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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 27

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-11

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 27

LAMENTATION OF FALL OF TYRE AND HER FORMER GLORY

Verses 1-11:

THE GLORY AND POWER OF TYRE REVIEWED

Verses 1, 2 are a certified statement by Ezekiel that the Lord directed him to take up a vocal and written lamentation of a funeral dirge for Tyre, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21.

Verse 3 begins describing the lamentation. She is described as a city situated or located at the entrances to the sea, with northern and southern harbors, a merchant center city of many isles, who had pronounced and advertised herself as being perfect or mature in beauty, a self-evaluation of degraded pride, Ezekiel 28:2. Her northern seaport served the Sidonian area and merchants to the north, while her southern harbor-port served Egypt and the nations and merchants from the south. She was described by Isaiah as "a mast of nations," Isaiah 23:3; Ezekiel 28:12.

Verse 4 explains that her borders of trade and influence reached to the midst of the seas. From the expanse of her sea-merchant business, half a mile off the mainland, Tyre had extracted and formed her continental city of beauty and temporary glory, Isaiah 23:5; Isaiah 23:8.

Verses 5, 6 recount how ship had been built in the shipyards of Tyrus, with the best boards of fir trees from Senir, and cedars from Lebanon had been used to build the masts of her ship They had brought the finest of oak wood from Bashan for oars for the ship They had made benches of ivory, carved by a crew of Ashurite workmen, from ivory brought from the coasts of Chittim. Tyre had employed many laborers in her growth, Deuteronomy 3:9; Jeremiah 2:10.

Verses 7-9 continue a description of shipbuilding and builders in Tyre. Fine broidered work was imported from Egypt to fabricate the sails of the ship, with their ensigns. Blue and purple dyes were brought from the isles of Elishah to be used for painting and color designs both without and within the ship, Genesis 10:4. Residents of Zidon and Arvad were their source of mariner workers and the wiser men of Tyre were pilots of her ship The ancients or older men of Gebal were employed as caulkers, to seal and secure the ship from leaking, Joshua 13:5; Psalms 83:7. It concluded that all the ship of the sea and their mariners came to Tyre to occupy her merchandise. They came to buy and sell merchandise, to purchase new ship, and have repair and renovation done on their ship The city was furnished with hired soldiers from many nations, so that her commercial greatness came to rest on a military basis, a dangerous source of security, when outside the will of God.

Verses 10, 11 recount the armies of Tyras as composed of men from Persia, Lud, and Phut, bearing the shield and helmet in her, Ezekiel 30:5; Ezekiel 38:5; Jeremiah 46:9. Men of Arvad were said to be in her army as watchmen, stationed upon her walls, and the Gammadims were stationed in her look-out towers. These hanged their shining shields out upon the walls of Tyre for a display of armed security, beauty, and feigned glory, 1 Chronicles 11:17; Isaiah 66:19; Nahum 3:9.

Verses 12-25

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE IN TYRE

Verses 12-25:

Verse 12 begins a description of Tyre’s international commerce in securing her primary needs of silver, iron, tin, and lead from Tarshish, in Spain, to the west. This ancient city of riches is first mentioned Genesis 10:4; 2 Chronicles 20:36.

Verse 13 adds that Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were areas from which Tyre engaged in slave trade, and secured their vessels of brass, for their own marketing needs. It is said that the Turks still take pride in purchasing harems of females, slaves from Circassia and Georgia where the young women are noted for their beauty, Joel 3:6; Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; 1 Chronicles 1:7; Isaiah 65:19.

Verse 14 states that Togarmah of the northern Armenia area, descendants of Gomer, furnished Tyre her horses, horsemen, and mules, Genesis 10:3; 1 Chronicles 1:6. They inhabit the southern rough region of the Caucasus mountain range. The country was then well known for its breed of horses in great demand by the Persian kings of the day.

Verse 15 recounts that Dedan, a commercial town in the Persian gulf was also a territory of the merchants of Tyre, another of the most ancient centers of the world, Genesis 10:7. The people of her coasts carried gifts of ivory and ebony, which they got from India, to present to Tyre for her personal use and outlets of resale, v. 27.

Verse 16 adds that Syria furnished the factories of Tyre emeralds, purple, broidered work, fine linen, and coral and agate stones to be used in their international commerce, through her many merchantmen of the seas, Genesis 10:7; Genesis 25:3; 1 Chronicles 1:9; 1 Chronicles 1:32; Jeremiah 25:23; Jeremiah 49:8.

Verse 17 states that Judah of the land of southern Israel furnished to the markets of Tyre wheat of Minnith, and Pannog, and honey, oil, and balm, used for food and medicinal purposes, Judges 11:33; 1 Kings 5:9; 1 Kings 5:11; Ezra 3:7; Acts 12:20. Balm is rosin, Jeremiah 8:22.

