MBS156 The Fall of Satan According to Ezekiel 28:11-19

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MBS156

THE FALL OF SATAN ACCORDING TO EZEKIEL 28:11–19

By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. THE PRINCE OF TYRE AND THE KING OF TYRE—EZEKIEL 28:11–19

A. The Relationship Between the Prince of Tyre and the King of Tyre

B. The Command to Lament the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:11–12a

C. The Description of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:12b–13

D. The Position of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:14

E. The Perfection of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:15

II. THE FALL OF THE KING OF TYRE—EZEKIEL 28:16–19

A. The Corruption and Judgment of Satan—Ezekiel 28:16–18

1. The Content and Consequences of Satan’s Deeds—Ezekiel 28:16

2. The Corruption and Consequences of Satan’s Being—Ezekiel 28:17

3. The Description and Consequence of Satan’s Deeds—Ezekiel 28:18

B. The Results of Satan’s Fall—Ezekiel 28:19

You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.

Ezekiel 28:15

In one of the few passages that mentions it, Ezekiel details the fall of Satan in this section of his large book, where he addressed Satan by one of his many titles, king of Tyre.

This study will be a phrase by phrase exposition of this passage and will be divided into two sections: the prince of Tyre and the King of Tyre and the fall of the King of Tyre.

I. THE PRINCE OF TYRE AND THE KING OF TYRE—EZEKIEL 28:11–19

A. The Relationship Between the Prince of Tyre and the King of Tyre

By way of introduction, there is a relationship to the previous prophecy of verses 1–10. In verse 2a, God said to Ezekiel: Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, thus says the Lord Jehovah

In verses 1–10, Ezekiel had been addressing an individual he called the prince of Tyre. From the human perspective, he is the “king,” but from the divine perspective, he is given the lesser title of prince. However, in verses 11–19, Ezekiel is dealing with a superior, angelic being, Satan, and addresses him as the king of Tyre.

What is the connection? What is the relationship? The human prince of Tyre, Ithobaal II, was able to control the sea lane traffic of the Mediterranean by virtue of his position. Because of that control, he had gained a great deal of wealth and, with that wealth, came power and authority. Verse 2b states: Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are man, and not God, though you did set your heart as the heart of God.

A day came in this man’s life that, as he meditated in a wrongful manner upon his wealth, his power, and his authority, he was filled with pride, and this pride led to his self-declaration of deity. For this pride, he was condemned by God through Ezekiel. While the world called this individual the “king of Tyre,” the real king of Tyre was not the visible person sitting on the throne, but an invisible being, Satan, who was controlling the visible one. The invisible being was the true king of Tyre, who once fell for the same reason: the problem of pride that led to a self declaration of deity. Although verses 11–19 do not state that Satan also claimed to be god, there is a parallel passage in Isaiah 14:12–14 in which Satan’s fifth “I will” declares: I will make myself like the Most High.

So the connection between the visible king, Ithobaal II, and the invisible king, Satan, was the problem of pride.

B. The Command to Lament the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:11–12a

Moreover the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord Jehovah.

With the wording of verse 11, Ezekiel introduces three things: a new prophecy, a new individual, and a new title. Ezekiel was to turn his attention away from the visible prince of Tyre of verses 1–10, to the invisible true king of Tyre, Satan.

In verse 12a, Ezekiel was told to take up a lamentation. The Hebrew word for lamentation means “dirge.” This is a lamentation that the Lord Jehovah Himself is proclaiming. Although Satan had become a great sinner and led a rebellion against Him, God laments over his fall. Ezekiel is to declare specific things concerning this new individual that cannot be true of a mere human being.

C. The Description of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:12b–13

The king of Tyre and his position before his fall are described in verse 12b: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

The Hebrew word for “seal” means “to fill up” or “to complete.” The picture is that, as God began to do His work of creation, He chose to limit Himself to a specific blueprint or pattern and willed not to go beyond that. When angels were created, they filled up only so much of this pattern; animals filled it up some more; man filled it up even more. The expression you seal up the sum, then, means “to fill up a pattern” or “to fill up a blueprint.” When God created this particular being, this king of Tyre in his original state, Satan filled up the entire pattern in two areas: wisdom and beauty. First, he was full of wisdom, meaning he was the wisest of all created beings. Secondly, he was perfect in beauty, meaning he was the most beautiful of all created beings. Throughout the centuries, the tendency of artists has been to portray Satan along ugly or hideous lines, but that is not the picture of Satan anywhere in Scripture. In fact, just the exact opposite is true: of all created beings, Satan is the most beautiful, as well as the wisest. When dealing with this being in spiritual warfare, it is important for believers to recognize him for what he is: in his outward form, he was created perfect in beauty, and in the mental realm, he was created with perfection of wisdom.

