Ezekiel 17

Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine

1 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
2 "Son of man, propound a riddle and speak a 1parable to the house of Israel,
3 saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "A great 2eagle with 3great wings, long pinions and a full plumage of many colors came to 4Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar.
4 "He plucked off the topmost of its young twigs and brought it to a land of merchants; he set it in a city of traders.
5 "He also took some of the seed of the land and planted it in 5fertile soil. He placed it beside abundant waters; he set it like a 6willow.
6 "Then it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine with its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and yielded shoots and sent out branches.
7 "But there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage; and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and sent out its branches toward him from the beds where it was 7planted, that he might water it.
8 "It was planted in good soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine."'
9 "Say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers -so that all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again.
10 "Behold, though it is planted, will it thrive? Will it not 8completely wither as soon as the east wind strikes it-wither on the beds where it grew?""'

Zedekiah's Rebellion

11 Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
12 "Say now to the 9rebellious house, 'Do you not 10know what these things mean?' Say, 'Behold, the 11king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and princes and brought them to him in Babylon.
13 'He took one of the royal 12family and made a covenant with him, putting him under 13oath. He also took away the 14mighty of the land,
14 that the kingdom might 15be in subjection, not exalting itself, but keeping his covenant that it might continue.
15 'But he 16rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things 17escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape?
16 'As I live,' declares the Lord GOD, 'Surely * in the country of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he 18despised and whose covenant he broke, 19in Babylon he shall die.
17 '20Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in the war, when they cast up ramps and build siege walls to cut off many lives.
18 'Now he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and behold, he 21pledged his allegiance, yet did all these things; he shall not escape.' "
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "As I live, surely * My oath which he despised and My covenant which he broke, I will inflict on his head.
20 "I will spread My 22net over him, and he will be 23caught in My snare. Then I will bring him to Babylon and 24enter into judgment with him there regarding the unfaithful act which he has committed against Me.
21 "All the 25choice men in all his troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind; and you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken."
22 Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a 26high and lofty mountain.
23 "On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately 27cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches.
24 "All the 28trees of the field will know that I am the LORD; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree 29flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will perform 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 29

  • 1. Ezekiel 20:49; Ezekiel 24:3
  • 2. Jeremiah 48:40; Ezekiel 17:12; Hosea 8:1
  • 3. Daniel 4:22
  • 4. Jeremiah 22:23
  • 5. Deuteronomy 8:7-9
  • 6. Isaiah 44:4
  • 7. Ezekiel 31:4
  • 8. Ezekiel 19:14; Hosea 13:15
  • 9. Ezekiel 2:3-5
  • 10. Ezekiel 12:9-11; Ezekiel 24:19
  • 11. 2 Kin 24:11, 12, 15; Ezekiel 1:2; Ezekiel 17:3
  • 12. 2 Kings 24:17; Ezekiel 17:5
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 36:13
  • 14. 2 Kings 24:15, 16
  • 15. Ezekiel 29:14
  • 16. 2 Kings 24:20; 2 Chronicles 36:13; Jeremiah 52:3; Ezekiel 17:7
  • 17. Jeremiah 34:3; Jeremiah 38:18, 23; Ezekiel 17:18
  • 18. 2 Kings 24:17, 20; Ezekiel 16:59; Ezekiel 17:13, 18, 19
  • 19. Jeremiah 52:11; Ezekiel 12:13
  • 20. Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 37:5, 7; Ezekiel 29:6, 7
  • 21. 1 Chronicles 29:24
  • 22. Ezekiel 12:13; Ezekiel 32:3
  • 23. Jeremiah 39:5-7
  • 24. Jeremiah 2:35; Ezekiel 20:35, 36
  • 25. 2 Kings 25:5, 11; Ezek 5:2, 10, 12-14
  • 26. Psalms 72:16; Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 37:22
  • 27. Psalms 92:12
  • 28. Psalms 96:12; Isaiah 55:12
  • 29. Amos 9:11

Footnotes 21

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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