« PreviousContinue »
22 rams, and goats in these [were they] thy merchants. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they [were] thy merchants : they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all 23 precious stones, and gold. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [and] Chilmad, [were] thy merchants; it is difficult to point out all these places now, 24 nor is it material. 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 25 thy merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market; the mariners and passengers that came to thee highly commended thee: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.*
Thy rowers, thy rulers and governors, have brought thee into great waters; the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas; Nebuchadnezzar with his army of many na27 tions from the east shall devour and destroy thee. 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 28 seas in the day of thy ruin. The suburbs shall shake at the 29 sound of the cry of thy pilots. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, [and] all the pilots of the sea, shall come down 30 from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; And shall
cause their voice to be heard against thee, or rather, over thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their 31 heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes. And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, shall not only tear their hair, as mourners commonly do, but pluck it entirely off, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee 32 with bitterness of heart [and] bitter wailing. 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? where is there so strong and 33 flourishing a city, so soon and totally destroyed? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thy own manufactures, and what thou broughtest from other nations to trade with, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches, and of thy merchandise. 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 35 the midst of thee shall fall. All the inhabitants of the isles
What follows, is a prophecy of her fall in a beautiful allegory. The pilots, that is, their chief counsellors and governors, who were to guide the ship of state, wrecked it, by breaking with the king of Babylon. Dreadful images of their destruction, peculiarly suited to a trading city, are used: all its wealth was to be swallowed up, and all concern. ein it were undone.
shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore 36 afraid, they shall be troubled in [their] countenance. The merchants among the people, that is, rival merchants, shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt be] any
OD's ministers often see reason to lament over those, who in their own judgments and the opinions of their carnal neighbours, are the happiest people in the world, v. 2. When Tyre was in all its glory, we read nothing of its religion, piety, sobriety, and charity; but much of its trade and wealth, pomp and magnificence. Yet it was in a deplorable state, and its ruin hastening on. Those who live in plenty and luxury, others admire and praise; but those who know and consider the end of the wicked, look upon them with pity, as hastening to a dreadful doom.
2. We may reflect on the wisdom and goodness of God in the various products of the earth. See the riches of divine bounty in furnishing different countries with different commodities, serviceable to the support, comfort, or ornament of life. All are the gifts of God, though pride and luxury may abuse them. We have particular reason to rejoice in his goodness to our happy land that it has all the necessaries of life in itself; produces the most valuable commodities; and such an abundance of them. as to supply other nations.
3. Reflect on the advantages of trade and commerce. The wisdom of Providence should be observed in giving men their different inclinations to pursue their several occupations in life : particularly in teaching some the art of sailing, and giving them courage and resolution to practise it; that thus the products of one country may be transported to another; social intercourse extended, and a way opened for the spread of the gospel; which is a blessing infinitely valuable. When we feed on or wear foreign commodities, and see the value of money in exchange, let us bless God for trade and commerce, and honour those who are employed in it; and abhor the senseless pride of those who de spise the merchant and trader.
4. What little dependence is to be placed upon the wealth and elegancies of life! What a mournful change do we here see in the state of Tyre! So uncertain are all the fine things in which men boast and delight. Wealthy merchants and wealthy cities come to ruin, and multitudes are involved in their fall and such calamities will be doubly bitter to those who have lived in luxury and splendor. When we read this inventory of Tyre's wealth, it should make us thankful that we can do without most of it:
and should not be high minded, though we have ever so much of it, for it is all fading.
5. How sad is it with a nation when its governors ruin it; when its pilots and those at the helm run it aground. No trade and commerce, no fleets or fortress, will secure it, if there be not integrity, wisdom, and harmony in its leaders. We have therefore need to pray that God would give our commanders these qualifications, and be the defence of our land; and in order to this, that we may remember him that made us, and not lightly esteem the Rock of our salvation.
This chapter contains a prophecy against the prince of Tyre, called Ethbaal, and in the Phenician annals, Ithobalus; he seems to have been a vain man, who affected divine honours: the prophet predicts his doom, and then takes up a lamentation over him; concluding with announcing the fall of Sidon the mother of Tyre, and with promises of deliverance to Israel,
THE word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
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; my perfections and power are absolute, my throne is safe and unmoveable; yet thou [art] a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God, thou art 3 an unequal match for the king of Babylon: Behold, thou [art] wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee; no doubt but thou thinkest thyself wiser than Dan-· iel; thou art able, in thy own conceit, to find out the most hid4 den and mysterious things: With thy wisdom and with thine understanding, with thy skill in trade and navigation, thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into 5 thy treasures: By thy great wisdom [and] by thy traffic
hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up 6 because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; 7 Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; that is, Nebuchadnezzar and his army, called strangers, because they had no traffic with them, (the Chaldeans are not mentioned in the former chapter) they were terrible by their conquest of the neighbouring nations: and they shall draw
Daniel was at this time alive, and but a young man; yet he was so renowned for his extensive knowledge and skill in the arts of government, that to be wise as Daniel was become a proverb.
their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness; the things wherein thou hast gloried, thy 3 navy, armies, and treasures. 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; thou shalt be buried in obscurity without 9 any funeral pomp. 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; thy mortality shall con10 vinee thee, if nothing else will. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers; the deaths of wicked and profane men, such as God inflicts upon his enemies; for I have spoken [it,] saith the Lord GOD.
Moreover, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 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; thou thinkest thyself so wise, beautiful, and magnificent, that nothing can be added to it; like full vessels, which are covered and sealed up. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; thou hast given thyself as great airs, as if thou wast perfect, like Adam in paradise, and lord of the whole earth, like him; 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; thy raiment and chambers were covered with jewels and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee; thy musical instruments were fine and curious, in the day that thou wast created; 14 in the day of thy accession or coronation. Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth, art like an incarnate angel, to protect thy people; an allusion to the cherubim that covered the mercy seat in the temple; and I have set thee [so:] thou wast upon the holy mountian of God; thou hast walked up and 15 down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee; thou wast at first a prince of justice and equity, but afterwards corrupt; or it may refer to his prede16 cessors, who had been better men, as Hiram, &c. 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 17 of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness; thine eyes are dazzled with thy lustre; thou hast lost thy wisdom by doating on thy riches: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee; thou shalt be a spectacle of misery to other princes, and a warning to them 18 not to be proud and oppressive. Thou hast defiled thy sancVOL. VI. N
tuaries, or palaces, (as the word might be rendered) or, the judgment seat, that should have been a refuge to the oppressed, 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 19 the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.* All they
that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thon [be] any more. 20 21 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,t 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, by the justice of my judgments, and the display of my power in fulfilling my threatenings and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and 23 shall be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence,
and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged, or punished, in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.
And there shall be no more a pricking briar 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; after their return from Babylon, but especially after their deliverance in the latter days, none of their 25 enemies shall be able to vex and molest them, as formerly. 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, by their reformation, obedience, and their return to my worship, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my 26 servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; I will not make utter ruiti of them, but reserve a remnant, who shall return and dwell in their own land; 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 refers to the case of the Israelites in the latter day, when they shall be converted and restored; and has not yet been accomplished.
Fire may here signify destruction in general, or it may refer to the burning of new Tyre by Alexander.
+ Zidon was a neighbour to Tyre and dependent upon it. It was much given to idola try, and had seduced and corrupted Israel, and rejoiced in their fall.