Does Ezekiel 28 refer to Satan?


By BibleAsk Team

Ezekiel 28

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

Ezekiel 28:12-19

Application to Satan

Verses 11–19, though presented as a lament upon the king of Tyrus, can hardly be restricted in its application to this prince. The imagery certainly exceeds such a local reference. And it fails to answer the problems created if a completely local application is given to these verses. The following can’t apply to the literal “king of Tyrus”:

(1) “You were in Eden, the garden of God” (verse 13).

(2) “You were the anointed cherub who covers…You were on the holy mountain of God” (verse 14).

(3) “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (verse 15).

(4) “Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub” (verse 16).

Ezekiel saw the character and activities of the literal king of Tyre in vision. And he also saw the invisible powerful being whom the king of Tyre served. Thus, the prophet saw beyond the literal king of Babylon (Jeremiah 14:4). He saw Satan, whose character and policies the king of Babylon copied (verses 12–16).

Lucifer’s Fall

Lucifer was a “covering” cherub, or angel. He was one of these highly exalted angels and was a leader. His beauty was flawless and breathtaking. Also, his wisdom was perfect. And his brightness was awe-inspiring. Ezekiel 28:13 seems to indicate that he was specially created to be an outstanding musician.

But pride, jealousy, and discontent arose in Lucifer’s heart. And he soon began to desire to unseat God and to demand that everyone worship him instead. He desired to be like God. Lucifer deceived a third of the angels (Revelation 12:3, 4) and caused a rebellion in heaven.

The Creator had no choice but to cast Lucifer and the other fallen angels out of heaven, because Lucifer’s aim was to usurp God’s power and enforce his evil plans throughout the Universe (John 8:44). After his expulsion from heaven, Lucifer was called Satan, meaning “adversary,” and the devil, meaning “slanderer.” Also, the angels who followed Satan were called demons (Revelation 20:14, 15; 21:1).


Ezekiel 28 gives us a history of the origin, initial position, and downfall of the angel who later became known as the devil and Satan. God created a beautiful angel, holy and undefiled, but this angel made a devil out of himself.

Aside from this passage and the one in Isaiah 14:12–14, we don’t have further details of the origin, and causes of the fall of this evil prince. The New Testament references to Satan (Luke 4:5, 6; 10:18; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7–9; etc.), though fully consistent with these ancient prophecies, do not give us the complete history.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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