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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 27

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-36

Ezekiel 27:6 . The isles of Chittim. Cilicia, Cyprus, Macedonia, the Greek islands, or Apulia on the shores of Italy. Thus critics take the word in a general sense.

Ezekiel 27:9 . Gebal, a district of Phœnicia, adjacent to Tyre. The city was of the same name. Pliny writes it Gabala.

Ezekiel 27:12 . Tarshish. It is matter of doubt whether this word signifies Cadiz, Tartessus, or ocean. See Isaiah 23:6. Yet we read of “the kings of Tarshish,” Psalms 72:10; and they cannot reign on the sea. Perhaps Tremellius did not fully weigh this text when he affirmed Tarshish to be the ocean. The LXX both here and in Isaiah 23:6, render the word Carthage. But Tyre is there called the daughter of Tarshish, and Carthage was a daughter or colony of Tyre. Now it would seem impossible for the LXX to make repeated mistakes concerning Tarshish, as neither Cadiz nor Carthage could have more than one king. Tarshish may signify the remoter coasts of Africa, to which Europe might also be joined in idea, after ships had passed the pillars of Hercules, now Gibraltar and Cetua. The curious reader may collate the following passages. 1 Kings 9:26; 1Ki 10:22 ; 1 Kings 22:48, 2 Chronicles 8:17; 2 Chronicles 20:36. Jonah 1:3. The ships of Tarshish went to Ophir or Africa.

Ezekiel 27:17 . Minnith, a region of Ammon. Judges 11:33. Yet others regard Minnith and Pannag, not as places, but as the names of goods sold in trade.

Ezekiel 27:18 . Helbon. Chalybonis, or Chalsis, now Aleppo.

Ezekiel 27:20 . Dedan. The isle of Rhodes, which is mentioned after Javan, or the Grecian coasts. So the LXX read, but some will have it Dedan, the grandson of Abraham.

Ezekiel 27:22 . Sheba was at the entrance of the Red sea.

Ezekiel 27:23 . Haran. Genesis 28:10. Canneh or Ctesiphon, near Bagdad. Eden, in the vicinity of Babylon. Genesis 13:0. Asshur, or Assyria. Chilmad, the remoter parts of Media. See the Map.


“God’s ministers often see reason to lament over those, who in their own judgment and in the opinion of their carnal neighbours, are the happiest people in the world: Ezekiel 27:2. When Tyre was in all its glory, we read nothing of its religion, piety, sobriety and charity; but much of its trade and wealth, pomp and magnificence. Yet it was in a deplorable state, and its ruin hastening on. Those who live in plenty and luxury, others admire and praise; but those who know and consider the end of the wicked, look upon them with pity, as hastening to a dreadful doom.

We may here reflect on the wisdom and goodness of God in the various products of the earth. See the riches of divine bounty, in furnishing different countries with different commodities, serviceable to the support, comfort, or ornament of life. All are the gifts of God, though pride and luxury may abuse them. We have particular reason to rejoice in his goodness to our happy land, that it has all the necessaries of life in itself, produces the most valuable commodities, and such an abundance of them as to supply other nations.

Reflect on the advantages of trade and commerce. The wisdom of providence should be observed in giving men their different inclinations to pursue their several occupations in life, particularly in teaching some the art of sailing, and giving them courage and resolution to practise it; that thus the products of one country may be transported to another, social intercourse extended, and a way opened for the spread of the gospel, which is a blessing infinitely valuable. When we feed on or wear foreign commodities, and see the value of money in exchange, let us bless God for trade and commerce, honour those who are employed in it, and abhor the senseless pride of those who despise the merchant and trader.

What little dependance is to be placed upon the wealth and elegances of life. What a mournful change do we here see in the state of Tyre. So uncertain are all the fine things in which men boast and delight. Wealthy merchants and wealthy cities run to ruin, and multitudes are involved in the fall: and such calamities will be doubly bitter to those who have lived in luxury and splendour. When we read this inventory of Tyre’s wealth, it should make us thankful that we can do without most of it; and should not be high-minded, though we have ever so much of it, for it is all fading. How sad is it with a nation when its governors ruin it, when its pilots and those at the helm run it aground. No trade and commerce, no fleets or fortresses will secure it, if there be not integrity, wisdom, and harmony in its leaders. We have therefore need to pray that God would give our commanders these qualifications, and be the defence of our land; and in order to this, that we may remember him that made us, and not lightly esteem the rock of our salvation.”

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/ezekiel-27.html. 1835.
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