Verse 12b describes Satan during his first abode: the Throne of God. In his career, Satan’s abode undergoes six changes in chronological sequence. His first two abodes are now past history; his third abode is his present one; and his fourth, fifth, and sixth abodes are future.

Ezekiel makes several statements about Satan’s second abode in verse 13: You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was in you; in the day that you were created they were prepared.

In verse 13a, the phrase Eden, the garden of God is describing a beautiful mineral garden, not the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, which was a vegetable garden. Satan’s second abode was the earth as it was originally created, a beautiful mineral garden, covered by various precious stones. There were no oceans and no seas.

Furthermore, verse 13b states: every precious stone was your covering. The Hebrew word for covering means “canopy.” In other words, every precious stone served as a canopy over Satan, the king of Tyre. These stones had a double purpose: first, they covered the king of Tyre or Satan as a canopy; secondly, they covered the earth of Genesis 1:1, so that the king of Tyre was able to walk up and down in the midst of the stones of fire according to verse 14. All together there are ten stones listed in three sets of three, plus one precious metal. These stones and their alignment are almost identical to three of the four rows of stones on the breastplate of the high priest in Exodus 28:17–20. The first set is the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond; this corresponds to the first row of stones on the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:17), with one variation: in place of the diamond, there was the carbuncle. The second set is the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, this corresponds to the fourth row of stones on the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:20). The third set is the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle; this corresponds to the second row of the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:18), with the variation that in place of the carbuncle, there was the diamond. Finally, tenth element was gold, the one precious metal. The difference is that for the high priest, the stones were on the breastplate; for the king of Tyre, they served as a canopy. Furthermore, the high priest had twelve stones, not ten. Based on the comparison of the stones, this may imply that the king of Tyre had specific priestly functions in Heaven corresponding to the function of the priest on earth, which was to represent men to God. This may imply that one of the functions of Satan was to represent all other angelic beings before God. It is a fact that there is a Tabernacle in Heaven, because the earthly Tabernacle was a copy of the Tabernacle in Heaven (Ex. 25:9, 40; 26:30; Heb. 8:2, 5; 9:11, 24).

Then verse 13c states: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was in you. The words tabrets and pipes could have two different meanings. First, they may have referred to musical instruments. If this is their meaning, they imply that the king of Tyre led in divine worship. If this is true, it would give further credence to his having served as the heavenly high priest leading in worship, as well as being a priestly representative. The second possibility is that these words could be translated as “settings” and “sockets.” If this is their meaning, they refer to the settings of the ten gems mentioned in verse 13b. Normally, if a verse can be translated in two different ways, the context determines which way to go. But in this case, the context allows for a combination of both. It refers to the gems and to their significance and that he led in priestly worship in Heaven.

Finally, verse 13d states: in the day that you were created they were prepared. The phrase in the day that you were created is one of several reasons why we know Ezekiel was not speaking of the literal king of Tyre, Ithobaal 11, because the literal human king of Tyre was born. Rather, this refers to a created being, Satan, prior to his fall. The phrase they were prepared means that from the moment of Satan’s creation, these things were assigned to him. This included: first, his perfection in that he filled up the sum in wisdom and beauty; secondly, the canopy of stones; and thirdly, the musical instruments by which he could lead in worship and his appointment as high priest in the heavenly Tabernacle. These are the things that were prepared for him in the day he was created.

D. The Position of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:14

Ezekiel makes three statements about Satan’s position during his first and second abodes. The first statement notes three things about Satan in verse 14a: You were the anointed cherub that covers.

