Ezekiel 27:13
Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were your merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in your market.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Javan, Tubal, and Meshech.—Javan is strictly Ionia, more generally Greece. Tubal and Meshech are the classic Tibareni and Moschi, between the Black and Caspian Seas. They were famous for dealing in slaves and in brass, or rather copper, of which their mountains still contain abundant supplies.

27:1-25 Those who live at ease are to be lamented, if they are not prepared for trouble. Let none reckon themselves beautified, any further than they are sanctified. The account of the trade of Tyre intimates, that God's eye is upon men when employed in worldly business. Not only when at church, praying and hearing, but when in markets and fairs, buying and selling. In all our dealings we should keep a conscience void of offence. God, as the common Father of mankind, makes one country abound in one commodity, and another in another, serviceable to the necessity or to the comfort and ornament of human life. See what a blessing trade and merchandise are to mankind, when followed in the fear of God. Besides necessaries, an abundance of things are made valuable only by custom; yet God allows us to use them. But when riches increase, men are apt to set their hearts upon them, and forget the Lord, who gives power to get wealth.Jaran - Greece (Ion), including the Grecian colonies in Sicily and Italy.

Tubal, and Meshech - The Tibareni and Moschi, whose lands were on the Caucasian highlands between the Euxine and Caspian Seas (see the marginal reference), were a fine race of men; from thence slaves have been continually sought. Greece too in ancient times was famous for furnishing slaves.

13. Javan—the Ionians or Greeks: for the Ionians of Asia Minor were the first Greeks with whom the Asiatics came in contact.

Tubal … Meshech—the Tibareni and Moschi, in the mountain region between the Black and Caspian Seas.

persons of men—that is, as slaves. So the Turkish harems are supplied with female slaves from Circassia and Georgia.

vessels—all kinds of articles. Superior weapons are still manufactured in the Caucasus region.

Javan; the Grecians, particularly the Ionians. Tubal; the Asiatic Iberians, &c.; the Albanians toward the Caspian Sea.

Meshech; the Cappadocians, with the Moschi, who dwelt about Cholcis, the country now called Mingrelia.

Traded the persons of men; brought men to sell for slaves, so the Greeks did; the (Mancipia Ionica) Ionian slaves were known and valued in the East, especially the handsome girls to wait on great ladies. The too great desire hereof in Atossa, Darius’s queen, is said to be the chief cause of his war on Greece. And as to the other, beside their senile inclinations, they were so barbarous and inhuman, and had opportunities to seize men, women, and children to sell them, that no doubt the market of Tyre was full of them.

Brass; of which metal there was great store, they say, in Cappadocia and Iberia, which they brought with them. Javan designs Greece, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it; especially that part of it called Ionia, from Javan the son of Japheth, Genesis 10:2 and Tubal, and Meshech, were also sons of Japheth; the former are the Iberi and Albanians, as Jerom and others, among whom were a city called Thabilaca, by Ptolemy (w); and the latter the Cappadocians, with whom is a city called Mazaca (x).

They traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy markets; or, "the souls of men" (y); they bought up men and women in the several countries to which they belonged, or where they traded, and brought them to Tyre, and sold them for slaves; and the Ionian and Grecian slaves were had in great esteem: and the best brass, of which vessels were made, was had from Corinth, Delus, and Aeginetus; according to Pliny (z), Cappadocia was famous for it also: in the first of these merchandises Tyrus was remarkably a type of antichrist, who is said to deal in such wares, the souls of men, Revelation 18:13. The word here rendered "markets", Gussetius (a) also observes, does not design the place of commerce, but the act of negotiation or trade; and so it is rendered by many (b).

(w) Geograph. l. 5. c. 12. (x) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((y) "animabus hominum", Pagninus, Vatablus, Cocceius, Starckius. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 2.((a) Ebr. Comment. p. 642. (b) , Sept.; "negotiationem tuam", Tigurine version; "in commercio tuo", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus; "mercaturam tuam", Cocceius.

{f} Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded {g} in the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.

(f) Of Greece, Italy and Cappadocia.

(g) By selling slaves.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. These three countries, Javan, Tubal and Meshech are usually named together, Genesis 10:2; Ezekiel 32:26; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:1; Isaiah 66:19. The first is the Ionians, the Greeks of Asia Minor, and the two last have usually been identified with the Moschi and Tibareni, lying to the S. and S.E. of the Black Sea. Copper and “souls of men” i.e. slaves, form the contribution of these countries. That Javan traded in slaves appears from Joel 4:6; cf. Amos 1:6; Amos 1:9.

