Do Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 refer to Satan, as some claim?

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Some writers have claimed that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 refer to Satan the Devil. But, those who read those chapters, will find that they are about the king of Babylon respectively the king of Tyre, and that they do not contain the words “Satan” and “Devil”. So, do they refer to Satan, or do they not? This article takes a closer look at that question. Even a number of linguistic details in those passages will be considered, and also the word “cherub” and certain other things in Ezekiel 28.

The first part of this article considers Isaiah 14, and the second part Ezekiel 28.

Isaiah 14.

Again, some writers have claimed that Isaiah 14 refers to Satan. But, those who read that chapter, will find that the (now fulfilled) prophecy which is recorded there, pointed to a man of flesh, the king of Babylon. (Which is to say, the last of them, Belshazzar.)

Isaiah 14:4 […] That you will take up this bitter song [a] against the king of Babylon, [b] and say, How has the cruel overseer come to an end! He who was lifted up in pride is cut off; 5 The stick of the evil-doers, the rod of the rulers, is broken by the Lord; 6 He whose rod was on the peoples with an unending wrath, ruling the nations in passion, with an uncontrolled rule. 7 All the earth is at rest and is quiet: they are bursting into song. 8 Even the trees of the wood are glad over you, the trees of Lebanon, saying, From the time of your fall no wood-cutter has come up against us with an axe. 9 The underworld is moved at your coming: the shades of the dead are awake before you, even the strong ones of the earth; all the kings of the world have got up from their seats. 10 They all make answer and say to you, Have you become feeble like us? have you been made even as we are? 11 Your pride has gone down into the underworld, and the noise of your instruments of music; the worms are under you, and your body is covered with them. 12 How great is your fall from heaven, [c] O shining one, son of the morning! [d] How are you cut down to the earth, low among the dead bodies! (BBE, note signs added)

a Verse 4: Note the phrase “this bitter song”. The words of that mocking “song of lamentation” were regarding a proud king, the ruler of the Babylonian empire. – Please note that the poetic words of such mocking songs often contain hyperbole, wordings that are not meant to be taken literally. That is the case even here.

Later, the things which that prophetic song pointed to, came to be fulfilled. The last ruler of the Babylonian empire came to be Belshazzar, apparently a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. There is more on that matter, later in this article.

b Verse 4, “the king of Babylon”: That prophecy was regarding a man of flesh, the ruler of Babylon. He was to die. Verse 11 talks about worms eating his remains. (His death is recorded in Daniel 5.)

c Verse 12, “heaven” = the skies. The meaning of this is clarified in the notes below.

d Verse 12, “shining one, son of the morning” – in the Hebrew text, the wording is helel ben shachar. Some have translated that as “shining son of the morning”, but some interpret the Hebrew wording as “wail, son of the morning”. Here are excerpts from a note on Isaiah 14:12 in Adam Clarke’s commentary:

[…] “this has been, I know not why, applied to the chief of the fallen angels, who is most incongruously denominated Lucifer, (the bringer of light!) an epithet as common to him as those of Satan and Devil. That the Holy Spirit by his prophets should call this arch-enemy of God and man the light-bringer, would be strange indeed. But the truth is, the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan nor his fall, nor the occasion of that fall […] Besides, I doubt much whether our translation be correct. הילל (heilel), which we translate Lucifer, comes from ילל (yalal), yell, howl, or shriek, and should be translated, ‘Howl, son of the morning;’ and so the Syriac has understood it […].”

And indeed, it is likely that the word helel (heilel) in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 14:12 refers to howling (wailing). Something like this:

Isaiah 14:12 How great is your fall from the skies! Wail, you “son of the morning”! How are you cut down to the earth, low among the dead bodies!

That poetic wording, “fall from the skies”, simply referred to the lofty position of power which the kings of Babylon had, until Babylon fell. Also: It is said that those kings were seen as “sun-gods”. Further: In his pride, Belshazzar the last king of Babylon lift himself “on high” and defied God. That led to the writing on the wall, Mene, mene, tekel, parsin, and the death of that extremely proud king. (There is more on this, later.)

In short: The words “how great is your fall from the skies” in the mocking “song of grief” which is recorded in Isaiah 14, foretold the fall and end of the Babylonian empire and its proud ruler.

The reason why some translators have put the word ‘lucifer’ into Isaiah 14:12.

