|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-9 The falls of others, both into sin and ruin, warn us not to be secure or high-minded. The prophet is to show an instance of one whom the king of Egypt resembled in greatness, the Assyrian, compared to a stately cedar. Those who excel others, make themselves the objects of envy; but the blessings of the heavenly paradise are not liable to such alloy. The utmost security that any creature can give, is but like the shadow of a tree, a scanty and slender protection. But let us flee to God for protection, there we shall be safe. His hand must be owned in the rising of the great men of the earth, and we must not envy them. Though worldly people may seem to have firm prosperity, yet it only seems so.
Verse 8. - The cedars in the garden of God. As in Ezekiel 28:13, the thoughts of the prophet dwell on the picture of Eden in Genesis 2:8. Far above all other trees, the cedar of Assyria rose high in majesty. All the trees that were in the garden of God envied him. The trees specially chosen for comparison are
(1) the fir tress - probably, as in Ezekiel 27:5, the cypresses; and
(2) the chestnut trees, for which the Revised Version, following the Vulgate and the LXX. of Genesis 30:97, gives the "plane," which held a high place in the admiration of Greek and Roman writers. Of this we have a special instance in the story of Xerxes, who decorated a plane tree near the Meander with ornaments of gold (Herod., 7:31; 'AElicon,' 5:14; also comp. Ecclus. 24:14; Virg., 'Georg.,' 4:146; Cicero, 'De Ont.,' 1:7, 28).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him,.... That is, could not rise so high as this cedar, and overtop him, and obscure his glory; even those that were most excellent, which grew in Eden, near to which Babylon stood, and where a mighty king dwelt. The sense is, that the greatest kings and potentates in the whole world, which is like a garden planted by the Lord, were not equal to the king of Assyria, and much less exceeded him in grandeur, wealth, and power:
the fir trees were not like his boughs: lesser kings and princes, comparable to fir trees for the beauty, regularity, order, and flourishing condition of their kingdoms; yet these were but petty states, and not to be compared even with the provinces of the king of Assyria:
and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; lesser states still: which, though well set, and well spread, and full of people, yet not answerable to some countries that were in the provinces that belonged to the Assyrian empire:
not any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty; no king, prince, or potentate whatever in the whole world, was to be compared to him for royal majesty and greatness. The Targum is,
"mighty kings could not prevail against him, because of the strength of his power, which he had from the Lord; rulers could not stand before his army, and mighty men could not prevail against his auxiliaries, because of the strength of power he had from the Lord; there is none like to him in his strength.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. cedars … could not hide him—could not outtop him. No other king eclipsed him.
were not like—were not comparable to.
garden of God—As in the case of Tyre (Eze 28:13), the imagery, that is applied to the Assyrian king, is taken from Eden; peculiarly appropriate, as Eden was watered by rivers that afterwards watered Assyria (Ge 2:10-14). This cedar seemed to revive in itself all the glories of paradise, so that no tree there outtopped it.
Ezekiel 31:8 Parallel Commentaries
Ezekiel 31:8 NIV
Ezekiel 31:8 NLT
Ezekiel 31:8 ESV
Ezekiel 31:8 NASB
Ezekiel 31:8 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible