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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 27

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Eze 27:1-2. The first verses are almost identically alike in many of the chapters of this book, hence I have combined it with the second verse after a comment in one or two places. And it will be well to make occasional reference to its significance, notwithstanding the general grouping just stated. The thought should be observed that Ezekiel received his instructions from the Lord and so his writings are inspired. On the phrase son of man see the comments at chapter 2: 1. Lamentation for Tyrus does not signify the personal sentiments of the prophet, although he may have felt some of them because of his humane temperament. The thought is that lie was to predict a lamentable condition to come upon that city.

Verse 3

Eze 27:3. Entry of the sea. Tyrus was on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and that gave the city a great advantage in commerce. She could trade with foreign ports without any land transportation, then send her land conveyances inland with the wares obtained oversea and exchange them for manufactured products. This fact is meant by the phrase merchant of the people, and the situation filled her with pride and caused her to say boastfully, I am of perfect beauty.

Verse 4

Eze 27:4. Borders means boundaries and the main thought in the verse is that Tyrus had full use of the sea for her traffic. Her builders or workmen and men in the service of the city used the advantages of the sea to bring their beloved metropolis to the highest possible perfection.

Verse 5

Eze 27:5. Having the "range1’ of the sea at her command, that encouraged these builders to make vessels for that purpose. And here we can see another advantage in being situated on the seacoast. It was near the famous forests of the Lebanon district and hence in easy access to some of the best materials for shipbuilding.

Verse 6

Eze 27:6. The oak timber was another good material connected with the building and propelling of ships in the special item of oars, for those parts would require strength to resist the strain of pulling. Cedar and fir are not so strong, but that quality was not important for the body of a ship; it was lighter in weight and hence better adapted to a vessel that was to float on water. The benches refers to the decks which were made of ivory, and this is another indication of the city’s luxurious condition.

Verse 7

Eze 27:7. No ordinary material was used for sails although it might have served the purpose very well. But this city with such a "high standard" in her ambitions obtained linen that was produced in Egypt, which was of especially high quality. Smith’s Bible Dictionary has the following to say of this product. "Egypt was the great center of the linen trade. Some linen, made from the Egyptian byssus, a flax that grew on the banks of the Nile, was exceedingly soft and of dazzling whiteness.” (See 1Ki 10:28). Blue and purple are colors hut the expression has reference to the fabrics that were so colored. Elishah was a place supposed to have been inhabited by the descendants of a son of Javan who had that name (Gen 10:4). These fine goods and dies were obtained from this territory because they were of exceptional quality. Covered is from MEKACCEK, and a part of Strong's definition is, “an awning from the sun,"

Verse 8

Eze 27:8. Because of the prestige of Tyrus she could "have her pick" of men for service. The inhabitants of Zldon (another city of that nation) and Arvad (a small island near the Phoenician coast) were skilled well enough for the general service expected of mariners, but the more particular business of guiding the ships was left to the trained and skilful men of the city of Tyrus.

Verse 10

Eze 27:10. The significance of naming these places in the several verses is to show the extensive resources of man power which Tyrus possessed. These men referred to in this verse took personal interest in the security and also the attractiveness of the chief city of Phoenicia.

Verse 11

Eze 27:11. The men of Arvad are mentioned in verse 8 who were used in the service of handling the work on board the ships. The same place furnished other men to guard the walls of the city. Towers were structures erected in important spots for the purpose of defense. The men who would be assigned to such a post would need to be brave and able in repelling a foe. Qammadims is from the Hebrew word gammad which Strong defines, “A warrior (as grasp- jng weapons)," A shield is a protective armor and these warriors were provided with such articles so well that they had them to hang round on the walls, indicating the completeness of their equipment.

Verse 12

Eze 27:12. Tarshish was a town on the western coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This seaport produced the metals named in the verse, then transported them over the sea to Tyrus and exchanged them for the goods on sale in her markets.

Verse 13

Eze 27:13. Javan, Tubal and Meshech were originally the names of men. but at the time of our verse the names stand for the groups of descendants coming down from them. Those groups supplied Tyrus with slaves, and material or inanimate articles.

Verse 14

Eze 27:14. Togarmah, like the names in the preceding verse, was the name of a specific man. but who had a host of descendants who formed a group that retained the name of their ancestor. In conjunction with the statements of this verse, I shall cite the statement of Smith's Bible Dictionary. “His [Togarmah’s] descendants became a people engaged in agriculture, breeding horses and Mules to be sold in Tyre.”

Verse 15

Eze 27:15. Men of Dedan means the group of people who descended from that man, who traded in the markets of Tyrus. Isles is defined in t.he lexicon as “a habitable spot." A great many places or groups have been and still will be specified as those dealing in the markets of Tyrus. The prophet interrupts that line to make a general statement concerning the extensive commerce of the city in the words. ■inany isles were the merchandise of thine hand. Present is used in the sense of a return payment for value received. Horns is said of the ivory because the shape of the elephant's tusk resembles a horn, and the article was evidently transported in its natural form.

Verse 16

Eze 27:16. This verse is along the same line as the others of the chapter. Syria brought the products of her country to the city of Tyrus and exchanged them for the manufactured wares of that great seaport.

Verse 17

Eze 27:17. Among the many peoples and countries who traded with Tyrus was that of God’s nation. There is not much difference between Judah and land of Israel; the first is a division of the second. Minnith is a place east of the Jordan that produced wheat which was taken to the market in Tyrus. Other products of Palestine are named among the ones carried to the Phoenician city. Pannag is said to be of uncertain meaning, but the nearest suggestion is in Strong's lexicon where he says it is "probably pastry." The other products are called by their usual names.

