Exposition of Ezekiel (18): The Fall of the King of Tyre
The King of Tyre is Fallen - Exposition of Ezekiel (part 18)
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge xyzz November 11, 2007 (Ezekiel ch. 28)
We have seen the glory of Tyre (2 Sam. 5:11, 1 Kgs. 5:12, 1 Ki. 9:28) and the sinking of Tyre (Ez. 27:34) (cf Revelation 18:17-19). Just like the whole nation, so also the King of Tyre falls.
The Identity of the King of Tyre - Who is this “king of Tyre”? Three basic interpretations have been suggested: 1) Satan, who could literally fulfill the Edenic and angelic references (Scofield, et al). 2) The High Priest of Israel since the description of the garment worn is like the high priest’s breastplate (Ex. 28:17–20, 39:10–13) and the worship environment of the the Temple represented the Garden of God (Jordan). 3) Another possibility is that the king of Tyre is none other than the king of Tyre. I will defend this view (3) because it is the most historical and fulfills the details of the text best.
The Images of the King of Tyre - Ezekiel poetically describes the king as a finely carved stamp seal, made from semiprecious stones (1Kgs. 21:8, eg, a king’s seal). The king of Tyre at this time was Ethbaal III. He sat in the seat of Hiram of Tyre (his tomb is pictured above), who had built the palace of David on Zion (“the holy mountain”) and the Temple (an architectural recreation of “Eden”). Whereas the godly Hiram had said, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth” (2Chr. 2:11), served David and Solomon, and helped build YHWH’s sanctuary, Ethbaal III is prideful and “desecrates sanctuaries” with dishonest trading (28:18). Following Hiram he was to be a cherub-guardian of sacred property, the worship of the true God. But Ethbaal III failed due to idolatry, corruption, greed, and pride.
The Ignominy of the King of Tyre - The public shame and disgrace of Ethbaal III is historically documentable. Ezekiel prophesied, “I made a spectacle of you before kings” (28:17); “All the nations who knew you are appalled at you have come to a horrible end and will be no more” (28:19). The Babylonian siege of Tyre lasted thirteen years (c. 586–573 B.C.). Nebuchadnezzar and his entourage were present during the siege (Ez. 28:17). After the destruction of the siege Ethbaal III stayed in Tyre under the control of a Babylonian commissioner. He was brought down. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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