Ezekiel 30-31 Easy-to-Read Version

August 22 (Year Six)

The word of the Lord came to me again. He said, “Son of man, speak for me. Say, ‘This is what the Lord God says:

“‘Cry and say,
    “A terrible day is coming.”
That day is near!
    Yes, the Lord’s day for judging is near.
It will be a cloudy day,
    the time for judging the nations.
A sword will come against Egypt!
    People in Ethiopia will shake with fear, when Egypt falls.
The army of Babylon will take the Egyptians as prisoners.
    Egypt’s foundations will be torn down.

“‘Many people made peace agreements with Egypt. But all those people from Ethiopia, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Libya, and the people of Israel will be destroyed!

“‘This is what the Lord says:
Those who support Egypt will fall!
    The pride in her power will end.
The people in Egypt will be killed in battle,
    all the way from Migdol to Aswan.
    This is what the Lord God said!
Egypt will join the other countries that were destroyed.
    Its cities will be among those that are in ruins.
I will start a fire in Egypt,
    and all her helpers will be destroyed.
Then they will know that I am the Lord!

“‘At that time I will send out messengers. They will go in ships to carry the bad news to Ethiopia. Ethiopia now feels safe, but the people of Ethiopia will shake with fear when Egypt is punished. That time is coming!’”

This is what the Lord God says:
“I will use the king of Babylon.
    I will use Nebuchadnezzar to destroy the people of Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar and his people
    are the most terrible of the nations,
    and I will bring them to destroy Egypt.
They will pull out their swords against Egypt.
    They will fill the land with dead bodies.
I will make the Nile River become dry land.
    Then I will sell the dry land to evil people.
I will use strangers to make that land empty.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

This is what the Lord God says:
“I will also destroy the idols in Egypt.
    I will take the statues away from Memphis.
There will no longer be a leader in the land of Egypt.
    I will put fear there instead.
I will make Pathros empty.
    I will start a fire in Zoan.
    I will punish Thebes.
I will pour out my anger against Pelusium, the fortress of Egypt!
    I will destroy the people of Thebes.
I will start a fire in Egypt;
    the city of Pelusium will ache with fear.
The soldiers will break into the city of Thebes,
    and Memphis will have new troubles every day.
The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis will die in battle,
    and the women will be taken away as prisoners.
It will be a dark day in Tahpanhes when I break Egypt’s control.
    Her proud power will be finished!
A cloud will cover Egypt,
    and her daughters will be taken away as prisoners.
So I will punish Egypt.
    Then they will know that I am the Lord!”

On the seventh day of the first month of the eleventh year of exile, the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. No one will wrap his arm with a bandage. It will not heal, so his arm will not be strong enough to hold a sword.”

This is what the Lord God says: “I am against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the strong arm and the arm that is already broken. I will make the sword fall from his hand. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations. I will make the arms of the king of Babylon strong. I will put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh will cry out in pain, the kind of cry that a dying man makes. So I will make the arms of the king of Babylon strong, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

“I will put my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. Then he will stretch the sword out against the land of Egypt. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord!”

31On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year of exile, the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Son of man, say this to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to his people:

“‘You are so great!
    Who can I compare you to?
Assyria was a cedar tree in Lebanon with beautiful branches,
    with forest shade, and very tall.
    Its top was among the clouds!
The water made the tree grow.
    The deep river made the tree tall.
Rivers flowed around the place
    where the tree was planted.
Only small streams flowed from that tree
    to all the other trees of the field.
So that tree was taller than all the other trees of the field,
    and it grew many branches.
There was plenty of water,
    so the tree branches spread out.
All the birds of the sky made their nests
    in the branches of that tree,
and all the animals of the field gave birth
    under the branches of that tree.
All the great nations lived
    under the shade of that tree.
The tree was very beautiful.
    It was so large!
    It had such long branches.
    Its roots had plenty of water.
Even the cedar trees in God’s garden
    were not as big as this tree.
Cypress trees did not have as many branches.
    Plane trees did not have such branches.
No tree in God’s garden
    was as beautiful as this tree.
I gave it many branches
    and made it beautiful.
And all the trees in Eden, God’s garden,
    were jealous!’”

So this is what the Lord God says: “That tree grew tall. Its top reached up to the clouds. It grew so big that it became proud! So I let a powerful king have that tree. That ruler punished the tree for the bad things it did. I took that tree out of my garden. Strangers—the most terrible people in the world—cut it down and scattered its branches on the mountains and in the valleys. Its broken limbs drifted down the rivers flowing through that land. There was no more shadow under that tree, so all the people left. Now birds live in that fallen tree. Wild animals walk over its fallen branches.

“Now, none of the trees by that water will be proud. They will not try to reach the clouds. None of the strong trees that drink that water will brag about being tall, because all of them must die. They will all go down into the world below, to Sheol, the place of death. They will join the other people who died and went down into that deep hole.”

This is what the Lord God says: “I made the people cry on the day that tree went down to Sheol. I covered him with the deep ocean. I stopped its rivers and all the water stopped flowing. I made Lebanon mourn for it. All the trees of the field became sick with sadness for that big tree. I made the tree fall—and the nations shook with fear at the sound of the falling tree. I sent the tree down to the place of death to join the other people who had gone down into that deep hole. In the past, all the trees of Eden, the best of Lebanon, drank that water. The trees were comforted in the world below. Yes, those trees also went down with the big tree to the place of death. They joined the people who were killed in battle. That big tree made the other trees strong. Those trees had lived under the big tree’s shadow among the nations.

“Egypt, there were many big and powerful trees in Eden. Which of those trees should I compare you to? They all went down into the world below! And you, too, will join those foreigners in that place of death. You will lie there among the people killed in battle.

“Yes, that will happen to Pharaoh and to the crowds of people with him!” This is what the Lord God said.

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