Ezekiel 31
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

The Lofty Cedar

1In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 2Mortal, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

Whom are you like in your greatness?
3    Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon,
with fair branches and forest shade,
    and of great height,
    its top among the clouds.[a]
4The waters nourished it,
    the deep made it grow tall,
making its rivers flow[b]
    around the place it was planted,
sending forth its streams
    to all the trees of the field.
5So it towered high
    above all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large
    and its branches long,
    from abundant water in its shoots.
6All the birds of the air
    made their nests in its boughs;
under its branches all the animals of the field
    gave birth to their young;
and in its shade
    all great nations lived.
7It was beautiful in its greatness,
    in the length of its branches;
for its roots went down
    to abundant water.
8The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it,
    nor the fir trees equal its boughs;
the plane trees were as nothing
    compared with its branches;
no tree in the garden of God
    was like it in beauty.
9I made it beautiful
    with its mass of branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
    that were in the garden of God.

10Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because it[c] towered high and set its top among the clouds,[d] and its heart was proud of its height, 11I gave it into the hand of the prince of the nations; he has dealt with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12Foreigners from the most terrible of the nations have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs lie broken in all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth went away from its shade and left it.

13On its fallen trunk settle
    all the birds of the air,
and among its boughs lodge
    all the wild animals.

14All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to lofty height or set their tops among the clouds,[e] and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height.

For all of them are handed over to death,
    to the world below;
along with all mortals,
    with those who go down to the Pit.

15Thus says the Lord God: On the day it went down to Sheol I closed the deep over it and covered it; I restrained its rivers, and its mighty waters were checked. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that were well watered, were consoled in the world below. 17They also went down to Sheol with it, to those killed by the sword, along with its allies,[f] those who lived in its shade among the nations.

18Which among the trees of Eden was like you in glory and in greatness? Now you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below; you shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are killed by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his horde, says the Lord God.


  1. Ezekiel 31:3 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  2. Ezekiel 31:4 Gk: Heb rivers going
  3. Ezekiel 31:10 Syr Vg: Heb you
  4. Ezekiel 31:10 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  5. Ezekiel 31:14 Gk: Heb thick boughs
  6. Ezekiel 31:17 Heb its arms
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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