A Prophecy Against Tzidon

Ezeki'el 28: 20-26

DIG: What is God going to do to Tzidon? What were Isra'el’s neighbors doing to be considered briers and sharp thorns? What is the LORD going to do for Isra'el? Why? What does YHVH mean when He says both Tzidon and Isra’el will know that He is ADONAI? Will they know Him in the same way?

REFLECT: There seems to be two ways of knowing YHVH: by His mercy or His wrath. Why do you think some know the merciful ADONAI and others only know the wrathful Ha'Shem? Which have you experienced? When? How?

The prophecy was given in 585 BC during the exile in Babylon

In conclusion, Ezeki’el turns to Tzidon, which lay about twenty miles to the north of Tyre, and pronounces her doom. The city-state was probably the oldest Phoenician town, Tyre being a colony. Both were the remnants of Canaanite’s who didn’t have one country but separated into city-states, with each having its own king. At some point in time Tyre surpassed Tzidon in power and wealth; therefore, Tzidon seems to have been a vassal of Tyre at this time. By the execution of judgment upon the pagan nations for their sins, and the fulfillment of His promise to restore Isra’el to her rightful place, God’s holy name will be lifted up throughout the world.

The near historical destruction of Tzidon: The word of ADONAI came to me, “Human being, turn your face toward Tzidon, and prophesy against it. Say that Adonai ELOHIM says: I am against you, Tzidon; but I will be glorified in you. As a result of Ha’Shem’s judgment against Tzidon, He will indeed be glorified. They will know that I am ADONAI, once I execute judgments in her and show My holiness in her (Ezeki’el 28:20-22 CJB). Be imposing punishment to the guilty, God’s universal sovereignty is vindicated as well as His attribute of justice.

For I will send plagues into her, and blood will flow in her streets; attacked from all sides by the sword, the wounded will fall within her (see Ae - The Problem of Holy War in the TaNaKh). Then they will know that I am ADONAI (Ezeki’el 28:23 CJB). The downfall of Tzidon will not be a random act but the decree of God.

The house of Isra’el will no longer have a briar pricking away at them, no longer will any of its contemptuous neighbors be a thorn to pain them like Jezebel who was a Phoenician woman from Tzidon (First Kings 16:31-32). By marrying Ahab, she brought her Tzidonian worship of the god Ba’al into the land of Isra’el causing great corruption of faith. So great was the corruption that God said to Elijah that out of hundreds of thousands of Jews a mere seven thousand did not bend their knee to Ba’al (First Kings 19:18). Then they will know that I am Adonai ELOHIM (Ezeki’el 28:20-24 CJB). Tzidon, that was then in power would fall, and Isra’el, that was in exile would rise again. Isra’el will continue to exist, but Tzidon will not.

The far eschatological restoration of Isra’el: Adonai ELOHIM says: Once I have gathered the house of Isra’el from the Gentile nations among whom they are scattered, once I have shown My holiness in them as the Gentiles [Goyim] watch. Not only will the final possession of the Land occur at the time of Isra’el’s final regathering, but also occur at the time of her national regeneration (see the commentary on Revelation Ev – The Basis for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ). Only at that time will YHVH be set apart by His dealings with Isra’el among the Gentile nations. Then they will live in their own Land, which I gave to My servant Jacob (Ezeki’el 28:25). At no time in Jewish history have the Israelites possessed all of the Promised Land. That will not happen until there is a national regathering and regeneration. All will recognize God’s holiness when He fulfills His promise to restore Isra’el.

They will have security when they live in the Land, building houses and planting vineyards; yes, they will live in safety, once I have executed judgments against all their contemptuous neighbors. Security will come only after the final judgment of the Gentile nations, especially those bordering Isra’el. That is why these verses are inserted between the sixth and seventh Gentile nations, the seventh being Egypt. The final judgment will come during the Great Tribulation. Jewish security will come as a result of the messianic Kingdom. Then they will know that I am ADONAI their God (Ezeki’el 28:26 CJB). This often repeated phrase is not a formula. The prophet’s idea is that YHVH does all, brings all calamities, causes all catastrophes and guides the fortunes of Isra’el in the sight of the Gentile nations, with one great design in view – to make Himself, the true and only God, known to all mankind.

 

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