Ezekiel 27
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures

1, 2And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying: And thou, son of man, raise 3over Tyre a lamentation. And say to Tyre that dwells at the entrances of the sea, trafficker of the peoples in many islands [coasts]: Thus saith the Lord 4Jehovah, Tyre, thou sayest, I am perfect in beauty. In the heart of the sea 5is thy territory, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. Of the cypresses of Shenir they have built for thee all thy boards; cedars of Lebanon they havetaken to make a mast for thee. 6Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thy oars; thy rudder they made of ivory, inlaid in larch, from the isles of Chittim. 7Byssus in embroidered work from Egypt was thine outspread [flag], to be for a sign to thee; purple-blue and purple-red from the islands of Elishah was thy covering. 8The inhabitants of Zidon and of Arvad were thy rowers; thy 9skilled men, Tyre, were in thee, they were thy pilots. Gebal’s masters and its wise men were in thee; they fastened [repaired] thy leaks. All the ships of 10the sea and their mariners were in thee to carry on thy traffic. Paras, and Lud, and Phut, were in thy [marine] force, thy men of war: the shield and 11helmet they hung in thee; they gave thy ornament. The sons of Arvad and thy force were on thy walls round about, and Gammadim (?) were in thy towers: their shields they hung upon ’thy walls round about; they completed 12thy beauty. Tarshish traded with thee because of the fulness of all kinds of wealth [goods]; in silver, in iron, in tin and lead they paid for thy wares. 13Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants; in souls of men and 14articles of brass they made thy traffic. From the house of Togarmah they paid with steeds [horses], and riders [steeds], and mules were thy wares. 15The sons of Dedan were thy merchants; many islands [coasts] were the traffic of thy hand; horns of ivory and ebony they brought as thy barter-payment 16[to thee as exchange in value]. Aram was thy trader because of the abundance of thy works; in carbuncle, red purple, and embroidery, and byssus, and corals (?), and rubies they paid for thy wares. 17Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants; in wheat of Minnith, and pastry, and honey, and oil, 18and balm they made thy traffic. Damascus was a trader with thee on account of the abundance of thy works; on account of the abundance of all riches, in 19wine of Helbon and white wool. Bedan and Javan from Uzal, for thy wares they paid wrought iron; cassia and calamus were among thy goods. 20, 21Dedan was thy merchant in broad coverings for riding. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they were dealers of thy hand in lambs, and rams, and he goats: in these they were thy dealers. 22The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: in the best [the chiefest] of all spices, and all sorts of 23precious stones and gold, they bought thy wares. Charan, and Khanneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, Chilmad, were thy dealers. 24These were thy merchants in ornaments, in mantles of purple and embroidery, and in treasures of many-threaded [many-coloured] yarns [rich damask], bound with cords, and firm, in thy market. 25The ships of Tarshish were thy caravans, thy traffic; and thou wast very glorious [mighty] in the heart of the sea. 26They that rowed thee have brought thee into great waters; the east wind 27broke thee in the heart of the sea. Thy riches and thy wares, thy merchandise, thy mariners and thy pilots, the repairers of thy chinks, and the traders in thy merchandise, and all thy men of war that are in thee, also with thy whole company which is in thy midst, they shall fall into the heart 28of the sea on the day of thy fall. At the sound of the cry of thy pilots the 29suburban grounds shall shake. And from their ships shall come down all that handle the oar, the mariners and all the pilots of the sea, that are in thy 30midst, they shall stand upon the land. And they shall make their voice heard over thee, and shall cry bitterly, and cast dust upon their heads: 31they shall strew themselves with ashes. And they shave themselves bald for thee, and gird themselves with sackcloth, and weep upon thee in bitterness of 32soul with bitter lamentation. And they raise over thee in their wailings a lamentation, and lament over thee: Who is like Tyre? as the destroyed one in the midst of the sea! 33When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou didst satisfy many people with the abundance of thy riches and thy merchandise; 34thou didst enrich the kings of the earth. At the time thou wert broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and thy whole company fell in the midst of thee. 35All the inhabitants of the isles are astonished at thee, and their kings shudder greatly, their countenances tremble. 36The merchants among the peoples hiss over thee; terrors shalt thou be, and shalt be no more for ever.

Ezekiel 27:3. Sept.: ... τῳ ἐμποριῳ τ. λαων, ἀπο νησων πολλων … ἐγω περιεθηκα ἐμαυτη καλλος μου,—

Ezekiel 27:4. ... θαλασσης τῳ Βεελειμ, κ. υἱοι σου (other read.: בָנַיִךְ ,גבולֹך ,כלב, thy sons,) Arabs, Syr., Hex.).

Ezekiel 27:5. ... ὠκοδομηθη σοι, ταινιαι σανιδων κυπαρισσινων—other read.: באו לך; Syr.: adduxerunt. Hexapl.: ædificata est tibi, as Sept.

Ezekiel 27:6. … (ἱστους) ἐλατινους, ἐκ … ἐποιησαν τ. κωπας σου. Τα ἱερα σου … οἰκους ἀλσωδεις ἀπο νησων—(other read.: קדשך, Arabs as Sept. in plur.—Sept. read בתי אשרים).