they traded … in thy market] they brought as thy wares souls of men, &c. The nations are the servants of Tyre, and what they bring is her wares.Verse 13. - Javan (father of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim, and son of Japheth, Genesis 10:2, 4) stands generically for Greece, and probably represents Ionia. Tubal and Meshech are sons of Japheth in Genesis 10:2, and are always grouped together, except in Psalm 120:5, where Meshech appears alone, and in Isaiah 66:19, where Tubal is named, but not Meshech. In Ezekiel 32:26 they are associated with Elam and Asshur (Assyria); in Ezekiel 38:2, 3 and Ezekiel 39:1 with Gog. The two names probably represented the tribes on the southeast coast of the Black Sea. Here the chief traffic was in slaves, the Tyrian traders probably buying them in exchange for their manufactured goods, and selling them to the cities of Greece as well as Phoenicia. In Greek history the names appear as Tibaroni and Moschi (Herod., 3:94; Xenophon, 'Anab.,' 5:5. 2, etal.). In Joel 4:6 Tyriaus are represented as selling Israelites as slaves in Greek cities (Hebrew "sons of Javan"). Thrace and Scythia were at all times the chief countries from which Greece imported her slaves. Vessels of brass. Here, as throughout the Old Testament, we should read "copper," the mixed metal which we know as "brass" not Being known to ancient metallurgy. Copper-mines were found near the Caucasus, and Euboea was also famous for them. The region was also noted for its iron. Thus will Tyre, covered by the waves of the sea, sink into the region of the dead, and vanish for ever from the earth. - Ezekiel 26:19. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, When I make thee a desolate city, like the cities which are no longer inhabited, when I cause the deep to rise over thee, so that the many waters cover thee, Ezekiel 26:20. I cast thee down to those who have gone into the grave, to the people of olden time, and cause thee to dwell in the land of the lower regions, in the ruins from the olden time, with those who have gone into the grave, that thou mayest be no longer inhabited, and I create that which is glorious in the land of the living. Ezekiel 26:21. I make thee a terror, and thou art no more; they will seek thee, and find thee no more for ever, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Not only will ruin and desolation come upon Tyre, but it will sink for ever into the region of the dead. In this concluding thought the whole threat is summed up. The infinitive clauses of Ezekiel 26:19 recapitulate the leading thoughts of the previous strophes, for the purpose of appending the closing thought of banishment to the under-world. By the rising of the deep we are to understand, according to Ezekiel 26:12, that the city in its ruins will be sunk into the depths of the sea. יורדי , those who go down into the pit or grave, are the dead. They are described still further as עם עולם, not "those who are sleeping the long sleep of death," or the generation of old whom all must join; but the people of the "old world" before the flood (2 Peter 2:5), who were buried by the waters of the flood, in accordance with Job 22:15, where עולם denotes the generations of the primeval world, and after the analogy of the use of עם עולם in Isaiah 44:7, to describe the human race as existing from time immemorial.

In harmony with this, חרבות are the ruins of the primeval world which perished in the flood. As עם עולם adds emphasis to the idea of יורדי בור, so also does בּחרבות מעולם to that of ארץ תּחתּיּות. Tyre shall not only descend to the dead in Sheol, but be thrust down to the people of the dead, who were sunk into the depths of the earth by the waters of the flood, and shall there receive its everlasting dwelling-place among the ruins of the primeval world which was destroyed by the flood, beside that godless race of the olden time. ארץ תּחתּיּות, land of the lowest places (cf. Ezekiel 32:18, Ezekiel 32:24), is a periphrasis for Sheol, the region of the dead (compare Ephesians 4:9, "the lower parts of the earth"). On 'ונתתּי צבי וגו Hitzig has observed with perfect correctness: "If we retain the pointing as the first person, with which the place assigned to the Athnach (-) coincides, we must at any rate not regard the clause as still dependent upon למען, and the force of the לא as continued. We should then have to take the clause as independent and affirmative, as the accentuators and the Targum have done." But as this would give rise to a discrepancy between the two halves of the verse, Hitzig proposes to alter נתתּי retla ot seso into the second person ונתּתי, so that the clause would still be governed by למען לא. But the want of agreement between the two halves of the verse does not warrant an alteration of the text, especially if it lead to nothing better than the forced rendering adopted by Hitzig, "and thou no longer shinest with glory in the land of the living," which there is nothing in the language to justify. And even the explanation proposed by Hvernick and Kliefoth, "that I no longer produce anything glorious from thee (Tyre) in the land of the living," is open to this objection, that "from thee" is arbitrarily interpolated into the text; and if this were what Ezekiel meant, he would either have added לך or written נתתּיך. Moreover, the change of the person is a sufficient objection to our taking נתתּי as dependent upon למען, and supplying לא. ונתתּי is evidently a simple continuation of והושׁבתּיך. And nothing but the weightiest objections should lead us to give up a view which so naturally suggests itself. But no such objections exist. Neither the want of harmony between the two halves of the verse, nor the context, - according to which Tyre and its destruction are referred to both before and immediately after, - forces us to the adoption of explanations at variance with the simple meaning of the words. We therefore adhere to the natural interpretation of the words, "and I set (establish) glory in the land of the living;" and understand by the land of the living, not the theocracy especially, but the earth, in contrast to the region of the dead. The words contain the general thought, that on and after the overthrow of the glory of the ungodly power of the world, He will create that which is glorious on the earth to endure for ever; and this He really does by the establishing of His kingdom. - Tyre, on the contrary, shall become, through its fate, an object of terror, or an example of sudden destruction, and pass away with all its glory, not leaving a trace behind. For Ezekiel 26:21, compare Isaiah 41:12 and Psalm 37:36. וּתבקשׁי, imperf. Pual, has Chateph-patach between the two u, to indicate emphatically that the syllable is only a very loosely closed one (vid., Ewald, 31b, p. 95).

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