You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your 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 your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Every precious stone.—There is some uncertainty in regard to the names of some of these stones (as sardius may be carnelian, and beryl chrysolite), but the general fact is an allusion to the profuse use of precious stones as ornaments of their royal apparel by Oriental monarchs. The stones mentioned are the same with those in the breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 39:10), the third row being omitted; this is supplied in the Greek.
Thy pipes.—The word occurs only here, and its most probable sense is females, those who played upon the tambourines. All these things did not need to be collected by the king of Tyre, but were ready prepared to his hand at the moment of his accession to the throne, just as everything was made ready for Adam in Eden.
Every precious stone - All the stones here named are found in the High priest's breastplate Exodus 28:17-20, but their order is different, and three stones named in Exodus (the third row) are wanting. The prophet may purposely have varied the description because the number twelve (that of the tribes of Israel) had nothing to do with the prince of Tyrus, and he wished to portray, not a high priest, but a king, having in view a figure which was to a Jew, especially to a priest, the very type of magnificence.
garden of God—the model of ideal loveliness (Eze 31:8, 9; 36:35). In the person of the king of Tyre a new trial was made of humanity with the greatest earthly advantages. But as in the case of Adam, the good gifts of God were only turned into ministers to pride and self.
every precious stone—so in Eden (Ge 2:12), "gold, bdellium, and the onyx stone." So the king of Tyre was arrayed in jewel-bespangled robes after the fashion of Oriental monarchs. The nine precious stones here mentioned answer to nine of the twelve (representing the twelve tribes) in the high priest's breastplate (Ex 39:10-13; Re 21:14, 19-21). Of the four rows of three in each, the third is omitted in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the Septuagint. In this, too, there is an ulterior reference to Antichrist, who is blasphemously to arrogate the office of our divine High Priest (Zec 6:13).
pipes—literally, "holes" in musical pipes or flutes.
created—that is, in the day of thine accession to the throne. Tambourines and all the marks of joy were ready prepared for thee ("in thee," that is, "with and for thee"). Thou hadst not, like others, to work thy way to the throne through arduous struggles. No sooner created than, like Adam, thou wast surrounded with the gratifications of Eden. Fairbairn, for "pipes," translates, "females" (having reference to Ge 1:27), that is, musician-women. Maurer explains the Hebrew not as to music, but as to the setting and mounting of the gems previously mentioned.Thou hast been; thou hast dwelt and reigned.
In Eden; in the midst of all delights; and though nature made thy lot a very barren rock, thy art and industry, added to that of thy progenitors, have made it as pleasant, rich, and beautiful as Eden, that place of all desirable enjoyments.
The garden of God: this is explicative of the former; a garden is a place of delight, and men have made some delightful to a wonder, but none ever like that God planted: this of Tyre came as near as any, and yet ungrateful and atheistical Tyre dreams of Divine power and stability, forgetting human frailty and uncertainty.
Every precious stone; every sort of rich stones.
Thy covering, bought to adorn thy crown, thy robes, thy bed, &c.
The sardius; of a red, and by some said to be the ruby.
Topaz; of a yellowish green.
The diamond; of clear, waterish, sparkling colour.
The beryl; of a sea-green colour, the best.
The onyx resembles the whiteness of the nail of a man’s hand.
The jasper; of divers colours, but the best green.
The sapphire; of sky colour, or blue.
The emerald; green interspersed with golden spots.
The carbuncle; of flame colour.
Gold; beside the abundance of which in their public treasures, much was used about the clothes and robes of this proud prince; it is like these precious stones were set in gold, that they might the safer be put upon his garments. This was the accoutrement of solemnities, especially of the coronation, as appears in the close of the verse.
The workmanship of thy tabrets, & c: now the prophet notes their joys, music and songs; both to wind or loud music, and to softer music, as the lute and tabret, in the day of their king’s coronation, and all this music on instruments of most exquisite make, and of their own artists’ work too; in this they exceeded as in the other.
Wast created; either born, for the birth of princes hath been celebrated with great joys; or rather in the day of this king’s coronation, or investiture in the kingdom and royal dignity.
