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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
Ezekiel 31



Verse 1

In the third month - More than a month before Jerusalem was taken (compare Jeremiah 39:2).

Verses 3-9

Fifth prophecy against Egypt: a warning to Pharaoh from the fate of the Assyrians. The Assyrian empire, after having been supreme in Asia for four centuries, had been overthrown by the united forces of the Babylonians and Medes, in the year of the battle of Carchemish (605 b.c.), which had broken the power of Egypt. This gives force to the warning to Egypt from Assyria‘s fall.

Ezekiel 31:4

His plants - Rather, her plantation. The water represents the riches and might which flowed into Assyria.

Ezekiel 31:5

When be shot forth - Or, when the deep water sent forth its streams.

Ezekiel 31:8

Garden of God - Paradise.

Verses 10-14

Assyria‘s fall.

Ezekiel 31:11

More accurately: Therefore I will deliver him, etc … he shall surely deal with him. I have driven him out, etc.

Ezekiel 31:14

Their trees - Rather, as in the margin, “standing unto themselves” meaning “standing in their own strength.” The clause will then run thus: “Neither all that drink water stand up” in their own strength. “All that drink water” means mighty princes to whom wealth and prosperity flow in. The Egyptians owed everything to the waters of the Nile. The substance is, that Assyria‘s fall was decreed in order that the mighty ones of the earth might learn not to exalt themselves in pride or to rely on themselves, seeing that they must share the common lot of mortality.

Verses 15-17

Effect of Assyria‘s fall.

Ezekiel 31:15

I covered the deep - To cover with sack-cloth was an expression of mourning Ezekiel 27:31. The deep, the source of Assyria‘s prosperity Ezekiel 31:4, was made to mourn, being dried up instead of giving forth its waters, its glad abundance.

For him - Upon his account.

Floods … great waters - Or, rivers … the multitude of waters (as in Ezekiel 31:4-5).

Lebanon represents the country which Assyria governed; “the trees,” the tributary princes.

Ezekiel 31:16

See the marginal references.

Ezekiel 31:17

His arm … - The subject princes who were his strength and support in war.

Verse 18

Application to Pharaoh.

The uncircumcised - The Egyptians, at least their nobles, were circumcised. Pharaoh should thus be dishonored with those whom the Egyptians themselves deemed unclean.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 31:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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