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.

Against Edom (Ezek 25:12-25:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Edom acted revengefully

Against the house of Judah.

They have grievously offended

In taking vengeance

Upon them.’”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. This section is similar to Jeremiah, chapter 49, and Isaiah, chapter 34, on Edom. Apparently, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem, the Edomites from south of Judah helped the Babylonians in their plundering of Jerusalem and Judah.

Against Moab (Ezek 25:8-25:8)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Moab said.

‘The house of Judah is

Like all the other nations.’”

Instead of a very long diatribe against Moab, as in Jeremiah, chapter 48, and Isaiah, chapters 15 and 16, Ezekiel has only a few short comments. Moab was the country directly east of the Dead Sea on the other side of the Jordan River. The Moabites, like the Ammonites, had been involved in many quarrels and battles with the Israelites, since they had a strange biblical relationship. The Moabite kingdom lasted from around the 13th century BCE to around the 4th century BCE, where today it is also the country of Jordan, like Ammon. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot’s incest with his oldest daughter as in Genesis, chapter 19. In the Book of Ruth, chapter 4, the Moabites were friendly, as Ruth, a Moabite, had a son named Obed, who turned out to be the grandfather of King David via his son Jesse.   For a while, Moab was part of the Kingdom of Israel, until they revolted. Here the complaint against Moab was that they said that Judah was like the other countries and not unique.

Against the Ammonites (Ezek 25:1-25:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward the Ammonites,

Prophesy against them.’”

Now there are a series of oracles against the various countries around Israel and Judah. As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to set his face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them. Who are the Ammonites? In the biblical sense, they are the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot from the incest incident with his daughter in Genesis, chapter 19. They seem to have been east of the Jordan and north of Moab, but south of Assyria. The country of Ammon existed from about the 10th century to the 4th century BCE in what would have been the Gad territory as outlined in Joshua, chapter 13. Today it is part of the country of Jordan. Jeremiah, chapter 49, had also spoken out against them. They along with the Moabites were the constant enemies of Judah and Israel. At some point, they became part of the Assyrian empire and eventually ceased to exist. They certainly were related to Canaan and spoke a Semitic language.

Your sister Sodom (Ezek 16:48-16:50)

“As I live,

Says Yahweh God.

‘Your sister Sodom,

With her daughters,

Has not done

As you

With your daughters

Have done.

This was the guilt

Of your sister Sodom.

She,

With her daughters,

Had pride,

Excess of food,

A prosperous ease.

But they did not

Aid the poor.

They did not

Aid the needy.

They were haughty.

They did abominable things

Before me.

Therefore I removed them,

When I saw it.”

The story of Sodom was based on Genesis, chapter 19.   Sodom was a city in the plains, south of Jerusalem, near the Dead Sea. Jerusalem was like the city of Sodom because Jerusalem had done the same things as they had done. Sodom with her daughters was guilty of pride, too much food, and too easy of a life style. Sodom did not aid the poor and the needy. There was no explanation here of all the abominable things mentioned in Genesis. However, Yahweh had removed them. He had destroyed them, when he found out about their behavior.

Jerusalem’s sisters (Ezek 16:46-16:47)

“Your elder sister

Is Samaria.

She lived

With her daughters

To the north of you.

Your younger sister

Is Sodom.

She lived

With her daughters

To the south of you.

You not only

Followed their ways,

But you acted according

To their abominations.

Within a very little time

You were more corrupt

Than they

In all your ways.”

Jerusalem had an elder sister to the north with her children in Samaria. She also had a younger sister to the south with her children in Sodom. Samaria was the ruined people and capital of the old northern kingdom of Israel. Sodom was the place of infamy in Genesis. Not only did Jerusalem follow their terrible ways, she was even worse. She became more corrupt than they were.