Study Guide

Book of Ezekiel Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

And Now, a Bird Note Moment

  • God tells Ezekiel to repeat an allegory to the house of Israel. 
  • In the allegory, a great eagle takes the topmost shoot from the tallest cedar in Lebanon.
  • The eagle drops into a city of merchants, and then plants a seed in the land from which he took the shoot. 
  • The seed grows into a vine which stretches out towards another great eagle. The vine wants the eagle to water the seed and transplant it in good soil so that the vine becomes a noble vine. 
  • God asks if this will really happen to the vine. Won't it just get pulled up and die? Hint: yes.
  • Finally, God explains the allegory. The King of Babylon is the first eagle who exiles king Jehoiachin (the shoot from the cedar).
  • He then plants Zedekiah like the seed to rule over Judah, believing he'll stay allied with Babylon. 
  • But Zedekiah (the vine) reaches out towards Egypt, the second eagle, hoping it'll become his ally. 
  • As punishment for breaking this covenant with Babylon, Zedekiah will end up dying in exile in Babylon. 
  • The Judean troops and survivors will all be scattered throughout the land.
  • But God predicts a positive future for his people: he'll pick a shoot from the cedar (the House of David) and place it on top of the mountain of Israel, where it'll grow into a noble tree and give shelter to birds and bear fruit.
  • The other trees of the field (nations) will know that God is the lord. 
  • God says that he makes the high tree low, the low tree high, dries up the green tree, and makes the dry tree flourish. Guy's got a way with words.

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