Ezekiel 17

1 The LORD’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, tell a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colors, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar: 4 he cropped off the topmost of the young twigs of it, and carried it to a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil; he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a willow tree. 6 It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned towards him, and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, and produced branches, and shot out sprigs. 7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and behold, this vine bent its roots towards him, and shot out its branches towards him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it. 8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might produce branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9 Say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Shall it prosper? Shall he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither; that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? And not by a strong arm or many people can it be raised from its roots. 10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? It shall wither in the beds where it grew. 11 Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 12 Say now to the rebellious house, don’t you know what these things mean? Tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon: 13 and he took of the royal offspring, and made a covenant with him; he also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land; 14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? Shall he escape who does such things? Shall he break the covenant, and yet escape? 16 As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the middle of Babylon he shall die. 17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many persons. 18 For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely my oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, I will even bring it on his own head. 20 I will spread my net on him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will enter into judgement with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me. 21 All his fugitives in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered towards every wind: and you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it. 22 Thus says the Lord GOD: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain: 23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall produce boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. 24 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.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-10

Mighty conquerors are aptly likened to birds or beasts of prey, but their destructive passions are overruled to forward God’s designs. Those who depart from God, only vary their crimes by changing one carnal confidence for another, and never will prosper.

Verses 11-21

The parable is explained, and the particulars of the history of the Jewish nation at that time may be traced. Zedekiah had been ungrateful to his benefactor, which is a sin against God. In every solemn oath, God is appealed to as a witness of the sincerity of him that swears. Truth is a debt owing to all men. If the professors of the true religion deal treacherously with those of a false religion, their profession makes their sin the worse; and God will the more surely and severely punish it. The Lord will not hold those guiltless who take his name in vain; and no man shall escape the righteous judgment of God who dies under unrepented guilt.

Verses 22-24

The unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of none effect. The parable of a tree, used in the threatening, is here presented in the promise. It appears only applicable to Jesus, the Son of David, the Messiah of God. The kingdom of Satan, which has borne so long, so large a sway, shall be broken, and the kingdom of Christ, which was looked upon with contempt, shall be established. Blessed be God, our Redeemer is seen even by the ends of the earth. We may find refuge from the wrath to come, and from every enemy and danger, under his shadow; and believers are fruitful in him.

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