2. lamentation--a funeral dirge, eulogizing her great attributes, to
make the contrast the greater between her former and her latter state.
3. situate at the entry of the sea--literally, plural, "entrances,"
that is, ports or havens; referring to the double port of Tyre, at which
vessels entered round the north and south ends of the island, so that
ships could find a ready entrance from whatever point the wind might
merchant of . . . people for many isles--that is, a
mercantile emporium of the peoples of many seacoasts, both from the
east and from the west
"a mart of nations."
of perfect beauty--
4. Tyre, in consonance with her seagirt position, separated by a strait
of half a mile from the mainland, is described as a ship built of the
best material, and manned with the best mariners and skilful pilots, but
at last wrecked in tempestuous seas
5. Senir--the Amorite name of Hermon, or the southern height of
the Sidonian name was Sirion. "All thy . . . boards";
dual in Hebrew, "double-boards," namely, placed in a
double order on the two sides of which the ship consisted [VATABLUS]. Or, referring to the two sides or the two
ends, the prow and the stern, which every ship has [MUNSTER].
cedars--most suited for "masts," from their height and durability.
6. Bashan--celebrated for its oaks, as Lebanon was for its cedars.
the company of . . . Ashurites--the most skilful workmen summoned from
Assyria. Rather, as the Hebrew orthography requires, "They have made
thy (rowing) benches of ivory inlaid in the daughter of cedars"
[MAURER], or, the best boxwood.
BOCHART, reads the
Hebrew two words as one: "Thy plankwork (deck: instead of
'benches,' as the Hebrew is singular) they made ivory
with boxes." English Version, with
MAURER'S correction, is simpler.
Chittim--Cyprus and Macedonia, from which,
PLINY tells us, the best
boxwood came [GROTIUS].
7. broidered . . . sail--The ancients embroidered their sails often
at great expense, especially the Egyptians, whose linen, still preserved
in mummies, is of the finest texture.
Elishah--Greece; so called from Elis, a large and ancient
division of Peloponnesus. PAUSANIAS says that the
best of linen was produced in it, and in no other part of Greece;
called by HOMER, Alisium.
that which covered thee--thy awning.
8. Arvad--a small island and city near Phœnicia, now
Ruad: its inhabitants are still noted for seafaring habits.
thy wise men, O Tyrus . . . thy pilots--While the men
of Arvad, once thy equals
and the Sidonians, once thy superiors, were employed by thee in
subordinate positions as "mariners," thou madest thine own skilled men
alone to be commanders and pilots. Implying the political and
mercantile superiority of Tyre.
9. Gebal--a Phœnician city and region between Beirut and
Tripolis, famed for skilled workmen
calkers--stoppers of chinks in a vessel: carrying on the metaphor
as to Tyre.
occupy thy merchandise--that is, to exchange merchandise with thee.
10. Persia . . . Phut--warriors from the extreme east and west.
Lud--the Lydians of Asia Minor, near the Meander, famed for archery
rather than those of Ethiopia, as the Lydians of Asia Minor form a kind
of intermediate step between Persia and Phut (the Libyans about Cyrene,
descended from Phut, son of Ham).
hanged . . . shield . . . comeliness--Warriors hanged their
accoutrements on the walls for ornament. Divested of the metaphor, it
means that it was an honor to thee to have so many nations supplying
thee with hired soldiers.
11. Gammadims--rather, as the Tyrians were
Syro-Phœnicians, from a Syriac root, meaning
daring, "men of daring" [LUDOVICUS DE DIEU]. It is not likely the
keeping of watch "in the towers" would have been entrusted to
foreigners. Others take it from a Hebrew root, "a dagger," or
12. Tarshish--Tartessus in Spain, a country famed for various
metals, which were exported to Tyre. Much of the "tin" probably was
conveyed by the Phœnicians from Cornwall to Tarshish.
traded in thy fairs--"did barter with thee"
[FAIRBAIRN]; from a root,
"to leave," something left in barter for something else.
13. Javan--the Ionians or Greeks: for the Ionians of Asia Minor
were the first Greeks with whom the Asiatics came in contact.
Tubal . . . Meshech--the Tibareni and Moschi, in the mountain region
between the Black and Caspian Seas.
persons of men--that is, as slaves. So the Turkish harems are supplied
with female slaves from Circassia and Georgia.
vessels--all kinds of articles. Superior weapons are still
manufactured in the Caucasus region.
14. Togarmah--Armenia: descended from Gomer
Their mountainous region south of the Caucasus was celebrated for
horsemen--rather, "riding-horses," as distinct from "horses" for
15. Dedan--near the Persian Sea: thus an avenue to the commerce of
India. Not the Dedan in Arabia
as the names in the context here prove, but the Dedan sprung from Cush
merchandise of thine hand--that is, were dependent on thee for trade
[FAIRBAIRN]; came to buy the produce of thy hands
a present--literally, "a reward in return"; a price paid for
horns of ivory--Ivory is so termed from its resemblance to horns. The Hebrew word for "ivory" means "tooth"; so that they cannot have
mistaken ivory as if coming from the horns of certain animals,
instead of from the tusks of the elephant.
