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Eze 31:1-18. THE OVERTHROW OF EGYPT ILLUSTRATED BY THAT OF ASSYRIA.
Not that Egypt was, like Assyria, utterly to cease to be, but it was, like Assyria, to lose its prominence in the empire of the world.
3. He illustrates the pride and the consequent overthrow of the
Assyrian, that Egypt may the better know what she must expect.
4. waters . . . little rivers--the Tigris with its branches and "rivulets," or "conduits" for irrigation, the source of Assyria's fertility. "The deep" is the ever flowing water, never dry. Metaphorically, for Assyria's resources, as the "conduits" are her colonies.
6. fowls . . . made . . . nests in . . . boughs--so Eze 17:23; Da 4:12. The gospel kingdom shall gather all under its covert, for their good and for the glory of God, which the world kingdoms did for evil and for self-aggrandizement (Mt 13:32).
8. cedars . . . could not hide him--could not outtop him. No other
king eclipsed him.
9. I . . . made him--It was all due to My free grace.
10. thou . . . he--The change of persons is because the language refers partly to the cedar, partly to the person signified by the cedar.
11. Here the literal supersedes the figurative.
12. from his shadow--under which they had formerly dwelt as their covert (Eze 31:6).
14. trees by the waters--that is, that are plentifully supplied by
the waters: nations abounding in resources.
15. covered the deep--as mourners cover their heads in token of
mourning, "I made the deep that watered the cedar" to wrap itself in
mourning for him. The waters of the deep are the tributary peoples of
16. hell--Sheol or Hades, the unseen world: equivalent to, "I cast
him into oblivion" (compare
17. his arm, that dwelt under his shadow--those who were the helpers or tool of his tyranny, and therefore enjoyed his protection (for example, Syria and her neighbors). These were sure to share her fate. Compare the same phrase as to the Jews living under the protection of their king (La 4:20); both alike "making flesh their arm, and in heart departing from the Lord" (Jer 17:5).
18. Application of the parabolic description of Assyria to the
parallel case of Egypt. "All that has been said of the Assyrian consider
as said to thyself. To whom art thou so like, as thou art to the
Assyrian? To none." The lesson on a gigantic scale of Eden-like
privileges abused to pride and sin by the Assyrian, as in the case of
the first man in Eden, ending in ruin, was to be repeated in Egypt's
case. For the unchangeable God governs the world on the same