Ezekiel 31

Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon

1 In the eleventh year, in the third month on the first day, the word of the LORD came to me:
2 “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes: “ ‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
3 Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage.
4 The 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.
5 So it towered higher than all the trees of the field; its boughs increased and its branches grew long, spreading because of abundant waters.
6 All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs, all the animals of the wild gave birth under its branches; all the great nations lived in its shade.
7 It was majestic in beauty, with its spreading boughs, for its roots went down to abundant waters.
8 The 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.
9 I made it beautiful with abundant branches, the envy of all the trees of Eden in the garden of God.
10 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height,
11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,
12 and 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.
13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches.
14 Therefore 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.
15 “ ‘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.
16 I 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 below.
17 They 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.
18 “ ‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor 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. “ ‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

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 34

  • 1. Jeremiah 52:5
  • 2. S Ezekiel 30:20; Ezekiel 32:17
  • 3. S Jeremiah 50:18
  • 4. S 2 Kings 19:23; Habakkuk 2:17; Zechariah 11:1
  • 5. Isaiah 10:34; S Ezekiel 19:11
  • 6. Ezekiel 17:7
  • 7. Daniel 4:10
  • 8. ver 10
  • 9. S Numbers 24:6; S Ezekiel 17:5
  • 10. S Genesis 31:7-9
  • 11. S Ezekiel 17:23; S Matthew 13:32
  • 12. S Job 14:9
  • 13. Psalms 80:10
  • 14. S Genesis 30:37
  • 15. Genesis 2:8-9
  • 16. S Genesis 2:8
  • 17. S Genesis 13:10; Ezekiel 28:13
  • 18. S Isaiah 2:11; S Isaiah 14:13-14; S Ezekiel 28:17
  • 19. Daniel 5:20
  • 20. S Ezekiel 28:7
  • 21. Ezekiel 32:5; Ezekiel 35:8
  • 22. Ezekiel 32:11-12; Daniel 4:14
  • 23. S Isaiah 18:6; S Ezekiel 29:5; Ezekiel 32:4
  • 24. S Psalms 49:14
  • 25. S Psalms 82:7
  • 26. S Numbers 14:11; Psalms 63:9; S Ezekiel 26:20; Ezekiel 32:24
  • 27. S 2 Samuel 1:21
  • 28. S Jeremiah 49:21; Ezekiel 26:15
  • 29. S Isaiah 14:8
  • 30. S Genesis 2:8
  • 31. S Ezekiel 14:22; Ezekiel 32:31
  • 32. S Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 32:18
  • 33. Psalms 9:17
  • 34. S Jeremiah 9:26; Ezekiel 32:19,21

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 31

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