The first thing to note is that he is a cherub. Being a cherub, means that Satan is a member of the highest order of created beings. There are three orders of created beings in the celestial sphere: the lowest order is the order of the angels, which is closest to man; the next order is the order of the seraphim; and the highest order is the order of the cherubim, which is closest to God. Chapter 1 points out that the cherubim are the bearers or carriers of the Shechinah Glory, so they are closest to the Throne of God. While the angels are before the Throne, and the seraphim surround it, the cherubim are under the Throne and are responsible for carrying it. The closer a being is to the throne, the higher that being’s rank.

The second thing to note is that he was the anointed cherub. This word for anointed is the same Hebrew word from which the word “Messiah” comes. In other words, he was the “messiahed” cherub. He was already first in beauty and wisdom. As a cherub, he was of the highest order of celestial beings, but he was one among many cherubim; he was co-equal with the other cherubim in power and authority. But according to this verse, at some point in eternity past, God selected this particular cherub and anointed him. This anointing gave Satan a position of authority that was above the other cherubim. With this anointing, he became the archcherub. Just as Michael is the archangel, the one in authority over the other angels, Satan, became the archcherub, the one in authority over the other cherubim. With this anointing, he was not only first in wisdom and beauty, he was also first in power and authority of all created beings.

And the third thing to note is that he was the anointed cherub that covers. The Hebrew for covers means “a canopy” or “a covering roof.” He was a canopy over the Throne of God. In chapter 1 of Ezekiel, while other cherubim were underneath the throne and were carrying the throne, this particular cherub was a canopy over the Throne of God, making him the most prominent cherub of them all.

The second statement describes Satan’s position during his first abode in verse 14b, where God states: and I set you, so that you were upon the holy mountain of God

The expression I set you means this was a position given by God as a gift. Furthermore, God set him upon the holy mountain of God. The word holy emphasizes the nature of the place: it was holy. But what is the mountain? Whenever the word mountain is used symbolically, it is always the symbol of a king, a kingdom, or a throne. While the Bible does use many symbols, it is consistent in its usage of them in that any one specific symbol will mean the same thing throughout the Old and New Testaments in ninety-five percent of the cases. The holy mountain of God is the very Throne of God itself, described earlier in Ezekiel 1:26–28. At one time, Satan was a canopy over the very Throne of God. That gave him a unique position. It meant that he served as the guardian of God’s Throne so that he controlled who among the other angelic beings had access to God and who among them did not. His first abode, then, was the mineral Garden of Eden over the very Throne of God.

And the third statement describes Satan’s position during his second abode in verse 14c: you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

The phrase walked up and down in the Hebrew text means “to walk to and fro,” and was a very common figure used of satanic activity (Job 1:7; 2:2). It is also used of good angels and typifies angelic activity (Zech. 1:10–11; 6:7). Again, this describes the original earth of Genesis 1:1, which served as Satan’s second abode. The stones of fire refer to the ten stones listed in verse 13 that covered the earth before Satan’s fall.

E. The Perfection of the King of Tyre—Ezekiel 28:15

You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.

Ezekiel makes three points about Satan’s perfection. First, he was perfect “in all his ways.” The word perfect means “without any flaws.” When God created Satan, he had no flaws whatsoever; he was perfect in his being. The expression in your ways emphasizes that his actions were as perfect as his being. He was flawless in his being and perfect in his activity for a specific, but unknown, period of time.

The second point is that he was perfect from the day he was created. This is the second time Ezekiel informs us that this is a created being. The fact that he was created and the fact that he was the anointed cherub rules out his being a mere human being. From the day that God created him, he was created perfect. This shows that the fault of Satan’s fall did not lie with God, because the corruption of his person and actions came subsequent to his creation.

And the third point is that he was perfect till unrighteousness was found in him. One day, there it was! This is the closest the Bible comes to describing the origin of sin. Satan was perfect in all of his ways, in his being and in his actions, until, at some point, unrighteousness was found in him. The Hebrew word for unrighteousness means “wrongdoings.” This is the transition that leads to the fall of the king of Tyre. The perfection of his ways or deeds eventually gave way to imperfection and wrongdoings. The fact that his deeds and actions became wrong presupposes a corruption of his person beforehand, because the corruption of a person always precedes the corruption of deeds.

