Ezekiel 31:16
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.
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(16) Hell is here, as generally, Sheol, or Hades, the world of the departed.

Shall be comforted.—Comp. Isaiah 14:9-10, which was probably in Ezekiel’s mind.

Ezekiel 31:16-17. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall — Through fear and terror. When I cast him down to hell — Rather, to the grave; with them that descend into the pit — That die and are buried. All the trees of Eden, &c. — The greatest kings on earth. All that drink water — That partake of wealth and other worldly enjoyments; shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth — The deceased princes, confederates to the Assyrians, described here as so many stately trees and cedars, shall feel some mitigation of their calamities, when they see thee brought down as low as themselves: compare Ezekiel 32:31, and see notes on Isaiah 14:8-16, a passage exactly parallel to this. They also went down into hell — Or, the grave; with him — His allies underwent the same fate with himself, and were cut off in the common destruction. And they that were his arm — His auxiliaries; that dwelt under his shadow — Who lived under his protection; in the midst of the heathen — Or, the nations: see on Ezekiel 31:11; namely, in several countries and provinces: see Lamentations 4:20. When the Assyrian power was overthrown, it was easy for the Chaldeans to subdue all its allies.31:10-18 The king of Egypt resembled the king of Assyria in his greatness: here we see he resembles him in his pride. And he shall resemble him in his fall. His own sin brings his ruin. None of our comforts are ever lost, but what have been a thousand times forfeited. When great men fall, many fall with them, as many have fallen before them. The fall of proud men is for warning to others, to keep them humble. See how low Pharaoh lies; and see what all his pomp and pride are come to. It is best to be a lowly tree of righteousness, yielding fruit to the glory of God, and to the good of men. The wicked man is often seen flourishing like the cedar, and spreading like the green bay tree, but he soon passes away, and his place is no more found. Let us then mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.See the marginal references.16. hell—Sheol or Hades, the unseen world: equivalent to, "I cast him into oblivion" (compare Isa 14:9-11).

shall be comforted—because so great a king as the Assyrian is brought down to a level with them. It is a kind of consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.

To shake; all that heard the noise of his fall trembled at it, it was as God intended it should be, an astonishment to them all.

Cast him down to hell; brought the king and kingdom, as a dead man, to the grave, among them that be. fore were dead and buried.

All the trees of Eden; all kings, and particularly the greatest and richest, called here

the choice and best of Lebanon. All that drink water; did enjoy great power, riches, and worldly glory.

Shall be comforted: it is a prosopopoeia, and he speaks of the dead with allusion to the manner of the living, who rejoice to see the proud brought as low as the lowest; thus the prophet, Isaiah 14:9,10. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall,.... As, when a large cedar was cut down and fell in Lebanon, the noise of it was heard at a distance; so when this mighty monarch and monarchy fell, the nations of the world, and the kings of them, heard of it far and near, and shook through fear of what would be the consequence, lest they should fall also in like manner:

when I cast him down to hell, or "the grave",

with them that descend into the pit; in common with other men that die, and are buried: it may refer to his subjects and soldiers that perished with him, who were slain by the sword, and were buried with him, and he with them; no distinction being made between them:

and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water; the greatest kings and potentates of the world, the chief and principal of the Assyrian empire; all that ruled over multitudes of people, and partook of their wealth and riches, and were supported in grandeur and dignity; who had been in the state of the dead before this time:

shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth; when they see so mighty a monarch depressed, and brought as low as they, into the same state of meanness and contempt; as it is some kind of solace for persons in distress to have partners with them: this is a poetic expression, representing the dead as rejoicing to see others in the same condition with themselves. The Targum is,

"all the kings of the east, the governors, and those that are rich in substance, all that hold a kingdom, are comforted in the lower part of the earth.''

I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to the grave with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall {h} be comforted in the lower parts of the earth.

(h) To cause this destruction of the king of Assyria to seem more horrible, he sets forth other kings and princes who are dead, as though they rejoiced at the fall of such a tyrant.

