Eze 17: "The great parable of the two eagles and the vine
describe the situation in Zedekiah's last days. The great eagle is
representative of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon; the other eagle speaks of the
southern power of Egypt. Both were important in the final history of the kingdom
of Judah. The vine represented Judah, the tender planting of Yahweh, which had
become affected by the disease of humanity, and sought for support from its
companion nations, ignoring the strength and power of Yahweh's protection. The
chapter presents 'The Allegory of Zedekiah, the Covenant Breaker,' and outlines:
(1) Zedekiah's power set up by the Babylonian Eagle: vv 1-6. (2) The king turns
to Egypt for help: vv 7-10. (3) Zedekiah's treachery proves fatal: vv 11-21. (4)
The Zedekiah who keeps Covenants: vv 22-24.
"Thus the desolation brought about by Zedekiah (Yahweh is
Righteous), will be restored by a king with the name 'Yahweh our Righteousness,'
fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the 'one whose right it is' will uphold
the name of the last king of Judah, and restore the throne of David in
accordance with the principles of true righteousness. Notice the constant ref to
'covenant' in this ch (6 times)" (GEM).
ALLEGORY: "Riddle" in KJV. The word "chiydah" is used
of a secret -- and usually a dark secret at that: sw Num 12:8 ("riddles"); 1Ki
10:1 and 2Ch 9:1 ("hard questions"). However, here and in several other places,
the "riddles" are attributed to the wise, so clearly the idea is of things that
are revealed only to those who seek them out (Psa 49:4; 78:2; Pro
A GREAT EAGLE: The king of Babylon (v 12): Hab 1:8; Rev
12:14; Deu 28:49; Dan 7:4; Jer 4:13; 48:40; Lam 4:19. It seems strange that God
should choose to use the picture of the eagle for this nation of evil, where it
is elsewhere, apparently used mainly for powers of good. This may perhaps
indicate that the real power behind Nebuchadnezzar, in this endeavor at least,
is the Holy Spirit!
TAKING HOLD OF THE TOP OF A CEDAR: An allusion to
Solomon's "house of the forest of Lebanon" (1Ki 7:2), which became the armory of
Jerusalem. Cp also Jer 22:6,7,23; Isa 2:13; 10:34.
ITS TOPMOST SHOOT: The leading men of the land (v
CARRIED IT AWAY TO A LAND OF MERCHANTS: Jehoiachin and
princes were taken to Babylon, along with Ezekiel (2Ki 24:10-16).
Vv 5,6: Zedekiah replaces Jehoiakim, becoming a subordinate
king with leanings toward and dependence upon Babylon (2Ki 24:17).
BRANCHES... BOUGHS: Leaves, and promises, but no actual
ANOTHER GREAT EAGLE: Another nation of lesser strength
and prestige: ie Egypt of v 15.
BEAR FRUIT: "This is to my Father's glory, that you
bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).
THE KING OF BABYLON: The eagle of v 3.
THE LEADING MEN OF THE LAND: The top branches of v
THE KING REBELLED: Zedekiah (2Ki 24:20; 2Ch
BY SENDING HIS ENVOYS TO EGYPT TO GET HORSES AND A LARGE
ARMY: The ineffectual support of Egypt at final siege: Jer 37:5-8; 39:1,2,7;
A SHOOT FROM THE VERY TOP OF A CEDAR: Christ the branch
(Eze 34:29; Isa 53:1,2; 2Sa 7:12-16), of the highest nobility of the
BIRDS OF EVERY KIND WILL NEST IN IT; THEY WILL FIND SHELTER
IN THE SHADE OF ITS BRANCHES: Spoken of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar in Dan
4:12: "Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for
all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air
lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed."
Four phases: (1) bring down the tall tree: Jehoiachin's
captivity; (2) make the low tree grow tall: restoration of Zerubbabel; (3) dry
up the green tree: fall of Jerusalem (Luk 23:31); and (4) make the dry tree
flourish: the future greatness of the new branch, Christ.