Is it about the king of tyre or Satan?

Cz in no sense could a human claim to be an anointed cherub, in the garden of eden


It is about the king of Tyre. Ezek. 28 is set in the form of poetry and is a classic example of YHVH's use of hyperbole.

"The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God:

“Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god—..." (ESV, Ez. 28:1-2)

Ezek. 28:13 is a comparison statement. The comparison of the king's situation in which God placed him in a sublime position just as Adam was before the fall into sin.

"...You were the signet of perfection,[a] full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire,[b] emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings.[c] On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you;[d] you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked." (ESV, Ezek. 28:12-14)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary on Ezek 28:13:

  1. in Eden—The king of Tyre is represented in his former high state (contrasted with his subsequent downfall), under images drawn from the primeval man in Eden, the type of humanity in its most Godlike form.

garden of God—the model of ideal loveliness (Eze 31:8, 9; 36:35). In the person of the king of Tyre a new trial was made of humanity with the greatest earthly advantages. But as in the case of Adam, the good gifts of God were only turned into ministers to pride and self.

every precious stone—so in Eden (Ge 2:12), "gold, bdellium, and the onyx stone." So the king of Tyre was arrayed in jewel-bespangled robes after the fashion of Oriental monarchs. The nine precious stones here mentioned answer to nine of the twelve (representing the twelve tribes) in the high priest's breastplate (Ex 39:10-13; Re 21:14, 19-21). Of the four rows of three in each, the third is omitted in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the Septuagint. In this, too, there is an ulterior reference to Antichrist, who is blasphemously to arrogate the office of our divine High Priest (Zec 6:13).


pipes—literally, "holes" in musical pipes or flutes.

created—that is, in the day of thine accession to the throne. Tambourines and all the marks of joy were ready prepared for thee ("in thee," that is, "with and for thee"). Thou hadst not, like others, to work thy way to the throne through arduous struggles. No sooner created than, like Adam, thou wast surrounded with the gratifications of Eden. Fairbairn, for "pipes," translates, "females" (having reference to Ge 1:27), that is, musician-women. Maurer explains the Hebrew not as to music, but as to the setting and mounting of the gems previously mentioned." Source: Biblehub

The key is to recognize the poetical hyperbole. It did not mean the king was literally created in the garden of Eden.

  • Ezek. 28:13 Adam before falling into sin or Satan before the rebellion? it could mean either. No? – Stewart Gilligan Griffin Jan 28 '19 at 14:35
  • because you're missing the word 'cherub' – Stewart Gilligan Griffin Jan 28 '19 at 14:43
  • vs. 14 uses the word "cherub", but it is still part of the poetical hyberpole of the comparison of the kings fall into pride and sin with the fall of Adam. This chapter is not about a fallen angel from heaven. That concept of an angelic rebellion is kaballistic mysticism, and not from the Bible. It contradicts Psa. 103:20.- the angels that excel in strength are the heavenly angels. They do His will, as opposed to those "angels" / messengers on earth - men - lesser strength - who have a hard time obeying His commands. – Gina Jan 28 '19 at 15:08
  • so by you were an anointed cherub . God meant you were flawless and beautiful (before you sinned obviously) like a cherub. So you mean it's a metaphor. – Stewart Gilligan Griffin Jan 28 '19 at 15:13
  • Yes, it is a metaphor. Many metaphors are indicated by the words "as", or "like". But when poetry is used, metaphors are to be understood as implied. – Gina Jan 28 '19 at 15:16

It is about the king of Tyre. This is said explicitly in Ezekiel 28:2 and 28:12. As for the question of how a human could claim to be an anointed cherub, this is not even the king's greatest claim (according to Ezekiel). The king claims to be, in fact, a god (Ezekiel 28:2, NRSV):

Because your heart is proud and you have said, “I am a god; I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,”

to which Ezekiel responds,

yet you are but a mortal, and no god, though you compare your mind with the mind of a god.

(The word used for "mortal" is אָדָם, meaning "human.")

The king of Egypt's claims similarly that he created the Nile himself (Ezekiel 29:3)

I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon sprawling in the midst of its channels, saying, “My Nile is my own; I made it for myself.”

(The word עֲשִׂיתִנִי actually literally seems to mean "I made myself," and is understood as such in Exodus Rabba 8:2, but the commentators and translations I looked at on the verse seem to have found this meaning improbable.)

The king of Tyre's claiming to be a god is not the only place in the Bible where a person is seen as a god. Nebuchadnezzar also treated Daniel as a god after he interpreted his forgotten dream (Daniel 2:46):

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that a grain offering and incense be offered to him.

  • Ezekiel 28:14 God calls him anointed cherub . He didn't claim to be so – Stewart Gilligan Griffin Jan 28 '19 at 12:16
  • @StewartGilliganGriffin Indeed the text isn't clear there (whether he was the anointed cherub or with the anointed cherub, the latter being more suitable imagery for a god), but "how could a human claim to be a cherub" is a much smaller question that "how could a human claim to be god" which is clearly what the king of Tyre did claim. – b a Jan 28 '19 at 12:58
  • I think it’s relevent to observe the order and what was said in response to the claim of “I am a god”. It asserts that he is mortal (like humans) and as a consequence not a “god”(immortal) and the word here used is el. Had it first said you are not a god then I think you would have had a stronger case but mortality was emphasized first. Consider “I said, "You are gods**(elohim plural of el), sons of the Most High, all of you; **nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince."” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭82:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬ these gods have been stripped of immortality and Ezekiel points this out – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 28 '19 at 14:24

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