It is doubtful there has ever been a generation as confused, restless, and frightened as ours about the unfathomable present, and the unknown future. Many are living with dreadful fears, which prevent happiness, victorious Christian living, lower efficiency making fertile ground for a pessimistic philosophy, with a dark and uncertain future. The Bible, God’s plan works right the opposite when believed, accepted, and followed.
It has been from the beginning, the plan and work of the Devil, the enemy of God, and man, to distort, confuse, deceive, and lead man away from the divine plan of present and eternal salvation. His work has been very effective, and powerful in many areas by using the Divine inspired Word of God, and in a sly, deceptive, and cunning manner has in such flagrant ways misinterpreted, and misapplied the meaning and message of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
This book deals with one of these destructive areas. The theory of the Devil being a fallen angelic being never entered into the teaching, nor troubled the people of God in the Old Testament, nor the New Testament first century Church. It was clear to them that it was nothing more than the Semitic myth that the morning star fell from heaven. Myth means an invented story of an imaginary person, or thing coming down from the past which many people have believed. And it is this that the fate of the King of Babylon is compared in Isaiah 14:12. There is no Scriptural teaching that the Devil was one time an angelic being in heaven, or that he is a fallen angel. That is wholly a myth or legend passed down through the ages of heathen people, and is heathenish teaching. Semite, meaning the descendants of Shem, a member of the white division of the human race. In ancient times including the Babylonians, Assyrians, Armenians, Phoenicians, and various other people of Southwestern Asia.
The theory that sometime, somewhere, God created certain angelic beings and put them on probation is wholly unscriptural, and false. The only created, creature of God, put on probation was man. Probation means nothing more than during a time of living on earth man is to live by the rules of God. But during this time there will be periods when he will have temptations, trials, testing his conduct and character. Mankind is the only created creature of God placed in this realm.
God’s created, angelic beings are the Spirit of God, which was part of God himself, with no power of choice. They could do nothing more than the will and bidings of their creator. It is absurd to think that God would rebel against Himself, and put part of Himself out of heaven, to corrupt and destroy his only creation of an intelligent being (man) that he desired to enjoy daily communion and companionship with.
The people of the New Testament whom Peter, and Jude wrote referring to the Angels that sinned, understood clearly that the writer was dealing with the Patriarchs before the flood, who kept not their position as holy men of God, designed to be leaders of God’s people during the antediluvian age, but fell from this high plane, to the lowest state of sin, rebellion, and corruption. They did not need a long treatise on who the writer had reference, but it was clear to them, as well as the statements about Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, and Egypt.
It is tragic to see how since the time of the 16th Century Reformation, and especially during recent times this false theory has interwoven itself so strongly in the dogma of denominationalism and supposedly evangelical religion. The basic reason for this is to destroy the eternal phase of God’s glorious plan of eternal salvation. If an angelic being created of God, the Spirit of God, part of God, with no power of choice can rebel, there is no assurance that man a created being with the power of choice will not at some time rebel in heaven, get put out, and lose his eternal state and home in glory. The plan of God is eternal. When once in heaven, one will forever be with the Lord. To expose the false and give the true Scriptural truth is very disturbing to the Devil and his messengers.
Therefore, with love let me say, get your Bible and prayerfully peruse this book with one thing in mind, that what I believe and teach must be Biblically sound.
Yours for the Truth,
Lawrence J. Chesnut, B.Th, D.D., Ph.D. Lesson 1
1. It is important to understand the creation, nature, character and purpose of God’s Angels.
2. The word “Angel” comes from the Greek word which means “Messenger,” and is used to denote ministering spirits, or messengers of God.
3. Our present knowledge of intelligent creatures other than human beings must be derived from the Bible.
4. The Bible represents an order of beings known as Angels, who were created before man.
I. Angels are Angelic Creatures.
I. Meaning—heavenly, pure, innocent, good, and lovely, spirit beings, acting solely as God’s messengers.
1. The Bible has much to say about Angels. They are associated with men from the Garden of Eden, to John on the Isle of Patmos.
2. Heavenly Creatures guarded the tree of life.
3. Angels appeared to Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Moses, and many other Old Testament characters.
