Yechezkel Thirty-One: Trees

The Egypt saga continues. Egypt is compared to Assyria, which is compared to the cedars of Lebanon, the iconic trees of the ancient world. “Water nurtured it; the deep made it grow tall; its rivers flows around its planting, and its canals it sent forth to all the trees of the field (Ezekiel 31:4).” The trees grow taller than any others, and stronger, and more beautiful. However, because the trees grew so large and imposing, they grew arrogant, and therefore needed to be cut down. This metaphor provides an explanation for why the Egyptians needed to be similarly cut down to size. It wasn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion by this reading. Their size and power wasn’t the problem, it was the attitude with which they approached things. This seems to say that our fates are essentially up to us and how we treat our circumstances.

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