Verse 18

Verse 18. Damascus was the chief city of Syria which was an important country on the east border of Phoenicia. Helbon was a city near Damascus and Smith's Bible Dictionary says it was “celebrated as producing the finest grapes in the country." This product as well as a fine quality of wool was taken to Tyrus and exchanged for her wares.

Verse 19

Eze 27:19. was a son of Jacob and Javan was a descendant of Noah, but both words came to be names of towns. The people of those places traveled to and from between their communities and Tyrus to deal in the markets of that Phoenician city. Bright iron is rendered “wrought iron” in the Revised Version, which indicates it was iron that had been refined to some extent. Cassia was the bark of some kind of tree that had an aromatic odor. Calamus was a plant of the reed family and one of its uses was that of making paper for writing and other purposes.

Verse 20

Eze 27:20. Dedan has already been mentioned (verse 15) as one of the traders with Tyrus, but that verse is not very specific as to its products. The present verse tells us that the article it took to Tyrus was precious clothes for chariots. The last, word has a very indefinite meaning in the lexicon, including men who ride in chariots and those who ride on horses as cavalrymen. The phrase means some fine covering for the bodies of these men.

Verse 21

Eze 27:21. Arabia was on open country and its people worked in the production of sheep and goats. It is not strange, therefore, that such things were taken by them to be offered in exchange for the wares of Tyrus.

Verse 22

Eze 27:22, Sheba and Raamah, like some other words, were originally names of certain men, but finally were applied to groups of people who descended from them. They were among the ones who traded in the market of Tyrus.

Verse 23

Eze 27:23. Some of the names in this verse were once those of men, but at the time of this writing all of them referred to towns or countries. Were thy merchants means they traded with Tyrus, exchanging with each other their respective products.

Verse 24

Eze 27:24. The gist of this verse is that the places mentioned in the preceding verse made cedar chests, filled them with fine clothes, bound them shut with cords, and then took them to Tyrus to exchange for her manu-factured merchandise.

Verse 25

Eze 27:25. Sing is defined in the lexicon, "To turn, i.e. travel about (as a harlot or a merchant).” Considering the general subject, and the correct rendering of the original for sing, the clause means the ships of Tarshish “travel for thee because of thy market." The result is that Tyrus la replenished or made richer, and is able to make a glorious appearance In the midBt of the sea. However, the various success of the merchandising of Tyrus filled her with pride and a feeling of independence which caused the Lord to decree her downfall.

Verse 26

Eze 27:26, Up to the present time the subject matter has been the prosperous state of Tyrus. The Lord was sorely displeased with the city and decreed to humble her by a series of defeats at the hands of other nations. But as a partial reason for the chastisement of this enemy of His people, he had the prophet present to her a long list of the resources from which she had obtained her wealth and other advantages. After presenting to the proud city this picture, He changes the subject and begins to portray to her some of the calamities that are to befall her. In some of the verses the terms and imagery are those that belong to the sea and the business and activities of it. In some there is a mixture of the two kinds of illustrations. The comparisons cannot always be meant literally, for no history shows Tyrus ever to have suffered the ruin at sea that is herein set forth. The selection of terms, however, is appropriate, since the whole history of the city is one of the sea and of the traffic by Tyrus thereon. Let the reader bear in mind that while the language will be that of a sea and a ship and the men managing it, the real subject usually is the “ship of state,” and the sea is the world of business and politics, and the mariners are the men in high places in the city. Hence in the present verse the rowers (rulers) have brought the city into great waters (in contact with others nations). The east wind (nations from the east) hath broken thee (defeated the city) in the midst of the sea (in the power of the besiegers).

Verse 27

Eze 27:27. This is one of the verses with a mixture of literal and figurative terms. Fall into the midst of the seas is figurative and refers to the defeat of Tyrus at the hands of attacking nations. The calkers are the men supposed to manage the affairs of the city, while the other terms are literal.

Verse 28

Eze 27:28. This short verse is an interesting combination of the literal and figurative. Suburbs is from migeask and Strong defines it, “A suburb (i.e. open country whither flocks are driven for pasture); hence area around a building, or the margin of the sea." The literal territory surrounding Tyrus was to be taken over by the enemy and that would cause the men of the city to cry out in despair. Such an event will be like a ship that has been attacked and defeated, which would cause the pilots to raise a wail that could be heard all around the shore of the sea.

Verse 29

Eze 27:29, This verse describes (fig-uratively) the utter dejection the men of Tyrus will manifest when their beloved city is overthrown by the enemy.

Verse 30

Eze 27:30, This describes in literal terms the actual behaviour the men of Tyrus will show at the defeat of their city. The use of dust and ashes and sackcloth was an ancient custom resorted to in times of great distress or anxiety.

Verse 31

Eze 27:31. This verse describes some more of the customs of old times to express grief. They actually shaved off the hair of the head to produce artificial baldness.

Verse 32

Eze 27:32, This verse is all literal, even the reference to the sea, since the city of Tyrus was finally situated on an Island half a mile out into the sea.

Verse 33

Eze 27:33. This refers to the extensive trade that Tyrus once had with other cities. The business was conducted by vessels that went forth out of the sens.

Verse 34

Eze 27:34. The first part of this verse is figurative and refers to the "seas*' of enemy nations. This circumstance will literally cause the downfall of the commercial success of Tyrus, which will mean the loss of her main support.

Verse 35

Eze 27:35. Isles means "habitable spots," and the people in those places will be overwhelmed at the downfall of so great a city as Tyrus, They shall be troubled will be natural, for if so powerful a city as Tyrus can be thus brought to ruin, what might be the fate of other cities less strong?

Verse 36

Eze 27:36. Never shall be any mare, is comparative, for Tyrus does exist even at the present time (1949). But it never regained its independence or commercial power, and was always a subject under other nations.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-27.html. 1952.
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