Ezekiel 26:1
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) In the first day of the month.—The year was that in which Jerusalem fell (2Kings 25:2-4; 2Kings 25:8-9), but the month is not given here, and cannot now be ascertained. It is plain from Ezekiel 26:2 that Tyre already felt sure of the issue of the siege; but there is a marked difference between this and the language in Ezekiel 25:3, which could only have been used after the capture of the city. This prophecy may therefore well have been given at any time during the eleventh year. Possibly the Alexandrine Septuagint is right in supplying “the first” month; but as this is omitted in the Roman copy, it is more likely to have been a mere conjecture. There is a similar omission in Ezekiel 32:17, but the number is easily supplied there from Ezekiel 26:1. Probably, in both cases the omission is a mere error of the scribes.

Ezekiel 26:1. In the eleventh year, in the first day of the month — By the eleventh year seems to be intended the eleventh of Jehoiachin’s captivity; for Ezekiel seems to reckon this time chiefly from that period. What month it was is not mentioned: some think the first month of the year is meant; others the first month after the taking of Jerusalem.26:1-14 To be secretly pleased with the death or decay of others, when we are likely to get by it; or with their fall, when we may thrive upon it, is a sin that easily besets us, yet is not thought so bad as really it is. But it comes from a selfish, covetous principle, and from that love of the world as our happiness, which the love of God expressly forbids. He often blasts the projects of those who would raise themselves on the ruin of others. The maxims most current in the trading world, are directly opposed to the law of God. But he will show himself against the money-loving, selfish traders, whose hearts, like those of Tyre, are hardened by the love of riches. Men have little cause to glory in things which stir up the envy and rapacity of others, and which are continually shifting from one to another; and in getting, keeping, and spending which, men provoke that God whose wrath turns joyous cities into ruinous heaps.Prophecies against Tyre. The siege of Tyre lasted thirteen years beginning 585 b.c., about three years after the capture of Jerusalem. While besieging Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar had driven Pharaoh Hophra back to the borders of Egypt. Tyre being thus relieved from a dangerous enemy, was exulting in her own deliverance, and in her neighbor's ruin, when Ezekiel predicted the calamity about to befall her. The name Tyre means rock, and was given to the city in consequence of its position. This island-rock was the heart of Tyre, and the town upon the continent - called "Old Tyre," possibly as having been the temporary position of the first settlers - was the outgrowth of the island city. The scanty records of ancient history give no, distinct evidence of the capture of insular Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar; but the fact is very probable. Compare especially Ezekiel 26:7-12; Ezekiel 29:18. The present state of Tyre is one of utter desolation, though the end was long delayed (compare Isaiah 23). Tyre was great and wealthy under Persian, Greek, Roman, and even Muslim masters. The final ruin of Tyre was due to the sultan of Egypt (1291 a.d.).

In the first day of the month - The number of the month being omitted, many suppose "the month" to mean the month when Jerusalem was taken (the rebirth month), called "the month," as being so well known. The capture of the city is known to have taken place on "the ninth day of the fourth month" and its destruction on "the seventh day of the fifth month." This prophecy therefore preceded by a few days the capture of the city. The condition of Jerusalem in the latter months of its siege was such that the Tyrians may well have exulted as though it had already fallen.

CHAPTER 26

Eze 26:1-21. The Judgment on Tyre through Nebuchadnezzar (TWENTY-SIXTH THROUGH Twenty-eighth Chapters).

In the twenty-sixth chapter, Ezekiel sets forth:—(1) Tyre's sin; (2) its doom; (3) the instruments executing it; (4) the effects produced on other nations by her downfall. In the twenty-seventh chapter, a lamentation over the fall of such earthly splendor. In the twenty-eighth chapter, an elegy addressed to the king, on the humiliation of his sacrilegious pride. Ezekiel, in his prophecies as to the heathen, exhibits the dark side only; because he views them simply in their hostility to the people of God, who shall outlive them all. Isaiah (Isa 23:1-18), on the other hand, at the close of judgments, holds out the prospect of blessing, when Tyre should turn to the Lord.

