Ezekiel 31

1 In the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude: whom are you like in your greatness? 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with beautiful branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was amongst the thick boughs. 4 The waters nourished it, the deep made it to grow: its rivers ran all around its plantation; and it sent out its channels to all the trees of the field. 5 Therefore its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long by reason of many waters, when it spread them out. 6 All the birds of the sky made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches all the animals of the field gave birth to their young; and all great nations lived under its shadow. 7 Thus was it beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its root was by many waters. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; the cypress trees were not like its boughs, and the pine trees were not as its branches; nor was any tree in the garden of God like it in its beauty. 9 I made it beautiful by the multitude of its branches, so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied it. 10 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD: Because you are exalted in stature, and he has set his top amongst the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; 11 I will even deliver him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations; he shall surely deal with him; I have driven him out for his wickedness. 12 Strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: on the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. 13 On his ruin all the birds of the sky shall dwell, and all the animals of the field shall be on his branches; 14 to the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, neither set their top amongst the thick boughs, nor that their mighty ones stand up on their height, even all who drink water: for they are all delivered to death, to the lower parts of the earth, amongst the children of men, with those who go down to the pit. 15 Thus says the Lord GOD: In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained its rivers; and the great waters were stayed; and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. 16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Sheol with those who descend into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the lower parts of the earth. 17 They also went down into Sheol with him to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were his arm, who lived under his shadow in the middle of the nations. 18 To whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness amongst the trees of Eden? yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth: you shall lie in the middle of the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord GOD.

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

Back to Top