« PreviousContinue »
creased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches : 6. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; be. cause thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; 7. Be. hold therefore, I will bring the strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness : 3. 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. 9. 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. 10. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised, by the hand of the strangers : for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
11. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; 12. Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God: Thou art like a signet of curious engraving *; thou art full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God: every precious stone is thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14. Thou art the anointed che. rub that spreadeth a veil; and I have permitted thee : thou wast in the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire f thou walkedst up and down. 15. Thou
* Thou art like a signet of curious engraving. ] "See Jerem. xxii. 24. Hag. ii. 23. Houbigant observes, that all the ancients read nuan similitudinis : hoc est effgiem habens in sculptura sua, This is also the reading of eight M.S.S. and of three originally. Dathius renders, Tu es annulus bene figuratus." Abp. Newcome in loc.
Eu apocopeeyooua omsiwrewg. (Lxx.) Tu sigillum es exemplaris. (Vers': Syriac:) Tu signaculum similitudinis. (Vers: Arab : et Vulg :) Tu similis es vasi figurato, quod scité compositum est et absolutum in pulchritudine sua. Chald.
+ The stones of fire.] An allusion to the Urim and Thummim. The Pope pretends to the same oracular infallibility of decision in the Christian church, that the Jewish high-priest by his supernatural intercourse with God really possessed in the Levitical church. Josephus maintains, that the Urim and Thummim were the precious stones of the high-priest's breast plate, which discovered the will of God by their extraordinary lustre, thereby predicting the success of events to those who consulted them : for, when these stones gave no extraordinary lustre, it was concluded that God did not approve of the matter in question. He adds, that it was 200 years, at the time of his, writing, since these stones had left off shewing this lustre. (Ant. L. 2. C. 8.)
wast perfect * in thy ways from the day, that thou' wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16. 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 cherub that spreadest a yeil, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traf. fic: therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall deyour thee; and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee : thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
20. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; 21. Son of man, set thy face against Zidont, and prophe
· It is possible however, that this passage may relate, not only to the oracu
lar infallability of the Pope, but likewise to his universal episcopacy. An es. pression, somewhat similar to that of walking up and down in the midst of the stones of fire, occurs in the Apocalypse. “ These things saith he, that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." (Rev. ii. 1.) That is to say, according to the explanation of Archdeacon Woodhouse, “ The supreme head of the Christian church is now in the act of visiting and superintending. To the church of Ephesus, with which he begins, he represents himself in that character an office, as walking amidst his churches, and directing and supporting thed teachers.” (Apoc. translated, p. 44.) Perhaps therefore the circumstance ir the mystical Tyrian prince's walking up and down in the midst of the stones of fire may denote the universal episcopacy of the pretended vicar of Christ, who claims the right of superintending or walking amidst all the churches. In this case, the passage would be exactly parallel to that, wherein Daniel represents the little papal horn as having eyes like the eyes of a man. “By its eyes," says Sir Isaac Newton, “it was a seer ; and, by its mouth speaking great things and changing times and laws, it was a prophet-A seer, ET ITXOTOS, is a bishop in the literal sense of the word ; and this church claims the universal bishopric.” Observ, on Dan, C.7.
* Thou wast perfect.] Thou wast Thummim: a sort of play upon the word Thumminn, in its sense of perfection, not unusual among the sacred writers.
+ Set thy face against Zidon.] If Zidon mean something different from Tyre, which perhaps is not very probable, we may suppose it to typify the smaller spiritually trading states in close connection with Rome ; such as the German ecclesiastical electorates, episcopal principalities, and monastic baronies. sy against her. 22. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorifi. ed in the midst of thee: and they shall know, that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her; and shall be sanctified in her. 23. For I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know, that I am the Lord. 24. And unto the house of Israel there shall be no more a thorn which causeth to rankle, nor a sharp thorn that causeth to ulcerate, of all that are round about them that despised them; and they shall know, that I am the Lord God.
I think however, that this distinction is a needless refinement. Tyre was the · daughter of Zidon, and they are always represented as most closely connect.
25. Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they have been scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in the land which I have given unto my servant, unto Jacob. 26. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; 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..