16. "Syria was thy mart for the multitude," &c. For "Syria" the
Septuagint reads "Edom." But the Syrians were famed as merchants.
occupied--old English for "traded"; so in
agate--Others translate, "ruby," "chalcedony," or "pearls."
17. Minnith . . . Pannag--names of places in Israel famed for good
wheat, wherewith Tyre was supplied
(1Ki 5:9, 11;
Minnith was formerly an Ammonite city
"Pannag" is identified by GROTIUS with "Phenice,"
the Greek name for "Canaan." "They traded . . .
wheat," that is, they supplied thy market with wheat.
18. Helbon--or Chalybon, in Syria, now Aleppo; famed for its wines;
the Persian monarchs would drink no other.
19. Dan also--None of the other places enumerated commence with the
copula ("also"; Hebrew, ve). Moreover, the products specified,
"cassia, calamus," apply rather to places in Arabia. Therefore,
FAIRBAIRN translates, "Vedan"; perhaps the modern Aden, near the straits
of Bab-el-man-deb. GROTIUS refers it to Dana, mentioned by
Javan--not the Greeks of Europe or Asia Minor, but of a Greek
settlement in Arabia.
going to and fro--rather, as Hebrew admits, "from Uzal." This
is added to "Javan," to mark which Javan is meant
The metropolis of Arabia Felix, or Yemen; called also Sanaa [BOCHART]. English Version gives a good sense,
thus: All peoples, whether near as the Israelite "Dan," or far as the
Greeks or "Javan," who were wont to "go to and fro" from their love of
traffic, frequented thy marts, bringing bright iron, &c., these
products not being necessarily represented as those of Dan or Javan.
bright iron--Yemen is still famed for its sword blades.
20. Dedan--in Arabia; distinct from the Dedan in
Descended from Abraham and Keturah
precious clothes--splendid coverlets.
21. Arabia--the nomadic tribes of Arabia, among which Kedar was
occupied with thee--literally, "of thy hand," that is, they traded with thee for wares, the product of thy hand
Eze 27:15, 16).
22. Sheba . . . Raamah--in Arabia.
chief of . . . spices--that is, best spices
Obtained from India and conveyed in caravans to Tyre.
23. Haran--the dwelling-place of Abraham in Mesopotamia, after he
moved from Ur
Canneh--Calneh, an Assyrian city on the Tigris; the Ctesiphon of the
Eden--probably a region in Babylonia (see
Chilmad--a compound; the place designated by
PTOLEMY "Gaala of Media."
The Chaldee version interprets it of Media.
HENDERSON refers it to
Carmanda, which XENOPHON
describes as a large city beyond the Euphrates.
24. all sorts of things--Hebrew, "perfections"; exquisite articles
of finery [GROTIUS].
clothes--rather, "mantles" or "cloaks"; literally, "wrappings." For
"blue," HENDERSON translates, "purple."
chests of rich apparel, bound with cords--treasures or repositories of
damask stuffs, consisting of variegated threads woven together in
cedar--The "chests" were made of cedar, in order to last the
longer; and it also keeps off decay and has a sweet odor.
25. sing of thee--personification; thy great merchant ships were
palpable proofs of thy greatness. Others translate from a different
Hebrew root, "were thy (mercantile) travellers."
"Were thy walls." But the parallelism to "thou wast glorious" favors
English Version, "sing of thee."
26. In contrast to her previous greatness, her downfall is here, by
a sudden transition, depicted under the image of a vessel foundering at
east wind--blowing from Lebanon, the most violent wind in the
A Levanter, as it is called. Nebuchadnezzar is meant. The "sea" is the
war with him which the "rowers," or rulers of the state vessel, had
"brought" it into, to its ruin.
27. The detailed enumeration implies the utter completeness of
and in all thy company--"even with all thy collected multitude"
28. The suburbs--the buildings of Tyre on the adjoining continent.
29. So on the downfall of spiritual Babylon
shall stand upon . . . land--being cast out of their ships in which
heretofore they prided themselves.
30. against thee--rather, "concerning thee."
31. utterly bald--literally, "bald with baldness." The
Phœnician custom in mourning; which, as being connected with
heathenish superstitions, was forbidden to Israel
32. take up--lift up.
the destroyed--a destroyed one. Literally, (as opposed to its
previous bustle of thronging merchants and mariners,
"one brought to death's stillness."
in . . . midst of . . . sea--insular Tyre.
33. out of the seas--brought on shore out of the ships.
filledst--didst supply plentifully with wares.
enrich . . . kings--with the custom dues levied on the wares.
34. In the time when . . . shall . . .
shall--Now that thou art broken (wrecked)
. . . thy merchandise . . . are fallen
36. hiss--with astonishment; as in