The Meaning of Ezekiel 31:3 Explained

Ezekiel 31:3

KJV: Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.

YLT: Lo, Asshur, a cedar in Lebanon, Fair in branch, and shading bough, and high in stature, And between thickets hath its foliage been.

Darby: Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature: and his top was amidst the thick boughs.

ASV: Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.

What does Ezekiel 31:3 Mean?

Verse Meaning

They were similar to the Assyrians who had towered among the nations as a beautiful cedar of Lebanon (cf. Ezekiel 17:1-10; Ezekiel 17:22-24; Ezekiel 19:10-14; Ezekiel 26:19-21; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:3-21). Some of the Lebanese cedars grew80 feet high, were beautifully symmetrical, and contained thickly interwoven branches. [1]
Assyria had been one of the greatest nations in history before its fall in612 B.C, perhaps the greatest nation. It was of particular interest to the Egyptians for two reasons. It had been the only Mesopotamian nation to invade Egypt successfully. The Assyrians destroyed Thebes in633 B.C. (cf. Nahum 3:8-10) and eventually incorporated Egypt into its empire. Second, Assyria had fallen to the Babylonians, the same enemy that now threatened Egypt. The city of Nineveh fell to Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar"s father, in612 B.C, and Nebuchadnezzar crushed the rest of the Assyrian army at Haran in609 B.C.

Chapter Summary: Ezekiel 31

1  A relation unto Pharaoh
3  of the glory of Assyria
10  and the fall thereof for pride
18  The like destruction of Egypt

What do the individual words in Ezekiel 31:3 mean?

indeed Assyria [was] a cedar in Lebanon fine with branches and the forest that shaded and high of stature and among the thick boughs was its top
הִנֵּ֨ה אַשּׁ֜וּר אֶ֣רֶז בַּלְּבָנ֗וֹן יְפֵ֥ה עָנָ֛ף וְחֹ֥רֶשׁ מֵצַ֖ל וּגְבַ֣הּ קוֹמָ֑ה וּבֵ֣ין עֲבֹתִ֔ים הָיְתָ֖ה צַמַּרְתּֽוֹ

הִנֵּ֨ה  indeed 
Parse: Interjection
Root: הִנֵּה  
Sense: behold, lo, see, if.
אַשּׁ֜וּר  Assyria  [was] 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: אַשּׁוּר  
Sense: the second son of Shem, eponymous ancestor of the Assyrians.
אֶ֣רֶז  a  cedar 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֶרֶז  
Sense: cedar.
בַּלְּבָנ֗וֹן  in  Lebanon 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: לְבָנׄון  
Sense: a wooded mountain range on the northern border of Israel.
יְפֵ֥ה  fine 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: יָפֶה  
Sense: fair, beautiful, handsome.
עָנָ֛ף  with  branches 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָף  
Sense: bough, branch.
וְחֹ֥רֶשׁ  and  the  forest 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֹרֶשׁ 
Sense: wood, wooded height, forest, wooded area.
מֵצַ֖ל  that  shaded 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular
Root: צָלַל  
Sense: to be or become or grow dark.
וּגְבַ֣הּ  and  high 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: גָּבֵהַּ  
Sense: high, proud.
קוֹמָ֑ה  of  stature 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: קֹומָה  
Sense: height.
וּבֵ֣ין  and  among 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition
Root: בַּיִן 
Sense: between, among, in the midst of (with other preps), from between.
עֲבֹתִ֔ים  the  thick  boughs 
Parse: Noun, common plural
Root: עָבֹות 
Sense: cord, rope, cordage, foliage, interwoven foliage.
צַמַּרְתּֽוֹ  its  top 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: צַמֶּרֶת  
Sense: treetop.