4. Nor was the ministration of Angels confined to the Old Testament dispensation.
5. Angels appeared to Zacharias, Joseph, and Mary and to the Shepherds.
6. An Angel rolled the stone from the sepulcher and announced the resurrection of Christ.
7. Angels were present at the ascension and announced the return of Christ.
8. Angels ministered to Peter, Paul, and others.
II. Angels are Spirit Beings.
1. Angels are declared to be “Ministering Spirits,” serving the heirs of Salvation.
2. Being Spirits, they possess personality with intelligence, will, and emotion, but with no power of choice. Man was God’s first creation endowed with the power to make decisions, or to decide to do or not to do, hence impossible for Angelic being to rebel.
3. There is joy among the Angels when a sinner repents.
4. Usually Angels are invisible to mortal eyes, as of the heavenly host unseen by the young man with Elisha at Dothan.
5. Angels do appear, however, in a bodily form and are seen in waking hours as well as in visions.
6. Doubtless much of their service is unseen, and unnoticed by us.—We are told that the Angels are given charge over us.
III. Angels are Immortal
1. In Luke 20:35–36 Jesus explains that after the resurrection we shall neither marry nor die, but be equal with the Angels.
2. This teaches that Angels cannot die, hence they are immortal.
3. Of man it is said, “Thou madest him a little lower than the Angels.” (Heb. 2:7)
4. Jesus partook of man’s estate, being himself made lower than the Angels, that he might die for us.
5. Since Angels do not propagate through marriage, and do not die, their number remains the same unless changed by a special Act of God.
IV. The Nature of Angels.
1. They were created by God. Neh. 9:6, Col. 1:16.
2. They are spiritual immortal beings. Heb. 1:7, 14, Luke 20:34–36
3. Their home is in heaven. Matt. 22:30
V. Angels are Ministering Spirits.
1. They ministered to Christ. Matt. 4:11
2. They ministered to Peter. Acts 12:5–11
3. They ministered to Paul. Acts 27:20–25
4. They carried the soul of Lazarus to Paradise at his death. Luke 16:22
VI. They can Commute the will of God to Man. Matt. 2:13
1. They announced the conception of Christ. Matt. 1:20
2. They announced the birth of Christ. Luke 2:10–12.
3. They announced the second coming of Christ. Acts 1:11
4. They charged Peter and John to preach. Acts 5:19–20.
VII. Some of the Characteristics of Angels.
1. They are holy. Matt. 25:31
2. They are mighty. II Thess. 1:7–8
3. They are wise. II Sam. 14:20
4. They are innumerable. Heb. 12:22
VIII. Other Facts about them.
1. They celebrate the praises of God. Psa. 148:2, Luke 2:13–14, Rev. 5:11–13.
2. They rejoice at the conversion of a sinner. Luke 15:7, 10.
3. They sometime execute God’s judgments, II Kings 19:35, Acts 12:23.
4. They have charge over God’s people. Psa. 34:7, 91:11–12, Matt. 18:10
5. They will accompany Christ at His second coming. Matt. 16:27, II Thess. 1:17
1. Angelic beings were God’s heavenly creation, created with a will only to do God’s biddings.
2. Powerless to rebel, or do wrong because of never being endowed with power of choice.
3. They were God’s Spirit, ministering to the heir’s of God’s salvation.
4. They moved only by the direction, and order of God.
5. Impossible to rebel in heaven because no wrong existed there.
6. No truth taught scripturally, that an Angelic being was ever placed on probation.
I. Isaiah Fourteenth Chapter.
Date, Content, and Characters very important for scriptural understanding.
1—The writing of the book of Isaiah covers the time from 760–698 B.C. 62 years.
2—Beginning 3,240 years after the biblical date of the time of creation.
3—The fulfillment of the prophecy of the year of 538 BC. 3,462 years after the biblical record of time of creation.
4—The Devil was in the Garden of Eden, following the creation of Adam and Eve, 3,462 years before the fulfillment of this chapter making it clear this scripture has no reference to the origin of the Devil.
5—The time element alone shows the impossibility of the creation, and Isaiah 14th Chapter having any connection.
6—Isaiah, known as the salvation prophet, prophesied in the main of future events to come, with many of them relating to the spiritual.
1—Isaiah 14:1–2, is a prophecy of God’s merciful restoration of Israel from Babylonian captivity.
