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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ezekiel 28

Verses 1-19

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 28

REBUKE AND FALL OF KING OF TYRE

(Much like the Devil)

Verses 1-19:

Verses 1, 2 are a charge from God for Ezekiel to begin a rebuke of the prince or chief ruler of Tyre named Ithboal II. The name indicates that he had a close affinity with Baal which was the chief Phoenician god, whom he as monarch of Tyre represented. His heart was so lifted up with conceit and pride that he had announced, "I am a God." "I sit in the throne-seat of God," though a false god, in the midst of the sea, issuing governing decrees over the great commerce traffic of the seas that flowed through Tyre. Ezekiel was directed to preach it to him, and make it plain, that he was a deceived, pride-filled man, and not God, v. 9; Ezekiel 27:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10. He was a devil possessed and devil directed man, much as the king of Babylon was described, Psalms 82:6-7; Isaiah 14:14; Isaiah 31:3. His real fulfillment was in satan, Daniel 7:25.

Verses 3, 4 chide the pride and self-esteem of Tyre’s king by telling him that he is "wiser than Daniel," who had prophesied for some 14 years, from the palace in Babylon at this time 588 B.C. In his conceit, with an uplifted heart of pride, he ascribed to himself supreme wisdom and glory in getting riches, gold, and silver into his treasure, so much like the rich man of Luke 12:16-21; Daniel 1:20; Daniel 2:46; Daniel 2:48; Zechariah 9:2. It was surely with a tinge and sting of rebuke that he received Ezekiel’s compliment of sarcasm, "look, you are wiser than Soloman," in your own mind. Yet, the king of all Babylon had acknowledged that "I know that the spirit of the holy god is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee," a thing the king of Tyre had surely heard, Daniel 4:6.

Verses 5, 6 continue the Lord’s rebuke at the mouth and pen of Ezekiel. Ezekiel allows that Ithaboal II, king of Tyre, did have the kind of merchandising, commercial, trade wisdom that made him wealthy and caused him to exalt himself in his heart because of his riches, Deuteronomy 8:12-14; Daniel 7:25-26; Daniel 11:36; Acts 12:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:4. But because he had set his heart, or fixed it himself, as the heart of God, that he as the only God one needed, he was justly due a judgment fall, as one wise in his own conceit, not fearing the true God, Proverbs 1:7; Romans 12:16; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 18:11; Proverbs 28:11; 1 Corinthians 3:19; 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:17.

Verse 7 warns that the Lord will bring strangers, even the terrible one of the nations, upon the king of Tyre, Ezekiel 30:11; Ezekiel 31:12; Ezekiel 32:12. This referred to the barbarous, cruel, ferocious Chaldean armies, known for their ferocity in war, Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 25:2; Ezekiel 31:12. It was declared that they would draw their sword against the wisdom and beauty of the king of Tyre and his estate to destroy it.

Verse 8 declares that these cruel warriors from the east would bring the proud king of Tyre down to the pit, so that he should die the death of those who were slain within the midst of the sea, dying and decaying without any to mourn his burial, decay on the field of battle. His death was to be excruciating as many deaths, Jeremiah 16:4.

Verse 9 asks with scolding, rhetoric-like sarcasm, "will you say before him who slays you I am God?" It is then certified by the Lord that the king of Tyre would be a man, and no God, in the hand of the one who should slay him, v. 2.

Verse 10 reasserts that the king of Tyre would die the ferocious death of the uncircumcised, at the hand of cruel foreigners, because the Lord had irrevocably decreed it, because of his pride, self-exaltation, and blasphemy that he himself was God, Exodus 20:1-5. Jews desired to avoid such a death of shame, 1 Samuel 31:4.

Verses 11, 12 reaffirms Ezekiel’s commission from the Lord to prophesy to the king of Tyre in a form of lamentation against and upon him. He was told that he "fit the bill" in sealing up legal claims, the sum total of pride, insolence, and contempt toward the God who sustained him, Ezekiel 27:3. Full of cosmic beauty and degraded pride of exaltation, he was a just candidate for the fury of Divine judgment, because of his exalting himself above the Elohim God, claiming to be a deity, or God himself, v. 2; Psalms 115:4-9; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Ezekiel 27:3; Proverbs 16:18; Luke 12:16-21.

Verse 13 describes the once lofty, exalted position and condition of the luxurious life of the king of Tyre who gathered such wealth from diverse lands; He was once living in a state of wealth and beauty like Eden, Genesis 2:8; Genesis 3:23-24; Joel 2:3. Every kind (major grade) of precious stones had adorned him in his regal days, Ezekiel 26:13. The mine stones found or worn in the High Priest’s breastplate are said to have formerly adorned this self-acclaimed god of Tyre, v. 2, 6; Ezekiel 39:10-13. It is then stated that craft of workmanship in his tabrets and pipes was prepared in him in the day he was created, formed or fashioned. Because Ithbaal II, king of Tyre was born, not created, it is believed that this description of him is predominantly describing him as being a near likeness to the devil himself, who as Lucifer, a created arch angel, rebelled against God and became the devil, in his rebellion and fall, Isaiah 14:12-17.