Many people have been caused to believe that the word lucifer is “a name of Satan”. But, it is a Latin word. The Bible was not written in Latin. Also: The book of Isaiah does not mention such names as “Satan”, “Devil” or the like. Again, chapter 14 records a (now fulfilled) prophecy regarding the fate of the ruler of Babylon (the last of them, Belshazzar). Satan is not mentioned; the king of Babylon is.

The reason why a number of bible-translators have put into Isaiah 14:12 the Latin word lucifer, is simply that they have copied that from the Latin text of the Catholic Vulgate version. It has in that verse the phrase lucifer qui mane oriebaris, meaning “light-bringer who rise in the morning”. And, as was noted earlier, it appears that that is a mistranslation, and that the meaning of the old Hebrew phrase helel ben shachar actually is something like “Wail, you ‘son of the morning’!”

And again, it is said that the kings of Babylon were viewed as “sun-gods”. That might be what the mocking words “son of the morning” referred to.

Regarding the following verses.

Apparently, some have felt that in Isaiah 14, verses 13 and onward talk about Satan and not about the king of Babylon. But, those who take a closer look at verses 13–20, will find that they clearly refer to a man of flesh, the ruler of Babylon. This includes the writing on the wall, Mene, mene, tekel, parsin, and how the Babylonian empire and its last king came to their end. – Read on, for more on this.

Verses 15–20 make it clear that the words of that song referred to a man of flesh.

Isaiah 14:15 But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit. (HCSB)

Those words simply meant that that king was headed for death and was to end up “under the ground”, so to say. More:

Isaiah 14:16 Those who see you will stare at you; they will look closely at you: “Is this the man who caused the earth to tremble, who shook the kingdoms, 17 who turned the world into a wilderness, who trampled its cities and would not release the prisoners to return home?” (HCSB)

Clearly, even that refers to a man of flesh. The king of Babylon. More:

Isaiah 14:18 All the kings of the nations lie in splendor, each in his own tomb. 19 But you are thrown out without a grave, like a worthless branch, covered by those slain with the sword and dumped into a rocky pit like a trampled corpse. 20 You will not join them in burial, because you destroyed your land and slaughtered your own people. The offspring of evildoers will never be remembered. (HCSB)

Those words are clearly about the king of Babylon. Many rulers have been put into fancy tombs and burial chambers (verse 18), but for this man, the last king of Babylon, this was denied. His body came to be dumped in some not so respectful place.

Regarding verses 13–14: One must keep in mind that this was a mocking song – verse 4, “you will sing this song of contempt about the king of Babylon”, HCSB. In the poetic words of such songs, hyperbole is often used, also in the Scriptures. – Anyway, regarding verses 13 and 14: Even in more recent times, many kings have lift themselves “on high”, with lofty symbols, titles and manners. Several rulers have called themselves “the Sun” and so on. Even in recent times, there have been rulers who were considered to be “gods” and had the sun as their symbol. Some historians have said that it was similar in ancient Babylon. Now, regarding the last king of Babylon (Belshazzar) in particular: Daniel 5 records how he in his pride lift himself “on high” and defied God, by using for his feasting the vessels of gold and silver from the House of God in Jerusalem. It may be that it was things of that kind, that the words of Isaiah 14:13–14 referred to (“I will make myself like the Most High”, and so on). Here is a record of the event in question:

Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, drinking wine before the thousand. 2 Belshazzar, while he was overcome with wine, gave orders for them to put before him the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem; so that the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, might take their drink from them. 3 Then they took in the gold and silver vessels which had been in the Temple of the house of God at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, took wine from them. 4 They took their wine and gave praise to the gods of gold and silver, of brass and iron and wood and stone. (BBE, highlighting added)

(That happened circa 539 BCE.)

By in that way lifting himself “on high” and defying God, king Belshazzar went too far. This led to that God stepped in and put an end to that man and his kingdom. Verses 30–31, “That very night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldaeans, was put to death. And Darius the Mede took the kingdom.” But, before this happened, God sent an angel to do the writing on the wall – Mene, mene, tekel, parsin. The prophet Daniel explained the meaning of those words to Belshazzar. We read:

