Ezekiel 26:20
When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) With them that descend into the pit.—Comp. Isaiah 14:9-20. Tyre is here represented, as Babylon is there, as joining itself to the dead—a striking figure to indicate its utter and final destruction. This is to be understood of the Tyre that then was, the proud mistress of the sea. The question whether there might or might not ever be other inhabitants on the rock of Tyre is one which does not at all come within the scope of the prophet’s vision. The way of speaking of the place of the dead, as in the lower part of the earth, so common in Scripture (comp. Ephesians 4:9), does not by any means prove that the writers thought this to be the actual place of departed spirits, but only that, as it is a necessity of human thought and expression to indicate some locality, this locality, in association with the burial of the body, is most naturally placed “under the earth.” In the same way, men, even on opposite sides of the globe, always speak of God as “above them,” and their gestures and looks, as well as their words, unavoidably involve the same idea, though they perfectly know that He is omnipresent. (Comp. even the example of our Lord in Mark 6:41; Mark 7:34; Luke 9:16; John 17:1.)

Set glory in the land of the living.—The word for “glory” is the same as that used in Ezekiel 20:6; Ezekiel 20:15; Daniel 8:9; Daniel 11:16; Daniel 11:41, in connection with Palestine. The prediction is that when Tyre, who is now rejoicing in the calamity of Judah, shall be past and forgotten, numbered with the dead, then God will establish His people as a living Church to Himself. A ray of Messianic promise shines through the prediction, although, for the time, it might seem nothing more than a foretelling of the restoration from the Captivity.

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.Compare Isaiah 14:9. The image used by Isaiah and Jeremiah of Babylon is by Ezekiel applied to Tyre, as if to show that Tyre and Babylon alike represent the world-power. So, in the Book of Revelation, Babylon is the kingdom of Antichrist.

The land of the living - The land of the true God, as opposed to the land of the dead, to which is gathered the glory of the world. Here then, together with the utter ruin of Tyre, rises the vision of renewed glory to Jerusalem. The coming Messiah is thus propheticly pointed out. The over-throw of God's enemies shall be accompanied by the establishment of His true kingdom.

20. the pit—Tyre's disappearance is compared to that of the dead placed in their sepulchres and no more seen among the living (compare Eze 32:18, 23; Isa 14:11, 15, 19).

I shall set glory in the land—In contrast to Tyre consigned to the "pit" of death, I shall set glory (that is, My presence symbolized by the Shekinah cloud, the antitype to which shall be Messiah, "the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father," Joh 1:14; Isa 4:2, 5; Zec 6:13) in Judah.

of the living—as opposed to Tyre consigned to the "pit" of death. Judea is to be the land of national and spiritual life, being restored after its captivity (Eze 47:9). Fairbairn loses the antithesis by applying the negative to both clauses, "and that thou be not set as a glory in the land of the living."

Bring thee down; destroy thee, slay thee, and bury thee, throw thee into the grave.

The people of old time; who are long since dead, and gone to eternity, the people of eternity.

In the low parts of the earth; another description of the grave, from the situation, and from the solitudes or desolation of it. In brief, when Tyre, as a dead man, shall be buried, forgotten and perish utterly, and my hand hath done it, then it shall be known my hand hath avenged and punished all her insolence, inhumanity, and covetousness that she discovered when she rejoiced at Jerusalem’s fall.

Shall set glory; restore the beauty, strength, wealth of Israel, bring them back to Jerusalem, to worship in a rebuilt temple, where they shall enjoy me.

The land of the living; the land of Judea, called land of the living, because a land where God will bless and give life by his word, ordinances, and Spirit: thus different shall Tryre’s captivity and Jerusalem’s be.

