For thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring on Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Nebuchadrezzar.—So the name is very often written by Jeremiah and a few times by Ezekiel. It is, perhaps, a closer representation of the Nabu-kudurriuzur of the Babylonian cylinders than the form finally adopted by the Hebrews of Nebuchadnezzar.
A king of kings, from the north.—He is called a “king of kings” because of the many countries subject to his sway, whose kings were his vassals; and he is described as “from the north,” because, as often before said, it was from this direction that his armies must approach Tyre, although Babylon itself was in actual latitude to the south of Tyre.Ezekiel 26:7-11. Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar — Josephus asserts, upon the authority of the Phenician Annals, translated by Menander, the Ephesian, into Greek, “that Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre thirteen years, when Ithobal was king there, and began the siege in the seventh year of Ithobal’s reign, and that he subdued Syria and all Phenicia. It further appears from the Phenician Annals, quoted by the same historian, that the Tyrians received their kings afterward from Babylon. These Annals too, as Dr. Prideaux hath clearly shown, agree exactly with Ezekiel’s account of the time and year wherein the city was taken.” — Bishop Newton. Nebuchadnezzar is here called king of kings, because he had several other kings under him as his vassals and tributaries. With horses and with chariots, &c. — With a vast army, but all land forces; for we do not find that he had any naval force, or any means of attacking the place by sea, which made his undertaking the more difficult. He shall make a fort against thee, &c. — The various operations and actions of a siege are here set forth, all which it is said Nebuchadnezzar should employ against Tyre. And in a siege of so long continuance as thirteen years, undoubtedly every method and art of annoying and injuring the city was made use of. By reason of the abundance of horses, &c. — This is a lively description of the tumult and desolation that attend a conquering army making themselves masters of a great city. When he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter, &c. — Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, had besieged Tyre, but without success: the Tyrians with a few ships had beaten his large fleet; (Josephus’s Antiq.;) but yet, it is here foretold, Nebuchadnezzar should prevail. Thy strong garrisons — Or, thy strong fortresses, or, the fortresses of thy strength, as מצבות עזןrather signifies; shall go down to the ground — Shall be entirely demolished, The LXX., however, render the clause, Την υποστασιν της ισχυος σου επι την γην καταξει, He shall bring down the station of thy strength, or, thy strong (that is, military) station to the ground. The Vulgate understands the expression of their images, or tutelary gods, rendering the words, Et statuæ nobiles in terram corruent, Thy famous statues shall fall to the ground.
Nebuchadrezzar - Jeremiah 21:2 note.
king of kings—so called because of the many kings who owned allegiance to him (2Ki 18:28). God had delegated to him the universal earth-empire which is His (Da 2:47). The Son of God alone has the right and title inherently, and shall assume it when the world kings shall have been fully proved as abusers of the trust (1Ti 6:15; Re 17:12-14; 19:15, 16). Ezekiel's prophecy was not based on conjecture from the past, for Shalmaneser, with all the might of the Assyrian empire, had failed in his siege of Tyre. Yet Nebuchadnezzar was to succeed. Josephus tells us that Nebuchadnezzar began the siege in the seventh year of Ithobal's reign, king of Tyre.I will bring: see Ezekiel 23:46.
A king of kings; so he styled himself, according to the vaunting manner of those countries, and indeed, by the right of conquest, he was king of kings, having many tributary kings under him, and many captive kings with him in Babylon, 2 Kings 18:28 Jeremiah 52:32. From the north; so was Babylon accounted to lie, as observed, Ezekiel 1:4, though it did not lie full north, but had some points of the north from Tyre. With horses; those Eastern kings had store of horses, and used many in their wars: see Ezekiel 26:11.
With chariots: see Ezekiel 23:24.
With horsemen: see Ezekiel 23:12. And companies; an assembly of all sorts, from all parts of the large kingdom of Babylon.
And much people; a mighty army for fighting, and mighty train of hangers-on, who were ready enough to do mischief to the country, though not very fit to assist the army; if need required, these would sweep all before them wherever they came.
