Ezekiel 27 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 27)

Verse 2

[2] Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;

A lamentation — We ought to mourn for the miseries of other nations, as well as of our own, out of an affection for mankind in general; yea, tho' they have brought them upon themselves.

Verse 3

[3] And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.

At the entry — Heb. Entrances. She was about four furlongs, or half an English mile from the continent, as it were in the very door of the sea.

Verse 5

[5] They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.

They — The shipwrights.

Shipboards — The planks and benches, or transoms for their ships.

Fir-trees — Of the best and finest fir-trees.

Lebanon — Whose cedars excelled others.

Verse 6

[6] Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim.

With box — From the isles, and parts about the Ionian, Aegean, and other seas of the Mediterranean, where box-tree is a native, and of great growth and firmness, fit to saw into boards for benches; they were conveyed to Tyre, where their artists inlaid these box boards with ivory, and made them beautiful seats in their ships.

Verse 7

[7] Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee.

The isles of Elishah — Probably the sea-coast of Aeolis in the lesser Asia, the inhabitants whereof were excellent in the skill of dying wool.

Which covered — He speaks of the coverings they used in their ships or galleys: their tilts, as our boat-men call them.

Verse 8

[8] The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots.

Zidon — An ancient town and haven of Phoenicia, not far from Tyre.

Arvad — Or Aradus, an island belonging to Phoenicia, twenty furlongs from the continent.

Mariners — Rowers in thy galleys; the rich Tyrians would not employ their own in such servile works, they hired strangers.

Wise men — Thy learned men: for navigation was the great study of the Tyrians.

Verse 9

[9] The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise.

The ancients — Old experienced workmen.

Gebal — A town of Phoenicia near the sea.

The wise men — Skilful in their trades.

Were in thee — Who dwelt in Tyre for gain.

All the ships — Ships from all parts of the sea, full of mariners, not only to manage the ships at sea, but to offer their service to the Tyrians for bringing in, or carrying out their wares.

Verse 10

[10] They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.

Lud — Lydians, not those Cresus was king over, but those that dwelt in Egypt about the lake Maraeolis.

Phut — Lybians, a people of Africa; these were their hired soldiers.

Hanged the shield — In time of peace.

They set forth — These stout, expert, well armed guards, were an honour to thee.

Verse 11

[11] The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect.

With — Mixed with other hired soldiers.

The Gammadim — Probably men of Gammade, a town of Phoenicia.

Verse 13

[13] Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.

Javan — The Grecians, particularly the Ionians.

Tubal — The Asiatic Iberians, and the Albanians toward the Caspian sea.

Meshech — The Cappadocians.

They traded — Brought men to sell for slaves.

Verse 14

[14] They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.

Of the house — Of the country.

Togarmah — Armenia the lesser, Phrygia, Galatia, or Cappadocia.

Horsemen — It is likely they might sell grooms, as best able to manage, and keep those horses.

Verse 15

[15] The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.

Isles — In the Indian seas, and in the Red-sea traded with thee.

Horns — Elk's horns, or wild goats.

Ebony — Is a very solid, heavy, shining, black wood, fit for many choice works.

Verse 16

[16] Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate.

The multitude — The abundance of the Tyrian manufactures.

Verse 17

[17] Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm.

Minnith — The name of an excellent wheat country.

Pannag — Some obscure place, which now is forgotten.

Verse 19

[19] Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.

Javan — In the isle of Meroe, in Egypt.

Verse 20

[20] Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.

Dedan — The posterity of Abraham by Keturah, who dwelt in Arabia, and were sheep-masters.

Clothes — With which they lined their chariots.

Verse 22

[22] The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.

Sheba — A country in Arabia Felix.

Raamah — Another people of the same Arabia.

Verse 23

[23] Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants.

Haran — In Mesopotamia, where Abraham dwelt.

Canneh — This is supposed to be the same with Calneh, Genesis 10:10, afterwards Ctesiphon, a pleasant city on Tigris.

Ashur — Assyria.

Chilmad — A country between Assyria and Parthia.

Verse 25

[25] The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.

The ships — The ships from all parts of the sea.

Did sing — Had their songs to commend thy state.

Verse 26

[26] Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

Thy rowers — Thy governors and counsellors.

Great waters — Dangers and difficulties.

The east wind — The king of Babylon with his army.

Hath broken — As surely will, as if he had already done it.

In the midst — Where thou thoughtest thyself impregnable.

Verse 27

[27] Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.

All thy company — All that are men fit for war, in the multitudes of people that are in thee.

Shall fall — These all shall fall together.

Verse 28

[28] The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.

The suburbs — The suburbs, which are nearest the sea, shall first hear the out-cries of pilots, and mariners.

Verse 29

[29] And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;

Shall come down — ln the allegory of a miserable shipwreck, the prophet sets forth the fall of Tyre; and in this verse he represents them all shifting out of the sinking ship, in great confusion.

Verse 30

[30] And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:

Wallow themselves in ashes — As men use to do in their greatest mournings.

Verse 32

[32] And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?

In the sea — Alas! what was once her safeguard, is now her grave.

Verse 33

[33] When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.

Went forth — Were landed.

Thou filledst — There was enough to supply to the full.

Verse 34

[34] In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.

By the seas — The Babylonians, that like seas shall swell, roar, and break in upon thee.

Verse 35

[35] All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.

Troubled — They shall not be able to conceal the discomposure of their mind, but will shew it in their countenance.

Verse 36

[36] The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.

Shall hiss — Will mock at thy fall.