It is true that שְׁאוֹל (sheol = "grave") and בֹּאר (bowr = "pit") are often used as synonyms as in this passage of Eze 32:17-32. More precisely in this passage:
- שְׁאוֹל (sheol = "grave") occurs in V21 & V27;
- בֹּאר (bowr = "pit") occurs in V18, V23, V24, V25, V29, V30, all with the same intention - those who down to the grave/pit, meaning death.
- another word, קָ֫בֶר (qeber = sepulcher) is also used in this passage in V22, V23, V25, V26.
Now to V31 which says:
Pharaoh will see them and be comforted over all his multitude—Pharaoh
and all his army, slain by the sword, declares the Lord GOD.
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary suggests this:
- comforted—with the melancholy satisfaction of not being alone, but of having other kingdoms companions in his downfall. This shall be his
only comfort—a very poor one!
Gill offers a slightly expanded comments:
Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over his multitude,....
That is, when Pharaoh is brought to the grave, and into the state of
the dead, he shall look about him, and see who lie by him; and he
shall behold the above mentioned kings of Assyria, Persia, Idumea, and
the princes of Tyre and Zidon, and all their mighty armies, generals
and soldiers, in the same condition with himself; and this shall be
some solace to him in his own death, and at the loss of so great a
kingdom, such numerous subjects, and a vast army, that others as rich,
as powerful as himself, lie in the same low and miserable condition;
though such comfort as this must be poor comfort indeed! and yet this
is all the comfort wicked men have in hell, that they have company
with them there:
However, the pulpit commentary is more precise:
Verse 31. - Shall be comforted, etc. (comp. for the thought, Ezekiel
31:16). That shall be all that he will have to console him. As before,
other nations were comforted by the downfall of Egypt, so Egypt in her
turn finds her comfort in their downfall. All are sharers alike in the
fiend-like temper which exults in the miseries of others.
Recall that this passage is discussing nations not individuals as the Pulpit commentary implies. Ezekiel appears to be saying that these nations will comfort themselves that they have suffered the same as all others who have preceded them.