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.

Caravans from the east (Isa 60:6-60:7)

“A multitude of camels

Shall cover you.

The young camels of Midian

With the camels of Ephah

Shall cover you.

All those from Sheba

Shall come.

They shall bring gold.

They shall bring frankincense.

They shall proclaim the praise of Yahweh.

All the flocks of Kedar

Shall be gathered to you.

The rams of Nebaioth

Shall minister to you.

They shall be acceptable on my altar.

I will glorify my glorious house.”

The caravan trade had been very lucrative. Thus the camels with all their goodies would travel to Jerusalem from eastern Midian and Ephah that were in Arabia. Sheba was in southern Arabia, prominent in the stories of King Solomon. They were bringing the traditional gifts of gold and frankincense, which was an expensive spice. They were going to proclaim the praises of Yahweh. So too, the flocks from the eastern desert area from the Arab tribes of Kedar, as well as the rams of the Nebaioth tribe, would be gifts for Jerusalem. These would be acceptable at the altar of Yahweh in his house.

Quarrels and travels (Sir 8:14-8:16)

“Do not go to law against a judge!

The decision will favor him

Because of his standing.

Do not go traveling with the reckless!

They will be burdensome to you.

They will act as they please.

Through their folly

You will perish with them.

Do not pick a fight with the quick-tempered!

Do not journey with them through lonely country!

Bloodshed means nothing to them.

Where no help is at hand,

They will strike you down.”

Do not go to the law against a judge because the decision will favor him due to his position as a judge. Do not travel with reckless people because they will be a burden to you. They will do whatever they want. They will draw you into their folly and you will perish with them. Do not pick a fight with someone who has a quick temper. Do not go traveling with them either. Killing people means nothing to them. They are liable to kill you when there is no one to help you. Be careful with who you travel with.

The decree states the need for peace and tranquility (Greek text only)

“I have become the ruler of many nations and the master of the whole world. I am not elated with the presumption of authority but I always act reasonably and with kindness. I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects in lasting tranquility in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent. I want to restore the peace desired by all men.”

Once again, this whole decree only appears in the Greek text and not in the Hebrew text at all. The king said that he was the ruler of many nations. He is the master of the whole world that is their known civilized world at that time. It was not his presumption of authority, but he was trying to act reasonably with kindness. He wanted everyone to live in tranquility with easy access to travel. He wanted peace.

Tobias finds trustworthy Raphael (Tob 5:4-5:8)

“So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone that was acquainted with the way. He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him. Tobias did not perceive that he was an angel of God. Tobias said to him.

‘Where do you come from, young man?’

‘From your kindred, the Israelites.’

He replied.

‘I have come here to work.’

Then Tobias said to him.

‘Do you know the way to go to Media?’

‘Yes.’

He replied.

‘I have been there many times.

I am acquainted with that region.

I know all the roads.

I have often traveled to Media.

I would stay with our kinsman Gabael who lives in Rages of Media.

It is a journey of two days from Ecbatana to Rages.

It lies in a mountainous area.

Ecbatana, however, is in the middle of the plain.’

Then Tobias said to him.

‘Wait for me, young man, until I go and tell my father.

I need you to travel with me.

I will pay you your wages.’

He replied.

‘I will wait, but do not take too long.’”

Tobias went out to find someone trustworthy to lead him to Media to get the money from Gabael, who lived in Rages. Then suddenly the angel Raphael was standing in front of him. However, Tobias did not realize that Raphael was an angel. This happened in Genesis, chapter 18, where angels appeared to be human men. Tobias asked him where he was from. Raphael replied that he was an Israelite looking for work. When Tobias asked him about Media, he seemed to know a lot about the place, since he even knew Gabael in Rages. He said it would take 2 days to travel from Ecbatana to Rages, but in fact it is about 185 miles, more like a 15 to 20 day journey. Tobias said that he would pay him to go with him to Media, but he had to tell his father first. He asked Raphael to wait. Raphael said that he would wait, but not too long.