Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 27:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thy builders have perfected thy beauty - Under the allegory of a beautiful ship, the prophet, here and in the following verses, paints the glory of this ancient city. Horace describes the commonwealth of Rome by the same allegory, and is as minute in his description, Carm. lib. 1. Od. xiv: -

O navis, referent in mare te novi

Fluctus? O quid agis? Fortiter occupa

Portum. Nonne video, ut

Nudum remigio latus,

Et malus celeri saucius Africo,

Antennaeque gemant? ac sine funibus

Vix durare carinae Possint imperiosius

Aequor! non tibi sunt integra lintea;

Non Di, quos iterum pressa votes malo:

Quamvis Pontica pinus,

Sylvae filia nobilis,

Jactes et genus, et nomen inutile

Nil pictis timidus navita puppibus

Fidit. Tu, nisi, ventis

Debes ludibrium, cave.

Unhappy vessel, shall the waves again

Tumultuous bear thee to the faithless main?

What, would thy madness thus with storms to sport?

Cast firm your anchor in the friendly port.

Behold thy naked decks, the wounded mast,

And sail-yards groan beneath the southern blast.

Nor, without ropes, thy keel can longer brave

The rushing fury of the imperious wave:

Torn are thy sails; thy guardian gods are lost,

Whom you might call, in future tempests tost.

What, though majestic in your pride you stood,

A noble daughter of the Pontic wood,

You now may vainly boast an empty name,

Of birth conspicuous in the rolls of fame.

The mariner, when storms around him rise,

No longer on a painted stern relies.

Ah! yet take heed, lest these new tempests sweep,

In sportive rage, thy glories to the deep.


I give this as a striking parallel to many passages in this chapter.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those who live at ease are to be lamented, if they are not prepared for trouble. Let none reckon themselves beautified, any further than they are sanctified. The account of the trade of Tyre intimates, that God's eye is upon men when employed in worldly business. Not only when at church, praying and hearing, but when in markets and fairs, buying and selling. In all our dealings we should keep a conscience void of offence. God, as the common Father of mankind, makes one country abound in one commodity, and another in another, serviceable to the necessity or to the comfort and ornament of human life. See what a blessing trade and merchandise are to mankind, when followed in the fear of God. Besides necessaries, an abundance of things are made valuable only by custom; yet God allows us to use them. But when riches increase, men are apt to set their hearts upon them, and forget the Lord, who gives power to get wealth.
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