Ezekiel 30:1-31:18

A funeral song for Egypt

1 The Lord gave this message to me: 2 ‘Son of man, prophesy to the people. Say to them, “This is what the Almighty Lord says:

Weep and cry aloud, ‘Help! The day of great trouble is coming!’

3 Yes, that day will be very soon. It is the day of the Lord.

It will be a day of dark clouds,

when the Lord will punish the nations.

4 An enemy army will attack Egypt.

The people of Ethiopia will be afraid.

Many people in Egypt will die in the battle.

Enemies will carry away Egypt's riches.

They will knock down Egypt's buildings.

5 Soldiers from other nations will also die in the battle.

They are soldiers from Ethiopia, Put, Lydia, Libya, and Arabia,

as well as men who belong to my own people.

6 This is what the Lord says:

All the people who help Egypt will die in the battle.

Egypt will no longer be proud of her great power.

Egypt's soldiers will die everywhere, from Migdol to Aswan.

That is what the Almighty Lord says.

7 Egypt will become like a desert among other deserts.

Its cities will become heaps of stones.

8 I will burn Egypt with fire.

I will destroy all those who fight to help Egypt.

Then they will know that I am the Lord.

9 At that time, I will send messengers in ships to Ethiopia. I will stop the Ethiopian people being proud of their power. Instead, the news about Egypt's trouble will make them very afraid. That day is coming soon! Be careful!

10 This is what the Almighty Lord says:

I will use King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to destroy Egypt's army.

11 The king and his army will come to destroy the land.

They are a nation of cruel people.

They will attack Egypt's people with their swords.

They will fill the land with dead bodies.

12 I will cause the Nile river to become dry.

I will put the land under the power of evil men.

Foreigners will destroy the land of Egypt

and everything that is in it.

That is what I, the Lord, say.

13 The Almighty Lord says this:

I will destroy Egypt's idols and the false gods in Memphis.

Egypt will no longer have its own ruler.

I will cause Egypt's people to be very afraid.

14 I will make Pathros a desert.

I will burn Zoan with fire.

I will punish the city of Thebes.

15 I will punish Egypt's strong city of Pelusium.

I will show the people there that I am very angry.

I will destroy all the soldiers in Thebes.

16 Yes, I will destroy all of Egypt with fire!

The people of Pelusium will suffer with great pain.

Enemies will knock down the walls of Thebes.

The people of Memphis will live in fear every day.

17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis will die in the war.

Enemies will take the other people from those cities as their prisoners.

18 It will be a very dark day in Tahpanhes

when I destroy Egypt's strength.

Egypt will not be proud of her great power any more.

A dark cloud will cover the land.

Enemies will take away the people from Egypt's villages as prisoners.

19 That is how I will punish Egypt.

Then they will know that I am the Lord.” ’

20 The Lord gave this message to me on the 7th day of the first month, in the 11th year:

21 ‘Son of man, I have removed the strength of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. It is as if I have broken his arm and nobody has helped it to mend. He will never again have the power to fight battles. 22 So this is what the Almighty Lord says: Listen! I have become the enemy of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will make him like a man with two broken arms. I will break his strong arm and his broken arm. He will not be able to fight at all! 23 I will cause the Egyptian people to run away to live in foreign countries. 24 I will make the king of Babylon powerful, to fight battles on my behalf. But I will cause Pharaoh to be weak. He will cry in pain when the king of Babylon attacks. He will receive wounds that cause him to die. 25 Yes, I will make the king of Babylon strong. But Pharaoh, king of Egypt, will become weak. I will give the king of Babylon power to fight on my behalf. He will use that power to attack Egypt. Then they will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will send the Egyptian people away to many different countries. They will live among other nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord. ’

Ezekiel 31

1 The Lord gave this message to me on the first day of the 3rd month, in the 11th year: 2 ‘Son of man, say this to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his people:

“You think that you are as powerful as any other country!

3 Think about how powerful Assyria was.

At one time, it was as strong as a great cedar tree in Lebanon.

It had beautiful branches that gave shade in the forest.

It was very tall. Its top reached up to the clouds.

4 Springs of water from under the ground helped it to grow very tall.

Rivers passed around the place where the tree was.

Streams from there gave water to all the trees in the forest.

5 So this cedar tree grew taller than all the other trees.

Its branches became large and very long.

It grew very well because it had plenty of water.

6 All kinds of birds built their nests among its leaves.

Under its branches, the wild animals gave birth.

All the great nations lived in its shade.

7 It was great and beautiful, with long branches.

Its roots went down deep into the ground

and they drank plenty of water.

8 The cedar trees in God's garden were not as beautiful.

The branches of the pine trees were not as strong.

No other tree in God's garden was nearly as great or as beautiful.

9 I made that tree beautiful, with all its strong branches.

All the trees in Eden, God's garden, were jealous of that tree.

10 So this is what the Almighty Lord says:

That great tree, Assyria, was very tall. Its top reached up to the clouds. It was very proud because it was so great. 11 Because of that, I put it under the power of the ruler of the nations. He has punished it as it deserved for its sins. In that way, I have removed it. 12 Foreigners from cruel nations have cut it down. They have left it on the ground. Its broken branches lie on the mountains and in the valleys. The people of other nations no longer live in its shade. They have gone away. 13 Now the birds go and sit on the bits of the tree that remain. The wild animals walk over its branches. 14 Because of that, no tree will ever grow as tall again. Even if it receives plenty of water, no tree will grow so tall that its top reaches up to the clouds. All trees will die and fall to the ground. Like people, they must die and go into their graves, under the ground.

15 This is what the Almighty Lord says: This tree has died and it has gone down into its grave. When that happened, I caused people to be very sad. I caused the springs of water to stop. There were no longer streams with plenty of water. I caused the mountains of Lebanon to become dark. All the trees in the forest became dry. 16 The other nations shook when they heard that great tree fall. I had caused it to go down into its grave, deep under the ground, as all people must die. The other strong trees saw what had happened to the great cedar tree. They were the trees of Eden and the best trees of Lebanon that had received plenty of water. They were pleased to see that the great cedar tree had fallen down. 17 The trees that had lived in the great tree's shade also fell and went into their graves. Those are the nations that had helped the great tree to fight its battles. They went to join other soldiers who had died in war.

18 Yes, Egypt is very strong, like the great trees of Eden. You are as great and powerful as any nation. But you will fall to the ground and go into your grave. It happened to Assyria and the other nations, and it will happen to you. You will lie under the ground among people who do not belong to me and who have died in war.

This is a picture of what will happen to Pharaoh and all his people. That is what the Almighty Lord says.” ’

31:18Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is very proud that his country is so powerful. God tells him that he should remember what happened to Assyria. Assyria was a very strong nation, like a great cedar tree. But even a powerful nation like Assyria lost its power one day. So Pharaoh should realize that his power will not continue for ever.