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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 31

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 31

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 31

1. Now it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third [month], on the first of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   א. וַיְהִי בְּאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בַּשְּׁלִישִׁי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הָיָה דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר:
2. "Son of man, say to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to his multitude: Whom are you like in your greatness?   ב. בֶּן אָדָם אֱמֹר אֶל פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם וְאֶל הֲמוֹנוֹ אֶל מִי דָּמִיתָ בְגָדְלֶךָ:
Whom are you like in your greatness: In your haughtiness against Me, whom did you think to resemble?  
3. Behold Assyria [was] a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches, shady woods, and of tall stature, and among the interwoven branches was its lofty top.   ג. הִנֵּה אַשּׁוּר אֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יְפֵה עָנָף וְחֹרֶשׁ מֵצַל וּגְבַהּ קוֹמָה וּבֵין עֲבֹתִים הָיְתָה צַמַּרְתּוֹ:
Behold Assyria: which I have already cast down.  
a cedar in Lebanon: it was  
shady woods: A forest that covers, [making] a great shade.  
and among the interwoven branches: the green trees.  
its lofty tops: [Heb. צַמַּרְתּוֹ,] cime in French, top.  
4. Water nurtured it; the deep made it grow tall; [each of] its rivers flows around its planting, and its canals it sent forth to all the trees of the field.   ד. מַיִם גִּדְּלוּהוּ תְּהוֹם רֹמְמָתְהוּ אֶת נַהֲרֹתֶיהָ הֹלֵךְ סְבִיבוֹת מַטָּעָהּ וְאֶת תְּעָלֹתֶיהָ שִׁלְחָה אֶל כָּל עֲצֵי הַשָּׂדֶה:
Water nurtured it; the deep made it grow tall: [Jonathan paraphrases:] Among nations he is great; because of his supporters he is powerful; he subjugates kings under his kingdom, and he appoints rulers over every state of the earth. The Midrash Aggadah (Pesikta Rabbathi 34:11, Meir Ayin 33) [states]: “and among the interwoven branches was its lofty top.” Whence did he merit greatness? Because 1) he withdrew from the counsel of the generation of separation, as it is said (Gen. 10: 11): “Out of that land Asshur went forth. ” When all those who came upon the world formed one league to enter counsel to rebel against Him, then his lofty top was visible by itself, and [he] did not link himself with them.“Water nurtured him; the [waters of the] deep raised him up” and because 2) he hearkened to the voice of Jonah the son of Amittai, who descended into the [waters of the] deep, and the people of Nineveh repented of the violence that was in their hands.  
its canals: [Heb. תְּעָלתֶיהָ,] fosses in French, ditches, canals.  
to all the trees of the field: to water them. The symbol is as the Targum of Jonathan interprets it: Behold the Assyrians were like the cedars of Lebanon, etc., as above.  
5. Therefore, its height became taller than all the trees of the field, and its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew long because of abundant waters when it sent forth.   ה. עַל כֵּן גָּבְהָא קֹמָתוֹ מִכֹּל עֲצֵי הַשָּׂדֶה וַתִּרְבֶּינָה סַרְעַפֹּתָיו וַתֶּאֱרַכְנָה פֹארֹתָיו מִמַּיִם רַבִּים בְּשַׁלְּחוֹ:
its boughs: [Heb. סַרְעַפֹּתָיו,]  
its branches: [Heb. פֹארֹתָיו.]  
because of abundant waters when it sent forth: its branches through the abundant waters. When it sent forth its branches, i.e., when it grew its branches, and the expression “sending” applies to them, as “and sent forth branches.”  
6. In its boughs all birds of the heavens nested, and under its branches all beasts of the field gave birth, and in its shade all the many nations sat.   ו. בִּסְעַפֹּתָיו קִנְנוּ כָּל עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְתַחַת פֹּארֹתָיו יָלְדוּ כֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וּבְצִלּוֹ יֵשְׁבוּ כֹּל גּוֹיִם רַבִּים:
In its boughs: [Heb. בִּסְעַפֹתָיו.]  
nested: [Heb. קִנְנוּ,] from the word קֵּן, nest.  
7. And it became beautiful in its stature, in the length of its tendrils, for its roots were upon abundant waters.   ז. וַיִּיף בְּגָדְלוֹ בְּאֹרֶךְ דָּלִיּוֹתָיו כִּי הָיָה שָׁרְשׁוֹ אֶל מַיִם רַבִּים:
And it became beautiful: [Heb. וַיִיף,] an expression of beauty (יֹפִי).  
its tendrils: [Heb. דָּלִיוֹתָיו.] They too are an expression used for branches: [those] that extend lengthwise in every direction, like the tendrils of a vineyard, ses treilles in French, its climbing vines.  
