Ezekiel 27:26
Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.
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(26) Thy rowers.—As the chief means of propelling vessels when the art of sailing was imperfectly understood. The figure of the ship is here resumed. “The east wind” is powerful, gusty, and dangerous in the Levant. (Comp. Psalm 48:7 : “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.”)

Ezekiel 27:26. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters — The prophet here begins to change the subject, and now, in metaphorical language, speaks of the danger into which the rulers and statesmen of Tyre had brought her by their pride and ill-concerted measures. He compares her to a ship, impelled by its own rowers into a very tempestuous sea, by which is meant their war with the Chaldeans. See a similar comparison Isaiah 33:23. Great troubles are frequently signified by great waters. The east wind hath broken thee — By this is signified the Chaldean army coming from the east: as if he had said, As the violence of the east wind occasions many shipwrecks in the sea, so the army of thy enemies, coming upon thee, shall ruin thy strength and glory, and leave thee like a wreck cast upon the shore. “This is a proper allegory,” says Bishop Warburton, “with only one real sense; and it is managed by the prophet with that brevity and expedition which a proper allegory demands, when used in the place of a metaphor.” Grotius refers to Horace, lib. 1. ode 14, as an allegory very similar to this of the prophet.

27:26-36 The most mighty and magnificent kingdoms and states, sooner or later, come down. Those who make creatures their confidence, and rest their hopes upon them, will fall with them: happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their Help, and whose hope is in the Lord their God, who lives for ever. Those who engage in trade should learn to conduct their business according to God's word. Those who possess wealth should remember they are the Lord's stewards, and should use his goods in doing good to all. Let us seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.The east wind - Compare the marginal reference 26. In contrast to her previous greatness, her downfall is here, by a sudden transition, depicted under the image of a vessel foundering at sea.

east wind—blowing from Lebanon, the most violent wind in the Mediterranean (Ps 48:7). A Levanter, as it is called. Nebuchadnezzar is meant. The "sea" is the war with him which the "rowers," or rulers of the state vessel, had "brought" it into, to its ruin.

Thy rowers, governors and counsellors,

have brought thee, unadvisedly, into great waters, dangers and difficulties, in which thou art like to be shipwrecked, in which thou wilt perish.

The east wind, which is very tempestuous, and dangerous to ships in those seas: by this is meant the king of Babylon with his army, whose march was somewhat by east to Tyre.

Hath broken thee; as surely will as if he had already done it; he hath broken; it is the prophetic style.

In the midst of the seas; where thou art far from shore, and must therefore sink and drown, or where thou thoughtest thyself impregnable. Where many seas meet, it is impossible for a half-starved creature to swim out; so shall Tyre perish in the violent currents of many seas; many nations, fierce and cruel, under Nebuchadnezzar shall swallow thee up.

Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters,.... Here the city of Tyre is compared to a vessel at sea, with great propriety, it being built in the sea, and its trade chiefly there; and its rulers and governors, or the inhabitants of it, to rowers; literally the men of Zidon and Arvad were her rowers, Ezekiel 27:8, the straits, difficulties, and distresses these brought Tyre into, are compared to great waters; who, by some unadvised step or another, provoked the king of Babylon to come against them with his army, and lay siege unto them:

the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas; a wind very fatal to ships and mariners; see Psalm 48:7, by it are meant Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army; so called, because of their great force and fury; and because Babylon, from whence they came, lay somewhat to the east of Tyre. So the Targum,

"a king who is strong as the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.''

Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the {l} east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

(l) That is, Nebuchadnezzar.

26–31. The vessel steered by her pilots into dangerous waters, is shipwrecked and her cargo and crew cast into the sea (Ezekiel 27:26-27). Dismay and lamentation of all seafaring men (Ezekiel 27:28-31)

26. The allegory does not need interpretation. How far her statesmen precipitated the fall of Tyre is unknown; it was the east-wind that broke her in the heart of the sea—a force above that of men (Psalm 48:7).

Verse 26. - Thy rowers have brought thee. The metaphor goes on its course. The state-ship is in the open sea, and the east wind, the Euroclydon of the Mediterranean (Acts 27:14), blows and threatens it with destruction (comp. Psalm 48:7). In that destruction all who contributed to her prosperity were involved. The picture reminds us of the description of the ship of Tarshish in Jonah 1:4, 5. The city shall be left, in that terrible day, in the heart of the seas (Revised Version). Ezekiel 27:26Destruction of Tyre