1. The specification of the date, which had been omitted in the case of the four preceding objects of judgment, marks the greater weight attached to the fall of Tyre.

eleventh year—namely, after the carrying away of Jehoiachin, the year of the fall of Jerusalem. The number of the month is, however, omitted, and the day only given. As the month of the taking of Jerusalem was regarded as one of particular note, namely, the fourth month, also the fifth, on which it was actually destroyed (Jer 52:6, 12, 13), Rabbi David reasonably supposes that Tyre uttered her taunt at the close of the fourth month, as her nearness to Jerusalem enabled her to hear of its fall very soon, and that Ezekiel met it with his threat against herself on "the first day" of the fifth month.Tyrus, for insulting over the distress of Jerusalem, is threatened with destruction, Ezekiel 26:1-6: of which Nebuchadrezzar shall be made the instrument, Ezekiel 26:7-14. The consternation and mourning of the isles and princes of the sea for her fall, Ezekiel 26:15-21.

The eleventh year of Jeconiah’s captivity, the year wherein Jerusalem was taken.

The first day of the month; that month which followed the taking of Jerusalem, i.e. the fifth month; for Jerusalem was taken on the fourth month, ninth day, and in twenty days after the news was brought to Tyrus, which behaved herself as the prophet will declare.

And it came to pass in the eleventh year,.... Of Jehoiachin's captivity and Zedekiah's reign, the same year that Jerusalem was taken:

in the first day of the month; but what month is not mentioned; some have thought the first month, and so it was the first day of the year; others the fourth, the same in which the city of Jerusalem was taken; but more probably the fifth, the first of which was twenty days after the taking it; in which time the news of it might be brought to Tyre, at which she rejoiced; and for which her destruction is threatened, and here prophesied of:

that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; as follows:

And it came to pass in the {a} eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

(a) Either of the captivity of Jeconiah or of the reign of Zedekiah.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. first day of the month] The 11th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity was that in which Jerusalem was taken. On the 9th day of the 4th month of this year the city was stormed, and on the 10th day of the 5th month it was destroyed (Jeremiah 52:6; Jeremiah 52:12). The present prophecy assumes the destruction of the city (Ezekiel 26:2). The month is not stated. If the 11th year be read in Ezekiel 33:21 (see there), fugitives announcing the fall of the city reached the prophet on the 5th of the 10th month of that year. The prophecy is probably later than this date, and the month may be the 11th or 12th.

1. All prophecy is moral, is based on moral considerations. What the prophet aims his threats against is not the prosperity of Tyre, but its pride of heart, which was rebellion against Jehovah, God over all. The humiliation of Tyre was morally as good as its ruin, in so far as it shewed that there were higher forces in the world than itself.Verse 1. - In the eleventh year, etc. The last date given (Ezekiel 24:1) was the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year (sc. B.C. 590). We have now come to the eleventh year, on which, on the ninth day of the fourth month, Jerusalem was taken, while its destruction followed in the seventh day of the fifth month (Jeremiah 52:6, 12). Here the number of the month is not given in the Hebrew or the Vulgate, while the LXX. inserts the "first month." In Ezekiel 32:17 we have a like omission, and in both cases it is natural to assume an error of transcription. The tidings of the capture may have reached both Tyre and Tel-Abib, and Ezekiel may have heard of the temper in which the former had received them, just as he had heard how the nations named in the previous chapter had exulted in the fall, imminent and, as they thought, inevitable, of the holy city. Against the Ammonites

