The King of Tyre

The King of Tyre - Is he the fallen angel some called Satan?

An inaccurate assumption often requires other inaccuracies to support it. As a result, the real truth becomes obscure. Scripture is supposed to be the basis for doctrine, but much of what is being taught should really be considered theory, because many doctrines taught in the Modern Churches of Christianity are in fact false, and others, have over many years, become corrupted. When an inaccurate assumption turns into an assumed "fact" and becomes a doctrine taught and promoted in a Church without any solid evidence or Scriptural support, it soon develops into basic deception. The only recourse from such deception is to throw out the doctrine, and diligently examine the facts to obtain the truth. Sometimes this is a slow and tedious process, but it will eventually produce accurate results and the real truth. The research must be thorough, and all participating must be prepared to revise Scriptural versions or translations in order to establish an accurate rendering of the passage(s) in question.

This study is prompted by errors permeated by theological miss-understandings about the created being called Satan, where theory is assumed as fact. The lack of careful examination of the Scriptures about this matter of understanding who or what Satan is, is especially noticeable. The passages which are forced to support the theory that Satan is a fallen angel is a real tragedy in the Churches of Modern Christianity, because the result is a complete miss-understanding of several applied Scriptural passages. This has resulted in a corrupt doctrine which perpetuates the error about the created being known as Satan.

When YHWH (Yahweh), The Mighty-One, revealed Himself to Moses and had Moses write the Torah, (first five books of the Bible) there was not one single mention of an evil angel named Satan, or evil angels, or for that matter any being that could tempt you in your mind to Transgress the law! In fact the main point of the Torah is to proclaim that there is only one Mighty-One, and that one Mighty-One is "YHWH (Yahweh)," (Ex.20: 2-3,) "I am YHWH (Yahweh) your Mighty-One, which has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other mighty one before Me." (Deut.4:35-39) Unto you it was shown, that you might know that YHWH (Yahweh), He is the Almighty, there is none else beside Him. Know therefore this day, and consider it in your mind, that YHWH (Yahweh) He is the Almighty in heaven above and upon earth beneath: there is none else."

Some will say, We believe in the one true Mighty-One, but what does that have to do with our belief in Satan? Just this, "Satan" as portrayed by many of the Modern Christian Churches of the world, by all reasonable accounts, must also be classed as a Mighty-One. First of all, they appear to teach that Satan is omnipresent, meaning (able to be everywhere at once) "Satan" they say, is here tempting you and me on this side of the world, but at the same time is tempting everybody else all over the rest of the world! They believe Satan and his army of evil angels are everywhere tempting every person in the world to follow their evil ways! So they must believe that he or they are tempting more than five billion people every minute of every day! It is certain no humans could do that! But they say, "Satan is a fallen angel." Well let's examine that for a moment. The Scriptures speak of angels (messengers) in several places, but in each and every one of those places there is no indication of "omnipresence." In each instance a messenger could only be in one place at one time. For example, in the book of Daniel an angel (messenger) was to deliver a message to Daniel, but he was delayed for 21 days and he could not come to Daniel because he had to stay with the kings of Persia. (Dan.10:10-14). "And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said to me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto you, and stand upright: for unto you am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before YHWH (Yahweh), your words were heard, and I am come for your words. But the king of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I come (21 days later) to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days."

So we see neither man nor angels (heavenly messengers) have the power to be in more than one place at a time! That leaves only one category, the category of Mighty-One! Since the Scriptures teach us there is only one Mighty-One, and that One is YHWH (Yahweh), there is absolutely no room for the false belief in an evil angel, a Mighty-One, called "Satan."

