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Ezekiel 28 speaks of the king of Tyre. I've heard it both taught and refuted that this refers to Satan. I also just recently saw an answer making this assumption.

Does the passage refer to Satan?

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As this is worded, it seems more like a truth question. Perhaps it could be asked what the basis is for understanding it to be referring to Satan. –  Narnian Jul 19 '13 at 12:45
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@Narnian This question just doesn't fit our current site scope very well at all. I don't think adding biblical-basis would be any more than a band-aid. I propose either A) leaving it alone as historical or B) tweaking it to be just about one side of the argument asking about when and how the view that it is (or isn't, whichever came first) about Satan or C) closing it and re-asking it on [hermeneutics] where it would be just fine to ask what the referent is in that verse. –  Caleb Jul 20 '13 at 18:30
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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's actually both. Bear with me; I'll explain.

In the first half of Ezekiel 28:1-19, Ezekiel seems to be referring to a human man.

Ezekiel 28:1-10 (ESV)

 1The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD:

    "Because your heart is proud,
   and you have said, 'I am a god,
I sit in the seat of the gods,
   in the heart of the seas,'
yet you are but a man, and no god,
    though you make your heart like the heart of a god—
3 you are indeed wiser than Daniel;
   no secret is hidden from you;
4by your wisdom and your understanding
    you have made wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
   into your treasuries;
5by your great wisdom in your trade
   you have increased your wealth,
   and your heart has become proud in your wealth—
6therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you make your heart
   like the heart of a god,
7therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
   the most ruthless of the nations;
and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
   and defile your splendor.
8 They shall thrust you down into the pit,
    and you shall die the death of the slain
   in the heart of the seas.
9 Will you still say, 'I am a god,'
   in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a man, and no god,
   in the hands of those who slay you?
10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
   by the hand of foreigners;
    for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD."

[Emphasis mine.]

I doubt that Satan (Lucifer) would be called a man or would he be able to die at the hands of humans.

But...the second half seems to refer to a spiritual being.

Ezekiel 28:11-19 (ESV)

 11Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me: 12 "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD:

   "You were the signet of perfection,
    full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13You were in Eden, the garden of God;
    every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond,
   beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
   and crafted in gold were your settings
   and your engravings.
On the day that you were created
   they were prepared.
14You were an anointed guardian cherub.
   I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
   in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
15You were blameless in your ways
    from the day you were created,
   till unrighteousness was found in you.
16In the abundance of your trade
   you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
   and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
   from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
   you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
   I exposed you before kings,
   to feast their eyes on you.
18By the multitude of your iniquities,
   in the unrighteousness of your trade
   you profaned your sanctuaries;
so I brought fire out from your midst;
   it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
    in the sight of all who saw you.
19All who know you among the peoples
   are appalled at you;
you have come to a dreadful end
   and shall be no more forever."

[Emphasis mine.]

The third line of verse 16 in particular is similar to a verse in Revelation:

Revelation 12:9 (ESV)

9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world— he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

[Emphasis mine.]

So, we have here two passages referring to the king of Tyre that seem to be contradictory as to whether this king is a man or Satan. I'll bet that this is similar to when Jesus rebukes Peter:

Matthew 16:23 (ESV)

23But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

Mark 8:33 (ESV)

33But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

Obviously, Peter is not Lucifer, but he certainly could have been greatly influenced by Satan. Similarly, the king of Tyre may have been a man AND been possessed or greatly influenced by Satan. Thus, the "king of Tyre" just might be both a regular human king and Satan.

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+1. My belief on that chapter is not the same as yours, but I'd hold this up as an example of a nearly perfect answer. –  J.T. Hurley Sep 12 '11 at 8:12
    
when you speak of tyre, you mean this tyre? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyre,_Lebanon –  Fischer Apr 18 at 23:39
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It refers to Adam and the Fall of Man, in my opinion. Just as in the 2Enoch, where Adam is referred to as a "second angel, honourable and glorious.." so here Man in his perfection is referred to as an angel. And just like in 2enoch, where it says " Adam has life on earth, and I created the heavens open to him, that he should see the see the angels singing the song of victory and the gloomless light" so here it refers to Adam having the Mountain of God open to him.

