“‘Who are you like in your greatness?
with beautiful branches, like a forest giving shade,
and extremely tall;
its top reached into the clouds.
31:4 The water made it grow;
underground springs made it grow tall.
Rivers flowed all around the place it was planted,
while smaller channels watered all the trees of the field. 4
31:5 Therefore it grew taller than all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large and its branches grew long,
because of the plentiful water in its shoots. 5
31:6 All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs;
under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth,
in its shade all the great 6 nations lived.
31:7 It was beautiful in its loftiness, in the length of its branches;
for its roots went down deep to plentiful waters.
31:8 The cedars in the garden of God could not eclipse it,
nor could the fir trees 7 match its boughs;
the plane trees were as nothing compared to its branches;
no tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty.
31:9 I made it beautiful with its many branches;
all the trees of Eden, in the garden of God, envied it.
31:10 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because it was tall in stature, and its top reached into the clouds, and it was proud of its height, 31:11 I gave it over to the leader of the nations. He has judged it thoroughly, 8 as its sinfulness deserves. I have thrown it out. 31:12 Foreigners from the most terrifying nations have cut it down and left it to lie there on the mountains. In all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs lie broken in the ravines of the land. All the peoples of the land 9 have departed 10 from its shade and left it. 31:13 On its ruins all the birds of the sky will live, and all the wild animals 11 will walk 12 on its branches. 31:14 For this reason no watered trees will grow so tall; their tops will not reach into the clouds, nor will the well-watered ones grow that high. 13 For all of them have been appointed to die in the lower parts of the earth; 14 they will be among mere mortals, 15 with those who descend to the pit.
31:15 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On the day it 16 went down to Sheol I caused observers to lament. 17 I covered it with the deep and held back its rivers; its plentiful water was restrained. I clothed Lebanon in black for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. 31:16 I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I threw it down to Sheol, along with those who descend to the pit. 18 Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and the best of Lebanon, all that were well-watered, were comforted in the earth below. 31:17 Those who lived in its shade, its allies 19 among the nations, also went down with it to Sheol, to those killed by the sword. 31:18 Which of the trees of Eden was like you in majesty and loftiness? You will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword! This is what will happen to Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
“‘You were like a lion 21 among the nations,
but you are a monster in the seas;
you thrash about in your streams,
stir up the water with your feet,
and muddy your 22 streams.
32:3 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will throw my net over you 23 in the assembly of many peoples;
and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
32:4 I will leave you on the ground,
I will fling you on the open field,
32:5 I will put your flesh on the mountains,
and fill the valleys with your maggot-infested carcass. 28
32:6 I will drench the land with the flow
of your blood up to the mountains,
and the ravines will be full of your blood. 29
32:7 When I extinguish you, I will cover the sky;
I will darken its stars.
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
and the moon will not shine. 30
32:8 I will darken all the lights in the sky over you,
and I will darken your land,
declares the sovereign Lord.
when I bring about your destruction among the nations,
among countries you do not know.
32:10 I will shock many peoples with you,
and their kings will shiver with horror because of you.
When I brandish my sword before them,
every moment each one will tremble for his life, on the day of your fall.
32:11 “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says:
32:12 By the swords of the mighty warriors I will cause your hordes to fall –
all of them are the most terrifying among the nations.
They will devastate the pride of Egypt,
and all its hordes will be destroyed.
32:13 I will destroy all its cattle beside the plentiful waters;
nor will the hooves of cattle disturb them.
and will make their streams flow like olive oil, declares the sovereign Lord.
32:15 When I turn the land of Egypt into desolation
and the land is destitute of everything that fills it,
when I strike all those who live in it,
then they will know that I am the Lord.’
32:16 This is a lament; they will chant it.
The daughters of the nations will chant it.
They will chant it over Egypt and over all her hordes,
declares the sovereign Lord.”