Why then, do the scriptures refer to a being called Satan? This is not a difficult question. The scriptures were originally written in Hebrew (the Old Covenant) and in the Greek (the New Covenant). The Hebrew word meaning "adversary" or "accuser" or "opponent" is saw-tawn. This Hebrew word should have been translated into English as "adversary," "the adversary," "an adversary," "accuser," "the accuser," or "opponent," "the opponent." In the Greek Scriptures, the Hebrew word is transliterated into "Sa-tan" with the same exact meaning as the Hebrew. The Hebrew meaning would have been the correct and proper way to translate from one language to another, (render the word as to its meaning in the other language). However, in many cases (but not all) the translators chose to transliterate "saw-tawn" simply meaning adversary, as satan, and then changing the word into a name by using a capital "S" thus the word "saw-tawn" which means "adversary, accuser, or opponent" was turned into a proper name!

Saw-tawn in Hebrew and in the Greek is not a proper name! It is simply a word that means adversary, accuser, or opponent! It is not that the translators did not know what they were doing. For example, in the King James Version they rendered the word correctly in a few places see I Sam.29:4; II Sam.19:22; I kings 5:4; and 11:14,23,25.

This brings our study to Ezekiel 28, (a passage that speaks of the governor/ruler, king of Tyre) a favorite passage many use on which to base the assumption, that this king of Tyre is in fact a being called Satan, "spoken of in figurative speech." Not being able to distinguish the king as also the "governor/ruler" seems to freeze many minds and prevents further investigation. There is also an un-willingness to search below the surface, and so another query develops: Isn’t the king of Tyre said to be the Anointed Cherub? And, doesn’t it say he was in Eden, the garden of YHWH (Yahweh)? So the assumption is then made that these details in the passage must refer to Satan, (the Serpent) who deceived Eve in the garden of Eden! The correct understanding of the translation of Ezekiel twenty-eight, will only be solved by patience on the part of those who truly seek to sift the facts, not only through the use of a translation, but through the use of the text of the original Hebrew, and the Greek through the LXX where necessary. Truth will not yield to the superficial considerations seeking to ignore or explain away the plain scriptural statement that the Adversary is sinning from the beginning (1 John 3:8). Therefore, before any exegesis is attempted, we must first be certain about the rendering of the text passage under question, or, better still, we must deal directly with the original Hebrew text, with help from the LXX.

Against the Governor/Ruler of Tyre

28:1 And the word of YHWH (Yahweh) came to me saying, 'Son of man, say to the Governor [or Ruler] of Tyre,
"The Master YHWH (Yahweh) says this:
In your arrogance you say, 'I am El;
I sit throned like Elohim on the high seas.'
Though you are a man and not El,
you try to think the thoughts of Elohim.
3 What? Are you wiser than Daniel?
Has no secret been hidden from you?
4 By your wisdom and intelligence
you have amassed great wealth for yourself,
you have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries.
5 By your skill in trading you have increased your riches,
and with your riches your arrogance has grown.
6 Therefore the Master YHWH (Yahweh) says this:
Because you try to think the thoughts of Elohim
7 I will bring foreigners against you,
the most barbarous of the nations.
They will draw sword against your fine wisdom,
they will defile your splendor,
8 they will throw you down into the pit to die
a death of disgrace on the high seas.
9 Will you still dare to say you are Elohim
before your assailant slays you?
No, you are a man and not El,
in the clutches of your assailants.
10 You will die strengthless,
at the hands of foreigners.
For I have spoken - it is the Master YHWH (Yahweh) who speaks."'

The fall of the King of Tyre

28:11-12 And the word of YHWH (Yahweh) came to me saying, 'Son of man, raise a dirge over the king of Tyre.
Say to him, "The Master YHWH (Yahweh) says this:
You were once a seal-print [exemplar] of perfection,
full of wisdom, perfect in beauty.
13 You came into luxury, a paradise from Elohim,
gems of every kind were your covering,
Sardin, topaz, diamond, chrysolite, onyx,
jasper, sapphire, carbuncle, emerald.
Your jingling beads were of gold,
and the spangles you wore were made for
you on the day of your birth.
14 I had provided you with a guardian cherub;
you were in the set-apart mountain of Elohim,
and you walked proudly among the stones that flashed with fire.
15 You were blameless in all your ways
from the day of your birth until iniquity came to light.
16 Your busy trading has filled you with lawlessness and sin,
so I thrust you down from the mountain of Elohim,
and the guardian cherub banished [or destroyed] you from
among the stones that flashed like fire.
17 Your heart has made you arrogant
because of your beauty.
You have corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
I have thrown you to the ground;
I have made you a spectacle for other kings.
18 So great was your sin in your wicked trading,
that you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I kindled a fire within you, to consume you.
I left you as ashes on the ground for all to see.
19 Of the nations, all who know you were aghast;
you became waste, gone forever."'

