Like Ezekiel annotated part 1, chapters 1-20, this is not a verse by verse exegesis, but notes and references to other scripture passages. Occasionally a statement from a Bible Commentary will be used. We trust it will assist the reader in appreciating more the book of Ezekiel
Chapter 21 several times the Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, again we are not dealing
with the human but with the divine. This fortifies assurance. What is said we
can trust. The Creator God, Who made heaven and earth, is speaking.
vs.2. Ezekiel is asked to set his face toward Jerusalem, and prophesy against
Also drop thy word toward the holy places (sanctuaries, NASB)
Why against the holy places, sanctuaries?
Ezekiel 5:11 they have been defiled
Zeph. 3:4 the priests have polluted the sanctuary.
Ezekiel 8 gives a detailed picture how the holy places (temple, sanctuary)
have been polluted.
From the north in worship, vs.14, they were facing east, sun
Worship in transgression of the truth.Dan.8:12
Daniel speaks apocalyptically about a similar situation to occur in
NT times under the apostasy of the L.Horn in Dan.8:11-12
Worship in transgression would be instituted.
vs.3, 4. The righteous and the wicked would suffer under the coming divine
retribution. Daniel and his friends were also taken into captivity.
The righteous would shine as lights in darkness. Remember, Dan.1, 3, 5 and 6
They became a witness for the true God during the time of captivity.
Jer.24:5-10 Good figs were also sent to Babylon, but assured of God’s care.
Ezekiel 20:47 mentions by the word of the Lord that both green and dry
would suffer from the fire. However suffering of the wicked is often worse.
During the Thyatira time of the church, also called its Babylonian captivity
(Rev.2:18-29) the righteous suffered with the unrghteous..
When God’s judgments are on the earth it may not always be visible who is
right or who is wrong, but in the final judgment it will be made clear.
Some of Jesus parables do show the same, that right and wrong will grow up
together till the time of the end.
Matthew 13:24-30 tares and wheat growing together till harvest time.
,, 13:47-50 all kind of fish in the same net
,, 25:1-12 Wise and foolish virgins together, with apparent no
difference because all ten slumbered.
What happens to the righteous and the wicked alike is only of a temporary
nature. It has a divine purpose.
vs.5 The Lord used this that all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn forth
Paul writes in Phil.2:9-11 that one day Christ will be exalted in such a
manner that all knee shall bow and confess Christ, but for many too late.
Read Gr.Contr. top of page 669, by E.G.White All within and “without the
City all with one voice exclaim,” Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord
God Almighty; just and, true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints and falling
prostrate, they worship the Prince of Life.”
vs.6,7 Ezekiel had to address the people under heavy sighing, to impress the people
with the seriousness of the situation. Their heart would melt and knees
become weak. See also in vs.15 heart may faint.
Belshazzar became weak when he saw the writing on the wall, Dan.5:6
Jesus spoke about hearts failing for fear, Luke 21:26 (fainting, NASB)
Eze.21:8-17 Further description of the sword of slaughter against the people and its
With physical expressions and actions, using their hands, both the people
and the Lord would show their distress, vs.12 & 17.
vs.18-23 These verses are addressed to the king of Babylon, could be Nebuchadnezzar.
He would come to a junction in the road and had to decide which way to go.
For decision making he would use divination, consulting images (idolatry) and
looking in the liver. Not foreign, even in the 21st century in certain parts of the
world same thing is being done.
The same king in Daniel’s time tried hard to get knowledge from the same . spiritistic sources It did not work Daniel was needed, see Dan.2, 4 and 5.
So it is today people are becoming deceived by not using the right source for
Nebuchadnezzar was guided to go to Jerusalem, vs.21 which looked false to
the people of Jerusalem, vs.23
vs.24-27 But they were wrong. Their iniquity was to be remembered and they would be
taken ( into captivity), vs.23,24
Time of their punishment had come, vs.25 (NASB) even their royalty would
come to an end. After the 70 years of captivity no king in Israel/Judah., until
whose right it is, and I shall give it to Him, vs.27 (NASB) The Messiah.
vs.28-32 The Ammonites would also suffer for their iniquity to the point that they
be no more remembered.,vs.32 More in Eze.25,
After a brief moment of attention away from Israel/Judah to address Ammon,
in the latter part of chapter 21, he is again asked to turn to the bloody city of
Jerusalem, 22 vs.1 and 2
Ezekiel is asked to show all her abominations vs.2
God’s penmen have often been asked to make known the sins of God’s
Church. Paul in 1 Cor.5:1
John on the isle of Patmos writing to the 7 churches of minor Asia and making
known what was good and what the Lord had against them, Rev.2 and 3.