"thou delightest thyself with plenty of all good things and delectable ones, as if thou dwellest in the garden of God;''
in the mystical sense, this designs the church of God, which is an Eden, a garden, a paradise; see Sol 4:12 and where antichrist first appeared, and took his seat, and seated himself as if he was God, 2 Thessalonians 2:4,
every precious stone was thy covering; not only the covering of his head, his crown, was decked with jewels and precious stones of all sorts; but his clothes, the covering of his body, were adorned with them. So the Targum,
"all precious stones were set in order upon thy garments.''
Kimchi renders it "thine hedge", or "fence" (o); and takes it to be an hyperbole, as if his house, or garden, or vineyard, were fenced with precious stones. This fitly describes the whore of Rome arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones, Revelation 17:4. The pope's triple crown is stuck with them, and a cross of precious stones is upon his slipper, when he holds out his toe to be kissed:
the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold. Writers differ very much about these stones; and it is difficult to say what answer to the Hebrew words here used. The stone "sardius", or the sardine stone, is of a blood colour, commonly called a cornelian, and is found in Sardis and Sardinia, from whence some say it has its name. The "topaz" is a hard transparent stone, said to be of a beautiful yellow or gold colour by those who confound it with the chrysolite; otherwise the true topaz is of a fine green colour, as Pliny (p) and Isidore (q); the best is what is found in Ethopia, Job 28:19. The "diamond" is a precious stone, the first in rank, value, hardness and lustre; the most perfect colour is the white. The "beryl" is a stone of a pale green colour, thought to be the diamond of the ancients: the word is "tarshish", and thought by some the "chrysolite". The "onyx" resembles a man's nail, from whence it has its name: the word "shoham" here used is supposed to mean the "sardonyx", a compound of the "sardian" and "onyx" stones. The "jasper" is a stone of various colours and spots, variegated like a panther; hence the Targum here renders it "pantherin"; the most valuable is the green spotted with red or purple. The "sapphire" is a stone of an azure colour or sky blue, exceeding hard and transparent. The "emerald" is of an exceeding fine green colour, very bright, and clear, and delightful to the eye; but is rather intended by the next word, as the "carbuncle" by this, which is a stone of the ruby kind, and very rare; see Isaiah 54:12. "Gold" is mentioned along with them, and last of all, as being less valuable; but chiefly because these stones were set in gold, as the Targum paraphrases it; these are nine of the stones which were in the breastplate of the Jewish high priest (r), whom the king of Tyre might have knowledge of and imitate, as it is certain the pope of Rome does in some things:
the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created; either born into the world; or made a crowned king; against which time, drums, and pipes, and such like instruments of music, were prepared in Tyre, and at them made use of by way of rejoicing: and as this was literally true of the king of Tyre at his coronation, so of the bishop of Rome at his creation and inauguration, which is attended with bells ringing, drums beating, trumpets sounding; and so in mystical Babylon is heard, though the time is coming when it will not be heard, the voice of harpers, musicians, pipers, and trumpeters, Revelation 18:22.Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was 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 of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Thou host been] thou wast in Eden. The term rendered “covering” does not occur again. Possibly “emerald” and “carbuncle” should be transposed. These precious stones are mentioned in sets of three, being nine in number, to which LXX. adds three more, the ligure, the agate and the amethyst, as in the high-priest’s breastplate (Exodus 28:19), while Syr. reduces the number to eight. Possibly the original number may have been very much smaller.
