English Standard Version
The ships of Tarshish traveled for you with your merchandise. So you were filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas.
King James Bible
The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.
American Standard Version
The ships of Tarshish were thy caravans for thy merchandise: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the heart of the seas.
The ships of the sea, were thy chief in thy merchandise : and thou wast replenished, and glorified exceedingly in the heart of the sea.
English Revised Version
The ships of Tarshish were thy caravans for thy merchandise: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the heart of the seas.
Webster's Bible Translation
The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market; and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.
Ezekiel 27:25 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
This is followed by a description of the commerce of Tyre with all nations, who delivered their productions in the market of this metropolis of the commerce of the world, and received the wares and manufactures of this city in return. - Ezekiel 27:12. Tarshish traded with thee for the multitude of goods of all kinds; with silver, iron, tin, and lead they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:13. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants; with souls of men and brazen vessels they made thy barter. Ezekiel 27:14. From the house of Togarmah they paid horses, riding-horses, and mules for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:15. The sons of Dedan were thy merchants; many islands were at thy hand for commerce; ivory horns and ebony they brought thee in payment. Ezekiel 27:16. Aram traded with thee for the multitude of thy productions; with carbuncle, red purple, and embroidery, and byssus, and corals, and rubies they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:17. Judah and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants; with wheat of Minnith and confectionery, and honey and oil, and balsam they made thy barter. Ezekiel 27:18. Damascus traded with thee in the multitude of thy productions, for the multitude of goods of all kinds, with wine of Chelbon and white wool. Ezekiel 27:19. Vedan and Javan from Uzal gave wrought iron for thy salves; cassia and calamus were for thy barter. Ezekiel 27:20. Vedan was thy merchant in cloths spread for riding. Ezekiel 27:21. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they were at thy hand for commerce; lambs and rams and he-goats, in these they traded with thee. Ezekiel 27:22. The merchants of Sheba and Ragmah, they were thy merchants; with all kinds of costly spices and with all kinds of precious stones and gold they paid for thy sales. Ezekiel 27:23. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, Chilmad, were they merchants; Ezekiel 27:24. They were thy merchants in splendid clothes, in purple and embroidered robes, and in treasures of twisted yarn, in wound and strong cords for thy wares. Ezekiel 27:25. The ships of Tarshish were thy caravans, thy trade, and thou wast filled and glorious in the heart of the seas. - The enumeration of the different peoples, lands, and cities, which carried on trade with Tyre, commences with Tarshish (Tartessus) in the extreme west, then turns to the north, passes through the different lands of Anterior Asia and the Mediterranean to the remotest north-east, and ends by mentioning Tarshish again, to round off the list. But the lands and peoples, which are mentioned in Ezekiel 27:5-11 as furnishing produce and manufactures for the building of Tyre, viz., Egypt and the tribes of Northern Africa, are left out. - To avoid wearisome uniformity in the enumeration, Ezekiel has used interchangeably the synonymous words which the language possessed for trade, besides endeavouring to give life to the description by a variety of turns of expression. Thus סחרתך (Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:18), סחריך (Ezekiel 27:21), and סחרת ידך (Ezekiel 27:15), or סחרי ידך (Ezekiel 27:21), are interchanged with רכליך (Ezekiel 27:13, Ezekiel 27:15, Ezekiel 27:17, Ezekiel 27:22, Ezekiel 27:24), רכלתך (Ezekiel 27:20, Ezekiel 27:23), and מרכּלתּך (Ezekiel 27:24); and, again, נתן עזבוניך (Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:14, Ezekiel 27:22), נתן (Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:19), with נתן מערבך (Ezekiel 27:13, Ezekiel 27:17), and בּמערבך היה (Ezekiel 27:19), and השׁיב אשׁכּרך (Ezekiel 27:15). The words סחר, participle of סחר, and רכל, from רכל morf, signify merchants, traders, who travel through different lands for purposes of trade. סחרת, literally, the female trader; and סחרה, literally, trade; then used as abstract for concrete, the tradesman or merchant. רכל, the travelling merchant. - רכלת, the female trader, a city carrying on trade. מרכלת, trade or a place of trade, a commercial town. עזבונים (pluralet.) does not mean a place of trade, market, and profits (Gesenius and others); but according to its derivation from עזב, to leave, relinquish, literally, leaving or giving up, and as Gusset. has correctly explained it, "that which you leave with another in the place of something else which he has given up to you." Ewald, in accordance with this explanation, has adopted the very appropriate rendering Absatz, or sale. נתן עזבוניך, with ב, or with a double accusative, literally, to make thy sale with something, i.e., to pay or to give, i.e., pay, something as an equivalent for the sale; 'נתן בּעזב, to give something for the sale, or the goods to be sold. מערב, barter, goods bartered with נתן, to give bartered goods, or carry on trade by barter.