What follows in ch.22 can be called Israel/Judah’s catalogue of sin, 3-12
vs.3 Blood shed in the city. In 2Kings 21:16 it is called innocent blood. This most
likely pointing to children sacrifices.
vs.4 More bloodshed and idol worship. Instead of being a light to nations they
have become a reproach. They have defiled themselves.
vs.5 They have become a mocking to the nations, being of ill repute (NASB)
This was in opposition of what they were supposed to be according to
Deut.28:9, 10 a holy people and the nations being afraid of her.
The same chapter, Deut.28 talks about what would follow if they disobeyed the
Lord. Now that has come. Ezekiel has the task to make known divine
vs.6 The princes, every one involved in this bloodshed practice.
vs.7 Wrong dealings with their parents, transgression of the 5th commandment.
“Father and mother treated with contempt’ (RSV)
“Father and mother treated lightly” (NASB)
The stranger has been oppressed; this was in transgression of Exod…22:21.
The fatherless and the widow have been maltreated, which was against
Exod.22:22. See also what James has to say about this in Jam.1:27
vs.8 No respect for the holy things, temple, sanctuary, Sabbath. Eze.20:21, 24
vs.9 Again bloodshed and idolatry is rebuked.
vs.10,11 Severe immorality. Paul mentions something similar of the Corinthian
vs.12 Bribery, covetousness, financial gain by way of injustice and dishonesty.
They have forgotten the Lord.
The SDABC Vol.4p.654/5 divides the above list of sins into three groups,
vs.6-8 sins of inhumanity and profanation
vs.9-11 sins of immorality and incest
vs 12 sins of a financial nature because of covetousness.
Compare this with 2Tim.3:1-5 and we may conclude the world hasn’t changed
for the better but for worse.
vs.13-16 This section gives a summary of what the Lord will do to them, because of
The Lord would smite and punish them severely; Eze.6:11; 21:14 and 17;
They would be scattered among the nations as told in Deut.28:36, 37
This would be for the purpose of cleansing, Eze.22:15 I will…..remove
your filthiness completely from you, redemptive not punitive, not to destroy.
They were still His people, but in need of a thorough cleansing from the
filth of idolatry. This is further explained in the next section, 17-22.
According to Eze.22:16 this process would become a shameful process in the
sight of the nations.. Public sin makes a public shame and in need of a
public cleansing. Later mentioned in Eze.37:23 (see Eze. part 5)
They were a covenant people of the Creator God, Yahweh, to be a peculiar
treasure above all people,Exod.19:5
The NT church has a similar mandate, 2Pet.2:9 to be a chosen generation to
show God’s praises. To be a light in the world, Matth.5:14-16
What a shame when that fails and the church becomes in need of gold, proper
raiment and eye salve,Rev.3:18 in order that their shame and nakedness not
be seen. But according to Mal.3:2, 3 what the Lord will do to them, who will
submit refiner’s fire and be like launderer’s soap, (NKJV)
vs.17-22 This section, as so many before, starts again with the assurance that it is the
word of the Lord, not Ezekiel’s saying
They are compared to brass, tin, lead, silver in the fire, of which the
dross has to be removed. Their Babylonian captivity would be a melting
process to clean them from the dross and producing shiny metal a delight
Jeremiah complained that the fine gold had changed, had become dim, in need
of a new polishing, to make it shiny again, Lam..4:1
vs.23-31 For the third time the word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel. Again Ezekiel has to
tell the people about their iniquities. It is an unclean land, vs.24
25 The prophets have become corrupt.
26 The priests have fallen in apostasy.
- violated God’s law
- profaned the holy things, sanctuary
- made no difference between the holy and unholy, clean and unclean
- hidden their eyes from my Sabbath
They must have forgotten what is recorded in Lev.10:1, 2 and Numb.3:4 the
sons of Aaron killed for using strange fire, disregarding the holy things.
Isaiah spoke already about the transgression of God’s law, Isa.24:5
27 The princes, the leaders of the land are guilty of the same.
28 Prophets have given the people false messages, pretending that the Lord
had spoken to them
Jesus warned against false prophets, Matth.24:5, 11 and Paul in Acts 20:30
John writes about an apocalyptic false prophet in Rev.16:13 footnote in
NASB reads: the dragon, Satan, the beast Antichrist, 13:1-10, the false
prophet the lieutenant, 13:10-18
Everything must be tested by the scriptures, 1Thess.5:21; Isa.8:20
29 The people also have corrupted themselves, using oppression, robbery and
maltreatment of the stranger .See Exod.22:21 regarding treatment of the
30,31 A very sad end to chapter 22.The lord looks for someone to heal the situation
but no one is found.
A wall has been destroyed causing a gap in need of repair.
Isa.58:6-14 told the people how the breach could be repaired.