When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit,.... The grave, and make thee like to them:

with the people of old time; either the people of the old world, or, however, who have been dead long ago:

and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth; where the dead are laid:

in places desolate of old: long ago unfrequented by men; as such places be as are for the burial of the dead:

with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; all the inhabitants being free among the dead; a heap of words made use of to express the same thing, for the confirmation of it; namely, that the condition of Tyre should be like that of dead men, who have been of old dead, and are remembered no more. Jarchi interprets the "pit", of hell; as if this respected their everlasting perdition, as well as temporal ruin; it may be applied to the beast which goeth into perdition, Revelation 17:8,

and I shall set glory in the land of the living; in the land of Israel; so the Targum; and it is interpreted by the Jewish expositors and others the same way; and which may be called "the land of the living"; because the living God was worshipped in it; living men in a spiritual sense dwelt there, who offered up living sacrifices unto God, and who had the promise and pledge of eternal life; and which was the "glory" of all lands, as it is sometimes called, where the same word is used as here, Ezekiel 20:6, which had its accomplishment in some respects at the Jews' return from Babylon; but, as Tyre here is a type of antichrist, it may be observed, that, at the time of his fall and destruction, God will put a glory upon his church and people, upon which there shall be a defence; see Isaiah 4:5. This is interpreted by the Talmudists (p) of the resurrection of the dead, when they that die in the land of Israel shall live.

(p) Vid. Kimchi in loc. & T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 111. 1.

When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people {o} of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the {k} living;

(i) Who were dead long ago.

(k) Meaning in Judea when it will be restored.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. when I shall bring] Rather in connexion with Ezekiel 26:19 : when I shall make thee a desolate city … then I shall bring thee down. The prophet regards Tyre’s sinking beneath the waters as her entrance upon the descent into the pit, the place of the dead, just as frequently elsewhere (ch. 32) he snakes the grave the entrance into the underworld of the dead. Cf. Isaiah 14:11; Isaiah 14:19.

that descend into the pit] Rather: them that are gone down into the pit, unto the people. The common phrase “they that go down to the pit” should be rendered: that are gone down (past). Ezek. always says with them that are gone down, Ezekiel 28:8, Ezekiel 31:14 : cf. Isaiah 14:19; Isaiah 38:18.

The “people of old time” are those dead from of old, Ezekiel 32:27; Lamentations 3:6; Psalm 143:3; hardly with more definite ref. to the Flood, Job 22:15.

low parts of the earth] the nether parts, i.e. in the underworld of the dead (Ezekiel 31:14, Ezekiel 32:18-24; Lamentations 3:55; Psalm 63:9), which was held to be situated in the bowels of the earth or under the earth.

in places desolate of old] According to the textual tradition (Baer, Ezek.) the true reading is like places …, so LXX., Vulg. The prophet gives Tyre a personality; when buried under the sea she goes down into the abode of the dead, and possibly he regards the “places desolate of old” as also gone down and gathered in the underworld. For “that go down,” that are gone down.

and I shall set glory] Such an antithesis is entirely unnatural; something further must be said of Tyre in continuation of “thou shalt not be inhabited.” Either: nor set (thy) glory, (reading 2 fem., with final y otiose), a phrase, however, nowhere else occurring; or else the reading presumably before LXX. must be accepted: nor arise (stand forth) in the land of the living (tithyççebi).

Verse 20. - When I shall bring thee down, etc. The pit is sheol, Hades, the unseen world of the dead. The image may have been suggested by Isaiah 14:9, where it is used of Babylon. It was obviously one on which the mind of Ezekiel dwelt, and is reproduced in Ezekiel 32:17-32. Here, apparently, the sinking in the depth of the waters (Ver. 19) is thought of as leading to that world of the dead that lay beneath them. The people of old time may possibly include the races of the old world that were submerged in the waters of the Flood. The imagery of Psalm 88:3-7 seems to have been floating before the prophet's mind. I shall set glory; better, will set. The contrast drawn is that between the shadow-world of the dead, and the earth with its living inhabitants. There Jehovah would establish his glory, would, sooner or later, manifest his kingdom, while Tyre and its pomp should be no more, belonging only to the past. Conjectural readings and renderings have been suggested as follows:

(1) Hitzig, "And thou no longer shinest with glory in the land of the living."

(2) Havernick and Kliefoth, "That I no longer produce anything glorious from thee in the land of the living."