thy tabrets and of thy pipes] It is obvious that timbrels and pipes are out of place here. It is also probable that the preceding words and gold should be disjoined from the list of precious stones. Render: and of gold was the workmanship of thy sockets and grooves. Reference is unmistakeably to the setting of precious stones, and while possibly a person might be supposed to be covered or clothed with the jewels mentioned, the phrase “thy sockets” seems to recall the figure of the ring. The phrase “was prepared” is wanting in LXX. and the last words “in the day that thou wast created” should probably go to the next verse.Verse 13. - Thou hast been in Eden, etc. The words are suggestive, as showing that Ezekiel was familiar with the history of Genesis 2. and 3. (compare the mention of Noah, in Ezekiel 15:14, 20). To him the King of Tyre seemed to claim a position like that of Adam before his fall, perfect in beauty and in wisdom, the lord of the creation. And in that fancied Eden he stood, so he thought, not like Adam, "naked and ashamed," but like one of the cherubim that guarded the gates of the primeval Paradise (Genesis 3:24), covered with all imaginable splendor. Ezekiel returns to the phrase in Ezekiel 31:8, 16, 18 and Ezekiel 36:35. Other instances meet us in Joel 2:3 and Isaiah 51:3. Every precious stone. All the stones named are found in the list of the gems on the high priest's breastplate (Exodus 28:17-20; Exodus 39:8-14). Three, however, of those gems are wanting - those in the third row of the breastplate - which are not named elsewhere; and the order is not the same. The LXX. makes the two lists identical, apparently correcting Ezekiel by Exodus. St. John (Revelation 21:19) reproduces his imagery in his vision of the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, but naturally returns to the fullness of the symbolic number - twelve. Possibly the description of gold and bdellium and onyx (or beryl), as in Genesis 2:11, 12, may have suggested the thought that Eden was a land of jewels. The workmanship of thy tabret and pipes; better, the service. The Authorized Version and Revised Version follow Luther. Keil agrees as to "tabret" (so Genesis 31:27; Isaiah 5:12; elsewhere, as in Exodus 15:20 and Job 21:12, the Authorized Version gives "timbrels"), but takes the latter word (not found elsewhere) as identical with its feminine form, and meaning "female." He sees in the clause, accordingly, a picture of the pomp of the Tyrian king, surrounded by the odalisques of the harem, who, with their timbrels, danced to his honor as their lord and king (camp. Isaiah 23:16; Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6). Havernick, who agrees with Keil, calls attention to a passage in Athenaeus (12:8. p. 531), in which Strafe, a Sidonian king, is said to have prepared for a great festival by bringing girls who played on the flute and harp from all parts of Greece. Others, however (Smend), find in both the words articles of jewelry, pearls perforated or set in gold (as in Exodus 28:20), and so see in them the conclusion of the description of the gorgeous apparel of the king. Furst takes the words as meaning musical instruments that were of gold set with jewels. Ewald, following out the Urim and Thummim idea, takes the gems as the subject of the sentence, and translates, "they were for the work of thine oracles and divining." On the whole, the interpretation given above seems preferable. In the day that thou wast created. The words point to the time of the king's enthronement or coronation. It was then that he appeared in all his supreme magnificence. Had Ezekiel been a witness of that ceremony? Ezekiel 27:12. Tarshish traded with thee for the multitude of goods of all kinds; with silver, iron, tin, and lead they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:13. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants; with souls of men and brazen vessels they made thy barter. Ezekiel 27:14. From the house of Togarmah they paid horses, riding-horses, and mules for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:15. The sons of Dedan were thy merchants; many islands were at thy hand for commerce; ivory horns and ebony they brought thee in payment. Ezekiel 27:16. Aram traded with thee for the multitude of thy productions; with carbuncle, red purple, and embroidery, and byssus, and corals, and rubies they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:17. Judah and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants; with wheat of Minnith and confectionery, and honey and oil, and balsam they made thy barter. Ezekiel 27:18. Damascus traded with thee in the multitude of thy productions, for the multitude of goods of all kinds, with wine of Chelbon and white wool. Ezekiel 27:19. Vedan and Javan from Uzal gave wrought iron for thy salves; cassia and calamus were for thy barter. Ezekiel 27:20. Vedan was thy merchant in cloths spread for riding. Ezekiel 27:21. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they were at thy hand for commerce; lambs and rams and he-goats, in these they traded with thee. Ezekiel 27:22. The merchants of Sheba and Ragmah, they were thy merchants; with all kinds of costly spices and with all kinds of precious stones and gold they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:23. