Ezekiel 25-27

Thursday Evening Bible Study

October 13, 2005

Ezekiel 25

Ezekiel has been talking about the judgment coming of the Jews, God’s people. Now he’s going to deal with the nations that surround Israel and the judgment that is going to come on them.

:1-7 Prophecy against Ammon

:1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

:2 "Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them.

The Ammonites were descendants of Lot through Ben-ammi, Lot's son by his younger daughter (Gen. 19:38). They lived to the east of Israel and were usually enemies of the Jews.

In 588 BC, an alliance was formed between Judah, Tyre, and the Ammonites. Together they rebelled against the Babylonians. But when Judah was attacked by Babylon, instead of offering troops to help, the Ammonites just stood there and gave a big sigh of relief.

:3 "Say to the Ammonites, 'Hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because you said, 'Aha!' against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity,

The Ammonites cheered on the Babylonians as they conquered the nation of Judah.

:4 "indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk.

Babylon will conquer Ammon.

:5 "And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks.

Rabbah was the capital of the Ammonites, the city is still in existence today as Amman, the capital of Jordan.

:5 Then you shall know that I am the LORD."

In each section, God repeats this phrase.

:6 'For thus says the Lord GOD: "Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel,

:7 "indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the LORD."

:8-11 Prophecy against Moab

:8 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because Moab and Seir say, 'Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,'

The Moabites were the descendants of Lot’s other son by his other daughter. Seir is another name for the Edomites, Seir was a mountain in their land.

Their sin: The contempt they had for Judah.

:9 "therefore, behold, I will clear the territory of Moab of cities, of the cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kirjathaim.

:10 "To the men of the East I will give it as a possession, together with the Ammonites, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations.

:11 "And I will execute judgments upon Moab, and they shall know that I am the LORD."

Both Ammon and Moab were conquered five years after Jerusalem was destroyed. They were later inhabited by Bedouin tribes.

:12-14 Prophecy against Edom

:12 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,"

The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, the father of the Israelites. They lived to the southeast, and were constantly a problem for Israel.

taking vengeance – the book of Obadiah is a prophecy against the Edomites for these things. When Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, the Edomites joined in with the pillaging of the city. They had allied with Babylon against Judah.

:13 'therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword.

Teman … Dedan – the northern and southern borders of Edom.

:14 "I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance," says the Lord GOD.

The Edomites were conquered by the Nabateans during the “inter-testamental” period (between the Old and New Testaments). The remaining Edomites fled west and became Jewish converts and were known as Idumeans. They had lost their land and their national identity.

Other nations would know that He was Yahweh. The Edomites would know His vengeance.

:15-17 Prophecy against the Philistines

:15 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the old hatred,"

The Philistines were descendants of Noah’s son Ham. They worshipped the god Dagon and had moved into the land of Israel some time around Israel’s exodus from Egypt. They were the main enemies during the times of the kings, especially during the reigns of Saul and David. The Palestinians are NOT descendants of the Philistines. They were finally destroyed by the Maccabees during the second century BC.

Their sin was “vengeance”, something that only belongs in God’s hands. The Babylonians had been ruling over both the Judeans and the Philistines, but the Philistines were just waiting for a time to take vengeance on the Jews.

:16 'therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I will stretch out My hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the seacoast.

Cherethites – another name for the Philistines.

:17 "I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I lay My vengeance upon them."' "

During the intertestamental period, the Philistines disappeared completely as a nation.


Handling your enemies

Each of these nations considered the Jews to be their enemies.
Whether we like it or not, we will experience times when people are our “enemies”.
Are there people in your life that fall into the category of “enemies”? Perhaps that word is too strong for you, how about “opposition”?
And one of the ways our society has taught us to handle “enemies” is to get “revenge”.


A watermelon farmer was determined to scare off the local kids who went into his watermelon patch every night to eat their fill. After some thought, he made a sign that read, “WARNING! ONE OF THESE WATERMELONS HAS BEEN INJECTED WITH CYANIDE!” He smiled smugly as he watched the kids run off the next night without eating any of his melons. A week later, the farmer was surveying his field. To his satisfaction, no watermelons were missing, but a sign next to his read, “NOW THERE ARE TWO!”

But this isn’t God’s way.
God cares about how you treat your enemies.
(Prov 24:17-18 NKJV) Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; {18} Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.

God was judging His people, Judah, for their sins. But He didn’t appreciate Judah’s enemies sitting on the sidelines cheering while it happened.

Jesus gave a new way of handling our enemies.
(Mat 5:43-48 NKJV) "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' {44} "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, {45} "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. {46} "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? {47} "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? {48} "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
What does Jesus say to do towards our enemies?

Bless and pray – what do these things mean? How do you want people to “bless” you? How do you want people to “pray” for you?

Did Jesus give us an example of this?

