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CHAPTER 31 Oct. 5 
The Assyrian a Cedar in Lebanon
It happened in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt and his multitude: Whom are you like in your greatness? 3Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with beautiful branches, and with a forest-like shade and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs. 4The waters nourished it, the deep made it to grow. Its rivers ran all around its plantation; and it sent out its channels to all the trees of the field. 5Therefore its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long by reason of many waters, when it shot them forth. 6All the birds of the sky made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches all the animals of the field brought forth their young; and all great nations lived under its shadow. 7Thus was it beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its root was by many waters. 8The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; the fir trees were not like its boughs, and the plane trees were not as its branches; nor was any tree in the garden of God like it in its beauty. 9I made it beautiful by the multitude of its branches, so that all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God envied it. 10Therefore thus said the Lord Yahweh: Because you are exalted in stature and he has set your top among the thick boughs and his heart is lifted up in his height, 11I will even deliver him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with him. I have driven him out for his wickedness. 12Gentiles, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off and have left him: on the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth are gone away from his shadow, and have left him. 13On his ruin all the birds of the sky shall dwell, and all the animals of the field shall be on his branches; 14so that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, neither set their top among the thick boughs. Their mighty ones shall not stand up on their height, even all who drink water; for they are all delivered to death, to the lower parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with those who go down to the pit. 15Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning. I covered the deep for him, and I restrained its rivers; and the great waters were stayed; and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. 16I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Sheol with those who descend into the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the lower parts of the earth. 17They also went down into Sheol with him to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were his arm, that lived under his shadow in the midst of the nations. 18To whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth: you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord Yahweh.


31:1 This was a month before Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians. Judah were desperately hoping that Egypt would come to their rescue, and in this prophecy there is the clear message that Egypt like Assyria before them, like all human strength, is doomed to not ultimately save us. Judah were intended to learn from history- the apparently invincible Assyrian had fallen, so would Egypt. But our human tendency to live in an eternal present means that we tend not to learn the lessons of history; yet God’s word is full of history for us to learn from. Note how Is. 52:4 likewise parallels Egypt and Assyria.
31:3 God’s people Israel are likened to such a cedar (17:3), spreading out roots to the waters (Ps. 80:11). The implication is that Assyria wished to usurp Israel as God’s people and appropriated such language and imagery to themselves. It is God’s Kingdom which gives “a forest-like shade” (Mk. 4:32); but the kingdoms of men appear as fake imitations of God’s Kingdom; and it is our wisdom to perceive the difference. 
31:6 Under its shadow- The smaller nations lived under the shadow of the superpowers like Egypt and Assyria, but they had eventually fled from under the shadow of Assyria (:12). Judah like us today are asked not to dwell under the shadow of such superpowers- in our day, perhaps insurance policies, savings, home ownership- but to dwell under the shadow of God’s invisible Angel-cherubim wings (Ps. 17:8; 91:4). For a small nation like Judah wedged at the time between the superpowers of Babylon and Egypt, this was a radical demand- to dwell at peace under the shadow of God’s care.