Ezekiel 26:18
Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) The isles tremble.—“Isles” here, as elsewhere, includes coasts. It must be remembered how numerous the colonies of Phœnicia were. They had been established in Cyprus. Rhodes, Malta, Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, the Balearic Islands, and Africa. In some of these there were several colonies, as Utica and Carthage in Africa, Gades (Cadiz), Kalpe (Gibraltar), and Malaka (Malaga) in Spain. All of these looked up to Tyre as their mother-city, and received from her their high priests. Even Carthage, the greatest of them, sent yearly presents to the Tyrian Hercules.

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.18. thy departure—Isa 23:6, 12 predicts that the Tyrians, in consequence of the siege, should pass over the Mediterranean to the lands bordering on it ("Chittim," "Tarshish," &c.). So Ezekiel here. Accordingly Jerome says that he read in Assyrian histories that, "when the Tyrians saw no hope of escaping, they fled to Carthage or some islands of the Ionian and Ægean Seas" [Bishop Newton]. (See on [1067]Eze 29:18). Grotius explains "departure," that is, "in the day when hostages shall be carried away from thee to Babylon." The parallelism to "thy fall" makes me think "departure" must mean "thy end" in general, but with an included allusion to the "departure" of most of her people to her colonies at the fall of the city. The isles; or ships; so it might be rendered; whether one or other, it is the fixing for the men, as isles for islanders, or ships for mariners.

Tremble in the day of thy fall; apprehending that nothing can stand if Tyre fall, and that they are in danger too.

In the sea; at great distance, and farther from land.

Troubled; grieved and perplexed.

At thy departure; leaving thy ancient dwelling, which from eldest ages thy people had enjoyed with liberty, to go into captivity.

Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall,.... The isles near unto it, the isles of the Mediterranean sea; the inhabitants of them, the merchants who from thence traded with Tyre, the seafaring men of those places; partly on account of losses sustained hereby, and partly through fear of the same calamities coming upon themselves; see Revelation 18:11, yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure; as at the cry of the wounded, and the number of the slain; so on account of those that should be carried away captive by the Babylonians; as well as at the departure of those that should be obliged to fly to other colonies, Isaiah 23:6, so that, upon one account or another, it shall be entirely stripped of its inhabitants. Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. the isles] See on Ezekiel 26:15. The form of plur. nowhere else occurs, and appears to be adopted in order to gain a parallelism to “isles” (ordinary form) in the next clause. The phrase “at thy departure,” lit. outgoing is strange; but might have a parallel Psalm 144:14.

The elegy seems confined to Ezekiel 26:17, but probably through explanatory amplifications that have crept into the text, Ezekiel 26:18 has also been drawn into it. LXX. reads in a shorter form:

18. And the isles shall be terrified—at the day of thy fall.

Ezekiel 26:18 can hardly refer to the memory of Tyre’s fall, but to the fall itself, Ezekiel 27:27 (Ezekiel 32:10), which being represented as future, is unsuitable to the dirge in the mouth of the princes. The verse hardly belongs to the dirge but forms the transition to the next strophe, Ezekiel 26:19-21. In the phrase “all her inhabitants” it seems necessary with A.V. (Ew.) to refer “her” to the sea, or with Corn. to alter the pronoun in order to gain this sense.

Verse 18. - It is noticeable that the commercial policy of Tyre is not represented as having been oppressive. The isles do not exult in their deliverance, but mourn over the captured city whose commerce had contributed to their prosperity. The "terror" of Ver. 17 is rather the impression of awe and wonder made on all who came to it. Ezekiel 26:18The 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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