A careful reading of the above translation, compared with the Authorized Version will reveal many distinct differences. Several of the major statements of the Authorized Version concerning the king of Tyre must go because of error. The way is also opened to consider, not only the changes based on the language of the Hebrew, as compared with the LXX, but also the reason for the 'cherub' spoken of in the passage. This will also provide a better understanding of the cherubim, and the purpose for these beings. To prevent the main purpose of this article from being obscured and lost among the variant details of the above translation, the following paragraphs will discuss important errors in the translation of the Authorized Version of Ezekiel 28: 1-19, and its connection with the real meaning of the Hebrew text.

Critical Results

A critical examination of the Hebrew, and comparison with the LXX brings out several features that forced us to prepare the above translation. Note: We are not alone in the general understanding of our version for these verses, and the reader is invited to make his own comparison. Even without any knowledge of the Hebrew or the Greek, by comparing various well-accepted translations such as "The Jerusalem Bible" "The New English Version" "The Scriptures" and others, most any one will also come to the same conclusion.

Following is a brief explanation of some of the more important changes with the Authorized Version.

The word "sealest" of verse twelve of the Authorized Version is not a verb in the Hebrew. It refers to the seal on a signet, and the Authorized Version renders it as such. The Hebrew word rendered "sum" occurs only in one other place viz., Ezekiel 43:10, and in this case the Authorized Version translates it as "pattern," noting "sum or number" in the margin. From Ezekiel 43:10 we begin to understand the difficulty in translating the Hebrew word, which is thknith. The translators were constrained to give a sense to the word agreeable to the context rather than what agrees with the Hebrew word. In the two occurrences of this word, the LXX agrees with the Hebrew thbnith, which signifies model, and is synonymous with the Authorized Version "pattern." The difference between the Hebrew letters k and b is very slight, and those familiar with the Hebrew letters will understand this. An up-to-date example of this may be seen in the index to Wigram's Englishman's Hebrew Concordance where, under the word pattern, thknith of page 1347 is printed thbnith. It looks like we must accept the LXX understanding of this word, because it is also agreeable to the associated word seal-print. The word "covereth" (verse 14) belongs to the word family of OVERSHADOW (Ex. 33: 22), and appears to be after the grammatical form of the piel participle. Without the initial m it is rendered booth, tabernacle, and pavilion in the Authorized Version. We will render the m form as "protect" but supplying the word "guardian" to complete the sense. The other case (verses 13) which is a kal participle, we will continue to render as "covering."

Now we turn to another kind of difference, that of the division into sentences. It is well known that both the Hebrew and Greek division into sentences and verses is the work of textual editors, so we are not bound to follow them, provided significant sense is maintained.

The Governor is also the King

It is also helpful to first discuss the connection of these verses with those of the verses 28:1-10 of the chapter, which the Authorized Version appears to be speaking of the "prince" of Tyre. Can this one be the same as the king of Tyre? The Authorized Version translates eleven Hebrew words by the word prince, so we must ask ourselves whether the understanding used here used is really the word prince. The Hebrew is ngid; some of the Authorized Version renderings are captain, chief, governor, leader, noble and ruler. The words appear to signify governor, or ruler. Use of the word governor reveals several interesting details.

