This chapter portrays the Assyrian Empire as a great cedar tree that ended up being cut down and thrown into the pit of Sheol. Ezekiel warns that Egypt and her armies will one day suffer the same fate.
This chapter portrays the fall of the Assyrian empire, and uses it as a warning of what will one day happen to Egypt. Assyria is metaphorically portrayed as a magnificent cedar tree that ended up being cut down by foreign nations, and thrown down to the pit of Sheol. Ezekiel received this revelation in 587 BC, just 18 years after Assyria and Egypt had been defeated at the Battle of Carchemish. This continues Ezekiel's previous oracles against Egypt, as recorded in chapters 29 and 30.

The Assyrian capital, Nineveh, fell to an alliance of Babylonians, Medes and Scythians in 612 BC. The city of Harran fell in 609 BC, and the Assyrians retreated to their last remaining stronghold at Carchemish. Egypt was a vassal state of the Assyrian empire and marched to defend Assyria. Pharaoh Necho II was delayed for some time by King Josiah of Judah, who ended up being killed at the battle of Megiddo in about 609 BC. The Assyrian and Egyptian armies were decisively defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and his allies at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC. This marked the end of the Assyrian empire, the end of Egypt's intervention in the Near East, and the establishment of the Babylonian Empire. So in 587 BC when Ezekiel received this revelation, the fall of Assyria was a recent and painful memory for Egypt.

Egypt was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar in 568 BC, although the extent of his conquest is not clear, as only minimal historical records of it survive. It was again conquered by the Persian king Cambyses in 525 BC. Neither conquest seems to have completely fulfilled the prophecies of Ezekiel 29 to 30 and Jeremiah 42 to 44. However, in the end times, Egypt is one of the countries that will fall to the Antichrist according to Daniel 11:42. So it is likely that this chapter in Ezekiel has an end-time fulfilment, and not just an historic one.

In verse 18, Ezekiel warns that Egypt will end up being thrown down into the pit, just like Assyria. In chapter 28, Ezekiel prophesied the Antichrist, as the ruler of Tyre, being cast into the pit. In chapter 32, Egypt and her armies are again pictured being cast into the pit, along with Assyria (Syria and Iraq), Elam (Iran), Meshech and Tubal (Turkey and possibly the Caucasus Muslim states), Edom (Saudi Arabia and southern Jordan), and Sidon (Lebanon). Chapter 30 proclaims the coming Day of the Lord when the armies of Egypt will be slain, along with Cush (southern Egypt, Sudan and northern Ethiopia), Put (Lybia & North Africa), Lydia (Turkey), all Arabia, and the people of the covenant land.
Places: Egypt, Assyria, Syria, Iraq
Tags: Nations invaded by the Antichrist, Nations cast into the pit of hell, Pit, Hell
A Cedar in Lebanon
1 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the Lord’s message came to me:
2 “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and his hordes: “‘Who are you like in your greatness?
3 Consider Assyria, a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches, like a forest giving shade, and extremely tall; its top reached into the clouds.
4 The water made it grow; underground springs made it grow tall. Rivers flowed all around the place it was planted, while smaller channels watered all the trees of the field.
5 Therefore it grew taller than all the trees of the field; its boughs grew large and its branches grew long, because of the plentiful water in its shoots.
6 All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth, in its shade all the great nations lived.
7 It was beautiful in its loftiness, in the length of its branches; for its roots went down deep to plentiful waters.
8 The cedars in the garden of God could not eclipse it, nor could the fir trees match its boughs; the plane trees were as nothing compared to its branches; no tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty.
9 I made it beautiful with its many branches; all the trees of Eden, in the garden of God, envied it.
10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because it was tall in stature, and its top reached into the clouds, and it was proud of its height,
11 I gave it over to the leader of the nations. He has judged it thoroughly, as its sinfulness deserves. I have thrown it out.
12 Foreigners from the most terrifying nations have cut it down and left it to lie there on the mountains. In all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs lie broken in the ravines of the land. All the peoples of the land have departed from its shade and left it.
13 On its ruins all the birds of the sky will live, and all the wild animals will walk on its branches.
14 For this reason no watered trees will grow so tall; their tops will not reach into the clouds, nor will the well-watered ones grow that high. For all of them have been appointed to die in the lower parts of the earth; they will be among mere mortals, with those who descend to the Pit.
15 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day it went down to Sheol I caused observers to lament. I covered it with the deep and held back its rivers; its plentiful water was restrained. I clothed Lebanon in black for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it.
16 I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I threw it down to Sheol, along with those who descend to the Pit. Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and the best of Lebanon, all that were well-watered, were comforted in the earth below.
17 Those who lived in its shade, its allies among the nations, also went down with it to Sheol, to those killed by the sword.
18 Which of the trees of Eden was like you in majesty and loftiness? You will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword! This is what will happen to Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”