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A Cedar Tree

31 It happened in the eleventh year of our captivity, in the third month. It was on the first day of the month. The Lord spoke his word to me. He said: “Human being, say to the king of Egypt and his people:

‘No one was like you in your greatness.
Assyria was once like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
    It had beautiful branches that shaded the forest.
It was very tall.
    Its top was among the clouds.
Much water made the tree grow.
    The deep springs of water made the tree tall.
Rivers flowed
    around the bottom of the tree.
They sent their streams
    to all other trees of the field.
So the tree was taller
    than all the other trees of the field.
Its branches became long and big
    because of so much water.
All the birds of the sky
    made their nests in the tree’s branches.
And all the wild animals
    gave birth under the tree’s branches.
All great nations
    lived in the tree’s shade.
So the tree was great and beautiful,
    with its long branches.
    Its roots reached down to many waters.
The cedar trees in the garden of God
    were not as great as it was.
The pine trees
    did not have such great branches.
The plane trees
    did not have such branches.
No tree in the garden of God
    was as beautiful as this tree.
I made it beautiful
    with many branches.
And all the trees of Eden in the garden of God
    wanted to be like it.

10 “‘So this is what the Lord God says: The tree has grown tall. Its top has reached the clouds. And it has become proud of its height. 11 So I have let a mighty ruler of the nations take care of the tree. The ruler will surely punish the tree. Because it is evil I will get rid of it. 12 The cruelest foreign nation cut it down and left it. The tree’s branches fell on the mountains and in all the valleys. Its broken branches were in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth left the shade of that tree. 13 The birds of the sky live on the fallen tree. The wild animals live among the tree’s fallen branches. 14 Then the trees that grow by the water will not be proud to be tall. They will not put their tops among the clouds. None of the trees that are watered well will grow that tall. They all are meant to die and go under the ground. They will be with those who have died and have gone down to where the dead are.

15 “‘This is what the Lord God says: On the day when the tree went down to where the dead are, I made people cry loudly. I covered the deep springs and held back their rivers. And the great waters stopped flowing. I made Lebanon cry loudly for the great tree. All the trees of the field dried up and died. 16 I made the nations shake with fear at the sound of the tree falling. I brought the tree down to where the dead are. It went with those who go down to the grave. Then trees of Eden and the best trees of Lebanon were comforted. All the well-watered trees were comforted in the earth below. 17 But these trees also went down with the great tree to the place where the dead are. They went to join those who were killed in war. They had lived under the great tree’s shade. They were its friends among the nations.

18 “‘So no tree in Eden is equal to you in greatness and honor. But you will go down with the trees of Eden to the earth below. You will lie among unclean people who were killed in war.

“‘This will happen to the king of Egypt and all his people, says the Lord God.’”

Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon

31 In the eleventh year,(A) in the third month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me:(B) “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

“‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
Consider Assyria,(C) once a cedar in Lebanon,(D)
    with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high,
    its top above the thick foliage.(E)
The waters(F) nourished it,
    deep springs made it grow tall;
their streams flowed
    all around its base
and sent their channels
    to all the trees of the field.(G)
So it towered higher(H)
    than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
    and its branches grew long,
    spreading because of abundant waters.(I)
All the birds of the sky
    nested in its boughs,
all the animals of the wild
    gave birth(J) under its branches;
all the great nations
    lived in its shade.(K)
It was majestic in beauty,
    with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.(L)
The cedars(M) in the garden of God
    could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
    equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees(N)
    compare with its branches—
no tree in the garden of God
    could match its beauty.(O)
I made it beautiful
    with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden(P)
    in the garden of God.(Q)

10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud(R) of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,(S) 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations(T) cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys;(U) its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it.(V) 13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches.(W) 14 Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined(X) for death,(Y) for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.(Z)

15 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day it was brought down to the realm of the dead I covered the deep springs with mourning for it; I held back its streams, and its abundant waters were restrained. Because of it I clothed Lebanon with gloom, and all the trees of the field withered away.(AA) 16 I made the nations tremble(AB) at the sound of its fall when I brought it down to the realm of the dead to be with those who go down to the pit. Then all the trees(AC) of Eden,(AD) the choicest and best of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled(AE) in the earth below.(AF) 17 They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword,(AG) along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.

18 “‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised,(AH) with those killed by the sword.

“‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

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