Ezekiel 27:26. Thy rowers brought thee into great waters: the east wind broke thee up in the heart of the seas. Ezekiel 27:27. Thy riches and thy sales, thy bartering wares, thy seamen and thy sailors, the repairers of thy leaks and the treaders in thy wares, and all thy fighting men in thee, together with all the multitude of people in thee, fell into the heart of the seas in the day of thy fall. Ezekiel 27:28. At the noise of the cry of thy sailors the places tremble. Ezekiel 27:29. And out of their ships come all the oarsmen, seamen, all the sailors of the sea; they come upon the land, Ezekiel 27:20. And make their voice heard over thee, and cry bitterly, and put dust upon their heads, and cover themselves with ashes; Ezekiel 27:31. And shave themselves bald on thy account, and gird on sackcloth, and weep for thee in anguish of soul a bitter wailing. Ezekiel 27:32. They raise over thee in their grief a lamentation, and lament over thee: Who is like Tyre! like the destroyed one in the midst of the sea!. Ezekiel 27:33. When thy sales came forth out of the seas, thou didst satisfy many nations; with the abundance of thy goods and thy wares thou didst enrich kings of the earth. Ezekiel 27:34. Now that thou art wrecked away from the seas in the depths of the water, thy wares and all thy company are fallen in thee. Ezekiel 27:35. All the inhabitants of the islands are amazed at thee, and their kings shudder greatly; their faces quiver. Ezekiel 27:36. The traders among the nations hiss over thee; thou hast become a terror, and art gone for ever. - The allusion to the ships of Tarshish, to which Tyre was indebted for its glory, serves as an introduction to a renewal in Ezekiel 27:26 of the allegory of Ezekiel 27:5-9; Tyre is a ship, which is wrecked by the east wind (cf. Psalm 48:8). In Palestine (Arabia and Syria) the east wind is characterized by continued gusts; and if it rises into a tempest, it generally causes great damage on account of the violence of the gusts (see Wetzstein in Delitzsch's commentary on Job 27:1). Like a ship broken in pieces by the storm, Tyre with all its glory sinks into the depths of the sea. The repetition of בּלב in Ezekiel 27:26 and Ezekiel 27:27 forms an effective contrast to Ezekiel 27:25; just as the enumeration of all the possessions of Tyre, which fall with the ship into the heart of the sea, does to the wealth and glory in Ezekiel 27:25. They who manned the ship also perish with the cargo, - "the seamen," i.e., sailors, rowers, repairers of leaks (calkers), also the merchants on board, and the fighting men who defended the ship and its goods against pirates, - the whole qâhâl, or gathering of people, in the ship. The difficult expression בּכל־קהלך can only be taken as an explanatory apposition to אשׁר בּך: all the men who are in thee, namely, in the multitude of people in thee. Ezekiel 27:28. When the vessel is wrecked, the managers of the ship raise such a cry that the migreshōth tremble. מגרשׁ is used in Numbers 35:2 for the precincts around the Levitical cities, which were set apart as pasture ground for the flocks; and in Ezekiel 45:2; Ezekiel 48:17, for the ground surrounding the holy city. Consequently מגרשׁות cannot mean the suburbs of Tyre in the passage before us, but must signify the open places on the mainland belonging to Tyre, i.e., the whole of its territory, with the fields and villages contained therein. The rendering "fleet," which Ewald follows the Vulgate in adopting, has nothing to support it.

Ezekiel 27:29. The ruin of this wealthy and powerful metropolis of the commerce of the world produces the greatest consternation among all who sail upon the sea, so that they forsake their ships, as if they were no longer safe in them, and leaving them for the land, bewail the fall of Tyre with deepest lamentation. השׁמיע with בּקול, as in Psalm 26:7; 1 Chronicles 15:19, etc. For the purpose of depicting the lamentation as great and bitter in the extreme, Ezekiel groups together all the things that were generally done under such circumstances, viz., covering the head with dust (cf. Joshua 7:6; 1 Samuel 4:12; and Job 2:12) and ashes (התפּלּשׁ, to strew, or cover oneself, not to roll oneself: see the comm. on Micah 1:10); shaving a bald place (see Ezekiel 7:18 and the comm. on Micah 1:16); putting on sackcloth; loud, bitter weeping (בּמר, as in Job 7:11 and Job 10:1); and singing an mournful dirge (Ezekiel 27:32.). בּניהם, in lamento eorum; ני contracted from נהי (Jeremiah 9:17-18; cf. הי, Ezekiel 2:10). The reading adopted by the lxx, Theodot., Syr., and eleven Codd. (בּניהם) is unsuitable, as there is no allusion to sons, but the seamen themselves raise the lamentation. The correction proposed by Hitzig, בּפיהם, is altogether inappropriate. The exclamation, Who is like Tyre! is more precisely defined by כּדמּה, like the destroyed one in the midst of the sea. דּמּה, participle Pual, with the מ dropt, as in 2 Kings 2:10, etc. (vid., Ges. 52. 2, Anm. 6). It is quite superfluous to assume that there was a noun דּמּה signifying destruction. 'בּצאת עזב has been aptly explained by Hitzig; "inasmuch as thy wares sprang out of the sea, like the plants and field-fruits out of the soil" (the selection of the word השׂבּעתּ also suggested this simile); "not as being manufactured at Tyre, and therefore in the sea, but because the sea floated the goods to land for the people in the ships, and they satisfied the desire of the purchasers." Tyre satisfied peoples and enriched kings with its wares, not only by purchasing from them and paying for their productions with money or barter, but also by the fact that the Tyrians gave a still higher value to the raw material by the labour which they bestowed upon them. הוניך in the plural is only met with here. - Ezekiel 27:34. But now Tyre with its treasures and its inhabitants has sunk in the depths of the sea. The antithesis in which Ezekiel 27:34 really stands to Ezekiel 27:33 does not warrant our altering עת into עתּ נשׁבּרתּ, as Ewald and Hitzig propose, or adopting a different division of the second hemistich. עת is an adverbial accusative, as in Ezekiel 16:57 : "at the time of the broken one away from the seas into the depth of the waters, thy wares and thy people have fallen, i.e., perished." עת נשׁבּרת, tempore quo fracta es. נשׁבּרת מימּים is intentionally selected as an antithesis to נושׁבת מימּים in Ezekiel 26:17. - Ezekiel 27:35. All the inhabitants of the islands and their kings, i.e., the inhabitants of the (coast of the) Mediterranean and its islands, will be thrown into consternation at the fall of Tyre; and (Ezekiel 27:36) the merchants among the nations, i.e., the foreign nations, the rivals of Tyre in trade, will hiss thereat; in other words, give utterance to malicious joy. שׁמם, to be laid waste, or thrown into perturbation with terror and amazement. רעם פנים .tnemezama dna, to tremble or quiver in the face, i.e., to tremble so much that the terror shows itself in the countenance. - In Ezekiel 27:36 Ezekiel brings the lamentation to a close in a similar manner to the threat contained in Ezekiel 26 (vid., Ezekiel 26:21).

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