Ezekiel – Chapter 28

Game Over for Tzor

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Until now, Ezekiel prophesied about the land of Tzor (Tyre). Now, G-d told Ezekiel to speak about the king of Tzor. The king was arrogant and considered himself a god on Earth; he even had himself made a throne that represented him ruling over the Heavens and the seas. But he’s not a god, he’s just a man. Forget about being an omniscient god – he’s not even as wise as Daniel, who understands profound secrets. He didn’t amass his fortune through his own brilliance or skill. But he considered himself G-d’s equal, which is why G-d will bring an invasion upon Tzor. The king of Tzor will “die many deaths” by drowning and protesting that he’s divine will not save him.

G-d told Ezekiel to mourn over the king of Tzor. They were a land of skilled artisans, whose craftsmanship was instrumental in building the Temple. He considered himself like G-d in the Garden of Eden, rejoicing in his creations. The king’s clothes were embedded with all sorts of precious gems. G-d allowed the king of Tzor to enjoy these honors, even though He had the foreknowledge that the man would ultimately become arrogant; he also had the capacity for humility, but he did not utilize it.

G-d compares the king of Tzor to a cherub with a large wingspan. (Remember, cherubim were rather impressive creatures, not the winged babies of Renaissance art. See chapter 10 of this Book for a fuller description.) The king metaphorically covered his people with his wings, protecting them. Tzor earned a special place through their work in building the Temple. The king of Tzor ranked right up there with the kings of Israel, until his huge ego proved his undoing.

The merchants of Tzor started acting unjustly in their business dealings, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn’t lose customers, as there was no place else to go. G-d will reject them; they will no longer be renowned for their contributions to the Temple. Tzor became arrogant because of their riches and finery, which overpowered their wisdom. Therefore, G-d will bring them down. Kings of other nations will look down on them. Because of their sins, and the king considering himself a god, a fire will consume them, until they are nothing but a mound of ashes on the ground. People will be astonished by this turn of events, then that’s it for Tzor, forever.

G-d spoke to Ezekiel and told him to prophesy about the nation of Tzidon. G-d is against Tzidon and He will be honored when He punishes them for their evil deeds. He will send plague and sword, and blood will run in the streets. The people will know they are doomed and consider themselves already slain.

After G-d has dealt with Amon, Moav, and all the other nations as described in the last few chapters, these nations will no longer be around to antagonize Israel. When G-d returns the Jews to the land of Israel, they will dwell securely. G-d will punish those who have oppressed Israel and everyone will see that this came from Him.

Download Audio File