Saul was anointed to be governor over Israel (1 Sam.9:16) and was later proclaimed king at Mizpeh (1 Sam.10:17-27). David was also commanded by YHWH (Yahweh) to be governor (1 Sam.13:14), and this resulted in his being king. It is also recorded of Solomon that he was governor and king (1 Chron.29:22). It is obvious that the word ngid names the governing function of the king, and consequently both king and governor may refer to the same man. There are a number of other interesting instances, but these will be sufficient to show that the governor/ruler of Tyre is most likely also the king of Tyre, merely differentiated in the poetic quality of Ezekiel to emphasize another angle and reason for his overthrow. Neither the arrogance, nor the wisdom of the governor of Tyre preserved him. Nor did the luxury and his apparent flawlessness protect him as the king. The governor/ruler of Tyre was a man, and the king of Tyre is said to be known among the peoples, and he become ash on the ground for all to see.

Such distinctions completely remove the king from consideration, as anything other than a man, and at the same time tends to confirm the fact, that the governor/ruler and king in this passage are one and the same man. Other details around the king indicate the eminence he had, and also lifts the curtain to reveal the position YHWH (Yahweh) had given him in relation to the supreme and effective agencies by which the globe is governed under YHWH (Yahweh)'s complete rule. The dirge against the king of Tyre opens with a terse description: You were once a seal-print [exemplar] of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty. This epitomizes the glory the king had, for the king's sagacity was such that YHWH (Yahweh) provided him with a guardian, (covering) cherub. The model is further explained in verse fifteen, as the king's ways were blameless until iniquity came. The ancient splendor of the city of Tyre can be judged by its ruins, and these agree with the glory here ascribed to the king, who is also its governor/ruler.

In Luxury, not Eden

The change from the Authorized Version rendering of "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God" calls for a remark. The suggested presence in Eden of the Tyrian king has lead to a lot of confusion, and has formulated whole doctrines. Our version tried to treat the Hebrew word odn as a proper noun, a name, but this did not give a sense fully agreeable to the surrounding context, besides creating other difficulties. If we research the LXX in regard to this passage, and translate from the Greek, the confusion is eliminated, and we can then reach a sense fully pertinent to the drift of the passage, and solve the problem with regard to Eden. At the same time we realize that the words "a paradise from Elohim" are not a repetition of what would be meant by luxury, but are, in fact, required to complete the statement: 28:13 "You come into luxury, a paradise from Elohim."

The wisdom of the king corresponds with that of a governor/ruler, but NOT as wise as Daniel. Was it possible to hide a secret from the governor/ruler, a man? Yes. His understanding seemed merely to afford the acquisition of immense riches and treasures. This banished the flawlessness from the king's ways, and the real inwardness of the heart was then apparent. He revolted against YHWH (Yahweh) and showed ignorance and lack of realization that all the luxury and splendor of his position was actually due to YHWH (Yahweh)'s economy, rather than to his "manly" ability and prowess.

Two aspects of the same matter

The separation of YHWH (Yahweh)'s messages, first under the titles of "governor/ruler of Tyre" and second under "king of Tyre" is to show plainly that the normal course of events is not divorced from YHWH (Yahweh)'s administration. To the governor/ruler it is shown that YHWH (Yahweh) is watching and ordering the rise and fall of Tyre. To the king the more intimate connection of YHWH (Yahweh) to his position is revealed, by the provision of a guardian cherub. This declares to the king something, which his wisdom failed to understand. He did not perceive the fact, that YHWH (Yahweh) had set him to rule and to maintain order in his section of the globe, and that he, in his YHWH (Yahweh)-given kingly governing ruling capacity, was an agent of YHWH (Yahweh) for the good of his people, and, as such, was to restrain evil, not promote it.

Not the Cherub

There is an infelicity in the Authorized Version rendering of "Thou art the anointed cherub," and it is very important that we make the correction and adjustment, for it controls the sense. The italics of the Authorized Version are supplied words, and, if correct, are admissible. However, the Hebrew word ath may be either the pronoun you or indicate the object of the verb. Since ath as a pronoun, without the pointing, is the feminine form, and the words king and cherub are masculine, the rendering as a pronoun must be ruled out, and so we are not required to supply the substantive verb "art." This gives us ath krub, which must be accusative rather than nominative. We find confirmation of this when we understand that the Authorized Version rendering "and I have set thee" is without an object as indicated by the supplied "so." So we render; I had provided you with a guardian cherub.