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, Chilmad, were they merchants; Ezekiel 27:24. They were thy merchants in splendid clothes, in purple and embroidered robes, and in treasures of twisted yarn, in wound and strong cords for thy wares. Ezekiel 27:25. The ships of Tarshish were thy caravans, thy trade, and thou wast filled and glorious in the heart of the seas. - The enumeration of the different peoples, lands, and cities, which carried on trade with Tyre, commences with Tarshish (Tartessus) in the extreme west, then turns to the north, passes through the different lands of Anterior Asia and the Mediterranean to the remotest north-east, and ends by mentioning Tarshish again, to round off the list. But the lands and peoples, which are mentioned in Ezekiel 27:5-11 as furnishing produce and manufactures for the building of Tyre, viz., Egypt and the tribes of Northern Africa, are left out. - To avoid wearisome uniformity in the enumeration, Ezekiel has used interchangeably the synonymous words which the language possessed for trade, besides endeavouring to give life to the description by a variety of turns of expression. Thus סחרתך (Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:18), סחריך (Ezekiel 27:21), and סחרת ידך (Ezekiel 27:15), or סחרי ידך (Ezekiel 27:21), are interchanged with רכליך (Ezekiel 27:13, Ezekiel 27:15, Ezekiel 27:17, Ezekiel 27:22, Ezekiel 27:24), רכלתך (Ezekiel 27:20, Ezekiel 27:23), and מרכּלתּך (Ezekiel 27:24); and, again, נתן עזבוניך (Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:14, Ezekiel 27:22), נתן (Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:19), with נתן מערבך (Ezekiel 27:13, Ezekiel 27:17), and בּמערבך היה (Ezekiel 27:19), and השׁיב אשׁכּרך (Ezekiel 27:15). The words סחר, participle of סחר, and רכל, from רכל morf, signify merchants, traders, who travel through different lands for purposes of trade. סחרת, literally, the female trader; and סחרה, literally, trade; then used as abstract for concrete, the tradesman or merchant. רכל, the travelling merchant. - רכלת, the female trader, a city carrying on trade. מרכלת, trade or a place of trade, a commercial town. עזבונים (pluralet.) does not mean a place of trade, market, and profits (Gesenius and others); but according to its derivation from עזב, to leave, relinquish, literally, leaving or giving up, and as Gusset. has correctly explained it, "that which you leave with another in the place of something else which he has given up to you." Ewald, in accordance with this explanation, has adopted the very appropriate rendering Absatz, or sale. נתן עזבוניך, with ב, or with a double accusative, literally, to make thy sale with something, i.e., to pay or to give, i.e., pay, something as an equivalent for the sale; 'נתן בּעזב, to give something for the sale, or the goods to be sold. מערב, barter, goods bartered with נתן, to give bartered goods, or carry on trade by barter.
The following are the countries and peoples enumerated: - תּרשׁישׁ, the Tyrian colony of Tarshish or Tartessus, in Hispania Baetica, which was celebrated for its wealth in silver (Jeremiah 10:9), and, according to the passage before us, also supplied iron, tin, and lead (vid., Plin. Hist. nat. iii. 3 4, xxxiii. 6 31, xxiv. 14 41; Diod. Sic. v. 38). Further particulars concerning Tarshish are to be found in Movers, Phoeniz. II 2, pp. 588ff., and II 3, p. 36. - Javan, i.e., Jania, Greece or Greeks. - Tubal and Meshech are the Tibareni and Moschi of the ancients between the Black and Caspian Seas (see the comm. on Genesis 10:2). They supplied souls of men, i.e., slaves, and things in brass. The slave trade was carried on most vigorously by the Ionians and Greeks (see Joel 4:6, from which we learn that the Phoenicians sold prisoners of war to them); and both Greeks and Romans drew their largest supplies and the best slaves from the Pontus (for proofs of this, see Movers, II 3, pp. 81f.). It is probable that the principal supplies of brazen articles were furnished by the Tibareni and Moschi, as the Colchian mountains still contain an inexhaustible quantity of copper. In Greece, copper was found and wrought in Euboea alone; and the only other rich mines were in Cyprus (vid., Movers, II 3, pp. 66, 67). - Ezekiel 27:14. "From the house of Togarmah they paid," i.e., they of the house of Togarmah paid. Togarmah is one of the names of the Armenians (see the comm. on Genesis 10:3); and Strabo (XI 14. 9) mentions the wealth of Armenia in horses, whilst that in asses is attested by Herodotus (i. 194), so that we may safely infer that mules were also bred there. - Ezekiel 27:15. The sons of Dedan, or the Dedanites, are, no doubt, the Dedanites mentioned in Genesis 10:7 as descendants of Cush, who conducted the carrying trade between the Persian Gulf and Tyre, and whose caravans are mentioned in Isaiah 21:13. Their relation to the Semitic Dedanites, who are evidently intended in Ezekiel 27:20, and by the inhabitants of Dedan mentioned in connection with Edom in Ezekiel 25:13 and Jeremiah 49:8, is involved in obscurity (see the comm. on Genesis 10:7). The combination with איּים רבּים and the articles of commerce which they brought to Tyre, point to a people of southern Arabia settled in the neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf. The many איּים are the islands and coasts of Arabia on the Persian Gulf and Erythraean Sea.
