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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 27

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 27:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Ver. 1. The word of the Lord.] See on Ezekiel 18:1.


Verse 2

Ezekiel 27:2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;

Ver. 2. Take up a lamentation for Tyrus.] Fitly here compared to a goodly ship, (a) and her desolation to a dismal shipwreck. Theodoret’s note on the text is, that when we correct sinners, or threaten them, it should be done with commiseration and compassion. Here we have God’s own example for it.

Ille dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 27:3 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.

Ver. 3. O thou that art situated at the entry of the sea.] As now the city of Venice is,

Media insuperabilis unda.

Environed with her embracing Neptune, to whom (as the ceremony of throwing a ring into the sea implieth, saith one) she marrieth herself with yearly nuptials. But hath she so learned Christ? and doth not the Nebuchadnezzar of Constantinople now threaten her sore?

Thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.] So that nothing can be added to me: I am ocellus orbis. But who made thee to differ? Is not all thy beauty borrowed? will not this thy bulging wall down ere long?


Verse 4

Ezekiel 27:4 Thy borders [are] in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.

Ver. 4. Thy borders are in the midst of the sea.] Wherewith thou art compassed and crowned, as it were, [Isaiah 23:8] being half a mile distant from the continent, till first Nebuchadnezzar, and then Alexander the Great, by casting earth, wood, and stones into the sea, made of it an island, a peninsula, &c.

Thy builders.] The Sidonians, saith Justin; (a) 240 years before Solomon’s temple was built, saith Josephus. (b)


Verse 5

Ezekiel 27:5 They have made all thy [ship] boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.

Ver. 5. They have made all thy ship boards.] Of the most precious materials, which, with thy rich freight, did incite and entice the arch-pirate to surprise and make prize of thee.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 27:6 [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.

Ver. 6. Of the cakes of Bashan.] Those very best of the best. See Ezekiel 27:5.

Out of the isles of Chittim,] i.e., Of Greece and the Archipelago, [Genesis 10:4] far set and dear bought. Benches and decks might well have been made of worse matters: sed opulentiam fere sequitur superbia, luxus, libido, &c.; wealth breeds swelth, which is a dangerous symptom, as in the body, so in the mind too.

Pulcherrima regna

Luxuries vitiis, odiisque superbia vertit. ”

- Claudian.


Verse 7

Ezekiel 27:7 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.

Ver. 7. Fine linen.] When coarse canvas might have served the turn as well.

From Egypt.] Which is held to be the finest, whitest, and costliest. Oh this unnecessary bravery! Luxus est anteambulo ruinae: Luxury portends your ruin, how many hath it utterly undone! When a man shall see a cloak embroidered over with woods and parks and lordships, and lined with obligations and bonds and statutes, will not the beggar soon catch such a prodigal by the back?

From the isles of Elishah,] i.e., Of Italy, saith the Chaldee paraphrast; of Greece, say others; the Fortunate islands, say some, which are called the Elysian islands for their pleasure and plenty.

Was that which covered thee.] The poop deck of thy ships. Of Cleopatra’s sumptuous ship or barge, the poop deck whereof was of gold, the oars silver, the sails purple, &c., see Plutarch in Anton.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 27:8 The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise [men], O Tyrus, [that] were in thee, were thy pilots.

Ver. 8. The inhabitants of Zidon.] Famous all the world over for their skill at sea and otherwise.

Thy wise men were thy pilots.] Wise they had need to be that sit at the stern of a state. Let them not therefore be ignorant, or idle, or otherwise faulty, lest they mar all: let them be active Argonauts. They have their names here in the Hebrew from the ropes of the ship, which they as pilots must skilfully order, shifting sails according to the wind. Counsel also, in that tongue, hath its name from the same root. (a)


Verse 9

Ezekiel 27:9 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.

Ver. 9. The ancients of Gebal.] Great architects, [1 Kings 5:18] but persecutors of the Church. [Psalms 83:7]

Thy calkers.] Or, Stoppers of chinks, stuppa, pice, aliaque materia, when the ship springeth a leak.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 27:10 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.

Ver. 10. They set forth thy comeliness.] They were to thee both for muniment and for ornament.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 27:11 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.

Ver. 11. And the Gammadims.] These were not pigmies, as the Vulgate rendereth it; nor Medes, as Symmachus; nor Cappadocians, as the Chaldee paraphrast; but Syrians of a city called Gamalla, whereof see Pliny. (a)


Verse 12

Ezekiel 27:12 Tarshish [was] thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all [kind of] riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.

Ver. 12. Tarshish,] i.e., The Carthaginians, say some; the citizens of Tarsus, another colony of the Tyrians, say others.

They traded in thy fairs.] Heb., In thy derelictions, because they left their commodities behind them, taking others in exchange; for,

Non omnis fert omnia tellus.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they [were] thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.

Ver. 13. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech,] i.e., Grecians, Spaniards, and Muscovites or Cappadocians, who were naturally of a servile disposition: they were anciently called Meschines, saith Josephus, (a) of Meshech, the son of Japhet. [Genesis 10:2]

They traded the persons of men,] i.e., They bought and sold slaves, as now they do in Turkey.


Verse 14

Ezekiel 27:14 They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.

Ver. 14. They of the house of Togarmah,] i.e., The Germans, saith the Targum, who are still excellent horsemen. The Jews call the Turks the house of Togarmah.


Verse 15

Ezekiel 27:15 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.

Ver. 15. The men of Dedan.] Arabians. [Genesis 10:7] The Septuagint render them Rhodians.

Horns of ivory.] The elephant’s two great tusks, crooked as horns.

And ebony.] Hebenum, which hath affinity with Eben, which signifieth a stone, for ebony is a wood hard and heavy as a stone. The Chaldee rendereth it peacocks.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 27:16 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.

