Ezekiel 28:5

It might not have occurred to an ordinary observer that Tyre owed its position to its wisdom, and its downfall to an unwise confidence in that wisdom. Bat the Prophet Ezekiel looked below the surface, and traced the arrogance and presumptuous ungodliness of the great city to its claim to worldly prudence, sagacity, and skill, which, being substituted for true and Divine wisdom, became the occasion of the city's downfall and destruction.

I. THE RANGE AND REALITY OF WORLDLY WISDOM. It has respect to earthly good, prescribing means by which health of body, riches and luxuries, worldly honor, etc., may be attained. It bounds its regards by the horizon of earth and time. It employs instrumentalities which experience approves as efficacious. It takes counsel of the prosperous and the honored. It pursues patiently and persistently aims which are mundane and which are within human reach, wasting no time (as it would say) upon ethereal sentiment, imaginary and ideal perfection, Utopian schemes.

II. THE FRUIT OF THIS WISDOM. The case of Tyre is to the point. The understanding and skill for which the Tyrian merchants and mariners were noted were not employed in vain. Success was their attestation and approval. Uncertainty is indeed distinctive of all human endeavor and undertaking. But a large measure of success may fairly be reckoned upon as likely to be secured by the use of means devised by the wisdom of this world. As a man soweth, so does he reap.

III. THE BOAST OF THIS WISDOM. Tyre claimed to be wiser than Daniel, and to be able to penetrate all secrets. There are those who would think it vulgar and contemptible to boast of their birth, their wealth, their honors, who, however, are not above boasting of their insight, sagacity, and prudence. They would never have fallen into errors which misled their neighbors! They would have known how to deal with such a person, how to contend with such difficulties, how to adapt themselves to such circumstances! Trust them to find their way, however intricate its windings!

IV. THE TRIAL OF THIS WISDOM. It is admitted that, in ordinary circumstances and times, worldly wisdom is sufficient to preserve a man and a nation from calamities, to secure to them many and real advantages. But every true student of human nature and human history is aware that times of exceptional probation and difficulty have to be encountered. It is so in the life of every man, it is so in the history of every people. The principles which served well enough before are useless now. The men of the world are at a loss, and know not whither to turn. The crisis has come: how shall it be met?

V. THE VANITY OF THIS WISDOM. Mere cleverness and fox-like keenness, mere experience upon the low level of expediency, are proved in times of trial to be altogether worthless. Deeply rooted convictions of Divine truth, and habits of reverential conformity to laws of Divine righteousness, "the fear of the Lord" (in the language of Scripture), - such are true wisdom. Anything short of this must issue in disappointment and powerlessness. Human expediencies may carry us a long way, but a point is reached where they fail, and where their worthlessness is made apparent. Such a point was reached in the history of Tyre, when it was found that wealth could not buy off the hostility of Babylon, and that mercenaries could not resist Babylonian arms or policy overcome Babylonian persistence.

VI. THE OVERTHROW AND CONFUSION OF THIS WISDOM. The language of the prophet upon this is singular and suggestive: "I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness." The wisdom in which the Tyrians trusted, and which excited the admiration of their neighbors and rivals, could not withstand the attack of Oriental soldiery and tactics. It was boasted in days of prosperity; but in the day of adversity its strength was small.

VII. THE DISCREDITING AND CONTEMPT OF THIS WISDOM. There are times when professions are accepted as valid and trustworthy; but there are also times when professions are of no avail, and when solid facts and realities alone will abide. As in the case of Tyre, the wisdom which is weighed in the balances and is found wanting is utterly discredited. Men despise what formerly they praised. Such is the fate to which the wisdom of the worldly wise is doomed. "It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent will I reject Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" - T.