(Note: Movers (II 3, pp. 303ff.) adduces still further evidence in addition to that given above, namely, that "unquestionable traces of the ancient name have been preserved in the region in which the ancient Dedanites are represented as living, partly on the coast in the names Attana, Attene, which have been modified according to well-known laws, - the former, a commercial town on the Persian Gulf, visited by Roman merchants (Plin. vi. 32, 147); the latter, a tract of country opposite to the island of Tylos (Plin. l.c. 49), - and partly in the islands of the Persian Gulf" (p. 304).)
סחרת ידך, the commerce of thy hand, i.e., as abstr. pro concr., those who were ready to thy hand as merchants. קרנות שׁן, ivory horns. This is the term applied to the elephants' tusks (shn) on account of their shape and resemblance to horns, just as Pliny (Hist. nat. xviii. 1) also speaks of cornua elephanti, although he says, in viii. 3((4), that an elephant's weapons, which Juba calls cornua, are more correctly to be called dentes.
(Note: The Ethiopians also call ivory Karna nage, i.e., cornu elephanti, and suppose that it is from horns, and not from tusks, that ivory comes (vid., Hiob Ludolph, Hist. Aeth. 1 Corinthians 10).)
The ἁπ. λεγ.. הובנים, Keri הבנים, signifies ἔβενος hebenum, ebony. The ancients obtained both productions partly from India, partly from Ethiopia (Plin. xii. 4 8). According to Dioscor. i. 130, the Ethiopian ebony was preferred to the Indian. השׁיב אשׁכּר to return payment (see the comm. on Psalm 72:10).
In Ezekiel 27:16, J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Hitzig, and others read אדם for ארם, after the lxx and Pesh., because Aram did not lie in the road from Dedan and the איּים to Israel (Ezekiel 27:17), and it is not till Ezekiel 27:18 that Ezekiel reaches Aram. Moreover, the corruption ארם for אדום could arise all the more readily from the simple fact that the defective form אדם only occurs in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 25:14), and is altogether an extraordinary one. These reasons are undoubtedly worthy of consideration; still they are not conclusive, since the enumeration does not follow a strictly geographical order, inasmuch as Damascus is followed in Ezekiel 27:19. by many of the tribes of Southern Arabia, so that Aram might stand, as Hvernick supposes, for Mesopotamian Aram, for which the articles mentioned in Ezekiel 27:16 would be quite as suitable as for Edom, whose chief city Petra was an important place of commerce and emporium for goods. רב מעשׂיך, the multitude of thy works, thy manufactures. Of the articles of commerce delivered by ארם , the red purple, embroidery, and בּוּץ (the Aramaean name for byssus, which appears, according to Movers, to have originally denoted a species of cotton), favour Aram, particularly Babylonia, rather than Edom. For the woven fabrics of Babylonia were celebrated from the earliest times (vid., Movers, II 3, pp. 260ff.); and Babylon was also the oldest and most important market for precious stones (vid., Movers, p. 266). נפך is the carbuncle (see the comm. on Exodus 28:18). כּדכּד, probably the ruby; in any case, a precious stone of brilliant splendour (vid., Isaiah 54:12). ראמות, corals or pearls (vid., Delitzsch on Job 28:18). - Judah (Ezekiel 27:17) delivered to Tyre wheat of Minnith, i.e., according to Judges 11:33, an Ammonitish place, situated, according to the Onomast., four Roman miles from Heshbon in the direction of Philadelphia. That Ammonitis abounded in wheat, is evident from 2 Chronicles 27:5, although the land of Israel also supplied the Tyrians with wheat (1 Kings 5:11). The meaning of the ἁπ. λεγ. דם̓̀בנ̓̀ב cannot be definitely ascertained. The rendering confectionery is founded upon the Aramaean פּנק, deliciari, and the Chaldee translation, קוליא, i.e., κολία, according to Hesychius, τὰ ἐκ μέλιτος τρωγάλια, or sweetmeats made from honey. Jerome renders it balsamum, after the μύρων of the lxx; and in Hitzig's opinion, Pannaga (literally, a snake) is a name used in Sanscrit for a sweet-scented wood, which was employed in medicine as a cooling and strengthening drug (?). Honey (from bees) and oil are well-known productions of Palestine. צרי is balsam; whether resina or the true balsam grown in gardens about Jericho (opobalsamum), it is impossible to decide (see my Bibl. Archol. 