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Egypt Compared to Fallen Assyria

31 On June 21,[a] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, give this message to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his hordes:

“To whom would you compare your greatness?
You are like mighty Assyria,
    which was once like a cedar of Lebanon,
with beautiful branches that cast deep forest shade
    and with its top high among the clouds.
Deep springs watered it
    and helped it to grow tall and luxuriant.
The water flowed around it like a river,
    streaming to all the trees nearby.
This great tree towered high,
    higher than all the other trees around it.
It prospered and grew long thick branches
    because of all the water at its roots.
The birds nested in its branches,
    and in its shade all the wild animals gave birth.
All the great nations of the world
    lived in its shadow.
It was strong and beautiful,
    with wide-spreading branches,
for its roots went deep
    into abundant water.
No other cedar in the garden of God
    could rival it.
No cypress had branches to equal it;
    no plane tree had boughs to compare.
No tree in the garden of God
    came close to it in beauty.
Because I made this tree so beautiful,
    and gave it such magnificent foliage,
it was the envy of all the other trees of Eden,
    the garden of God.

10 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because Egypt[b] became proud and arrogant, and because it set itself so high above the others, with its top reaching to the clouds, 11 I will hand it over to a mighty nation that will destroy it as its wickedness deserves. I have already discarded it. 12 A foreign army—the terror of the nations—has cut it down and left it fallen on the ground. Its branches are scattered across the mountains and valleys and ravines of the land. All those who lived in its shadow have gone away and left it lying there.

13 “The birds roost on its fallen trunk,
    and the wild animals lie among its branches.
14 Let the tree of no other nation
    proudly exult in its own prosperity,
though it be higher than the clouds
    and it be watered from the depths.
For all are doomed to die,
    to go down to the depths of the earth.
They will land in the pit
    along with everyone else on earth.

15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Assyria went down to the grave,[c] I made the deep springs mourn. I stopped its rivers and dried up its abundant water. I clothed Lebanon in black and caused the trees of the field to wilt. 16 I made the nations shake with fear at the sound of its fall, for I sent it down to the grave with all the others who descend to the pit. And all the other proud trees of Eden, the most beautiful and the best of Lebanon, the ones whose roots went deep into the water, took comfort to find it there with them in the depths of the earth. 17 Its allies, too, were all destroyed and had passed away. They had gone down to the grave—all those nations that had lived in its shade.

18 “O Egypt, to which of the trees of Eden will you compare your strength and glory? You, too, will be brought down to the depths with all these other nations. You will lie there among the outcasts[d] who have died by the sword. This will be the fate of Pharaoh and all his hordes. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

A Warning for Pharaoh

32 On March 3,[e] during the twelfth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, mourn for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and give him this message:

“You think of yourself as a strong young lion among the nations,
    but you are really just a sea monster,
heaving around in your own rivers,
    stirring up mud with your feet.
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will send many people
    to catch you in my net
    and haul you out of the water.
I will leave you stranded on the land to die.
    All the birds of the heavens will land on you,
and the wild animals of the whole earth
    will gorge themselves on you.
I will scatter your flesh on the hills
    and fill the valleys with your bones.
I will drench the earth with your gushing blood
    all the way to the mountains,
    filling the ravines to the brim.
When I blot you out,
    I will veil the heavens and darken the stars.
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
    and the moon will not give you its light.
I will darken the bright stars overhead
    and cover your land in darkness.
    I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!

“I will disturb many hearts when I bring news of your downfall to distant nations you have never seen. 10 Yes, I will shock many lands, and their kings will be terrified at your fate. They will shudder in fear for their lives as I brandish my sword before them on the day of your fall. 11 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“The sword of the king of Babylon
    will come against you.
12 I will destroy your hordes with the swords of mighty warriors—
    the terror of the nations.
They will shatter the pride of Egypt,
    and all its hordes will be destroyed.
13 I will destroy all your flocks and herds
    that graze beside the streams.
Never again will people or animals
    muddy those waters with their feet.
14 Then I will let the waters of Egypt become calm again,
    and they will flow as smoothly as olive oil,
    says the Sovereign Lord.
15 And when I destroy Egypt
    and strip you of everything you own
and strike down all your people,
    then you will know that I am the Lord.
16 Yes, this is the funeral song
    they will sing for Egypt.
Let all the nations mourn.
    Let them mourn for Egypt and its hordes.
    I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Egypt Falls into the Pit

17 On March 17,[f] during the twelfth year, another message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, weep for the hordes of Egypt and for the other mighty nations.[g] For I will send them down to the world below in company with those who descend to the pit. 19 Say to them,

‘O Egypt, are you lovelier than the other nations?
    No! So go down to the pit and lie there among the outcasts.[h]

20 The Egyptians will fall with the many who have died by the sword, for the sword is drawn against them. Egypt and its hordes will be dragged away to their judgment. 21 Down in the grave[i] mighty leaders will mockingly welcome Egypt and its allies, saying, ‘They have come down; they lie among the outcasts, hordes slaughtered by the sword.’

22 “Assyria lies there surrounded by the graves of its army, those who were slaughtered by the sword. 23 Their graves are in the depths of the pit, and they are surrounded by their allies. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have been slaughtered by the sword.

24 “Elam lies there surrounded by the graves of all its hordes, those who were slaughtered by the sword. They struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere, but now they have descended as outcasts to the world below. Now they lie in the pit and share the shame of those who have gone before them. 25 They have a resting place among the slaughtered, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. Yes, they terrorized the nations while they lived, but now they lie in shame with others in the pit, all of them outcasts, slaughtered by the sword.

26 “Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere. But now they are outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword. 27 They are not buried in honor like their fallen heroes, who went down to the grave[j] with their weapons—their shields covering their bodies[k] and their swords beneath their heads. Their guilt rests upon them because they brought terror to everyone while they were still alive.

28 “You too, Egypt, will lie crushed and broken among the outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword.

29 “Edom is there with its kings and princes. Mighty as they were, they also lie among those slaughtered by the sword, with the outcasts who have gone down to the pit.

30 “All the princes of the north and the Sidonians are there with others who have died. Once a terror, they have been put to shame. They lie there as outcasts with others who were slaughtered by the sword. They share the shame of all who have descended to the pit.

31 “When Pharaoh and his entire army arrive, he will take comfort that he is not alone in having his hordes killed, says the Sovereign Lord. 32 Although I have caused his terror to fall upon all the living, Pharaoh and his hordes will lie there among the outcasts who were slaughtered by the sword. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Footnotes

  1. 31:1 Hebrew On the first day of the third month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on June 21, 587 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  2. 31:10 Hebrew you.
  3. 31:15 Hebrew to Sheol; also in 31:16, 17.
  4. 31:18 Hebrew among the uncircumcised.
  5. 32:1 Hebrew On the first day of the twelfth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on March 3, 585 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  6. 32:17 Hebrew On the fifteenth day of the month, presumably in the twelfth month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar (see 32:1). This would put this message at the end of King Jehoiachin’s twelfth year of captivity, on March 17, 585 B.c.; also see note on 1:1. Greek version reads On the fifteenth day of the first month, which would put this message on April 27, 586 B.c., at the beginning of Jehoiachin’s twelfth year.
  7. 32:18 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  8. 32:19 Hebrew the uncircumcised; also in 32:21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32.
  9. 32:21 Hebrew in Sheol.
  10. 32:27a Hebrew to Sheol.
  11. 32:27b The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.