There’s a Judgment Day Coming on Judah Ezekiel 4-24, cont’d.
Ezekiel 12-24 Reasons & Certainty of Judgment through Object Lessons, Messages, a Proverb, and Parables, cont’d.
Ezekiel 17:1-24-The Parable of Two Eagles
Ezekiel 17:1-12-The Parable of Two Eagles Proclaimed
God gives Ezekiel a parable that contains a riddle about two eagles. It demonstrates how Babylon will conquer Israel. Israel will seek help from Egypt, but Babylon will overcome them.
17:2 A riddle contained an obscure idea requiring interpretation; a parable was an illustration by comparison.
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Ezekiel 17:2, p. 1248
Designedly veiled, it is meant to rouse us to remove the veil, and thus with the process of reflection so much the deeper an impression is made.
Logos Bible Software, A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Ezekiel (p. 175). Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Schröder, W. J., Fairbairn, P., Findlay, W., Crerar, T., & Manson, S. (2008).
Ezekiel 17:13-24-The Parable of Two Eagles Explained
While the riddle may seem difficult…it is really simple. The two eagles represent Babylon and Egypt. The vine is Judah. Babylon had conquered Judah and left only a few of its citizens there, deporting the rest. These citizens that were left were given specific directives for government, society, etc. by Babylon. In a sense, they were planted like a seed…the seed that became the vine. Babylon owned the vine. However, after some time, Egypt began to provide the vine with material goods (water-:7) and to promise more if Israel would ally with it against Babylon. Slowly, the vine began to send out roots to Egypt…began to make alliances with it. However, Babylon heard of this rebellion and struck a blow against Israel (:10-this will be the decisive destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.).
17:11-21 An explanation of the features of the parable. (1) The king of Babylon took King Jehoiachin from Judah to Babylon in 597 (v. 12; cf. w. 3-4; 2 Kings 24:8-16; 25:27-30). (2) Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah a puppet king in Judah (v. 13; cf. w. 5-6; 2 Kings 24:17). (3) Egypt attracted Zedekiah (v. 7). (4) Zedekiah broke his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar and thus with God (w. 15-19). (5) Zedekiah would die in Babylon and his troops would be defeated (w. 20-21).
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Ezekiel 17:11-21, p. 1248
For a more detailed explanation of this Parable see:
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Ezekiel 17,
Ezekiel 18:1-32-The Proverb of the Sour Grapes Corrected
There was a proverb (a saying that represented something that was commonly accepted as true) being spread in Jerusalem that said that the children were suffering because of their parent’s sins (:2). While there are consequences of sin (on a physical, worldly level) that affect people other than the one who committed it (cf. Exodus 20:5-6; Matthew 23:35-36), each person is responsible before God only for his own sin (on a spiritual level). When a man turns from his sin...he will be forgiven. But, if a righteous man turns and practices sin...he will be judged. God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (:23,32). However, He will not overlook the sin of anyone…whether he is wicked, or righteous. The people say that God's way is not right. But God says that they are the ones who have it wrong.
Several practices of sin are identified…
- “eat at the mountain shrines” speaks of participating in sacrificial meals made to idols (:6)
- “lift up his eyes to the idols” speaks of the worship of false gods (:6)
- “defile his neighbor’s wife” speaks of committing adultery (:6)
- “approach a woman during her menstrual period” speaks of having sex with a woman during a time when she is ceremonially unclean (:6)
- “does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge” speaks of using a difficult financial situation against someone in order to benefit yourself (:7)
- “does not commit robbery, but gives bread to the hungry” speaks of being unwilling to help those in need (:7)
- “does not lend money on interest” means to take advantage of someone’s financial difficulty by charging them interest on money they have loaned them…Jews were not allowed to charge interest to other Jews (:8)
- “take increase” meant to require more money back than was loaned (:8)
- “keeps his hand from iniquity” means to not be involved with others in sinful behavior (:8)
- “executes true justice” means that he does not bend the law in his favor (:8)
Ezekiel 19:1-14-A Lamentation for the Princes of Israel
Judah is portrayed as a lioness, the mother of kings. She was once a mighty nation. But now, her kings have been conquered. The kings are:
- Jehoahaz (19:3-4)-taken prisoner by Pharaoh Neco to Egypt in 609 (cf. 2 Kings 23:33-34)
- Jehoiachin (19:5-9)-taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in 597 (cf. 2 Kings 24:15)
- the rebellion of Zedekiah (cf. 2 Kings 24:20; Jer. 52:3)...and the reprisal of Nebuchadnezzar in 586
Prayer: Lord, don’t let me depend on anyone else, but You. Help me to trust in You, and You alone. Give me the faith that I need to not look to other sources for help when I am going through difficult times. Don’t let me be deceived into believing that You have sent them…if You have not. Please give me wisdom and discernment, Lord.