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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 31

Verses 1-18

The Fall of the Great Cedar

Egypt was a stately cedar, thick, lofty, and spreading; sheltering all the fowls and beasts (the nations) in its branches and under its shadow (Ezekiel 31:1-6). It was the envy of all the trees (other great empires) in Eden, the garden of God (Ezekiel 31:7-9). But because of its pride it is given into the hands of a mighty one (Nebuchadrezzar), who will cut it down. Those whom it sheltered will be scattered or will trample on it when it has fallen (Ezekiel 31:10-13). This will be a warning to all trees (empires) against pride (Ezekiel 31:14). Egypt will go down to the nether world, and all the great nations already there will be comforted when it arrives.

1. The eleventh year.. the third month] May-June, 586 b.c., about two months before the fall of Jerusalem.

3. The Assyrian] has evidently no connexion with the subject of the prophecy, which is Egypt. It has been supposed that the chapter describes the downfall of Assyria, as a type of that of Egypt, but it is much more probable that instead of ’the Assyrian’ we should read ’a teasshur’ or box-tree, as in Ezekiel 27:6. ’Behold a box-tree, a cedar,’ etc.

4. Waters.. rivers] the waters of the Nile. The allegory is not strictly consistent as to locality. The cedar is in Lebanon and also apparently in Eden.

11. I have therefore delivered] RV ’I will even deliver.’

14. All that drink water] all trees: so in v.

16. Delivered unto death] another instance of Ezekiel’s conception of the nations as personified and surviving in the under-world: see Isaiah 14:9-20.

15. The deep.. the floods (RV ’rivers’) .. the waters] those referred to in Isaiah 14:4. Ezekiel poetically says that the rivers of Egypt would cease to flow, in token of mourning for the nation’s fall.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 31". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.