Eve was told to stay away from that "tree" which was in the midst of the garden.
There are two very important basic principles that a person needs to understand in order to rightly divide the Word of God, and in particular this 31st chapter of Ezekiel. The first is that a proper "translation" must be made before a proper interpretation can be achieved. The second is to understand the symbology used so that one can determine the subject and context of what is being discussed. Let's look at a brief illustration of each principle.
Consider the 6th Commandment found in Exodus 20:13, which reads in the king's English, "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Unfortunately, the way most Sunday school classes are conducted in our churches, people rarely get an opportunity to learn what this Commandment really says. Usually a very kind and thoughtful person, though not a Bible scholar, unselfishly gives of his or her time and volunteers to teach Sunday school or Bible class. He or she traditionally chooses a topic for class discussion and after selected Bible verses are read participants are asked to share what these verses mean to them.
"Jane, what does 'Thou shalt not kill mean to you?'" Jane replies, "I think it applies to all life, because all life is precious, even the animals. I don't believe we should kill animals just to get their furs."The problem with all this is that the very foundation of the discussion itself is false in that teacher failed to obtain a proper understanding of what the 6th Commandment really says. What the teacher should have done, after doing his or her homework, was to read the 6th Commandment and then say:
"Joe, what about you?" Joe says, "I think the proper killing of animals is OK, such as is required to obtain food, but man has no business and no right taking the life of another human being. Only God has that right. Therefore, I think all capital punishment should be abolished in all the states."
"Class, in the Hebrew in which it was written, the word "kill" used here in Ex. 20:13 is "ratsach", which means "to murder" in a premeditated fashion. In other words a "ratsach" is a homicide, a premeditated murder of a human being. It has nothing to do with animals, accidentally killing someone, or even the killing done militarily in warfare. Any questions so far?The point to all of this is that there are many single words in God's Word, the misunderstanding of which have caused great error and even embarrassment to Christianity, such as the word "was" in Genesis 1:2, which should be properly translated "became". Likewise, in verse three of this 31st chapter of Ezekiel we have the word "Assyrian" which has no article preceding it in the Hebrew text and it should be properly translated "box tree" or "box cedar". Since it is the subject for most of chapter 31, the proper translation of this word is necessary to understand what or who is being talked about.
"Furthermore, class, God commands us just a few verses later in chapter 21:12-13 that if a person murders someone, he or she is to be put to death, "killed" not "murdered". They are even different words in English. However, if someone accidentally kills another person, which is not murder (ratsach), he or she shall not be put to death. So we see that the states that have capital punishment are abiding by the law of God, while those who do not execute convicted murderers are in violation of His law."
This brings us to our second basic principle pertaining to this chapter, which is understanding symbolism. You see, the unique thing about allegory and symbology is that if you understand what it is that the symbols represent then what is being said becomes very, very simple and so easy to understand. However, if you do not understand what or who the symbols represent then the simplicity of that which is written becomes a mystery and is actually hidden from your understanding.
Such we find to be the case with "trees" in the Bible. Why is there such difficulty in understanding who the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is in Genesis chapters two and three? Throughout the Word of God, men and even God Himself are liken to trees.
God says of Himself in Hosea 14:8:
You can partake of the "fruit" from the "Tree of Life" (Christ), but not from the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Satan). Eve was told to stay away from that "tree" which was in the midst of the garden. That "tree" was Satan himself which we will document in this 31st chapter of Ezekiel. And don't people know that actual fruit trees don't have any knowledge of good and evil? They are dumb saps (the trees that is).Hosea 14:8
... I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
Note: If you think Eve ate an apple (by the way, the word "apple" is not anywhere to found in Genesis) and you would like to know what really happened in the garden of Eden, then read Genesis (Part 1) by loging unto Genesis in the Table of Contents to the right of this screen or just log unto the following pamphlet #6223"Remind me sometime and I'll tell you what really happened in the garden".
Jesus performed 2 miracles in Mark 8. The first one in verse 24 and then another one in verse 25. Do you have eyes to see them both?
In Mark chapter 8 we read the account
of Jesus healing the eyes of a blind man. Some people think He healed him
just so the man could physically see his surroundings. Wrong!
He healed his eyes primarily to give him "eyes
to see" which is "spiritual vision". It happened
on this wise. Jesus first moisten the man's eyes and placed His hands over
them and then Jesus asked him what he saw. Here's what the man said:
The man didn't say "I see men as trees, walking" because he had "blurry vision" because, as some say, Christ's batteries weren't fully charged and He didn't give the man enough "juice". How silly and stupid! It is likely the man couldn't see anyway because Jesus had His hands over his eyes. Nevertheless, Jesus "caused him" through His anointing, to "spiritually" (MIRACLE #1) see men as trees and had it written for you and me to understand. Then, after the Master Teacher open his "spiritual eyes" to be able to see men as trees, He restored his physical sight.Mark 8:24
And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. (MIRACLE #1 spiritual sight restored)
So, if you have had your blind eyes opened by Jesus Christ and you can see men as trees, then you will enjoy this 31st chapter of Ezekiel, because it will make sense to you, even without a lot of commentary. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. (MIRACLE #2 physical sight restored)
This is only two months before the fall of Jerusalem.Ezekiel 31:1
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
The question is being asked to big-headed, powerful Pharaoh, "Who in the world do you think you are Pharaoh?" Let me show you what happens to egomaniacs like you. Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?