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”

Ezekiel 26

:1-21 Prophecy against Tyre

Tyre was the city/nation that was to the north of Israel, in modern Lebanon. It was the capital of the Phoenician empire. There will be four different prophecies aimed at Tyre. Ezekiel 26 speaks of the destruction of Tyre. Ezekiel 27 is a funeral dirge for the city of Tyre. Ezekiel 28 contain two messages for the “ruler” and “king” of Tyre.

:1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

This is 586 BC, the same year that Jerusalem was destroyed.

:2 "Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, 'Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.'

(Eze 26:2 NLT) 2 “Son of man, Tyre has rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Ha! She who controlled the rich trade routes to the east has been broken, and I am the heir! Because she has been destroyed, I will become wealthy!’

A couple of weeks ago we read about Ezekiel seeing Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, at a fork in the road, trying to decide whether to go to Jerusalem or to Rabbah (Eze. 21).

We talked then about how Nebuchadnezzar actually had a choice of three cities he would deal with in the rebellion, and the third city was Tyre, the capital of the Phoenician empire.

And now that Tyre sees that Nebuchadnezzar is focusing to the south on Jerusalem, it’s pretty relieved. Both Jerusalem and Tyre had vied for the position of main merchant between Egypt and the rest of the world. Tyre dominated the ocean trade, Jerusalem dominated the caravan trade. A competitor has been put out of business.

:3 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up.

Tyre was a seaside city. It actually had two parts to the city, one part on the mainland and one part located on an island about a half mile off the coast. Tyre was famous for it’s ships – it was a sea-based society. In modern Lebanon, the fishing village of Sur (pop. 20,000) is close to the ancient site. Since 1947, there have been extensive archaeological exploration, with many open air sites.

Note: “many”, not just one nation.

:4 'And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.

:5 'It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,' says the Lord GOD; 'it shall become plunder for the nations.

Fishermen need big, bare spaces to spread their nets on. The idea is that the big, bustling city will be totally flattened.

:6 'Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.'

:7 "For thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people.

:8 'He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you.

:9 'He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers.

:10 'Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, when he enters your gates, as men enter a city that has been breached.

:11 'With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground.

:12 'They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water.

Notice that Ezekiel switches from “he” (Nebuchadnezzar) to “they”.

:13 'I will put an end to the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps shall be heard no more.

:14 'I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken,' says the Lord GOD.

:15 "Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre: 'Will the coastlands not shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when slaughter is made in the midst of you?

:16 'Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you.

princes of the sea – the trading partners

:17 'And they will take up a lamentation for you, and say to you: "How you have perished, O one inhabited by seafaring men, O renowned city, Who was strong at sea, She and her inhabitants, Who caused their terror to be on all her inhabitants!

:18 Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; Yes, the coastlands by the sea are troubled at your departure."'

:19 "For thus says the Lord GOD: 'When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you,

:20 'then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land of the living.

The imagery is that of “Sheol”, the place of the dead, the “pit”.

:21 'I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again,' says the Lord GOD."

This would be something like predicting the end of the United States. Tyre was an amazing place, and to predict that it would be completely wiped out is unthinkable.


God’s Supernatural Word

The Bible is not like any other book of “religious” literature.
It has a unique, supernatural quality about it.
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word – it is how God has spoken to man.
One of the things that gives us an idea that this is how God has spoken is through the Bible’s unique ability to prophecy about events before they happen, with 100% accuracy.
Fulfilled prophecy is one of the great objective things we can point to as to why the Bible has God’s fingerprints on it. Only God can tell the future.

(Isa 46:9-10 KJV) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

One of the hundreds of examples is a prophecy concerning the ancient city of Tyre, a prophecy made by Ezekiel around the time of the fall of Jerusalem, a prophecy with very specific details, including:

1.     Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city Tyre (26:8).

2.     Many nations would come against Tyre (26:3).

3.     It would be scraped down to the bare rock; flat like the top of a rock (26:4).

4.     Fishermen will spread nets over the site (26:5).

5.     Debris would be thrown into the water (26:12).

6.     Never be rebuilt (26:14).

7.     Never to be found again (26:21), or, it would never return to it’s former glory.

Yet these were the exact things that would happen to this city that seemed to be unconquerable.

Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre for 13 years (585-573 B.C.). When he finally broke into the city, he found it mostly empty. The people had fled by boat to an island a half mile off shore. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed this mainland city in 573 BC, yet the city continued for years on the island.

When Alexander the Great came through in 333 BC, he decided he wanted to conquer Tyre. He took the rubble of the old mainland city and used it to build a causeway 200 feet wide out to the island city which he then conquered. He scraped the old site clean to make this cause way. It took seven months to conquer Tyre. When they finally broke into the city, eight thousand inhabitants were put to death and thirty thousand were sold into slavery.

For years, some had said that the city of “Tyre” was simply a myth because they could not find it’s location. Then one day someone began to wonder about this peninsula sticking out into the ocean, and after doing some investigation, they realized it was the location of Tyre.

