Right out towards the end of that thousand-year period, he'll be released again for a short season to deceive people and to create a rebellion against the Lord, that the Lord might be righteous when He makes the final judgment. For there will be those who will have been born during the Kingdom Age or those who have lived into the Kingdom Age who have never really made a real commitment of the their lives to Jesus Christ, will have to live righteously by force during the Kingdom Age. But towards the end, they'll be given their opportunity to express what has been in their heart the whole time--the rebellion against God that is there. And then at the culmination of this final rebellion, Satan will be cast into the Gehenna, the lake burning with fire, and there the final judgment of God upon him as is expressed here.

All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more ( Ezekiel 28:19 ).

No more freedom, liberty, anything else.

The judgment of Sidon now. He turns from Tyre, from the prince of Tyre, to this sister city of Sidon up the coast.

And again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD. And they shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 28:20-24 ).

Notice there is nothing said about ultimate destruction or complete destruction or never be rebuilt. Sidon still exists on the ancient site of the city of Sidon, and it's still a city there to the present day.

Verse Ezekiel 28:25 , God speaks now of the regathering of His people Israel.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel [speaking of the present day] from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen ( Ezekiel 28:25 ),

Now that is not yet come. That will take place when the invading Russian army is destroyed.

Then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God ( Ezekiel 28:25-26 ).

That's, of course, going on into the Kingdom Age when God has finally brought His judgment upon all of the nations for the treatment that they have given to the Jews. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 28". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-28.html. 2014.
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