II. THE FALL OF THE KING OF TYRE—EZEKIEL 28:16–19

A. The Corruption and Judgment of Satan—Ezekiel 28:16–18

1. The Content and Consequences of Satan’s Deeds—Ezekiel 28:16

Ezekiel spelled out the content of Satan’s deeds in three statements in verse 16a: By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned.

The first statement is: By the abundance of your traffic. This same figure was used of the human prince of Tyre in verses 1–10. For the prince of Tyre, it meant going from port to port gathering wealth (v. 5). But for the king of Tyre, Satan, this meant going from angel to angel slandering God in order to win their allegiance. Eventually, he convinced one third of all the angels that God was in the wrong (Rev. 12:4). Because he originated lying, Satan became the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). The corruption of his being led to his wrong deeds, which was lying about God.

The second statement is: they filled the midst of you with violence. The words they filled refer to the trafficking from angel to angel, bad-mouthing God. This led to violence, because he led a revolt against God’s authority in Heaven. Furthermore, this began an angelic conflict between good angels and bad angels that continues to this day and will continue until the middle of the Tribulation, at which point, Satan will be cast out of Heaven to his fourth abode, the earth (Rev. 12:7–12).

The third statement is: and you have sinned. The Hebrew word for sinned means that he missed the mark. As a result of his actions, he missed the mark of his high calling. Thus, Satan became the first sinner in the angelic realm. While Eve was the first sinner in the human sphere, Satan’s sin preceded Eve’s sin.

As a consequence of Satan’s wrongdoings, God pronounces two aspects of judgment in verse 16b: therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The first aspect is that the perfect cherub became the profane cherub. God states: therefore have I cast you as profane out of the mountain of God. Because of Satan’s wrongdoings, he lost the high position of his first abode the mountain of God; He was no longer the guardian of God’s throne.

In the second aspect, God states: I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. This refers to the loss of his position in his second abode, when he lost all his authority over planet earth. The word destroyed does not mean he was destroyed in his being, but that he was destroyed from his position in Eden, the garden of God. Through man’s fall, Satan was able to usurp man’s authority over the earth and he remains “the prince of this world” (Jn. 12:3) and “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). However, Satan’s rightful authority ceased when he was destroyed from the midst of the stones of fire. The phrase O covering cherub points out the loss of his position and priestly worship functions.

2. The Corruption and Consequences of Satan’s Being—Ezekiel 28:17

Ezekiel describes the corruption of Satan’s being in two ways in verse 17a: Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.

First, Satan looked upon his beauty in a wrong manner, and rather than remaining in humble submission to God who made him that way, he allowed pride to set in. While the first sinner was Satan, the first sin was pride. This comes out clearly in the context of 1 Timothy 3:6, where Paul outlined a series of qualifications for anyone who would desire to become an elder in a local church. Among these qualifications, he states: not a novice, meaning a new believer. Why not? The answer is: lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil. It is clear from this verse that Satan was filled with pride. That is the sin that corrupted his being and led to the wrong deeds.

Secondly, Satan corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness. His beauty was wrongly viewed and that led to the sin of pride. Sin corrupted his perfect wisdom of verse 12. Now, his great wisdom will be used for sinful purposes. In regard to prophecy and the future of Satan, many ask the question, “If Satan knows the Bible and knows what is going to happen, why is he still trying to fight against it all?” The answer lies right here. Although his wisdom was so great, it has been corrupted by sin, and to some degree, he feels he can still win.

As the consequence of the corruption of Satan’s being, God pronounces judgment in verse 17b: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may behold you.

God makes two statements concerning the punishment He decrees for Satan, the king of Tyre. First, God states: I have cast you to the ground. This might be a summary of the loss of his first two abodes, mentioned earlier in the passage. However, it might also be what is known as a “prophetic perfect,” in which a future event is stated in the past tense. If it is a prophetic perfect, it describes Satan’s fall from his third abode to his fourth abode. Today, Satan is dwelling in his third abode, the atmospheric heavens. According to Revelation 12:7–12, in the middle of the Tribulation, he will be cast out of the atmospheric heavens down to the earth and confined to the earth for the second half of the Tribulation. That will be his fourth abode, which will last for 3½ years.

