Tonight turn in our Bibles to Ezekiel chapter 26.
According to verse 1, this prophecy came to Ezekiel in the eleventh year of the king Zedekiah’s reign, which would make it the year 586 B.C., the year in which Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
So it came to pass in the eleventh year, the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, because Tyrus has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people; she is turned unto me; I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up (26:1-3).
It is interesting to me that God does not like the wicked rejoicing in the judgments of His people. There is a quality of love in First Corinthians 13 that rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. And here God brings His judgment against Tyre because Tyre was rejoicing in the judgment of God that He brought against His people, against the city of Jerusalem. Thinking that somehow they were going to prosper from the devastation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
So God declares that, first of all, there will be many nations that will be used in the judgment of Tyre, not Nebuchadnezzar only. So that the prophecy would not be completed with just Nebuchadnezzar’s conquering of Tyre, but God would bring other nations against it for its destruction. And speaking of the total destruction first, and then dropping back to give us details. First of all, the overall destruction:
They shall destroy [that is, the many nations] the walls of Tyrus, break down the towers: will scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he (26:4-9)
Notice the personal pronouns, he, Nebuchadnezzar,
shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground (26:9-11).
And thus is described that destruction of Tyre that would come about by Nebuchadnezzar.
Now, one year after the prophecy was written, or in the year 585 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar began his siege of Tyre. The common practice of the Babylonian army was to, and of course, in warfare in those days, was to lay siege upon a city by surrounding the city and cutting off all outside supplies. And by cutting off all the outside supplies, they could soon deplete the city of its food resources. Once the food resources were depleted, the people began to starve to death. With a shortage of water, shortage of food, with a famine usually would come pestilence, disease. And then when the people were weakened by the pestilence and by the famine, then they would move in. And it would be much easier to take the city, because the people had been so weakened as the result of the siege.
But because Tyrus was on the seacoast and it was a beautiful port city, in fact, it was one of the major ports of the ancient world. A very rich city of merchandise, and from Tyrus, of course, were the Phoenicians and the Phoenician navy of historic lore. He was not able to totally cut off the supplies; the city of Tyrus was continually supplied by her navies from the sea, so that the people were able to live under the siege of Nebuchadnezzar. And so the siege went on for thirteen years. During which time the majority of the city moved from the mainland to the island that was about a half mile offshore. And that became then the major city of Tyre, this island offshore. So that by the time Nebuchadnezzar finally made the onslaught against the city, there was only a small garrison and a small part of the population left within the city there on the mainland. The majority of the people had moved to the island along with the wealth of the city. So that there was no spoils to be taken by Nebuchadnezzar in the conquering of the city of Tyre.
So it was a very empty and hollow victory by Nebuchadnezzar inasmuch as there was no spoil for Nebuchadnezzar from the destruction. But as is described here, the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar did come to pass, beginning one year after the prophecy and continuing for the next thirteen years in his siege of the city of Tyre.
But now as we get into verse 12, there is a change of pronoun significantly. Because the prophecy was that many nations would come against Tyre. Its destruction was not to be fully accomplished by Nebuchadnezzar. So the city of Tyre went on prospering for 240 years; now an island city. And it became extremely strong and powerful. Especially now that it was an island city just a half-mile offshore, it was almost impregnable as far as any enemy was concerned. Unless you would try to attack by sea, but the Phoenician navy ruled the seas in those days. And so Tyrus became a very powerful, well-defensed city because it was on this island a half-mile offshore.
So they shall make a spoil (26:12)
Change of pronoun from he, Nebuchadnezzar, to they shall make a spoil
of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water (26:12).
An extremely interesting and yet a bizarre prophecy. Because unparalleled in history, to my knowledge, is any city when destroyed the stones the timbers and the dust were put in the midst of the water.
And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it (26:13-14),
Now that’s a pretty powerful statement, “I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God.” I have spoken it; this is what’s going to be.
