All the others go into the pit (Ezek 31:16-31:17)

“‘I made

The nations quake

At the sound

Of its fall.

I cast it down

To Sheol

With those

Who go down

To the pit.

All the trees of Eden,

The choice,

The best,

Of Lebanon,

All that were

Well-watered,

Were consoled

In the world below.

They also shall go down

To Sheol

With it,

Those killed

By the sword,

Along with its allies,

Those who lived

In its shadow

Among the nations.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he had made the other nations shake at the sound of this falling great cedar tree. Yahweh had cast it down to Sheol where others had gone into the pit also. This included the choice and best cedar trees from Lebanon and the Garden of Eden. All these well-watered trees were consoled in the world below. They all went down to Sheol with those who had been killed by the sword, as well as the allies who had lived in the shadow of this great tree.

The cedar tree goes down into Sheol (Ezek 31:15-31:15)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On the day

It went down

To Sheol,

I closed the deep

Over it.

I covered it.

I restrained

Its rivers.

It mighty waters

Were checked.

I clothed Lebanon

In gloom

For it.

All the trees

Of the field

Fainted

Because of it.’”

Once again, carrying on the theme that Yahweh was in control of all the trees, Yahweh closed the deep abyss that had given water to this great cedar tree. Yahweh covered over and restrained the deep abyss streams that were now held in check. The cedar tree, like other humans, had gone to Sheol, the shadowy underworld afterlife place. Thus, Lebanon was in gloom and mourning for the lost personified tree. Also, all the other trees of the forest fainted because of this happening.

Against Sidon (Ezek 28:20-28:23)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me!

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward Sidon!

Prophesy against it!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

I am against you!

O Sidon!

I will gain glory

In your midst.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I execute

My judgments

In it.

I will manifest

My holiness

In it.

I will send

Pestilence

Into it.

I will send

Bloodshed

Into its streets.

The dead shall fall

In its midst,

By the sword

That is against it

On every side.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Ezekiel was to turn towards Sidon, often mentioned together with Tyre, but less important than Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Ezekiel was to prophesy against Sidon. Yahweh was going to be glorified in Sidon. They would learn that Yahweh was able to execute judgments and manifest his holiness there. Yahweh was going to send pestilence and bloodshed to its streets. The dead would fall by the sword all around them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was God.

The workers on the ships (Ezek 27:8-27:9)

“The inhabitants

Of Sidon

With the inhabitants

Of Arvad

Were your rowers.

The skilled men

Of Zemer

Were within you.

They were your pilots.

The elders

Of Gebal

With its artisans

Were within you.

They were caulking

Your seams.

All the ships

Of the sea

With their mariners

Were within you,

To barter

For your wares.”

Ezekiel showed a great knowledge about ships and travel in Tyre. The rowers in the boats of Tyre were from Sidon and Arvad. Sidon was often mentioned together with Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Arvad was another island city about 120 miles north of Tyre that is now part of Syria. The pilots on the boats were from Zemer, an inland town that is now part of Israel. The artistic caulkers on the ships were the old people from Gebal, later known as Byblos, about 70 miles north of Tyre. The sailors and the merchants were all from Tyre itself.

The wood used for the ships at Tyre (Ezek 27:5-27:6)

“They made

All your planks

Of fir trees

From Senir.

To make a mast

For you,

They took a cedar

From Lebanon.

They made your oars

From oaks

Of Bashan.

They made your deck

Of pines

From the coasts of Cyprus,

Inlaid with ivory.”

The people of Tyre got their wood for their ships from a variety of places. The planks for their ships came from the fir trees of Senir or Mount Hermon, between Syria and Lebanon. Of course, the cedar used for the mast of the ships came from Lebanon, as did all good cedar. The oars for the ships came from the oaks of Bashan, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Their decks were made of pine from the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow their decks of pine were inlaid with ivory.

The allegory of the eagle (Ezek 17:1-17:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Propound a riddle!