Ezekiel 27:7. ... του περιθειναι σοι δοξαν κ. περιβαλειν σε ὑακινθον … και περιβολαια ἐγενετο σοι.

Ezekiel 27:8. Κ. οἱ ἀρχοντες σου οἱ κατοικουντες Σιδωνα

Ezekiel 27:9. ... Οἱ πρεσβυτεροι Βιβλιων … οὑτοι ἐνισχυον τ. βουλης σου … ἐγενοντο σοι ἐπι δυσμας δυσμων. Vulg.: … habuerunt nautas ad ministerium variæ supellectilis tuæ.

Ezekiel 27:10. ... ἐκρεμασαν ἐν σοι.—

Ezekiel 27:11. Sept.: ... φυλακες ἐν τ. πυργοις … ἐπι των ὁρμων σου—(other read.: וגמרים, et Cimmerii. Sept. read ושמרים); Vulg.: … sed et Pygmæi

Ezekiel 27:12. ... Καρχκδονιοι ἐμποροι σοι … και χρυσιον κ. χαλκον … ἐδωκαν τ. ἀγοραν σου. Vulg.: Carthaginenses.

Ezekiel 27:13. Ἡ Ἑ λλας και ἡ συμπασα κ. τα παρατεινοντα.. Vulg.: advexerunt populo tuo.

Ezekiel 27:14. Other read.: תורגמה.

Ezekiel 27:15. Sept.: Τἱοι ̔Ροδιων … ἀπο νησων ἐπληθυναν τ. ἐμποριαν σου ὁδοντας ἐλεφαντινους, κ. τοις εἰσαγομενοις ἀντεδιδους τ. μισθους σου,

Ezekiel 27:16. ἀνθρωπους ἐμποριαν σου … του συμμκτου σου, στακτην κ. ποικιλματα ἐκ Θαρσεις κ. ̔Ραμμοθ κ. Κορχορ ἐδωπαν (other read.: אדם, Edom, Sept. in the sense of man, followed by Arabs, Syr., Hexapl.).

Ezekiel 27:17. ... ἐν σιτου πρασει κ. μυρων, κ. κασιας, κ. πρωτον μελι … εἰς τ. συμμικτον σου (ופנג, nonnulli per: “et balsamum” alii ופגג, “et ficus, grossulos,” vel ex Arab. “angurias, pepones Indicos”). Vulg.: … in frumento primo: balsamum … et resinam (Sept. ῥητινην) proposuerunt in nundinis tuis.

Ezekiel 27:18. Sept.: ... κ. ἐρια ἐκ Μιλητου (19), κ. οἰνον εἰς τ. ἀγοραν σου ἐδεκαν. Ἐξ Ἀσηλ σιδηρον … σπαρτιον κ. τροχιας ἐδωκαν ἐν τ. συμμικτῳ σου ἐστιν. Vulg.: … in vino pingui, in lanis coloris optimi. Dan et Græcia et Mosel—(other read.: דדן).

Ezekiel 27:20. ... μετα κτηνων ἐκλεκτων—Vulg.: … in tapetibus ad sedendum.

Ezekiel 27:21. ... δια χειρος σου, καμηλους—(other read.: בפרים, in tauris vel juvencis.—Chald.).

Ezekiel 27:23. ... και Δαιδαν … κ. Χαρμαν. (For חרן it is read הרה, and for וכנה a reading exists וכלנה.)

Ezekiel 27:24. ... ἐν μαχαλιμ κ. ἐν γαλιμα ὑακινθον κ. πορφυραν κ. θησαυρους ἐκλεκτους δεδεμενους σχοινιοις ἐν κυπαρισσινοις (25) πλοιοις ἐν αὐτοις. Καρχηδονιοι ἐμποροι σου, Θαρσεις ἐμποροι σου ἐν τ. πληθει ἐν τ. συμμικτω σου, κ … κ. ἐβαρυνθνς.—Vulg.: … multifariam involucris hyacinthi et polymitorum gazarumque pretiosarum … cedros quoque habebant in negotiationibus tuis. Naves maris principes tui in negotiatione tua

Ezekiel 27:26. Div. read.: כמים.

Ezekiel 27:27. Other read.: וכל. Sept.: ἠσαν δυναμεις σου, κ. ὀ μισθος σου ἐν τ. συμμικτῳ σου … και οἱ συμβουλοι σου και οἱ συμμικτοι σου ἐκ τ. συμμικτως σου, κ. … πασα ἡ συναγωγη.—

Ezekiel 27:28. ... της κραυγης σου οἱ κυβερςηται σου φοβῳ—Vulg.: … conturbabuntur classes.

Ezekiel 27:29. ... και οἱ ἐπιβαται κ. οἱ πρωρεις της θαλασσης.

