Ezekiel Chapter 28
This third oracle is directed against the prince of Tyre, who at this time was Ethbaal III. His sin was his claim to be divine. He said, I am a God; but God said thou art a man (verse 2). Because of his presumption, the prince would be killed by his enemies, thus proving his mortality (verses 8-9).
This section concerning the king of Tyre (is similar to Isaiah 14:3-23), referring to the king of Babylon. In both passages, some of the language best fits Satan. Most likely, both texts primarily describe the human king who is being used by Satan, much like Peter when Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan”. The judgment can certainly apply to Satan also.
Ezekiel 28:1-2 “The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,” “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart [is] lifted up, and thou hast said, I [am] a God, I sit [in] the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou [art] a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:”
This is addressed to the highest official of the city of Tyre, or Tyrus. Since “prince” is sometimes used to mean “the king”, the “prince” (in verse 2), is the “king”.
When a person is serving as a leader, there is great responsibility that goes with the honor of leadership. The whole city will suffer, because of his personal evil. He was not the only one, who was committing sin, but his sin was very great, and he led others into that sin. He had set himself up as an object of worship. He wanted to be God. He even proclaimed himself to be a god.
This is very much like what Lucifer did, that got him thrown out of heaven when he promised Adam and Eve they could be like God. It is a very dangerous thing to want to be as God. This ruler of Tyre had an overabundance of pride. His power and wealth had gone to his head. He had highly exalted himself.
Ezekiel 28:3 “Behold, thou [art] wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:”
This is said in sarcastic derision of the leader’s own exaggerated claims. Here is an indicator that Daniel, who had been captive for years in Babylon, has become well known.
Daniel is the prophet in the palace of the king of Babylon. It appears by this comparison, that Ezekiel has great respect for the prophet Daniel. Daniel is righteous in the sight of God, and has great reverence for God, as does Ezekiel. Daniel was the only one who had been able to give the meaning to the king of his vision. The difference was Daniel was a man of God, and this man is controlled by Satan.
Ezekiel 28:4 “With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:”
This is a statement that all of his riches and understanding came from himself. He is not giving the God that created him credit for anything. He believes that it is by his power and his might, that all of this happened.
He thought, because he was wealthy, that he was a god. Sometimes, worldly people acquire great riches, but those riches cannot save their souls.
Ezekiel 28:5 “By thy great wisdom [and] by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:”
This is when riches become a curse, instead of a blessing. This is self-worship to the highest extent. This prince is not grateful at all for the blessings that came his way. He believes he made his own good fortune.
It is a dangerous thing today for a business man to believe he made his own breaks. Success is from God, not from man.
Ezekiel 28:6-7 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;” “Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.”
Now, we hear the judgment of God upon this prideful man who thinks he is a god. We not only hear the judgment, but why God has judged him so.
This is a reference to the invading Babylonians, and later the Greeks. God was the true executioner.
The beauty will be gone with the battle. This city, or this prince, will not shine forth again. God will put out his light with the army attack.
Ezekiel 28:8 “They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of [them that are] slain in the midst of the seas.”
This pit is Sheol, or Hades. In other words, the king is sent to be punished with all the other sinners. He will have no special treatment. He will have his part in the lake of fire at the end.
Ezekiel 28:9 “Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I [am] God? but thou [shalt be] a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.”
The king may think he is a god, but the slayer does not think of him as a god, or he would not slay him. The fact that he is killed, and stays dead, proves he is no god.
Ezekiel 28:10 “Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.”
The worst condemnation a Hebrew can think of is to call a person uncircumcised. The Jews believed all who were uncircumcised were lost.
Ezekiel 28:11 “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
We see a break in the prophecy with this statement.
In the (verses of 11-19), this lament over “the king of Tyre” reached behind to the real supernatural source of wickedness, Satan.
Ezekiel 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.”
This phrase must be associated with Satan as one perfect in angelic beauty before he rebelled against God. But, it can also relate to “perfection” in the same context of Tyre’s enterprise, topmost in it trade to the ancient world, glorious in her seafaring efforts, and the crowning city.
This prince of Tyrus thought himself to be the pinnacle of beauty and wisdom. His beauty and wisdom were of an earthly nature. True wisdom comes from God, and true beauty is from the soul of man stayed upon God.
“Full of wisdom” is a reference to Satan’s wisdom as an angel and to Tyre’s wisdom (skill), in trade.
These verses go beyond the prince in Tyrus, and show us the same one who was the deceiver in the garden of Eden. We see a type of Satan, himself, in the prince of Tyrus.
Ezekiel 28:13 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”
“Thou has been in Eden”: This could be Satan in the Garden of Eden, or it might refer to Tyre’s king in a beautiful environment, a kind of Eden.
“Every precious stone” depicts Satan’s rich investiture, and/or Tyre’s king possessing every beautiful stone as Solomon had.
“Tabrets” could refer both to Satan’s once being in charge of heavenly praise and to Tyre’s beautiful musical instruments used in celebration.
“Thou was created”: Satan however is more likely to have such wealth and beauty, wisdom and perfection at his creation that this earthly king would have at his birth.
Ezekiel 28:14 “Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”
This refers to Satan in his exalted privilege as an angel guarding God’s throne, as cherubim guarded Eden.
Satan originally had continuous and unrestricted access to the glorious presence of God.
