In an attempt to clear up the manifold obscurities and problems with the text of Ezekiel’s Prophecy on Tyre, commentators have mainly resorted to two devices. The first is excessive emendation or interpretation of the Hebrew text on the basis of the ancient versions and especially of the LXX. The second is a literary approach, consisting in cutting out bigger or smaller portions from the text to meet the poetical and metrical requirements favored by the commentators themselves. Fortunately, of late there have been some signs of a new, third method, based on a firm belief in the substantial reliability of the consonantal Hebrew text, and availing itself of the new material of both lexical and syntactical nature uncovered by comparative Canaanite and Semitic studies. Commentators are becoming increasingly convinced that in most cases this is the only method to obtain permanent satisfactory results.
The present writer hopes to make a contribution to the study of Ezekiel’s prophecy on Tyre with the help of the above-mentioned basic methodical principles. He prefers not to take a stand on questions that go beyond the philological and syntactical problems in these chapters. He will center his attention upon controversial points, describing their particular difficulties, referring to the different ways scholars have sought to master the questions, and proposing his own suggestions. In as far as seems desirable, the author will take the liberty of applying these solutions to other biblical texts as well. Moreover, linguistic parallels in Ugaritic and other Northwest Semitic dialects will be discussed at some length. If this study achieves anything, it will prove the soundness of the standard Hebrew text and will illustrate the necessity of having recourse to the other dialects of Northwest Semitic.