The workers on the ships (Ezek 27:8-27:9)

“The inhabitants

Of Sidon

With the inhabitants

Of Arvad

Were your rowers.

The skilled men

Of Zemer

Were within you.

They were your pilots.

The elders

Of Gebal

With its artisans

Were within you.

They were caulking

Your seams.

All the ships

Of the sea

With their mariners

Were within you,

To barter

For your wares.”

Ezekiel showed a great knowledge about ships and travel in Tyre. The rowers in the boats of Tyre were from Sidon and Arvad. Sidon was often mentioned together with 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. Arvad was another island city about 120 miles north of Tyre that is now part of Syria. The pilots on the boats were from Zemer, an inland town that is now part of Israel. The artistic caulkers on the ships were the old people from Gebal, later known as Byblos, about 70 miles north of Tyre. The sailors and the merchants were all from Tyre itself.

The lack of knowledge (Bar 3:20-3:23)

“Later generations

Have seen

The light of day.

They have lived

Upon this earth.

But they have

Not learned

The way to knowledge.

They have not

Understood her paths.

They have not

Laid hold of her.

Their descendants

Have strayed far

From her way.

She has not been heard of

In Canaan.

She has not been seen

In Teman.

The descendants of Hagar

Seek for understanding

On the earth.

The merchants of Merran,

With the merchants of Teman

Have not learned

The way to wisdom.

The story-tellers,

The seekers for understanding

Have not given thought

To her paths.”

The people living today on this earth have not learned the way to knowledge. They have not understood the various paths to get there. They are unable to grab knowledge. Their descendants have wandered far off the beaten path towards knowledge. Thus they cannot hear or see of knowledge in Canaan or Teman. Canaan was the old name for the land of Israel, while Teman was a city in Edom, south of Israel that was well known for its wisdom. The descendants of Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, or the Ishmaelites, were also seeking understanding. However, the merchants of Midian or Merran with the merchants of Teman in Edom have not learned the various paths to wisdom. The story-tellers and even those seeking understanding have not learned the way or path to wisdom. In fact, they have given little thought to this question.

The east Horse Gate (Neh 3:28-3:32)

“Above the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each one opposite his own house. After them Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs. After him Hananiah son of Shelemiah and Hanun sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam son of Berechiah made repairs opposite his living quarters. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate. They went on to the upper room of corner. Between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.”

They turned to the east wall, east of the Temple and the Palace of King Solomon. On that side was the East Gate and the Horse Gate. The priests continued to make repairs beside their own houses so that they must have lived near the wall. Shemaiah was the keeper of the East Gate, so he made the repairs there. The goldsmiths and the Temple servants also repaired this east wall. Finally the merchants and goldsmiths finished up the east wall as they came to the corner upper room. They finished with the Sheep Gate that had started all this construction that began with the high priest Eliashib.