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Tuesday, June 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 28

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

Verse 1

Eze 28:1-2. The prince of Tyrus refers to the king of the city (see verse 12) who was very boastful. His successful dealings with nations and cities over land and sea had filled him with pride. I am a god, is a strong wording for the actual feelings of the king, meaning he regarded himself as a sort of superman. The prophet was directed to declare unto this proud king of Tyrus that he was only a human being.

Verse 3

Eze 28:3. This verse is what is known in literature and oral speech as Irony, a form of expression in which the author says the very opposite of what he means. It is a very pointed kind of rebuke, and generally is employed where the person addressed is re-garded as being unworthy of more serious consideration. Job used such a form of speech in his reply to the three friends. (See Job 12:2.)

Verse 4

Eze 28:4. The king of Tyrus was not as wise as he thought, yet he was not unintelligent, for he had succeeded in attracting the commerce of other cities. He had dealt with them in such a manner as to make a considerable profit.

Verse 5

Eze 28:5. The fact of gaining riches would not have caused the king to be condemned, but it was liis pride of heart over it that condemned him. This principle is taught in the New Testament (Mar 10:24; 1Ti 6:10; 1Ti 6:17),

Verse 6

Eze 28:6, Set thine heart ... as God. He had let his heart at least pretend to think he was equal with God, because of bis success in the accumulation of riches.

Verse 7

Eze 28:7. Strangers means persons of another country, and the terrible kind of people of such a country as that would be the kind used in the matter. The wisdom of the king of Tyrus will not he any defense against the sword of the enemy.

Verse 8

Eze 28:8. Pit is from a word that means obscurity or forgetfulness. Many of the men of Tyrus were destined to die a literal death, but also the city was to die figuratively in that it would lose its greatness never to he fully regained. (See the comments on the last verse of the preceding chapter.)

Verse 9

Eze 28:9. The king of Tyrus was very boastful and tried to beiteve that no being was as good as he. The Lord represents him as being so vain that be would even maintain his superiority while in tbe presence of the force that had him in subjection.

Verse 10

Eze 28:10. Physical circumcision would mean nothing to a citizen of Phoenicia, hence there would be no point in threatening him with some treatment by an uncircumcised per-son. History shows that when God uses an uncircumcised man to execute His wrath upon an individual It is considered a deep disgrace (1Sa 31:4). Hence the word is directly connected with strangers in this threatening prediction against the king of Tyrus. Another thing, it would be logical to expect God to impose his severest punishments upon the un cireumcised person because that means an uficonsecrated one.

Verse 11

Eze 28:11-12. Take up a lamentation is explained at Eze 27:2. Sealest up the sum is a strained rendering of tlie original. The first is from CHATHAM which Strong defines, "to close up," and the last is from TOKNIYTH which the same authority defines, "admeasurement,” and that is from still another Hebrew word that means “a fixed quantity." The phrase has to do with the conduct of the king of Tyrus, and of his changed state of mind after he became evil affected by his many successes. The key to it is in the words till iniquity was found in thee in verse 15. He had manifested a degree of wisdom and God had favored him with many good things because his conduct was pleasing to Him. But when great power and riches came to him he became Tain and discarded his good judgment and wisdom; he “sealed it up" or ended it.

Verse 13

Eze 28:13. A few verses will describe the high standing the king had while his heart was right. The reference to Eden and mention of precious stones and metal is largely figurative and said to explain the subject by comparison.

Verse 14

Eze 28:14. This verse, like the preceding one, is figurative, portraying the favor of God that was bestowed on the king of Tyrus while he was worthy of it. We have evidence elsewhere in the Bible that God takes an interest in the affairs of earthly governments and their rulers. (See Daniel 4: 17; 5; 18, 21, 26.) The terms of this verse are also comparative and the mountain of God means the government of Tyrus was given to this king by the God who "rules in the kingdoms of men” as stated in the passages cited in the preceding verse.

Verse 15

Eze 28:15. This verse is explained in the comments on verse 12.

Verse 16

Eze 28:16. Merchandise . . . violence. The connection between these words is in the fact that the prosperity of Tyrus filled her with pride and that in turn caused her to become wicked and violent. Cast out of the mountain. See verse 14 for comments on mountain and the relation of Tyrus to it. The favorable condition was to be reversed on account of the evil turn in the conduct of the city.

Verse 17

Eze 28:17. Briefly speaking, the pride of Tyrus over the successes caused the city to destroy her good character. Lay thee before kings is a prediction of the subjugation to be suffered by Tyrus at the hands of foreign kings, such as Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander and possibly some others of less note.

Verse 18

Eze 28:18. Defiled thy sanctuaries. By her corrupt conduct and state of mind, the once fair name and standing of Tyrus was defiled. It was brought about by the prosperous results of the vast traffic on the sea. Fire from, the midst of thee denotes that Tyrus would he "burned” by the fire of her own iniquity.

Verse 19

Eze 28:19. Shalt be a terror is explained at Eze 27:35, and never shall be any more is commented upon in the last verse of that chapter.

Verse 20

Eze 28:20-21. Zidon was another city of Phoenicia about 20 miles north of Tyrus, It is otherwise spelled Sidon and is often referred to in other parts of the Bible including the New Testament. It was inferior to Tyrus yet was an important city in ancient times. The Lord bad the prophet to deliver some warnings against that place because it had oppressed His people.

Verse 22

Eze 28:22. The primary object of all demonstrations against the city was that they shall know that 1 am fhe Lord. We can realize the need for such a display of power because of the almost universal tendencies toward idolatry in those days.

Verse 23

Eze 28:23. Pestilence (disease) and the sword (warfare) were to be brought upon the city of Zidon, This was to be accomplished through the services of some other strange people whom God would use as his agency in the matter.

Verse 24

Eze 28:24. Pricking brier refers to the bitter opposition that the Zido- nians had waged against God's people. Some of the early accounts of the persecutions brought by these people against the children of Israel are re-corded in Jdg 3:3. It is true God sponsored that oppression of His people to chastise them, but the Lord never would tolerate the personal motive the heathens entertained against them though they were carrying out the divine plan when they oppressed His people.

Verse 25

Eze 28:25. We have two verses that predict the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. For about four chapters the prophet has been making accusations and predictions against the heathen nations that had mistreated His people, and soon he will resume his writing along that line. But God has always been jealous for the nation that was called by His name, and has been careful to let the other nations know Of the divine care that is always over the Israelites. Many of the heathen people knew of the exile in Babylon of those people, and some of them even rejoiced over It, But the Lord determined to take their rejoicing over the unfortunate people away from them. Hence while this- prediction was written in the book that could be read by the people of Israel, the immediate use of it was for the information of the heathen against whom He had been and still will be addressing the warnings. That explains why the challenging words in the sifiht of the heathen are inserted amid the prediction.

Verse 26

Eze 28:26. Shall dwell safely does not guarantee that Israel would never have any difficulty with other nations for she did. But she had no trouble in taking possession of the native land after the rulers in power came to understand the situation. (See the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.) The temporary difficulties that were intimated a few lines above were removed and the people of God went forward with their work of reconstruction and reformation. They even obtained material help and legal support from the heathen in their grand program of restoration. That is the meaning of the last half of the present verse, and once more the divine purpose was to be accomplished which was to make the people know that I ami the Lord.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 28". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-28.html. 1952.
 
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