2—Verses 3–32 is a prophecy of Israel’s triumph in the fall of Babylon, which terminated in the year of 538 B.C.
3—This Chapter is a prophecy, yet to occur, of the downfall of the Kingdom of Babylon, and her great King Nebuchadnezzar.
4—Verses 1–23 reveals the restoration of Israel and her song of triumph over Babylon.
5—The fall of Babylon is to be followed by the restoration of Israel, with the good will of the nations, and by exercising rule over their late oppressors.
6—In this time of rest and refreshment they will sing a song of triumph over Babylon.
7—This song extends from verses 4–23.
1—The Kingdom of Israel.
2—The Kingdom of Babylon.
II. Explanation of Isaiah 14th Chapter
1. Verse l
1—Shows the Divine compassion, and mercy of God.
2—Restoration of Israel.
3—The return of the Jews, God’s special chosen ones.
4—The joining of strangers (Gentiles) as the people of God.
2. Verse 2—The exaltation of Israel.
3. Verse 3—The day of deliverance, peace, and rest from sorrow, fear, and hard bondage, when the Kingdom of Babylon, with her wicked King was overthrown.
4. Verse 4: Note the Scripture carefully.
1—That thou shalt take up this Proverb, this Parable, this taunting speech, this saying meaning, To jeer, reproach, mock, ridicule, bitter, or insulting remarks, sarcasm.
2—“Against the King of Babylon.”
a. King Nebuchadnezzar was the great King referred to.
3—“How hath the oppressor ceased.”
a. What caused Nebuchadnezzar to lose his Kingship and throne?
4—“The Golden City (Babylon) ceased.”
a. Why, was Babylon destroyed?
b. This was the beginning of the mockery of a once powerful King, and leader of Babylon.
5—Verse 5–6. The proud humbled, and power of the wicked broken, and the fall of wicked Babylon.
6—Verse 7–8. The songs of victory of God’s people, over their enemy—Babylon, with her wicked King.
7—Verse 9–11.—The awful results and state of the corruption and desolation of Babylon.
8—Verse 12. The great question asked King Nebuchadnezzar by the people.
a. Note this King was living here on earth among people, and ruling over them, in a visible, bodily form.
b. The people could see him, talk to him, and he could see and talk to them—These were all in human bodies here on earth.
c. “How art thou fallen from heaven?”
d. It must be remembered that ancient oriental notion was that Kings were incarnations of the divine, and everything was done to sustain this sentiment.
e. There is evidence of this as regards Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.
f. Such a sentiment or National ambition reached a great height during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
g. With this philosophy, it can be understood why the term heaven was used.
h. To them their King possessed divinity, and what a shock to see their leader experience such judgment.
i. Keep in mind this was the theory of heathen Babylon, and not the plan, and way of God.
5. “O Lucifer, son of the morning.”
1—Meaning the light bringer (as matches in our day)
The Shining one
Son of the morning, or dawn
O day star—
The great leader.
2—Lucifer is the Latin rendering of the Hebrew (Helel) meaning Day Star.
3—According to Semitic Myth the morning Star fell from heaven, and it is this that the fate of the King of Babylon is compared in Isa. 14:12.
4—The legend of the fall of Angels, and such passages as Luke 9:18, Rev. 9:1, 12:7–10, led to the identity of Lucifer with Satan.
a. Myth—meaning an invented story of an imaginary person or thing.
b. Legend—meaning a story coming down from the past which many people have believed.
5—Semite—Meaning one of the descendants of Shem.
a. A member of the white division of the human race.
b. In Ancient times including the Babylonians, Assyrians, Armenians, Phoenicians, and various other people of Southwestern Asia.
6—There is no Scriptural teaching that the devil was one time an Angel in heaven, or that he is a fallen Angel, that is wholly a myth or legend passed down through the ages of heathen people, and is heathenish teaching.
7—Lucifer really is a highly poetical description of the King of Babylon, and the Babylonian empire, is in Scripture represented as the type of the ambitions, aspiring, tyrannical, and self-idolizing power.