The misunderstanding that the king of Tyre was the "so called anointed cherub" is this way resolved into a matter which reveals YHWH (Yahweh)'s effective government over the globe, and, if we follow this indication, we will receive an insight into the fact that YHWH (Yahweh) rules supreme over creation's affairs. This requires us to consider the 'cherubim' in order to obtain a fuller understanding of their function in the universe and on the globe.

The Cherub destroys the King

Before taking up the cherubim, we will first discuss another inapt rendering, in verse sixteen, which reads this way in the Authorized Version:

"and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub." The details of the employment and activities of the cherubim ought to cause us to question the Authorized Version rendering that a cherub should be required to be destroyed; that a man should be termed a cherub is out of keeping with the scriptural references to these creatures. Their connection with judgment suggests that the action must be by the cherub rather than against it. And, this agrees with the result of our examination of the prior verse fourteen, from which we saw that the covering of the king of Tyre was associated with the cherub's guardianship.

The solution of the problem concerning the verb destroy, abd, lies in the fact that, divested of the pointings, it may be either first or third person, and since considerations point out that the king of Tyre was not the cherub, then it is fully agreeable to decide that it must be third person, and should be rendered: "and the guardian cherub banished [or destroyed] you..." These changes bring the references to the cherub into line with all the other cases in the Scriptures, for Cherubs are employed to check the powers of evil and keep them within YHWH (Yahweh)'s requirements.

Tyre within the bounds of the Set-apart (Holy) Holy Mount

Our translation of the statement, that the king of Tyre comes to be in the set-apart mountain of YHWH (Yahweh) seems to require an understanding in reference to the land of Israel. We must first note that the preposition should be "in" as we have rendered it, not "upon" as rendered in the Authorized Version. This is in keeping with the geographical situation of Tyre. Israel is YHWH (Yahweh)'s set-apart mount (Ezek.20: 40), and its land was apparently looked upon as such also. The city of Jerusalem is also spoken of as YHWH (Yahweh)'s set-apart mount (Dan.9: 16, 20), while Daniel 11:45 seems to require the whole land to be considered this way. YHWH (Yahweh)'s kingdom will also be His set-apart mount (Isa.11: 9). This understanding makes the statement normal. We also understand that Tyre held a place in relation to YHWH (Yahweh)'s ordering of His kingdom for Israel. The nations around had their function and purpose in YHWH (Yahweh)'s government, but, like Israel, they over stepped and violated their assigned positions and duties, and YHWH (Yahweh) restrained them according to His counsel, and controls those operating according to His fiat.

The King associated with the Cherub

That the king of Tyre walked among the stones that flashed with fire tells us in figure of speech, that in his ruling capacity, he was associated with the guardian cherub, who was really the one charged with control in the initial stage. This may be deduced from the mention of fire in the details of the cherub vision seen in Ezekiel 1: 4,13,27; 8: 2; 10: 6,7. The fire in the visions was used to judge Jerusalem. And, when saying that the king of Tyre walked proudly among the stones that flashed with fire, seems to signify that it was his duty to judge by reason of the authority invested through the guardian cherub. Probably the precious gems enumerated in verses thirteen are the stones that flashed with fire; they were the covering emblems of the dignity of the king

Having discussed the errors concerning the king of Tyre, it is now important to briefly consider the cherubim, especially as it has become apparent that the king of Tyre was not a cherub. In the course of our examination, hints have been made which really shed light on these beings, and it is hoped that these hints and observations have prepared the ground for a fuller understanding of their reality and position in the Scriptures. If so, then we have a reason to be thankful to YHWH (Yahweh) that His Word instructs rather than perplexes.

