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.

Against Tyre (Ezek 26:1-26:2)

“In the eleventh year,

On the first day

Of the month,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Tyre said

Concerning Jerusalem.

‘Aha!

Broken is

The gateway

Of the people.

It has swung open

To me.

I shall be replenished,

Now that is wasted.’”

The time for this oracle to Ezekiel, the son of man, was the 11th year of King Zedekiah, which would have been 587 BCE. The Greek translation has a mention of a month that would put it into 586 BCE. Tyre was a Phoenician costal island city that still exists in southern Lebanon, well known for its maritime trade. Actually, it would have been part of the old Israelite territory of Asher. Here, the people of Tyre seemed to have laughed at Jerusalem when the gates of that city fell. Instead of being an ally of Jerusalem, they turned against them. They took advantage of the bad situation in Jerusalem. Isaiah, also, had a long diatribe against both Tyre and Sidon in chapter 23.

 

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.

The captivity of the Ammonites (Ezek 25:3-25:4)

“Say to the Ammonites!

Hear

The word of Yahweh God!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You said.

‘Aha!’

Over my sanctuary

When it was profaned.

You said.

‘Aha!’

Over the land of Israel

When it was made desolate.

You said.

‘Aha!’

Over the house of Judah

When it went into exile.

Therefore

I am handing you over

To the people of the East

For a possession.

They shall set

Their encampments

Among you.

They shall pitch

Their tents

In your midst.

They shall eat

Your fruit.

They shall drink

Your milk.’”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to tell the Ammonites to listen to the word of Yahweh, their God. However, they had their own gods. Apparently the Ammonites had profaned the sanctuary in Jerusalem. They had laughed when the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed. They had even laughed at the exile of the people from Judah. Their punishment would be that they would be handed over to the people of the East, who would set up encampments and tents in their territory. These invaders would even eat their fruit and drink their milk. This probably was an allusion to the Assyrians, whom the Ammonites were dependent upon.

The boiling rusted pot (Ezek 24:9-24:11)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Woe to the bloody city!

I will even make

The pile great!

Heap up the logs!

Kindle the fire!

Boil the meat well!

Mix in the spices!

Let the bones

Be burned!

Stand it empty

Upon the coals!

Thus it may become hot.

Its copper will glow.

Its filth

Will melt in it.

Its rust

Will be consumed.’”

Once again Yahweh, via Ezekiel, pronounced a curse against the bloody city of Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to pile up logs and kindle a fire. He wanted to boil the meat with lots of spices. He wanted this meal so well cooked that even the bones would be burned. He wanted this pot to stand empty on the hot coals until its copper glowed. He had hoped that the filth would melt out of this pot. That way, all the rust would be consumed and gone, since this burning pot was Jerusalem.

The open bloodshed (Ezek 24:7-24:8)

“The blood

That she shed

Is inside it.

She placed it

On a bare rock.

She did not pour it out

On the ground

To cover it

With earth.

To rouse my wrath!

To take vengeance!

I have placed

The blood

That she shed

On a bare rock.

Thus this blood

May not be covered.”

Yahweh was upset about the blood being shed in Jerusalem since it was being placed on a bare rock. No one was pouring the blood out on the ground or covering it up. Was this an attempt to get Yahweh’s wrath aroused? Did someone need to take vengeance? Thus Yahweh also agreed to leave the blood in the city on the bare rocks instead of covering it up.

The rusted pot (Ezek 24:6-24:6)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Woe to the bloody city!

Woe to the pot

Where rust is

In it!

This rust

Has not gone out

Of it!

Empty it

Piece by piece!

Do not make

Any choice!’”

Now Yahweh, via Ezekiel, called Jerusalem a bloody city. He compared it to a rusted pot. The rust was in this pot, Jerusalem, but it has not gone out of it. They would have to empty it piece by piece to get rid of this rust. They had no choice but to get rid of everything and everyone in the pot.