8—“How are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the Nations?”
a. It is a favorite Metaphor of Isaiah to which he reverts, that of representing the destruction of a nation by the felling of a tree of a forest. Note Isa. 2:12–13, 10:33.
b. “Which didst weaken the nations,” meaning Babylon, under the leadership of her great King moved with great force weakening, and destroying nations.
c. Note carefully—This one referred as falling was here on earth, head of a Kingdom, weakening and destroying peoples, and nations before he experienced his great fall.
d. This proves beyond doubt that this Scripture has no reference to one of God’s Angelic Creation.
e. Although the contexts speaks explicitly concerning Nebuchadnezzar, yet this has been applied to the chief of the supposed fallen Angels, who is dominated by Lucifer (the bringer of light).
f. That the Holy Spirit by his prophets should call this arch-enemy of God and man the light bringer, would be strange indeed, and beyond Biblical thinking and teaching.
g. The truth is the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan, nor his fall, nor his origin, as many professed divines have concluded from this text.
I. Beginning with Isaiah 14:13–14.
Note the six things this man King Nebuchadnezzar said that he was going to do.
1. “For thou hast said in thine heart.” Verse 13—Proving that he was a man here on the earth.
2. “I will ascend into heaven” Verse 13.
a. Showing that he was not in heaven.
b. Meaning—I will get the empire of the whole world.
c. This represents the thoughts of the Babylonian Monarch more than his actual words.
d. The Babylonian inscriptions are full of boasting egotism.
3. “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” Verse 13
a. Meaning—above the Israelites, who are termed the stars of God. Psa. 148:3, Jude 13, Dan. 8:10, Rev. 12:1.
b. This chapter speaks not of the ambition and fall of Satan, but of the pride, arrogance, and fall of Nebuchadnezzar.
c. The King regards himself as in a certain sense Divine, but still he entertains a deep respect and reverence for those gods whom he regards as the most exalted—Namely, Merodach, Bel, Nebo, Sin, Shamash.
d. He is their worshiper, their devotee, their suppliant (petitioner, go between).
1—Merodach—Jer. 50:2, identical with the famous Babylonian Bel, or Belus.
2—Bel—The Chief God of Babylon, Isa. 46:1, and Jer. 50:2, 51:44, Meaning Baal.
3—Nebo—Which occurs both in Isaiah 46:1 and Jer. 48:1, as the name of a Chaldean god, is a well known deity of the Babylonians and Assyrians.
a. He was the god who presided over learning and letters.
b. His general character corresponds to that of the Egyptian “Thoth,” the Greek “Hermes,” and the Latin “Mercury.”
c. He was the tutelar, meaning having the position of protector, guardian watching over a particular person, place or thing.
d. He was the god of the most important Babylonian Kings.
4—Sin—The stronghold of Egypt. A strong city of Egypt, on the East coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
a. A City of Egypt. Mentioned only by Ezekiel, Ezek. 30:15–16.
5—Shamash—The Sun God of Babylonians, and Assyrian Mythology. He makes crops grow and protects against illness.
4. “I will sit on the Mount of the Congregation” Verse 13.
1—Meaning—The Mount of the Divine presence—Ex. 25:22, and Ex. 29:42–43, Where God appoints the place of meeting with Moses, and promises to meet with him before the Ark to Commune with him, meet him, and to meet the Children of Israel at the door of the Tabernacle.
2—To the Babylonians in this passage was a Mount above the heights of the clouds, and above the stars of God.
3—The mystic Mountain belonging to the Babylonian system of philosophy, or religion that claims to have special insight into the divine nature through spiritual self-development.
4—It is described as the mighty mountain of Bel whose head rivals heaven.
5. “I will ascend above the heights of the Clouds” Verse 14.
1—This further shows this one talking still to be here on earth.
6. “I will be like the most high” Verse 14.
1—The Babylonian Monarchs (rulers, Kings) thought of themselves as Gods, worked their own wills, were wrapped up in themselves and did not in heart bow down to higher power.
II. The Results and the Rewards of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride, Arrogance, and Evil Ways.
1. “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee saying, Is this the man that made the earth tremble, and didst shake kingdoms.” Verse 16
1—Observe, this scene is here on earth.
2—The corpse of the mighty conqueror is lying unburied.
3—Those of earth can scarcely believe their eyes. They will look close to see if it is indeed the Great King that is slain.
