Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel-Chapter 31

Ezek 31.1-18 contains another prophecy about Egypt and they are compared to the might and power of Assyria, but Egypt will fall like Assyria did. Eshatologically, Assyria is a picture of Russia and Egypt is a picture of Europe during the birth-pains.

v 1…And it came about in the eleventh year (of Zedekiah’s reign), in the third month (Sivan), on the first day of the month (a new moon-about two months before the fall of Jerusalem), that the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came to me saying,

v 2…”Son of man (mortal human being; Ezekiel represents the people), say to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude (his army and subjects), ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?

v 3…Behold (see, take note of), Assyria (who is an eschatological picture of Russia in the last days) was a cedar in Lebanon (tall, beautiful, majestic) with beautiful branches and forest shade (had the power to protect all who took refuge in them and their government), and every high (in stature); and its top was among the thick boughs (its kingship was above the other nations).

v 4…The waters made it grow (the Tigris river), the deep made it high (well watered and luxuriant). With its rivers (floods) it continually extended all around its planting place (“rivers” and “floods” are also idioms for “armies” who extended Assyria’s empire), and it sent out its channels (rulers) to all the trees of the field (other nations were ruled over by Assyria).

v 5…Therefore (as a result) its height (dominion over other nations) was loftier that all the trees of the field and its boughs became many and its branches long because of the many waters as it spread them out (expanded their influence).

v 6…All the birds of the heavens nested in its boughs, and under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth, and all great nations lived under its shade (under Assyria’s protection many people and kingdoms were safe, multiplied and prospered).

v 7…So it was beautiful in its greatness, in the length (extent) of its branches (the empire); for its roots extended to many waters (nations).

v 8…The cedars (kings) in God’s garden (Eden-the world-v 9) could not match it (equal Assyria); the cypresses (lesser kings) could not compare with its boughs, and the plane trees (even lesser kings) could not match its branches. No tree in God’s garden could compare with it in its beauty (royal majesty and eminence).

v 9…I made it (Yehovah, but Assyrian kings like Sennacherib said they made Assyria great-Isa 10.13-14) beautiful with the multitude of its branches (the extent of the empire), and all the trees of Eden (the kings of the earth-notice in v 9-18 he will use Eden like he did with the king of Tyre in Ezek 28.13) which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it (envious of their position).

v 10…Therefore, thus says the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), “Because it is high in stature, and it has set its top among the clouds, and its heart is haughty in its loftiness (pride),

v 11…therefore, I will give it unto the hand of a despot of the nations (Nebuchadnezzar); he will thoroughly deal with it. According to its wickedness I have driven it away (from before the face of Yehovah as a nation).

v 12…And alien tyrants of the nations (Babylon and the nations with her) have cut it down and abandoned it; on the mountains and in all the valleys (all the subdued nations under it); its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land. And all the peoples of the earth have gone down from its shade and left it (like birds and animals will do when the tree they have been living is cut down).

v 13…On its ruin all the birds of the heavens will dwell. And all the beasts of the field will be on its (fallen) branches (many nations took advantage of the fall of Assyria and created a new existence upon its ruins)

v 14…in order that all the trees by the waters (prosperous kings and nations) may not be exalted in their stature (be lifted up in pride), nor set their top among the clouds, nor their well-watered mighty ones stand erect in their height (thinking they made their nation great). For they have all been given over to death (mortal by nature anyway, temporary), to the earth beneath, among the sons of men (mortal human beings), with those who go down to the pit (death and the grave).’

v 15…’Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when it went down to Sheol (when Assyria and the king fell) I caused lamentations (mourning); I stopped its streams (prosperity restrained ) and the great (rabim) waters (“mayim” that made the tree grow) were held back (deprived); and I made Lebanon mourn (to be clothed in black for Assyria) for it (the other trees were deprived of the prosperity that came from it), and all the trees of the field wilted away on account of it (pined away because their prosperity was gone).

v 16…I made the nations tremble at the noise of its fall when I made it go down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit (were in common with them, shared the same fate with others who were destroyed), and they comforted themselves in the lowest parts, even all the trees of Eden, the choice and most beautiful of Lebanon, all the water drinkers.

v 17…They also went down with it to Sheol, to those who were slain by the sword; and those who were its arm (strength, helped Assyria) in his shade among the nations.

v 18…To which among the the trees of Eden are you (Pharaoh) thus equal in glory and greatness (the answer is contained in what has been already given)? Yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth beneath; you will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised (the ungodly) with those who were slain by the sword (in judgment). This is (so it will happen to) Pharaoh and all his multitude (eshatologically Pharaoh is a picture of the False Messiah)!” says the Lord God.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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