Speak an allegory

To the house of Israel!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘A great eagle

With great wings,

With long pinions,

Rich in plumage

Of many colors,

Came to Lebanon.

He took the top

Of the cedar.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This time Yahweh proposed a riddle or an allegory for the house of Israel about an eagle. A great eagle with colorful rich wonderful wings and feathers came to sit on the top of a cedar in Lebanon. Is this an allegory or riddle about King Nebuchadnezzar who became king of Babylon in 597 BCE? It sure seems like it, since he was the great eagle who came to sit on his throne.

Tyre and Sidon (Jer 25:22-25:22)

“I went to

All the kings of Tyre,

All the kings of Sidon,

The kings of the coastland

Across the sea.”

Next Jeremiah was off to the coastal shipping towns of Tyre and Sidon, perhaps Phoenician towns, in present day Lebanon. Certainly, they were the ports of commerce with the other coastal towns on the Mediterranean Sea. It is not clear that Jeremiah went to any of these other coastal towns.

The destruction of the royal palace (Jer 22:6-22:7)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning

The house

Of the king of Judah.

‘You are

Like Gilead to me.

You are

Like the summit of Lebanon.

But I swear

That I will make you a desert,

An uninhabited city.

I will prepare destroyers

Against you.

All will have weapons.

They shall cut down

Your choicest cedars.

They will cast them

Into the fire.”

Just like in the preceding chapter, Yahweh promises to burn down the royal palace. The royal palace had become like Gilead to Yahweh, a pleasant mountainous area was on the eastern side of the Jordan River that originally belonged to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, present day Jordan. The summits of Lebanon refer to the high mountains with their wonderful trees in present day Lebanon. However, Yahweh was going to make the beautiful royal palace become a desert or an uninhabited city. The destroyers or invaders were going to come and cut down their choicest wood cedar building. They would all be set on fire as this beauty would be destroyed.

Israel forgot Yahweh (Jer 18:13-18:17)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh.

‘Ask among the nations?

Who has heard the like of this?

The virgin Israel has done

A very horrible thing.

Does the snow of Lebanon

Leave the crags of Sirion?

Do the mountain waters run dry?

Do the cold flowing streams stop?

But my people have forgotten me.

They burn incense to a delusion.

They have stumbled in their ways,

On the ancient roads.

They have gone into bypaths.

They have not gone on the highway.

They are making their land a horror.

This is a thing to be hissed at forever.

Everyone who passes by it

Is horrified.

They shake their heads.

Like the east wind,

I will scatter them

Before the enemy.

I will show them my back.

I will not show them my face,

In the day of their calamity.’”

Yahweh wants to know why the Israelites have forgotten him. This virgin Israel has done a horrible thing. He asks whether the snow leaves the mountains of Lebanon at Mount Hermon. Sirion is another name for Mount Hermon. Do the mountain waters dry up? Do the cold streams disappear? Do these sources for the Jordan River stop? Of course not, yet Yahweh’s people have forgotten him. They have turned to offering incense to false delusionary idol gods. They were stumbling along. They have gone off the main highways into the side roads. Their land has become horrible. People shake their heads and hiss as they pass by. Thus Yahweh was going to be like a wind from the east and scatter them to their enemies. When the day of troubles would begin, he would show them his back and not his face.

The nothingness of all nations (Isa 40:15-40:17)

“Even the nations are

Like a drop from a bucket.

The nations are accounted

Like dust on the scales.

See!

He takes up the isles

Like fine dust.

Lebanon would not provide fuel enough.

Its animals are not enough for a burnt offering.

All the nations are as nothing

Before him.

They are accounted by him

As less than nothing,

Emptiness.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh compare the value of all the countries and nations. They amount to nothing. They are like a drop in the bucket or dust on a scale. Yahweh considers all the islands like fine dust. Lebanon with all its trees would not be fuel enough for Yahweh. There were not enough animals there to make a burnt offering for him. All the nations are empty nothingness before Yahweh.