Now, did God really speak that? Is this really the Word of God to the prophet Ezekiel, or is Ezekiel making calculated guesses? Well, did it really come to pass? In 322 B.C. when Alexander the Great began his move towards Persia, he was fearful that if he moved all of his troops in a war against Persia that the Phoenicians would take advantage of it and that the Phoenician navy would then attack Greece. So he felt essential to his moving further against Persia was the conquering of Tyrus. And so he moved down the coast to Tyrus and gave an ultimatum to the city of Tyrus to surrender to him or he would destroy them. The people of Tyrus scoffed at Alexander’s ultimatum, because they knew that it would be difficult for any army to besiege their city. Alexander went up to Sidon and to some of the other port cities in the area and confiscated many ships. And he attempted a naval assault against Tyrus, which was defeated. He next decided that he would take the rubble of the ancient city of Tyre which had not been rebuilt on the mainland and with the rocks and the timbers, the ruins of the ancient city, he would make this wide causeway out to the island. Taking first and throwing the rocks and the timbers into the Mediterranean beginning to form this causeway, and then putting and scraping the dirt and putting it over the top of the rocks. So he made this wide causeway out to the island.
As he began to get near the island, the people of Tyre began to heat sand until it was almost molten and then shoot this molten sand on his troops. And so they built kind of defenses against that, special types of towers and all to defend the workers against this hot sand and oil that they began to shoot over at them from the city. And he began to move up these towers and these weapons of war, and finally with a combined naval assault and the assaulting of the walls themselves, Alexander the Great was able to conquer the city of Tyre in 322 after about an eight-month siege of Tyre.
Because Tyre had resisted him, he sought to make an example of the city of Tyre to strike fear in the hearts of the neighboring areas. And so he really devastated and destroyed the city of Tyre. A tremendous slaughter and destruction. As the result, the other nations, the other cities and kingdoms around were terrified. They opened their doors to Alexander the Great. They began to capitulate one after another including Jerusalem. And Alexander the Great was of course a very religious person. Not godly--religious. And there’s a difference. There are a lot of people that are religious, but not really very godly, but very religious. And he was an extremely religious person. And he did come to Jerusalem and was received by the Jews and the city was open to him. And he gave sacrifices unto the priests in Jerusalem to offer for him unto their gods. And he was actually…many cities opened to him after the conquest of Tyre.
Now, in his taking the stones, the timbers, and the dust and scraping it, he caused the prophecy of Ezekiel to be literally fulfilled some 240 years after the prophecy was made. So the prophecy was made by Ezekiel; 240 years later it was literally fulfilled. God is not in a hurry. Ezekiel prophesied it; he never lived to see the fulfillment of it. But yet, we, now in looking back, have that advantage of seeing how that history finally confirmed the fact that it evidently was God speaking to Ezekiel. It would have been impossible for him to have made these predictions just out of his own mind or head. The things that he declared were too impractical.
Now, “it will make it like the top of a rock.” It is impossible to accurately determine the actual site of the original city of Tyre on the mainland because it was so totally devastated and destroyed by the dirt even being scraped and cast into the sea. We can only guess that this area which is barren rock today was no doubt somewhere in these perimeters, and in this area was the ancient city of Tyre. But there are no ruins, no walls, nothing to indicate where the city itself might have been. And so the place of it has never been found or discovered, nor can we ascertain it with any certainty at all. Which, of course, is another fulfillment here.
But because the dirt was scraped, the rocks are an excellent place for the fishermen to dry their nets. And if you go to that area today, you will find even today fishermen drying their nets on these rocks which were once the great city of Tyre, the nemesis of the ancient world because of the power of their navy. A city that was great in glory and power. But God pronounced His judgment because they rejoiced in the judgment of God upon Jerusalem.
Thus saith the Lord GOD [verse 15] to Tyrus; Shall not the isles [or the coasts] shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, and when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee (26:15-16).
And so the great fear that did come into the other neighboring cities and areas.
And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD (26:17-21).
Such is the case. We can’t tell exactly where the city was because it was so totally devastated and all you have is barren rock in that area where Tyre once existed.
Now, there is a modern city of Tyre which is a Palestinian stronghold in southern Lebanon. However, it is a few miles from the site of the ancient city. So though it bears the name of Tyre, it has not been built again in the area where the original Tyre once existed. There is however a spring there in Tyre known as Ras El Ain, which the engineers have measured a water flow of ten million gallons a day. So it would be a very likely spot for a city to be built because of this abundant supply of fresh water. And yet in spite of that, the city has never been built on that site again.
So God’s Word holding to the present day. And you can go over there today and walk on that peninsula and see the causeway that was built by Alexander the Great looking down into the water seeing the stones that were thrown and the timbers. Well, the timbers, of course, have since have gone. But you can still see the stones, and you can see the fishermen drying their nets, and you can see the barren rocky area that was once the city of Tyre. But God’s Word still holding true to the present time.