The following are the countries and peoples enumerated: - תּרשׁישׁ, the Tyrian colony of Tarshish or Tartessus, in Hispania Baetica, which was celebrated for its wealth in silver (Jeremiah 10:9), and, according to the passage before us, also supplied iron, tin, and lead (vid., Plin. Hist. nat. iii. 3 4, xxxiii. 6 31, xxiv. 14 41; Diod. Sic. v. 38). Further particulars concerning Tarshish are to be found in Movers, Phoeniz. II 2, pp. 588ff., and II 3, p. 36. - Javan, i.e., Jania, Greece or Greeks. - Tubal and Meshech are the Tibareni and Moschi of the ancients between the Black and Caspian Seas (see the comm. on Genesis 10:2). They supplied souls of men, i.e., slaves, and things in brass. The slave trade was carried on most vigorously by the Ionians and Greeks (see Joel 4:6, from which we learn that the Phoenicians sold prisoners of war to them); and both Greeks and Romans drew their largest supplies and the best slaves from the Pontus (for proofs of this, see Movers, II 3, pp. 81f.). It is probable that the principal supplies of brazen articles were furnished by the Tibareni and Moschi, as the Colchian mountains still contain an inexhaustible quantity of copper. In Greece, copper was found and wrought in Euboea alone; and the only other rich mines were in Cyprus (vid., Movers, II 3, pp. 66, 67). - Ezekiel 27:14. "From the house of Togarmah they paid," i.e., they of the house of Togarmah paid. Togarmah is one of the names of the Armenians (see the comm. on Genesis 10:3); and Strabo (XI 14. 9) mentions the wealth of Armenia in horses, whilst that in asses is attested by Herodotus (i. 194), so that we may safely infer that mules were also bred there. - Ezekiel 27:15. The sons of Dedan, or the Dedanites, are, no doubt, the Dedanites mentioned in Genesis 10:7 as descendants of Cush, who conducted the carrying trade between the Persian Gulf and Tyre, and whose caravans are mentioned in Isaiah 21:13. Their relation to the Semitic Dedanites, who are evidently intended in Ezekiel 27:20, and by the inhabitants of Dedan mentioned in connection with Edom in Ezekiel 25:13 and Jeremiah 49:8, is involved in obscurity (see the comm. on Genesis 10:7). The combination with איּים רבּים and the articles of commerce which they brought to Tyre, point to a people of southern Arabia settled in the neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf. The many איּים are the islands and coasts of Arabia on the Persian Gulf and Erythraean Sea.
(Note: Movers (II 3, pp. 303ff.) adduces still further evidence in addition to that given above, namely, that "unquestionable traces of the ancient name have been preserved in the region in which the ancient Dedanites are represented as living, partly on the coast in the names Attana, Attene, which have been modified according to well-known laws, - the former, a commercial town on the Persian Gulf, visited by Roman merchants (Plin. vi. 32, 147); the latter, a tract of country opposite to the island of Tylos (Plin. l.c. 49), - and partly in the islands of the Persian Gulf" (p. 304).)
סחרת ידך, the commerce of thy hand, i.e., as abstr. pro concr., those who were ready to thy hand as merchants. קרנות שׁן, ivory horns. This is the term applied to the elephants' tusks (shn) on account of their shape and resemblance to horns, just as Pliny (Hist. nat. xviii. 1) also speaks of cornua elephanti, although he says, in viii. 3((4), that an elephant's weapons, which Juba calls cornua, are more correctly to be called dentes.
(Note: The Ethiopians also call ivory Karna nage, i.e., cornu elephanti, and suppose that it is from horns, and not from tusks, that ivory comes (vid., Hiob Ludolph, Hist. Aeth. 1 Corinthians 10).)
The ἁπ. λεγ.. הובנים, Keri הבנים, signifies ἔβενος hebenum, ebony. The ancients obtained both productions partly from India, partly from Ethiopia (Plin. xii. 4 8). According to Dioscor. i. 130, the Ethiopian ebony was preferred to the Indian. השׁיב אשׁכּר to return payment (see the comm. on Psalm 72:10).
