Ezekiel 17

Two Eagles and a Vine

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.
3 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar,
4 he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.
5 “ ‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,
6 and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.
7 “ ‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.
8 It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’
9 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots.
10 It has been planted, but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?’ ”
11 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
12 “Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles, bringing them back with him to Babylon.
13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, putting him under oath. He also carried away the leading men of the land,
14 so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty.
15 But the king rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?
16 “ ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, he shall die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.
17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great horde will be of no help to him in war, when ramps are built and siege works erected to destroy many lives.
18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.
19 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant.
20 I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment on him there because he was unfaithful to me.
21 All his choice troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken.
22 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.
24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”

Ezekiel 17 Commentary

Chapter 17

A parable relative to the Jewish nation. (1-10) to which an explanation is added. (11-21) A direct promise of the Messiah. (22-24)

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.

Cross References 46

  • 1. S Judges 14:12; S Ezekiel 20:49
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 49:22; Daniel 7:4; Hosea 8:1
  • 3. S Jeremiah 22:23
  • 4. S Isaiah 10:33
  • 5. Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Psalms 1:3; Isaiah 44:4; Ezekiel 31:5
  • 6. S Isaiah 18:5
  • 7. S Job 5:3
  • 8. Ezekiel 31:4
  • 9. Job 18:19; Malachi 4:1
  • 10. Jeremiah 42:10; Amos 2:9
  • 11. S Job 1:19; Hosea 12:1; Hosea 13:15
  • 12. S Ezekiel 15:4
  • 13. S Ezekiel 12:9
  • 14. S 2 Kings 24:15
  • 15. S Deuteronomy 21:10; S 2 Chronicles 36:10; Ezekiel 24:19
  • 16. S Exodus 23:32; S Jeremiah 37:1
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 36:13
  • 18. Isaiah 3:2
  • 19. Ezekiel 29:14
  • 20. Jeremiah 52:3
  • 21. S Isaiah 30:2; S Jeremiah 37:5
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 17:16
  • 23. S Psalms 56:7; S Isaiah 30:5; Jeremiah 34:3; Jeremiah 38:18; Ezekiel 29:16
  • 24. S Jeremiah 52:11; Ezekiel 12:13
  • 25. S 2 Kings 24:17
  • 26. Jeremiah 37:7
  • 27. S Ezekiel 4:2
  • 28. S Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 37:5; Ezekiel 29:6-7
  • 29. S 2 Kings 10:15; 1 Chronicles 29:24
  • 30. Jeremiah 7:9; S Ezekiel 16:59; Ezekiel 21:23; Hosea 10:4
  • 31. S Ezekiel 12:13; Ezekiel 32:3
  • 32. S Jeremiah 2:35; Ezekiel 20:36
  • 33. S Ezekiel 15:8
  • 34. S Ezekiel 12:14
  • 35. 2 Kings 25:11
  • 36. S Leviticus 26:33; S 2 Kings 25:5; Zechariah 2:6
  • 37. S Jeremiah 27:8
  • 38. S 2 Kings 19:30; S Isaiah 4:2
  • 39. ver 23; Isaiah 2:2; S Jeremiah 23:5; Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 36:1,36; Ezekiel 37:22; Ezekiel 40:2; Ezekiel 43:12
  • 40. S ver 22; S Jeremiah 31:12
  • 41. S Isaiah 27:6
  • 42. Psalms 92:12; S Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 31:6; Daniel 4:12; Hosea 14:5-7; S Matthew 13:32
  • 43. S Psalms 96:12; Isaiah 2:13
  • 44. S Psalms 52:5
  • 45. S Numbers 17:8; Daniel 5:21
  • 46. S 1 Samuel 2:7-8; Ezekiel 19:12; Ezekiel 21:26; Ezekiel 22:14; Ezekiel 37:13; Amos 9:11

Chapter Summary


Under the simile of two eagles and a vine are represented the kings of Babylon and Egypt, and the condition of the Jews, who are threatened with ruin for their perfidy; and yet a promise is made of the raising up of the house of Judah, and family of David, in the Messiah. The prophet is bid to deliver a riddle or parable to the house of Israel, Eze 17:1,2. The riddle or parable is concerning two eagles and a vine, which is delivered, Eze 17:3-10; and the explanation of it is in Eze 17:11-15; and then the destruction of the Jews is threatened for their treachery to the king of Babylon, Eze 17:16-21; and the chapter is closed with a promise of the Messiah, and the prosperity of his kingdom, Eze 17:22-24.

Ezekiel 17 Commentaries

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