According to Theol.Wordbook OT nr.1826a gap/breach comes from the
Hebrew word ‘peres’ and in this case relates to God looking upon Israel’s
idolatry-transgression of God’s law- in particularly taking place in
Both Webster and Oxford dictionaries explain ‘breach’ as an infraction or
violation of a law.
Ellen G.White in 6SDABC 1110 the law is to the obedient a wall of
protection. It is protecting against divine condemnation, if we obey.
Isa.59:1, 2 speak about separation because of sin, causing a gap.
Sin makes a gap in the hedge of protection that is about a people at which good
things run out from them and evil things pour in upon them, a gap by which
God enters to destroy them. (Matth.Henry Vol.IV p.886)
Sin is transgression of the Law, 1John 3:4
In the time of the apostasy of the golden calf during the Exodus from Egypt,
Moses stood in the gap, the breach, Psalm 106:23
But now in Ezekiel’s time, the Lord looked for one but their is no ‘Moses’
In our NT times we have one, who will stand in the gap between God and us,
Christ our Mediator, Advocate, 1John 1:9; 1Tim.2:5
Eze.22:31 is a very sad ending for a people which started so glorious and had
such a glorious history in the times of King David and Solomon.
The word of the apostle Paul applies here as well, 1Cor.10:12 who thinks
he stands take heed lest he fall. (NKJV)
The content of this chapter is as follows; Judah/Jerusalem and Israel/Samaria are
addressed by the names of Ahola and Aholibah
These names do indicate they were supposed to be a place where the Lord would
dwell, see 4SDABC p.659 also Exod.25:8; 29:45,46, to dwell among them.
But instead being a tent for the Lord they played the harlot, vs.5.
They did what they had done in their youth in Egypt, vs.3 and 8
In Egypt their minds had been darkened and they had been led to imitate the
heathen practices of their masters. (read Patr. & Proph.p.333).
The golden calf idolatry during the Exodus is an example of this imitation.
Also what we read in Lev.17:7, sacrifices to demons.
Instead of forgetting their Egyptian time in slavery, they called it in remembrance,
Eze.23:19 & 21; they longed for it, according to NASB translation.
What happened on a small scale during the Exodus became big in later years and
ended in deep apostasy of spiritual adultery with the surrounding nations,
Eze.23:3, 7, 8, 19, 21, 27, also defiling the sanctuary and profaning the
Sabbath, see vs. 38 & 39
It is also stated in Eze.23 5, 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 19, 29, 30, and 37, about whoredoms
and spiritual adultery with the heathen nations. The woman of Revelation 17:1, 2
is also described as a whore and committing fornication with the kings of the
earth. Apostate Israel/Judah and apostate Christendom are both committing
the same apostasy.
But the nations with whom they have committed spiritual adultery will come and
take them. This refers to the 70 years of captivity. Also the people with whom
apostate Christendom has committed fornication will in the end come against
her, read Rev.17:16 they will hate her and make her desolate. Former friends
will become enemies.
This process of the 70 years captivity will clean Israel/Judah from their adultery
and they will remember Egypt no more, Eze.23:22-26
The purpose is that they will become clean from their lewdness, see vs.27
As earlier here are some similarities with the great whore of Revelation 17.
who is also the mother of harlots, Rev.17:1, 5 Here also apocalyptic
spiritual apostasy and fornication with the nations has taken place.
But as in Eze.23:22-25 the lovers of Judah/Israel will come against them, so in
Rev.17:16 the nations will turn against the mother of harlots and burn her with
fire or in the words of Ezekiel 23:25 thy residue shall be devoured by fire.
Eze.23:29 use similar words as Rev.17:16 regarding nakedness.
The following compares a number of expressions by Ezekiel and Revelation 17:
Eze.23:30 polluted with idols Rev.17:4 full of abominations
Eze.23:31 cup in her hand Rev.17:4 golden cup in her hand
Eze.23:33 filled with drunkenness Rev.17:6 the woman is drunken
Eze.23:36 declare her abominations Rev.17:4 full of abominations
Eze.23:38 has defiled the sanctuary The woman of revelation 17 equals the
and profaned the Sabbath L.Horn of Daniel 7/8 who takes away the
Tamid and changes the law, Sabbath
into Sunday, Dan.7:25
Eze.23:40 In state of apostasy, is Rev.17:4 the great whore is decked with
decked with ornaments, ornaments and colours, but not blue,
Eze.16:13-16. which is a sign of obedience and
(read also Test.vl.1-524)
Eze.23:42 A multitude is surrounding Rev.17:15 The great whore sits on a
multitude of nations
Eze. 23:44 The multitude plays the Rev.17:2 The nations committing
harlot with them fornication with the woman
Eze.23:45 The righteous shall judge Dan.7:22 Judgment given to the saints
It looks like that while John was writing Revelation 17 he had Ezekiel 23 in mind or remembered. Much of the terminology John uses can be traced back to Ezekiel 23. May be part of the many OT references in the apocalypse of John. One thing stands clear, the NT church in many ways went down the same or a similar path of apostasy as the OT church. Even today many lessons can be learned of that episode in the salvation history
This is a reason to challenge us to understand the book of Ezekiel in connections with the Revelation of Jesus Christ written by John on the isle of Patmos.