By the iniquity of thy traffic.
The tendency is to measure all things by a money standard. The business that cannot be ruled by Christianity is wrong. What this does for a land, if it grows unchecked, is to make men sell the best things. Phoenicia did, and the spirit of her people died. Her inhabitants became the ministers of vice in every Eastern city. And the man eaten up by love of gain is preparing for himself and all he influences a like fate. Men object that business is a sort of neutral world in which the maxims of New Testament morality cannot come into play. But if this is true, either Christianity cannot be a faith for the whole of a man's life, or the business that cannot be ruled by it is wrong. It is to rule my eating and drinking, my clothing and housing of myself and mine, my buying and selling, my work am! play. Whatsoever ye do, "buying or booking," do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. But men object today that the severity of the competition by which they are pressed makes some moral laxity in the conduct of business most difficult to avoid. They have to contend with others who are not hampered by scrupulosity in the methods by which they obtain orders or make profits. Some time ago, the Rev. Mr. Carter, the Secretary of the Christian Social Union, informs us, the Oxford branch of that society sent out a number of queries to practical men on the subject of commercial morality. In answer to the question: "Do you find it difficult to apply the principles of Christian truth and justice to the conduct of business?" two employers write: "Business is based on the gladiatorial theory of existence. If Christian truth and justice is not consistent with this, business is in a bad case." A commercial traveller writes: "Not only difficult, but impossible, for a man is not master of himself. If one would live, and avoid the bankruptcy court, one must do business on the same lines as others do, without troubling whether, the methods are in harmony with the principles of Christian truth and justice or not. A draper's assistant answers: "Extremely so. The tendency to misrepresent, deceive, or take unfair advantage under circumstances that daily offer the opportunity of so doing is generally too strong to resist where self-interest is the motive power of action, the conventional morality the only check. To me they appear to be opposing principles — the first of self-sacrifice, the second of self-interest." Another says: "If it were possible to do away with competition, the excuse and justification for a large proportion of commercial immorality would be gone." As it is, it is quite plain that honourable trade has to meet with and fight what is unjust. As Arthur Hugh Clough says in one of his poems "Thou shalt not covet, but tradition Approves all forms of competition."

(G. T. Forbes, M. A.).

Daniel, Ezekiel, Jacob, Zidon
Sidon, Tigris-Euphrates Region, Tyre
Abundance, Grown, Hast, Heart, Increased, Lifted, Merchandise, Multiplied, Power, Proud, Riches, Riches-, Trade, Trading, Traffic, Traffick, Wealth, Wisdom
1. God's judgment upon the prince of Tyrus for his sacrilegious pride
11. A lamentation of his great glory corrupted by Sidon
20. The judgment of Zion
24. The restoration of Israel

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 28:5

     5531   skill
     5587   trade
     8780   materialism, and sin
     8810   riches, dangers

Ezekiel 28:2-5

     8827   selfishness

Ezekiel 28:2-7

     5033   knowledge, of good and evil

Ezekiel 28:4-5

     5591   treasure

Ezekiel 28:4-7

     5476   property

Ezekiel 28:5-7

     5870   greed, condemnation

Ezekiel 28:5-9

     8805   pride, results

Palm Sunday
Text: Philippians 2, 5-11. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The Doctrine of Satan.
Rev. William Evans—The Great Doctrines of the Bible

Concerning Persecution
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 We are now come to the last beatitude: Blessed are they which are persecuted . . '. Our Lord Christ would have us reckon the cost. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have enough to finish it?' (Luke 14:28). Religion will cost us the tears of repentance and the blood of persecution. But we see here a great encouragement that may
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
(Galilee on the Same Day as the Last Section.) ^A Matt. XII. 38-45; ^C Luke XI. 24-36. ^c 29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, ^a 38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. [Having been severely rebuked by Jesus, it is likely that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign that they might appear to the multitude more fair-minded and open to conviction than Jesus had represented them to be. Jesus had just wrought
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Ezekiel 28:5 NIV
Ezekiel 28:5 NLT
Ezekiel 28:5 ESV
Ezekiel 28:5 NASB
Ezekiel 28:5 KJV

Ezekiel 28:5 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 28:5 Parallel
Ezekiel 28:5 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 28:5 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 28:5 French Bible
Ezekiel 28:5 German Bible

Ezekiel 28:5 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Ezekiel 28:4
Top of Page
Top of Page