For an introduction to this series, click here.
Oct. 8, 2006
In this passage, Ezekiel continues his prediction of judgment upon Tyre. Tyre was a great city on the Mediterranean coast. Centuries earlier, a king of Tyre named Hiram was a good friend to both David and Solomon. Hiram was no doubt a believer in the true and living God. He donated gold and wood for Solomon’s Temple. But Hiram's successors were not the men that Hiram was. They were proud of their power and exalted themselves. The destruction of Tyre occurred within a few years of the time Ezekiel wrote his prophecy, so it is possible he was talking about the current king when he said, "you are indeed wiser than Daniel.” (28:3) So he had reason to be proud, but he did not recognize God as the source of his wisdom.
Anyway, the prophecy against the king of Tyre turns into a review of Satan's fall. There are some who believe that this passage and the passage in Isaiah 14 are merely extreme pronouncements against the kings who are being described earlier in the passage. I think both are pretty clearly about Satan, but this passage is far more specifically about a supernatural being than the Isaiah passage is. Ezekiel is pretty specific when he says, "You were an anointed guardian cherub." (28:14, ESV) It’s hard to make that statement apply to a human being. I don't know for sure. It makes for an interesting discussion, but it's nothing to fight over.
Either way, it's pretty bad when a description of you gets mixed in with a description of Satan, actual or assumed. I bet if you or I were to meet the man described by Ezekiel, he wouldn't seem too bad. That just shows how God's ways are not our ways.