Ezekiel 31 and 32
These chapters contain three more prophecies concerning Egypt. In chapter 31, Egypt is likened to a mighty cedar, whose fall causes the other trees to mourn. In 32:7, 8 Egypt is likened to a brighter star. The imagery is very vivid, depicting the utter destruction of Pharaoh and his armies into Sheol, and sees them there among others also slain by sword who bear the shame of their lack of proper burial.
- How does chapter 31 further enforce the lesson of chapter 30? What is the reason given for the tree’s destruction, and what effect is this intended to have on other nations?
- Observe how often in these chapters the personal pronoun ‘I’ occurs. Do we realize enough that God is the chief actor in the developments of history? Over what realms, i8n addition to that of Israel, is his dominion asserted here?
32:17-32. This is not to be regarded as a literal description of the state of men after death, but as an imaginative picture intended to show that all who use violence and lawless might, causing terror on the earth (cf. verses 23ff.), shall alike meet with retribution. Pharaoh’s only consolation will be in the multitude of his companions (verse 31).
The prophet had known from the first that part of his commission was to be a watchman (cf. 3:16-24), but now the time had come to put it into practice: for in the new era that was dawning, only those who individually repented and returned to God would live.
- In what terms does Ezekiel express the need for repentance? What kind of behavior is expected of the wickedness when he repents? Cf. 26:20; Rev. 2:5.
- Compare the two current sayings quoted in verses 10 and 24. Observe where they were current, and how the one is despairing, the other confident. What is God’s answer in each case?
- Why did the prophet suddenly became more bold to speak, and the people more curious to hear his words? See verses 30-33. What, however, was lacking in their new interest? Cf. Matt.7:26-27.