Other eastern trading partners (Ezek 27:23-27:24)

“Haran,

Canneh,

Eden,

The merchants

Of Asshur,

The merchants

Of Chilmad

All traded with you.

These traded

With you

In choice garments,

In clothes of blue.

In embroidered work.

These traded

With you

In carpets

Of colored material,

Bound with cords,

Made secure.

These all traded

With you.”

There was no doubt that Tyre was a world class trading center. Here there is a list of its other trading partners. Haran was in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River, while Canneh was southwest of Haran. Eden was in Assyria. Asshur was in Babylon, and Chilmad was also in Mesopotamia. These trading merchants had very good garments, especially blue and embroidered clothes. They also traded in colorful securely bound carpets that did not fall apart. Thus, Tyre also had these eastern trading partners, as well as their coastal trader town associates.

The allegory of the eagle (Ezek 17:1-17:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Propound a riddle!

Speak an allegory

To the house of Israel!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘A great eagle

With great wings,

With long pinions,

Rich in plumage

Of many colors,

Came to Lebanon.

He took the top

Of the cedar.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This time Yahweh proposed a riddle or an allegory for the house of Israel about an eagle. A great eagle with colorful rich wonderful wings and feathers came to sit on the top of a cedar in Lebanon. Is this an allegory or riddle about King Nebuchadnezzar who became king of Babylon in 597 BCE? It sure seems like it, since he was the great eagle who came to sit on his throne.

The unique ornamented vestments of Aaron (Sir 45:10-45:13)

“The sacred vestments were

Gold,

Violet,

And purple.

They were the work of an embroiderer.

Aaron had the oracle of judgment,

The Urim and the Thummim.

They had twisted crimson,

The work of a craftsman.

There were precious stones

Engraved like signet seals.

There was a setting of gold,

The work of a jeweler.

This was a commemoration

In engraved letters,

Of each of the tribes of Israel.

He had a gold crown upon his turban.

This was inscribed

Like a signet seal with

‘Holiness.’

This was a distinction to be prized.

This was the work of an expert.

This was the delight for the eyes,

As this was richly adorned.

Before him,

Such beautiful things did not exist.

No outsider ever put them on.

Only his sons put this on.

Only his descendants perpetually put this on.”

The colorful vestments of Aaron were made of embroidered gold, violet, and purple. The artisans had made these crimson yarns. The Urim and Thummim were sacred oracles, in the pouch of the breastplate of judgment, according to Exodus, chapter 28. Aaron would carry the names of the Israelites and the judgment of the Israelites, when he went into the holy place. This unmentioned breastplate had precious stones engraved seals of the 12 tribes in settings of gold. He had a gold crown on his head that was on the top of his turban with gold flower designs. On the top of it was engraved “holiness” or as in Exodus, “Holy to Yahweh.” These highly artistic works were a delight to the eye since nothing like it existed anywhere before. Nobody, but Aaron and his sons could wear these vestments. Eventually, these became the sacred vestments of the Temple high priest.

David is weak (Ps 22:14-22:15)

“I am poured out like water.

All my bones are out of joint.

My heart is like wax.

It is melted within my breast.

My mouth is dried up like a potsherd.

My tongue sticks to my jaws.

You lay me in the dust of death.”

This is a very colorful descriptive explanation of David’s or the psalmist’s situation. He was poured out like water, exhausted. His bones were out of joint in pain. His heart was like wax that melted away in his breast with no energy. His mouth was dried up as his tongue was stuck to his jaws. A potsherd is broken pieces of pottery. He was almost on his death bed of dust. It is apparent why the works of Matthew and Mark used this vivid graphic psalm to describe a dying Jesus on the cross.

Where can you find wisdom? (Job 28:12-28:19)

“But where shall wisdom be found?

Where is the place of understanding?

Mortals do not know the way to it.

It is not found in the land of the living.

The deep says.

‘It is not in me.’

The sea says.

‘It is not with me.’

It cannot be gotten for gold.

Silver cannot be weighed out as its price.

It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir.

It cannot be valued in precious onyx or sapphire.

Gold and glass cannot equal it.

It cannot be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal.

The price of wisdom is above pearls.

The chrysolite topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it.

It cannot be valued in pure gold.”

The important question remains, “Where can this wisdom be found?” In a beautiful colorful response this biblical author says where it is not to be found. No mortal humans have this wisdom since it cannot be found among the land of the living. It cannot be found in the oceans or seas. You cannot buy it either. No matter how much gold or silver you have, wisdom is more valuable. You cannot measure it with precious stones, glass, or gold. Coral, crystals, topaz, and pure gold are all less valuable than wisdom. Ophir is the place to find gold, while Ethiopia was the place of topaz. Wisdom is beyond any human knowledge or any precious item here on earth.

The hymn to the all powerful God (Job 26:5-26:14)

“The shades below tremble.

The waters and their inhabitants tremble.

Sheol is naked before God.

Abaddon has no covering.

He stretches out Zaphon over the void.

He hangs the earth upon nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds.

The cloud is not torn open by them.

He covers the face of the full moon.

He spreads over it his cloud.

He has described a circle on the face of the waters.

He has described a circle at the boundary between light and darkness.

The pillars of heaven tremble.

They are astounded at his rebuke.

By his power he stilled the sea.

By his understanding he struck down Rahab.

By his wind the heavens were made fair.

His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways.

How small a whisper do we hear of him!

But the thunder of his power,

Who can understand?”

Then Job broke into a hymn about the all powerful God. Could this be from Bildad?   In very explicit colorful language, he describes the power of God over all things. This is the vision of earth, Sheol, and heaven. Sheol and Abaddon are similar, like a bottomless pit. Abaddon will become a person in the Christian book of Revelation. Here it is like another name for Sheol, so that even those below must recognize the power of God since they have no place to hide or cover up. Zaphon is the northern mountain area of the Canaanite gods, something like the Greek Mount Olympus. The earth was suspended over an abyss. The water in the clouds was still accepted today as the cause of rain. Only God could make it rain and break the clouds. He also had control of the moon creating eclipses. God was of course responsible for the boundary between water and earth as well as light and darkness. There were even pillars in heaven that were afraid of him. Perhaps these pillars are the mountains that seem to reach up into the heavens. Obviously he controlled the sea and the mythical sea monster Rahab. Rahab was also the name of the prostitute, who helped the troops of Joshua, chapter 2. God then pierced the fleeing serpent, perhaps a reference to Genesis, chapter 3. We mortals only catch a glimpse of his power like a whisper when he thunders. The idea that God spoke through thunder was prevalent. However, we cannot understand all this.