Ezekiel 27:32. Sept., Arabs, Syr. read בניהם, “their sons.” Και ληψονται οἱ υἰοι αὐτων … κατασιγηθεισα ἐν μεσῳ θαλασσης;—

Ezekiel 27:33. Ποσον και τινα εὑρες μισθον ἀπο τ. θαλασσης; Ἐνεποιησας ἐθνη ἀπο τ. πληθους σου κ. ἀπο τ. συμμικτου σου … παντας τας βασιλεις

Ezekiel 27:34. Νυν συνετριβησ ἐν θαλασση, ἐν βαθει ὑδατος ὁ συμμικτος σου. Vulg.: … contrita es a mari; in profundis … ceciderunt.

Ezekiel 27:35. (Ἐπεσον) ταντες … και οἱ κωπηλαται σου ἐστυγνασαν ἐπι σε … κ. ἐδακρυσαν τῳ προσωπῳ αὐτων ἐπι σοι. Vulg.: … tempestate perculsi mutaverunt vultus.

Ezekiel 27:36. Sept. add λεγει κυριος ὁ Θεος.


Ezekiel 27:1–25. The Glory of Tyre

The lamentation over Tyre is closely connected with the prophecy in Ezekiel 26, and is prepared for by the 17th verse of that chapter.

Ezekiel 27:2. For that the overthrow of Jerusalem was the prophetic prolepsis, for this the overthrow of Tyre. With the lamentation, expression is at the same time given to the righteous pain occasioned by the misuse of the fulness of divine gifts, which Tyre had enjoyed.—ואתה, J. H. Michaelis makes: tu etiam, ut alii.

Ezekiel 27:3. מבוא is the entrance into a city, the entrance of the gate; and so here מבואת, the openings or entrances of the sea, into which people entered from the sea, and again went out into the sea—therefore the harbours or ports (porta and portus). Hävernick refers to Strabo 16:2, Arrian 2:20, 21, who make mention of a northern and southern harbour of Tyre, and at the same time of the deficiency elsewhere of proper harbours on the Syrian coast. HENGST.: “from whence the sea is readily accessible on all sides, in the centre of the then civilised world: thus Tyre went forth for purposes of trade to visit the nations.”—For הַיִשַׁבְתִּי (to be thus pointed) the Qeri has הַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת.—On רכלת, comp. at Ezekiel 26:12—אל־איים׳, which for the sake of merchandise frequents many coasts.—The address to Tyre holds up to her, as previously in Ezekiel 26:2 her scornful malicious joy, so here her complete self-satisfaction. Perfect in beauty is as much as: perfectly beautiful, that is: of perfect beauty, but not as well: the completion of beauty. Observe the parallel with Jerusalem in Lam. 2:15. What is indicated thereby appears from Ezekiel 27:4: for the “I am perfect in beauty,” in the mouth of Tyre is the theme of the detailed descriptions that follow.—In the heart of the sea = in the midst of the sea, surrounded on every hand by the same. J. H. Michaelis cites the words of Alexander the Great to the Tyrian ambassador (CURTIUS, iv. 2): Vos quidem fiducia loci, quod insulam incolitis, pedestrem hunc exercitam spernitis.—A strait of four stadia separated the city from the continent.—The boundaries, the strict meaning of גבולי, are the territory enclosed by these.—Hence the perfectness of its local position; hence, also, this perfectness under the notion of the beautiful, which certainly comprehends not merely the architectural (though this primarily), but also generally the civic beauty of Tyre.

Ezekiel 27:5. In this further look Tyre is allegorized by our prophet—after his own peculiar manner—under the image of a state-ship. The builders (in Ezekiel 27:4) mediate the transition; not less (as Hitzig acutely remarks) was the image suggested by the local position of Tyre,—in the midst of the sea, surrounded by a wilderness of masts, the city had the appearance of a sea-ship.—Because a state-ship, hence the finest kinds of wood for material (accusative).—(Häv. remarks, that in reality the palaces of Tyre were made of cedar from Lebanon, JOSEPH. Antiq. viii. 5.)—שְׂנִיר (=שריון, Deut. 3:9), the Amorite name for Hermon, though from this in the stricter sense distinguished, was renowned for its cypresses (Sir. 24:17), which were recommended by the firm, durable nature of the wood (VIRGIL, Georg. 2:444).—The framework of the vessel, with which the delineation commences, presents itself as dualistic (לחותים),—the boards or timbers both right and left, especially where the whole is meant, as here. The mast (main-mast), in accordance with its representative character (comp. Ezekiel 27:7), is of wood of the nobler kind, cedar, Ps. 29:5.

Ezekiel 27:6. Bashan, on the farther side of Jordan, from Jabbok to Hermon, and eastward to the outermost limits, on the south-west mountainous—so called from its oaks. It belongs to the world-embracing character of Tyre that all lands contributed to her glory.—מִשּׁוֹט = מָשׁוֹט, ver 29, from שׁוט, to row. The oars must be of heavy, in particular of firm, wood.—קֶרָשׁ is “board” or plank, from קָרַשׁ, to split; here collectively, either of the benches for rowers (Ezekiel 27:2, 3) over each other, or of the deck (HITZIG). HÄV.: the thick plank-work as stays, the scaffold of the mast. MEIER: table-work, wainscoting, for the laying out of the ship. RASHI: the helm; which recommends itself more than the others, on account of its importance for the vessel, and its suitableness in respect to the adorning that follows. The strange שׁן, ivory (elephant’s tooth), is anyhow modified by בת־אשרים, daughter of—what? אשׁור is “step,” from אָשַׁר. A kind of wood, however, must be meant. As it is more nearly indicated by the isles of Chittim, and by these are to be understood in the larger sense the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean, Rosenmüller thinks of Sardinia and Corsica, and, with many, supposes the box-tree to be meant, which is quite common in the latter island (VIRGIL, Æn. 10:137). The expression, however, more particularly denotes the islands and coasts of Greece. Recent expositors understand it of Cyprus, on account of the old Phœnician city in it, Κίτιον, Κίττον (Chethi), and of the islands and coasts in the neighbourhood. Häv. is in favour of the Cyprian pines (THEOPHRAST. Hist. pl. 5:8)