I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon; a prince whose name was terrible, having conquered many nations: the Lord is said to bring him against Tyre, because, he inclined his heart to steer his course this way; encouraged him to this work; led and protected his army; and, at last, gave him success: it held out thirteen years against him, and then was taken. The siege began, according to Mr. Whiston (f), A.M. 3650 or before Christ 586; and was taken A.M. 3663 or before Christ 573; according to Bishop Usher, (g), it began A.M. 3419 or before Christ 585; and was taken A.M. 3432 or before Christ 572. The Phoenician historians make mention of the siege of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar; and Berosus speaks of his subduing the whole country of Phoenicia, in which Tyre was; with whom agree Philostratus and Megasthenes (h):
a king of kings from the north; who had many kings tributaries to him; the metropolis of whose kingdom lay somewhat, though not fully, north to Tyre:
with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people: with a very numerous army, consisting of a large cavalry; horses being very numerous in the countries subject to him; and which he mounted his men on, both for their more easy travelling, and for their better fighting, and for the terror of their enemies.For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. The correct spelling, Nebuchadrezzar (Ezekiel 29:18, Ezekiel 30:10), the name being Nabû-Kudurri-usur, “Nebo protect the crown!” Schrader KAT, p. 361 (on 2 Kings 24:1).
a king of kings] the king. Ezra 7:12; Daniel 2:37. Already the king of Assyria had said, “Are not my princes altogether kings?” Isaiah 10:8; Isaiah 36:4.
and companies, and] and a company, and. LXX. reads: company of much people (very many nations), which may be the meaning of the Heb.
7–14. Jehovah’s instrument in Tyre’s destruction, Nebuchadnezzar
The description is graphic: the advance of the assailant with his great army (Ezekiel 26:7); the siege with the powerful train of engines (8, 9); the assault, and capture and sack of the city (10–12), which is left a joyless ruin, a naked rock in the midst of the sea, never again to be built (13, 14).Verse 7. - I will bring against thee, etc. There is a special emphasis of abruptness in the way in which Ezekiel brings in the name of the great Chaldean conqueror (we note, by the way, that he adopts the less common spelling of the name), of whom he speaks as "king of kings." The title is used by Daniel (Daniel 2:37) of Nebuchadnezzar, and by Artaxerxes of himself (Ezra 7:12), by Darius in the Nakshi Rustam inscription ('Records of the Past,' 5:151), by Tiglatb-Pileser, with the addition of "lord of lords" (ibid., 5:8).
Ezekiel 25:8. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because Moab, like Seir, saith, Behold, like all other nations is the house of Judah: Ezekiel 25:9. Therefore, behold, I will open the shoulder of Moab from the cities, from its cities even to the last, the ornament of the land, Beth-hayeshimoth, Baal-meon, and as far as Kiryathaim, Ezekiel 25:10. To the sons of the east, together with the sons of Ammon, and will give it for a possession, that the sons of Ammon may no more be remembered among the nations. Ezekiel 25:11. Upon Moab will I execute judgments; and they shall learn that I am Jehovah. - Moab has become guilty of the same sin against Judah, the people of God, as Ammon, namely, of misunderstanding and despising the divine election of Israel. Ammon gave expression to this, when Judah was overthrown, in the malicious assertion that the house of Judah was like all the heathen nations, - that is to say, had no pre-eminence over them, and shared the same fate as they. There is something remarkable in the allusion to Seir, i.e., Edom, in connection with Moab, inasmuch as no reference is made to it in the threat contained in Ezekiel 25:9-11; and in Ezekiel 25:12-13, there follows a separate prediction concerning Edom. Hitzig therefore proposes to follow the example of the lxx, and erase it from the text as a gloss, but without being able in the smallest degree to show in what way it is probable that such a gloss could have found admission into an obviously unsuitable place. Seir is mentioned along with Moab to mark the feeling expressed in the words of Moab as springing, like the enmity of Edom towards Israel, from hatred and envy of the spiritual birthright of Israel, i.e., of its peculiar prerogatives in sacred history. As a punishment for this, Moab was to be given up, like Ammon, to the Bedouins for their possession, and the people of the Moabites were to disappear from the number of the nations. Ezekiel 25:9 and Ezekiel 25:10 form one period, לבני קדם in Ezekiel 25:10 being governed by פּתח in Ezekiel 25:9. The shoulder of