8. Cedars did not dim it in the garden of God: junipers did not equal its boughs, and chestnut trees were not like its branches; no tree in the garden of God equaled it in its beauty.   ח. אֲרָזִים לֹא עֲמָמֻהוּ בְּגַן אֱלֹהִים בְּרוֹשִׁים לֹא דָמוּ אֶל סְעַפֹּתָיו וְעַרְמֹנִים לֹא הָיוּ כְּפֹרֹאתָיו כָּל עֵץ בְּגַן אֱלֹהִים לֹא דָמָה אֵלָיו בְּיָפְיוֹ:
did not dim it: They did not dim its form; i.e., none among them surpassed it in beauty.  
in the garden of God: i.e., in the entire world.  
and chestnut trees: [Heb. ועֲרְמֹנִים,] chastaniyers, chastaneyrs in Old French [chataigniers in Modern French].  
9. I made it beautiful with its many tendrils, and all the trees of Eden, which are in the garden of God, envied it.   ט. יָפֶה עֲשִׂיתִיו בְּרֹב דָּלִיּוֹתָיו וַיְקַנְאֻהוּ כָּל עֲצֵי עֵדֶן אֲשֶׁר בְּגַן הָאֱלֹהִים:
all the trees of Eden: i.e., all the praiseworthy kings.  
10. Therefore, so said the Lord God: Because you grew haughty with your height, and it placed its lofty top among interwoven branches, and its heart became haughty with its height,   י. לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה יַעַן אֲשֶׁר גָּבַהְתָּ בְּקוֹמָה וַיִּתֵּן צַמַּרְתּוֹ אֶל בֵּין עֲבוֹתִים וְרָם לְבָבוֹ בְּגָבְהוֹ:
Because you grew haughty with your height: So I said to Assyria.  
11. I delivered it into the hands of the strongest of nations, that he execute [My will] upon him: according to his wickedness I banished him.   יא. וְאֶתְּנֵהוּ בְּיַד אֵיל גּוֹיִם עָשׂוֹ יַעֲשֶׂה לוֹ כְּרִשְׁעוֹ גֵּרַשְׁתִּיהוּ:
into the hands of the strongest of nations: into the hands of the harshest of nations; I gave him into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, as the master said (Seder Olam, ch. 24; Meg. 11b; Arachin 12a): In his first year, he conquered Nineveh.  
that he execute upon him: [that] Nebuchadnezzar [execute upon him] in accordance with all My wishes.  
12. And strangers, the strong of the nations, cut it off and cast it down; on the mountains and in all the valleys its tendrils fell, and its branches were broken in all the channels of the earth, and all the peoples of the earth went down from its shade and abandoned it.   יב. וַיִּכְרְתֻהוּ זָרִים עָרִיצֵי גוֹיִם וַיִּטְּשֻׁהוּ אֶל הֶהָרִים וּבְכָל גֵּאָיוֹת נָפְלוּ דָלִיּוֹתָיו וַתִּשָּׁבַרְנָה פֹרֹאתָיו בְּכֹל אֲפִיקֵי הָאָרֶץ וַיֵּרְדוּ מִצִּלּוֹ כָּל עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ וַיִּטְּשֻׁהוּ:
cast it down: [Heb. וַיִטְשֻּׁהוּ,] and they cast it down to the earth, like (Num. 11:31): “and let them down (וַיִטשּׁ) upon the camp.”  
13. Upon its carcass all the fowl of the heaven rested, and upon its branches were all the beasts of the field.   יג. עַל מַפַּלְתּוֹ יִשְׁכְּנוּ כָּל עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם וְאֶל פֹּרֹאתָיו הָיוּ כֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה:
Upon its carcass… rested: as the Targum paraphrases: Upon the carcass of his slain.  
14. In order that all the water trees should not become haughty with their height, and they should not place their lofty tops among the interwoven branches, and all that drink water should not stand over them with their height, for all of them were given to death, to the nether parts of the earth, among the sons of men with those who descend into the Pit.   יד. לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִגְבְּהוּ בְקוֹמָתָם כָּל עֲצֵי מַיִם וְלֹא יִתְּנוּ אֶת צַמַּרְתָּם אֶל בֵּין עֲבֹתִים וְלֹא יַעַמְדוּ אֵלֵיהֶם בְּגָבְהָם כָּל שֹׁתֵי מָיִם כִּי כֻלָּם נִתְּנוּ לַמָּוֶת אֶל אֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּית בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם אֶל יוֹרְדֵי בוֹר:
water trees: which are tender and frail, but have numerous and long branches because of the moisture of the water, should not compare themselves to the cedars of Eden; i.e., he should not have been haughty over Israel and should not have stood over them.  
among the interwoven branches: They should not haughtily compare their might - the trees that drink water to the interwoven trees.  