Daniel 5:18 As for you, O King, the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, your father, the kingdom and great power and glory and honour: 19 And because of the great power he gave him, all peoples and nations and languages were shaking in fear before him: some he put to death and others he kept living, at his pleasure, lifting up some and putting others down as it pleased him. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became hard with pride, he was put down from his place as king, and they took his glory from him: 21 And he was sent out from among the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts’, and he was living with the asses of the fields; he had grass for his food like the oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he was certain that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and gives power over it to anyone at his pleasure. 22 And you, his son, O Belshazzar, have not kept your heart free from pride, though you had knowledge of all this; 23 But you have been lifting yourself up against the Lord of heaven, and they have put the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your women, have taken wine in them; and you have given praise to gods of silver and gold, of brass and iron and wood and stone, who are without the power of seeing or hearing, and without knowledge: and to the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not given glory; 24 Then the part of the hand was sent out from before him, and this writing was recorded. 25 And this is the writing which was recorded, Mene, tekel, peres. 26 This is the sense of the words: Mene; your kingdom has been numbered by God and ended. 27 Tekel; you have been put in the scales and seen to be under weight. 28 Peres; your kingdom has been cut up and given to the Medes and Persians. (BBE, highlighting added)

(Verse 25: Some translations have “parsin” or “upharsin”, instead of “peres”.)

The end of that king:

Daniel 5:30 That very night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldaeans, was put to death. 31 And Darius the Mede took the kingdom […]. (BBE)

(Chaldaea = Babylon.)

“Darius the Mede” was an invading warlord. The kingdom of Babylon came to its end, and its area was taken over by the Medes and the Persians.

And again, this had been foretold already in the days of Isaiah. It is clear that all of Isaiah 14:4–27 was a prophecy regarding what was to happen to the last king of Babylon (and his kingdom and its main town).

Did the fate of the king of Babylon in some way symbolise Satan’s fate? Who knows. If we stick to the facts, we will note that the Bible does not say that. Isaiah 14 talks about a man of flesh, the king of Babylon, and it does not mention Satan.

Ezekiel 28.

In the case of Isaiah 14 which is discussed in the first part of this article, it is quite easy to see that that chapter contains a now fulfilled prophecy regarding the fate of the (last) king of Babylon, a man of flesh. But, in the case of Ezekiel 28, many bible-versions contain several confusing wordings which can make it hard for the readers to see what that chapter actually says and means and refers to. Because of this, it is necessary to go into much more detail, including linguistics as well as certain other things.

The book of Ezekiel does not contain such words or names as Satan, Devil or the like, but many bible-translations contain wordings which could cause casual bible-readers to think that Ezekiel 28 talks about Satan. Also, a number of writers have caused people to think that certain things in that chapter mean that Satan had been an “archangel”, or a “cherub which overshadowed the throne of God”. The following takes a closer look at that chapter and those matters. (The article nda070.htm has some notes on the words “angel” and “archangel”.)

Let us begin in verses 1 and 2, for they show in clear words whom that chapter refers to and talks about.

Ezekiel 28:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Lord has said: Because your heart has been lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I am seated on the seat of God in the heart of the seas; but you are man and not God, though you have made your heart as the heart of God (BBE, highlighting added)

Verse 2 shows that that prophecy referred to the king of Tyre, an extremely proud person. Also: That verse states that he was a man of flesh, Hebrew adam.

(Tyre was a trading town which lay on an island by the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea.)

Some notes on the cherub of Ezekiel 28.

Verses 14 and 16 in Ezekiel 28 contain the word “cherub”, Hebrew keruwb. Many people have been caused to think that the keruwbim were angels, or “archangels”, but a closer study of the scriptures which mention keruwbim shows that they were huge flying creatures – five metres tall when standing on the ground – and not angels. (The article nda010.htm has more on this.)

Many translators have put into Ezekiel 28:16 such wordings as “I will destroy thee, O covering cherub”. But, some translators have interpreted the meaning of the ancient Hebrew text to be “and the guardian cherub drove you out”.

Ezekiel 28:16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub drove you out from among the stones of fire. (NRSV)

(“Stones of fire” – obviously, this must refer to some flashy jewels that were worn by the king of Tyre, or used as decorations in his palace. There is more on this, later.)

Regarding the phrase “guardian cherub”, verse 16 – it is to be understood as referring to a guard-keruwb. Compare with the keruwbim which God put to guard the entrance to the earthly garden of God, Eden, to keep man out. There is more on this later, but right here, in short: The king of Tyre was extremely proud and felt that he was a “god”, see verses 2, 6 and 9. Also, it could be that his palace had a fancy garden. (In verse 13, the Hebrew text contains the word eden which could refer to a garden but also to luxury.) Here, God had apparently decided that there was a limit to how far that king could go, in his pride (just as it was in the case of Belshazzar). And so, in the poetic and hyperbolic words of the mocking song [e] which God told the prophet Ezekiel to make, a guard-keruwb drove that man out (out from his town or palace which he viewed as a “seat of god”, see the earlier quoted verse 2).

e Mocking song – that is what verses 12–19 contain. Verse 12, “make a song of grief for the king of Tyre, and say to him…” The poetic words of such songs often contain hyperbole, wordings that are not to be taken literally. That is the case even here in Ezekiel 28.

