|@September 17, 2023||ESV (2016)||ESV Prophets Plan 2023|
- A Lament for Tyre
The chapter opens with a word of the LORD that came to Ezekiel to raise a lamentation over Tyre. Ezekiel portrayed Tyre as a well-built ship. This symbolizes the way Tyre achieved wealth through maritime trade. The inhabitants of Tyre thought the city was indestructible and the warning here is that such pride is prelude to destruction (Prov. 6:17; Prov. 8:13; Prov. 16:18).
Ezek. 27:3-9 is poem of Tyre’s great prosperity and dealings with other countries. Tyre boasted of herself, “I am perfect in beauty” (Ezek. 27:3) and her beauty was made perfect by her builders who had the very best materials: 1) cedar from Lebanon (Ezek. 27:5), 2) oaks of Bashan (Ezek. 27:6), 3) embroidered linen from Egypt (Ezek. 27:7), etc. Her ships also had skillful men and mariners.
Ezek. 27:10-25 are of Tyre’s economy and trading with other nations. Ezekiel refers to these nations to highlight Tyre’s far-reaching influence in the ancient world—far to the east, to the northwest, and to the southwest. Tyre traded in a variety of goods human beings (Ezek. 27:13). Her wares were valuable enough to warrant exchange with the very finest goods, like “emeralds, purple, embroidered work, fine linen, coral, and ruby.” (Ezek. 27:16). Tyre was very wealthy and wide-spread in their trading and bartering. Ships of Tarshish also traveled with Tyre’s merchandise and she was “filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas” (Ezek. 27:25).
Starting with Ezek. 27:26, there is a shift to a lament over all that Tyre has lost in her destruction. Tyre’s doom is pictured as a massive shipwreck, with all hands lost and all wealth sunk to the bottom of the sea. As Tyre sinks, the rest of Phoenicia, symbolized by sailors on their own ships, watches in horror and mourns bitterly for their loss. The other nations are appalled, having hair bristling with horror and faces convulsed (Ezek. 27:35). All that Tyre had met a “dreadful end” and “she shall be no more forever.” (Ezek. 27:36)
A majority of this chapter (25 of 36 verses) is focused on the bounding prosperity of Tyre. Great detail is given to her robust economy and trading infrastructure; fleets of ships, skillful men and mariners and the exchange of wares for the finest goods and materials. Tyre’s dealings were widespread, represented a massive presence in the ancient world. All of this to provide the necessary context around the sheer magnitude of loss at her destruction.
Similar to yesterday’s reading, this chapter points to the supremacy of God and His dominion. Nations and powers that seem imposing to us are entirely within God’s control. That nothing is beyond His reign should drive the deep sense of reverence He is due. What a wonderful chapter to help us to see how big our God truly is.
Scripture Journal Notes
Commentaries & Resources Used
- ESV Study Bible. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008)
- Faithlife Study Bible (Lexham Press, 2016)
- Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
- CSB Study Bible Notes (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Guardian Press, 1976)
- The Bible: A Reader’s Guide (Sterling Publishing, 2011)
- The Infographic Bible (Zondervan, 2018)
- ESV Digital Scripture Journal (Crossway, 2019)