Ezekiel 26:17
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 wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it!
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(17) Inhabited of seafaring men.—Rather, in-habited from the sea. The word, which is very common, never bears the sense of men. The thought is that the rock of Tyre, built up with dwellings to the water’s edge was like a city rising from the sea.

Which cause their terror.—This clause has occasioned much difficulty. The literal translation is, she and her inhabitants, which gave their fear to all her inhabitants. “Fear” is here used in the sense of that which causes fear; and the meaning is, that the power of Tyre was so feared that every Tyrian was respected for her sake, just as at a later day every Roman bore about with him something of the majesty of Rome, or, as now, the citizen of a great Power is respected among foreigners for his country’s sake. (Comp. Ezekiel 32:24; Ezekiel 32:26.)

26:15-21 See how high, how great Tyre had been. See how low Tyre is made. The fall of others should awaken us out of security. Every discovery of the fulfilment of a Scripture prophecy, is like a miracle to confirm our faith. All that is earthly is vanity and vexation. Those who now have the most established prosperity, will soon be out of sight and forgotten.Of seafaring men - literally, "from the seas," i. e., occupied by men who come from the seas. Tyre was an inhabited city rising from out of the sea.17. inhabited of seafaring men—that is, which was frequented by merchants of various sea-bordering lands [Grotius]. Fairbairn translates with Peschito, "Thou inhabitant of the seas" (the Hebrew literal meaning). Tyre rose as it were out of the seas as if she got thence her inhabitants, being peopled so closely down to the waters. So Venice was called "the bride of the sea."

strong in the sea—through her insular position.

cause their terror to be on all that haunt it—namely, the sea. The Hebrew is rather, "they put their terror upon all her (the city's) inhabitants," that is, they make the name of every Tyrian to be feared [Fairbairn].

They; the princes of the sea, Ezekiel 26:16.

Take up a lamentation for thee; solemnly, heartily, and for many days bewail thee.

Say to thee, by a prosopopceia, or fiction of persons, personate a dismal, sorrowful congress with fallen Tyre.

How art thou destroyed! Alas, is it so? Can it be true? How is it that thou art destroyed, who hadst so many friends, so much riches, &c.?

The renowned city; for thy strength, wealth, and wisdom.

Wast strong; strong indeed, and thought impregnable.

Cause their terror to be on all that haunt it: who durst set on thee, who overawedst all the bold adventurers at sea?

And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say unto thee,.... The following mournful song:

how art thou destroyed that wast inhabited of seafaring men; or, "of the seas": by men who used the seas, and traded by sea to different parts of the world; and was frequented by persons that came by sea thither, by the great ocean, by the Red sea, the Mediterranean sea, and others; or, which was surrounded by the sea. So the Targum,

"that dwellest in the midst of the sea:''

"the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea"; fortified by the sea, and against it; strong in shipping and naval stores; so as to be formidable to others, and mistress of the sea. The Targum is,

"which dwell in the strength of the sea;''

and had the strength and riches of it brought unto it; and so was famous all the world over for its commerce, wealth, and power; but now ruined and undone:

she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! the sea; on all that used the seas; or on all the inhabitants of the islands of the sea; who all stood in fear of Tyre and her inhabitants, and were obliged to strike their sails to their ships.

And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited {h} by seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, who cause their terror to be on all that dwelt in it!

(h) Meaning, merchants who by their traffic enriched her wonderfully and increased her power.

17. of seafaring men] lit. inhabited from the seas.

cause their terror] Rather: caused. A.V. “all that haunt it” has taken the ref. to be to the sea, which is almost necessary, though the present text is literally all her inhabitants, referring to the city. The phrase “caused their terror to be” occurs several times in ch. Ezekiel 32:17 seq. with a different construction (b for l), but the sense here can hardly be different, viz., made their terror felt. To say, however, that Tyre and her inhabitants made their terror felt by all her inhabitants is very unnatural. The pronoun must refer to the “seas.” The phrase “inhabited from the seas” is also peculiar; “inhabited” means having inhabitants, not, drawing inhabitants.

17. How art thou destroyed from the sea—the renowned city!

She that brought her terror—on all her inhabitants.

17, 18. Lament of the princes over Tyre.