(3) Ewald," That thou mayest not remain (or stand) in the laud of the living." I have adopted Keil's interpretation of the Anthorized Version. Ezekiel 26:20Thus will Tyre, covered by the waves of the sea, sink into the region of the dead, and vanish for ever from the earth. - Ezekiel 26:19. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, When I make thee a desolate city, like the cities which are no longer inhabited, when I cause the deep to rise over thee, so that the many waters cover thee, Ezekiel 26:20. I cast thee down to those who have gone into the grave, to the people of olden time, and cause thee to dwell in the land of the lower regions, in the ruins from the olden time, with those who have gone into the grave, that thou mayest be no longer inhabited, and I create that which is glorious in the land of the living. Ezekiel 26:21. I make thee a terror, and thou art no more; they will seek thee, and find thee no more for ever, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Not only will ruin and desolation come upon Tyre, but it will sink for ever into the region of the dead. In this concluding thought the whole threat is summed up. The infinitive clauses of Ezekiel 26:19 recapitulate the leading thoughts of the previous strophes, for the purpose of appending the closing thought of banishment to the under-world. By the rising of the deep we are to understand, according to Ezekiel 26:12, that the city in its ruins will be sunk into the depths of the sea. יורדי , those who go down into the pit or grave, are the dead. They are described still further as עם עולם, not "those who are sleeping the long sleep of death," or the generation of old whom all must join; but the people of the "old world" before the flood (2 Peter 2:5), who were buried by the waters of the flood, in accordance with Job 22:15, where עולם denotes the generations of the primeval world, and after the analogy of the use of עם עולם in Isaiah 44:7, to describe the human race as existing from time immemorial.

In harmony with this, חרבות are the ruins of the primeval world which perished in the flood. As עם עולם adds emphasis to the idea of יורדי בור, so also does בּחרבות מעולם to that of ארץ תּחתּיּות. Tyre shall not only descend to the dead in Sheol, but be thrust down to the people of the dead, who were sunk into the depths of the earth by the waters of the flood, and shall there receive its everlasting dwelling-place among the ruins of the primeval world which was destroyed by the flood, beside that godless race of the olden time. ארץ תּחתּיּות, land of the lowest places (cf. Ezekiel 32:18, Ezekiel 32:24), is a periphrasis for Sheol, the region of the dead (compare Ephesians 4:9, "the lower parts of the earth"). On 'ונתתּי צבי וגו Hitzig has observed with perfect correctness: "If we retain the pointing as the first person, with which the place assigned to the Athnach (-) coincides, we must at any rate not regard the clause as still dependent upon למען, and the force of the לא as continued. We should then have to take the clause as independent and affirmative, as the accentuators and the Targum have done." But as this would give rise to a discrepancy between the two halves of the verse, Hitzig proposes to alter נתתּי retla ot seso into the second person ונתּתי, so that the clause would still be governed by למען לא. But the want of agreement between the two halves of the verse does not warrant an alteration of the text, especially if it lead to nothing better than the forced rendering adopted by Hitzig, "and thou no longer shinest with glory in the land of the living," which there is nothing in the language to justify. And even the explanation proposed by Hvernick and Kliefoth, "that I no longer produce anything glorious from thee (Tyre) in the land of the living," is open to this objection, that "from thee" is arbitrarily interpolated into the text; and if this were what Ezekiel meant, he would either have added לך or written נתתּיך. Moreover, the change of the person is a sufficient objection to our taking נתתּי as dependent upon למען, and supplying לא. ונתתּי is evidently a simple continuation of והושׁבתּיך. And nothing but the weightiest objections should lead us to give up a view which so naturally suggests itself. But no such objections exist. Neither the want of harmony between the two halves of the verse, nor the context, - according to which Tyre and its destruction are referred to both before and immediately after, - forces us to the adoption of explanations at variance with the simple meaning of the words. We therefore adhere to the natural interpretation of the words, "and I set (establish) glory in the land of the living;" and understand by the land of the living, not the theocracy especially, but the earth, in contrast to the region of the dead. The words contain the general thought, that on and after the overthrow of the glory of the ungodly power of the world, He will create that which is glorious on the earth to endure for ever; and this He really does by the establishing of His kingdom. - Tyre, on the contrary, shall become, through its fate, an object of terror, or an example of sudden destruction, and pass away with all its glory, not leaving a trace behind. For Ezekiel 26:21, compare Isaiah 41:12 and Psalm 37:36. וּתבקשׁי, imperf. Pual, has Chateph-patach between the two u, to indicate emphatically that the syllable is only a very loosely closed one (vid., Ewald, 31b, p. 95).

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