Thou sealest up - This has been translated, "Thou drawest thy own likeness." "Thou formest a portrait of thyself; and hast represented thyself the perfection of wisdom and beauty." I believe this to be the meaning of the place.
The dirge of the prince of Tyre, answering to the dirge of the state. The passage is ironical; its main purpose is to depict all the glory, real or assumed, of “the prince of Tyrus,” in order to show how deplorable should be his ruin.
To “seal the sum” is to make up the whole measure of perfection. Compare the Septuagint
Thou hast been in Eden - “Thou” wast etc. The prince of Tyrus is ironically described as the first of creation; but at the same time the parallel is to be maintained in his fall from glory. Like Adam in the enjoyment of paradise, he shall be like Adam in his fall.
Every precious stone - All the stones here named are found in the High priest‘s breastplate Exodus 28:17-20, but their order is different, and three stones named in Exodus (the third row) are wanting. The prophet may purposely have varied the description because the number twelve (that of the tribes of Israel) had nothing to do with the prince of Tyrus, and he wished to portray, not a high priest, but a king, having in view a figure which was to a Jew, especially to a priest, the very type of magnificence.
Tabrets - (or, drums) and “pipes” were a common expression for festivity and triumph.
Thou art - Better,” Thou” wert. “the anointed cherub that covereth” In the temple the cherubim and all holy things were consecrated and anointed with oil (Exodus 30:26 ff). The prince of Tyre was also anointed as a sovereign priest - covering or protecting the minor states, like the cherubim with outstretched wings covering the mercy-Seat.
Thou wast upon the holy mountain - As the cherub was in the temple on the holy mountain, so the prince of Tyre was presiding over the island-city, rising like a mountain from the deep.
Stones of fire - i. e., bright and shining. Decked with bright jewels, the prince walked among jewels in gorgeous splendor.
The “perfection” was false, unsuspected until the “iniquity” which lay beneath was found out.
The greatness and power with which the Creator endowed Lucifer, he has perverted; yet when it suits his purpose, he can impart to men sentiments that are enchanting. Satan can inspire his agents with thoughts that appear elevating and noble. Did he not come to Christ with quotations of Scripture when he designed to overthrow Him with specious temptations? It is thus that he comes to men, disguising his temptations under an appearance of goodness and making them believe him to be the friend rather than the enemy of humanity. In this way he has deceived and seduced the race, beguiling them with subtle temptations, bewildering them with specious deceptions. CT 27.1
Satan has ascribed to God all the evils to which flesh is heir. He has represented Him as a God who delights in the sufferings of His creatures, who is revengeful and implacable. It was Satan who originated the doctrine of eternal torment as a punishment for sin, because in this way he could lead men into infidelity and rebellion, distract souls, and dethrone human reason. CT 27.2Read in context »
Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Christ. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing great intelligence. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. But when God said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image,” Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God. EW 145.1
Until this time all heaven had been in order, harmony, and perfect subjection to the government of God. It was the highest sin to rebel against His order and will. All heaven seemed in commotion. The angels were marshaled in companies, each division with a higher commanding angel at its head. Satan, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus, was insinuating against the government of God. Some of the angels sympathized with Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to His Son. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will. But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers, was driven from heaven. EW 145.2Read in context »
So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, “son of the morning,” was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him. “Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:12-15. PP 35.1
Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17. “Thou hast said in thine heart, ...I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.... I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. PP 35.2
Now the perfect harmony of heaven was broken. Lucifer's disposition to serve himself instead of his Creator aroused a feeling of apprehension when observed by those who considered that the glory of God should be supreme. In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined. PP 35.3Read in context »
The world is now realizing the sure results of transgression of the law of God. His work of creation completed, the Lord rested on the seventh day, and sanctified the day of His rest, setting it apart as the day which man should devote to His worship. But today the world at large is utterly disregarding the law of Jehovah. Another day has been instituted in the place of God's day of rest. The human agent has set his way and his will against the positive teachings of the Word, and the world is plunged in rebellion and sin. 1SM 222.1
This work of opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven, with Lucifer, the covering cherub. Satan determined to be first in the councils of heaven, and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, representing that it was the desire of the angels that he occupy the position that Christ held. 1SM 222.2
The evil continued to work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. Then there was war in heaven, and Satan, with all who sympathized with him, was cast out. Satan had warred for the mastery in heaven, and had lost the battle. God could no longer trust him with honor and supremacy, and these, with the part he had taken in the government of heaven, were taken from him. 1SM 222.3
Since that time Satan and his army of confederates have been the avowed enemies of God in our world, continually warring against the cause of truth and righteousness. Satan has continued to present to men, as he presented to the angels, his false representations of Christ and of God, and he has won the world to his side. Even the professedly Christian churches have taken sides with the first great apostate. 1SM 222.4Read in context »
But unless we are constantly on guard, we shall be overcome by the enemy. Although a solemn revelation of God's will concerning us has been revealed to all, yet a knowledge of His will does not set aside the necessity of offering earnest supplications to Him for help, and of diligently seeking to cooperate with Him in answering the prayers offered. He accomplishes His purposes through human instrumentalities (Manuscript 95, 1903). 6BC 1119.1
11-17. The Breastplate of Righteousness—We must put on every piece of the armor, and then stand firm. The Lord has honored us by choosing us as His soldiers. Let us fight bravely for Him, maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the welfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclinations, He will help you by His Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. Put on as your breastplate that divinely protected righteousness which it is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life (The Youth's Instructor, September 12, 1901). 6BC 1119.3Read in context »