In The Word
Read: Ezekiel 31 – 32
Pharaoh Warned of Assyria’s Fate
31 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first of the month, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,
‘Whom are you like in your greatness?
3 ‘Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon
With beautiful branches and forest shade,
And very high,
And its top was among the clouds.
4 ‘The waters made it grow, the deep made it high.
With its rivers it continually extended all around its planting place,
And sent out its channels to all the trees of the field.
5 ‘Therefore its height was loftier than all the trees of the field
And its boughs became many and its branches long
Because of many waters as it spread them out.
6 ‘All the birds of the heavens nested in its boughs,
And under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth,
And all great nations lived under its shade.
7 ‘So it was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches;
For its roots extended to many waters.
8 ‘The cedars in God’s garden could not match it;
The cypresses could not compare with its boughs,
And the plane trees could not match its branches.
No tree in God’s garden could compare with it in its beauty.
9 ‘I made it beautiful with the multitude of its branches,
And all the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it.
10 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Because it is high in stature and has set its top among the clouds, and its heart is haughty in its loftiness, 11 therefore I will give it into the hand of a despot of the nations; he will thoroughly deal with it. According to its wickedness I have driven it away. 12 Alien tyrants of the nations have cut it down and left it; on the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land. And all the peoples of the earth have gone down from its shade and left it.13 On its ruin all the birds of the heavens will dwell, and all the beasts of the field will be on its fallen branches 14 so that all the trees by the waters may not be exalted in their stature, nor set their top among the clouds, nor their well-watered mighty ones stand erect in their height. For they have all been given over to death, to the earth beneath, among the sons of men, with those who go down to the pit.”
15 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when it went down to Sheol I caused lamentations; I closed the deep over it and held back its rivers. And its many waters were stopped up, and I made Lebanon mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted away on account of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall when I made it go down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit; and all the well-watered trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, were comforted in the earth beneath. 17 They also went down with it to Sheol to those who were slain by the sword; and those who were its strength lived under its shade among the nations.
18 “To which among the trees of Eden are you thus equal in glory and greatness? Yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth beneath; you will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those who were slain by the sword. So is Pharaoh and all his hordes!”’ declares the Lord God.”
Lament over Pharaoh and Egypt
32 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first of the month, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him,
‘You compared yourself to a young lion of the nations,
Yet you are like the monster in the seas;
And you burst forth in your rivers
And muddied the waters with your feet
And fouled their rivers.’”
3 Thus says the Lord God,
“Now I will spread My net over you
With a company of many peoples,
And they shall lift you up in My net.
4 “I will leave you on the land;
I will cast you on the open field.
And I will cause all the birds of the heavens to dwell on you,
And I will satisfy the beasts of the whole earth with you.
5 “I will lay your flesh on the mountains
And fill the valleys with your refuse.
6 “I will also make the land drink the discharge of your blood
As far as the mountains,
And the ravines will be full of you.
7 “And when I extinguish you,
I will cover the heavens and darken their stars;
I will cover the sun with a cloud
And the moon will not give its light.
8 “All the shining lights in the heavens
I will darken over you
And will set darkness on your land,”
Declares the Lord God.
9 “I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples when I bring your destruction among the nations, into lands which you have not known. 10 I will make many peoples appalled at you, and their kings will be horribly afraid of you when I brandish My sword before them; and they will tremble every moment, every man for his own life, on the day of your fall.”
11 For thus says the Lord God, “The sword of the king of Babylon will come upon you. 12 By the swords of the mighty ones I will cause your hordes to fall; all of them are tyrants of the nations,
And they will devastate the pride of Egypt,
And all its hordes will be destroyed.
13 “I will also destroy all its cattle from beside many waters;
And the foot of man will not muddy them anymore
And the hoofs of beasts will not muddy them.
14 “Then I will make their waters settle
And will cause their rivers to run like oil,”
Declares the Lord God.
15 “When I make the land of Egypt a desolation,
And the land is destitute of that which filled it,
When I smite all those who live in it,
Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
16 This is a lamentation and they shall chant it. The daughters of the nations shall chant it. Over Egypt and over all her hordes they shall chant it,” declares the Lord God.
17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth of the month, the word of the Lord came to me saying,18 “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and bring it down, her and the daughters of the powerful nations, to the nether world, with those who go down to the pit;
19 ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty?
Go down and make your bed with the uncircumcised.’
20 They shall fall in the midst of those who are slain by the sword. She is given over to the sword; they have drawn her and all her hordes away. 21 The strong among the mighty ones shall speak of him and his helpers from the midst of Sheol, ‘They have gone down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’
22 “Assyria is there and all her company; her graves are round about her. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword, 23 whose graves are set in the remotest parts of the pit and her company is round about her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.
24 “Elam is there and all her hordes around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, who instilled their terror in the land of the living and bore their disgrace with those who went down to the pit. 25 They have made a bed for her among the slain with all her hordes. Her graves are around it, they are all uncircumcised, slain by the sword (although their terror was instilled in the land of the living), and they bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit; they were put in the midst of the slain.
26 “Meshech, Tubal and all their hordes are there; their graves surround them. All of them were slain by the sword uncircumcised, though they instilled their terror in the land of the living. 27 Nor do they lie beside the fallen heroes of the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war and whose swords were laid under their heads; but the punishment for their iniquity rested on their bones, though the terror of these heroes was once in the land of the living. 28 But in the midst of the uncircumcised you will be broken and lie with those slain by the sword.
29 “There also is Edom, its kings and all its princes, who for all their might are laid with those slain by the sword; they will lie with the uncircumcised and with those who go down to the pit.
30 “There also are the chiefs of the north, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who in spite of the terror resulting from their might, in shame went down with the slain. So they lay down uncircumcised with those slain by the sword and bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit.
31 “These Pharaoh will see, and he will be comforted for all his hordes slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his army,” declares the Lord God. 32 “Though I instilled a terror of him in the land of the living, yet he will be made to lie down among the uncircumcised along with those slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his hordes,” declares the Lord God.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Ezekiel described to Pharaoh the destruction that will come to Egypt. He showed Pharaoh what was done to Assyria. “Who are you like in your greatness,” said God, “Behold Assyria.” Verses 31: 3-9 speak of how Assyria was compared to heaven: in its expansion, beauty, and greatness. It was compared and found greater than the gardens and trees of God. But because its “heart is haughty in its loftiness” (Ezekiel 31:10) and wickedness (Ezekiel 31:11), God dealt with them! Left in ruins, Assyria’s beauty and greatness was gone. The people had left it for the birds and beast to inhabit. God said to Pharaoh, “You think you’re so great as this…you will be brought down…you will lie in the midst of those slain by the sword” (Ezekiel 31:18).
Have you ever witnessed the fall of a great man or woman of God? Did you think, “How could God have let this happen? Would it not bring insult to His name? That Christian was so popular and well liked in the world”? If there is one thing I’ve learned about the Lord, it is that He is very secure in whom He is! He is not concerned with His reputation on earth. If one of His children is misbehaving, He will deal with it. He doesn’t consider what it will do to the flock, what the nightly news will say, or what His church thinks. Don’t ever believe you can become too big and too important that God could not afford to deal with you in your sin. He will!