Ezekiel

 

Ezekiel Chapter 17

 

  • Ezekiel 17:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 
  • 2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
  • 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which had divers colors, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 

The great eagle was King Nebuchadnezzar who came to Lebanon and took Jehoiachin who was the king of Judah. 

  • Ezekiel 17:4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 

He then took the best of the people, the princes and young men to learn the ways of Babylon. This may be those like Daniel and his companions who were highly skilled in knowledge. The land of traffic was Babylon which was a city of merchants and trade was prosperous. 

  • Ezekiel 17:5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 

Nebuchadnezzar then took Zedekiah and all Judah. They grew and reached out to Nebuchadnezzar depending upon him for support. In other words they came under his rule and authority. 

  • Ezekiel 17:6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. 
  • 7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. 

Zedekiah broke his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar and trusted in Egypt for help. The other great eagle was Egypt. They trusted Egypt to help against the rule of Babylon. 

  • Ezekiel 17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 
  • 9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. 

This was also rebellion against God because it was God's will at this time that Judah be taken over and brought into captivity to Babylon. When Zedekiah rebelled and went to Egypt for help, he was rebelling against God's word sent to him through the prophets. 

  • Ezekiel 17:10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew. 
  • 11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 
  • 12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; 
  • 13 And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: 
  • 14 That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. 

Nebuchadnezzar took the best of those with him to Babylon so that the kingdom of Judah would still exist but be weak. 

  • Ezekiel 17:15 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? 

When Zedekiah sent people to Egypt to get help thereby breaking the covenant with Nebuchadnezzar, the king was angry and then Judah was utterly left desolate. Zedekiah's eyes were put out and taken into captivity. His sons were killed just before his eyes were put out.

  • Ezekiel 17:16 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 broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 
  • 17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: 
  • 18 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. 
  • 19 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. 

God used Babylon to correct Israel for their idolatry. To rebel against the authority God sent to correct them was similar to rebelling against God. They had been warned many times. 

All Zedekiah had to do was repent and seek the face of God. I don't know if God would have turned back the judgment that came from Babylon but Zedekiah would have not lost his sons and his eyesight. Who knows whether a national repentance at that time might have spared them the destruction of their city. 

If they would have repented years before, this event never would have occurred. 

It seems as if Israel has always been tempted to turn to Egypt for help in times of trouble. Isaiah warned against this. 

  • Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD! 

Our trust and confidence must always be in the Lord only and in the written word He has provided us.

  • Ezekiel 17:20 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. 

God could have allowed all of Judah to be slain and be no more but he allowed them to go into Babylon so that He would plead with them and show them their trespass. 

  • Ezekiel 17:21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it. 

Just as in the days of Ezekiel, God still pleads with all of us to hear His voice, turn from sin and believe the gospel so that we can be saved as individuals and as nations. It seems to always be only a small remnant who believe and accept God's plan of salvation. 

The whole way to eternal life is to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Repent means to stop what we are doing and go to God for salvation, forsake our old ways and allow the spirit of God to enter into our innermost being and make us new creatures in Christ. 

Repent and believe is a simple but powerful message. To ignore this is to ignore being saved for eternity. 

When God allows trouble and disasters, it is really because He loves us and allows those things to come to drive us back into His presence. Sin will separate us from God and the sin has to be rooted out just like weeks have to be rooted out of a garden to get it to grow and produce fruit. 

  • Ezekiel 17:22 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 a high mountain and eminent: 
  • 23 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. 
  • 24 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. 

Here is the promise of restoration of the land of Israel. Jesus Christ the Messiah of Israel will return to set up an everlasting kingdom with His headquarters in Israel. This is when all Israel is restored and brought back to God. 

This part of prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. Israel is back in their land after over 2000 years but they are not yet restored spiritually. They are physically partially restored but they have not yet repented of sins and recognized their Messiah that their ancestors rejected. When they do, the whole earth will be blessed.

Ezekiel Chapter 18

Ezekiel Index

 
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