In Ezekiel 27:16, J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Hitzig, and others read אדם for ארם, after the lxx and Pesh., because Aram did not lie in the road from Dedan and the איּים to Israel (Ezekiel 27:17), and it is not till Ezekiel 27:18 that Ezekiel reaches Aram. Moreover, the corruption ארם for אדום could arise all the more readily from the simple fact that the defective form אדם only occurs in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 25:14), and is altogether an extraordinary one. These reasons are undoubtedly worthy of consideration; still they are not conclusive, since the enumeration does not follow a strictly geographical order, inasmuch as Damascus is followed in Ezekiel 27:19. by many of the tribes of Southern Arabia, so that Aram might stand, as Hvernick supposes, for Mesopotamian Aram, for which the articles mentioned in Ezekiel 27:16 would be quite as suitable as for Edom, whose chief city Petra was an important place of commerce and emporium for goods. רב מעשׂיך, the multitude of thy works, thy manufactures. Of the articles of commerce delivered by ארם , the red purple, embroidery, and בּוּץ (the Aramaean name for byssus, which appears, according to Movers, to have originally denoted a species of cotton), favour Aram, particularly Babylonia, rather than Edom. For the woven fabrics of Babylonia were celebrated from the earliest times (vid., Movers, II 3, pp. 260ff.); and Babylon was also the oldest and most important market for precious stones (vid., Movers, p. 266). נפך is the carbuncle (see the comm. on Exodus 28:18). כּדכּד, probably the ruby; in any case, a precious stone of brilliant splendour (vid., Isaiah 54:12). ראמות, corals or pearls (vid., Delitzsch on Job 28:18). - Judah (Ezekiel 27:17) delivered to Tyre wheat of Minnith, i.e., according to Judges 11:33, an Ammonitish place, situated, according to the Onomast., four Roman miles from Heshbon in the direction of Philadelphia. That Ammonitis abounded in wheat, is evident from 2 Chronicles 27:5, although the land of Israel also supplied the Tyrians with wheat (1 Kings 5:11). The meaning of the ἁπ. λεγ. דם̓̀בנ̓̀ב cannot be definitely ascertained. The rendering confectionery is founded upon the Aramaean פּנק, deliciari, and the Chaldee translation, קוליא, i.e., κολία, according to Hesychius, τὰ ἐκ μέλιτος τρωγάλια, or sweetmeats made from honey. Jerome renders it balsamum, after the μύρων of the lxx; and in Hitzig's opinion, Pannaga (literally, a snake) is a name used in Sanscrit for a sweet-scented wood, which was employed in medicine as a cooling and strengthening drug (?). Honey (from bees) and oil are well-known productions of Palestine. צרי is balsam; whether resina or the true balsam grown in gardens about Jericho (opobalsamum), it is impossible to decide (see my Bibl. Archol. 1 Peter 38, and Movers, II 3, pp. 220ff.). Damascus supplied Tyre with wine of Chelbon. חלבּון still exists in the village of Helbn, a place with many ruins, three hours and a half to the north of Damascus, in the midst of a valley of the same name, which is planted with vines wherever it is practicable, from whose grapes the best and most costly wine of the country is made (vid., Robinson, Biblical Researches). Even in ancient times this wine was so celebrated, that, according to Posidonius (in Athen. Deipnos. i. 22), the kings of Persia drank only Chalybonian wine from Damascus (vid., Strabo, XV 3. 22). צמר צחר, wool of dazzling whiteness; or, according to others, wool of Zachar, for which the Septuagint has ἔρια ἐκ Μιλήτου, Milesian wool.
(Note: According to Movers (II 3, p. 269), צחר is the Sicharia of Aethicus (Cosm. 108): Sicharia regio, quae postea Nabathaea, nuncupatur, silvestris valde, ubi Ismaelitae eminus, - an earlier name for the land of the Nabathaeans, who dwelt in olden time between Palestine and the Euphrates, and were celebrated for their wealth in flocks of sheep.)
