Two Eagles and the Vine

51% of Americans believe having children outside of wedlock is morally acceptable, according to a recent LA Times report. Also acceptable to a large minority: having an abortion (45%), committing adultery (42%), using pornography (38%), getting drunk (35%) and having homose … More

Adultery

Ezekiel was told to makeup a “riddle” or “parable” to the house of Israel (vv. 1-2). The prophet compared the royal family of Judah to a cedar tree in “Lebanon,” a symbolic name for Jerusalem. The parable has two distinct parts, and is perhaps better regarded as two distinct but closely related parables. The first depicts the immediate past and immediate future of the Davidic line. The second predicts the long range future of the royal family.

Ezekiel tells a story of two great eagles, which represent Babylon and Egypt. Babylon has carried off the leading shoot of Judah, but left an offshoot in Jerusalem (vv. 3-6). The offshoot grows well, but leans towards Egypt for sustenance (vv. 7-8). God sees this as rebellious and doomed to failure (vv. 9-21). It depicts the time when King Zedekiah of Judah looked to Egypt for help in lifting the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem.

Ezekiel compared the Davidic family again to a cedar (vv 22-24). That royal family would not cease to exist with the deportation of Zedekiah. God himself would take a tender twig from the top of that cedar and set it out “on a high and lofty mountain,” in Israel. The twig would grow to maturity, bring forth boughs, bear fruit, and become a “stately cedar.” The tender twig was a symbol for Messiah. Birds of every kind (all races), and nations of people, would nest in the shade of its branches. These events would have an impact on other trees (royal houses). They would see the lowly and withered tree (David’s family) flourish. They would see the green and high trees (proud kingdoms) dry up. When this occurred the other trees would be forced to acknowledge that Yahweh is the God who announces the future and then brings it to pass. He is sovereign over all the trees of the forest.

Application

It is my desire to be able to finish this commentary but God is sovereign and He can do with me whatever He wants to. He knows best.

Ezekiel 17:1-24 (English Standard Version)


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