16. at the sound of his fall] See on Ezekiel 26:15; cf. Ezekiel 32:10.

to hell … into the pit] to Sheòl with them that are gone down to the pit, ch. Ezekiel 32:18; Isaiah 14:15. The nations living on the earth shake with terror (ch. Ezekiel 26:15) at the noise of his fall; while those already gone down to the pit are “comforted” that one so mighty has fallen as well as themselves, Ezekiel 32:19; Ezekiel 32:31; Isaiah 14:10. The language does not imply that those comforted were hostile to Pharaoh.

the trees of Eden] The figure of “trees” for states, or for the representatives of states like Pharaoh, is continued. The term Eden is used generally to suggest great trees or the place where trees are found, for the next words describe the trees as the “choice of Lebanon.”

choice and best] An anomalous construction, which is obviated in LXX. by the want of “best.”

drink water] i.e. trees nourished by water, Ezekiel 31:14.Verse 16. - Shall be comforted, etc. The Dante-like imagination of the prophet points the contrasts between the impression made by the fall of Assyria on the nations that yet survived, and on those that had already perished. The former mourn and shako with fear, for it is a warning to them that their turn also may come. On the other hand, the tress of Eden - the great monarchies that are already in Sheol - shall he "comforted" with the thought that yet another kingdom mightier than they has fallen as they fell (comp. Isaiah 14:4-20; Ezekiel 32:17-32, where the thought is elaborately expanded). All the supports and helpers of Egypt will fall, and the whole land with its cities will be laid waste. - Ezekiel 30:6. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Those who support Egypt will fall, and its proud might will sink; from Migdol to Syene will they fall by the sword therein, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 30:7. And they will lie waste in the midst of waste lands, and its cities be in the midst of desolate cities. Ezekiel 30:8. They shall learn that I am Jehovah, when I bring fire into Egypt, and all its helpers are shattered. Ezekiel 30:9. In that day will messengers go forth from me in ships to terrify the confident Ethiopia, and there will be writing among them as in the day of Egypt; for, behold, it cometh. - "Those who support Egypt" are not the auxiliary tribes and allies, for they are included in the term עזריה in Ezekiel 30:8, but the idols and princes (Ezekiel 30:13), the fortified cities (Ezekiel 30:15), and the warriors (Ezekiel 30:17), who formed the foundation of the might of the kingdom. גּאון , "the pride of its might," which is an expression applied in Ezekiel 24:21 to the temple at Jerusalem, is to be taken here in a general sense, and understood not merely of the temples and idols of Egypt, but as the sum total of all the things on which the Egyptians rested the might of their kingdom, and on the ground of which they regarded it as indestructible. For 'ממּגדּל וגו, see the comm. on Ezekiel 29:10. The subject to יפּלוּ בהּ is the 'סמכי מצר. Ezekiel 30:7 is almost a literal repetition of Ezekiel 29:12; and the subject to נשׁמּוּ is מצרים regarded as a country, though the number and gender of the verb have both been regulated by the form of the noun. The fire which God will bring into Egypt (Ezekiel 30:8) is the fire of war. Ezekiel 30:9. The tidings of this judgment of God will be carried by messengers to Ethiopia, and there awaken the most terrible dread of a similar fate. In the first hemistich, the prophet has Isaiah 18:2 floating before his mind. The messengers, who carry the tidings thither, are not the warlike forces of Chaldea, who are sent thither by God; for they would not be content with performing the service of messengers alone. We have rather to think of Egyptians, who flee by ship to Ethiopia. The messengers go, מלפני, from before Jehovah, who is regarded as being present in Egypt, while executing judgment there (cf. Isaiah 19:1). צים, as in Numbers 24:24 equals ציּים (Daniel 11:30), ships, trieres, according to the Rabbins, in Hieron. Symm. on Isaiah 33:21, and the Targum on Num. (cf. Ges. Thes. p. 1156). בּטח is attached to כּוּשׁ, Cush secure or confident, equivalent to the confident Cush (Ewald, 287c). 'והיתה חלח, repeated from Ezekiel 30:4. בּהם, among the Ethiopians. 'כּיום מצר, as in the day of Egypt, i.e., not the present day of Egypt's punishment, for the Ethiopians have only just heard of this from the messengers; but the ancient, well-known day of judgment upon Egypt (Exodus 15:12.). Ewald and Hitzig follow the lxx in taking כּיום for בּיום; but this is both incorrect and unsuitable, and reduces 'בּיום מצר into a tame repetition of בּיּום החוּא. The subject to הנּה באה is to be taken from the context, viz., that which is predicted in the preceding verses (Ezekiel 30:6-8).
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