Verse 18 lists wine of Hebron, and white wool, as produce marketed by Damascus of Syria, through the merchants of Tyre. Persian monarchs would drink no other wine than this.

Verse 19 adds that Dan and Javan regularly engaged in market exchange with Tyre, by sale of their wares of bright iron of Yemen, Cassia, and Calamus, found or produced in Asia, Genesis 10:27.

Verse 20 also lists precious clothes for chariots, as an item of market sold from Dedan in Asia, in addition to the ivory and ebony previously certified, v. 15. Dedan descended from Abraham and Keturah, Genesis 25:3.

Verse 21 tells of the merchants or nomads of Arabia, and her princes or rulers of Keder, who brought and sent to Tyre flocks of lambs, rams, and goats for both their use and resale in their international merchant market, Genesis 25:13; Isaiah 21:16; Isaiah 66:7.

Verse 22 relates that the merchants of Sheba and Raamah were chief sources of supply, from which the markets of Tyre secured spices, precious stones, and gold, Genesis 10:7; 1 Kings 10:2; Psalms 72:10; Psalms 72:15.

Verse 23 lists six further merchant cities which sold their supplies, produce, and marketable goods to and through Tyre. The cities and territories were Haran, Canneh, and Eden of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, referred to Genesis 11:31; 2 Kings 19:12; Genesis 25:3; Acts 7:4.

Verses 24, 25 restate that merchants from afar sought purchase, sale, and resale of all sorts of excellent things in blue clothes, broidered work, chests of rich apparel, bound with words, made of cedar in Tyre. The merchants of the ship of Tarshish in Spain did sing of her glory, advertise her markets, v. 13; Isaiah 2:16.

Verses 26-36

LAMENTATIONS FOR LOSS OF TYRE’S GLORY

Verses 26-36:

Verses 26-28 describe Tyre as having been brought by her rowing mariners, into the midst of the sea of great waters where the east wind has broken up her ship. The east wind is used to signify the powers of Assyria, that like the east wind, have swept down upon her through the mountains of Lebanon, Psalms 48:7; Acts 27:14; Acts 27:41. Those east winds from Lebanon are said to be the most violent of the Mediterranean Sea, Psalms 48:8. Nebuchadnezzar is represented under this figure. The riches of all Tyre her mariners, pilots, merchants, ship, warehouses, harbors, and men of war were prophesied to fall in the midst of the sea in her ruin and devastation, caused by the east wind flood-tide of Divinely sent judgment, Proverbs 11:4; Ezekiel 16:12; Revelation 18:11. Even the surburbs or adjoining villages of Tyre would shake and quake at the despairing cry of doom from the pilots of the city of Tyre. The scene is one of total devastation.

Verses 29, 30 foretell cries of despair that shall come forth from the mariners and pilots who leave their ship and stand upon the land and cry aloud, bitterly, casting dust upon their heads and wallowing in the ashes as an expression of grief and despair, when it is too late; When the sins of the city and people have gone too far for God to redeem from judgment, Jeremiah 11:14; Joshua 7:6; 1 Samuel 4:12; Revelation 18:19; 1 Samuel 13:19; Matthew 11:21.

Verse 31 adds that these mighty pilots, mariners, and salty merchantmen of the seas shall make themselves completely bald, dress themselves in sackcloth, weeping bitterly for Tyre, with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing, tormenting themselves, not with regret for the sins of Tyre so much as for their personal, selfish loss of monetary gain and international prestige, Deuteronomy 14:1; Jeremiah 14:11.

Verse 32 foretells that these men will, in the course of wailing, take up a lamentation, talking aloud to themselves in grief, yet addressing Tyre, asking what city is like her who is destroyed in the midst of the sea? Revelation 18:18. Not only was her continent base but also her island base and her sea traffic destroyed.

Verse 33 lamentingly recounts that her merchant traffic once enriched her employees, her merchants, and kings of the earth with her wares and custom dues or taxes that were levied by kings on her traffic produce; She engaged in business commerce with nations far and near.

Verses 34, 35 further foretell that in Tyre’s coming doom, when she is broken up and all her company falls into the midst of the sea, all the inhabitants of the coastal regions, all seaports and harbors with which she had so long exchanged her wares, would be dumbfounded. Their kings would be struck with fear. Trouble would show in their countenance as they were stunned with ashen paleness at the Assyrian desolation of Tyre, their mighty source of sea merchandise and wealth gained from it, Isaiah 23:6; Ezekiel 26:15.

Verse 36 concludes that the lament for Tyre shall die out with the sound of hissing merchants that survive among her people, without gainful employment, hissing like vipers over a mound of devastated terror, Ezekiel 26:21; Ezekiel 28:19. A city that should never rise again, 1 Kings 9:8; Jeremiah 18:16.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-27.html. 1985.
 
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