Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 27

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

The dirge of Tyre written in poetical form. Tyre is compared to a fair vessel, to whose equipment the various nations of the world contribute, launching forth in majesty, to be wrecked and to perish. The nations enumerated point out Tyre as the center of commerce between the eastern and western world. This position, occupied for a short time by Jerusalem, was long maintained by Tyre, until the erection of Alexandria supplanted her in this traffic. Compare the dirge of Babylon Isaiah 14:3-23; in each case the city named represents the world-power antagonistic to God.

Verse 3

Entry - literally, “entries.” Ancient Tyre had two ports, that called the Sidonian to the north, the Egyptian to the south; the former exists to the present day. The term “entry of the sea” is naturally enough applied to a harbor as a place from which ships enter and return from the sea. The city was known in the earliest times as “Tyre the port.”

Verse 5

Fir-trees (or, cypress) of Senir - The name by which the Amorites knew Mount Hermon.

Verse 6

The company ... ivory - Rather, “thy benches (or, deck) made they of ivory with boxwood” (or, larch), i. e., boxwood inlaid with ivory.

The isles - (or, coasts) of Chittim is a phrase used constantly for Greece and the Grecian islands. It may probably be extended to other islands in the Mediterranean sea Genesis 10:5, and there ivory may have been brought from the coasts of North Africa.

Verse 7

Or, “Fine linen Genesis 41:42 with embroidery from Egypt was” thy sail that it might be to thee for a banner. Sails from Egypt were worked with various figures upon them which served as a device. Their boats had no separate pennons.

Blue and purple - Tyrian purple was famous. The Tyrians no doubt imported from the neighboring coasts the mollusks from which they dyed the fine linen of Egypt.

Isles of Elishah - See Genesis 10:4. Elishah is considered equivalent to the Greek AEolis on the western coast of Asia Minor. This and the islands adjacent would very naturally have commerce with the Tyrians. In early days the supply of the murex from the coast of Phoenicia had been insufficient for the Tyrian manufactures. The isles of Greece abounded in the mollusks.

That which covered thee - As an awning.

Verse 8

Arvad - See Genesis 10:18. An island off the coast of Sidon, now called Ruad.

Verse 9

Gebal - i. e., Byblos (modern Gebeil) in Phoenicia, the chief seat of the worship of Adonis, and situated on an eminence over-looking the river Adonis, north of Beirut, not far from the Mediterranean sea. The “ancients” is a term for the council that presided over maritime cities.

Verses 10-11

Gammadims - Rendered by Septuagint “watchmen;” by others, “brave warriors;” but more probably the name of some nation of which we have no record. The custom of hanging shields upon the walls of a town by way of ornament seems to have been of purely Phoenician origin, and thence introduced by Solomon into Jerusalem 1 Kings 10:16.

Verses 12-24

All sorts of things - See the margin, “made of cedar” Rather, made fast.

Verse 25

Did sing of thee - Or, were thy bulwarks, i. e., bulwarks of thy traffic. Others render it: “were thy caravans,” thy merchandise.

Verse 26

The east wind - Compare the marginal reference

Verse 27

All who have been enumerated as sharing in, and constituting, the glory of Tyre are now recounted as partakers in her wreck.

Verse 28

The suburbs - Or, “precincts.” Tyre rose from the midst of the sea; her “precincts” were the surrounding waters and the adjoining coasts.

Verse 29

As Tyre is figured by a large vessel, so are the subject-states by smaller boats which accompany the great ship. These terrified by the storm approach the land. Tyre is hopelessly swallowed up, crew and all, in the midst of the sea. The small crafts escape to shore.

Verse 31

Utterly bald - See Ezekiel 7:18 note.

Verse 35

The news of Tyre’s ruin shall reach to distant isles, to merchant cities who trade with her. These in their selfish love of gain shall rejoice over her who was once paramount over them, hissing out against her curses and scorn.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.