The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Ezekiel 28

Eze 28:1

Eze 28: "In his inaccessible and impregnable island fortress, the prince of Tyre mocked at any threat to his security. He was proud in his achievements; insolent in his challenge to others; wise in his own conceits. The king aspired to equality with God (v 2). In that, he followed the pattern of Adam in sinning and being ejected from the Garden of Eden. He is warned that he is but Adam (v 2) and the fate of Adam was to be his. He felt that he was the personification of wisdom and beauty -- so was Adam (vv 4-12)! He believe that he was divine and glorious (Eze 28:2), but Adam was really that. He believed that he possessed divine wisdom (v 3), but Adam was taught by the Cherub (v 14). And as Adam sinned and was ejected from the Garden, so would the king of Tyre from his position because of his great sin (Eze 26:2). This is a dirge of great irony, satirical in the extreme, in which the record of the one great sin of Adam is used as a similitude of the one great mistake of Ithobal. Figuratively, he had been in Eden because he reflected the sin of Adam; so has everybody who sins similarly (Eze 31:8).

"So the voice of the prophet sounded forth in judgement against the King of Tyre. (1) The pride of the king of Tyre: vv 1-10. (2) The dirge over the king of Tyre: vv 11-19. (3) The doom of Zidon: vv 20-23. (4) The removal of these 'briers' from Israel: vv 24-26. This chapter concludes the section on the dirge against Tyre" (GEM).

Eze 28:2

RULER: Heb title, "nagid", otherwise used only of Jewish kings, and prophetically of Messiah (Dan 9:25) (Tes 46:175). The king of Tyre had stolen this title for himself. He was claiming to be the rival of the king of Judah (or perhaps now, his lawful replacement). Eden, or paradise, was now in Tyre.

"The diabolical prince of Tyre" (AG, Tes 46:175): A bull-cherub sphinx set in a sculptured mounted base. Prob repr the king of Tyre, an object of veneration. Phoenician cherub-sphinxes usually have jewels upon their chests (v 13). The Tyrian god, Melkart, sig "king of the city" (v 12). The worship of Melkart was the worship of Yahweh under another name, with the temple on the same plan, cherubim (v 14), etc. This worship -- a reasonable imitation at the beginning (cp 1Ki 5:3,5,7) -- became utterly corrupt and debased later (WBS 156-158).

I AM A GOD: Like Eve, and Adam, in the Garden of Eden, the king of Tyre was puffed up in pride, desiring to become like the Elohim (Gen 3:5; cp Phi 2:6). // 2Th 2:4: "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God."

Eze 28:3

DANIEL: Throughout the book, Ezekiel spells this name as "Danel". This is also the name of a mythological hero of Canaan, a man-god of great wisdom (Tes 46:177). Economic success implied mastery over this god Danel.

Eze 28:10

YOU WILL DIE: Can "Satan" die (vv 18,19)?

Eze 28:12

THE MODEL OF PERFECTION: Translated "the serpent of the pattern" by AG (Tes 46:177). The king of Tyre, in his blasphemy, was assuming the role of the serpent in the garden of Eden.

Eze 28:13

Addressed to king of Tyre: Eze 28:1,12. Generally, consider the parallels with Isa 14 (king of Babylon). Archaeological evidence of a cherub/sphinx at Tyre, with the head of the king, animal's body, and sitting on a mountain. Embedded in the body are the 9 jewels. Inscriptions call the king of Tyre "Lord of the Heavens", describe Tyre as "the garden of God". Bas reliefs show "cherubim" guarding Tyre: cp Gen 3:24.

YOU WERE IN EDEN: The king of Tyre was as one of the trees in the garden of Eden (cp Eze 31:3,8,9). Eden covered an extensive area (Gen 2:8; Eze 27:23).

EDEN: A geographical region, not a time! See Lesson, Eden, Garden of.

EVERY PRECIOUS STONE: 9 of the 12 stones in High Priest's breastplate. See Exo 28:17-30, // Exo 39:10-14. Cp Rev 21:19,20. The third row, omitted here, is supplied in the LXX (WS 172).

ADORNED YOU: An allusion to the stones of the High Priest's breastplate (Exo 39:10-14), called "stones of fire" (v 14) because of Shekinah Glory in their midst. Ref divine favor enjoyed by king of Tyre in helping Solomon build the temple (2Sa 5:11; 1Ki 5:1-18).

Eze 28:14

Vv 14-16: It is clear that there was a time when Tyre was faithful -- extremely so, it would seem. As a result the turning away that has taken place is more serious in God's eyes (cp Heb 6:4-6).

YOU WERE ANOINTED AS A GUARDIAN CHERUB: "With an anointed cherub I placed you" (RSV). Or "thou art the anointed cherub that covereth" (AV): meaning 'you have cast your covering wings of protection over Israel' (cp Mat 23:37; Psa 36:7; 91:4).

GUARDIAN CHERUB: Cp cherubim in Gen 3:24, guarding the way to the tree of life. Or "covering cherub", that overshadowed the mercy seat (Exo 37:7-9; 25:19,20).

HOLY MOUNT OF GOD: Zion, where temple was built: Isa 2:2,3; 56:7; Eze 20:40.

FIERY STONES: The breastplate stones, reflecting the light of the burning Glory of God, in the Most Holy place.

Eze 28:15

Cp Adam and Eve in garden of Eden: sinless, sinning, driven out, cherubim...

BLAMELESS: Heb "tamim". Sw used of men in Gen 6:9; 17:1; Job 1:1.

CREATED: Heb "bara" may sig "prepare, form". Used of other peoples in Eze 21:30; Psa 102:18.

Eze 28:16

AND I EXPELLED YOU, O GUARDIAN CHERUB, FROM AMONG THE FIERY STONES: "And the covering cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire" (RSV).

Eze 28:19

AND WILL BE NO MORE: "And shall be no more for ever" (RSV).

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