Tyre, of course, was a city of tremendous merchandise. It was almost the commercial center of the world, because the navy, the powerful navy, carried the goods from Tyre all over the Mediterranean. And they supplied all of the nations around the Mediterranean as far as England with all of the merchandise and the goods and so forth. And thus because of the commercial aspects was an extremely wealthy city. But it is interesting that God had a dislike for commercialism as such. People taking advantage of people. And in the book of Revelation, chapter 18, we find the judgment of God that is yet to come against the commercial system that has enslaved men’s souls. How many people have become slaves to the whole commercial system. That is, most of your paycheck is going out on the various credit accounts and all, and you’re really a slave in a sense. You’re laboring to pay the commercial accounts. And so God speaks against commercialism in Revelation 18, but also in the lamentation now against Tyre that is taken up by the prophet. And it is interesting and important for you that when you get a chance this week, you read Revelation 18 in the light of Ezekiel 27. And you will find the very same things that God is saying against the commercial system of the last days that is being destroyed was said at the destruction of Tyre. In fact, there are similar parallel passages that are here in twenty-seven that are also found in Revelation, chapter 18.
So the word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation (27:1-2)
This is a wailing, a cry for Tyrus. This is lamenting the destruction that is come.
And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate [or situated] at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people of many coasts, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty (27:3).
Now, the city of Tyre is in the first part of chapter 27 likened unto one of the ships of Tyre. And the city was the perfection of beauty. It was a very extremely…of course, the Mediterranean area there is just beautiful anyhow. It’s just a glorious area along the Mediterranean. The weather is just ideal. It has an ideal year-round type of a climate. And the island just there in the sea was no doubt extremely beautiful, and there was so much wealth that the homes and all were no doubt just luxurious. So he likens it unto a beautiful ship of Tyrus.
Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. Of the oaks of Bashan have they made your oars; the company of the Ashurites have made your benches of ivory (27:4-6),
That would be…Ashurites would be Cyprus. And brought out the…I beg your pardon. The isles of Chittim is Cyprus, the coast of Chittim is Cyprus.
and have brought out the isles [or the coasts] of Chittim. Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which you have spread forth to be thy sail; and the blue and the purple from the coast of Elishah was that which covered thee. The inhabitants of Sidon (27:6-8)
Which was a sister city some fifteen miles north, also a seaport.
and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: and the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise (27:8-9).
And so all of this merchandise, the ivory, the linens from Egypt with the embroidered work, the furs, the cedars, the oaks and all of the luxury items that were a part of the whole system of Tyrus.
They of Persia and Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness (27:10).
So they had a mercenary army from various nations.
The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect. Tarshish [England] was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, and they traded in thy fairs (27:11-12).
And so the trade fairs that were there.
Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded in slaves and vessels of brass in your markets. And they of the house of Togarmah [the Balken States] they traded in your fairs with horses, horsemen and mules. And the men of Dedan [down towards Saudi Arabia] were thy merchants; and many coasts were the merchandise in your hand: they brought thee for a present, horns of ivory and ebony. Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in your market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market (27:13-19)
The various spices and all. Actually, if you go through the old city of Jerusalem, walking through the suk, you get somewhat of an idea of what was the ancient Tyre as far as all kinds of merchandise. The white wool coats, and the linens, the embroidered work that you can purchase, the various jewelry stores and the spice stores and the shops. And so in Tyrus was a tremendous commercial center with all of these goods that were brought from all of the areas of the ancient world. And it was sort of a…well, it was sort of a Hong Kong of the ancient world as far as you’re able to shop and buy almost anything at great prices. But there was tremendous market there in Tyre. “Dan also, Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia and calamus, were in thy market.”
Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were thy merchants. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants. These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: but the east wind has broken thee in the midst of the seas (27:20-26).
The east wind, of course, being Nebuchadnezzar. And this great commercial center broken by Nebuchadnezzar.
Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin. The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: And they shall make themselves (27:27-31)
Now these are the people that have been doing business, the merchants that have lost now this glorious trade center.
And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee (27:31),
That is, shaving themselves in sorrow.
and gird themselves with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, you filled many people; you did enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of your riches and of thy merchandise. And in the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall. All the inhabitants of the coasts shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance. The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never to be any more (27:31-36).
