This is the chapter in question.

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel[a]? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud.

6 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, 7 I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor. 8 They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. 9 Will you then say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. 10 You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners.

I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

11 The word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.[b] Your settings and mountings[c] were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. 19 All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’”

Is he lost to history or someone we can recognise from history, Biblical and secular?

  • 1
    Because of the mention of Eden, and being a cherub, it has to be considered that the whole passage is a spiritual allusion. 'I made a spectacle of you before kings' also leads to this conclusion. But this is a matter of interpretation, not a matter of the actual text itself.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 9, 2019 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


Are you people serious? This doesn't refer to a human king, but Satan.

No human king would have been "in Eden" (v.13), but we know Satan was. Nor would a sinful human king be described as having "perfection" or "perfect beauty" (v.12). Nor would God call a sinful human king "blameless" (v.15) when even David called himself sinful (Ps 51:5). And no human but Christ on earth was "blameless in your ways from the day you were created" (v.15)....far from it. And Satan was "created", not born as all humans are. The verse clearly outlines a state of perfection that ended upon the discovery of "wickedness", which is absolutely ridiculous if the reference is to some mere human, sinful at birth like the rest of us.

Verse 14 makes it clear: here was a "guardian cherub", and cherubs were/are the guardians of God's holy throne, noted in clear unambiguous language as being on "the holy mount of God" which is the central, most holy site where that throne exists. Satan was exactly that, a cherub, and the finest of cherubim. This fact of being a cherub on the holy mount is repeated again in verse 16, which implies adding emphasis and importance. Obviously no sinful human could ever stand in Heaven, let alone stand next to God's holy throne, it could never be permitted.

God says He "ordained" this being, which is a word implying a holy, not secular, calling. God also "threw you to the earth" (v.17) which He could only do if this being's home was in Heaven in the first place.

This is a double reference. Just as Moses said (Deut 18:15) how a prophet would be raised up. It's not merely referring to Joshua as Moses' successor, but Christ (Acts 3:22,23). Ditto Hosea 11:1 referring to 'Israel' as a 'son' being called out of Egypt.... Matt 2:14 makes it clear this national 'son' Israel also refers to God's 'Son' Christ. Double meaning. The human king if Tyre would be in a double meaning with Satan. After all, Jesus himself said Tyre as a city had a lot of punishment coming due to their sin, so they were a sinful city.


I note the following suggestions about the literal identity of the prince/king of Tyre from comments on Eze 28:1 -


Ethbaal, or Ithobal, was the prince or king of Tyre; and being lifted up with excessive pride, he claimed Divine honours. Pride is peculiarly the sin of our fallen nature. Nor can any wisdom, except that which the Lord gives, lead to happiness in this world or in that which is to come. The haughty prince of Tyre thought he was able to protect his people by his own power, and considered himself as equal to the inhabitants of heaven.

Cambridge Bible:

The prince of Tyre of the time was probably Ithobal II. It is not, however, any individual prince that the prophet threatens, but the ruler of Tyre, who is the embodiment of the spirit of the proud commercial city. The sin with which the prophet charges the prince is pride of heart and self-deification.

Pulpit Commentary

From the city the prophet passes to its ruler, who concentrated in himself whatever was most arrogant and boastful in the temper of his people. He is described here as a" prince," in Ver. 12 as "king," and the combination of the two words points probably to some peculiarity of the Tyrian constitution.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Prophetical Dirge on the King of Tyre, as the Culmination and Embodiment of the Spirit of Carnal Pride and Self-sufficiency of the Whole State.


The precise literal identity of the prince/king of tyre to which Ezekiel's prophecy was addressed at the time is of little consequence. What was important was the complete condemnation of the sin of pride, arrogance and self glorification that grown to reach the dizzy heights of self deification. Such a person/state was a ideal metaphor of the great hubris that created the arch-deceiver.


This was probably king Hiram. He was a king who supplied many materials to Solomon's temple for building and was at that time a friend of Solomon. He was also a friend of David before that. He became involved in idolatry and dedicated a golden piller in the temple of Jupiter. This is probably why he was so judged so by God in Ez. 28.

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