This chapter is in two parts.
Part 1 verses 1-14 deals with a parable Ezekiel has to act out.
We notice first again the exactness of the dating: year, month and day.
Then again strong emphasis, that it is the Lord speaking, vs.1, 3, 6, 9, 14.
The Lord is speaking in the Bible trough His prophets, His penmen.
As Jeremiah in Jer.1:13, 14 Ezekiel is told to use a pot. In Eze.11:3, 7 we read
about a caldron as a symbol for illustration. Here it is plainly a pot.
vs.5 one of the best of the flock has to be put in the water of the pot for
It is clear from what follows that this is an illustration how Jerusalem will be
purified from its filthy idolatry. Even the pot itself when dry has to be purged
from scum, see vs.11. A very thorough purging of Jerusalem is illustrated
in this manner.
Vs.13 seems to indicate that the Lord had tried before to purge them but with no
success and now His full fury will rest upon them. Does this relate to what we
Read in 2Chron. 36:14-16; Jer.29:19, many prophets sent but they did not listen
until no remedy is left. Jesus mentions same in Matth.23:34
Matth.Henry comments in vol.IV p.898 “I have given thee medicine, but it has done
thee no good. I have used the means of cleansing thee but they have been ineffectual
The intention of them has been unanswered.”
Vs.14 Now the Lord tells the people He will not go back on His final plan, to let
them go into captivity “and according to thy doings shall they judge thee”
They, the Babylonians, as an instrument in the Lord’s hand, will judge them
according to their works, as stated in Rev.22:12 that every man will receive
according to his works in the final judgment.
The city which they called their safe place, Eze.11:3 would become the place of
purging them, Eze.11:7 they will be taken out. No safety against coming divine
In the last days the world of planet earth will call it safe, because of what they have
done to make it ‘safe’, but it will not be a safe place. 1Thess.5:3
Part 2 of Ezekiel 24: verses15-27.
Again the word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel. He is going to loose his wife in death
as an illustration for the people of Jerusalem. He is not allowed to mourn about it in
any shape or form, vs.16,17
vs.18 His wife dies and he does as he has been told.
vs.19 The people ask him what this all has to mean. They do realise it has a message
for them “Will you not tell us what these things that you are doing means to
vs.20 Ezekiel faithfully answers according to the word of the Lord.
In Eze.23:38, 39 they have been told that they had profaned the sanctuary, which
in Eze.24:21 is said to be the excellence of your strength, the desire of your eyes.
Now the Lord is going to profane it, referring to what the Babylonians are going to do.
Interesting to note how NASB and NKJV deal with the expression “the
excellence of your eyes”
NASB: the pride of your power
NKJV: your arrogant boast
The people had used Jerusalem and its temple as their strength instead of putting
their trust in the God of the temple. Jer.7:4 “Do not trust in deceptive words saying
‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord’ and in verse 8 “Behold, you
are trusting in deceptive words to no avail” (NASB)
In Ezekiel 11:3 they had taken the city as their caldron, for their protection, but it
would be to no avail. The city and temple they boasted of would be destroyed and
their sons and daughters would fall in the process by the sword, Eze.24:21b
It is always a danger to boast on material things and wealth. In Rev.3:14-22
The church of Laodicea is warned of the same boasting on their material.
wealth. Jeremiah warns against boasting Jer.9:23, 24
Vs.22-24 When all this would take place they would not mourn as Ezekiel was not
allowed to mourn over the death of his wife.
vs.25 The Lord would take from them all, in which they delighted and trusted.
vs.26, 27 After the event someone who may have escaped would come to Ezekiel to
report what happened. Then Ezekiel would be allowed to break his
silence (vs. 17 NKJV sigh in silence)
Israel has been purified from idol worship but not from trust in self
and their own so-called greatness. Matthew 23 and what Jesus revealed about them
gives clear evidence that self righteousness was still a major problem. In Matthew 24
the disciples pointing to the beauty of the temple in verse 1, but Jesus told them
that all would be destroyed, which happened in AD 70. Luke 21:5, 6
Also apocalyptic Babylon, the city state/church with all its strength, wealth and beauty
will be destroyed Those who will put their trust in it will mourn deeply, Rev.18:5-24
. Jesus complained about Jerusalem in His day that it had killed the prophets,
Matth.23:37. In apocalyptic Babylon is also found the blood of prophets
and saints, Rev.18:24.