1 Peter 38, and Movers, II 3, pp. 220ff.). Damascus supplied Tyre with wine of Chelbon. חלבּון still exists in the village of Helbn, a place with many ruins, three hours and a half to the north of Damascus, in the midst of a valley of the same name, which is planted with vines wherever it is practicable, from whose grapes the best and most costly wine of the country is made (vid., Robinson, Biblical Researches). Even in ancient times this wine was so celebrated, that, according to Posidonius (in Athen. Deipnos. i. 22), the kings of Persia drank only Chalybonian wine from Damascus (vid., Strabo, XV 3. 22). צמר צחר, wool of dazzling whiteness; or, according to others, wool of Zachar, for which the Septuagint has ἔρια ἐκ Μιλήτου, Milesian wool.
(Note: According to Movers (II 3, p. 269), צחר is the Sicharia of Aethicus (Cosm. 108): Sicharia regio, quae postea Nabathaea, nuncupatur, silvestris valde, ubi Ismaelitae eminus, - an earlier name for the land of the Nabathaeans, who dwelt in olden time between Palestine and the Euphrates, and were celebrated for their wealth in flocks of sheep.)
Ezekiel 27:19. Various explanations have been given of the first three words. ודן is not to be altered into דּדן, as it has been by Ewald, both arbitrarily and unsuitably with Ezekiel 27:20 immediately following; nor is it to be rendered "and Dan." It is a decisive objection to this, that throughout the whole enumeration not a single land or people is introduced with the copula w. Vedan, which may be compared with the Vaheb of Numbers 21:14, a place also mentioned only once, is the name of a tribe and tract of land not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament. Movers (p. 302) conjectures that it is the celebrated city of Aden (Arab. 'dn). Javan is also the name of an Arabian place or tribe; and, according to a notice in the Kamus, it is a place in Yemen. Tuch (Genesis, p. 210) supposes it to be a Greek (Ionian) settlement, the founders of which had been led by their enterprising spirit to cross the land of Egypt into Southern Arabia. For the purpose of distinguishing this Arabian Javan from Greece itself, or in order to define it more precisely, מעוּזל is appended, which all the older translators have taken to be a proper name. According to the Masoretic pointing מאוּזּה, the word is, no doubt, to be regarded as a participle Pual of אזל, in the sense of spun, from אזל, to spin. But apart from the fact that it would be a surprising thing to find spun goods mentioned in connection with the trade of the Arabian tribes, the explanation itself could not be sustained from the usage of the language; for there is nothing in the dialects to confirm the idea that אזל is a softened form of עזל, inasmuch as they have all עזל (Aram.) and gzl (Arab.), and the Talmudic אזל, texere, occurs first of all in the Gemara, and may possibly have been derived in the first instance from the Rabbinical rendering of our מאוזל by "spun." Even the fact that the word is written with Shurek is against this explanation rather than in its favour; and in all probability its origin is to be traced to the simple circumstance, that in Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:14, Ezekiel 27:16 the articles of commerce are always mentioned before נתנוּ עזבוניך, and in this verse they would appear to be omitted altogether, unless they are covered by the word מאוזל. But we can very properly take the following words בּרזל עשׁות as the object of the first hemistich, since the Masoretic accentuation is founded upon the idea that מאוזל is to be taken as the object here. We therefore regard מאוּזל as the only admissible pointing, and take אוּזל as a proper name, as in Genesis 10:27 : "from Uzal," the ancient name of Sanaa, the subsequent capital of Yemen. The productions mentioned bear this out. Forged or wrought iron, by which Tuch (l.c. p. 260) supposes that sword-blades from Yemen are chiefly intended, which were celebrated among the Arabs as much as the Indian. Cassia and calamus (see