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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 31

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Allegory of the Cypress. 1On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year,*the word of the LORDcame to me: 2Son of man, say to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to his hordes: What are you like in your greatness?

3Behold, a cypress [cedar] in Lebanon, beautiful of branch, lofty of stature, amid the very clouds lifted its crest. 4Waters made it grow, the abyss made it flourish, sending its rivers round where it was planted, turning its streams to all the trees of the field. 5Thus it grew taller than every other tree of the field, and longer of branch because of the abundant water. 6In its boughs nested all the birds of the air, under its branches all beasts of the field gave birth, in its shade dwelt numerous peoples of every race. 7It became beautiful and stately in its spread of foliage, for its roots were turned toward abundant water. 8The cedars in the garden of God were not its equal, nor could the fir trees match its boughs, Neither were the plane trees like it for branches; no tree in the garden of God matched its beauty. 9I made it beautiful, with much foliage,the envy of all Eden's trees in the garden of God.

10Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it became lofty in stature, raising its crest among the clouds, and because it became proud in heart at its height, 11I have handed it over to the mightiest of the nations, which has dealt with it in keeping with its wickedness. I humiliated it. 12Foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, cut it down and left it on the mountains. Its foliage was brought low in all the valleys, its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the land withdrew from its shade, abandoning it.

13On its fallen trunk rested all the birds of the air, and by its branches were all the beasts of the field.

14Thus no tree may grow lofty in stature or raise its crest among the clouds; no tree fed by water may stand by itself in its loftiness.

For all of them are destined for death, for the land below, For the company of mortals, those who go down into the pit.

15Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day he went down to the nether world I made the abyss close up over him; I stopped its streams so that the deep waters were held back. I cast gloom over Lebanon because of him, so that all the trees in the land drooped on his account. 16At the crash of his fall I made the nations rock, when I cast him down to the nether world with those who go down into the pit. In the land below, all Eden's trees were consoled, Lebanon's choice and best, all that were fed by water. 17They too have come down with him to the nether world, to those slain by the sword; those who dwelt in his shade are dispersed among the nations. 18Which was your equal in glory or size among the trees of Eden? Yet you have been brought down with the trees of Eden to the land below. You shall lie with the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. Such are Pharaoh and all his hordes, says the Lord GOD.

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