A note: It is obvious that the keruwb which is mentioned in Ezekiel 28:12–19, was not a literal one but merely a figure in the words of that song.

More: Since the words of that song mention a keruwb, verses 14 and 16, it can be good to check what the Scriptures actually say about literal keruwbim. The article nda010.htm has more on this, but here are some shorter notes:

For instance in 1 Kings 6:24 and 2 Chronicles 3:12, we read about keruwb-statues which portrayed huge flying creatures, five metres tall and five metres between wing-tips. Those statues were placed in the temple in Jerusalem, in the inner sanctuary, the “holy of holies”. Also, the walls of the temple were decorated with pictures of keruwbim.

Some writers have caused people to think that the keruwbim were “archangels”. Where does that concept come from? Not from the Bible at least. The word “archangel” is derived from the old Greek noun archangelos which simply meant “chief messenger”, but there is no mention that the flying creatures which were called keruwbim, would have been “messengers of God”, not to mention “chief messengers”. That concept has no biblical basis. (The article nda070.htm contains a study on what the Scriptures tell us about God’s messengers, “angels”. It has also some notes on the old Greek word archangelos.)

So, what about the guard-keruwb which Ezekiel 28 mentions? Let us keep in mind that the prophecy recorded in verses 12–19 is in the form of a “song of lamentation” which the Lord told the prophet Ezekiel to make, regarding the proud ruler of Tyre and what was to happen to him. Here is the first verse in that passage:

Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, make a song of grief for the king of Tyre, and say to him, This is what the Lord has said: You are all-wise and completely beautiful (BBE)

Was that proud king “all-wise” or “completely beautiful”? There is no reason to believe so. Those were merely words in a mocking song. But, apparently that proud man had in his foolishness felt that he was wise, and perhaps even handsome.

Many translators have made it seem that the king and the keruwb of verses 14 and 16 were one and the same thing. – Now, consider this: How would a huge flying creature such as a keruwb, transform itself into a human, adam as the Hebrew text of verse 2 has it? – And again, some have interpreted the ancient Hebrew text of verse 16 as meaning that a keruwb drove that king out. (Out from his eden, perhaps referring to his luxury or a palace with a pleasure-garden.)

Again: It is obvious that the keruwb which is mentioned in Ezekiel 28:12–19, was not a literal one but merely a figure in the words of that song.

(A side-note: Even chapter 10 in the book of Ezekiel mentions keruwbim. They were something the prophet saw in a vision. The article nda010.htm has some notes on literal keruwbim, and also those of Ezekiel 10.)

The story of Ezekiel 28 really begins in the two preceding chapters.

You can read Ezekiel 26:1–21 in your own Bible. It contains a prophecy regarding the fall of Tyre. In chapter 27, we find this:

Ezekiel 27:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 And you, son of man, make a song of grief for Tyre; 3 And say to Tyre, O you who are seated at the doorway of the sea, trading for the peoples with the great sea-lands, these are the words of the Lord: You, O Tyre, have said, I am a ship completely beautiful. 4 Your builders have made your outlines in the heart of the seas, they have made you completely beautiful. (BBE)

And so on. That was a “song of grief” regarding the town Tyre (verse 2), with mocking words. Songs of that kind use poetic language which is not to be interpreted literally. Verses 3–4: Obviously, that trading town was not “completely beautiful”, but perhaps those who had built it or lived there, felt that way.

That kind of pride was found even with the ruler of that island-town, as can be seen in Ezekiel 28:2. He was a man of flesh, but apparently he felt that he was a “god”, just as many kings have done.

Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Lord has said: Because your heart has been lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I am seated on the seat of God in the heart of the seas; but you are man and not God, though you have made your heart as the heart of God (BBE)

Ezekiel 28:6–10 – the death of the king of Tyre was foretold.

