What Are the Correlations Between the Prince of Tyre and the King of Tyre, Found in Ezekiel 28?
Ezekiel 28 speaks of two individuals. The first personage is a physical human being who is described here as the “Prince of Tyre.” The second individual is the “King of Tyre.” As one reads through this chapter, one will find striking similarities between the two individuals, and some are confused about the meaning. We need to correctly understand who is being talked about; then we can start to see the types of similarities that these two individuals share; and finally, we will understand why they are important.
First of all, we should take note of chapters 26 and 27 which speak of the City of Tyre. It is referenced many times in the Bible and has played an interesting role in history. As is often the case, the Bible refers to this city as well in a dual role. The ancient city of Tyre is compared with the modern Babylonian system in Europe and the end-time city which is built on seven hills. And so we can already see the duality between the destruction of the city of Tyre and the city of Rome, and with it, the entire Babylonian system (Ezekiel 27:28-36; Revelation 18:9-21). Please read our booklet “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” specifically Part 3, entitled “Ancient and Modern ‘Tyre’ in Prophecy,” for more in depth and detailed information.
In chapter 28 and in verses 1-10, we are introduced to the Prince of Tyre. This is not a reference to an ancient personage who was killed; but rather, the Bible reveals that this individual is an end-time man (verse 2) who will become exceedingly powerful, both in wisdom and in riches. He considers himself to be a god or God. But verses 18b-19 show us that this person will be killed and burned up in fire. He will turn to ashes. His rule will come to an end. This Prince of Tyre is then synonymous with being a ruler in the end-time Babylonian system or the European power bloc. He is also described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 which prophecies about the man of sin who claims to be God. This fits hand in hand with the person mentioned in Ezekiel. Please read our Q&A, entitled, “Who or What Restrains or Holds Back the Manifestation of the Man of Sin?”
This person then is the religious leader of the European Babylonian system (Revelation 17:3). We should realize that this religious leader will come to Jerusalem and rule from there with the beast power (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 8:11). A few other names for this religious person and the religious system which he will lead include: “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7); “lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2:8); “the false prophet” (Revelation 19:20); the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15); “another beast” (Revelation 13:11); “the great harlot” (Revelation 17:1); “the woman” (Revelation 17:3); “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5); “that great city” (Revelation 17:18); and “that mighty city” (Revelation 18:10).
The man of sin is the “Prince of Tyre”—the false prophet and the religious leader, whom Jesus Christ will destroy at His return. This man will be possessed by Satan or by extremely powerful demons to perform false signs and lying wonders.
In verses 11-18a of Ezekiel 28, another personage is described and referred to as the “King of Tyre”—no longer the “Prince of Tyre.” This individual is none other than Satan the devil—the real power behind the Prince of Tyre. Satan was originally known as Lucifer. He was perfect before God at his creation. He had immense wisdom, power and beauty. But he threw it all away by sinning. He wanted more and attempted to fight God. Lucifer who became Satan, along with fallen angels who became demons, were cast to the earth (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18). Beginning with Ezekiel 28:18b, the Scripture reverts back to the human Prince of Tyre.
Now that we have some context, let us review the Scriptures once again and look at the similarities that these two personalities share in regard to things that they have done and will (attempt to) do.
Starting in verses 1-2 of Ezekiel 28, we see that this Prince of Tyre will exalt himself and act as if he was god; he may even think or at least proclaim that he is God (compare 2 Thessalonians 2:4). This is exactly what Satan wanted and wants—to become God and the ruler over the entire universe and the spirit realm. So just before this person will be trying to impersonate a god or God, Satan and his demons will have launched another attack on God (Revelation 12:1-13). They are both trying to accomplish the same end goal—the destruction of the God Family.