Very suitable; Cyprus was particularly famous for its excellent ship-building materials. The regularly successive compact growth of the pine would agree well with אשר, also its firm, sure position, and its thick wood. Gesen. takes the word as & תְּאַשּׁוּר, Sherbin-cedar. Hitzig throws the two words together, and reads בּתְאשרים; which is unnecessary, since בת denotes simply the subordinate dependent relationship—more exactly expressing that which is enclosed by another (בת עין, the pupil: also in Lam. 3:13, בת אשפה, the arrow), and indicating that the ivory formed only the costly article inlaid in the wood mentioned. This wood itself was the material; of it was the helm made, and the handle and other parts were ornamented with ivory.

Ezekiel 27:7. Comp. on Ezekiel 16:10. Out of Egypt, with its famous looms, went forth “embroidered linen” (HITZ.), “embroidered byssus” (HENGST.), with flowers and figures.—The more immediate destination: to be to thee for a sign (נֵם, visible from afar), leads one, with מפרשך, to think either of sails provided with emblems and devices, after the Egyptian fashion, or rather of the flag placed by the ancients on the fore-part of the ship.—ארגמן is the red purple, purple-red cloth, from a shell-fish (πορφύρα) found on the Syrian and Peloponnesian coasts. The islands of Elishah, according to Jerome, were the islands of the Ionian Sea; according to Bochart, the Peloponnesus, in which was Elis (Hellas). As derived from so great a distance, this purple figures here as a foreign commodity, and does so, indeed, by means of its finely coloured fabric; its splendid colour was much prized.—תכלת; comp. at Ezekiel 23:6—מכִסה (part. Piel of כסה) is the covering of the ship above deck, against the heat of the sun.

Ezekiel 27:8 forms a transition to the manning, not of the ship, but of the Tyrian state-constitution. Zidon, the oldest city of Phœnicia, on this account designated “the mother,” and Arvad, the island Aradus, entirely covered by the city of the same name,—hence a second Tyre, which, as did also Zidon, always possessed its own kingdom,—serve to illustrate the commonwealth represented by Tyre, each contributing its share of help; but illustrate also the relation of the several parties, the oarsmen being from those places, but the helmsmen (captains), those skilled in navigation, were Tyrians, so that Tyre stands forth as the guiding intelligence. And so also in Ezekiel 27:9 figure the ancients; they were the experienced, approved masters and skilled architects from Gebal (where was the burial-place of Adonis, whence the name), in Tyre, employed in its marine force. Comp. 1 Kings 5:32 [18]. For the allegory of the ship, their expertness in healing breaches, renovating, instantly repairing what was decayed, is drawn into consideration. (May there not, however, withal be meant to be conveyed an impression of the supremacy which Tyre in this position exercised upon the other Phœnician states?) But the sentence that follows introduces the principal point, for which all that precedes was merely preparatory, namely, that Tyre was a mercantile power.—מלח is, in the general, seamen, so designated from the “salt,” for sea (ἁλιεις, from ἁλς). Tyre included, as it were, all navigation in itself; the sea-world was its fleet. (HITZIG: foreign merchant - vessels lie here at anchor. HENGST.: all the Tyrians with their colonies are, as it were, in this one giant ship, as the jolly-boats in an ordinary large ship, and are sent out from it.)—ערב, “to exchange,” hence: “to trade.”