. COMMENTARY. In the 26th chapter, Ezekiel undoubtedly speaks of the overthrow of the literal Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar ; but, in the 27th and 28th chapters, he cannot mean the literal Tyre and its prince, because their predicted over. throw is immediately connected with the restoration of Israel *. Nor is this the only reason: the character of the prince is totally inapplicable to any real sovereign of ancient Tyre. He is represented as having been once a faithful worshipper, and as having afterwards apostatized; as having been in the holy mountain and paradise of God, or the true church of upright believers ; as having once been perfect in his ways; and as having at length defiled his sanctuaries by the multitude of his iniquities and the iniquity of his traffic, or, in other words, as having debased his originally pure worship of God by some iniquitous dealings which the prophet compares to a fraudulent and base trade. In all this we can perceive no resemblance to the character of the ancient Tyrian sovereigns. Whatever notions of the true God Hiram might have learned by his intercourse with Solomon, his kingdom by the universal consent of history' was idolatrous from the very first *; and, whatever worship Hiram might pay to Jehovah, we have little reason to doubt that he mingled it with the worship of his national deities. But, let this be as it may, it is of very little mument to the present question ; for the overthrow of Tyre and its prince, being (as I have already observed) manifestly connected with the restoration of Israel + which is yet future, cannot possibly relate to the overthrow of the literal Tyre either by Nebuchadnezzar or Alexander which is long since past. If then it cannot relate to the overthrow of the literal Tyre and its prince, it must relate to the overthrow of some power and some potentate at the era of the restoration of Israel, considered by the prophet as antitypical to ancient Tyre and its prince. • Here therefore the question is, What power and what prince, at the time of the end, can we reasonably suppose to be intended in this typical prediction, to which Ezekiel, after the manner of the ancient prophets I, glides as it were insensibly from his literal prediction respecting the overthrow of Tyrę by Nebuchadnezzar ? -. The first idea, that will probably strike the reader, is, that the antitypical Tyre must be the great maritime and commercial nation, so frequently pointed out, either more or less directly, as taking a very active part in the troubles of the last ages, and in the first restoration of the Jewish part of the Israelitish people : more especially since, if this maritime power itself be no where else precisely styled Tyre, its navy is undoubtedly typified by the Tyrian ships of Tarshish *, ; · This idea, however probable at the first sight, is 'certainly erroneous. The antitypical Tyre is to be utterly destroyed at the era of the restoration: the great maritime power is not then to be destroyed, but is to be successfully engaged in accomplishing that very restoration. The antitypical Tyre is plainly described as a persecutor, as the principal persecutor, of the Jews; for, when it is overthrown, then the rankling and ulcerating thorn shall cease for ever to afflict the children of Israel: the great maritime power is employed in the honourable office of carrying God's message to his people; of taking them under the shadow of its wings, and of bringing their sons from far, not spoiled, but their gold and silver with them, in a navy that securely bids defiance to all the opposition of their enemies t. The antitypical Tyre is some state or empire, that once professed pure religion, but at the era of the restoration had notoriously apostatized from it: the great maritime power is plainly a nation of faithful worshippers, as sufficiently appears from the prophecies respecting it that have been already considered. Fi. nally, Daniel and St. John give us jointly a very full list of all the states and superstitions that are to be overthrown together at the close of the 1260 years, which Daniel assures us is likewise the era of the incipient restoration of Judah and Israel. These are the ten-horned beast under its last head, or the papal Roman empire under the line of the Carlovingian princes; its little horn, which is the same as the second apocalyptic beast and false prophet, or the spiritual empire of the Papacy; the infidel king, or Antichristian France, now identified with the
* See Ezek. xxviii. 24, 25, 36. Mr. Lowth, commenting on the passage there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, justly observes, that “the following verse shews that this promise chiefly relates to the géne. ral restoration of the Fews, when all the enemies of God's church and truth are vanquished and subdued ; often denoted in the prophetical writings by the names of Edom, Moab, and other neighbouring countries, who apon all occasions shewed their spite and ill will against the Jews."
* See Herod. Hist: L. : C. 44. Ver. 23, 24.
+ See Chap. xxvii. - # Similar instances of double prophecy occur in Isaiah xiii. xiv. 1-27. and Zephaniah ii, 13-15. iji. This last prediction will be discussed hereafter in its proper place. Mr. Lowth, when treating of Isaiah x. 20, very justly obo serves, that “it is usual with the prophets, when they foretell some extraordinary event in or near their own times, to carry their views on farther, and point at some greater deliverance which God shall vouchsafe to his people in the latter ages of the world.” Much the same remark is made by Bp. Hurd. “ The style of the prophet so adapts itself to this double prospect, as to paint the near and subordinate event in terms that emphatically represent the distant and more considerable.”