Ezekiel 25:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 25:2. Son of man, direct thy face towards the sons of Ammon, and prophesy against them, Ezekiel 25:3. And say to the sons of Ammon, Hear ye the word of the Lord Jehovah! Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou sayest, Aha! concerning my sanctuary, that it is profaned; and concerning the land of Israel, that it is laid waste; and concerning the house of Judah, that they have gone into captivity; Ezekiel 25:4. Therefore, behold, I will give thee to the sons of the east for a possession, that they may pitch their tent-villages in thee, and erect their dwellings in thee; they shall eat thy fruits, and they shall drink thy milk. Ezekiel 25:5. And Rabbah will I make a camel-ground, and the sons of Ammon a resting-place for flocks; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 25:6. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou hast clapped thy hand, and stamped with thy foot, and hast rejoiced in soul with all thy contempt concerning the house of Israel, Ezekiel 25:7. Therefore, behold, I will stretch out my hand against thee, and give thee to the nations for booty, and cut thee off from the peoples, and exterminate thee from the lands; I will destroy thee, that thou mayst learn that I am Jehovah. - In Ezekiel 21:28., when predicting the expedition of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, Ezekiel had already foretold the destruction of the Ammonites, so that these verses are simply a resumption and confirmation of the earlier prophecy. In the passage referred to, Ezekiel, like Zephaniah before him (Zephaniah 2:8, Zephaniah 2:10), mentions their reviling of the people of God as the sin for which they are to be punished with destruction. This reviling, in which their hatred of the divine calling of Israel found vent, was the radical sin of Ammon. On the occasion of Judah's fall, it rose even to contemptuous and malicious joy at the profanation of the sanctuary of Jehovah by the destruction of the temple (a comparison with Ezekiel 24:21 will show that this is the sense in which נחל is to be understood), at the devastation of the land of Israel, and at the captivity of Judah, - in other words, at the destruction of the religious and political existence of Israel as the people of God. The profanation of the sanctuary is mentioned first, to intimate that the hostility to Israel, manifested by the Ammonites on every occasion that presented itself (for proofs, see the comm. on Zephaniah 2:8), had its roots not so much in national antipathies, as in antagonism to the sacred calling of Israel. As a punishment for this, they are not only to lose their land (Ezekiel 25:4 and Ezekiel 25:5), but to be cut off from the number of the nations (Ezekiel 25:6 and Ezekiel 25:7). The Lord will give up their land, with its productions, for a possession to the sons of the east, i.e., according to Genesis 25:13-18, to the Arabs, the Bedouins (for בּני קדם, see the comm. on Judges 6:3 and Job 1:3). The Piel ישּׁבוּ, although only occurring here, is not to be rejected as critically suspicious, and to be changed into Kal, as Hitzig proposes. The Kal would be unsuitable, because the subject of the sentence can only be בּני קדם, and not טירותיהם; and ישׁב in the Kal has an intransitive sense. For טירות, tent-villages of nomads, see the comm. on Genesis 25:16. משׁכּנים, dwellings, are the separate tents of the shepherds. In the last clauses of Ezekiel 25:4, המּה is repeated for the sake of emphasis; and Hitzig's opinion, that the first המּה corresponds to the subject in the clause 'וישּׁבוּ וגו, the second to that in ונתנוּ, is to be rejected as a marvellous flight of imagination, which approaches absurdity in the assertion that פּרי הארץ signifies the folds, i.e., the animals, of the land. Along with the fruit of the land, i.e., the produce of the soil, milk is also mentioned as a production of pastoral life, and the principal food of nomads. On the wealth of the Ammonites in flocks and herds, see Judges 6:5. The words are addressed to Ammon, as a land or kingdom, and hence the feminine suffix. The capital will also share the fate of the land. Rabbah (see the comm. on Deuteronomy 3:11) will become a camel-ground, a waste spot where camels lie down and feed. This has been almost literally fulfilled. The ruins of Ammn are deserted by men, and Seetzen found Arabs with their camels not far off (vid., von Raumer, Palestine, p. 268). In the parallel clause, the sons of Ammon, i.e., the Ammonites, are mentioned instead of their land.

In Ezekiel 25:6 and Ezekiel 25:7, the Lord announces to the nation of the Ammonites the destruction that awaits them, and reiterates with still stronger emphasis the sin which occasioned it, namely, the malicious delight they had manifested at Israel's fall. בּכל־שׁאטך is strengthened by בּנפשׁ: with all thy contempt in the soul, i.e., with all the contempt which thy soul could cherish. In Ezekiel 25:7 the ἁπ λεγ.. לבג occasions some difficulty. The Keri has substituted לבז, for booty for the nations (cf. Ezekiel 26:5); and all the ancient versions have adopted this. Consequently בּג might be a copyist's error for בּז; and in support of this the circumstance might be adduced, that in Ezekiel 47:13, where גּה stands for זה, we have unquestionably a substitution of ג for ז. But if the Chetib בז be correct, the word is to be explained - as it has been by Benfey (Die Montasnamen, p. 194) and Gildemeister (in Lassen's Zeitschrift fr die Kunde des Morgenlandes, iv. 1, p. 213ff.) - from the Sanscrit bha equals ga, pars, portio, and has passed into the Semitic languages from the Aryan, like the Syriac bagaa', esca, which P. Boetticher (Horae aram. p. 21) has correctly traced to the Sanscrit bhaj, conquere. - The executors of the judgment are not named; for the threat that God will give up the land of the Ammonites to the Bedouins for their possession, does not imply that they are to exterminate the Ammonites. On the contrary, a comparison of this passage with Amos 1:13-15 and Jeremiah 49:1-5, where the Ammonites are threatened not only with the devastation of their land, but also with transportation into exile, will show that the Chaldeans are to be thought of as executing the judgment. (See the comm. on Ezekiel 25:11.)

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