Ezekiel 27:10. Before the main tendency indicated was given way to, the representation turns back from the image of the ship, through an emphasizing of the military weapons of defence and offence, in which Tyre prided herself, to the beginning, and so to the city.—פרם (Pares, Fares, Fars, in the cuneiform inscriptions Pâraça) must be Persia. Hitzig contends for those who, in primeval times, settled in Africa. Hengstenberg, as also Häv., holds firmly by their Asiatic character, and as having even then probably entered into connection with the anti - Chaldaic coalition in a relation to Tyre,—the first germ of their later victorious lifting of the shield against the Chaldean ascendency; comp. at Ezekiel 8:16. Lud and Phut are African populations: the former, not the Semitic Lydians, may well enough be the Hamitic Ludim (Gen. 10:13); the latter, the Libyans of antiquity—both well known as soldiers in the Egyptian army (Jer. 46:9). Either to picture the far-extending relations of the Tyrian mercantile power are they named, or because the most foreign among the foreign; as in Rome, in Byzantium, they were purposely taken into pay, whether for display or as a security against internal tumults. We learn the existing relations best from Carthage. Rich enough to pay the costs, the mercenary army secured for the Tyrian merchant ability to ply his traffic; he found in it military protection for his settlements, and advantage also for prosecuting new undertakings. If the hanging up of shield and helmet is not a poetical expression,—their arms were thy arms, their conquests thine, or such like,—we must think of a military custom, as to-day still the armour is hung up when there is no service. The garrison of the city they did not likely form (HITZIG), as Ezekiel 27:11 shows that the protection of the city was committed to domestic and allied troops. But what were the Gammadim? Hävernick explains the word from the dialects by “valiant,” “audacious,” and thinks that it was the favourite expression for the national militia, as there was among the Carthaginians a “sacred host.” The latter, however, would not be designated the proper troops, in contrast to the mercenaries! Hence HENGST.: “bold champions”—a Tyrian designation for a select band. HITZ.: “deserters from the neighbouring countries, to whom the rich republic offered more favourable conditions than the kings,”—if there may not have been the marring of the original גִּבֹּרִים, with reference to Cant. 4:4! [Jewish expositors made out of the word pigmies—from גֹמֶד, an ell, therefore ell-high—because they appeared such in the towers. Others conjectured a particular Phœnician allied people to be meant by it (Gamale); the Targum: Cappadocians. Meier, with an eye to עמד, explains it: “as posts.” We must then render: “The sons of Arvad and thy force were on thy walls round about, and posts in thy towers.”]—It is to be remarked that שׁלט is a noble shield, while in Ezekiel 27:10 only common armour is mentioned. So, too, the language rises; while it is there תלו־בך, here it is תלו על־חום׳; the home element is heightened. Hence, also, instead of נתנו הדרך, which is as much as: it ornamented thee (Ezekiel 16:14) thus to have distant ones, foreigners, in thy pay, to do thee service, now it is: כללו יפיך, they completed thy beauty, forming at the same time a close of the detailed theme.

Ezekiel 27:12. The mercantile glory of Tyre begins here; comp. 5:9.—Tarshish, the most renowned mart of commerce in the West, a city and district of Spain, Tartessus, between the two mouths of the Bætis (Guadalquivir). It traded with Tyre not so much by means of things brought thither, as because the fulness and variety of the Tyrian wares, the costly, rich articles which the Tyrian vessels brought, were given (נתן) in payment for the abundance in precious metals for which Tartessus was renowned in antiquity (DIODOR. 5:35 sq.; STRABO, 3.; PLIN. Hist. Nat.). But trader agrees better with that than merchant. It was a barter-dealing, as was very commonly the case in antiquity.—עֹזבון (only in plural), from עזב, to let go; and hence better, with Hitzig, taken as equal to wares, than, with Ewald, as “sale.”

Ezekiel 27:13. Javan is the land of Greece (Ionia); Tubal, often joined with Meshech, are together the Tibareni and Moschi of the ancients, in Lesser Asia,—the former to the west of the latter, who were the inhabitants of a mountainous region between Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The enumeration of the traders in Tyre’s merchandise turns now, therefore, northwards.—In souls of men, slave-traffic; if we have not a special case in Joel 4:6 (Eng. V. 3:6), then it was reciprocal. Häv. is of opinion that female slaves from Greece were of old highly estimated in the East, and, on the other side, male slaves (?).—For the copper (or brass) articles, Hitzig makes account of the name Tibareni, as well as the neighbours of the Moschi, the Chalybes, and remarks that to this day the Colchian mountains in Trabosan contain unexhausted mines of copper. Häv. notices that in the hilly Caucasian region inhabited by Tubal and Meshech, the people have been ever distinguished for their beauty, and that through all time they have been noted for commerce in slaves (see BOCHART, Phaleg.). Comp. besides, at Ezekiel 27:9.

Ezekiel 27:14. Togarmah is Armenia.—From the house, either out of the region, or the race of people from it(?). Armenia was distinguished for its breeding of horses. Herodotus speaks of its asses (1. 194).—סוסים ופרשׁים, usually draught horses and riding horses.

Ezekiel 27:15. The sons of Dedan, occasioned by מבית going before, are the Cushite Dedanites (Gen. 10:7), as middle-men in the trade. As such, and as representatives of the land-trade with their caravans, yet as identical with those in Ezekiel 27:20, since Scripture knows only of one Dedan, the Arabian one, they are regarded by Hengst.; but he admits of no connection on the part of Dedan directly with the many islands. On the other hand, Häv., following Heeren’s guidance, thinks of a south Arabian tribe, and the three Bahrein islands (GESEN.: “perhaps the island Daden”?), on the west side of the Persian Gulf, where were the “many coasts” of the East Indies, with which the articles mentioned of ivory and ebony very well suit. With Hitzig, also, the Dedanites are the traders with Tyre in the south-east, from the Persian Gulf (Isa. 21:13). If we should understand by איים islands, we must suppose it to be said, that what the caravans transported had also by Tyre been conveyed by sea. According to Philippsen, it is meant that those caravans of the Indian wares contained others also from distant sea-coasts unknown to us.—סחרת, according to Hitzig to be pointed as a participle (?), is merchandise or traffic, in the sense of the abstract for the concrete. The addition: of thy hand, marks the dependence, the intermediate sort of traffic; they were agents for Tyre.—The horns, used of ivory, since it was the teeth of the elephant, must be understood by way of comparison. Pliny recognises it as dentes, and yet names it cornua elephanti. It is commonly connected with ebony (Diospyros Ebenum, which has white bark, dark green leaves, and medlar-like fruit). For both, Ethiopia was famous in the old world.—אֶשְׁכָר (שָׂכָר ,שָׁכַר)—comp. Hupfeld on Ps. 72:10—might, with השׁיבו (to bring back, restore), be understood in the sense of a sort of tribute, since Tyre would represent herself as having, through her merchandise, made the products of all lands, as it were, tributary to her. It suits with אשׁכר (payment), however, as with השׁיב, to think of barter, in which the value of the goods purchased is brought back, restored.