We read:

Ezekiel 28:6 For this cause the Lord has said: Because you have made your heart as the heart of God, 7 See, I am sending against you strange men, feared among the nations: they will let loose their swords against your bright wisdom, they will make your glory a common thing. 8 They will send you down to the underworld, and your death will be the death of those who are put to the sword in the heart of the seas. 9 Will you say, in the face of those who are taking your life, I am God? but you are man and not God in the hands of those who are wounding you. (BBE)

So, this prophecy said that that proud ruler was headed for death.

The Lord mocked the king of Tyre, for his pride and lofty ways.

Ezekiel 28:12–19 contains more mocking words regarding the proud ruler of Tyre. An English translation of those verses is quoted below. As you read it, keep in mind that that is just what it is: A translation. See also the notes below this passage.

Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, make a song of grief for the king of Tyre, [f] and say to him, This is what the Lord has said: You are all-wise and completely beautiful; [g] 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; [h] every stone of great price was your clothing, [i] the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the emerald and the carbuncle: your store-houses were full of gold, and things of great price were in you; in the day when you were made [j] they were got ready. 14 I gave you [k] your place with the winged one; I put you [k] on the mountain of God; [l] you went up and down among the stones of fire. [m] 15 There has been no evil in your ways from the day when you were made, [j] till sin was seen in you. 16 Through all your trading [n] you have become full of violent ways, and have done evil: so I sent you out shamed from the mountain of God; [l] the winged one [o] put an end to you from among the stones of fire. [m] 17 Your heart was lifted up because you were beautiful, you made your wisdom evil through your sin: I have sent you down, even to the earth; [p] I have made you low before kings, so that they may see you. 18 By all your sin, even by your evil trading, you have made your holy places [q] unclean; so I will make a fire come out from you, it will make a meal of you, and I will make you as dust on the earth before the eyes of all who see you. 19 All who have knowledge of you among the peoples will be overcome with wonder at you: you have become a thing of fear, and you will never be seen again. (BBE, note signs added)

f Verse 12, “king of Tyre”, and the earlier quoted verse 9, “you are man” – again, this prophecy referred to a man of flesh, the ruler of Tyre.

g Verse 12, “all-wise and completely beautiful” – those were words in a mocking song. In reality, that man was a proud fool, and not wise.

h Verse 13, “Eden, the garden of God” – again, the words of this mocking “song of lamentation” referred to a mortal, a man of flesh, the ruler of Tyre (see verse 2). He had not been in Paradise in Heaven. But, as verses 2, 6 and 9 show, he apparently felt that he was a “god”, and it may also be that he had a lavish palace garden. (Linguists say that the old Hebrew word eden referred to such things as “pleasure”, “luxury” and “garden”.)

i Verse 13, “every stone of great price was your clothing” – it appears that that king had decorated himself with expensive jewels. That might refer to his coronation day; see the next note, below.

j Verses 13 and 15, “the day when you were made” – a reasonable interpretation is that that refers to the day when the ruler of Tyre was made king – his coronation day. And so, the words “the day when you were made they were got ready”, verse 13, regarding jewels and so on, probably refer to things which were prepared for that man’s coronation. – A note: Some bible-versions have in verse 13 such words as “tabrets” and “pipes”. Does that refer to music instruments that were used at that king’s coronation or in his palace? There are some notes on that matter, in an appendix at the end of this article.

k Verse 14, “I gave you” and “I put you” – the Hebrew verb nathan which some have translated as “I set you”, “I placed you” or similar, was a very generic one. It really meant “to give”, but it could also mean “to allow”, and “to suffer” in the meaning “to tolerate”. For instance the 1769 KJ version translates that verb in that meaning, in several passages. Point: It could be that through the mocking song of Ezekiel 28, the Lord was saying, in regard to that proud ruler, “and I allowed you” [to be a king], or, “I tolerated you”. But, there was a limit to that. That proud man’s rulership was coming to its end, and he was headed for death. He had “played god” a bit too much. The Lord did not tolerate him any longer.

l Verses 14 and 16, “mountain of God” – that phrase gets its clarification in verse 2: That man felt that he was a “god”, and that he was “seated on the seat of God in the heart of the seas”. So, verses 14 and 16 do not refer to Heaven, and not even to Jerusalem. They refer to the seat of the ruler of the island-town Tyre.

m Verses 14 and 16, “the stones of fire” – it could be that that man walked around decorated with flashy jewels, or then he had done that on his coronation day. It could also be that his palace or throne was decorated with such things.

n Verse 16, “through all your trading” – again, this mocking song referred to the ruler of Tyre which was a trading town on an island by the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea.

