And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
in the eleventh
On Sunday, June 19, A.M. 3416, according to Usher; and about a month before the capture of Jerusalem.
Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?
Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
with fair branches
Heb. fair of branches. of an high.
The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.
made him great
or, nourished him. set. or, brought. little rivers. or, conduits.
Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.
The Assyrian king, to whom Pharaoh is compared, from his great power, extensive dominion, and the protection he afforded, resembled the spreading branches, thick shade, and high stature of a flourishing cedar on mount Lebanon. The fruitful lands of Assyria; the immense revenues he drew from vast multitudes in his extensive territories; his lucrative commerce, by the river Tigris, with the countries on the Indian ocean; and all the various sources of his wealth and prosperity, resembled the rivers and streams which cause the trees planted by them to grow and flourish exceedingly; and hence the empire and its head were exalted above all the kingdoms of the earth.
he shot forth
or, it sent them forth.
All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
all the trees
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;
The allegory and its interpretation are here combined; and the Assyrian monarch, though already destroyed, is poetically addressed.
I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.
Nebuchadnezzar, the subverter of the Assyrian empire.
he shall surely deal with him
Heb. in doing he shall do unto him.
I have driven
And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.
Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.
stand up in their height
or, stand upon themselves for their height. delivered.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
I caused a
The deep and all the mighty rivers which cherished this fair tree are here described as mourning at his downfall: they stop their usual courses to bewail his fate, and Lebanon with all its stately trees, (his confederates and allies,) sympathise with him in his misfortunes.
Heb. be black.
I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
shall be comforted
They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
Pharaoh is here called upon to look in his mirror, and see the termination of his glory and greatness.
That is, the judgment that befel the king of Assyria, is an exact representation of the destruction that remains for Pharaoh and all his people.