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Bible Commentaries

Layman's Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 28

Verses 1-10

Overthrow of a Proud King (28:1-10)

The prince of Tyre had committed the horrible blasphemy, common to every tyrant, of equating himself with deity in wisdom and power. He sat "in the seat of the gods," thinking of himself as a deity on earth. "You are indeed wiser than Daniel" is pure sarcasm. The Daniel referred to in this passage is a certain "Daniel" in antiquity who was famous for his sagacity. The king had been successful in his trade, hence he was convinced that he was divine. God’s judgment, however, would come upon such undue pride in human wisdom. Again, Tyre is not only delivered to the destroyers on history’s stage, but she is also consigned to the Pit, to Sheol, the place of darkness and death, the primeval chaos (vss. 6-10).

Lamentations Over the King (28:11-19)

The second phase of this chapter is cast in the framework of creation and the idyllic beauty of Eden, "the garden of God," where Tyre is said to have been placed and given every advantage. The ostentatious descriptions of precious stones must be recognized as symbolic of the rich and priceless heritage which belonged to the king. A cherubic (angelic) guard protected him, and for a time Tyre was "blameless." This is obviously no description of a simple flesh-and-blood man but is rather an idealization in terms reminiscent of Adam in the Garden of Eden (vss. 12-15).

The city’s downfall from an idyllic state and a blameless life is laid to the "abundance of trade," apparently a predilection for possessions. Because this happened God cast Tyre off as "a profane thing," and the guardian cherub, even as he had driven Adam out of the garden, drove the king out of his Eden of privilege. Again Tyre is consigned to destruction and her pride in her former glory is reduced to dust and ashes (vss. 18-19).

Verses 20-23

Against Sidon (28:20-23)

The reason for the inclusion of this brief passage against Sidon is not far to seek, for Sidon was ordinarily associated with Tyre as the dominant center of Phoenician power. It is apparently assumed that the reasons for its judgment are identical with those described in the indictment of Tyre. The main purpose of this separate oracle is to fix the judgment of God upon Sidon along with Tyre.

Verses 24-26

Editorial Interlude: Restoration of Israel (28:24-26)

Verse 24 is a postscript to the oracles against Tyre and Sidon whose removal has cleared the way for Israelite restoration, which state of blessedness the prophet proceeds to describe. When Israel is restored she will be brought back from captivity into territory given to Jacob (Israel). The land had long since been identified as the permanent possession of Israel’s descendants. They shall dwell securely in the land, following the traditional occupations of building and husbandry (vs. 26) . This tranquillity is made possible because God has executed his judgments upon their neighbors, who had been "a brier to prick ... a thorn to hurt" (vs. 24). Like every other mighty act of God’s judgment or of his redemption, this event shall reveal to all men who he really is.

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Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Ezekiel 28". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/ezekiel-28.html.