All these messages and events have the purpose to make the people to learn
that they shall know that I am the Lord, Eze.24:24 ,27.
We may end this chapter asking the reader to turn to Jer.9:23, 24.
Judgment against 4 nations. The Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites and Philistines
Very important lessons about how the Lord regards His people even in times of apostasy. In spite of the fact that His people have departed from the Lord, are in deep apostasy and at the point of going into 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the Lord does not allow other nations to abuse them. Israel/Judah is still His covenant people.
The 70 years of captivity will end in a return and restoration.Jer.25:11; 29:10, also later in Ezekiel 36 & 37.
After that return Babylon will be punished for its iniquity, Jer.25:12-14 but God’s people will be restored, Jer.29:11-14.
The time for Israel’s rejection from being a covenant people has not yet come. The Messiah test has not yet taken place. Jesus’ announcements, of Matthew 21:43 and 23:38 are still future.
In Ezekiel’s time Israel/Judah as a nation is still the apple of His eye. Deut.32:10; Zech.2:8
The first three of these 4 nations were related to Israel/Judah. Ammon and Moab through Lot who was a relation of Abraham, Gen.19:30-39.
The Edomites were descendants of Edom or Esau, Jacob’s older twin brother,
The Philistines were not related. But throughout history have been bitter enemies of God and His people.
What these nations have done wrong is the content of this chapter.
The Ammonites have made joyful fun against the sanctuary, Israel and Judah because of what has happened to them, Eze.25:3 and 6.
The Moabites had abused the house of Judah because of saying they are like all the heathen, Eze.25:8
The Edomites have taken vengeance against the house of Judah and offended them greatly.Eze.25:12
Amos also spoke strongly against these nations, see Amos 2.
The message of God against the Philistines is because of their despiteful heart to destroy God’s people. For the old hatred or their everlasting enmity (Eze.25:15 NASB)
These nations took advantage of Israel’s situation .But the Lord did not allow them. The time to cut Israel off completely as a nation and let them become like other nations has not yet come. Through Daniel, being also in Babylon like Ezekiel, the Lord would announce 490 years of probation, see Daniel 9:24
The amazing facts are that these four nations are now virtually non-existent, while Israel is still visible. The Jews have lost their covenant relationship with God, as stated by Jesus
in Matth.21:43; 23:38 but they have not disappeared. Their history is still a testimony for God and His existence. As a nation they are rejected, as a people they stand as a witness.
The judgments against these 4 nations is for the purpose that thou shalt know that I am
The Lord, Eze.25:7, 11, 14, 17, as a sign that Yahweh is God, the Lord.
Could it be that the Jewish race, even today in the 21st century also is a sign that Yahweh is God, the Lord? Because of their existence and history, not for still being God’s covenant people.
Is there a hidden lesson to be learned for God’s remnant people today?
The dragon may be angry and act against them, Rev.12:17 But according to Rev.12:11
and 17:14 the Lamb and those who follow the lamb will overcome the dragon.
The remnant church of the end time is not faultless. Some make it their business to
publicize these matters and go as far as calling the Remnant church Babylon. Ellen
G.White strongly warns against such behaviour. Read Test. to Ministers pp.32-62
We read in 2SM380 “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall”
Today also the Lord will treat His church as the apple of His eye. In Ezekiel’s time the Lord did not allow the surrounding nations to take advantage of Israel/Judah’s
deplorable situation. Satan is the accuser, Zech3:3-7; Rev.12:10. The Lord is the One who rescues as a brand plucked from the fire. (NKJV)
Ezekiel 25 has some serious lessons for us to contemplate.
Ezekiel 26 and 27 messages regarding the city of Tyrus
Ezekiel 28:1-19 messages regarding the prince and king of Tyrus
Ezekiel 28:20-23 messages regarding the city of Zidon
Ezekiel 28:24-26 Return of Israel from captivity
The dependability of the book of Ezekiel is again expressed in its accurate dating. Year and month and day are often given. See Ezekiel.1, 20, 24, 26, 29, 31, 32, and 40.
Also frequently Ezekiel mentions that it is the word of the Lord coming to him or his standard expression “thus says the Lord”. This must give the Bible student complete trust
in the Bible as the word of God. This being the case of Ezekiel we better pay attention to its messages and finding out in which way it has a message for us today. We should not study it as history only, but take it as a lesson book to learn from, for our spiritual welfare.
Isaiah spoke in his time, about 200 years before Ezekiel, already about Tyrus and what the Lord would do because of its iniquity. See Isaiah 23.
Joel mentions Tyrus in Joel 3:4 and what the Lord would do against her.