Now, again, notice the wailing. They’ll take up the lamentation, “What city is like Tyrus, like that which has been destroyed?”
In Revelation as the destruction of the commercial Babylon system takes place, it declares again how that, “The kings of the earth,” verse 9, “have committed fornication, lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for fear of the torments saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour her judgment is come.’ And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buys her merchandise anymore. The merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple silk, scarlet and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, all manners of vessels of most precious wood and brass and iron and marble; cinnamon and odors and ointments and frankincense and the fruits of thy soul lust and departs” (Revelation 18:9-14), and so forth. And how that they cry when they see the smoke of the burning and they say, you know, “What city is like this city?”
So it’s an interesting parallel between the destruction of Tyrus, which becomes a type of the destruction of the Babylonian commercial system in the last days. And the lamentation is much the same as people mourn for the loss of all of these luxurious goods that were once offered there in the fair, the trade fairs in Tyrus.
Now as we get into chapter 28, the attention now is directed against the king of Tyre. Chapter 26 against the city of Tyre, chapter 27 against the merchandising of Tyre, chapter 28 now is directed against the king or the prince of Tyre. And as we get into this, suddenly there is a transition and he begins to address himself unto Satan, the power behind the earthly kingdom. Now the Bible says that Satan is the prince of this world. And unless a nation is really dedicated to God and its leaders dedicated to God, then Satan is controlling and seeks to control the leadership of the world. Hitler was a man who was controlled by the white masters, these men who after the fall of the Third Reich moved down into Peru, and still many of them are living in Peru today. Men who are into all kinds of spiritism. They controlled Hitler during the period of the Third Reich. And he was a man who was controlled by these demonic forces, guided by these men who were high in the area of white magic.
The rebuke of the king of Tyre in chapter 28:
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the throne of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thy heart as the heart of God (28:1-2):
Now immediately this causes us to think of Second Thessalonians, chapter 2, where it declares that the antichrist is going to come and stand in the temple of God and declare that he is God and demand to be worshipped as God in the last days. So the prince of Tyrus becomes an interesting type of the antichrist, declaring himself to be God and setting himself up as a god. Now this indeed did happen. The king of Tyrus assumed the god role and proclaimed himself to be God and began to demand the worship of the people.
Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel (28:3);
That is what he was saying of himself, that he was wiser than Daniel. Of course, it is interesting that again Daniel is mentioned who was a contemporary to Ezekiel. And already Daniel’s fame was no doubt being spread abroad, and probably because of his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. That probably brought Daniel to instant fame and recognition, because after he had interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar made him one of the chief counselors for the Babylonian kingdom. And so Daniel’s fame, especially, of course, among the children of Israel, had spread abroad.
So Ezekiel, who was a contemporary to Daniel, lived at the same time in Babylonian captivity, makes mention of Daniel, not only here but in other passages. And here the wisdom of Daniel is referred to.
With thy wisdom and with thy understanding you have gotten riches, you’ve gotten gold and silver into your treasury: And by thy great wisdom and by your trafficking [that is, the merchandising] you have increased your riches and your heart is lifted up because of your riches (28:4-5):
The Bible tells us that it’s hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Then it qualifies it and says, “How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus said, “It’s easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:24). The Bible says that they that will be rich will fall into divers temptations or lust which drown men’s souls in perdition. But again the Bible says, “If riches increase, just don’t set your heart upon them.”
Now that was the problem with the king of Tyrus, his heart was set upon his riches. He was increased with riches and his heart was lifted up because of his riches.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, and the awesome of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. 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. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am a god? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD (28:6-10).
And so his destruction is predicted. And though he declares himself to be God, when the enemy comes over the wall, you’re not going to move him to thinking that you are God. You’ll die like a man.
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD (28:11-12);
Now, at this point there is a switch and we go behind the scenes and God is now addressing Himself unto Satan. And this is probably one of the most graphic descriptions of Satan that exists in the Bible. And he isn’t, contrary to popular notion, wearing a red suit, holding a pitchfork and having a forked tail. And some evil sinister-looking creature with pointed ears and a goatee.
