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.
To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height,.... The end proposed by the Lord in the destruction of the king of Assyria, and the use to be made of it, is this; that the kings of the earth take warning hereby, who rule over a multitude of people, comparable to waters, and who abound in riches and wealth; that they are not elated with pride and vanity, because of their exalted estate, their grandeur, and dignity; and do not behave insolently against God, on whom they depend; nor haughtily and in an oppressive manner towards their own subjects, over whom they rule:
neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs; affect universal monarchy, as he did; and set up themselves over all kingdoms and states, as he had over them, and make all subject to them:
neither their trees stand up in their height, that drink water; that is, kings and potentates, who rule over the people, and are supplied and supported by them in their exalted stations, by the tribute and taxes they pay them and so abound in riches and power, should not trust in the height of honour and power they are raised to, and treat contemptuously God and man; but consider what they are, that they are but men, and are in slippery places, where there is no standing long, and especially when death comes, as follows:
for they are delivered unto death in the nether parts of the earth; they are mortal by nature, as other men; they are appointed to die, and will be delivered into the hands of death, when the time is come, who will not spare them because of their crowns and sceptres; and when they will be laid in the grave, in the lowest parts of the earth, who used to sit upon elevated thrones of state:
in the midst of the children of men, with those that go down to the pit; the grave, where they are upon a level with the poorest and meanest of their subjects. The Targum is,
"that all the kings of the east might not be lifted up with their strength, nor exercise tyranny over the kingdoms; nor all that hold a kingdom lift up themselves in their own strength, for all are delivered unto death, &c.''