Amos writes about Tyrus in Amos 1:9, 10
Zechariah speaking after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity had a word of the Lord against Tyrus in Zech.9:1-4
All these messages are similar in content as Ezekiel wrote in Ezekiel 26/27.
Jesus mentions Tyre and compares the people of his day with those of Tyre,
See Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13
It is interesting to note that while Tyre received her punishment in the past, her final judgment is yet to come, according to the word of Jesus in Matth.11:22. We may take this as still being future.
We will now go through Ezekiel 26, 27 step by step.
vs.2 Tyre is rejoicing over Jerusalem’s demise and looking for benefit from it. But the
Lord will not allow other nations to benefit from the demise of His people.
vs.3-14 Therefore, referring to her rejoicing attitude as mentioned in verse 2 the Lord
will utterly destroy her, “and make her a bare rock” (NASB)
Ezekiel makes sure that all readers do know the Lord is speaking and writes 4
times thus “says the Lord” or “for the Lord have spoken it” vs. 3, 5, 7, 14.
vs.15-21 In this section, also starting with “thus says the Lord” and repeated in vs.19 we
are told about the reaction of the other nations when they will see what
happens to Tyre.
The nations (Isles) will shake, vs. 15, they will mourn, put their clothes of, vs.16
They will tremble and take up a lamentation, vs.17.
Tyre would be taken away never be found again, saith the Lord, vs.21
“I will make thee a terror” or destruction and the NRSV reads “I will bring you
to a dreadful end”.
Don’t we read here the same about apocalyptic Babylon in Rev.18:21 “that
Great City Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all?” Read
also Jer.51:63, 64 regarding literal Babylon. The wicked cities of the past and
what happened to them are examples of what the Lord will do in the time of the
end. Read also what Isaiah has written about the demise of Tyre in Isa.23.
Ultimately Tyre became what it is today a rock out in the sea. I have been there, s seen it. The Bible is true in its predictions and can be fully trusted.
vs.1 Ezekiel starts in his usual manner the word of the Lord came again….. We are
not dealing with the human but the divine.
Vs.2-7 Tyre is rebuked for its pride and self glorification, I am of perfect beauty.
We read similar about apocalyptic Babylon in Rev.18:7 How much she
glorified herself or she glorified herself (NKJV)
She also had decked herself in glorious colours, blue and purple. In the Jer.B.
it reads purple and scarlet and in the NEB violet and purple. The Hebrew
word seems to allow for this difference in translations. It looks like from
Theol.Wordbook of the OT, nr.2510 that the word purple applies more to
Tyre than blue. If that is accepted we have in Tyre the same colours she
decked herself with as the woman in Rev.17:4 (18:16) who also decked
herself with purple and scarlet. According to Oxford dictionary purple is a
mixture of red and blue. Webster dictionary says it is midway red and blue
Can we conclude that in Tyre and in apocalyptic Babylon no righteousness
was found, based on what the colour blue stands for according to
Numbers 15:37-41, blue is a remembrance of keeping God’s commandments.
This was not found in Tyre or later in apocalyptic Babylon.
E.G.White comments in 1T.524 The (Blue JTK) ribbon would keep in their
memory the high claims of Jehovah and prevent them from mingling with
other nations. They were supposed to be a people living alone, Numb.23:9.
This also became the sin of apocalyptic Babylon fornication with the nations,
Matthew Henry in vol I, pp635/636 gives the following reading re the blue
ribbons “They were not appointed for the trimming and adorning their
clothes, but to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance (2Pet.3:1),
that they might look upon the fringes and remember the commandments……..
This institution though it is not an imposition upon us, is an instruction to us
always to remember the commandments of the Lord our God, that we may do
them, to treasure them up in our memories, and to apply them to particular
cases as there is occasion to use them. It was intended particularly to be a
preservative from idolatry; that you seek not after your own heart, and your
own eyes, in your religious worship.”
In brief we find a similar comment in the SDABC vol.1, 873. Israel, the
Nations and apocalyptic Babylon have failed greatly in this respect. This
resulted in Israel’s 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the nations being
destroyed and apocalyptic Babylon being destroyed as well in the
final executive judgment., Rev.19:20,21
vs.8-26 This section deals with the listing and description of the nations Tyre had
commercial relationship with the nations, including Israel and Judah, vs.17
This compares with the commercial relationship of apocalyptic Babylon
and the nations. Rev.18:11, 15
vs.27-36 The final part of chapter 27 deals with the wailing and mourning of the nations
the demise of Tyre and her utter ruin. See in particular vs.30-32 and compare
Rev.18:10 and 15-17 such a great city coming to nothing. Again may we say
Is it possible that John on the Isle of Patmos had the book of Ezekiel with him
And quoting from it when describing apocalyptic Babylon?
