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. 3
1 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.
3 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.”