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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



EZEKIEL 31

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CHRISTENDOM NOT TO ENDURE

31:1, 2. 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, Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? — Chapter 31 represents Christendom as a cedar tree which is cut down. It opens with a message respecting Satan (Pharaoh, the sungod) king of worldly Christendom (Egypt) and her multitudes. What comparison could be made of her greatness!
31:3. Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. — Behold, Satan and his counterfeit Christian system (tree; "Assyrian" should probably read "teashur," a box-tree), thought of as never to end (cedar, type of man with eternal life), and as a righteous kingdom (Lebanon, a mountain, white, snowy), having as members (branches, like the branches of Christendom) the great, the evil and the good, worldly people, with protecting power (shadowing shroud) and very prominent, with the greatest people at the very top.
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. — The peoples and the secular truth (waters) made Satan's system great; the great nations and the apparently profound truths of liberty, fraternity and equality, made it prominent, with its roots (plantings) nourished By nations and sects (rivers) and sending out national and denominational influences throughout all the systems of the world.
31:5. Therefore his height was exalted above alt 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. — Therefore Christendom's prominence was exalted above everything like it in the world; and its mighty members were increased in number and made of far reaching influence, because of the multitude of their people and of their teachings.
31:6. 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
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all great nations. — All the jail-birds (fowls) of the powers of spiritual control, made their church organizations (nests) among its members; and under the power of its membership (branches) did all of the governments (beasts) of this world (field) bring forth their progeny; and under its defense (shadow) dwelt all nations.
31:7. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. — Thus was it magnificent in its greatness, and in the extent of its ramifications; for it was rooted in great peoples and in great secular truths.
31:8. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; not any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. — In Christendom's egotism there was nothing equal to her in this age or the next.
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. — Christendom felt itself the envy of everything, present and to come.
31:10. 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. — Because of Christendom's self-exaltation and pride.
31:11. 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. — God will deliver Christendom into the power of the god (el, mighty one) of the heathen, the Devil himself; He shall surely deal vengeance to her; He will drive her out of existence.
31:12. 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 anarchists, the terror of the nations, will lay her low; upon the kingdoms (mountains), and among the people (valleys) her members (branches) will fall, and be broken off by her seceding denominations; all the people of this order of things will leave her protection, and abandon her.
31:13. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches. — The jail-birds of ecclesiasticism, and all the revolutionary governments of this state of affairs, shall profit by her ruin and through her members (branches).
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31:14. 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. — No other earthly system may follow her proud example; for all of them are delivered, as systems, into death, to a dishonored place among the lowest in society.
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. — In the year 1918, when Christendom shall begin to go down to oblivion (Sheol), to be succeeded by revolutionary republics, God will cause mourning. He will restrain and defer for a brief period the threatening waves of anarchy. He will cause the nations to mourn for Christendom, and all the man-made systems (trees) of the world (field) to become weals on account of her fall. — E392, 372.
31:16. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell (Sheol) with them that descend to 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. — God will cause the nations to shake with gigantic revolutions, when He shall cast worldly Christendom, as an organized system, down to oblivion (as He did the Jews in the Dives parable).
31:17. They also went down into hell (Sheol) with him, unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were in his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. — But they also shall go down to oblivion (Sheol) (E392, 372), with Christendom, as well as those that were her power, that dwelt under her defense among the people.
31:18. To whom art thou thus like in glory in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet thou shalt 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. — Though worldly Christendom is unsurpassed in glory and in greatness among other systems, yet shall she be brought down to be one of the most disesteemed grades of the social order; she shalt be counted as one of the ungodly. The Egyptians practiced circumcision, typical of worldly Christendom's counterfeit ease of conscience through belief in error. This is said of Satan, the god of Christendom and all his multitude.

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