Ezekiel 27:19. Various explanations have been given of the first three words. ודן is not to be altered into דּדן, as it has been by Ewald, both arbitrarily and unsuitably with Ezekiel 27:20 immediately following; nor is it to be rendered "and Dan." It is a decisive objection to this, that throughout the whole enumeration not a single land or people is introduced with the copula w. Vedan, which may be compared with the Vaheb of Numbers 21:14, a place also mentioned only once, is the name of a tribe and tract of land not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament. Movers (p. 302) conjectures that it is the celebrated city of Aden (Arab. 'dn). Javan is also the name of an Arabian place or tribe; and, according to a notice in the Kamus, it is a place in Yemen. Tuch (Genesis, p. 210) supposes it to be a Greek (Ionian) settlement, the founders of which had been led by their enterprising spirit to cross the land of Egypt into Southern Arabia. For the purpose of distinguishing this Arabian Javan from Greece itself, or in order to define it more precisely, מעוּזל is appended, which all the older translators have taken to be a proper name. According to the Masoretic pointing מאוּזּה, the word is, no doubt, to be regarded as a participle Pual of אזל, in the sense of spun, from אזל, to spin. But apart from the fact that it would be a surprising thing to find spun goods mentioned in connection with the trade of the Arabian tribes, the explanation itself could not be sustained from the usage of the language; for there is nothing in the dialects to confirm the idea that אזל is a softened form of עזל, inasmuch as they have all עזל (Aram.) and gzl (Arab.), and the Talmudic אזל, texere, occurs first of all in the Gemara, and may possibly have been derived in the first instance from the Rabbinical rendering of our מאוזל by "spun." Even the fact that the word is written with Shurek is against this explanation rather than in its favour; and in all probability its origin is to be traced to the simple circumstance, that in Ezekiel 27:12, Ezekiel 27:14, Ezekiel 27:16 the articles of commerce are always mentioned before נתנוּ עזבוניך, and in this verse they would appear to be omitted altogether, unless they are covered by the word מאוזל. But we can very properly take the following words בּרזל עשׁות as the object of the first hemistich, since the Masoretic accentuation is founded upon the idea that מאוזל is to be taken as the object here. We therefore regard מאוּזל as the only admissible pointing, and take אוּזל as a proper name, as in Genesis 10:27 : "from Uzal," the ancient name of Sanaa, the subsequent capital of Yemen. The productions mentioned bear this out. Forged or wrought iron, by which Tuch (l.c. p. 260) supposes that sword-blades from Yemen are chiefly intended, which were celebrated among the Arabs as much as the Indian. Cassia and calamus (see the comm. on Exodus 30:23 and Exodus 30:24), two Indian productions, as Yemen traded with India from the very earliest times. - Dedan (Ezekiel 27:20) is the inland people of that name, living in the neighbourhood of Edom (cf. Ezekiel 25:13; see the comm. on Ezekiel 27:15). They furnished בּגדי, tapetes straguli, cloths for spreading out, most likely costly riding-cloths, like the middim of Judges 5:10. ערב and קדר represent the nomad tribes of central Arabia, the Bedouins. For ערב is never used in the Old Testament for the whole of Arabia; but, according to its derivation from ערבה, a steppe or desert, simply for the tribes living as nomads in the desert (as in Isaiah 13:20; Jeremiah 3:2; cf. Ewald, Grammat. Arab. 1 Peter 5). Kedar, descended from Ishmael, an Arabian nomad tribe, living in the desert between Arabia Petraea and Babylonia, the Cedrei of Pliny (see the comm. on Genesis 25:13). They supplied lambs, rams, and he-goats, from the abundance of their flocks, in return for the goods obtained from Tyre.
Judges 5:22. Next to these the merchants of Sheba and Ragmah (רעמה) are mentioned. They were Arabs of Cushite descent (Genesis 10:7) in south-eastern Arabia (Oman); for ,רעמה̔Ρεγμα, was in the modern province of Oman in the bay of the same name in the Persian Gulf. Their goods were all kinds of spices, precious stones, and gold, in which southern Arabia abounded. ראשׁ כּל־בּשׂם, the chief or best of all perfumes (on this use of ראשׁ, see the comm. on Exodus 30:23; Sol 4:14), is most likely the genuine balsam, which grew in Yemen (Arabia felix), according to Diod. Sic. iii. 45, along with other costly spices, and grows there still; for Forskal found a shrub between Mecca and Medina, called Abu sham, which he believed to be the true balsam, and of which he has given a botanical account in his Flora Aeg. pp. 79, 80 (as Amyris opobalsamum), as well as of two other kinds. Precious stones, viz., onyx-stones, rubies, agates, and cornelians, are still found in the mountains of Hadramaut; and in Yemen also jaspers, crystals, and many good rubies (vid., Niebuhr, Descript. p. 125, and Seetzen in Zach's Monatl. Corresp. xix. p. 339). And, lastly, the wealth of Yemen in gold is too strongly attested by ancient writers to be called in question (cf. Bochart, Phal. II 28), although this precious metal is no found there now.
