The gathering of the house of Israel (Ezek 28:25-28:25)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will gather

The house of Israel

From the people

Among whom

They are scattered.

I will manifest

My holiness

In them,

In the sight of the nations.

Then they shall settle

On their own soil

That I gave

To my servant

Jacob.’”

Yahweh said that he was going to gather the house of Israel from all the people, countries, and nations that they had been scattered into. Yahweh was going to manifest his holiness then, so that all the nations would see it. Finally, the Israelites would settle on their own soil, the same land that Yahweh had given to his servant, Jacob.

All the neighbors of Israel (Ezek 28:24-28:24)

“The house of Israel

Shall no longer

Find

A pricking brier

Or a piercing thorn

Among all

Their neighbors,

Who have treated them

With contempt.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh God.”

Things would go better with the neighbors of Israel. There would be no more prickly briers or piercing thorns among them. These bad neighbors had formerly treated Israel with contempt. Now they would know that Yahweh was truly God.

Against Sidon (Ezek 28:20-28:23)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me!

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward Sidon!

Prophesy against it!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

I am against you!

O Sidon!

I will gain glory

In your midst.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I execute

My judgments

In it.

I will manifest

My holiness

In it.

I will send

Pestilence

Into it.

I will send

Bloodshed

Into its streets.

The dead shall fall

In its midst,

By the sword

That is against it

On every side.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Ezekiel was to turn towards Sidon, often mentioned together with Tyre, but less important than Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Ezekiel was to prophesy against Sidon. Yahweh was going to be glorified in Sidon. They would learn that Yahweh was able to execute judgments and manifest his holiness there. Yahweh was going to send pestilence and bloodshed to its streets. The dead would fall by the sword all around them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was God.

Exposed iniquities of the king of Tyre (Ezek 28:17-28:19)

“Your heart was proud

Because of your beauty.

You corrupted

Your wisdom

For the sake

Of your splendor.

I cast you

To the ground.

I exposed you

Before kings,

To feast their eyes

On you.

By the multitude

Of your iniquities,

In the unrighteousness

Of your trade,

You profaned

Your sanctuaries.

Thus I brought out fire

From within you.

It consumed you.

I turned you

To ashes

On the earth,

In the sight

Of all who saw you.

All who know you

Among the people

Are appalled at you.

You have come

To a dreadful end.

You shall be no more

Forever.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had a strong condemnation of Tyre and its king. The king of Tyre had become proud because of his beauty. His great trade wisdom had become corrupt. Yahweh cast them down, despite their splendor. He exposed them before other kings and people. Everyone was able to see the multitude of their iniquities and their unrighteous trade practices. Tyre had profaned their own sanctuaries. Yahweh then brought fire to consume them. He turned them into ashes on the ground in the sight of everyone, so that everyone was appalled at the dreadful end of Tyre, who would not exist anymore. However, Tyre did continue to exist.

The dismissal from the mountain of God (Ezek 28:14-28:16)

“I placed you

With an anointed cherub

As a guardian.

You were

On the holy mountain

Of God.

You walked among

The stones of fire.

You were blameless

In your ways

From the day

That you were created,

Until iniquity

Was found in you.

In the abundance

Of your trade

You were filled

With violence.

You sinned.

So I cast you

As a profane thing

From the mountain

Of God.

The guardian cherub

Drove you out

From among

The stones of fire.”

Ezekiel has a variation of the Garden of Eden story, in Genesis, chapters 2-3.  This time, Tyre is on a mountain of God or God’s mountain. Usually this referred to Jerusalem. This may have been a reference to the Canaanite myth about Mount Sapon, near the Turkish-Syrian border. This holy mountain had a guardian anointed cherub angel. There Tyre could walk on stones of fire. He, like Adam, was created blameless. Then iniquity came from the abundance of his trade. Tyre became violent and sinned. Then he was cast out from this mountain of God by this guardian cherub as something profane and not holy. Thus Tyre could no longer walk on the stones of fire.

The precious stones in the Garden of Eden (Ezek 28:13-28:13)

“You were in Eden,

The garden of God.

Every precious stone

Was your covering.

This included

Carnelian,

Chrysolite,

Moonstone,

Beryl,

Onyx,

Jasper,

Sapphire,

Turquoise,

Emerald.

They were worked

In gold

As your settings

With your engravings.

On the day

That you were created

They were prepared.”

Somehow, this king of Tyre was in the Garden of Eden, where it is called God’s garden, with precious stones, like the Jewish ephod. This seems to be a variant of the Garden of Eden story in Genesis, chapters 2-3. Instead of a wonderful garden, this king was covered with precious stones in this great garden. These precious stones included carnelian, chrysolite, moonstone, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emeralds. They were worked into gold as settings and engravings. These precious stones were there the day that he was created, so that this allusion to creation and God’s garden of Eden was explicit. Many assumed that this garden was in the north on some mountain.

A lamentation for the king of Tyre (Ezek 28:11-28:12)

“Moreover,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Raise a lamentation

Over the king of Tyre!

Say to him!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You were the signet

Of perfection,

Full of wisdom,

Perfect in beauty.’”

Now Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to lament about the king of Tyre. Was this the infamous King Ittobaal II (760-740 BCE)? Yahweh called him the sign of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect beauty. That was no small compliment for a person who was a non-Israelite.