The Prince of Tyrus, Ezek 28:1-10

Prophecy Against the Prince of Tyrus

In Ezek 28:1-10, Ezekiel prophesies against the prince of Tyrus.  This man is the ruler in Tyre who who dies when the city gets destroyed in Ezek 27.  

The Prince’s Heart is Lifted Up, Ezek 28:1-5

In v.2 the prince lifted up his heart and set his heart as the heart of God.  The great danger to any ruler is that he will lift up his heart when his wealth and dominion increase.  For example, when Uzziah was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction, 2 Chr 26:16.  Likewise, after the Lord saved Hezekiah from Sennacherib, and Hezekiah was healed and magnified in the sight of all nations, his heart was lifted up, 2 Chr 32:22-25.  For this, God’s wrath was upon him, Judah, and Jerusalem.  And so it was with the prince of Tyrus.  His heart was lifted up when his riches increased.

So awful was the prince’s pride that he said, I am a God, v.2.  This desire to be God is rooted in the heart of the devil.  He’s the one who originally fell because of pride, Is 14:12-14.  And earthly rulers are tempted by the same desire.  The man of sin will exalt himself above all that is called God, 2 Thes 2:3-4.  The angel of the Lord smote Herod, and he was eaten of worms for letting the people worship him as a god, Acts 12:21-23.   Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib both thought of themselves as more powerful than God, Dan 3:15, 2 Chr 32:10-17.

In v.2 the prince said, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas.  When he said this, he claimed for himself the authority that belongs to God only, Ps 29:10.  The reference to the midst of the seas, Ezek 27:4, indicates that the prince thought of himself as the world ruler.  He considered himself the ruler over all the realm of those with whom he trafficked. 

Therefore, in v.2 the Lord said, thou art a man, and not God.  All these deified rulers must be reminded that they are just men, Is 14:16, Ps 82:6-7, Ps 9:20.  As we know, there is only one God, Is 46:9.  

In v.3 we see that the prince was wiser than Daniel.  According to Dan 1:20, Daniel was ten times wiser than all the magicians and astrologers in Babylon.  So, if the prince was wiser than Daniel, he had supernatural wisdom.  Undoubtedly, he received this wisdom from the devil.  

Notice v.3 says that there was no secret they could hide from the prince.  His “power” reminds us of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-11 and the damsel in Acts 16:16.  Well, God certainly revealed secrets to Daniel, Dan 2:19.  However, Daniel knew better than to attribute the revelation to his own wisdom, Dan 2:27-30.   He gave God the glory.

In v.4 we see that the prince got riches, gold, and silver with his wisdom and understanding.  This is that earthly, sensual, and devilish wisdom, Jas 3:13-16.  The accumulation of his possessions was the ruin of him, as it is to all men, Lk 12:15-21, Mk 8:36-37.

The prince used his wisdom and traffick to increase his riches, v.5.  As a result, the prince’s heart was lifted up.  And, as Solomon wrote, “Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty,” Prov 18:12.  Indeed, “Pride goeth before destruction,” Prov 16:18.

The Prince of Tyrus is Slain, Ezek 28:6-10

In v.6 the Lord prophesies the prince’s destruction because he had set his heart as the heart of God.

Therefore, God sends strangers, the terrible of the nations, against the prince, v.7. The terrible of the nations are Nebuchadnezzar and the people who are with him, Ezek 30:10-11.  In v.7 they draw their swords against the beauty of the prince’s wisdom and they defile his brightness.  In Dan 5:11, for instance, you see the connection between light and wisdom.  We use the expression “bright child” when referring to a smart kid.

As we’ll see in the next lesson, the prince’s beauty, wisdom, and brightness are connected with the devil, in his original creation as the anointed cherub, Ezek 28:14, 17.  Currently, the devil is transformed into an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14.

In v.8 they bring the prince down to the pit.  In Ezek 32, this is the place where multitudes from many nations are cast during the Tribulation, Ezek 32:18, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30.  The prince dies the death of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.  This is a reference to the metaphorical destruction of Tyre in Ezek 27:26-27, that we studied in the prior lesson.

In v.9 God asks the prince if he will say to the slayer, I am God.  This is a sarcastic question.  Are you going to proclaim to the men who are killing you that you are God?  How foolish.  When God executes his judgment against men who claim to be more powerful than God, he shames them, 2 Chr 32:21.  Thus God says, thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of the slayer.  

In v.10 the prince dies like the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers.  These uncircumcised are a reference to the Gentile nations that try to destroy Israel during the Tribulation, Ezek 31:18; 32:19, 21, 24-30, 32.