2. “That made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof: that opened not the house of his prisoners?” Verse 17
1—Literally, that loosed not his prisoners, and let them go home.
2—The long imprisonment of Jehoiachin (36 years, 2 Kings 25:27) is an example.
3—It is also the retention in captivity of the entire Jewish race that is brought to the prophets knowledge.
3. “All the Kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, Every One In His Own House (Grave).” Verse 18.
1—The other kings speaking generally, died in peace and had an honorable burial, each one in the sepulcher that he prepared for himself, as his final abode or “house.” Isa. 22:16
4. “But Thou Art Cast Out of Thy Grave Like An Abominable Branch and As The Raiment of Those That Are Slain, Thrust Through With A Sword, That Go Down To The Stones Of The Pit; As A Carcass Trodden Under Foot.” Verse 19
1—The Babylonian King did not rest in the tomb which he had prepared for himself.
2—His body was cast out, left apparently where it fell in battle.
3—The garments of the slain, soaked in blood, (Isa. 9:5) were useless, and were flung away, or left to rot uncared for.
4—Corpses were not gathered on fields of battle in the East—They were left to be trodden under foot.
5—“They that have gone down to the stones of the pit, with these thou shalt not be joined in burial”—A repetition of the first clause of Verse 19 but with amplification, showing King Nebuchadnezzar would never be buried in his own tomb, nor any other tomb, but left to decay on the battlefield.
6—“Thou hast destroyed thy land”—brought ruin on it by displeasing God, and causing him to visit it with judgment.
7—“The seed of evil-doers shall never be renowned,” The meaning is they shall have no seed, or if they have any, that it shall be early cut off, and the whole race blotted out. Verse 20
8—Nebuchadnezzar died in the year B.C. 561 at an advanced age (83 or 84) having reigned 43 years.
9—The remaining part of Isaiah 14th Chapter reveals the continuing judgment of God on the wicked, and his deliverance for this people.
I. For Biblical Understanding It Is Important We Understand Who It Was Written To, And For What Purpose.
1. It was written by the prophet Ezekiel during the years of B.C. 595—B.C. 574, during a period of 21 years. Note the verse, Ezek. 28:1, also 11. “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,” Verse 1.
2. It was written to the King Verse 12 or prince Verse 1 of Tyrus—the same as Tyre. Some writers use Tyrus—some Tyre.
1—From the City the prophet passes to its ruler, who concentrated in himself whatever was most arrogant and boastful in the temper of his people.
2—He is described in Verse 1 as a prince, in verse 12 as a King, both meaning ruler.
3—The King of Tyrus (Tyre) at the time was Ithobal or Ethbaal III (Josephus) who had taken part with Pharaoh-Hophra and Zedekiah in the league against Nebuchadnezzar.
a. Ethbaal (meaning with Baal)—Josephus represents him as king of the Tyrians as well as of the Sidonians. b. His reign covered a period of 32 years, beginning 575 B.C.
3. Give special thought to the word “saying” in Verse 1 and the word “lamentation” in Verse 12, against the King of Tyrus (Tyre) as a key to understanding to the time, place, and person this chapter is referring to.
1—“Saying” (words of declaration)
2—“Lamentation”—Expression of loud grief, cries of sorrow, and mourning.
3—Against the King of Tyrus, who reigned from 575 B.C. to 553 B.C. 3,147 years after the time of creation, according to Biblical record.
4—It would be utterly impossible for this Scripture to have reference to the time of creation, and during the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, since it was a prophecy dealing with a period of time 3,147 years after creation, and also it being a prophecy of the future yet to be fulfilled.
4. We will now consider carefully the word the Lord gave Ezekiel to tell King Ethbaal, showing the thoughts and condition of the heart of the king was known fully by the Lord.
5. Content and meaning of God’s message through Ezekiel to King Ethbaal.
1—“Because thine heart is lifted up and thou hast said, I am God.” Verse 2.
a. Meaning—That I am absolute, independent, and accountable to none.
b. He was a man, and ruler of great pride and arrogance.
2—“I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas.” Verse 2.
a. Tyre was known as the Holy island by its rulers.
b. The City was thought of as rising from its waters like the rock-throne of God.