The city rebuilt after Alexander and one nation after another would come against it including the Muslims who eventually leveled it for good in 1291 AD. There is a modern city of Sur, a small fishing village, but it’s located a few miles from the original city. The original city was never rebuilt.

Peter Stoner has calculated the odds of these seven prophecies coming true at 1 in 75,000,000.

There may be times when you struggle with wondering if God’s Word is any different from other “scriptures”. It is totally different. There are no other religious writings with this kind of accurate, specific, predictive prophecy.
(2 Tim 3:16-17 NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When the Bible tells us that there is only one way to heaven, it’s not a matter of us being narrow minded, it’s a matter of us listening to what God Himself has said about coming to Him.

(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

(Acts 4:12 NKJV) "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

The Scripture is “God-breathed”. It’s got His DNA in it. We ought to be using it to guide our lives.

Ezekiel 27

:1-36 Lamentation for Tyre

:1 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,

:2 "Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre,

lamentation – a funeral song

:3 "and say to Tyre, 'You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord GOD: "O Tyre, you have said, 'I am perfect in beauty.'

:4 Your borders are in the midst of the seas. Your builders have perfected your beauty.

Tyre is going to be described as a magnificent ship.

:5 They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast.

SenirMount Hermon

:6 Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks With ivory from the coasts of Cyprus.

Bashan – northeast of Galilee

:7 Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail; Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you.

:8 "Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen; Your wise men, O Tyre, were in you; They became your pilots.

Sidon – the sister port city 20 miles north of Tyre

:9 Elders of Gebal and its wise men Were in you to caulk your seams; All the ships of the sea And their oarsmen were in you To market your merchandise.

:10-26 Summarize

God goes on to talk about all the people that will mourn over the loss of the great city of Tyre.  The list reads like a “Who’s Who” of the ancient world.  Tyre was the equivalent to a super mall for the whole world …

:33 'When your wares went out by sea, You satisfied many people; You enriched the kings of the earth With your many luxury goods and your merchandise.

:34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters; Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst.

:35 All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you; Their kings will be greatly afraid, And their countenance will be troubled.

:36 The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you; You will become a horror, and be no more forever.'" ' "

The language describing Tyre’s fall is very similar to the language describing the fall of a future Babylon (Rev. 18).


The futility of materialism

We feel like we are more secure and more stable when we surround ourselves with more “stuff”.
How much of Tyre’s “merchandise” has survived through the centuries? Not much.
Jesus said,
(Mat 6:19-21 KJV) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: {20} But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: {21} For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Dream (author unknown)
I had a strange dream last night.. In my dream I was given 3 wishes and I became very excited. “For my first wish,” I exclaimed, “I want to be the richest man in the world!” ** Poof ** Oil sprang from the ground! The phone rang with a caller telling me that I inherited billions of dollars! A knock at my door lead me to an old man giving me the deed to a wealthy diamond mine! I was excited! “For my second wish I will be the most popular man alive!” I pronounced. ** Poof ** The phone began ringing out of control with reporters for magazines and TV! N.B.C. called wanting to give me my very own talk show! Upon hearing a screaming mob of fans at my door, I ran to it quickly only to discover personal body guards were all ready there watching over it for me. I was in awe... For my third and final wish I sat down and began to think. It had to be the most perfect wish. I knew to take my time. So I went on enjoying my fame for what seemed like days and I enjoyed it incredibly. Then while sitting in my new mansion I spotted something that I hadn’t seen nor used in a while. It was my Bible. I felt so convicted. Upon gaining all this fame and fortune I neglected the one thing that truly gave me joy, God. Then I remembered that I had one final wish. I closed my eyes tight and said, “For my final wish I want to be closer to God.” ** Poof ** When I opened my eyes next I realized that I no longer was in my mansion. All my new and fancies clothes were gone. I looked around my old room and did not see my body guards. All my fans must have gone home too. Then I noticed something again sitting in the corner. It was my Bible. I ran over to it and broke down in tears. When I opened the Word I read these words: 

“‘All these I have kept,’ the young man said. ‘What do I still lack?’ Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” -Matthew 19:20-26

We are living in amazing times – last year the Tsunami that hit around Christmas time, how many thousands lost everything, many losing their lives.  Then last summer when Hurricane Katrina hit – who would ever have imagined that a city the size of New Orleans would be a ghost town – and the huge devastation that has hit the gulf coast.  Then last week the huge earthquake that hit Pakistan with a death toll somewhere over 35,000 people, and entire cities leveled.  And now they’re talking about this bird flu that might sweep the world – though there are only about 120 cases known to have infected humans, 60 people have died – if it hits the U.S., they’re talking about quarantining entire cities.
Our world is getting shook up.  What are you building your life upon?

If you’re building on the security of riches and things, it might be gone in a minute.

(Mat 7:24-27 NKJV)  "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

Build on something that lasts – build on God’s Word.