Ezekiel 27:1-9 (JDV)
Ezekiel 27:1 The word of Yahveh happened to me. This is what it said:
Ezekiel 27:2 “Now, son of Adam, sing a dirge for Tyre.
Ezekiel 27:3 Say to Tyre, who is located at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coasts and islands, ‘This is what the Lord Yahveh says: Tyre, you declared, “I am perfect in beauty.”
Ezekiel 27:4 Your realm was in the heart of the sea; your builders perfected your beauty.
Ezekiel 27:5 They constructed all your planking with pine trees from Senir. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.
Ezekiel 27:6 They made your oars of oaks from Bashan. They made your deck of cypress wood from the coasts of Cyprus, inlaid with ivory.
Ezekiel 27:7 Your sail was made of fine embroidered linen from Egypt and served as your banner. Your awning was of blue and purple fabric from the coasts of Elishah.
Ezekiel 27:8 The residents of Sidon and Arvad were your rowers. Your wise men were within you, Tyre; they were your captains.
Ezekiel 27:9 The elders of Gebal and its wise men were within you, repairing your leaks. ” ‘All the ships of the sea and their sailors came to you to barter for your goods.
Tyre is being described as a huge luxurious merchant ship. Davidson says the “lament represents Tyre under the figure of a gallant, richly laden ship, steered by her pilots into dangerous waters and suffering
shipwreck.* This section (and up to verse 11) is a detailed description of the ship and its crew.
I recently read Eric Larson’s amazing book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which described the ocean liner and those involved in its final voyage, and the German u-boat who sunk her. As I read, it kept occurring to me that ships in that time were known for their majesty. Their were not just transportation.
Because Tyre was so crucial to the commerce of the known world at the time, its depiction as a mighty ship was appropriate. And its destruction being described as a shipwreck also caught the emotional significance of the tragedy.
“We have an anchor, that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure as the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.” — Priscilla J. Owens.
- Davidson, A. B. Ezekiel. (Cambridge: University Press, 1892), p. 191.