Again, the word "Assyrian" should be translated "box-tree", "te-ashshur" in Hebrew. A "box-tree" is just a plain ordinary tree, only this particular "box-cedar" has grown (elevated himself as per vs. 10) to great stature among the children of God (thick boughs). 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.
Let's stop and play "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
OK, here is your question for $1,000,000 dollars. Remember, you have used up all three of your lifelines, so you know you can't call your preacher on this one. But don't forget, you can stop right here and walk away Biblically illiterate with your own two cents. For $1,000,000 here's the question:Waters are also symbolic of people (Rev. 17:15). We will soon see that the setting here is actually the garden of Eden, and there was a river that ran out of Eden which was divided into four heads (Gen. 2:10). This individual, Satan, is the same king of Tyre we read about in chapter 28, who was exalted and lifted-up in the first earth age, and he has carried his "big head" over into this second earth age.
The "te-ashshur", the plain ordinary "tree" who thinks he is God, is symbolic of whom?:Is that your final answer? It is? Ok ... checking now...1. Satan
2. The son of perdition
4. The Dragon
YOUR RIGHT! You win! Congratulations! He is the subject being discussed here.Ezekiel 31:4
The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.
He was "lifted up" because the people thought he was really something special. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.
The dirty birds, the fallen angel buddies of Satan, nestled right up to him. And as Gen. 3 states, he was more subtle than all the beasts of the field, both man an animal. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
He had great power and authority. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.
Note: Actually, what we as Christians really need to understand from this, is that Satan himself, individually, has no "powers" at all. Oh sure, he's subtle and cunning and talks a good story, but he is not a god with supernatural powers (though he will appear that way when he comes because we are in the flesh while he is not). He is a created son (chapter 28:13 "in the day thou wast created") just like the rest of us. He gets his power and authority from the people and his corrupt system of the four hidden dynasties. But he has NO GODLY powers. You could liken him to Castro, or even to our President. They are mere mortal men, who have no more supernatural power than other mortal men, which is none at all. Got it? They simply derive their "power" from the system. So it is easy to understand in Isa. 14, that during the Millennium when Satan is stripped from his "power" and bound in the pit, that people walk by and say "is this the man who deceived the nations?" That is also why it is easy to understand how it is Michael has no problem man-handling Satan all by himself. One on one, without his gang and his authoritative "powers" Satan is not much at all. You see, although Satan is very beautiful and charismatic, in Luke 10:18 Jesus Christ gave us power and authority over this low-life "box-tree" and all the dirty birds who nest in his boughs.
No one can "top" Satan in good looks, etc. As we read in Ezek. 28 and as we will read in the next verse, our Father made him from the "full pattern", i.e. perfect in beauty.Ezekiel 31:8
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
He does not run around with a red suit on toting a three-pronged pitchfork.
This is not how Satan looks!
Literal trees can't and don't envy each other, anymore than they have any knowledge of good and bad! Of course, "tree huggers" probably envy other "tree huggers" who might be hugging a more beautiful tree than they are hugging. But what can you expect from someone who has the mentality of a sap-ling?Ezekiel 31:9
I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
So, in verse 9, where did we find the little box-cedar who thinks he's God? In the garden of Eden, the garden of God. Imagine that! The "tree" who thinks he knows better than God what's right and wrong for people, was in the garden of Eden. And you know what? He's so subtle and deceptive that he has the majority of Christianity believing it was just an apple tree, and not him. "Who me?", says Satan, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,"I tell you, Eve ate an apple. I never had sex with that woman!"
Pharaoh thought he was really something, but not nearly so much as this dude. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;
"Heathen" should be translated nations. It is God Himself who has driven Satan out in, or according to, his wickedness. (See note on page 1150 in the Companion Bible.) I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.
He's coming down! Timberrrrrr! And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.
The "nether parts of the earth" and "the pit" are Hebrew idioms meaning "a state of degradation". "The children of men" should read "the sons of adam". I.e. as it is written in Isa. 14, Satan will be in the pit, in that state of degradation, during the entire 1000 year Millennium. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
 To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.
Speaking of big talking trees, Satan really makes an ash out himself, doesn't he?.Isaiah 14:14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
After the Millennium he will experience the second death, which is to perish. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
Note: To better understand these next few verses, read them as prophetic history.
Hey Pharaoh, and everyone else reading this account, great, great was the felling of this tree! You know, the bigger they are the harder they fall! And just like we read about the fall of Tyrus, when this tree went down, there was great lamentation. "Fainted" means "mourning".Ezekiel 31:15
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
The nations were surprised, all shook up, when this tree fell. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
The people Satan deceives, i.e. those spiritually slain with sword, along with the unrepentant "children of disobedience", i.e. "his arm" which properly translated means "his seed", the kenites, all went down with him. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
Our Father, through Ezekiel, now resumes His address to Pharaoh, the ego-man, from verse two.
So Pharaoh, and every one else reading this account, do you want to be a "big tree", just like the little box-cedar who exalted himself in the garden of Eden? Go for it! And you will be chopped down just like him!Ezekiel 31:18
To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
This"American Wisdom Series" pamphlet
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.