|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 15. - The men of Dedan. The name occurs again in Ver. 20, and has already met us in Ezekiel 25:13 (where see note). Here the words probably refer to the many isles of the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. So the ships of Solomon and Hiram - ships of Tarshish (name used generically for merchant-vessels) - brought ivory among their other imports, starting from Ezion-Geber (1 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 10:22). Ebony came from Ethiopia and India. Virgil, indeed, names the latter country as the only region which produced it ('Georg.,' 2:115). Ceylon is at present one of the chief sources of supply. The LXX. curiously enough gives Rhodians, the Hebrew letters for d and r being easily mistaken by copyists.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The men of Dedan were thy merchants,.... Not Dedan in Idumea or Edom, but in Arabia, from Dedan the son of Raamah, Genesis 10:7,
many isles were the merchandise of thine hands; that is, many isles took off their manufactures from them, in lieu of what they brought them, which were as follow:
they brought thee for a present; that they might have the liberty of trading in their fairs and markets; or rather for a reward, or as a price, for the goods they had of them:
horns of ivory and ebony; Kimchi reads them as separate things; and which the Targum confirms, "horns, ivory, and ebony"; elks' horns, or horns of goats, as the Targum; and "ivory", or the teeth of elephants; and "ebony", which is a wood of a very black colour, hard and heavy, and of which many things are made. The Targum takes it for the name of a fowl, and renders it peacocks; so Jarchi; see 2 Chronicles 9:21, but Ben Melech much better interprets it of a tree, called in Arabia "ebenus". Solinus makes it peculiar to India (d); and so Virgil (e).
(d) Polyhistor. c. 65. (e) "----Sola India nigrum fert ebenum.----" Virgil. Georgic. 1. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Dedan—near the Persian Sea: thus an avenue to the commerce of India. Not the Dedan in Arabia (Eze 27:20), as the names in the context here prove, but the Dedan sprung from Cush [Bochart], (Ge 10:7).
merchandise of thine hand—that is, were dependent on thee for trade [Fairbairn]; came to buy the produce of thy hands [Grotius].
a present—literally, "a reward in return"; a price paid for merchandise.
horns of ivory—Ivory is so termed from its resemblance to horns. The Hebrew word for "ivory" means "tooth"; so that they cannot have mistaken ivory as if coming from the horns of certain animals, instead of from the tusks of the elephant.
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