Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Year, about a month before the fall of Jerusalem.
Ver. 3. Assyrian. The ruin of this great empire (Calmet) might have admonished the king of Egypt of his frail condition. (Haydock) — About thirty-eight years before (Calmet) Ninive had been taken, and its king (Sarac or Chinaladan) slain by his own general, Nabopolassar, and by Astyages, of Media. They divided the empire between them, and the father of Nabuchodonosor fixed his residence at Babylon. (Usher, the year of the world 3378.) — Cedar. Septuagint, “cypress.” — Top; the king of Ninive. (Calmet) — Egypt’s monarch thought himself invincible; yet would fall like the Assyrian. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Roots. Various nations paid tribute to the Assyrian, (St. Jerome; Calmet) while he sent his troops, like rivulets, to keep all in subjection. (Theodoret)
Ver. 11. I have delivered. Here the time past is put for the future; i.e., I shall deliver. — The mighty one, &c., viz., Nabuchodonosor, who conquered both the Assyrians and Egyptians; (Challoner) or rather his father, Nabopolassar, subdued the former, ver. 3. (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Strangers; revolted Assyrians. See Psalm xvii. 46.
Ver. 13. Branches. The nations continued, but submitted to another master.
Ver. 14. Pit. The new king would appoint fresh governors.
Ver. 15. Waters, as if they bewailed his fate. (Calmet) — Those whom the king of Ninive had exalted, and the people, who wished not to submit to a foreigner, would no doubt lament the slaughtered monarch, now silent (Haydock) in the grave. (Theodoret)
Ver. 16. Comforted. The ghosts of princes who had been subject to Serac, seeing his fall, bore their own misfortune with greater content. In the grave there is no distinction of master and slave. (Calmet) — Surviving princes expected some emolument from the change. (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Arm; those in power. Septuagint, “his seed.” Hebrew Zora, (Haydock) means both.
Ver. 18. Famous king of Assyria, or of Egypt. — Pharao. (Calmet) —
Mutato nomine de te
Fabula narratur. (Horace, 1. Sat. 1.)
— Though Egypt be like the most potent kingdoms, it shall likewise fall. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The Assyrian empire fell for their pride: the Egyptian shall fall in like manner.
1 And *it came to pass in the eleventh year, the third month, the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2 Son of man, speak to Pharao, king of Egypt, and to his people: To whom art thou like, in thy greatness?
3 Behold, the Assyrian was like a cedar in Libanus, with fair branches, and full of leaves, of a high stature, and his top was elevated among the thick boughs.
4 The waters nourished him, the deep set him up on high, the streams thereof ran round about his roots, and it sent forth its rivulets to all the trees of the country.
5 Therefore was his height exalted above all the trees of the country: and his branches were multiplied, and his boughs were elevated because of many waters.
6 And when he had spread forth his shadow, all the fowls of the air made their nests in his boughs, and all the beasts of the forest brought forth their young under his branches, and the assembly of many nations dwelt under his shadow.
7 And he was most beautiful for his greatness, and for the spreading of his branches: for his root was near great waters.
8 The cedars in the paradise of God were not higher than he, the fir-trees did not equal his top, neither were the plane-trees to be compared with him for branches: no tree in the paradise of God, was like him in his beauty.
9 For I made him beautiful, and thick set with many branches: and all the trees of pleasure, that were in the paradise of God, envied him.
10 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God: Because he was exalted in height, and shot up his top green and thick, and his heart was lifted up in his height:
11 I have delivered him into the hands of the mighty one of the nations, he shall deal with him: I have cast him out according to his wickedness.
12 And strangers and the most cruel of the nations shall cut him down, and cast him away upon the mountains, and his boughs shall fall in every valley, and his branches shall be broken on every rock of the country: and all the people of the earth shall depart from his shadow, and leave him.
13 All the fowls of the air dwelt upon his ruins, and all the beasts of the field were among his branches.
14 For which cause none of the trees by the waters shall exalt themselves for their height: nor shoot up their tops among the thick branches and leaves, neither shall any of them that are watered stand up in their height: for they are all delivered unto death to the lowest parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down into the pit.
15 Thus saith the Lord God: In the day when he went down to hell, I brought in mourning, I covered him with the deep: and withheld its rivers, and restrained the many waters: Libanus grieved for him, and all the trees of the field trembled.
16 I shook the nations with the sound of his fall, when I brought him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of pleasure, the choice and best in Libanus, all that were moistened with waters, were comforted in the lowest parts of the earth.
17 For they also shall go down with him to hell to them that are slain by the sword: and the arm of every one shall sit down under his shadow in the midst of the nations.
18 To whom art thou like, O thou that art famous and lofty among the trees of pleasure? Behold, thou art brought down with the trees of pleasure, to the lowest parts of the earth: thou shalt sleep in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are slain by the sword: this is Pharao, and all his multitude, saith the Lord God.
1: Year of the World 3416.