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Could you cite a reference for this interpertation or at least document who subscribes to this? –  Affable Geek Sep 26 '13 at 19:19
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Indeed we need remember there was both a King and a Prince of Tyre! Satan was indeed as indicated verses 11-19, the King! However, you earthly humans need understand that Cain was indeed the Prince of Tyre and the Ancestor of Ham, Cush, Nimrod, and Queen Dido! They are both likened to their unique "black skin" as the Heritage given each by GOD---- Satan when he was thrown from Heaven. [But also you earthly humans need understand there was never an Archangel named Lucifer]...that was a "plant" by Constantine...Lucifer was the god of light of Rome---GOD originally named the Archangels Gabriel, Michael, and Satanel...

....But also, Cain, when he was given the "MARK OF CAIN" which is the black skin that was given when GOD changed the name from Satanel to Satan...and described in both the books of Enoch and Moses but were also refused to be put in the BIBLE by Constantine---

Likewise, there is a very good chance the first woman created with Adam on day 6 was also given the "black skin" when she deserted Adam....and later became the wife of Cain...

Likewise, as the descendant Queen of Tyre was Queen Elissa [Black Skin Queen Dido} who wandered away from Tyre and began the Roman line of descendants with her lover Aeneas because Rome was a mixed "black skin" nation in descendants from Aeneas and Dido and Constantine wanted it kept a secret from the world and refused putting in the Bible the books of Moses and Enoch who clearly described Cain and his descendants as "black skin"

Interestingly enough the war against Rome by Hannibal and his Dad before him was declared by "black Skin" Dido when Aeneas deserted her---

MC HIZEDEK Author A WOMAN'S NATION ...OR SATAN'S DECEIT--- www.godsprophecyofsatansfinaldeceit.com

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Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": the help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Jan 26 at 16:18
    
David Stratton just wants to see references and a denominational viewpoint for the answer, since it is widely accepted there is no single Christian answer. –  Anonymous Jan 26 at 20:52
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Its referring to the fall of a proud king, it then refers that this same spirit of self exaltation had been the reason the original man[satan advesary to God] had been expelled. Were Cane and Abel Adams first born or did Eve think Abel to be first to fulfill the prohpecy given in genisis and Seth to continue the geanology line to Jesus.

Was Adam also a king gone proud, suggesting populating earth before and after the fall. This would suggest Adams immediate obediance to Gods command of "be fruitful", [or did he wait 30 years]and explain the name Adam gave Eve. God and Goddess, the birth of man made religion control and tyrancy?

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Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Apr 18 at 21:07
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The standard concept of Satan is to much personified into a single entity, when really the word describes the state of ones position in relation to God's ideal. For example If I were to over personify a cough or a sneeze as it's own entity, when really it is process that the body goes through.

The word Satan really means "the adversary", or "the Enemy", or "the one that is against you". So in the context of Ezekiel 28 prince of Tyre became God's adversary when he said that he was a god. (Ezekiel 28:2) So yes the prince of Tyre was Satan for this passage, but that does not mean that no other adversaries exist in the world.

So in case you wanted a complete understanding to demonology. Here is the explanation:

At the root of an argument between two people, is pride and the knowledge of good and evil. For without pride and the knowledge of good and evil the argument does not occur. Therefore the one being argumentative, rises against the presentation.

Seen also in other presentations of similar forms of devil we see divulge. The Devil by meaning is "expressing surprise or annoyance in various questions or exclamations." Also by nature to this concept is that of a demon an "unclean spirit". Spirit represents attitude, therefore the unclean attitude is argumentative and the attitude falls away from peace. The result of Legion having the multiple demons cast out is as follows:

Mark 5:15 NKJV

Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

No longer did legion have the three enemies of faith: Anger, Depression, and Anxiety. He was in his "right mind".

Reference:
Psychology: Stages of Grief(John 15, 2 Corinthians 7:10)
Anger(Ephesians 4:31), Depression(1 Thessalonians 4:13), and Anxiety(Matthew 6:25-34)

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