Secondly, God states: I have laid you before kings that they may behold you. This could not have happened at the time of Satan’s fall, because no kings existed then. In fact, he fell even before Adam and Eve were created. So this is clearly a prophetic perfect, a reference to his fifth abode, the Abyss during the Millennium (Rev. 20:1–3), and his sixth abode, the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Rev. 20:7–10). In both situations, he will be viewed in astonishment by kings.

3. The Description and Consequence of Satan’s Deeds—Ezekiel 28:18

Ezekiel gives a detailed description of Satan’s sinful deeds in verse 18a: By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your traffic, you have profaned your sanctuaries.

Ezekiel makes three statements concerning Satan’s sinful deeds. The first statement is: By the multitude of your iniquities. The word iniquities refers to his internal corruption. This is the third word used for sin in this passage. The one sin of pride led to a multitude of corruptions of his character.

The second statement is: in the unrighteousness of your traffic. In this verse, the word unrighteousness means “vain” or “vanity.” The word traffic refers to his going from angel to angel slandering God. The corruption of his character led to deeds of corruption, and he, in turn, corrupted other angels so that one-third of the angels fell with him.

And the third statement is: you have profaned your sanctuaries. The word for sanctuaries means “holy places.” The sanctuaries are the holy places of Heaven and refers to corruption in Heaven. The fact that it says your sanctuaries means that they were Satan’s sanctuaries. This also shows that Satan once had a priestly function in the Tabernacle in Heaven. As the high priest, he led the worship in the heavenly sanctuaries before his fall. The word sanctuaries is in the plural because the heavenly Tabernacle had both a Holy Place and a Holy of Holies. By performing sinful deeds in Heaven, he brought corruption to Heaven. This is the reason Hebrews 9:23–26 states that the heavenly sanctuaries themselves needed cleansing by the blood of the Messiah. This is the reason He had to take His blood into Heaven after His resurrection. This is the reason Mary Magdalene could not touch Him (Jn. 20:17). Only after He had cleansed the heavenly Tabernacle, was He touchable.

As a consequence of Satan’s sinful deeds, God pronounces judgment in verse 18b: therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of you; it has devoured you, and I have turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.

The word therefore refers to Satan’s sinful deeds of verse 18a and God makes three statements concerning the consequences. First, God states: I brought forth a fire from the midst of you. At one time, this fire was a mark of his glory. The fire that once glorified Satan will now be used to punish him. This will be fulfilled when he is confined in his sixth abode, the Lake of Fire. Unless there is repentance and confession, the principle is that sin always carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

Secondly: it has devoured you. This is a prophetic perfect speaking of Satan’s demise in the Lake of Fire.

Thirdly, God states: I have turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. Insofar as the earth is concerned, he will be nothing more than ashes, when he is confined in his last two abodes. He will be seen in the fifth abode, the Abyss (Rev. 20:1–3), and he will be seen in the sixth abode, the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:7–10).

B. The Results of Satan’s Fall—Ezekiel 28:19

All they that know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you: you are become a terror, and you shall nevermore have any being.

Ezekiel makes three statements concerning Satan’s fall. First, the phrase All they that know you includes the angels that followed him in his revolt and his many followers among humanity. Those who knew him will some day be astonished at him because of his demise. They thought that he would be their leader, their savior, their victor over God Himself. He will prove to be a failure, and this will astonish them.

The second statement is: you are become a terror. In the Hebrew text, the word terror is in the plural, emphasizing the intensity of terror; he has greatly intensified terror. His fall will intensify terror even greater because, if their leader has been sentenced to the Lake of Fire, what chance do his followers have of escaping the same fate. They will be filled with many terrors as a result of Satan’s demise in the Lake of Fire.

And the third statement is: you shall nevermore have any being. The Hebrew literally reads, “Unto you nothing for a long time or forever.” Because Satan is an eternal being, he will always exist, but he will no longer exist on this earth, and he will no longer be active. He will be forever and ever in the Lake of Fire. In that sense, he shall not be any more.

In closing, it must be remembered that, as great, mighty, and wise as Satan is, believers can overcome him in their spiritual warfare because they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them and they have the mind of the Messiah. As 1 John 4:4 states: greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BIBLE STUDY, DR. FRUCHTENBAUM RECOMMENDS:

MBS001, 019, 073, 077 and 082.