Darby's Bible Synopsis
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
The following commentary covers Chapters 26, 27, and 28.
Although in a certain sense upon Israel's territory, Tyre has another character, and is the subject of a separate prophecy (chaps. 26-28), because it represents the world and its riches, in contrast with Israel as the people of God; and rejoices, not like the others from personal hatred, but because (having opposite interests) the destruction of that which restrained its career gave free course to its natural selfishness. It is worthy of remark in these prophecies, how God lays open all the thoughts of man with respect to His people and that which they have been towards Him.
In chapter 27, Tyre is judged for its ill-will to the people and the city of God. It is overthrown as a worldly system, and all that formed its glory disappears before the breath of Jehovah.
In chapter 28 it is the prince and the king of Tyre that are judged for their pride. Verses 1-10 (Ezekiel 28:1-10) set before us the prince of this world's glory as a man, exalting himself and seeking to present himself as a god, having acquired riches and glory by his wisdom. Verses 11-19 (Ezekiel 28:11-19), while continuing to speak of Tyre, go, I think, much farther, and disclose, though darkly, the fall and the ways of Satan, become through our sin the prince and god of this world. The prince of Tyre represents Tyre and the spirit of Tyre. The Verses which follow ( (Ezekiel 28:11-19) are much more personal. I do not doubt that, historically, Tyre itself is referred to; Verses 16-19 (Ezekiel 28:16`9) prove it. But, I repeat, the mind of the Spirit goes much farther. The world and its kings are presented as the garden of Jehovah on account of the advantages they enjoy. (The outward government of God is in question, which till then had recognised the different nations around Israel). This however applies more especially to Tyre, which was situated in the territory of Israel, in Emmanuel's land, and which, in the person of Hiram, had been allied with Solomon, and had even helped to build the temple. Its guilt was proportionate. It is the world in relation with God, and if the prince of Tyre represents this state of things as being the world, and a world that has been highly exalted in its capabilities by this position-an exaltation of which it boasts in deifying itself, the king represents the position itself in which, under this aspect, the world has been placed, and the forsaking of which gives it the character of apostasy. It is this character which gives occasion for the declaration of the enemy's apostasy contained in these verses. He had been where the plants of God flourished [See Note #1], he had been covered with precious stones (that is to say, with all the variety of beauty and perfection, in which the light of God is reflected and transformed when manifested in, and with respect to, creation). Here the varied reflection of these perfections had been in the creature: a creature was the means of their manifestation. It was not light, properly so called. (God is light; Christ is the light here below, and so far as He lives in us, we are light in Him). It was the effect of light acting in the creature, like a sunbeam in a prism. It is a development of its beauty, which is not its essential perfection, but which proceeds from it.
The following are the features of the king of Tyre's character, or that of the enemy of God, the prince of this world. He is the anointed cherub-he is covered with precious stones-he has been in Eden the paradise of God, upon the mountain of God-he walked in the midst of the stones of fire-he was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. He is cast out of the mountain of God on account of his iniquities; his heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and he corrupted himself. Farther, we find that which, as to the creature, is most exalted; he acts in the judicial government of God according to the intelligence of God (this is the character of the anointed cherub). He is clothed with the moral beauty that variously reflects the character of God as light [See Note #2]. He is recognised among the plants of God, in which God displayed His wisdom and His power in creation, according to His good pleasure, as Creator. He had been there also where the authority of God was exercised-on the mountain of God. He walked where the moral perfections of God were displayed in their glory, a glory before which evil could not stand-"the stones of fire." His ways had been perfect. But all these advantages were the occasion of his fall, and characterised it. For the privileges we enjoy always characterise our fall. Whence have we fallen? is the question; for it is the having failed there, when we possessed it, that degrades our condition. Moreover it is not an outward temptation, as in man's case-a circumstance which did not indeed take away man's guilt, but which modified its character. "Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty." He exalted himself against God, and he was cast out as profane from the mountain of God. His spirit, independent in security, was humbled when he was cast to the ground. His nakedness is manifested to all; his folly shall in the end be apparent to all.
The judgment of Sidon is added. And then, all hope having been taken from Israel, when the judgment of the nations is accomplished, God gathers them and causes them to dwell in their land in peace for ever.
We may see, Ezekiel 31:8-9; Ezekiel 31:16, that this is a description of the kings of the earth, at least before Nebuchadnezzar, who first substituted one sole dominion given by God, for the many kings of the nations recognised by God as the result of Babel, and in the centre of which His people were placed, to make the government of God known through their means. The special relation of Tyre with Israel added something to the position of the merchant city, and gave room also for the use made here of the history of its king as a type or figure of the prince of this world.
Observe that this takes place in the creature. In the case of Aaron, the type of Christ as priest, it exists in the absolute perfection of grace, which presents us to God according to His perfection in the light. It is afterwards seen in the glory as the foundation of the city, the bride, the Lamb's wife, in the Revelation. That is, these stones present the fruit of perfect light-what God is in His nature shining in and through the creature, in creation, grace, and glory.
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:
With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:
By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;
Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.
They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.
Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.
Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.
For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.