Ezekiel 31

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Darby Version         

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1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third [month], on the first of the month, [that] the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, say unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude: Whom art thou like in thy greatness?

3 Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature: and his top was amidst the thick boughs.

4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high; its streams ran round about his plantation, and it sent out its rivulets unto all the trees of the field.

5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of great waters, when he shot forth.

6 All the fowl of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all the great nations.

7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: because his root was by great waters.

8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him; the cypresses were not like his boughs, and the plane-trees were not as his branches: no tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.

9 I had made him fair by the multitude of his branches; and all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

10 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thou hast lifted up thyself in stature, ... and he hath set his top amidst the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height,

11 I have given him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.

12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off and have left him; upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken in all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.

13 Upon his fallen [trunk] do all the fowl of the heavens dwell, and all the beasts of the field are upon his branches:

14 to the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, nor set their top amidst the thick boughs, and that none of them that drink water stand up in his height by himself; for they are all given over unto death in the lower parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.

15 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the day when he went down to Sheol, I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed; and I made Lebanon black for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.

16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Sheol, with them that go down into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the lower parts of the earth.

17 They also went down into Sheol with him unto them that were slain with the sword, and [that were] his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the nations.

18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden, unto the lower parts of the earth; thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord Jehovah.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Apocalypse Explained 654

Apocalypse Revealed 503

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 154


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 46, 108, 119, 130, 756, 776, 908, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 90, 312, 409, 567, 757

Divine Love and Wisdom 325

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 28

Faith 54

True Christian Religion 82, 467, 635


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 110, 175, 372, 388, 518, 538, 650, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3, 27, 41, 58

Marriage 82

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 74

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Psalms 104:17

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Ezekiel 8:1, 17:23, 26:16, 18, 28:7, 13, 32:32

Daniel 4:7, 11, 5:20

Nahum 3:18

Matthew 13:32, 23:12

Word/Phrase Explanations

Third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

Month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

Pharaoh
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

lebanon
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

branches
A branch (Matt. 24:32) signifies affection, for affection springs and flourishes from good as a branch Springs from its trunk. A branch (Mal. 4:1) denotes...

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

stature
'Height' signifies the good and truth of the church in every degree.

waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

Trees of the field
'The trees of the field,' as in Ezekiel 31:15, signify the knowledges of truth in the church.

trees
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

fowl
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

Heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

Shadow
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

dwelt
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

length
'Length' symbolizes goodness, here, the goodness of the church, for the same reason that 'breadth' symbolizes truth. This is because 'length means the sweep of...

Root
'A root,' as in Malachi 4:1, signifies charity. The dried up root,' as in Hosea 9:16, 17, signifies charity which could not bear fruit.

cedars
'Libanus' signifies the spiritual church. The glory of Libanus,' as in Isaiah 9:13, signifies the celestial spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom and church.

Garden of God
The Garden of God, as in Ezekiel 28:13, signifies the rational principle of the spiritual church.

Garden
A garden and paradise signify intellect and wisdom.

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

beauty
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

eden
According to the Writings, “Eden” by itself means love, in most cases the love that comes from the Lord and our love for the Lord,...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Strangers
In Ezekiel 28:7, 'strangers' signify falsities which destroy truths, and 'the terrible of the nations,' evils which destroy good.

Terrible of the nations
In Ezekiel 28:7, 'strangers' signify falsities which destroy truths, and 'the terrible of the nations,' evils which destroy good.

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

fallen
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

peoples
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

amidst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

pit
In Job 9:30, 'waters of snow' denotes truths which are or appear genuine. 'Lye' denotes the good which purifies, and 'the ditch' denotes falsity.

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

sheol
'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

mourning
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

comforted
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Slain
'A multitude of slain' relates to people who perish from falsities, and 'a great number of carcasses,' of people who perish from evils, as in...

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

arm
Arms and feet (Daniel 10:6) signify the exterior things of the Word, which are its literal sense.

Uncircumcised
'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.


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