Thou sealest up the sum (28:12),
It means you are the sum total. You’ve got it altogether. You are the sum total.
you are full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God (28:12-13);
Yes, he was there and was talking to Eve and tempting her to eat of that fruit that God had forbidden.
every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, gold: and the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that you were created (28:13).
So here is a description of Satan prior to his…of course, prior to his fall, after his fall, he had been in Eden, but every precious stone is covering and all.
And there are some who say that Satan is the author of music because of “the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” And so that Satan is the author of music. I think that that is just stretching the point beyond breaking. I can’t stand that type of biblical exposition that takes a verse like this and then builds an entire case from it. And how that music is evil because Satan was the originator of music because he was the one with the tabrets and pipes and so forth. And so that music is satanic in its origin and all and that he is the master over music. That’s stretching Scripture; it’s taking it out of context. It is taking one verse and just blowing it beyond its intent and beyond what it declares. And yet, there are those foolish and ignorant men who will take some kind of a passage like this and try to make a big discourse out of it and a big theory and come down on all kinds of musical instruments and everything else. Of course, some book has been written lately against rock music and saying it’s of Satan and this is the Scripture that proves it. If they can find proof of that in this Scripture then they have done phenomenal bit of scriptural jugglery.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth (28:14);
Now he was an anointed cherub. A cherub, of course, is an angel. Cherub is singular; cherubim is plural. Now we find in the Scriptures that there are the four cherubim that are about the throne of God, plural, of cherubs. Satan once, no doubt, dwelt there near God in the heavenly scene. In fact, he would seem to have had a very high standing at one time. So high that when Michael was contending against, having respect for the position that Satan once held in high authority in the heavenly scene, Michael did not bring any railing accusation against him when they were disputing over the body of Moses, but Michael just said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Satan did have an extremely high position prior to his fall in the heavenly kingdom. “The anointed cherub that covereth.”
I have set thee so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. And you were perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee (28:14-15).
Now, here is what makes Satan not the opposite of God. “You were perfect in all of your ways from the day that you were created.” But Satan was a created being. God is self-existent. He has always been. Satan was created. So that it is wrong for us in our minds to think of Satan as the opposite of God. He opposes God, but he in no wise is the opposite of God. And we ascribe to Satan much more power and much more than what he actually is if you think of him as the opposite of God. And thus, we should never consider or think of Satan in the terms of the opposite of God. God stands alone in the universe. The infinite, eternal God. There is nothing to compare with in likenesses or opposites. He is alone. The eternal God.
Satan was a created being, an anointed cherub. If he is the opposite, or to be thought of as the opposite, it might be of Michael or of Gabriel, these two angels that seem to have much authority and power in heaven, who remain true unto God. But never think of Satan as the opposite of God. You’re ascribing much more to him than what actually is. And that is dangerous.
He was perfect until the day that iniquity was found in him. What is the iniquity that was found in him? If you turn back to Isaiah chapter 14, Isaiah gives us a little insight into this iniquity that was found in Satan. Verse 12, chapter 14 Isaiah, “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning. How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thy heart,” here is the iniquity, “In your heart you said, ‘I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.’”
The five “I wills.” And that is the exercise of my will against the authority of God. “I will exalt myself. I will sit in the congregation in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the stars. I will be like the Most High.” In one of Shakespeare’s plays there is that phrase, “Flee ambition, for by this sin the angels fell.” Satan’s ambitious plans against God’s authority, “I will, I will.”
So up until that point, he had been a model, perfect in all of his ways. “Until iniquity was found in thee.”
And 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 covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. For thy 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 the kings, that they may behold thee (28:16-17).
Now going back again to Isaiah 14, it’s an interesting thing that when we look upon Satan, and one day you will have a chance to look at him, and when you do, you’ll be astonished. Verse 15 of chapter 14 Isaiah, “Yet,” you said I’m going to be like the Most High, “yet, thou shalt be brought down to hell to the sides of the pit and they that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee saying, ‘Is this the man that made the earth to tremble and did shake kingdoms?’” Wow, is that the one that gave me such a bad time? Wow! “So I will lay thee before kings that they may behold thee.” It’s going to be an awesome experience, an awesome sight when that day comes.
Now the question, of course, does remain: when did God create Satan? And when did Satan fall? Now his fall, no doubt, came before his coming into the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve. Therefore, I would have to conclude that his fall came before Genesis chapter 1, verse 3, which speaks of God beginning the re-creative processes saying, “Let there be light.” And the fact that darkness covered the face of the deep. God is light; in Him is no darkness at all. That darkness that enshrouded the world must have been satanic in its origin, as he is the prince of darkness.