Historical Babylon and Tyre could well be taken as types for universal
apocalyptic Babylon in John’s book of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The first and major part of this chapter deals with the Prince and King of Tyre.
vs.1-5 character description
vs.6-10 divine executive judgment
vs.11-19 further character description and lamentations
Each of these sections again starts with thus says the Lord, 2, 6, 12. Over and over
again we are made sure that the Lord is speaking not Ezekiel himself
vs.1-5 Character description.
vs.2 A very proud individual with his heart lifted up. Aiming to be God and
sit in the seat of God.
The apostle Paul speaks about a similar individual in 2Thess.2:3, 4
vs.3-5 Pride in regard to so-called wisdom and accumulated wealth
We do find similar language in Rev.18:7 I sit as a queen (NASB)
vs.6-10 Because of the proud attitude in the previous section the Lord now
announces what is going to happen to this proud Prince of Tyre
Strangers and nations will come up against Tyre, and Tyre will perish.
It could well be that the nations with whom Tyre has done business are
turning against her. Friends becoming enemies, Like in Rev.17:16
Apocalyptic Babylon will be destroyed by her former friends with whom
she has made fornication. Rev.17:2
vs.11-19 This section shifts from the prince (nagid) to the king (melek) of Tyre
Has the prince been promoted to be king or are we now dealing with an
allegory? Is Ezekiel shifting from the earthly to the heavenly? Are we
now being informed about something that happened before Tyre ever
existed? Is the situation of Tyre providing Ezekiel the words needed to
inform us about heavenly things?
Reading this through carefully it sounds like it. Similar as in Isa.14
where the king of Babylon is being used to explain what happened in
heaven, with an angel called Lucifer who became Devil and Satan.
The king of Babylon came to a deep downfall because of his pride and
the Lord through His prophets gives us a glimpse of this heavenly but
sad event, the downfall of a leading angel.
Comparing Isa.14:12-15 with Ezekiel 28:11-19 we may conclude safely
that Ezekiel is taking us from the earthly to the heavenly
vs.12 The King of Tyre as the prince is full of wisdom and perfect in beauty
13 The King has been in Eden
14 He is an anointed Cherub, was with God on the Holy Mountain.
15 He was perfect till iniquity was found. Thus there must have been a time there was no iniquity in this King. Hard to imagine that this
applies to a human king. Rom.3:23 all have sinned.
16 He will be cast out from the mountain of God
17 Cast out because of pride.
18 The sanctuaries have been defiled. In view of all, be made to ashes
This is what will happen to the whore of Rev.17, apocalyptic Babylon
Rev.17:16, 18:8; 19:20
19 People watching this will be astonished; but never shalt thou be any
more. You will be no more (NASB)
Apocalyptic Babylon shall not be found any more (NKJV)
Checking a number of Bible commentaries did not result in finding a positive application of this passage to the downfall of Lucifer who became Devil and Satan. But we did find some interesting comments worth adding here
From “The Holy Bible with notes by Chr.Wordsworth D.D. dated 1884, pages 218-221
He sees in Tyre a type of apocalyptic Babylon. Eze.27:30-32 is compared with Rev.18:17-19.
Ezekiel 28:2 is linked with the words of the apostle in 2Thess.2:2 & 9. He indicates clearly that Tyre is a type of Papal Rome. Regarding the end of Tyre in Eze.28:19 “never shalt thou be anymore” Wordsworth notes: “So ends the prophecy concerning Tyre. And it is said in the Apocalypse concerning mystical Babylon, “Thus with violence shall the great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Rev.18:21 “
The following note of Wordsworth is interesting “The word Tyro (Hebr. tsor) signifies rock. The bishop of Rome asserts that he and his see are the Rock on which the church is built.” Wordsworth also states that “many of the ancient Fathers applied it (Prince of Tyre) to Lucifer himself. He states further that “It may be reverently but confidently affirmed, that these are experiences in the forgoing prophecies concerning the King of Tyre ( 28:1-19) which cannot be applied in their literal sense, without great violence to a heathen and idolatrous prince like the King of Tyre but demand some other application.”
In applying these passages of Ezekiel Wordsworth is looking in the future not in the past.
Matthew Henry notes the following in vol.IV p.918 “Many expositors have suggested that besides the literal senses of this lamentation there is an allegory in it and that it is an allusion to the fall of the angels that sinned, who undid themselves by their pride.” Then he says “some passages here refer primarily to the king of Tyre.”
“But if there be anything mystical in (as perhaps there may) I shall rather refer it to the fall of Adam, which seems to be glanced at vs.13 ‘thou hast been in Eden the garden of God, and that in the day thou wast created.’”
This was from Matthew Henry, dated the early 18th century.