o Verse 16: As you can see, the BBE renders the Hebrew word keruwb as “winged one”. The keruwbim were huge flying creatures. Regarding the phrase “the winged one put an end to you” – keep in mind that this was a mocking song regarding the proud ruler of Tyre, who apparently felt that he was a “god”, and perhaps even had a lavish palace garden (Hebrew eden). Some translations have it that a keruwb “drove out” that man – example: “And the guardian cherub drove you out”, RSV. (Again, that is to be understood as referring to a guard-keruwb. Compare with the keruwbim which were put to guard the way to Eden, to keep man out from that garden.) – And again, we must not take literally the mocking words of that “song of lamentation” in Ezekiel 28. There is no reason to believe that there was a literal keruwb which drove the king of Tyre out from some pleasure-garden. But, the days of that proud king were coming to an end.

p Verse 17, “I have sent you down, even to the earth” – most other translations have “I will cast you to the ground”, or similar. And again, this was regarding the proud ruler of Tyre who had lift himself “on high” to the degree that he felt that he was a “god”. (Just as many kings and rulers have done.) But here, the true God said that that man was to be pulled down from his imagined heights of glory.

q Verse 18, “your holy places” – the BBE translators used the word “holy”, but it is obvious that this verse which is a part of a mocking song, does not refer to anything that was connected to God or His dwelling. Probably, those mocking words refer to that man’s palace or something similar. It could even be that the pride of this man who felt that he was a god, had made him so mad (insane) that he viewed his palace as a “temple of god”. Again, see verse 2, “I am a god, I am seated on the seat of god”.

So, is Satan mentioned in Ezekiel 28?

Could it be that the fate of the king of Tyre in some way symbolised Satan’s fate? Who knows. What we do know, is that the Bible does not say that. Ezekiel 28 refers to the king of Tyre. Satan is not mentioned.

Babylon conquered Tyre.

It may be that it was king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who put an end to Tyre and its proud ruler. Chapters 26 and 29 in the book of Ezekiel indicate this.

See also the “recommended reading” section, after the appendix below.


Appendix – Does the last part of Ezekiel 28:13 refer to jewel-related things, or to music instruments?

Some writers, thinking that Ezekiel 28 refers to Satan, have claimed certain words in that chapter to mean that “Satan produced beautiful music”. Apparently, they have based that concept on bible-versions which have in verse 13 such words as “tabrets” and “pipes”. (A “tabret” is a small drum of a kind; a “pipe” is a flute or similar.)

But, as is shown in the main part of this article, Ezekiel 28 refers to a man of flesh, the ruler of Tyre. Satan is not mentioned.

Now, it may be that music instruments were used at the coronation of the king of Tyre, or in his palace. But, a number of translators have interpreted the Hebrew text of Ezekiel 28:13 as referring to “settings” and “sockets” – for gems; obviously those that are mentioned in the context, in the same verse. Here is an example:

Ezekiel 28:13 […] every precious stone was thy covering, the carnelian, the topaz, and the emerald, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle, and the smaragd, and gold; the workmanship of thy settings and of thy sockets was in thee, in the day that thou wast created [r] they were prepared. (JPS1917, highlighting added)

r “The day that thou wast created”, or “the day when you were made” as the BBE has it – as is noted in the main part of this article, it appears that those words refer to the day when that man was “made king”. His coronation day. And so, the precious stones which that verse mentions, may have been special coronation jewels.

But, it does not matter whether the last part of that verse refers to jewel-related things, or to music instruments. What is important, is to keep in mind that that chapter talks about a man of flesh, the king of Tyre, and that Satan is not mentioned.

Please send or mention the address to this site to others. You can also link to these pages. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/articles.htm

Recommended reading here at the Bible Pages, on related as well as other matters

An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → nsa090.htm

On the King James translation. The story behind king James’ bible, including the men who were involved in producing it. → nsa030.htm

What does the Bible say about Satan the Devil? A study on what the Scriptures tell us about mankind’s arch-enemy. → nda040.htm

The cherubs or keruwbim, what did they look like? → nda010.htm

What does the Bible say about angels? → nda070.htm

Are angels immortal, in the meaning that they cannot die? → nda020.htm

Why does God allow evil, sickness, pain, war and suffering? → nwa010.htm

On the “dragons”, “satyrs”, “unicorns”, “flying serpents” and other odd creatures that appear in some bible-translations. → nda030.htm

Are the rulers and governments of this world appointed by God? The so-called “divine right of kings” – is there such a thing? → nwa021.htm


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