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Ezekiel 27:5-25

Context

27:5 They crafted 1  all your planks out of fir trees from Senir; 2 

they took a cedar from Lebanon to make your mast.

27:6 They made your oars from oaks of Bashan;

they made your deck 3  with cypresses 4  from the Kittean isles. 5 

27:7 Fine linen from Egypt, woven with patterns, was used for your sail

to serve as your banner;

blue and purple from the coastlands of Elishah 6  was used for your deck’s awning.

27:8 The leaders 7  of Sidon 8  and Arvad 9  were your rowers;

your skilled 10  men, O Tyre, were your captains.

27:9 The elders of Gebal 11  and her skilled men were within you, mending cracks; 12 

all the ships of the sea and their mariners were within you to trade for your merchandise. 13 

27:10 Men of Persia, Lud, 14  and Put were in your army, men of war.

They hung shield and helmet on you; they gave you your splendor.

27:11 The Arvadites 15  joined your army on your walls all around,

and the Gammadites 16  were in your towers.

They hung their quivers 17  on your walls all around;

they perfected your beauty.

27:12 “‘Tarshish 18  was your trade partner because of your abundant wealth; they exchanged silver, iron, tin, and lead for your products. 27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your clients; they exchanged slaves and bronze items for your merchandise. 27:14 Beth Togarmah exchanged horses, chargers, 19  and mules for your products. 27:15 The Dedanites 20  were your clients. Many coastlands were your customers; they paid 21  you with ivory tusks and ebony. 27:16 Edom 22  was your trade partner because of the abundance of your goods; they exchanged turquoise, purple, embroidered work, fine linen, coral, and rubies for your products. 27:17 Judah and the land of Israel were your clients; they traded wheat from Minnith, 23  millet, honey, olive oil, and balm for your merchandise. 27:18 Damascus was your trade partner because of the abundance of your goods and of all your wealth: wine from Helbon, white wool from Zahar, 27:19 and casks of wine 24  from Izal 25  they exchanged for your products. Wrought iron, cassia, and sweet cane were among your merchandise. 27:20 Dedan was your client in saddlecloths for riding. 27:21 Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your trade partners; for lambs, rams, and goats they traded with you. 27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah engaged in trade with you; they traded the best kinds of spices along with precious stones and gold for your products. 27:23 Haran, Kanneh, Eden, merchants from Sheba, Asshur, and Kilmad were your clients. 27:24 They traded with you choice garments, purple clothes and embroidered work, and multicolored carpets, bound and reinforced with cords; these were among your merchandise. 27:25 The ships of Tarshish 26  were the transports for your merchandise.

“‘So you were filled and weighed down in the heart of the seas.

1 tn Heb “built.”

2 tn Perhaps the hull or deck. The term is dual, so perhaps it refers to a double-decked ship.

3 tn Or “hull.”

4 tc The Hebrew reads “Your deck they made ivory, daughter of Assyria.” The syntactically difficult “ivory” is understood here as dittography and omitted, though some construe this to refer to ivory inlays. “Daughter of Assyria” is understood here as improper word division and the vowels repointed as “cypresses.”

5 tn Heb “from the coastlands (or islands) of Kittim,” generally understood to be a reference to the island of Cyprus, where the Phoenicians had a trading colony on the southeast coast. Many modern English versions have “Cyprus” (CEV, TEV), “the coastlands of Cyprus” (NASB), “the coasts of Cyprus” (NIV, NRSV), or “the southern coasts of Cyprus” (NLT).

sn The Kittean isles is probably a reference to southeast Cyprus where the Phoenicians had a colony.

6 sn This is probably a reference to Cyprus.

7 tc The MT reads “the residents of”; the LXX reads “your rulers who dwell in.” With no apparent reason for the LXX to add “the rulers” many suppose something has dropped out of the Hebrew text. While more than one may be possible, Allen’s proposal, positing a word meaning “elders,” is the most likely to explain the omission in the MT from a graphic standpoint and also provides a parallel to the beginning of v. 9. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:81.a parallel to v. 9.

8 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

9 sn Sidon and Arvad, like Tyre, were Phoenician coastal cities.

10 tn Or “wise.”

11 sn Another Phoenician coastal city located between Sidon and Arvad.

12 tn Heb “strengthening damages.” Here “to strengthen” means to repair. The word for “damages” occurs several times in 1 Kgs 12 about some type of damage to the temple, which may have referred to or included cracks. Since the context describes Tyre in its glory, we do not expect this reference to damages to be of significant scale, even if there are repairmen. This may refer to using pitch to seal the seams of the ship, which had to be done periodically and could be considered routine maintenance rather than repair of damage.

13 sn The reference to “all the ships of the sea…within you” suggests that the metaphor is changing; previously Tyre had been described as a magnificent ship, but now the description shifts back to an actual city. The “ships of the sea” were within Tyre’s harbor. Verse 11 refers to “walls” and “towers” of the city.

14 sn See Gen 10:22.

15 tn Heb “sons of Arvad.”

16 sn The identity of the Gammadites is uncertain.

17 tn See note on “quivers” in Jer 51:11 on the meaning of Hebrew שֶׁלֶט (shelet) and also M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:553.

18 sn Tarshish refers to a distant seaport sometimes believed to be located in southern Spain (others identified it as Carthage in North Africa). In any event it represents here a distant, rich, and exotic port which was a trading partner of Tyre.

19 tn The way in which these horses may have been distinguished from other horses is unknown. Cf. ASV “war-horses” (NASB, NIV, NRSV, CEV all similar); NLT “chariot horses.”

20 tn Heb “sons of Dedan.”

21 tn Heb “they returned as your gift.”

22 tc Many Hebrew mss, Aquila’s Greek translation, and the Syriac version read “Edom.” The LXX reads “man,” a translation which assumes the same consonants as Edom. This reading is supported from the context as the text deals with Damascus, the capital of Syria (Aram), later (in v. 18).

23 sn The location is mentioned in Judg 11:33.

24 tc The MT leaves v. 18 as an incomplete sentence and begins v. 19 with “and Dan and Javan (Ionia) from Uzal.” The LXX mentions “wine.” The translation follows an emendation assuming some confusions of vav and yod. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:82.

25 sn According to L. C. Allen (Ezekiel [WBC], 2:82), Izal was located between Haran and the Tigris and was famous for its wine.

26 tn Or perhaps “Large merchant ships.” The expression “ships of Tarshish” may describe a class of vessel, that is, large oceangoing merchant ships.



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