3—“Behold (look) thou (King Ethbaal) art wiser than Daniel,” Verse 3.
a. Daniel was at that time living, and was reputable for his great wisdom. This is said ironically. Concerning the King see Ezekial 14:14, 26:1–2.
b. Daniel was an ideal of righteousness, and of wisdom.
c. He was a revealor of the secrets of the future, and read the hearts of man.
d. His fame was spread far and wide through the Chaldean empire.
e. And this was the man with whom the King of Tyre compared himself with a satisfied sense of superiority, and he found proof in his higher wisdom in his wealth. Verse 5
f. Here he manifest the same spirit of pride and arrogance as King Nebuchadnezzar, when he said “Is Not this great Babylon, which I builded?”
4—“By thy great wisdom …” Verse 5
a. He attributed everything to himself: he did not acknowledge a Divine providence.
b. As he got all by himself, so he believed he could keep all by himself, and had no need of any foreign help. 5—Read Verses 6–8 God speaking
a. “I will bring strangers upon thee”—Meaning the Chaldeans to destroy them Verse 7.
6—The question of God to the King—“Wilt thou say before him that slayeth thee, I am God?”
a. Meaning—Wilt thou continue thy pride and arrogance when the sword is pierced in thee?
b. Will you still imagine that thou art self-sufficient, and independent?
7—“Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers.” Verse 10
a. Two deaths, temporal and eternal.
b. Ethbaal, was taken and killed by Nebuchadnezzar.
c. The effect of the Chaldean invasion was to bring the king down to the lower world of the dead.
d. This death was not to be like that of a hero-warrior, but as that of those who are “slain in the midst of the seas,” like those who fall in a naval battle, and are cast into the waters.
e. Would he then repeat his boast, “I am God”?
II. The Conclusions of King Ethbaal of Himself.
1. … “Thou sealest up” the sum full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, Verse 13 Saith the Lord God.
1—Thou drawest thine own likeness.
2—Thou formest a portrait of thyself.
3—Thou hast represented thyself the perfection of wisdom and beauty, the consummation of all beauty and wisdom.
2. “Thou hast been in Eden, the Garden of God.” Verse 13
1—The King claimed a position like that of Adam before his fall, perfect in beauty and excellent wisdom, innocence.
2—The Lord of the Creation.
3—And in that fancied Eden he stood, so he thought like Adam.
4—Like one of the Cherubim that guarded the gates of the first age, covered with all imaginable splendor.
3. “Every precious stone was thy covering.” Verse 13 1—Some understanding of the dress of the priesthood of God is necessary to understand this statement, and feeling of the King.
4. Four articles of dress were prescribed for the priests in ordinary, and four for the Highpriest.
1—Ordinary Priests or priests in general wore a Coat drawers (an undergarment fitting over the legs and around the waist) a girdle, (Waist attire) bonnet, (head dress)
2—Highpriest—Ephod (A sacred vestment, Ex. 28:4) a breastplate, a Plate, and diadem of gold on his forehead.
a. The garments were for honour and for beauty, and were emblematical of the office in which they ministered.
3—It was honorable.
a. They were the ministers of the most High God, and employed by him in transacting the most important concerns between God and his people.
b. Concerns in which all the attributes of the Divine Being were interested, as well as those which referred to the present and eternal happiness of his creatures.
4—They were for beauty.
a. They were emblematical of that holiness and purity which ever characterized the Divine Nature, and the worship which is worthy of Him.
b. Which are essentially necessary to all those who wish to serve Him in the Beauty of Holiness here in this life.
c. Without which none can ever see his face in the realms of glory.
d. Questions, or thoughts to consider for today.
5—Should not the garments of those who minister in holy things still be emblematical of the things in which they minister.
6—Should they not be for glory and beauty expressive of the dignity of the Gospel ministry, and that beauty of holiness without which none can see the Lord?
7—As the Highpriest Vestments, under the Law, were emblematical of what was to come, should not the dress of the ministers, and people of God be appropriate, to properly show what God requires and resemble that which is to be?
I. Breastplate of The High Priest.
1. Note carefully the “Breastplate” of the Highpriest for understanding of reference by Ezekiel to the stones saying “every precious stone was for covering ….” Naming them in Ezekiel 28:13.