the comm. on Exodus 30:23 and Exodus 30:24), two Indian productions, as Yemen traded with India from the very earliest times. - Dedan (Ezekiel 27:20) is the inland people of that name, living in the neighbourhood of Edom (cf. Ezekiel 25:13; see the comm. on Ezekiel 27:15). They furnished בּגדי, tapetes straguli, cloths for spreading out, most likely costly riding-cloths, like the middim of Judges 5:10. ערב and קדר represent the nomad tribes of central Arabia, the Bedouins. For ערב is never used in the Old Testament for the whole of Arabia; but, according to its derivation from ערבה, a steppe or desert, simply for the tribes living as nomads in the desert (as in Isaiah 13:20; Jeremiah 3:2; cf. Ewald, Grammat. Arab. 1 Peter 5). Kedar, descended from Ishmael, an Arabian nomad tribe, living in the desert between Arabia Petraea and Babylonia, the Cedrei of Pliny (see the comm. on Genesis 25:13). They supplied lambs, rams, and he-goats, from the abundance of their flocks, in return for the goods obtained from Tyre.
Judges 5:22. Next to these the merchants of Sheba and Ragmah (רעמה) are mentioned. They were Arabs of Cushite descent (Genesis 10:7) in south-eastern Arabia (Oman); for ,רעמה̔Ρεγμα, was in the modern province of Oman in the bay of the same name in the Persian Gulf. Their goods were all kinds of spices, precious stones, and gold, in which southern Arabia abounded. ראשׁ כּל־בּשׂם, the chief or best of all perfumes (on this use of ראשׁ, see the comm. on Exodus 30:23; Sol 4:14), is most likely the genuine balsam, which grew in Yemen (Arabia felix), according to Diod. Sic. iii. 45, along with other costly spices, and grows there still; for Forskal found a shrub between Mecca and Medina, called Abu sham, which he believed to be the true balsam, and of which he has given a botanical account in his Flora Aeg. pp. 79, 80 (as Amyris opobalsamum), as well as of two other kinds. Precious stones, viz., onyx-stones, rubies, agates, and cornelians, are still found in the mountains of Hadramaut; and in Yemen also jaspers, crystals, and many good rubies (vid., Niebuhr, Descript. p. 125, and Seetzen in Zach's Monatl. Corresp. xix. p. 339). And, lastly, the wealth of Yemen in gold is too strongly attested by ancient writers to be called in question (cf. Bochart, Phal. II 28), although this precious metal is no found there now.
In Ezekiel 27:23, Ezekiel 27:24 the trade with Mesopotamia is mentioned. חרן, the Carrhae of the Romans in north-western Mesopotamia (see the comm. on Genesis 11:31), was situated at the crossing of the caravan-roads which intersect Mesopotamia; for it was at this point that the two caravan routes from Babylonia and the Delta of the Persian Gulf joined the old military and commercial road to Canaan (Movers, p. 247). The eastern route ran along the Tigris, where Calneh, the later Ktesiphon, and the most important commercial city. It is here called כּנּה (Canneh), contracted from כּלנה (see the comm. on Genesis 10:10; Amos 6:2). The western route ran along the Euphrates, past the cities mentioned in Ezekiel 27:23. עדן is not the Syrian, but the Mesopotamian Eden (2 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 37:12), the situation of which has not yet been determined, though Movers (p. 257) has sought for it in the Delta of the Euphrates and Tigris. The singular circumstance that the merchants of Sheba should be mentioned in connection with localities in Mesopotamia, which has given rise both to arbitrary alterations of the text and to various forced explanations, has been explained by Movers (p. 247 compared with p. 139) from a notice of Juba in Pliny's Hist. nat. xii. 17 (40), namely, that the Sabaeans, the inhabitants of the spice country, came with their goods from the Persian Gulf to Carrhae, where they held their yearly markets, and from which they were accustomed to proceed to Gabba (Gabala in Phoenicia) and Palestinian Syria. Consequently the merchants of Sabaea are mentioned as those who carried on the trade between Mesopotamia and Tyre, and are not unsuitably placed in the centre of those localities which formed the most important seats of trade on the two great commercial roads of Mesopotamia.
