New International Reader's Version

Ezekiel 31

1It was the 11th year since King Jehoiachin had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner. On the first day of the third month, a message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “Son of man, speak to Pharaoh Hophra, the king of Egypt. Also speak to his huge army. Tell him,

“ ‘Who can be compared with your majesty?
    Think about what happened to Assyria.
    Once it was like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
It had beautiful branches
    that provided shade for the forest.
It grew very high.
    Its top was above all the leaves.
The waters fed it.
    Deep springs made it grow tall.
Their streams flowed
    all around its base.
They made their way
    to all the trees in the fields.
So it grew higher
    than any other tree in the fields.
It grew more limbs.
    Its branches grew long.
    They spread because they had plenty of water.
All the birds in the sky
    made their nests in its limbs.
All the wild animals
    had their babies under its branches.
All the great nations
    lived in its shade.
Its spreading branches
    made it majestic and beautiful.
Its roots went down deep
    to where there was plenty of water.
The cedar trees in my garden
    were no match for it.
The juniper trees
    could not equal its limbs.
The plane trees
    could not compare with its branches.
No tree in my garden
    could match its beauty.
I gave it many branches.
    They made it beautiful.
All the trees in my Garden of Eden
    were jealous of it.’ ”

10 So the Lord and King says, “The great cedar tree grew very high. Its top was above all the leaves. It was proud of how tall it was. 11 So I handed it over to the Babylonian ruler of the nations. I wanted him to punish it because it was so evil. I decided to get rid of it. 12 The Babylonians cut it down and left it there. They did not show it any pity at all. Some of its branches fell on the mountains. Others fell in all the valleys. The branches lay broken in all the stream beds in the land. All the nations on earth came out from under its shade. And they went on their way. 13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree. All the wild animals lived among its branches. 14 So trees that receive plenty of water must never grow so high that it makes them proud. Their tops must never be above the rest of the leaves. No other trees that receive a lot of water must ever grow that high. They are appointed to die and go down into the earth below. They will join human beings, who go down to the place of the dead.”

15 The Lord and King says, “Assyria was like a cedar tree. But I brought it down to the place of the dead. On that day I dried up the deep springs of water and covered them. I held its streams back. I shut off its rich supply of water. Because of that, Lebanon was dressed in gloom as if it were clothes. All the trees in the fields dried up. 16 I brought the cedar tree down to the place of the dead. It joined the other nations that go down there. I made the nations on earth shake because of the sound of its fall. Then all the trees of Eden were comforted in the earth below. That included the finest and best trees in Lebanon. And it included all the trees that received plenty of water. 17 Others also went down along with the cedar tree into the place of the dead. They included those who had been killed by swords. They also included the armed men among the nations who lived in its shade.

18 “Which one of the trees of Eden can be compared with you? What tree is as glorious and majestic as you are? But you too will be brought down to the earth below. There you will join the trees of Eden. You will lie down with those who have not been circumcised. You will be among those who were killed by swords.

“That is what will happen to Pharaoh and his huge armies,” announces the Lord and King.