Moab is the side of the Moabitish land. In the application of the word כּתף to lands or provinces, regard is had to the position of the shoulder in relation to the whole body, but without reference to the elevation of the district. We find an analogy to this in the use of כּתף in connection with the sides of a building. In 'מהערים וגו' , the מן cannot be taken, in a privative sense, for מהיות; for neither the article הערים, nor the more emphatic מעריו מקּצהוּ, allows this; but מן indicates the direction, "from the cities onwards," "from its cities onwards, reckoning to the very last," - that is to say, in its whole extent. מקּצהוּ, as in Isaiah 56:11; Genesis 19:4, etc. This tract of land is first of all designated as a glorious land, with reference to its worth as a possession on account of the excellence of its soil for the rearing of cattle (see the comm. on Numbers 32:4), and then defined with geographical minuteness by the introduction of the names of some of its cities. Beth-Hayeshimoth, i.e., house of wastes (see the comm. on Numbers 22:1), has probably been preserved in the ruins of Suaime, which F. de Saulcy discovered on the north-eastern border of the Dead Sea, a little farther inland (vid., Voyage en terre sainte, Paris 1865, t. i. p. 315). Baal-meon, - when written fully, Beth-Baal-Meon (Joshua 13:17) - contracted into Beth-Meon in Jeremiah 48:23, is to be sought for to the south-east of this, in the ruins of Myun, three-quarters of an hour's journey to the south of Heshbon (see the comm. on Numbers 32:38). Kiryathaim was still farther south, probably on the site of the ruins of El Teym (see the comm. on Genesis 14:5 and Numbers 32:37). The Chetib קריתמה is based upon the form קריתם, a secondary form of קריתים , like דּתן, a secondary form of דּתין, in 2 Kings 6:13. The cities named were situated to the north of the Arnon, in that portion of the Moabitish land which had been taken from the Moabites by the Amorites before the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan (Numbers 21:13, Numbers 21:26), and was given to the tribe of Reuben for its inheritance after the defeat of the Amoritish kings by the Israelites; and then, still later, when the tribes beyond the Jordan were carried into captivity by the Assyrians, came into the possession of the Moabites again, as is evident from Isaiah 15:1-9 and Isaiah 16:1-14, and Jeremiah 48:1, Jeremiah 48:23, where these cities are mentioned once more among the cities of the Moabites. This will explain not only the naming of this particular district of the Moabitish country, but the definition, "from its cities." For the fact upon which the stress is laid in the passage before us is, that the land in question rightfully belonged to the Israelites, according to Numbers 32:37-38; Numbers 33:49; Joshua 12:2-3; Joshua 13:20-21, and that it was therefore unlawfully usurped by the Moabites after the deportation of the trans-Jordanic tribes; and the thought is this, that the judgment would burst upon Moab from this land and these cities, and they would thereby be destroyed (Hvernick and Kliefoth). על, not "over the sons of Ammon," but "in addition to the sons of Ammon." They, that is to say, their land, had already been promised to the sons of the east (Ezekiel 25:4). In addition to this, they are now to receive Moab for their possession (Hitzig and Kliefoth). Thus will the Lord execute judgments upon Moab. Ezekiel 25:11 sums up what is affirmed concerning Moab in Ezekiel 25:9 and Ezekiel 25:10, in the one idea of the judgments of God upon this people.
The execution of these judgments commenced with the subjugation of the Ammonites and Moabites by Nebuchadnezzar, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem (vid., Josephus, Antt. x. 9. 7, and M. von Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs, etc., p. 215). Nevertheless the Ammonites continued to exist as a nation for a long time after the captivity, so that Judas the Maccabaean waged war against them (1 Macc. 5:6, 30-43); and even Justin Martyr speaks of ̓Αμμανιτῶν νῦν πολὺ πληθος (Dial. Tryph. p. 272). - But Origen includes their land in the general name of Arabia (lib. i. in Job). The name of the Moabites appears to have become extinct at a much earlier period. After the captivity, it is only in Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 13:1, and Daniel 11:41, that we find any notice of them as a people. Their land is mentioned by Josephus in the Antiq. xiii. 14. 2, and xv. 4, and in the Bell. Jude 3.3. 3. - A further fulfilment by the Messianic judgment, which is referred to in Zephaniah 2:10, is not indicated in these words of Ezekiel; but judging from the prophecy concerning the Edomites (see the comm. on Ezekiel 25:14), it is not to be excluded.
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