Ezekiel 27:16. Those who read Edom [that is, instead of Aram, which was done by the Sept., exists also in several codices, and is preferred by Ewald, Hitzig, etc.] conceive that Aram lay too far out of the way from Dedan, in the direction of Israel (!); also, that first in Ezekiel 27:18 it comes in regular order. Edom, however, and in particular Petra, was important as a goods emporium. And not less so was Aram, i.e. Syris, in the wider sense Mesopotamia, for an agency-traffic. The Syrians, according to Jerome, were born merchants, madly intent on its gains. [Usque hodie permanet in Syris ingenitus negotiations ardor, qui per totum mundum lucri cupiditate discurrunt, et tamtam mercandi habent vesaniam, etc.]—מרב מעשׂיך, for which, at Ezekiel 27:12, there is מרב כל־הון, designated as (artistic) work, manufactured goods. Carbuncle (נפך), a precious stone; see at Ex. 28:18. On the rest, comp. at Ezekiel 27:7.—בוץ appears to designate the Syrian, in contradistinction from the Egyptian byssus (שֵׁשׁ)—the finest white cotton?—Babylon was renowned for its weaving, as it was also a market for precious stones.—רָאמוֹת, part. act. plur. for רמות; Hengst.: precious things, what stands high, is valuable. In particular, red (dark) corals or pearls, have been thought of.—כדכד, a gem of glittering splendour (GESEN.); jasper has been suggested, also garnet, crystal, ruby.

Ezekiel 27:17. Palestine gave wheat in merchandise to Tyre (חטים, in grains).—Minnith (מנית), a place in the territory of the Ammonites (Judg. 11:33); comp. 2 Chron. 27:5; 1 Kings 5:25 [11]; Acts 12:20.—פנג, according to Meier, might be: “the rubbed off,” “the shaved off” = κασια, קְצִיעָה; or more generally: “something soft” = sweet, which dissolves itself. R. Parchon in his Lexicon makes it = חלות דבשׁ, placenta mellis. Some have referred to פנק, deliciari, and combined therewith several operations. Comp. Rosenmüller. Balsam, however, has also been given as an interpretation, but צרי is the term for that, namely, the resin from the balsam-powder (opobalsamum), Jer. 8:22. Hitzig recurs to pannaga (serpent), a Sanscrit word for a healing aromatic wood.—דבשׁ, the honey of bees, as well as grape-syrup (dibs) and fruit-syrup generally—a great article of merchandise in Palestine, Ezekiel 16:13; Deut. 32:13.—On oil, comp. Deut. 8:8, 28:40; 1 Kings 5:25 [11]; 2 Chron. 2:10; Hos. 12:2 [1].

Ezekiel 27:18. Damascus is here specialized, because it was a particularly important mart of commerce for Tyre; comp. Ezekiel 27:16 and 12. Hengst. remarks on the riches, that they must therefore have paid for wares also with gold.—Helbon, now Aleppo, famous for its wine, the wine of the Persian kings, still a notable city (STRABO, 15.). Instead of white wool, Ewald has “wool of Sachar,” a Syriac town, where was then the best wool. But צחר expresses the shining white wool, as wool of that sort was especially derived from the pasture-lands of Syria and Arabia (HÄV. ). “The finest and most silky, because the sheep pasturing in the deserts were always under the open heaven” (J. D. MICH.). The Sept.: Milesian wool.

Ezekiel 27:19. ודן can neither be a third Dedan (EWALD), nor “and Dan”, but it must be taken for an unknown Arabic district; according to Movers, it would be the trade-renowned Aden. Javan, too, is perhaps to be taken for a Greek settlement in Arabia, and to be distinguished, as Arabic, from that in Ezekiel 27:13; and מאוזל may serve as a nearer determination of it—only not as part. Pual from אָזָל, to turn, wind (a thread); in the Talmud: to spin, מְאוּוָּל, that is, “the spun” yarn (GESEN., MEIER)—such a mention of a particular sort of ware being scarcely suitable here, but as מֵאוּזָל, agreeably to Gen. 10:27 = out of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. It accords with this that a Javan in Yemen is mentioned, and the articles which are referred to likewise agree. Tuch very properly calls to remembrance, in connection with ברזל עשות, wrought iron, the sword-blades of Yemen, along with the Indian so famous through all the East.—קרה, the Arabic cassia (a kind of cinnamon), and קנה, a reed, acorus calamus, likewise native to Arabia; according to others an Indian product, which Yemen traded in from there.