32:17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, 37 the word of the Lord came to me: 32:18 “Son of man, wail 38 over the horde of Egypt. Bring it down; 39 bring 40 her 41 and the daughters of powerful nations down to the lower parts of the earth, along with those who descend to the pit. 32:19 Say to them, 42 ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty? 43 Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!’ 32:20 They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; they carry her and all her hordes away. 32:21 The bravest of the warriors will speak to him from the midst of Sheol along with his allies, saying: ‘The uncircumcised have come down; they lie still, killed by the sword.’
32:22 “Assyria is there with all her assembly around her grave, 44 all of them struck down by the sword. 45 32:23 Their 46 graves are located in the remote slopes of the pit. 47 Her assembly is around her grave, all of them struck down by the sword, those who spread terror in the land of the living.
32:24 “Elam is there with all her hordes around her grave; all of them struck down by the sword. They went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, those who spread terror in the land of the living. Now they will bear their shame with those who descend to the pit. 32:25 Among the dead they have made a bed for her, along with all her hordes around her grave. 48 All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword, for their terror had spread in the land of the living. They bear their shame along with those who descend to the pit; they are placed among the dead.
32:26 “Meshech-Tubal is there, along with all her hordes around her grave. 49 All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword, for they spread their terror in the land of the living. 32:27 They do not lie with the fallen warriors of ancient times, 50 who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, having their swords placed under their heads and their shields on their bones, 51 when the terror of these warriors was in the land of the living.
32:28 “But as for you, in the midst of the uncircumcised you will be broken, and you will lie with those killed by the sword.
32:29 “Edom is there with her kings and all her princes. Despite their might they are laid with those killed by the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised and those who descend to the pit.
32:30 “All the leaders of the north are there, along with all the Sidonians; despite their might they have gone down in shameful terror with the dead. They lie uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, and bear their shame with those who descend to the pit.
32:31 “Pharaoh will see them and be consoled over all his hordes who were killed by the sword, Pharaoh and all his army, declares the sovereign Lord. 32:32 Indeed, I terrified him in the land of the living, yet he will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the sovereign Lord.”
33:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 33:2 “Son of man, speak to your people, 52 and say to them, ‘Suppose I bring a sword against the land, and the people of the land take one man from their borders and make him their watchman. 33:3 He sees the sword coming against the land, blows the trumpet, 53 and warns the people, 54 33:4 but there is one who hears the sound of the trumpet yet does not heed the warning. Then the sword comes and sweeps him away. He will be responsible for his own death. 55 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, so he is responsible for himself. 56 If he had heeded the warning, he would have saved his life. 33:6 But suppose the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people. Then the sword comes and takes one of their lives. He is swept away for his iniquity, 57 but I will hold the watchman accountable for that person’s death.’ 58
33:7 “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman 59 for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them on my behalf. 33:8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you must certainly die,’ 60 and you do not warn 61 the wicked about his behavior, 62 the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 63 33:9 But if you warn the wicked man to change his behavior, 64 and he refuses to change, 65 he will die for his iniquity, but you have saved your own life.
33:10 “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you have said: “Our rebellious acts and our sins have caught up with us, 66 and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer that the wicked change his behavior 67 and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil deeds! 68 Why should you die, O house of Israel?’
33:12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, 69 ‘The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him if he rebels. 70 As for the wicked, his wickedness will not make him stumble if he turns from it. 71 The righteous will not be able to live by his righteousness 72 if he sins.’ 73 33:13 Suppose I tell the righteous that he will certainly live, but he becomes confident in his righteousness and commits iniquity. None of his righteous deeds will be remembered; because of the iniquity he has committed he will die. 33:14 Suppose I say to the wicked, ‘You must certainly die,’ but he turns from his sin and does what is just and right. 33:15 He 74 returns what was taken in pledge, pays back what he has stolen, and follows the statutes that give life, 75 committing no iniquity. He will certainly live – he will not die. 33:16 None of the sins he has committed will be counted 76 against him. He has done what is just and right; he will certainly live.
