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Ezekiel 31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Lofty Cedar

31 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

Whom are you like in your greatness?
    Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon,
with fair branches and forest shade,
    and of great height,
    its top among the clouds.[a]
The waters nourished it,
    the deep made it grow tall,
making its rivers flow[b]
    around the place it was planted,
sending forth its streams
    to all the trees of the field.
So it towered high
    above all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large
    and its branches long,
    from abundant water in its shoots.
All the birds of the air
    made their nests in its boughs;
under its branches all the animals of the field
    gave birth to their young;
and in its shade
    all great nations lived.
It was beautiful in its greatness,
    in the length of its branches;
for its roots went down
    to abundant water.
The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it,
    nor the fir trees equal its boughs;
the plane trees were as nothing
    compared with its branches;
no tree in the garden of God
    was like it in beauty.
I made it beautiful
    with its mass of branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
    that were in the garden of God.

10 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because it[c] towered high and set its top among the clouds,[d] and its heart was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hand of the prince of the nations; he has dealt with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12 Foreigners from the most terrible 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 lie broken in all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth went away from its shade and left it.

13 On its fallen trunk settle
    all the birds of the air,
and among its boughs lodge
    all the wild animals.

14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to lofty height or set their tops among the clouds,[e] and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height.

For all of them are handed over to death,
    to the world below;
along with all mortals,
    with those who go down to the Pit.

15 Thus says the Lord God: On the day it went down to Sheol I closed the deep over it and covered it; I restrained its rivers, and its mighty waters were checked. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that were well watered, were consoled in the world below. 17 They also went down to Sheol with it, to those killed by the sword, along with its allies,[f] those who lived in its shade among the nations.

18 Which among the trees of Eden was like you in glory and in greatness? Now you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below; you shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are killed by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his horde, says the Lord God.


  1. Ezekiel 31:3 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  2. Ezekiel 31:4 Gk: Heb rivers going
  3. Ezekiel 31:10 Syr Vg: Heb you
  4. Ezekiel 31:10 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  5. Ezekiel 31:14 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  6. Ezekiel 31:17 Heb its arms
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 31 Common English Bible (CEB)

Egypt is not Assyria

31 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, say to Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, and his troops:

With whom do you compare in your greatness?
Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon:
    beautiful branches, dense shade, towering height;
    indeed, its top went up between the clouds.
Waters nourished it; the deep raised it up,
    because its streams flowed around the place where it was planted.
From there, water trickled down to all the other trees of the field.
    And so it became higher than all the trees of the field.
Its branches became abundant; its boughs grew long.
    Because of the plentiful water, it grew freely.
All the birds in the sky made nests in its branches;
    all the beasts of the field gave birth under its boughs,
        and in its shade, every great nation lived.
It became beautiful in its greatness and in its lush foliage,
    because it took root in plentiful water.
No cedar was its equal in God’s garden.
    The fir trees didn’t have anything like its branches,
        and the plane trees had nothing like its boughs.
None of the trees in God’s garden could compare to it in its beauty.
As for its beauty—I made it so, with its abundant foliage.
All the trees of Eden envied it,
    all that were in God’s garden.

10 So now the Lord God proclaims:

Consider the fate of those who tower high!
When it allowed its branches to reach up among the clouds,
    it became arrogant.
11 So I handed it over
to the most powerful nation,
    who continually acted treacherously against it.
I banished it!
12 Foreigners, the worst of the nations, cut it down
    and left it to lie among the hills.
All its branches fell among the valleys,
    and its boughs were broken off in the earth’s deep ravines.
All the earth’s peoples departed from its shade and abandoned it.
13 On its trunk roost all the birds in the sky,
    and on its boughs lie all the beasts of the field.

14 All this has happened so that no other well-watered tree would tower high or allow its branches to reach among the clouds. Nor would their leaders achieve the towering stature of such well-watered trees. Certainly, all of them are consigned to death, to the world below,[a] among human beings who go down to the pit.

15 The Lord God proclaims: On the day that it went down to the underworld,[b] I caused mourning. I blocked off the deep sea against it. I dried up its rivers and restrained the mighty waters. I made Lebanon go into mourning for it, and all the trees of the field languished on its account. 16 When it was felled, the nations quaked at the sound. When I cast it down into the underworld, with those who go down to the pit, all the trees of Eden were comforted in the world below, the choicest and the best of Lebanon, all the trees that depended on water. 17 His allies,[c] those among the nations who lived under his shade, these also went down with him to the underworld, to those who are slain by the sword.

18 Are you like any of these in glory or greatness among Eden’s trees? Then you too will go down with Eden’s trees to the world below. You will lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and his entire horde. This is what the Lord God says.


  1. Ezekiel 31:14 Or the land of the lowest places
  2. Ezekiel 31:15 Heb Sheol
  3. Ezekiel 31:17 Or his arms
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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