Now, there is what is known as a gap theory. Of late there has been an endeavor to more or less discredit the gap theory. But I still hold it open in my own mind as a very viable option. One of the chief verses that they use to destroy the gap theory is when God gave the law. He said, “For six days shalt thou do thy labor and the seventh day thou shalt rest. For in six days God created the heaven and the earth, and all that is in them, and on the seventh day God rested.” And taking that in a very literal, narrow sense, it would mean that the creation days did take place somewhere around six thousand years ago or six to ten thousand years ago. And thus, the whole universe is only six to ten thousand years old, and we can’t really prove that this position is wrong. It is quite possible it is.
You say, “Well, how do you explain then the fossils? And the dating processes that show that the earth is millions of years, or whatever.” And of course, there is, number one, the challenging of the dating methods, which is a legitimate challenge, because a part of that lava flow from Kilauea in Hawaii that big flow in 1973 was taken to three different laboratories that have their specialty of dating processes through the carbon argon and so forth. And the three laboratories taking these samples from the 1973 flow of Kilauea came up with age dates of anywhere from 180 million years to 250 million years old. And yet, it was chipped right out of the flow of 1973. So there is reason to question and challenge the accuracy of the dating methods, because in dating, you have to assume that there was so much argon in the beginning. And this assumption is made, and so much lead in the beginning an all, and those are assumptions that we really don’t know.
The second argument is how old was Adam the day God created him? You say, “Well, he was a day old.” Well, then did he have teeth? How big was he? So that when God created Adam, there were, no doubt, what we would call age-dating factors built in. So that if you looked at Adam the day that God created him, you’d probably say, “Well, he must be thirty years old at least. Look at the skeleton development, the muscular development, look at the teeth and all. Well, he must be thirty years old.” So that God created him not as an infant, but as a man with age-dating factors. Now, of course, we know God could do anything, so that God could have created the earth with fossils already in its structure. With age-dating factors there, if He so chose to do so. Now, the problem that I see with this using…for in six days, God created the heaven and the earth and all that is in them, the problem I see with that is that that would have to then include Satan and when did God then create Satan in this six-day creation period, you see. And then when did Satan fall? And how is it that he got into the Garden of Eden so early.
Now, the gap theory, which I do feel has a great deal of credence and is probably best set out by Pember in his book Earth’s Earliest Ages. Take Genesis 1 as an account of original creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In the beginning, whenever that was. How many billion years ago, there is no date. No estimate. And that the earth perhaps was a part of Satan’s kingdom as the anointed cherub that covered. And in a beautiful mineral kingdom upon the earth, until the day that iniquity was found in him and he was destroyed and cast out. And at that time, the earth became wasted and desolate and darkness covered the face of the deep. And that what you have then in Genesis from verse 3 on is the re-creation of the earth, in order that man might inhabit it in his present form. But what types of animals, creatures that are all there in the fossil record could have existed in the billions of years prior to Genesis verse 3, chapter 1. And thus, all of the ages would be all accounted for, because we don’t know when the original creation took place. And there are viable arguments, and of course, the fact that Satan came along so early; he had already fallen to tempt Eve, and that there was darkness over the face of the deep and all. All tend to give credence to this gap theory and that the earth was somehow disheveled and destroyed at Satan’s rebellion in sin against God.
And a literal reading of verse 2 can read, “but the earth became wasted and desolate.” And it is not consistent with God’s creative acts to create something wasted and desolate. When God creates it, He creates it perfect. God saw the light that it was good. God saw the land that it was good. God saw the animals; they were good. It isn’t consistent with God to create something wasted and desolate, without form and void. So there are some arguments, very powerful arguments for the gap theory, and I have not in my own mind totally set it aside as not worthy of consideration. I think that it has some very worthy points, and thus I have no firm set in my own mind as far as creation is concerned. It’s still an open chapter, an open file, and I await further information.
I know that God could have created the whole thing just ten thousand years ago, six thousand; I have no problem with that. But I also realize it could have been billions of years ago, and that between Genesis 1 and 2 you have a long gap, at which time somewhere in there Satan was created and Satan fell and rebelled against God, and the whole system was brought into a chaotic state. The earth became wasted and desolate, with form and void and all. So, you can’t be dogmatic in my mind on these things, though I know many people are dogmatic on it.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of the traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee (28:18).
