Systematic Vegetarian Theology
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Sin and the Fallenness of
Creation (Part 3)
A commentary by: Michael Shaw
Next we must look at Ezekiel chapter 28, verses 1 to 19. This is one of those passages where many poor church goers get confused and believe that this passage is referring to the fall of Lucifer. Rather, this passage is referring to an earthly King, who is fully human and not celestial in any way. Clearly we will see that this passage has absolutely nothing to do with Lucifer or any other angels. Lets turn to the passage and read it together, than analyze it in truth. I will be using the NIV, so if you have one please use it, if not just follow along with what ever version you have.
READ EZEKIEL 28:1-19 OK lets look at this verse by verse; Again in verses 1&2 we read, "The Word of the Lord came to me: Son of Man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "This is what the Sovereign lord Says:
This passage states that we are dealing with the ruler of Tyre. Tyre is an actual place. It was once an island, but since the time of 332 BC a causeway has connected it to the mainland and today it is a peninsula. Since Tyre is an earthly place there is nothing to suggest that Lucifer was ruling over this kingdom. Certainly, if Lucifer's kingdom was an island, than we could eliminate any story suggesting that Lucifer fell from heaven, for how can you fall from heaven if you are on earth..
If we move on and look at the last part of verse two and part of verse 3 we read, and I quote, "In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god in the heart of the seas" But you are a man and not a god though you think you are as wise as a god. Are you wiser than David? is no secret hidden from you?
This bible passage tells us that the King of Tyre claimed to be a God, this of course was a common practice among kings and emperors of the ancient world. Thus again suggesting that the king in question here is entirely human and not angelic. Lucifer, according to tradition, did not claim to be a god, but rather out of pride, wanted to take over Gods heavenly kingdom.
Further, even though this king of Tyre claims to be a god, the true God says he is not and that he is just a man. Now if this was the story of Lucifer wouldn't God have said, you are not a god you are an angel? Clearly this is a story of a man and has nothing to do with the fictitious story of the Fall of Lucifer.
As I said earlier, Tyre is an actual place on Earth and not a part of God's heaven. Proof that the Tyre mentioned here in scripture is the Tyre here on earth is that in this passage we are told that the king of Tyre thinks he is a god in the heart of the seas. As I said before, Tyre was originally an island off the Phoenician Coast. It was not joined to the mainland until 332 BC. This story in Ezekiel is dated before this time period and thus Tyre would still have been an island thus again Tyre is not a place in heaven, but rather a place on earth.
This passage goes on to have God ask this king "Are you wiser than Daniel" If indeed this passage was referring to Lucifer --then, the answer could have been, "yes, I am wiser than Daniel" However, since it is only the Man King of Tyre, God is asking this question sarcastically -- knowing full well that the king of Tyre is not wiser than Daniel. So far, there has been no indication that this passage in Ezekiel is referring to something that took place in heaven before the creation of ,man or at his creation. or any other time period.
Lets continue to look at verse 3 along with verses 4&5 They read, "By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth your heart has grown proud.
In verses 3-5 we are told that this king of Tyre has amassed wealth and gold and silver. Does any Christian really believe that such things take place in heaven. Do Christians actually believe that some sort of commerce exists in heaven? We read further in this passage that the king has increased his wealth because of his great skill in trading -- I hope all Christians everywhere will agree that this passage can not pertain to operations of commerce in heaven. There is no trading going on in heaven and there certainly is no gaining of wealth there.
Work is a curse on us here on earth as told in the Book of Genesis. Working is not part of paradise--at least not the type of work which is measure in gold and silver. Angels carry out their functions assisting God in the maintaining of his universe, but as to amassing riches in heaven -- that does not make sense.
Moving on--verses6-7: Therefore, this is what the sovereign lord says, "Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god" 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 shinning splendor.
The key words in these two verses are foreigners, ruthless, and nations. If as traditional Christianity claims, this story in Ezekiel is the story of Lucifer's rebellion in heaven, why does it use such terms. Surely-there are no foreigner in heaven, all there, would be of the same kingdom-Gods kingdom. Surely there are no ruthless nations living in Heaven, if so, I'm not so sure I want to go there. Instead of these strange earthly terms why..doesn't it say that God will cause good angels to rise up against him. Why doesn't it say Michael would rise up against Lucifer in defence of God. or as a punitive response to Satan's pride.
All I can say is that thus far all of the Ezekiel passage sounds very earthly to me and I can find no evidence of a celestial battle nor a Lucifer of any kind.
Now read with me if you will the following verse of 8, 9and 10: They will bring you down to the pit and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. Will you than say, "I am a God, in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a man not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foriegners. I have spoken declares the sovereign lord.
Perhaps the most confusing word found in these verses is PIT. When reading the bible it is almost automatic that when we come across the word PIT we think of the Pit of hell. However, this is not the case here for we are told that the king will be killed (Lucifer was not killed) he was cast out according to the Luciferian tradition)
And if any one is going to try and bring into play the futuristic account of Satan being cast into the lake of fire as found in Rev., well it just doesn't fit here. This is referring to a pit not a lake of fire. Further, the story in "Rev. as already stated is futuristic and has no connection to the story at hand.
