The Word Made Fresh
1This word of the LORD came to me:
2“Son of man, tell the prince of Tyre the LORD God says that since you are proud and have claimed to be a god who sits in a god’s seat in the midst of the seas, you still are only a human being, not a god, even though you think you have the mind of a god. Tell him,
3Yes, you are indeed wiser than Daniel,
and nothing is hidden in secret from you;
4you have gathered immense wealth for yourself
and filled your treasuries with gold and silver.
5You are indeed a wise trader and your wealth has grown,
but your heart has become proud because of your wealth.
6So, this is what the LORD God says:
Since you think you have the mind of a god,
7I will send foreigners among you
from the most terrible of the nations.
They shall draw swords against
your beauty and your wisdom
and spoil your bright splendor.
8They will throw you into the grave;
you will die violently in the midst of the seas.
9Will you then continue to claim to be a god
in the presence of those who would kill you?
Were you not merely a mortal instead of a god
to the ones who have wounded you?
10You will die uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners.
I have spoken,” says the LORD God.
11I also heard the LORD say,
12“Son of man, lament the king of Tyre.
Say of him, this is what the LORD God has declared:
You were the epitome of perfection.
You were the perfection of wisdom and beauty.
13You were in Eden itself, the garden of God,
and all the precious stones covered you –
carnelian, chrysolite, moonstone, beryl, onyx, jasper,
turquoise, and emeralds,
all embedded in gold settings and displays
on the day you were born.
14I anointed a cherub on the holy mountain of God to be your guardian,
and you walked among the stones of fire.
15You were completely blameless in all you did,
from the day I formed you until you became sinful.
16You developed an abundant trade,
but you became violent, and you sinned.
That is why I threw you from the mountain of God;
you were profane, and a cherub drove you away.
17You became so proud of your beauty
that your wisdom was corrupted.
So, I threw you to the ground and exposed your foolishness,
and other kings took pleasure in watching you fall.
18Because of your great iniquity in the way you practiced your trade,
you made your sanctuaries profane.
So, I caused fire to erupt within you;
it consumed you and turned you to ashes
in the sight of all who saw you.
19Everyone who knew you is appalled
because you have come to your terrible end,
and you will be gone forever.”
20The LORD said to me, 21“Son of man, look toward Sidon and make a prophesy against them. 22Say that the LORD your God says; I am against you, Sidon, and I will be glorified in your midst. All your people will know that I am the LORD when I judge you and demonstrate my holiness in your fate. 23I will send a plague to you and there will be bloodshed in your streets. The dead will fall in your midst by the sword, which will come from every direction. Then it will be known that I am the LORD God.
24The people of Israel will no longer have briers or thorns among all their neighbors who have treated them contemptuously. And they will know that I am the LORD God.
25The LORD God has said this: When I bring together the people of Israel from the midst of the nations where they have scattered, and demonstrate my holiness in them in full view of the other nations, then they will settle on their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26They will dwell in safety there. They will build homes and plant vineyards. They will live in safety because I will judge all their neighbors who have treated them contemptuously. And they shall know that I am the LORD God.
The third movement in the section on Tyre is addressed to the crown ruler of Tyre. Following the same progression, we have first the proclamation against the ruler and then the lamentation which contains a description of the glory of the king of Tyre, followed by a description of his destruction.
1-10: The bottom line: the king of Tyre thinks too highly of himself. Indeed, he thinks he is a god. So, the true God will prove he is not by sending conquerors to his little island state, and the king of Tyre will die.
11-19: The lamentation is next. The king is described decked out in his expensive finery, rich and secure, actually favored by God and able to do incredible things. He was thought blameless by all – until God pointed out his iniquity. The last verses describe a conflagration that destroys the city.
20-23: The prophetic barrage turns to Sidon, up the coast of Lebanon from Tyre. Sidon will also be struck with “pestilence,” undoubtedly a reference to the imperial ambitions of the Babylonians.
24: Finally, Ezekiel is done with all Judah’s and Israel’s immediate neighbors.
25-26: And so, God’s people will be able to live in peace when God brings them back from all the places to which they have fled or been exiled.
God will not be mocked, regardless of how important we are, how high we have risen in society, or how wealthy we have become. Perhaps that is why God chose to make humans mortal.