Asshur and Chilmad, as we have already observed, were on the western road which ran along the Euphrates. כּלמד has already been discovered by Bochart (Phal. I 18) in the Charmande of Xenophon (Anab. i. 5. 10), and Sophaenetus (see Steph. Byz. s.v. Χαρμάνδη), a large and wealthy city in a desert region "beyond the river Euphrates." The Asshur mentioned along with Chilmad, in the midst of purely commercial cities, cannot be the land of Assyria, but must be the emporium Sura (Movers, p. 252), the present Essurieh, which stands upon the bank on this side of the Euphrates above Thapsacus and on the caravan route, which runs from Palmyra past Rusapha (Rezeph, Isaiah 37:12; 2 Kings 19:12) to Nicephorium or Rakka, then in a northerly direction to Haran, and bending southwards, runs along the bank of the river in the direction of Chilmad or Charmande (Ritter, Erdk. XI pp. 1081ff.). The articles of commerce from these emporia, which were brought to Tyre by Sabaean caravans, consisted of מּכללים, literally, articles of perfect beauty, either state-dresses (cf. מכלל, Ezekiel 23:12 and Ezekiel 34:4), or more generally, costly works of art (Hvernick). The omission of the copula ו before בּגלומי is decisive is favour of the former, as we may infer from this that 'בגל is intended as an explanatory apposition to מּכללים. גּלומי תכלת ורקמה, cloaks (גּלום connected with χλαμύς) of hyacinth-purple and embroidery, for which Babylonia was celebrated (for proofs of this, see Movers, pp. 258ff.). The words which follow cannot be explained with certainty. All that is evident is, that 'ואר 'בּחבלים חב is appended to בּגנזי בּרומים without a copula, as 'בּגלומי וגו is to בּמּכללים in the first hemistich, and therefore, like the latter, is intended as an explanatory apposition. חבלים does not mean either cloths or threads, but lines or cords. חבשׁים signifies literally bound or would up; probably twisted, i.e., formed of several threads wound together or spun; and ארזים, firm, compact, from Arab. arz, to be drawn together. Consequently 'גּנזי בּרומים וגו can hardly have any other meaning than treasures of spun yarns, i.e., the most valuable yarns formed of different threads. For "treasures" is the only meaning which can be assigned to גּנזים with any certainty on philological grounds, and בּרומים, from בּרם, Arab. brm, contorsit , is either yarn spun from several or various threads, or cloth woven from such threads. But the latter would not harmonize with חבלים. Movers (II 3, pp. 263ff.) adopts a similar conclusion, and adduces evidence that silk yarn, bombyx, and cotton came to Tyre through the Mesopotamian trade, and were there dyed in the splendid Tyrian purples, and woven into cloths, or brought for sale with the dyeing complete. All the other explanations which have been given of these difficult words are arbitrary and untenable; not only the Rabbinical rendering of גּנזי בּרומים, viz., chests of damask, but that of Ewald, "pockets of damask," and that proposed by Hartmann, Hvernick, and others, viz., girdles of various colours, ζῶναι σκιωταί. In Ezekiel 27:25 the description is rounded off with a notice of the lever of this world-wide trade. שׁרות cannot mean "walls" in this instance, as in Jeremiah 5:10, and like שׁוּרות in Job 24:11, because the ships, through which Tyre became so rich, could not be called walls. The word signifies "caravans," after שׁוּ&
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