2. “The Breastplate of judgment.”
1—The Highpriest wore it upon his breast when he went to ask counsel of the Lord, to give judgment in any particular case, and also when he sat as a judge to teach the Law, and to determine controversies. See Lev. 10:11, Deut. 17:8–9.
3. “Four-square it shall be, being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof” Ex. 28:16.
1—Span—The distance between the tip of a man’s thumb and the tip of his little finger when the hand is spread out—About 9 inches.
2—Between the doublings, the “Urim” and “Thummim” were placed, Ex. 28:30.
3—The word “Urim” signifies lights. The word Thummim signifies perfections.
4—They were designed to point out the light—the abundant information, in spiritual things afforded by the wonderful revelation which God made of himself under the Law.
5—The perfection—entire holiness, and strict conformity to himself which this dispensation required and which are introduced and accomplished by that dispensation of light, and truth, the Gospel which was prefigured and pointed out by the Law and its sacrifices.
6—These garments of the priest were all made for God’s glory and beauty.
7—This is the general account that it has pleased God to give of their nature and design.
a. This represented—The necessity of purity in every part of the Divine worship.
b. The necessity of an atonement for sin.
c. The purity and justice of the Divine Majesty.
d. The absolute necessity of that holiness without which none can see the Lord.
4. Now to the arrangement and order of the 12 Stones on the “Breastplate of judgment” of the Highpriest, consisting of four rows of stones, with a name on each stone.
1—The Sardis, the Topaz, and the Carbuncle, was engraven representing Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, Ex. 28:17.
2—The Emerald, Sapphire, and the Diamond was engraven representing Judah, Issachar, and Zebulum, Ex. 28:18.
3—The Ligure, the Agate, and the Amethyst was engraven, representing Dan, Naphtali, and Gad. Ex. 28:19
4—The Beryl, the Onyx, and the Jasper was engraven representing Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin. Ex. 28:20
a. All these were set in gold in their enclosings.
b. These stones symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel.
c. The Breastplate with the 12 stones engraven was worn by the Highpriest upon his breast when he went to ask counsel of the Lord, to give judgment in any particular case, and also when he sat as a judge to teach the law, and determine controversies.
d. The Priest, under the Law was a petitioner, or go between for God and man for all of Israel—Meaning all the people of God.
5. King Ethbaal (King of Tyre) claimed to be to the people all these stones symbolized.
1—Keep in mind this was a lamentation given to Ezekiel by the Lord to perform against this blasphemous and wicked king of Tyre.
6. Note further the comparison of this wicked king—Ezek. 28:14–15.
1—He claimed to be as the anointed Cherub—Meaning consecrated and empowered as one of the guarding powers of the Divine, and the rewarder.
2—He pictured himself as one designed for this purpose.
3—He elevated himself in his claims as liken unto Moses—“Thou wast upon the Holy Mountain of God.”
4—Afterwards to one of the Chief Angels, who has walked up and down among the stones of fire.
a. The King was reminded how he boasted of his floors being paved with precious stones, that shone and sparkled like fire.
5—“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day thou wast created.”
a. Thou hast claimed to be like God, like the Angels, like the Cherubs, like Adam, like Moses, but your iniquity has been found out.
III. The Judgment Sent Upon King Ethbaal—Ezekiel 28:16–19.
1. Verse 16.
1—Wealth and Pride engendered by the greatness of his commerce caused him to be violent and to do wrong.
2—Thou shalt be cast down from thine eminence.
2. Verse 17–18.
1—“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty.”
2—He had forfeited his beauty and his wisdom through the pride which sought for a greater glory by a false and counterfeit wisdom.
3—The very sanctuaries, the temples which made Tyre called the “Holy Island” were defiled by the iniquities through which the wealth that had adorned them had been gained.
4—Josephus states that Nebuchadnezzar besieged the Island of Tyre, and Ethbaal for thirteen years. 5—Ethbaal was king during the thirteen years, but afterwards “judges” were appointed and these ruled for periods of two, or three or ten months.
6—All of this indicates a period of confusion and anarchy, the result of some great catastrophe.
7—As a whole, too, we must remember that it was with Tyre, as with Babylon and with other nations. The prophecies against them had sudden, and growing accomplishments.
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