In Ezekiel 27:23, Ezekiel 27:24 the trade with Mesopotamia is mentioned. חרן, the Carrhae of the Romans in north-western Mesopotamia (see the comm. on Genesis 11:31), was situated at the crossing of the caravan-roads which intersect Mesopotamia; for it was at this point that the two caravan routes from Babylonia and the Delta of the Persian Gulf joined the old military and commercial road to Canaan (Movers, p. 247). The eastern route ran along the Tigris, where Calneh, the later Ktesiphon, and the most important commercial city. It is here called כּנּה (Canneh), contracted from כּלנה (see the comm. on Genesis 10:10; Amos 6:2). The western route ran along the Euphrates, past the cities mentioned in Ezekiel 27:23. עדן is not the Syrian, but the Mesopotamian Eden (2 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 37:12), the situation of which has not yet been determined, though Movers (p. 257) has sought for it in the Delta of the Euphrates and Tigris. The singular circumstance that the merchants of Sheba should be mentioned in connection with localities in Mesopotamia, which has given rise both to arbitrary alterations of the text and to various forced explanations, has been explained by Movers (p. 247 compared with p. 139) from a notice of Juba in Pliny's Hist. nat. xii. 17 (40), namely, that the Sabaeans, the inhabitants of the spice country, came with their goods from the Persian Gulf to Carrhae, where they held their yearly markets, and from which they were accustomed to proceed to Gabba (Gabala in Phoenicia) and Palestinian Syria. Consequently the merchants of Sabaea are mentioned as those who carried on the trade between Mesopotamia and Tyre, and are not unsuitably placed in the centre of those localities which formed the most important seats of trade on the two great commercial roads of Mesopotamia.
Asshur and Chilmad, as we have already observed, were on the western road which ran along the Euphrates. כּלמד has already been discovered by Bochart (Phal. I 18) in the Charmande of Xenophon (Anab. i. 5. 10), and Sophaenetus (see Steph. Byz. s.v. Χαρμάνδη), a large and wealthy city in a desert region "beyond the river Euphrates." The Asshur mentioned along with Chilmad, in the midst of purely commercial cities, cannot be the land of Assyria, but must be the emporium Sura (Movers, p. 252), the present Essurieh, which stands upon the bank on this side of the Euphrates above Thapsacus and on the caravan route, which runs from Palmyra past Rusapha (Rezeph, Isaiah 37:12; 2 Kings 19:12) to Nicephorium or Rakka, then in a northerly direction to Haran, and bending southwards, runs along the bank of the river in the direction of Chilmad or Charmande (Ritter, Erdk. XI pp. 1081ff.). The articles of commerce from these emporia, which were brought to Tyre by Sabaean caravans, consisted of מּכללים, literally, articles of perfect beauty, either state-dresses (cf. מכלל, Ezekiel 23:12 and Ezekiel 34:4), or more generally, costly works of art (Hvernick). The omission of the copula ו before בּגלומי is decisive is favour of the former, as we may infer from this that 'בגל is intended as an explanatory apposition to מּכללים. גּלומי תכלת ורקמה, cloaks (גּלום connected with χλαμύς) of hyacinth-purple and embroidery, for which Babylonia was celebrated (for proofs of this, see Movers, pp. 258ff.). The words which follow cannot be explained with certainty. All that is evident is, that 'ואר 'בּחבלים חב is appended to בּגנזי בּרומים without a copula, as 'בּגלומי וגו is to בּמּכללים in the first hemistich, and therefore, like the latter, is intended as an explanatory apposition. חבלים does not mean either cloths or threads, but lines or cords. חבשׁים signifies literally bound or would up; probably twisted, i.e., formed of several threads wound together or spun; and ארזים, firm, compact, from Arab. arz, to be drawn together. Consequently 'גּנזי בּרומים וגו can hardly have any other meaning than treasures of spun yarns, i.e., the most valuable yarns formed of different threads. For "treasures" is the only meaning which can be assigned to גּנזים with any certainty on philological grounds, and בּרומים, from בּרם, Arab. brm, contorsit , is either yarn spun from several or various threads, or cloth woven from such threads. But the latter would not harmonize with חבלים. Movers (II 3, pp. 263ff.) adopts a similar conclusion, and adduces evidence that silk yarn, bombyx, and cotton came to Tyre through the Mesopotamian trade, and were there dyed in the splendid Tyrian purples, and woven into cloths, or brought for sale with the dyeing complete. All the other explanations which have been given of these difficult words are arbitrary and untenable; not only the Rabbinical rendering of גּנזי בּרומים, viz., chests of damask, but that of Ewald, "pockets of damask," and that proposed by Hartmann, Hvernick, and others, viz., girdles of various colours, ζῶναι σκιωταί. In Ezekiel 27:25 the description is rounded off with a notice of the lever of this world-wide trade. שׁרות cannot mean "walls" in this instance, as in Jeremiah 5:10, and like שׁוּרות in Job 24:11, because the ships, through which Tyre became so rich, could not be called walls. The word signifies "caravans," after שׁוּ&
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish.
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft.
Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste.
In your market these traded with you in choice garments, in clothes of blue and embroidered work, and in carpets of colored material, bound with cords and made secure.
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