Satan will ultimately be cast into the lake that is burning with fire, and this is the reference to it here. Right now Satan has great liberties. God has allowed him these liberties. They are liberties within boundaries. Satan works within prescribed boundaries that God has placed upon him.
When he came to God concerning Job, he said, “You’ve put a hedge around him. I can’t touch him.” God put the boundaries upon Satan, the perimeters in which he can work. As far as I’m concerned, he still has too much liberty. When Jesus comes again and establishes the kingdom of God upon the earth, Satan will at that point be bound and placed into the abusso, the bottomless pit, where he will stay for almost a thousand years. Right out towards the end of that thousand-year period, he’ll be released again for a short season to deceive people and to create a rebellion against the Lord, that the Lord might be righteous when He makes the final judgment. For there will be those who will have been born during the Kingdom Age or those who have lived into the Kingdom Age who have never really made a real commitment of the their lives to Jesus Christ, will have to live righteously by force during the Kingdom Age. But towards the end, they’ll be given their opportunity to express what has been in their heart the whole time--the rebellion against God that is there. And then at the culmination of this final rebellion, Satan will be cast into the Gehenna, the lake burning with fire, and there the final judgment of God upon him as is expressed here.
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 (28:19).
No more freedom, liberty, anything else.
The judgment of Sidon now. He turns from Tyre, from the prince of Tyre, to this sister city of Sidon up the coast.
And again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified 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. For I will send into her pestilence, 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. And they shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD (28:20-24).
Notice there is nothing said about ultimate destruction or complete destruction or never be rebuilt. Sidon still exists on the ancient site of the city of Sidon, and it’s still a city there to the present day.
Verse 25, God speaks now of the regathering of His people Israel.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel [speaking of the present day] from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen (28:25),
Now that is not yet come. That will take place when the invading Russian army is destroyed.
Then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. 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 (28:25-26).
That’s, of course, going on into the Kingdom Age when God has finally brought His judgment upon all of the nations for the treatment that they have given to the Jews.
Now as we get into chapter 29:
In the tenth year (29:1),
That would be the year 587 B.C.
And in the tenth month, the twelfth day of the month (29:1),
This prophecy came to Ezekiel concerning the Pharaoh who was the king of Egypt, who was Pharaoh Haaibre.
And it came against him, and against all of Egypt: [And He said,] Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is my own, and I have made it for myself (29:2-3).
Glorying in the great Nile and its tributaries.
But I will put hooks in your jaws, and I will cause the fish of the rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel (29:4-6).
Now, Israel leaned upon Egypt for help. It wasn’t right that they do so; God wanted them to lean upon Him. In fact, the prophet Jeremiah said, “If you lean upon Egypt, it’ll be like a broken reed and it’ll pierce your hand.” Now a reed is not a strong staff at all. A reed may look strong, but it’s very fibrous and it has no strength at all. Though it looks like you could really lean upon it, you go to lean upon a reed and the thing will just bend and you can just pierce through your hand with the thing if you really are leaning hard upon a reed, you’re trusting in something that just can’t hold you up. It’ll bend; it’ll break and you’ll fall.
Now, Egypt was likened unto a reed upon the people of God leaned. And Pharaoh Haaibre did come up with the Egyptian forces. And he caused Nebuchadnezzar to pull back from his sieging of Jerusalem for a while. But then the Pharaoh Haaibre returned to Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar continued his siege and destroyed Jerusalem. So because Pharaoh Haaibre was not really a help to Judah, God speaks against him. “You have been like a staff of reed to the house of Israel.”
When they took hold of thee by thy hand, you did break, and you tore all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, you broke, and you made their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it (29:7-9).
Again, as Nebuchadnezzar said, “This great Babylon is mine, I have made it.” And the watchers in heaven said, “Oh, we’ll put you down for that one.” And he went insane for a period of time. We’ll get that in a few weeks when we get to Daniel. Fascinating story.
Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast for a period of forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will gather the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which brings their iniquity to remembrance. And it came to pass in the seventh and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me saying, Son of man (29:10-18),
Now, there are those Bible critics who say, “Well, this did not happen during the time of Pharaoh Haaibre, that Nebuchadnezzar did not conquer Egypt during the time of his reign.” It is interesting that they have skipped this particular reference in verse 17. He doesn’t say that Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Pharaoh Haaibre and conquered Egypt during the time of his reign. But this came in the twenty-seventh year; the previous prophecy came in the tenth year. So the latter part of this chapter came seventeen years later, after the death of Pharaoh Haaibre.
Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it (29:18):
Now God is saying, “Look, Nebuchadnezzar was My servant. He destroyed Tyrus but he didn’t get paid.” By the time he conquered the city, there was no spoil. So neither he nor his army got their pay for the job that they did for Me in the destruction of Tyrus. Therefore they will go down and they will conquer Egypt and there they will get their wages as they take the great wealth of Egypt unto themselves. And so the spoil of Egypt was to be the pay that God gave to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops for the lack of pay in the destruction of Tyrus.
In chapter 30:
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! (30:1-2)
So he is going around howling, “Woe worth the day!”
For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia (30:3-4),
And he tells of the destruction that is going to come against these nations.
Ethiopia, Lybia, Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord. And it shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon (30:5-10).
So the greatness which was once Egypt, one of the greatest nations in the ancient world. You study ancient history, and Egypt always stands out. And you go, of course, to Egypt and you see the tremendous monuments to the genius of the people of that ancient world. You see the ruins in Memphis and in Thebes. You see the pyramids, you see the sphinx, and all of these great monuments that were there in Egypt. And you can only stand in awe and imagine the glory that once was in Egypt. But Egypt is to fall. Not to rise into a world-dominating stature again, but to remain just a base nation from then on. And of course, such is the story. Egypt is no longer a major kind of a world empire or a major kingdom of the world, but it is just one of the many lesser nations of the world even today.
And God speaks of this judgment that is going to come. And He names the various cities. The Lord said, verse 13,
I will destroy the idols, I will cause their images to cease out of [Memphis] Noph [is Memphis] (30:13);
And of course, you go to Memphis and you can see these huge idols that are still there.
And there shall be no more a prince in the land of Egypt (30:13):
That is a Pharaoh.
I will put a fear in the land of Egypt. And I will make Pathros desolate, and I will set on fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No [which is Thebes]. I will pour out my fury upon Sin, and the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of Thebes. And I will set fire in Egypt: and Sin shall have great pain, and Thebes shall be torn asunder, and Memphis shall have distresses daily. And the young men of Aven and Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity. At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt (30:13-18):
Now it was at Tehaphnehes that Jeremiah, you remember, took stones and he buried them and he said, “Over the top of these stones Nebuchadnezzar is going to build his throne.” And of course, archaeologists in excavating at Tehaphnehes uncovered the porch of the palace and they removed the stones, the pavement, and underneath they found the very stones that Jeremiah buried as a witness against that city. And it was indeed there that Nebuchadnezzar came and set up his throne, Jeremiah says, “You’re trusting in Egypt to deliver you, look, Nebuchadnezzar is going to set up his throne right here. Egypt isn’t going to deliver.”
Now that did not happen during the period of Pharaoh Haaibre, but this portion of course happened later, seventeen years after the beginning of the siege of Tyre. Or actually, it was fifteen years after that, that God for payment to Nebuchadnezzar gave him Egypt.
It came to pass now in the eleventh year (30:20)
That is, you’re back into the first month April of 586 B.C., and it’s important that you catch these datings of these prophecies so that you know at what time these particular prophecies were made. So this now was made in April 586, the year that Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar.
The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt [Pharaoh Haaibre again at this time], and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh’s arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man. But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD (30:20-26).
And so God’s judgments pronounced against Egypt. And the next couple of chapters he continues these judgments against Egypt, and then we get into these instructions for those of the Jewish captivity and of their coming back into the land. And we get into some very exciting prophecies as we move into next week and prophecies that we see being fulfilled today in the land of Israel. May the Lord keep His hand upon your life and may He speak to you this week through His Word. May He open up your heart and your mind and your understanding to the things of the Spirit. May He cause you to realize that His righteous principles will always prevail, that when God speaks it can be accounted as done. And when God establishes a principle, it cannot be violated. And thus, may you live in that place where God can bless you as He desires to bless you. May you keep yourself in the love of God as you walk in fellowship with Him this week. In Jesus’ name.