Ezekiel 31

Listen to Ezekiel 31

Pharaoh to Be Slain

1 1In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
2 2"Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to 3his multitude: 4"Whom are you like in your greatness?
3 Behold, 5Assyria was a 6cedar in 7Lebanon, with beautiful branches and 8forest shade, 9and of towering height, its top among the clouds.[a]
4 The waters nourished it; the deep made it grow tall, making 10its rivers flow around the place of its planting, sending forth its streams to all the trees of the field.
5 So 11it towered high above all the trees of the field; its boughs grew large and its branches long from 12abundant water in its shoots.
6 13All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth to their young, and under its shadow lived all great nations.
7 It was 14beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; 15for its roots went down to abundant waters.
8 16The cedars 17in the garden of God could not rival it, nor the fir trees equal its boughs; neither were the plane trees like its branches; no tree 18in the garden of God was its equal in beauty.
9 I made it beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of 19Eden envied it, that were in the garden of God.
10 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because 20it[b] towered high and set its top among the clouds, and 21its heart was proud of its height,
11 I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out.
12 22Foreigners, 23the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. 24On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all 25the ravines of the land, and 26all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it.
13 27On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field.
14 28All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds, and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, 29to the world 30below, among the children of man,[c] with those who go down to the pit.
15 "Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day 31the cedar[d] went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it.
16 32I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, 33when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. 34And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, 35were comforted in the world below.
17 They also went down to Sheol with it, 36to those who are slain by the sword; yes, 37those who were its arm, 38who lived under its shadow among the nations.
18 39"Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness 40among the trees of Eden? 41You shall be brought down with 42the trees of Eden to the world below. 43You shall lie among the uncircumcised, 44with those who are slain by the sword. 45"This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

The glory of Assyria. (1-9) Its fall, and the like for Egypt. (10-18)

Verses 1-9 The falls of others, both into sin and ruin, warn us not to be secure or high-minded. The prophet is to show an instance of one whom the king of Egypt resembled in greatness, the Assyrian, compared to a stately cedar. Those who excel others, make themselves the objects of envy; but the blessings of the heavenly paradise are not liable to such alloy. The utmost security that any creature can give, is but like the shadow of a tree, a scanty and slender protection. But let us flee to God for protection, there we shall be safe. His hand must be owned in the rising of the great men of the earth, and we must not envy them. Though worldly people may seem to have firm prosperity, yet it only seems so.

Verses 10-18 The king of Egypt resembled the king of Assyria in his greatness: here we see he resembles him in his pride. And he shall resemble him in his fall. His own sin brings his ruin. None of our comforts are ever lost, but what have been a thousand times forfeited. When great men fall, many fall with them, as many have fallen before them. The fall of proud men is for warning to others, to keep them humble. See how low Pharaoh lies; and see what all his pomp and pride are come to. It is best to be a lowly tree of righteousness, yielding fruit to the glory of God, and to the good of men. The wicked man is often seen flourishing like the cedar, and spreading like the green bay tree, but he soon passes away, and his place is no more found. Let us then mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.

Cross References 45

  • 1. See Ezekiel 20:1
  • 2. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 3. [Ezekiel 29:19; Ezekiel 30:4; Ezekiel 32:12, 16, 20, 31, 32]
  • 4. [ver. 18; Ezekiel 32:19]
  • 5. [Isaiah 10:34]; See Dan. 4:10, 20-22
  • 6. See Judges 9:15
  • 7. [ver. 15, 16]
  • 8. [Ezekiel 17:23]
  • 9. [Isaiah 10:33]
  • 10. [Ezekiel 17:7]
  • 11. [Daniel 4:11]
  • 12. Ezekiel 17:5; [Psalms 1:3]
  • 13. Ezekiel 17:23; Daniel 4:12, 21
  • 14. [ver. 2]
  • 15. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 16. [Amos 2:9]
  • 17. Ezekiel 28:13; [ver. 16, 18]
  • 18. Ezekiel 28:13; [ver. 16, 18]
  • 19. See Isaiah 51:3
  • 20. [ver. 3]
  • 21. Daniel 5:20; [Isaiah 10:12]
  • 22. See Ezekiel 28:7
  • 23. See Ezekiel 28:7
  • 24. [Ezekiel 32:5]
  • 25. [Ezekiel 6:3]
  • 26. [Daniel 4:14]
  • 27. Ezekiel 32:4
  • 28. [ver. 5]
  • 29. [ver. 16, 18; Ezekiel 26:20; Ezekiel 32:18, 24]
  • 30. Psalms 63:9
  • 31. [Ezekiel 32:18, 21; Isaiah 14:9, 10]
  • 32. [Ezekiel 26:15]
  • 33. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 34. ver. 9; [Isaiah 14:8]
  • 35. [Ezekiel 32:31]
  • 36. Ezekiel 32:20, 21; Ezekiel 35:8
  • 37. [Ezekiel 30:5, 6, 8]
  • 38. [ver. 6]
  • 39. [ver. 2]
  • 40. [See ver. 16 above]
  • 41. [Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15]
  • 42. [See ver. 16 above]
  • 43. Ezekiel 28:10; Ezekiel 32:19, 21, 24, 25, 28
  • 44. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 45. [ver. 2]

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or its top went through the thick boughs; also verses 10, 14
  • [b]. Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew you
  • [c]. Or of Adam
  • [d]. Hebrew it

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a confirmation of the preceding prophecy, of the ruin of the king of Egypt, by the example of the king of Assyria, to whom he was like in grandeur and pride, and would be in his fall. The time of the prophecy is observed, Eze 31:1, the prophet is ordered to give the following relation to the king of Egypt, Eze 31:2 in which the king of Assyria is compared to a large and flourishing cedar, for the extent of his dominions, the prosperous state of his empire, and his exaltation above all other princes, which drew upon him their envy Eze 31:3-9, wherefore because of his pride, his heart being lifted up with these things, Eze 31:10, ruin came upon him; which is described by the instruments and manner of it, and the effects following it; mourning and fear in some, solace and comfort to others, and destruction to his associates, Eze 31:11-17, wherefore Pharaoh is called upon to consider all this, who was like to him in greatness and pride, and should have the like fate with him; nor could his greatness any more secure him than it did the Assyrian monarch, Eze 31:18.

Ezekiel 31 Commentaries