Ezekiel 27 and 28
Further prophecies concerning Tyre: In chapter 27 the city is pictured as a stately ship. Verses 5-11 give a description of the ship; verses 12-25 of her cargo; and verses 26-36 of her shipwreck and total loss, with the widespread mourning that ensued. In chapter 28 the prince of Tyre is regarded as personifying the genius or spirit of the city, and as incarnating in his person the principle of evil which animated it. The terms used concerning him (especially in verses 11-19) are such that the figure of the human ruler seems to merge into Satan himself, the originator of the sins of which Tyre was guilty.
- Contrast men’s judgment of Tyre (27:4, 33) and Tyre’s view of herself (27:3) with God’s judgment of her (28:2-8). What was the per-eminent sin of Tyre? Cf. Dan.4:29-32.
- In what sense did Tyre become ‘a terror’ (AV 27:35, 36)? See also 26:21; 28:19. To what kind of fear should such a catastrophe give rise in our own hearts? Cf. Deut.17:12, 13; Rom. 11:20; 1 Tim. 5:20.
- 28:20-26 is a short prophecy against Sidon, which was closely linked with Tyre. What is said in verses 20-26 to be the twofold purpose of God’s judgments: (a) in relation to himself, and (b) in relation to his people?
1.27:36. Hissing expressed astonishment, rather like whistling today.
Ezekiel 29 and 30
The prophet’s gaze is now directed towards Egypt, pictured in 29:1-16 as a great dragon or crocodile, whose destruction is at hand. The remainder of today’s portion consists of three further prophecies of similar import, namely 29:17-20, 30:1-19 and 30:20-26.
- Compare the explanation of the allegory in 29:8-12 with the allegory itself in 29:3-7. What are the two sins in particular that caused God’s judgment to fall on Egypt? With 29:7, cf. verse 16 and Is. 30:5.
- 29:17-21. This is a prophecy dated sixteen years after that of verses 1-16, i.e., in 571 BC. It appears to indicate that Nebuchadnezzar had not gained the spoils of war at Tyre as he expected, and is now promised recompense from the conquest of Egypt. What light does this passage throw on the way in which God treats heathen nations?
- ‘Her proud strength will fail’ (30:6; cf. 30:18). Why cannot anyone ultimately prosper who trusts, as Pharaoh did, in his own resources and achievements? Cf. Job 9:4; Luke 1:51.
- 29:14, 15. Egypt is not to be finally destroyed, like Tyre (26:21; 27:36; 28:19), but reduced in status.
- 28:18. A reference to the chafing of helmets and the carrying of packs.