We must remember that Lucifer was a created being. He was not a god. He wanted to be a god, but was not. The midst of the stones of fire is where the very presence of God is. He had the special privilege of being in the very presence of God in heaven. He ruined all of that, when he was sent out of heaven, by God.
Ezekiel 28:15 “Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
We know this verse is not completely true of the king, but it was accurate of Satan before he sinned.
There were two archangels in heaven of whom Lucifer was one. He was actually over one third of the angels in heaven. He was said to be the most beautiful. His position was very high. The iniquity was found in him, when he wanted to be God.
All leaders are put into office by God. The prince of Tyrus made the same mistake as Lucifer. He became too proud of himself. He wanted to be a god. We find the fall of both in the next verses.
Ezekiel 28:16 “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”
This is speaking directly of Lucifer, but is also, indirectly speaking to the prince of Tyrus. The prince is a type of Lucifer (Satan). God cast Lucifer out of heaven. God will cast the prince of Tyrus off his throne, as well. Lucifer will no longer stay in the presence of God. The prince will no longer rule over Tyrus.
Ezekiel 28:17 “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
It would be difficult to relate this to Satan. The earthly king of Tyre, in his downfall, would be knocked or cast to the ground, cut down, and lie before the gaze of other kings.
From (Isaiah 23:17), there is the implication of a revival under Persian rule.
Ezekiel 28:18 “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.”
The temples, which had caused Tyre to be called the holy island, are now defiled. The fire in the sanctuary had been a presence of God with man. Now, that very fire will break forth upon them, and destroy them.
This reminds us of the fire that came from the altar and destroyed the two sons of Aaron, when they sinned in the sanctuary. God is a very present help to those who worship and love Him. He is a consuming fire to those who worship false gods.
Ezekiel 28:19 “All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.”
The prince of Tyre had been elevated up by the people. Now, he is brought down in front of these very same people. He will be no more, because God will destroy him.
Ezekiel 28:20 “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
This is a complete break from the previous prophecy.
Ezekiel 28:21 “Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,”
God brings His righteous judgment upon Zidon (Sidon), the same as He did on Tyre, and on the prince of Tyre. God will be glorified, in the fact that these great worldly cities come under the judgment of God. God is sanctified, when His holiness is shown in judgment.
Sidon is a sister seaport to Tyre in Phoenicia, 23 miles North. Even in the time of the Judges (Judges 10:6), the corrupting influence of this place had begun. It was the headquarters for Baal worship.
Ezekiel 28:22 “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.”
God is to bring bloodshed and pestilence on people there, probably at the time He brings an invasion against Tyre.
Ezekiel 28:23 “For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
Pestilence was one of the things God used against Jerusalem, and is, again, used here. It is one of the judgments God uses, to show the judgment is from Him.
Ezekiel 28:24 “And 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; and they shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.”
This is a summary of the judgment scenarios so far revealed (chapters 25-28). The enemies of Israel would be so devastated by God that they would no longer be pestering Israel and they would see that the God who judges them is the true God of Israel.
They had been jealous of the house of Israel. They were pleased, when Israel was Judged of God. Now, the same judgment is upon them. They had not sympathized with Israel. They had been happy about the fate of Israel, thinking it might move them up in the world. You never grow from the downfall of another.
Ezekiel 28:25 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.”
In this brief statement of hope, God promises to restore Israel to the land of Palestine. This is speaking of the Promised Land given to Jacob’s 12 descendants.
Ezekiel 28:26 “And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD their God.”
This is a distant future prophecy which is referring to the Messiah’s earthly kingdom.
Ezekiel Chapter 28 Questions
1. Who is this prophecy directed to?
2. What terrible thing had he said?
3. There is a great ______________ that goes with leadership.
4. Who is this prince like?
5. This prince thinks himself wiser than what prophet?
6. This prophet is in the palace of whom?
7. This prince is controlled by _________.
8. The prince believes his riches came from ___________.
9. Verse 5 is self __________ to the furthest extent.
10. Who are the strangers in verse 7?
11. Why does the slayer kill this prince?
12. What is the pit?
13. What is the worst condemnation a Hebrew can speak on someone?
14. The prince of Tyrus thought himself to be the pinnacle of _________ and __________.
15. True wisdom is a ________ from ___.
16. True beauty comes from ____________.
17. Who, besides the prince of Tyrus, do we see in this?
18. How was Satan present in the garden of Eden?
19. What is the garden of Eden on earth a type and shadow of?
20. What garden is spoken of in verse 13?
21. Who created Lucifer?
22. What was he like, when he was created?
23. Music affects the ________ of man.
24. What is the dangerous music of our day?
25. What is the “midst of the stones of fire” speaking of?
26. How long was Lucifer perfect in his ways?
27. How many archangels are there in heaven, that we know about?
28. Who was Lucifer over in heaven?
29. Who was thrown out of heaven?
30. Why was Lucifer’s heart lifted up?
31. Where had the brightness of Lucifer come from?
32. The fire in the sanctuary had been a presence of ______ with ____.
33. Whose sons were killed by fire from the altar?
34. Who is verse 21 bringing a prophecy against?
35. _______ was the “twin” of Tyre.
36. Why had this punishment from God come on Zidon?
37. What does verse 25 promise about Israel?
38. Will the same thing happen to Zidon?
39. What was part of the reason God had cursed Zidon?