A modern commentary THE EVANGELICAL COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE dated
1989, writes the following on page 578: verses 11-19 continue the message against the King of Tyre, but in the form of a lament. What is extremely provocative here is Ezekiel’s use of Genesis 2-3 in reference to the King of Tyre. Some commentators suggested that verses 11-19 are in deed about Satan (Lucifer) who once walked among the angels of God but fell from Paradise, because of rebellion and insubordination. More probably Ezekiel presents the King of Tyre as an Adamic figure.” This last sentence is based on’Eze.28:13, 15-16.
In the NASB the footnote by Eze.28:11-19 reads as follows: “This section, with its super human references, apparently describes someone other that the human King of Tyre, namely Satan. If so, Satan’s unique privileges, before his fall are described in verses 12-15 and the judgment on him in verses 16-19. But this will not be consummated until he is cast forever in the lake of fire. Rev.20:10” (NASB p.306, date 1995)
The SDABC vol.4 p.675, date 1976 has the following to say: Similarly, Isaiah had been permitted to see beyond the literal king of Babylon (Is.14:4) to Satan whose character and policies the king of Babylon carried out. (Ib.12-16)”
“It thus appears simpler to consider the passage as digressing from prophecy upon the prince of Tyre to present a history of him who was indeed the real king of Tyrus, Satan himself. So understood, this passage provides us with a history of the origin, initial position, and downfall of the angel who later became known as the devil and Satan.”
According to this SDA Bible Commentary we may conclude that
there is a definite parallel between Eze.28 and Isa.14
Dr.Richard Davidson of Andrews University Seminary also allows this thought of Eze.28:11-19 that it takes us from the local, earthly to the heavenly. See his paper The Chiastic Literary Structure of the Book of Ezekiel, in his” To Understand the Scriptures”, page 87.
Ellen G.White frequently uses Eze.28 in reference to the fall of Lucifer becoming Devil and Satan. One reference from SDABC vol.4 p.1162 after quoting Ezekiel 28:1-26 she writes:” The first sinner was one whom God had greatly exalted. He is represented under the figure of the Prince of Tyrus, flourishing in might and magnificence. Little by little Satan came to indulge, the desire for self-exaltation.”
(Read Patr.And Proph. pp. 35-41 for a complete exposition of this matter.)
Now we turn to the fourth section of Ezekiel 28:20-23 a message against Zidon
Judg.10:12 The Sidonians also had been involved in oppressing God’s people.
1Kings11:5, 6 The Sidonians were involved in idol worship of the Ashtoreth.
Ahab had married Jezebel of Sidon, 1Kings 16:31
2Kings23:13 Solomon had introduced the Ashtoreth into Israel and built a Mount
. of Corruption.
Along with other nations, whose measure of sin had reached the limit, Sidon
would receive divine judgment by pestilence and the sword. Most likely this
refers to the coming of the King of Babylon.
But because God’s judgment are just and right, Rev.15:3, the Lord would be
glorified. He also would be sanctified in her. He would be set aside as the only
true God. “They shall know that I am the Lord.
Eze.28:24 this judgment over Sidon and the other nations would be a blessing for
Israel, there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any
grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them.
The Jer.B.translation reads this as follows: No more, for the House of Israel
shall any of the hostile nations surrounding her, be a thorn that wounds or a brier
Eze.28:25, 26 For Israel their would still be a glorious future, when the Lord would
have gathered them from among whom they are scattered. Israel would come back
from their 70 years of captivity. This would happen after these surrounding nations
would have received their divine punishment, who treated Israel with scorn and had
despised them. This return from captivity is assured in other places as well.
Ezekiel 11:17and 20:41. Also later in Ezekiel and by other pre-exile prophets
This would give Israel/Judah hope and a future. When the time for return had
arrived Daniel prayed about it in Daniel 9.
In Numbers 33:55 Israel was warned that if they would not drive out the nations,
they would become a trouble to them irritants in your eyes ,thorns in your side
and they shall harass you. (NKJV) Sidon and all the other nations had become
like that. But now they have received divine judgments for the acts against God’s
people, Israel would be able to live in safety, after they themselves would have
endured God’s retribution upon them. Be purified from their idolatry.
Then Israel also shall know that I am the Lord their God, Eze.28:26b. Israel again
would be given opportunity to be a witness for the Yahweh God and a light in
the world of darkness. Unfortunately it did not work out that way. They failed
again when the Messiah came, who after 3.5 years had to pronounce their down
fall from being a covenant people. Matth.21:42, 43; 23:37, 38
The footnote in the NASB by Matth.21:43 reads: taken away from you and given
to a nation, i.e., taken from the Jews and given to the church, which is composed
largely of Gentiles. (1Pet.2:9)
Here we end with part 2 of Ezekiel Annotated. Part 3 will deal with chapters 29-32
Pastor Jan T.Knopper
Edited August 2013