Next, this passage tells us that the king will die a violent death where? In the heart of the seas Again this is a clue that we are talking about the actual island of Tyre and not some place in heaven.
There are two other points we should deal with hear (1) God says you will be but a man not a god. It is important to point out that this in not describing some sort of demotion, but god is saying that the king will be brought to his senses, his pride will leave him as his mortality becomes apparent to him. When this king is dying, when the pain of death is upon him, then, his arrogance will leave him and he will realize that indeed he is a man and not a god. (2) it says the king will die the death of the uncircumcised, This is further proof that we are talking about earth and not heaven. Clearly, any Christian who knows his bible, realizes that circumcision has nothing to do with heavenly creatures but is rather part of the covenant between God and man.
The only way this passage would have any meaning is that it is taken to be derogatory to the king of Tyre. Some one who had been in faviour with god and then lost faviour could have been said to have been like the circumsized when in favour and like the uncircumsized when out of faviour. whatever, the case, this passage is not talking about angels in heaven.
Lets proceed, to verses 11 & 12: "The word of the Lord came to me son of man, take up a lament concerning the king o Tyre and say to him; this is what the sovereign lord says;
Not to much to say regarding these verses other than again it states "King Tyre" it does not say Lucifer, or Satan or anything of the sort. Plain and simple so far we have found no proof that we are talking about Lucifer's fall in this passage, rather we are talking about a king a man on earth.
OK now verses 12 and 13: You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, You were in Eden, the garden of God.
You were a model of perfection refers to the kings good standing with Israel. And of course the king would be seen as full of wisdom since it was in harmony with the writers of the Bible and all of Israel. The bible tells us in 1st Kings 5:1-7 that Tyre and Israel had a good relationship/ There was even a covenant made between the two countries, see 1st Kings 9:13-14 Amos 1:9 And Pslms 45:13. Also Tyre was helpful in building the temple of God 1st Kings 5 to 7 Tyre was seen as very good until sin entered Tyre by way of improper trading practices (Is. 23:18, Mica 4:2 and Zephania 3:11) This "model of perfection" means the king was good. When these verses state that the king was in the Garden of Eden, this does not necessarily refer to the actual garden of Eden, but rather it is more likely to refer to Israel itself-- for the bible tells us that the Garden of Eden is the Land of Israel (see Is 51:3, Lam 2:6 and Joel 2:3 ) There is absolutely no need to imagine that this reference to Eden has any relationship to the story of Eve when she was tempted by the serpent.
Moving on again let us look a little further at verse 13: were we read and I quote, "Every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topez and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sappire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold: on the day you were created they were prepared." End of Quote
There is really nothing here worth discussing regarding are quest for truth. Scholars debate over what this passage is referring to, be it a breastplate or the Torah--however, there has never been any serious association with this passage to some sort of Heavenly garment.
Now lets look at verse 14 where we read..."You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the Holy Mont. of God: you walked among the fiery stones. ...".
We have three points to address here which cause great confusion to people indoctrinated in the myths of man rather than what the Bible says. The first point is the Word Cherub. The use of Cherub in this passage is one of allegory. Under no circumstances is this to be taken literally. God has made it quite clear early in this chapter that we are dealing with a man and the dealings are taking place on earth. The use of the word cherub here is not meant to represent the king of Tyre as actually being an angel.
How many times do we call our children little angels, or for that matter little devils, do we really mean we think they are angels or devils? No, of course not, that would be silly. So to in light of the previous verses, would it be silly to think that this word cherub, was trying to convey that this king was really an angel.. Being called a cherub or an angel in this passage is simply a way of saying that at one time this king of Tyre was held to be in a special position by god.
The next point will be the words "Holy mount of God" This is proof that what is taking place is taking place on earth.. All mountains in heaven would be holy, therefore, to single out a mountain as being Holy would indicate a mountain on earth. such as Mt. Sinai or some other mountain sacred to God. However, the whole theme of mountain may be pure allegory, just as was the word cherub. Many times in the old testament, ancient legends were overlaid upon regular stories to give them more dramatics.
Finally we need to look at the words fiery stones. One might think that these word refer to some sort or pavement found in heaven, This of course is not the case. Chances are, according to scholars, that this refers to the stones that make up the floor in the temple. not the stones of any streets in heaven.
There is nothing supernatural about this story in Ezekiel 28 I could go on and analyze the entire chapter for you, but I think I have sufficiently proven my point. use the same analysis when reading the rest of this chapter and Keep in mind that this Prophetic story of the fall of the king of Tyre is found amongst other prophecies against other earthly nations such as Edom, Egypt and Moab.
We must keep everything in context -- on your own please use the same critical eye we have been using together and see for yourself if the rest of this passage conforms more to a human that heavenly creature. I think this is all the time we will spend on Ezekiel for now.
End of part three. If anyone has questions, I will be glad to answer, but I am not
posting to argue.
Mike Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you may send your comments to all-creatures email@example.com
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