Ezekiel 17 Parable of the Eagles and the Vine

But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?  As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.  Ezekiel 17:15,16

Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.  And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. Ezekiel 17:18-20

Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it. Ezekiel 17:22-24

⇒ Two eagles represent the great powers, Babylon and Egypt.  A vine represents Judah, now under the domination (and protection) of Babylon.  But the vine turns from the eagle which sustains it to bend toward the second.  The parable is explained by Ezekiel. Judah’s king Zedekiah is secretly breaking his oath of allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar and has sent envoys to Egypt.  God will punish this oath-breaking.  One day God himself will take a shoot from the top of the most noble of trees and it will grow to be splendid.  It is likely Ezekiel did not understand this final, messianic word picture.


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