33:17 “Yet your people 77 say, ‘The behavior 78 of the Lord is not right,’ 79 when it is their behavior that is not right. 33:18 When a righteous man turns from his godliness and commits iniquity, he will die for it. 33:19 When the wicked turns from his sin and does what is just and right, he will live because of it. 33:20 Yet you say, ‘The behavior of the Lord is not right.’ House of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his behavior.” 80
33:21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth of the month, 81 a refugee came to me from Jerusalem 82 saying, “The city has been defeated!” 83 33:22 Now the hand of the Lord had been on me 84 the evening before the refugee reached me, but the Lord 85 opened my mouth by the time the refugee arrived 86 in the morning; he opened my mouth and I was no longer unable to speak. 87 33:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 33:24 “Son of man, the ones living in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land, but we are many; surely the land has been given to us for a possession.’ 88 33:25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: You eat the meat with the blood still in it, 89 pray to 90 your idols, and shed blood. Do you really think you will possess 91 the land? 33:26 You rely 92 on your swords and commit abominable deeds; each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Will you possess the land?’
33:27 “This is what you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die 93 by the sword, those in the open field I will give to the wild beasts for food, and those who are in the strongholds and caves will die of disease. 33:28 I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them. 33:29 Then they will know that I am the Lord when I turn the land into a desolate ruin because of all the abominable deeds they have committed.’ 94
33:30 “But as for you, son of man, your people 95 (who are talking about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses) say to one another, 96 ‘Come hear the word that comes 97 from the Lord.’ 33:31 They come to you in crowds, 98 and they sit in front of you as 99 my people. They hear your words, but do not obey 100 them. For they talk lustfully, 101 and their heart is set on 102 their own advantage. 103 33:32 Realize 104 that to them you are like a sensual song, a beautiful voice and skilled musician. 105 They hear your words, but they do not obey them. 106 33:33 When all this comes true – and it certainly will 107 – then they will know that a prophet was among them.”
1 sn June 21, 587
2 sn Either Egypt, or the Lord compares Egypt to Assyria, which is described in vv. 3-17 through the metaphor of a majestic tree. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:185. Like Egypt, Assyria had been a great world power, but in time God brought the Assyrians down. Egypt should learn from history the lesson that no nation, no matter how powerful, can withstand the judgment of God. Rather than following the text here, some prefer to emend the proper name Assyria to a similar sounding common noun meaning “boxwood” (see Ezek 27:6), which would make a fitting parallel to “cedar of Lebanon” in the following line. In this case vv. 3-18 in their entirety refer to Egypt, not Assyria. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:121-27.
4 tn Heb “Waters made it grow; the deep made it grow tall. It (the deep) was flowing with its rivers around the place it (the tree) was planted, it (the deep) sent out its channels to all the trees of the field.”
5 tn Heb “when it sends forth.” Repointing the consonants of the Masoretic text would render the proposed reading “shoots” (cf. NRSV).
6 tn Or “many.”
7 tn Or “cypress trees” (cf. NASB, NLT); NIV “pine trees.”
8 tn Heb “acting he has acted with regard to it.” The infinitive absolute precedes the main verb to emphasize the certainty and decisiveness of the action depicted.
9 tn Or “earth” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
10 tn Heb “gone down.”
11 tn Heb “the beasts of the field,” referring to wild as opposed to domesticated animals.
12 tn Heb “be.”
13 tn Heb “and they will not stand to them in their height, all the drinkers of water.”
14 tn Heb “for death, to the lower earth.”
15 tn Heb “the sons of men.”
16 tn Or “he.”
17 tn Heb “I caused lamentation.” D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 2:194-95) proposes an alternative root which would give the meaning “I gated back the waters,” i.e., shut off the water supply.
19 tn Heb “its arm.”
20 sn This would be March 3, 585
22 tc The Hebrew reads “their streams”; the LXX reads “your streams.”
24 tn Or “cause.”
25 tn Heb “live.”
26 tn Or “cause.”
27 tn Heb “the beasts of the field,” referring to wild as opposed to domesticated animals.
28 tc The Hebrew text is difficult here, apparently meaning “your height.” Following Symmachus and the Syriac, it is preferable to emend the text to read “your maggots.” See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:203.
29 tn Heb “from you.”
31 tn Heb “I will provoke the heart of.”