In verses 3-5 and in verse 11 of Ezekiel 28, we see that both have a type of wisdom. When tempting Eve, Satan persuaded her with false logic and reasoning to trick her. He showed himself to be very deceptive and cunning. This type of wisdom is called out in James 3:13-16 as demonic and earthly. The man of sin [the Prince of Tyre] is described as being wiser than Daniel (Ezekiel 28:3). Daniel was a prophet of God, who spoke and wrote down prophecy as God gave it to him, including prophecy about the end time events that will take place.
Revelation 13:11-16 shows that the false prophet will get his power from Satan and great will that power be. It may be possible that this false prophet, under the inspiration of Satan, will be able to accurately foretell the future in some instances (Deuteronomy 13:1–4; Acts 16:16–19). In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul participated in a séance, where a demon, impersonating the dead Samuel, foretold accurately the immediate future (verses 19; compare our free booklet, “Do We have an Immortal Soul?”).
Since demons are lying spirits, one would never know when they tell the truth, which would also be the case for the false prophet who will be under Satan’s influence.
Verses 16 and 18 of Ezekiel 28 speak of Satan’s abundance of trading. In fact, the first half of verse 18 points out that this trading was iniquity or sin, and verse 16 says that by “the abundance of [his] trading [he] became filled with violence within, and [he] sinned.” While the human King of Tyre “gained riches” for himself and “gathered gold and silver into [his] treasuries,” and by his “great wisdom in trade” he “increased [his] riches” (verses 4-5), the trade which Satan was engaged in did not refer to those kinds of physical treasures. While we don’t know exactly what was being traded by Satan, it is a possibility that he “traded” with the angels under his command by promising them great things, tempting and persuading them to join him in his plan of rebellion. We know that ultimately Satan was able to draw a following of a third of the angels. This took time and effort on his part to get them to join him (Revelation 12:4).
The Prince of Tyre amasses great riches, which he acquires by his trade. This will cause great power to be able to be given to him. He also causes people to worship the beast and to accept his name and his number. This takes great beguiling and charm. As Satan was able to tempt those demons, so also will this individual be able to sway almost the entire world. Quite a powerful scene can be read about in Revelation 13:11-18.
Ultimately, the Prince of Tyre will be removed from his position of power. Revelation 19:20 states: “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” This is ultimately Satan’s [temporary] exile as well. Revelation 20:10 states: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet [were, or had been cast into]. And they [Satan and his demons] will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
This speaks of the time after the 1,100 years of the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment. However, Satan and his demons will not be in that lake of fire for all eternity and without end, because that fire will be extinguished when there is nothing left to be burned, and when God will create new heavens and a new earth. Please see our Q&A, entitled, “What Does the Bible Mean when It Speaks of Eternal Concepts and Eternity?” Please also read our Q&A, entitled, “Will Satan Deceive Man After the Millennium.”
In both cases, the lake of fire will only be a temporary fate for the beast and the false prophet, as well as Satan and his demons. When referring to the ultimate fate of Satan and his demons, Jude 13 might give us an answer; and the lake of fire which the beast and the false prophet will be cast into at the time of Christ’s return is only a forerunner of the ultimate lake of fire, which will devour God’s adversaries in the Third Resurrection, which event will occur 1,100 years later. The beast and the false prophet will still receive their chance for salvation in the Second Resurrection; of course, they will have to decide then whether to accept or reject God’s Way of Life.
One final comparison not found in Ezekiel 28, but rather in the book of Isaiah, is interesting when viewed from the following standpoint: Isaiah 14:3-11 speaks of the time when God will bring to pass what is pronounced in this proverb against the King of Babylon (Prince of Tyre). What is interesting to note is that this fall of the physical King of Babylon is once again intertwined with the description of the fall of Satan which we find described in verses 12–15, while the description of the fate of the human King of Babylon then continues with verse 16.
As we see the signs for end-time occurrences happening around us, we should take note of these events and be able to understand the fate of Satan and those who will be used to do his bidding. We must want NO part of sin or the system of sin that Satan has instituted and with which he enslaves the whole world.
Lead Writer: Kalon Mitchell