These next few chapters will finish up all of the prophecies against the Phoenician nations (Tyre) and then we will move to another meat of prophecies that will be against Egypt! Egypt has a lot of prophecies going against them, and the details are inquisitive.
Remember Tyre is on the Northern coast, and is one of the areas you probably learned about in world history growing up – they made boats, and as a result held onto trade in that area! They were a wealthy nation to say the least…and they were also abundant in false gods (Baal). Chapter 27 is a lament for Tyre. There is a great description of a luxurious boat, “Of oaks of Bashan they made your oars; they made your deck of pines from the coasts of Cyprus, inlaid with ivory,” Ezekiel 27:6. God is portraying Tyre as this boat because of their strength in boats, and to show that this region held the most power and luxury out of all of the other nations. Outside nations worked with Tyre by providing them military aid and giving them trades and sales, making the people of Tyre so wealthy and powerful. All nations were willing to work with Tyre out of fear, and all considered Tyre to be unbreakable. We all know however, that we are breakable within God’s Will. This luxurious boat in the lament (Tyre) will be taken out to the heart of the sea by the east wind (whenever you read the “east wind” it means God). All of the power and strength of the boat, from the ornaments to the experienced sailors, fell into the heart of the seas too. The wrecking of this powerhouse (Tyre) will bring such fear to the other nations, because the unbreakable Tyre was broken. The lament shows the fear of the kings of the other nations as, “the hair of their kings bristles with horror; their faces are convulsed. The merchants among the peoples hiss at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more,” Ezekiel 27:35-36. The writings of Ezekiel are truly beautiful to read, in spite of the destruction enlisted within.
Chapter 28 focuses on the prince of Tyre and the king of Tyre, as well as there is a prophecy against Sidon. Sidon is the city north of Tyre, and is also part of the Phoenician area. God addresses the prince of Tyre, for he acts as if he is a god, and God makes it known that the prince by no means a god. God even says that the prince is even wiser than Daniel and his wisdom has allowed him to gain so much power and strength, but he is still no god. God will bring nations against the prince of Tyre and he will die an unclean death by foreigners (his blood will be shed). When he is killed by foreigners, there is no way he can admit to being a god at that point. There is also a lament to the king of Tyre. God had been favoring the king (Ethbaal) until he began to live a very wicked life. God had provided Ethbaal with everything that he could ever need, but he turned away from a righteous life, and then there is an analogy to Eden and Adam, and how Adam turned away from God when he had the whole garden of Eden to live off of. Overtime, the king made himself into a godly image for his people, in spite of God being the ONLY God. The king became so corrupt, and God will make sure that he fails and recognizes that he is not a god, only God is! The prophecy against Sidon is short and to the point. They will come to an end by pestilence and blood throughout the streets, which had all been directly sent from God.
God throws in some hope at the end of chapter 28. God said, “And for the House of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. They they will know that I am the Lord GOD,” Ezekiel 28:24. All of the prophecies that God has given against all of these nations will allow it so that no nation can bring down Israel anymore. There will be no pressure to worship false gods from the other nations and nothing can harm them negatively as a result of these other nations. The bad influencers were gone. Israel will come together one day and they’ll flourish while all of the neighboring nations will be in destruction because of God. Israel will return to power once again!
Chapter 29 begins the four chapters of prophecies that will go against the nation of Egypt. There are 7 prophecies throughout these four chapters and I will break them down for you. The first prophecy came in 587 BC, a year after Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem. He will take down Egypt easily, as if he was fishing with hooks versus His hands. They never tried to help Israel when they were in distress from Babylon, Assyria, and so on, so as a result they will be taken down righteously by God. Egypt had been walking around boasting about all of their strength and power that they had accumulated, and God would take all of this power away. The day that Egypt returns from the destruction which will consist of 40 years in exile (sounds similar to the Israelites fleeing Egypt in the wilderness for 40 years doesn’t it?). The second prophecy in this chapter occurred in April 571 BC, which means that this was 16 years after the first prophecy. Egypt will be given to Nebuchadnezzar, for Tyre had not gone through all of their destruction just yet. Babylon had been working for God, without realizing it. God used them to bring down the sword on the unrighteous, and fulfill His prophecies. Egypt is like a gift given to Babylon for all of their hard work of completing God’s prophecies. Without Egypt there is even more hope for Israel. We will continue with the downfall of Egypt next post!
Phoenician boat. Source: http://www.oocities.org