Verse 14 personifies the king of Tyre as being the "anointed cherub that covereth," signifying his regal rule over Tyre. But perhaps alluding to his being rebellious as the devil himself in his fall, v. 16; Exodus 25:20; Exodus 30:26; Exodus 40:9; Isaiah 14:12; Isaiah 14:15. It is likely this personification of Tyrus as "mean and rebellious as the devil," alludes to the fall of Lucifer, one of the original, anointed, reigning cherubs or angels that governed God’s original perfect universe. The two cherubims covering the mercy seat represented the two realms of angels of God who now serve the redeemed of God, while this fallen cherub seems definitely to point to Lucifer, almost totally personified in the king of Tyre. For this "covering cherub" had once been set of the Lord over the mountain or government of God, where he walked about among its precious stones and Edenic beauty, till he rebelled, 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Verse 15 asserts that this anointed cherub, now fallen and personified in the king of Tyre, was once perfect in beauty the day he was created, "till iniquity, lawlessness, or rebellion was found in him," as also suggested, v. 13; 1 Timothy 3:6. Let it be expressly understood that the king of Tyre was born, not created, even as Hiram, 1 Kings 5:7. This leads to the seeming necessary inference that the devil was the person described, whom the king of Tyre typified in his pride, beauty, and arrogance, in his fall.

Verse 16 describes that multitude of merchandise, possessions, and wealth this person was motivated to choose as a Violent sin of rebellion against God, claiming himself to be God, v. 2, 6; Psalms 89:39. God therefore cast him as profane out of His holy mountain or government, and from the precious stones, where he once had a cherubic reign-perhaps alluding to Lucifer, Isaiah 14:11-14.

Verse 17 relates that the king of Tyre, a self-proclaimed god, would be cast to the ground, be laid before kings of the earth, who should behold his fall, because of two classes of self-chosen sins, Isaiah 14:9; Isaiah 14:11; 2 Peter 2:6; Judges 1:7. First, his heart was lifted up, exalted, or proud because of his beauty; and second, he had corrupted, polluted, or profaned his wisdom, chosen the wisdom of the depraved world order, by reason or occasion of his brightness, his regal reigning position, given of the Lord, but without any returned gratitude toward Him, Daniel 5:18-23.

Verse 18 charges that the king of Tyre, like the devil he emulated, had defiled his sanctuaries, whatever moral virtues he once had, by his multitude of iniquities in merchandising traffic, including trafficking in human souls. Because of these chosen deeds of iniquity, God resolved to send upon the king of Tyre a devouring fire that would bring him to ashes, before and in view of all who looked on, Judges 9:15; Judges 9:20; Amos 1:10; Amos 2:2; Amos 2:5; Revelation 18:8.

Verse 19 concludes that all who had known him as the king and chief ruler of international sea commerce and merchandizing would be confounded at his fall and death. Both he and Tyre, the continental city, would be destroyed as objects of fury and terror from the Chaldean warriors from the east, so that neither should be any more, Ezekiel 26:21; Ezekiel 27:36.

Verses 20-23

JUDGMENT ON SIDON

Verses 20-23:

Verse 20, 21 call upon Ezekiel to set his face to prophesy the word of the Lord toward Sidon, of her coming judgment, Ezekiel 6:2; Ezekiel 25:2. Zidon was a most ancient seaport city, mentioned first, Genesis 10:15; Genesis 10:19. It was founded by Sidon the firstborn son of Canaan; See also Isaiah 23:2; Isaiah 23:4; Jeremiah 25:22; Jeremiah 27:3; Ezekiel 27:8. Zidon was a chief city of the ancient Phoenicians, famous for its fishery, noted for its fine glassware, and a center of skilled navigators, astronomers and philosophers. It was celebrated, even in the days of Jacob, as a great shipping city, Genesis 49:13; Joshua 11:8; Joshua 19:28. It was never conquered by Israel, Judges 1:31; Judges 10:6. In Matthew 11:22 Tyre and Sidon are associated together.

Verse 22 declares that God was against Zidon and was determined to be glorified in her midst when he executed judgments in her and manifested His holiness in her, v. 26; Ezekiel 30:19; Ezekiel 39:13; Exodus 14:4; Exodus 14:17; Jeremiah 21:13; Jeremiah 50:31; Nahum 1:6; Psalms 9:16.

Verse 23 continues to discuss that the Lord would send pestilence into Sidon and blood to her streets, Ezekiel 38:22; The wounded of her people were to fall in her streets and in her midst by the sword, on every hand. Then would they come to recognize the Lord as the Holy and Just God of the universe, Jeremiah 51:52.

Verses 24-26

FUTURE GLORY IN ISRAEL

Verses 24-26:

Verse 24 assures hope for Israel when there shall be no more a pricking briar, or piercing thorn to cause her grief round about. There shall be no more neighbors to despise them in a grander, dawning day, Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13. The term "pricking" is used in Leviticus where it refers to "fretting leprosy," a condition that is aggravating, unclean, and will not go away, much as the Sidonian briar had fretted and nettled Israel, Leviticus 13:51-52; Leviticus 14:44; Judges 2:3; Jeremiah 12:14; Micah 7:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7.

Verse 25 declares that the day would come that the covenant God would regather His people Israel from Babylon, and among the heathen where He had scattered and dispersed them in judgment, and ultimately be sanctified in them, in His land that He had given by covenant to the house of Jacob, Ezekiel 11:17; Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 37:21; Isaiah 11:12; Hosea 1:11.

Verse 26 certifies that they shall reside safely in that covenant land in their restoration, building houses and planting vineyards, Isaiah 65:21; Amos 9:14. They shall dwell in confidence, free of fear in that day when the Lord shall have executed judgment upon all the gentiles who have despised them round about, until both Israel and the heathen shall recognize that the Lord is God, besides whom there exists none other, Exodus 20:1-5; Ezekiel 36:28; Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 31:5.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-28.html. 1985.