with beautiful branches, like a forest giving shade,
and extremely tall;
its top reached into the clouds.
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 3 nations lived.
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 Or “many.”