Ezekiel 27:20. Dedan—ch. 25:13; Gen. 5:3—Semitic—comp. Ezekiel 27:15—in Northern Arabia. בגדי־חפשׁ לרכבה, GESEN.: tapetes stratœ aa equitandum; from the verb חפשׁ, to stretch. Others: “robes,” “garments of the nobles,” which would be expressed through the meaning “setting free.” Häv. questions the signification of spreading out (comp. Hupfeld on Ps. 88:6 [5]); holds “to cover,” “to bind,” “to wind round,” as the radical meaning; and as to the matter, compares Judg. 5:10. The allusion probably is to the splendid riding or horse apparel, which in the East (like the stirrups, for example) are marks of distinction and luxury.

Ezekiel 27:21. Arabia (ערב; comp. ערבה, a steppe), here together with “all the princes of Kedar” (Gen. 25:13)—in Pliny, Codrei—a particularizing of the small trafficking nomadic tribes in the interior of Arabia; comp. Ezekiel 27:15. Their large property in flocks is well known; comp. also Jer. 49:28 sq.—Even the roving, unsettled Bedouins of the desert were Tyre’s ready instruments for his merchandise.

Ezekiel 27:22. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah (רעמה), that is, Sabæa, in Arabia Felix, and the Cushite Ῥέγμα, on the Persian Gulf.—ראשׁ, the head, for the highest of their kind; here of the foremost, most excellent perfumes (בֶּשֶׂם, or בּשֶֹׁם, of the balsam-shrub), if the genuine balm is not meant by it. The mountains of Hadramaut and Yemen yield all sorts of precious stones, and the latter was esteemed among the ancients as a very rich gold region.

Ezekiel 27:23. Haran (Gen. 11:31, Κάῤῥαι, the Carræ, noted in later times for the defeat of Crassus) comes into view as on the cross-way of the caravans when they were passing through Mesopotamia. Khanneh (כנה, contracted for כַּלְנֵה), the later Ctesiphon, as a commercial city on the Tigris. Eden (עדן) is the Mesopotamian, as distinguished from the Syrian, town, which has been sought in the delta of the Euphrates—Maadan?—By the Sheba here Rosenmüller understands another Sabæa than that mentioned in Ezekiel 27:22. Häv. translates: “Haran and Canneh and Eden are the merchants of Saba; (on the other hand) Asshur, Chilmad are thy customers” (?). Keil and Movers, understand the meaning to be, that the Sabæans, who held a yearly market in Carræ, were named as negotiators between the districts of Mesopotamia and Tyre.—Asshur must, according to Keil, not be Assyria, but (MOVERS) the emporium of Sura (Essurieh), on the Euphrates, above Thapsacus, in a caravan road which branches off toward כלמד, Charmande. Häv. sees in Chilmad a Tyrian emporium for the trade with Assyria.

Ezekiel 27:24. מכללים, from כלל, ornaments, perfectly fine articles, finished productions; by which may be understood, with Häv., works of art of tasteful, perfectly beautiful workmanship, or, with others, of splendid garments. (EWALD: full equipments.)—גלום (from גלם, to roll, wind up) is a mantle, a wide garment, well-nigh corresponding to the Chlamys; comp. Ezekiel 27:7.—גנזים, treasures, which signification Hengst. firmly retains; but what were “treasures of damask”? The word must specify the preceding more general objects of beautiful workmanship. Häv. takes it for a Persian word, intended to designate a foreign object, and naturalized in Syriac; either girdles, or pouches, or trousers. (GESEN.: chests for packing and preserving in: HITZIG: “and in cords.” גנז, what is twined, wound up. EWALD: pouches of Damascus.)—ברומים; GESEN.: a kind of cloth with a many-coloured wool, the πολύμιτα of the Greeks, damask. Häv.: garments of peculiar sorts of weaving (διπλοΐδες?). The Tyrians then dyed silk-yarn, silk, and cotton wool.—בחבלים׳ Häv. translates: “with threads wound round and firm,” as a nearer description, partly in respect to the costly threads with which the cloth in question was inwrought, and partly in respect to its durability.—ארוז the ancients mostly connect with אֶרֶז, cedar, and understand by it chests of cedar. PHILIPPSON: packed in cedar. חבלים must be taken for cords or strings. חבש, to bind. HENGST.: “bound with cords and fastened.” “Ezekiel describes the bales of such stuffs probably according to his own view.” HITZIG: “with many-threaded, tight-drawn cords.”