33 tn Heb “approach.”
34 tn Heb “muddy.”
35 tn Heb “them,” that is, the waters mentioned in the previous line. The translation clarifies the referent.
36 tn Heb “sink,” that is, to settle and become clear, not muddied.
37 tn March 17, 585
39 sn Through this prophetic lament given by God himself, the prophet activates the judgment described therein. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:217, and L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:136-37.
40 tn Heb “Bring him down, her and the daughters of the powerful nations, to the earth below.” The verb “bring down” appears in the Hebrew text only once. Because the verb takes several objects here, the repetition of the verb in the translation improves the English style.
41 tn This apparently refers to personified Egypt.
tn The words “say to them” are added in the translation for clarity to indicate the shift in addressee from the prophet to Egypt.
43 tn Heb “pleasantness.”
44 tn Heb “around him his graves.” The masculine pronominal suffixes are problematic; the expression is best emended to correspond to the phrase “around her grave” in v. 23. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:219.
46 tn Heb “whose.”
50 tc Heb “of the uncircumcised.” The LXX reads, probably correctly, “from of old” rather than “of the uncircumcised.” The phrases are very similar in spelling. The warriors of Meshech-Tubal are described as uncircumcised, so it would be odd for them to not be buried with the uncircumcised. Verse 28 specifically says that they would lie with the uncircumcised.
51 tn Heb “and their iniquities were over their bones.” The meaning of this statement is unclear; in light of the parallelism (see “swords”) it is preferable to emend “their iniquities” to “their swords.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:135.
52 tn Heb “sons of your people.”
53 tn Heb “shofar,” a ram’s horn rather than a brass instrument (so throughout the chapter).
55 tn Heb “his blood will be on his own head.”
56 tn Heb “his blood will be on him.”
57 tn Or “in his punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity/punishment” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here and in vv. 8 and 9; 3:18, 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18: 17, 18, 19, 20; 24:23; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment” for iniquity or “guilt” of iniquity.
58 tn Heb “his blood from the hand of the watchman I will seek.”
61 tn Heb “and you do not speak to warn.”
62 tn Heb “way.”
63 tn Heb “and his blood from your hand I will seek.”
64 tn Heb “from his way to turn from it.”
65 tn Heb “and he does not turn from his way.”
66 tn Heb “(are) upon us.”
67 tn Heb “turn from his way.”
68 tn Heb “ways.” This same word is translated “behavior” earlier in the verse.
69 tn Heb “the sons of your people.”
70 tn Heb “in the day of his rebellion.” The statement envisions a godly person rejecting what is good and becoming sinful. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:247-48.
71 tn Heb “and the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble in it in the day of his turning from his wickedness.”
72 tn Heb “by it.”
73 tn Heb “in the day of his sin.”
74 tn Heb “the wicked one.”
75 tn Heb “and in the statutes of life he walks.”
76 tn Heb “remembered.”
77 tn Heb “the sons of your people.”
78 tn Heb “way.”
80 tn Heb “ways.”
81 tn January 19, 585
83 tn Heb “smitten.”
84 tn The other occurrences of the phrase “the hand of the
85 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
86 tn Heb “by the time of the arrival to me.” For clarity the translation specifies the refugee as the one who arrived.
90 tn Heb “lift up your eyes.”
91 tn Heb “Will you possess?”
92 tn Heb “stand.”
93 tn Heb “fall.”
95 tn Heb “sons of your people.”
96 tn Heb “one to one, a man to his brother.”
97 tn Heb “comes out.”
98 tn Heb “as people come.” Apparently this is an idiom indicating that they come in crowds. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:264.
99 tn The word “as” is supplied in the translation.
100 tn Heb “do.”
101 tn Heb “They do lust with their mouths.”
102 tn Heb “goes after.”
103 tn The present translation understands the term often used for “unjust gain” in a wider sense, following M. Greenberg, who also notes that the LXX uses a term which can describe either sexual or ritual pollution. See M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:687.
104 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.
105 tn Heb “one who makes playing music well.”
107 tn Heb “behold it is coming.”