Ezekiel – Chapter 31

"You Think You're Better Than HIM?"

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d spoke to Ezekiel and told him to say regarding Pharaoh and his nation, “Who do you think you’re like?” Assyria was like a cedar of Lebanon, tall with majestic branches. Rivers flowed around it, making it full and lush. All the birds of heaven rested on her branches and all the animals of the field gave birth beneath her shade. None of the other nations (compared to a variety of trees in this chapter) could compete with the Assyria for its beauty. No other “tree” in the garden of G-d was its equal. However, they became arrogant. Because Assyria was so full of herself, G-d allowed them to be delivered into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians metaphorically cut down the tree that was Assyria, her branches broke and all the people left her shade.

Why should Assyria think they’re better than anyone else? They are mortal and destined to die just like the rest of the world. On the day G-d humbled Assyria, all those who relied upon them mourned. The sound of Assyria’s downfall made the nations tremble with fear. When the king of Assyria descended into Hell, the other kings who were there accepted their fate, seeing that it happened to the mightiest among them.

Now, back to Egypt. Does Pharaoh think he’s as great as Assyria? Look what happened to them. The king of Assyria was destined for the grave and so is Pharaoh. He will descend to the nether world alongside the other unrepentant sinners. Pharaoh and his people will lie alongside all the others slain by the invaders.

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