Ezekiel 32:

17 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 18“Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send them down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the world below, to those who have gone down to the pit:
30“The princes of the north are there, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who have gone down in shame with the slain, for all the terror that they caused by their might; they lie uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword, and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.

31 “When Pharaoh sees them, he will be comforted for all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword, declares the Lord GOD. 32For I spread terror in the land of the living; and he shall be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD.”

Did Pharaoh find comfort in the pit/Sheol?

1 Answer 1


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:

  1. 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.

  • In Ezekiel 32:18 it is pronounced the same but spelt בֹֽור. It also means cistern +1
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 16, 2021 at 23:35

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