Ezekiel 27:25. The sum from which the tendency of the whole representation clearly appears. Häv. unsuitably connects this verse with Ezekiel 27:26. Tarshish alone points back to the commencement of the representation, in Ezekiel 27:12. Ships of Tarshish, however, were those prepared for distant voyages generally, as we speak now of “India-men,” “Greenlanders.”—שׁרות, according to Häv., must mean “walls,” as if the Tarshish fleet had formed, in a manner, the breastwork of Tyre—had been the security of the Tyrian commerce. According to other explanations, “singers,” who celebrate thee on account of thy merchandise; HITZIG: שָׂדוֹתַיִךְ = thy fields, thy lands. It probably comes from שׁוּר, Chald. שְׁיָרָא, caravan; and the sense will be: they moved off caravan-like to drive your traffic (GES.). HENGST.: “The ships of Tarshish visit thee, thy wares; these were the special object of the visit.” But this made nothing for the aim of the representation; and the sentence that follows stands better, if the ships are conceived of as trading towards Tartessus, and then always bringing back their gains from the distant world, which filled Tyre, and lent to it its singular importance in the midst of the sea. Comp. on Ezekiel 26:2.—מערבך can be the accusative: in respect to thy merchandise; as to the sense, much the same as: navigation, on a grand scale, was thy business; it was his lever.

Ezekiel 27:4.

Ezekiel 27:26–36. The Overthrow of Tyre.

In Ezekiel 27:26, already introduced by Ezekiel 27:25, the lamentation upon Tyre resumes the image of a ship, which was dropped at Ezekiel 27:10. Häv. justly draws attention to the contrast, since Tyre received his deathblow in the midst of his glory, and to the impressive repetition of בלב ימים, in the heart of the sea. “The overthrow of the city was its shipwreck” (HITZIG). במים׳; comp. Ps. 77:20 [19]. Therefore like a vessel that was brought upon the high sea by its rowers, who moved it;—which, indeed, did not bespeak a policy that adventured into danger, but might well enough indicate the proud self-sufficiency which inspirited the whole. Hengst.: “The many waters an image of great dangers and sufferings.”—The east wind (Ezekiel 17:10, 19:12), exactly as at Ps. 48:7. Peculiar to it are strong, continued blasts; if the vessel strengthens itself to the storm, then the danger becomes very great. “In the midst of the sea” is no deliverance, it now becomes the grave for all and of all.

Ezekiel 27:27. A recapitulation; comp. Ezekiel 27:12, 18, 19, 22, 9, 17, 8, 10—ch. 26:15.

Ezekiel 27:28. Cry of the pilots, which depicts the perfect hopelessness of deliverance.—מגרשׁ, from גרשׁ, a separate piece of ground: a common, pasture-ground, but this as the environs of the city, so that the continent with its adjoining territory will be meant. The death-cry on the high sea finds its echo on the continent,—Palætyre?—The sensation upon the land is connected in Ezekiel 27:29 sq. with a prolonged representation of the same on the sea. Very fitly those who stood in a marine relationship to Tyre took up the lamentation over her. Whether it might be to give a strong impression of the general insecurity since Tyre had fallen, or to add solemnity to the lamentation, in the one way or the other is the coming down of the persons concerned to be understood; either all will as quickly as possible find deliverance on the land, or sympathy makes them come nearer to the scene of the disaster.

Ezekiel 27:30. Comp. Ezekiel 26:16 sq. A collection of all sorts of expressions of mourning, with the view of representing the grief as at once great and general.

Ezekiel 27:31. Comp. Ezekiel 7:18.

Ezekiel 27:32. ני, contracted from נהי, suited for the yelling, sharp wail-cry (HAV.); against which, Hitzig gives as an emendation: בְּפִיהֶם, raised up in their mouth = took upon their lips.—מי כצור, Hitzig quite correctly grounds in Ezekiel 27:33, 34: from so great a height so deeply sunk down !—כדמה (GESEN.: דֻּמָּה, destruction, that which is destroyed; KEIL, part. Pi. with מ dropt off: “as the annihilated in the midst of the sea”; HITZIG, part. Pual) is the destination suitable to a place like Tyre. Hengst.: דמה is not the participle, but the perf. Pual, which, as often with the perf., stands in place of the participle: “like one that is destroyed.” EWALD: “like her in the midst of the sea.” HÄV.: “who is, like Tyre, become so still!”—compared with the earlier noisy bustle of the city. In the בתוך הים there sounds again בלב ימים.

Ezekiel 27:33. When thy wares went forth. HENGST.: “from the seas they were brought into all the harbours of the world.” ROSENMÜLLER: out of all seas to Tyre. HITZIG: like the productions, the fruits of the field from all soils.—Satisfy is: to meet the desire, the demand, the necessity. Tyre, on the one side, satisfied the world’s need; on the other, it enriched those of whom it bought or trafficked in respect to gold or costly goods. The “Suri” or Tyrian gold pieces were well known in antiquity.

Ezekiel 27:34. The contrast, נשׁברת עת, indication of the time, which so far is specified as to be identified with that of Tyre’s overthrow. Others: now. (Ewald improves thus: עַתָּ נִשְׁבַּרְתְּ, “now art thou shattered.”) The going down of a vessel, where all goes down. Ezekiel 27:35. The closing chorus in a manner: those who were friendly to the commerce; and in Ezekiel 27:36, the co-operators and rivals in it. Amazement, terror, but also malicious joy. The close agrees with Ezekiel 26:21.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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