15. So said the Lord God: On the day he descended into the Grave, I caused mourning; I covered the deep on his account, I withdrew its rivers, abundant waters stopped; I darkened the Lebanon because of him, and all the trees of the field swooned over him.   טו. כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה בְּיוֹם רִדְתּוֹ שְׁאֹלָה הֶאֱבַלְתִּי כִּסֵּתִי עָלָיו אֶת תְּהוֹם וָאֶמְנַע נַהֲרוֹתֶיהָ וַיִּכָּלְאוּ מַיִם רַבִּים וָאַקְדִּר עָלָיו לְבָנוֹן וְכָל עֲצֵי הַשָּׂדֶה עָלָיו עֻלְפֶּה:
On the day he descended into the Grave: When I humbled the king of Assyria into the hands of his enemy.  
I caused mourning: [I caused] many mourners who relied on him [to mourn] over him.  
I covered the deep on his account: I covered the deep because of him, for it was accustomed to water him and cause his growth, as Scripture stated above (verse 4): “the deep made it grow tall.” That day, I covered it so that it should not ascend and extinguish his fire. i.e., I weakened his aids.  
I withdrew its rivers: which were flowing around its planting.  
abundant waters stopped: [The waters] that used to make its branches grow long, as he said above (verse 5): “and its branches grew long because of abundant waters.”  
and I darkened: the Lebanon because of him. [Heb. וָאַקְדִיר,] from an expression for blackness.  
and all the trees of the field: to which his channels were sent, as stated above.  
swooned over him: Because of him, their moisture ceased, as a person who swoons and whose spirit flies away [i.e., he loses consciousness]; pasmer in Old French, to faint, to swoon. [pamer in Modern French.]  
16. From the sound of his fall I made the nations quake, when I lowered him into the Grave with those who descend into the Pit, and they were consoled in the nether part of the earth, all the trees of Eden, the choice and the best of the Lebanon, all those that drink water.   טז. מִקּוֹל מַפַּלְתּוֹ הִרְעַשְׁתִּי גוֹיִם בְּהוֹרִדִי אֹתוֹ שְׁאֹלָה אֶת יוֹרְדֵי בוֹר וַיִּנָּחֲמוּ בְּאֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּית כָּל עֲצֵי עֵדֶן מִבְחַר וְטוֹב לְבָנוֹן כָּל שֹׁתֵי מָיִם:
and they were consoled in the nether part of the earth: The others who descended to Gehinnom received consolations. They said, “This one is like us also.”  
17. They too descended into the Grave with him, with those slain by the sword, and his allies, who dwelt in his shade in the midst of the nations.   יז. גַּם הֵם אִתּוֹ יָרְדוּ שְׁאֹלָה אֶל חַלְלֵי חָרֶב וּזְרֹעוֹ יָשְׁבוּ בְצִלּוֹ בְּתוֹךְ גּוֹיִם:
and his allies, who dwelt in his shade: [Heb. וּזְרֹעוֹ, lit. and his arm,] and his helpers, who dwelt in his shade.  
18. To whom have you likened yourself so with glory and with greatness among the trees of Eden, and you were lowered with the trees of Eden into the nether part of the earth; among the uncircumcised you shall lie with those slain by the sword; that is Pharaoh and all his multitude," says the Lord God.   יח. אֶל מִי דָמִיתָ כָּכָה בְּכָבוֹד וּבְגֹדֶל בַּעֲצֵי עֵדֶן וְהוּרַדְתָּ אֶת עֲצֵי עֵדֶן אֶל אֶרֶץ תַּחְתִּית בְּתוֹךְ עֲרֵלִים תִּשְׁכַּב אֶת חַלְלֵי חֶרֶב הוּא פַרְעֹה וְכָל הֲמוֹנוֹ נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה:
To whom have you likened yourself so: You, Pharaoh, to which of the trees of Eden have you likened yourself, who is as great as Assyria in glory and in greatness? Behold you have seen that I lowered him into the Grave, and you too will be lowered with the trees of Eden, with the other strong monarchs.  
into the nether part of the earth: Gehinnom.  
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