The vision of Ezekiel

In Ezekiel the cherubim are perhaps more prominent than in any other section of the Scriptures. No doubt there is a good reason for this. Are we able to discover it? If so, it will help our understanding. This prophet is very concerned with the evil in Israel, and with its restraint. The series of visions and their accompanying messages result in the judging and deposing of Israel from the position, which YHWH (Yahweh) had given to them. Throughout the book the title Adonai, that is, Adjudicator, is associated with the title YHWH (Yahweh). The nations around Israel are also dealt with; their expressed pleasure at Israel's plight is an affront to YHWH (Yahweh). The nations do not understand that they are assigned their positions in relation to Israel, and so they must also learn through the glory, majesty and judgment of YHWH (Yahweh).

YHWH (Yahweh)'s Presence orders events

The reason for the controlling movements in the visions being around the cherubim seems to emphasize that YHWH (Yahweh)'s presence is peculiarly apparent in the upheaval of Israel and the nations. They are not haphazard movements, but YHWH (Yahweh) is, through the cherubim, restraining the existing evil and ordering the future, which will realize His will, and complete His plan. The presence of the cherubim indicates coming judgment. In Ezekiel they are beneath the throne, while in the Unveiling (Revelation), they are incorporated into the throne. The first mention of them in Genesis 3:24 employs them to guard the way to the tree of life, and in the holy of holies, guardians [overshadowing] the lid of the ark containing the law, we see their zeal and concern for YHWH (Yahweh)'s law. In the tabernacle and temple these beings are very much in evidence, being almost a center of the service, possibly reminding of the divine presence there, and the importance of the law and worship. In visions, YHWH (Yahweh)'s presence seems to be indicated by the cherubim. Hezekiah realized this when he spread the king of Assyria's letter before YHWH (Yahweh) in YHWH (Yahweh)'s house, praying to Him who dwells between the cherubim, recognizing Him as the Elohim of all the kingdoms of the earth (2 Kings 19:15). YHWH (Yahweh) responds to Hezekiah's prayer, and Sennacherib was restrained.

YHWH (Yahweh)'s Governmental Agents

It would seem that the cherubim along with the adversaries are the prime agents in YHWH (Yahweh)'s government of the globe. YHWH (Yahweh) has supreme and effective control of it, which is carried out by manifold agencies, those which promote evil, and those which check evil. We see only the instrumental aspect, as when one nation over throws another, and the Scriptures reveal the evil to be of YHWH (Yahweh). When we read about the cherubim in visions, we see YHWH (Yahweh)'s throne in operation, and the cherubim take part in His government. They are related to the authority of YHWH (Yahweh) as displayed in directing the affairs of the globe, and, because of the way which global matters take, this directing often results in judgment. The cherubim in this way are employed to check the powers of evil, for they are divinely constituted delegates of the globe, over and above man. The cherubim forward essential good and frustrate the adversaries. Like the adversaries they are always subservient to the fiat of YHWH (Yahweh). If the cherubim and adversaries are means of YHWH (Yahweh)'s ministry of this globes affairs, then men like the king of Tyre are but their remote agents. Like the adversaries, the cherubim, are executives of YHWH (Yahweh)'s rule, and should be distinguished from the emblems used to represent them. They have flexibility in details of form, which doubtless corresponds to the particular requirements of the vision. When seen in vision they seem especially able to depict the glory of YHWH (Yahweh)'s throne as it threatens judgment, or other evils.

Significance of the Word Cherub

The derivation of the word cherub is very interesting, especially with regard to their being representative. It is a compound word in the Hebrew of two parts, k signifies as and rub meaning many, so "as-many", or, (made a little more English), "like-many." In figure they are the likeness of many earthly things and deal with the dominion, which is in the hands of man over sentient creatures, animal and human, populating the globe. They seek the good of the living, and are themselves also spoken of under the general title of "Living Ones."

Cherubim Check Evil

From our considerations and study here, it should become obvious that not only is the king of Tyre not a cherub, but also that the cherub cannot be an Adversary or Satan. The function and employment of the cherubim are opposite to that of the 'Adversary(s)' or the being called Satan. Adversaries deceive nations and promote evil, but cherubim check and restrain the powers of adversaries and evil. Yet all is in accordance within the will of the Master YHWH (Yahweh).



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