King of Tyre

The Mysterious King of Tyre

Ezekiel 28 is known for its double prophecies against the rulers of the ancient port of Tyre in modern day Lebanon. The first ten verses concern the “prince [nagid] of Tyre” and speak of his fate by God’s judgment. But then comes a lamentation against the “king of Tyre” (Ezek. 28:11-19). The description of this king is curious to say the least. God says that he was the sum of perfection or proportion, wise and utterly beautiful (28:12. Cf. Ezek. 27:3). This seems an over the top way to speak about an earthly ruler, but perhaps this is mere hyperbole? Tyre, after all, was an important city in Phoenicia which rose to prominence in the time of Rameses II and was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar in 573 B.C.1 Its king would have been impressive enough. Ezekiel surely would have had the Tyrean court in mind.

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