Belshazzar, another King overthrown suddenly by God.
We actually know the name of the king of Tyre who is the subject of this lament. He was Ethbal. This ruler of the merchant island state was characterised by a “spirit of self-sufficiency, carnal security and immoderate pride-the natural product of unsanctified prosperity.” (Fairbairn). His godlike independence and lofty indifference or even disdain in respect to the God of Israel were his downfall. There are many similarities with Isaiah 14 and the king of Babylon. The Holy Spirit in these words “reveals the impiety of all ambition and the vanity of all greatness which seeks its foundation and support elsewhere than in the power and goodness of the Eternal” (Fairbairn). The proud king is likened to the ideal man in Eden, God’s sanctuary, even one of the cherubs, but “he abused the ample gifts and resources which should have been all employed in subservience to the will and glory of God” (Fairbairn). Contrariwise he ought to have followed the example of Jeremiah 9:23-24. Neither Fairbairn nor Gill see any typology here except to antichrist and the Bishop of Rome but many see a type of Satan and his downfall from heaven whose sin was the prototype of that of this impious king, namely pride and a desire to usurp God’s throne. Indeed only Satan fits parts of the description namely, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God”, “Thou art the anointed cherub”, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” and “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God.” The king of Tyre does not fit this description. But how was iniquity found in Lucifer? That is a mystery. Let us as God’s people resist this evil one and his temptations to independency, greed and self congratulation and recognising that all we have is from God, employ all our gifts for his glory alone.
The latter part of the chapter concerns Sidon, and it may well be singled out for judgment because it seemed to have a more powerful corrupting influence on Israel (Judges 10:6 and I Kings 11:33) with its worship of Ashtoreth and Adonis (as Moses predicted in Num.33:55). It was an area unconquered by Israel (Judges 1:31) and a thorn in the side of the covenant people.
The fulfilment of the last prophecy of peace, security and prosperity, as Fairbairn rightly states must wait till the true Israel of God, the church in all ages, inherits the whole ransomed earth after all her enemies are destroyed by Christ’s coming.