|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:1-25 Those who live at ease are to be lamented, if they are not prepared for trouble. Let none reckon themselves beautified, any further than they are sanctified. The account of the trade of Tyre intimates, that God's eye is upon men when employed in worldly business. Not only when at church, praying and hearing, but when in markets and fairs, buying and selling. In all our dealings we should keep a conscience void of offence. God, as the common Father of mankind, makes one country abound in one commodity, and another in another, serviceable to the necessity or to the comfort and ornament of human life. See what a blessing trade and merchandise are to mankind, when followed in the fear of God. Besides necessaries, an abundance of things are made valuable only by custom; yet God allows us to use them. But when riches increase, men are apt to set their hearts upon them, and forget the Lord, who gives power to get wealth.
Verse 11. - (For Arvad, see Ver. 8.) Gammadim. The LXX. translates "guards" (φύλακες); the Vulgate, Pygmies, probably as connecting the name with Gamad (equivalent to "a cubit"). The Targum gives "watchmen;" Gesenius, "warriors:" Hitzig, "deserters." The name probably indicates that they were the flower of the Tyrian army - the life-guards (like the "Immortals" of the Persians) of the merchant-city. On the whole, we must leave the problem as one that we have no data for solving. The grouping with Arvad, however, suggests a Syrian or Phoenician tribe. They hanged their shields. The custom seems to have been specially Phoenician. Solomon introduced it at Jerusalem (Song of Solomon 4:4). The sight of the walls thus decorated, the shields being sometimes gilt or painted, must have been sufficiently striking to warrant Ezekiel's phrase that thus the beauty of the city was "made perfect" by it. The custom reappears in 1 Macc. 4:57.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The men of Arvad, with thine army were upon thy walls round about,.... Placed there for the defence of the city, to watch against an enemy, lest it should be surprised; here they were upon the patrol day and night; see Isaiah 62:6, these were the men of the same place before mentioned, Ezekiel 27:8 which furnished Tyre both with mariners and soldiers:
and the Gammadims were in thy towers: not the Medes, as Symmachus renders it; nor the Cappadocians, as the Targum; much less were they images of their tutelar gods, as Spencer thinks, of a cubit long; nor "pygmies", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; which to mention would not be to the honour of their militia; though Kimchi and Ben Melech call them dwarfs, men of a small stature, of a cubit high, from whence they are supposed to have their name; so Schindler (q): rather they were the inhabitants of some place in Phoenicia; either of Ancon; which in Greek signifies a cubit, as Gamad does in Hebrew; or of Gammade, the same which Pliny (r) corruptly calls Gamale. Hillerus (s) thinks the word signifies "ambidexters", or left handed men, such as Ehud:
they hanged their shields upon thy walls roundabout. Kimchi and Ben Melech observe it was a custom in some places to hang such weapons upon the tops of towers, and upon the walls of them; which might be done, either that they might be ready to take up and make use of, whenever occasion required; or to dismay their enemies, and to show them that they were provided for them:
they have made thy beauty perfect; besides the beauty of her buildings and shipping, there was the beauty of her militia; which was increased by the soldiers from Persia, Lydia, and Lybia, and added to by the men of Arvad, but completed by the Gammadim; and particularly being glided, as probably they were, looked very glittering and beautiful in the rays of the sun.
(q) Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 319, 320. (r) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 91. (s) Onomast. Sacr. p. 159.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Gammadims—rather, as the Tyrians were Syro-Phonicians, from a Syriac root, meaning daring, "men of daring" [Ludovicus De Dieu]. It is not likely the keeping of watch "in the towers" would have been entrusted to foreigners. Others take it from a Hebrew root, "a dagger," or short sword (Jud 3:16), "short-swordsmen."
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