Ezekiel 27:1–15 (NKJV)
27:1 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, 2 “Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre, 3 and say to Tyre, ‘You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord God:
“O Tyre, you have said,
‘I am perfect in beauty.’
4 Your borders are in the midst of the seas.
Your builders have perfected your beauty.
5 They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir;
They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast.
6 Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars;
The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks
With ivory from the coasts of Cyprus.
7 Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail;
Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you.
8 “Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen;
Your wise men, O Tyre, were in you;
They became your pilots.
9 Elders of Gebal and its wise men
Were in you to caulk your seams;
All the ships of the sea
And their oarsmen were in you
To market your merchandise.
10 “Those from Persia, Lydia, and Libya
Were in your army as men of war;
They hung shield and helmet in you;
They gave splendor to you.
11 Men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around,
And the men of Gammad were in your towers;
They hung their shields on your walls all around;
They made your beauty perfect.
12 “Tarshish was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods. 13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise. 14 Those from the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules. 15 The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment.
Ezekiel is instructed to make a lament, or song of mourning, for Tyre. He had just uttered a judgment against Tyre, but is now offering a lament. This is not necessarily God expressing sorrow, but is actually an extension of the prophetic judgment, speaking of the fall of Tyre as if the funeral had already begun. It does, however, serve the purpose of showing the nation what will be lost. He does this by speaking of the many relationships that Tyre, a great city-state, had developed and the profit that arose from them. The situation is described as if Tyre is a ship–fitting since it is a coastal city–and it was built and outfitted with the best of all materials: fir planks from Senir, cedar mast from Lebanon, oak oars from Bashan, Ivory inlays from Cyprus, an embroidered linen sail from Egypt, and a blue and purple cover from Elishah. The chapter further speaks of the laborer and crew that came from abroad: oarsmen from Sidon and Arvad, pilots from the wise men of Tyre, builders from Gebal. Sailors from everywhere marketed Tyre’s merchandise, Persian Lydia, and Libya were their army, Arvad and Gammad defended the city proper. Tarshish, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, Togarmah, and Dedan traded with Tyre, supplying them multiple items.
The bottom line is that great commercial success is not the end. Relationships with men are not the end. They are simply the outgrowth of a powerful relationship with the one true God. Therefore, know God and serve Him. The success and favor with men will follow. However, when one knows God first and intimately, all the blessings that follow will be secure. When they are built only on man and his abilities, the blessings are unsecure and tomorrow may see them blow away like dust in a storm. Know God!