Ezekiel 31: Prophecy, Part 5, against Egypt
Comment: The single prophecy of this passage comes as
a poem that follows an initial question asking Pharoah to compare
his greatness with that of other great kingdoms [v.1,2]. The poem
describes Assyria, that had been a great and powerful kingdom,
to one of the mighty trees, the cedars, of Lebanon [v.3-9] yet
because of her pride the Lord had allowed Assyria to be brought
down [v.10-14] and even though others had watched, wondered, and
understood [v.15-17] it nevertheless happened. Thus Egypt will
also fall [v.19]. It is a warning to Pharaoh not to think he is
so great that he is impregnable.]
The FIFTH word asks Pharaoh an interesting question
the eleventh year, in the third month
on the first day,  the
word of the Lord came to me:
of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:
can be compared with you in majesty?
word initially seems to extol Pharaoh but invites him to compare
himself to the greatness of others. This is still 587BC]
Consider how great Assyria had once appeared
Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches overshadowing
it towered on high,
its top above the thick foliage.
waters nourished it,
deep springs made it grow tall;
their streams flowed
all around its base
and sent their channels
to all the trees of the field.
it towered higher
than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
and its branches grew long,
spreading because of abundant waters.
the birds of the sky
nested in its boughs,
all the wild animals
gave birth under its branches;
all the great nations
lived in its shade.
was majestic in beauty,
with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
to abundant waters.
cedars in the garden of God
could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees
compare with its branches –
no tree in the garden of God
could match its beauty.
made it beautiful
with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
in the garden of God.
was compared to one of the great and famous cedars of Lebanon,
standing out above all others in strength and beauty. Implied
– is this how you are Egypt?]
Because of pride, the Lord had allowed Assyria to be brought down
this is what the Sovereign Lord says: because the great
cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was
proud of its height,
gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to
deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,
the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it.
Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches
lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of
the earth came out from under its shade and left it.
the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals
lived among its branches.
no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high,
lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so
well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined
for death, for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the
realm of the dead.
had fallen at the hands of invading hordes in 609 BC roughly
twenty years earlier. Because of its pride, the Lord had allowed
it to be brought right down by other powerful nations.]
When Assyria fell, others understood, Egypt will fall
This is what the Sovereign Lord says : on the day it was
brought down to the realm of the dead I covered the deep springs
with mourning for it; I held back its streams, and its abundant
waters were restrained. Because of it I clothed Lebanon with gloom,
and all the trees of the field withered away.
made the nations tremble at the sound of its fall when I brought
it down to the realm of the dead to be with those who go down
to the pit. Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and best
of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled in the earth
too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead,
to those killed by the sword, along with the armed men who lived
in its shade among the nations.
of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendour and
majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of
Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised,
with those killed by the sword.
is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.”'
surrounding lands who had similarly fallen, understood and felt
for Assyria [but it didn't stop it happening] and so likewise
Egypt you WILL fall.]
to Chapter 32