1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?
3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.
5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.
6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.
8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
10 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;
11 I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.
12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.
13 Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
14 To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.
15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, 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 hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
17 They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
If you would like to listen for free to MP3 audio version of this chapter, or any other chapter from The Book of Ezekiel KJV, please click the button below.
Ezekiel chapter 31, situated in the heart of the Book of Ezekiel, is a profound and vivid prophecy against Pharaoh and Egypt. This chapter is characterized by a parable of a magnificent cedar in Lebanon, symbolizing the Assyrian empire, which towered over all other trees (nations) due to its beauty and size, but eventually met its downfall due to its pride and arrogance. The chapter is marked by the themes of divine judgement, pride, downfall, and the transient nature of worldly power.
In the opening verses of the chapter, Ezekiel is commanded by God to deliver a message to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and his multitude. God, through Ezekiel, draws a comparison between Pharaoh and the Assyrian empire, symbolized by a tall and beautiful cedar tree in Lebanon. This tree was so magnificent that it overshadowed all the trees in the garden of God, representing other nations. The tree was the envy of all other trees due to its height, lush branches, and abundant water supply. The tree was a symbol of power, wealth, and influence, with its top reaching the clouds, symbolizing the Assyrian empire's reach and dominance.
However, in its pride and arrogance, the tree forgot that its beauty and splendor were God-given. Its heart became proud because of its height, and it believed that it was invincible. But the very height and beauty that made it stand out also made it a target. God decided to punish it because of its pride. God handed it over to the most ruthless of nations, and they cut it down. This symbolizes the fall of the Assyrian empire at the hands of the Babylonians.
The fall of the majestic tree is described in vivid detail. It fell with a great crash, causing the nations to shake. The mountains and valleys were filled with its branches, and the rivers were blocked by its boughs. All the creatures that had taken shelter under it were scattered, and the other trees in the garden of God rejoiced at its fall. This description of the fall signifies the disastrous consequences of the fall of the Assyrian empire, affecting not just Assyria but also other nations that were associated with it.
The chapter concludes with a warning to Pharaoh and Egypt. Just as the Assyrian empire fell due to its pride and arrogance, so too will Egypt meet its downfall. Despite its power and wealth, Egypt will be brought low, and its multitude will lie among the uncircumcised, a term used to denote disgrace in the biblical context. The chapter ends with a somber note, reminding the reader of the transient nature of worldly power and the ultimate sovereignty of God.
Ezekiel chapter 31 presents several key themes. The most prominent theme is the divine judgement of God. The chapter illustrates how God exercises His judgement on nations that become proud and arrogant. The Assyrian empire, represented by the tall cedar, was judged and brought low because of its pride. This serves as a stark reminder that all power and wealth come from God, and those who forget this and become arrogant will face God's judgement.
The theme of pride leading to downfall is also prevalent in this chapter. The Assyrian empire, in its pride, believed it was invincible. But its pride led to its downfall. This theme is echoed in the warning to Pharaoh and Egypt, which were also on the brink of downfall due to their pride.
The transient nature of worldly power is another important theme in this chapter. The Assyrian empire, despite its power and influence, was brought low. Egypt, despite its power and wealth, was also set to fall. This serves as a reminder of the fleeting nature of worldly power and wealth. No matter how powerful or wealthy a nation or individual may be, they are ultimately subject to God's sovereignty and judgement.
Ezekiel 31, with its vivid imagery and profound themes, carries a significant message. It serves as a reminder of the ultimate sovereignty of God and the transient nature of worldly power. It warns against the dangers of pride and arrogance, illustrating how these can lead to downfall. This message is as relevant today as it was when it was first written.
In today's context, nations and individuals often become obsessed with power and wealth. They strive to attain the highest position, to overshadow others, and to be the most influential. But often, in this pursuit of power and wealth, they forget the source of their blessings. They become proud and arrogant, believing that they are invincible. But as Ezekiel 31 illustrates, pride and arrogance can lead to downfall. No matter how high one rises, they can fall just as quickly. The higher they are, the harder they fall.
Furthermore, the chapter serves as a reminder of the transient nature of worldly power and wealth. No matter how powerful or wealthy a nation or individual may be, they can be brought low. This is a sobering reminder to not put our trust in worldly power or wealth, but to put our trust in God, the ultimate source of all power and wealth.
In conclusion, Ezekiel 31 is a powerful chapter that illustrates the divine judgement of God, the dangers of pride and arrogance, and the transient nature of worldly power. It serves as a stark reminder of the ultimate sovereignty of God and the folly of pride. It warns against the pursuit of worldly power and wealth and urges us to put our trust in God. Its message is as relevant today as it was when it was first written, offering timeless wisdom for nations and individuals alike.