Chapter 28:1-10 (ESV) - The word of the Lord came to me: “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—
you are indeed wiser than Daniel;
no secret is hidden from you;
by your wisdom and your understanding
you have made wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
into your treasuries;
by your great wisdom in your trade
you have increased your wealth,
and your heart has become proud in your wealth—
therefore thus says the Lord God:
Because you make your heart
like the heart of a god,
therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
the most ruthless of the nations;
and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
and defile your splendor.
They shall thrust you down into the pit,
and you shall die the death of the slain
in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’
in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a man, and no god,
in the hands of those who slay you?
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
by the hand of foreigners;
for I have spoken, declares the Lord God.”
Question to consider: How was the prince of Tyre wise like Daniel?
The prince of Tyre in this passage is thought to be a reference to Ethbaal II, a descendant of the dynasty started by Ethbaal I from 1 Kings 16:31 where he was called the king of the Sidonians around 887 BC. He killed the king of Tyre and took over all of Phoenicia. The name Ethbaal means “with the Lord”, and was not referring to him being on the side of the LORD, rather that he was a servant of Baal. Ethbaal I’s daughter, Jezebel, married king Ahab, and this explains why she was so driven to bring Baal worship to Israel.
Ethbaal II reigned from 750-739 BC, and it is apparent from God’s word to Ezekiel that he fancied himself to be a god. It was not uncommon for those who were part of a ruling dynasty to be so arrogant and prideful, for they never experienced life without power. Apparently, Ethbaal II was also very shrewd in his trade dealings and added to the wealth of Tyre and is compared in this passage with the wisdom of Daniel who was famous for being chief of the Magi and the one who not only interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams but knew what the dreams were before Nebuchadnezzar revealed them.
Of course, Daniel possessed true wisdom, for he feared the LORD and had faith in His promises. Unlike Ethbaal II, Daniel was humble and kind, and Nebuchadnezzar would be God’s sword in cutting down the mast of Tyre and thrusting Ethbaal II into the pit (the sea). Ezekiel described his final moments where the one who thought he was god would face the one who was to slay him and realize that he was after all just a man.
With modern science, technology and medicine, there are those who think mankind will one day be able to achieve immortality by transferring their mind to a younger body or discovering some kind of medicine that will reverse the aging process. This is all part of the same hubris as Ethbaal II, for as the author of Hebrews wrote, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
Dear heavenly father, we ask that You help us to remain humble like Daniel and seek the true wisdom of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord. Amen.