Ver. 16. The wares of thy making.] Heb., Works. The Tyrians were ingenious workmen, as Hiram, whom Solomon therefore so admired that he called him his father.

And agate.] Or, Chrysoprasus, or crystal, or carbuncle, or onyx. Jerome confesseth that he knoweth not what to call it.


Verse 17

Ezekiel 27:17 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.

Ver. 17. Wheat of Minnith.] Where the best grew, even the kidneys of wheat, as Moses hath it. [Deuteronomy 32:14 cf. 11:33 Acts 12:20]

Pannag.] Rosin or balsam, whereof Judea yielded the best in the whole world.

For the wine of Helbon,] i.e., Of Aleppo, say some, famous then for wine, now for milk, whence also it hath its name, for the Turks call milk alep; and if the Via lactea Milky Way were on earth, it would be found there, saith one.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 27:19 Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.

Ver. 19. Dan also.] Anciently called Laish. [ 18:29] Javan, or the Grecians, were great travellers. (a)

Going to and fro.] Discursatory.

Impiger extremos currit mercator ad Indos.

- Horat.

{See Trapp on "Psalms 38:11"}


Verse 20

Ezekiel 27:20 Dedan [was] thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.

Ver. 20. in precious clothes.] Heb., Clothes of freedom, such as are worn by gallants and magnificos.

For chariots.] Or, Saddles or trappings, ad vehiculum for carriages.


Verse 21

Ezekiel 27:21 Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these [were they] thy merchants.

Ver. 21. They occupied with thee in lambs.] Heb., They were the merchants of thy hand, or at thy hand, for cattle could not be carried far.

In these were they thy merchants.] Merchants are as useful in a commonwealth as mechanics, for exporting and importing commodities; only they must observe the gospel standard, "Whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye the same to them."


Verse 22

Ezekiel 27:22 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.

Ver. 22. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah,] i.e., Ethiopians and Indians. Erat enim Tyrus emporium propemodum totius mundi. (a)

With chief of all spices.] All aromatic wares. Pliny reports of cinnamon that in his time a pound of it was worth a thousand denarii, that is, 150 crowns of our money. Galen writeth that it was hard to be found, except in the storehouses of great princes.


Verse 23

Ezekiel 27:23 Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [and] Chilmad, [were] thy merchants.

Ver. 23. Haran.] In Mesopotamia, or Charrae, in Parthia, where Crassus was slain.

And Channeh,] Or, Chalne, where the tower of Babel was built nine miles high. (a)

And Eden.] Where paradise once was: sed periit rosa, mansit spina.

Chelmad,] i.e., Medea, saith the paraphrast.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 27:24 These [were] thy merchants in all sorts [of things], in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise.

Ver. 24. In all sorts of things.] In omnibus perfectissimis; in the very best commodities, whether for worth or workmanship.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 27:25 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.

Ver. 25. Thou wast replenished and made very glorious.] Or, Very heavy: (a) as a ship, though not top full, may yet have freight enough to sink it; so had this metaphorical ship Tyre enough to sink it, though not enough to satisfy it.


Verse 26

Ezekiel 27:26 Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

Ver. 26. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters.] Narrat Tyri naufragium. Here beginneth the prophecy of Tyre’s woeful shipwreck. (a)

The east wind.] Called the "Mariner’s misery." The Chaldees were east from Tyre, the great wealth whereof solicited their poverty to set upon them, as the wealth of Cyprus did the Romans.


Verse 27

Ezekiel 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.

Ver. 27. Shall fall into the midst of the seas.] As a ship that sinketh, and cannot be buoyed up again.


Verse 28

Ezekiel 27:28 The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.

Ver. 28. The suburbs shall shake.] Or, The waves, or the boats which they throw out of the ship. See on Ezekiel 26:10.

Of the cry of thy pilots.] At their Conclamatum est: but why, did they then steer no better? Here we see - all covet, all loose.


Verse 29

Ezekiel 27:29 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;

Ver. 29. And all that handle the oar.] That have escaped to land with their lives.


Verse 30

Ezekiel 27:30 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:

Ver. 30. To be heard against thee.] Or, For thee, or over thee. [Ezekiel 27:31 Revelation 18:11; Revelation 18:15-16]


Verse 31

Ezekiel 27:31 And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart [and] bitter wailing.

Ver. 31. And they shall make.] Moerebunt induti saccis, inducto calvitio. If this had been for sin, as it is offensivum Dei, et aversivum a Deo, then it had been right.


Verse 32

Ezekiel 27:32 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?

Ver. 32. What city.] An elegant mimesis.

Like the destroyed.] Quae obmutuit, like her that lost her voice and life together.


Verse 33

Ezekiel 27:33 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.

Ver. 33. When thy wars.] Good things are fairest on the back side; the worth of them is best known by the want of them. Our eye seeth not things but at a distance.


Verse 34

Ezekiel 27:34 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.

Ver. 34. In the depths of the waters,] i.e., In the overflowing of the wars. [Ezekiel 27:26]


Verse 35

Ezekiel 27:35 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.

Ver. 35. They shall be troubled in their countenance,] i.e., Appalled and dispirited.


Verse 36

Ezekiel 27:36 The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt be] any more.

Ver. 36. The merchants shall hiss at thee.] Either as astonied at thee, or rather as deriding thee, (a) like as he who seeth another fall into the dirt, first pitieth him and then jeereth him. See the like, Jeremiah 19:8; Jeremiah 49:17.

Thou shalt be a terror.] Because God hath hanged thee up in gibbets, as it were. Or thou wast a terror once, but now a scorn.

And never shalt be any more.] See on Ezekiel 26:14.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 27:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-27.html. 1865-1868.

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