Scripture reading – Ezekiel 31

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Ezekiel 31 – The Fourth Judgment


Egypt’s Judgment Compared to the Fall of Assyria (Ezekiel 31:1-9)

Ezekiel 31 continued God’s warning of judgment against Egypt, with the fall of ancient Assyria serving as a warning to “Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Ezekiel 31:2). Assyria was portrayed as a great “cedar in Lebanon,” whose stature and beauty exceeded all the trees in the “forest” of the nations (Ezekiel 31:3). In her zenith, Assyria towered as a giant among the countries of the world, even as Egypt at her peak oppressed weaker nations and people. As the Nile River nourished Egypt, so the rivers and streams of Assyria nourished her fields and forest (Ezekiel 31:4-5).

Continuing the portrayal of Assyria as a great cedar, the nations of the world sought shelter in her “branches,” even as times of famine moved the people to retreat to Egypt (the great “bread basket” of ancient times, Ezekiel 31:6). Incomparably proud, the Assyrians boasted their nation excelled all others (portrayed as a great cedar boasting it exceeded “all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God,” Ezekiel 31:8-9).

Assyria’s Fate: A Warning to Egypt

Assyria’s Fate: A Warning to Egypt (Ezekiel 31:10-17)

The fate of Assyria should have served as a warning to Egypt. For the LORD declared that He had “delivered him [Assyria] into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen” (i.e., Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel 31:11). Assyria was remembered as a ruthless and proud nation. Still, her allies deserted her when Babylon attacked that nation’s strongholds. The warning was that Egypt would suffer the same fate as the once great and mighty Assyria (Ezekiel 31:12-13).

Though Nebuchadnezzar was God’s agent, it was the LORD who determined all whose hearts are lifted in pride would be “delivered unto death… [and] go down to the pit” (Ezekiel 31:14). Assyria “went down to the grave” and the LORD declared, “I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees [i.e., nations] of the field fainted for him” (Ezekiel 31:15).

The LORD stopped the waters of the rivers, the crops failed, and the “trees of the field fainted” (Ezekiel 31:15). When the news of Assyria’s downfall spread, the nations of the world were shaken (Ezekiel 31:16). The LORD condemned Assyria to hell along with her allies (Ezekiel 31:16-17).


Closing thoughts (Ezekiel 31:18) –

Ezekiel foretold that the fall of Assyria was to serve as God’s warning to Egypt (Ezekiel 31:18a). “This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the LORD God” (Ezekiel 31:18b).

Warning – People and nations who exalt themselves against the God of Heaven will suffer the fate of Assyria and be sentenced “unto the nether parts of the earth” (Ezekiel 31:18a). The pride of Assyria and Egypt was an insult to the LORD, as is the pride of man. Wise men and women will remember that the LORD hates pride, and the proud inevitably fail and fall.

Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goeth before destruction, And an haughty spirit before a fall.”

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