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Ezekiel 31:2-3

Context
31:2 “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and his hordes:

“‘Who are you like in your greatness?

31:3 Consider Assyria, 1  a cedar in Lebanon, 2 

with beautiful branches, like a forest giving shade,

and extremely tall;

its top reached into the clouds.

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.

2 sn Lebanon was know for its cedar trees (Judg 9:15; 1 Kgs 4:33; 5:6; 2 Kgs 14:9; Ezra 3:7; Pss 29:5; 92:12; 104:16).



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