Verse 17. - Inhabited of seafaring, etc.; Hebrew, from the seas. The sense is the same, but we lose the poetry of the original in the paraphrase. Possibly, however, the phrase may represent the position of Tyro as rising out of the sea or as deriving its wealth from it. Ewald adopts a conjectural reading, which gives "destroyed from the seas;" or, with another conjecture, "She that was settled from the days of the remote past." Ezekiel 26:17The tidings of the destruction of Tyre will produce great commotion in all her colonies and the islands connected with her. - Ezekiel 26:15. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to Tyre, Will not the islands tremble at the noise of thy fall, at the groaning of the wounded, at the slaughter in the midst of thee? Ezekiel 26:16. And all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, and will lay aside their robes and take off their embroidered clothes, and dress themselves in terrors, sit upon the earth, and they will tremble every moment, and be astonished at thee. Ezekiel 26:17. They will raise a lamentation for thee, and say to thee: How hast thou perished, thou who wast inhabited from out of the sea, thou renowned city, she who was mighty upon the sea, she and her inhabitants, who inspired all her inhabitants with fear of her! Ezekiel 26:18. Now do the islands tremble on the day of thy fall, and the islands in the sea are confounded at thy departure. - הלא, nonne, has the force of a direct affirmation. קול מפּלה, the noise of the fall, stands for the tidings of the noise, since the noise itself could not be heard upon the islands. The fall takes place, as is added for the purpose of depicting the terrible nature of the event, at or amidst the groaning of the wounded, and the slaughter in the midst of thee. בּהרג is the infinitive Niphal, with the accent drawn back on account of the following Milel, and should be pointed בּהרג . The word איּים, islands, is frequently used so as to embrace the coast lands of the Mediterranean Sea; we have therefore to understand it here as applied to the Phoenician colonies on the islands and coasts of that sea. The "princes of the sea" are not kings of the islands, but, according to Isaiah 23:8, the merchants presiding over the colonies of Tyre, who resembled princes. כּסאות, not royal thrones, but chairs, as in 1 Samuel 4:13, etc. The picture of their mourning recalls the description in Jonah 3:6; it is not derived from that passage, however, but is an independent description of the mourning customs which commonly prevailed among princes. The antithesis introduced as a very striking one: clothing themselves in terrors, putting on terrors in the place of the robes of state which they have laid aside (see the similar trope in Ezekiel 7:27). The thought is rendered still more forcible by the closing sentences of the verse: they tremble לרנעים, by moments, i.e., as the moments return - actually, therefore, "every moment" (vid., Isaiah 27:3). - In the lamentation which they raise (Ezekiel 26:17), they give prominence to the alarming revolution of all things, occasioned by the fact that the mistress of the seas, once so renowned, has now become an object of horror and alarm. נושׁבת מיּמּים, inhabited from the seas. This is not to be taken as equivalent to "as far as the seas," in the sense of, whose inhabitants spread over the seas and settle there, as Gesenius (Thes.) and Hvernick suppose; for being inhabited is the very opposite of sending the inhabitants abroad. If מן were to be taken in the geographical sense of direction or locality, the meaning of the expression could only be, whose inhabitants spring from the seas, or have migrated thither from all seas; but this would not apply to the population of Tyre, which did not consists of men of all nations under heaven. Hitzig has given the correct interpretation, namely, from the sea, or out of the seas, which had as it were ascended as an inhabited city out of the bosom of the sea. It is not easy to explain the last clause of Ezekiel 26:17 : who inspired all her inhabitants with their terror, or with terror of them (of themselves); for if the relative אשׁר is taken in connection with the preceding ישׁביה, the thought arises that the inhabitants of Tyre inspired her inhabitants, i.e., themselves, with their terror, or terror of themselves. Kimchi, Rosenmller, Ewald, Kliefoth, and others, have therefore proposed to take the suffix in the second יושׁביה as referring to היּם ot gnirre, all the inhabitants of the sea, i.e., all her colonies. But this is open to the objection, that not only is ים of the masculine gender, but it is extremely harsh to take the same suffix attached to the two ישׁביה as referring to different subjects. We must therefore take the relative אשׁר and the suffix in חתּיתם as both referring to היא וישׁביה: the city with its population inspired all its several inhabitants with fear or itself. This is not to be understood, however, as signifying that the inhabitants of Tyre kept one another in a state of terror and alarm; but that the city with its population, through its power upon the sea, inspired all the several inhabitants with fear of this its might, inasmuch as the distinction of the city and its population was reflected upon every individual citizen. This explanation of the words is confirmed by the parallel passages in Ezekiel 32:24 and Ezekiel 32:26. - This city had come to so appalling an end, that all the islands trembled thereat. The two hemistichs in Ezekiel 26:18 are synonymous, and the thought returns by way of conclusion to Ezekiel 26:15. איּין has the Aramaean form of the plural, which is sometimes met with even in the earlier poetry (vid., Ewald, 177a). צאת, departure, i.e., destruction.
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