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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 17

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Eze 17:1-2. Riddle and parable are used for the same story. The distinction is slight, but the latter merely me.ans a comparison, while the former indicates that the story will be somewhat puzzling. The parable has to do with the affairs of God’s people in connection with the Babylonians and Egyptians. The Biblical history that corresponds with it iB in 2 Kings 24, 25. •

Verse 3

Eze 17:3. The great eagle was Babylon, Lebanon was Jerusalem and the cedar was composed of the leading men or princes of the city. Of course all of these terms were used figuratively and will be referred to by tlieir proper names before the chapter is finished. Since Babylon was represented under the figure of an eagle, in describing its greatness the use of corresponding figures would naturally be maintained. A flying creature that could soar from the region of the Euphrates and arrive so successfully at the distant point of Jerusalem, would require the kind of wings described.

Verse 4

Eze 17:4. This verse is a prediction of the captivity that was soon to be effected over the leading citizens of Jerusalem. Land of traffic was literally true of Babylon. Situated at the Euphrates and Tigris, and also not far from the gulf, she was in a position to deal with the merchants of the world.

Verse 5

Eze 17:5. When Nebuchadnezzar first made his attack upon Palestine he did not entirely destroy the capital and other cities. He took charge of the country and allowed the Jews still to have a king of their own peo- pel. He also permitted some of these chief men to occupy places of importance in Jerusalem, and the kingdom of Judah continued to reign in its own land. Fruitful field and great waters are figures of speech to indicate the favorable situation that the nation was allowed to enjoy even though the king of Babylon was over the whole realm.

Verse 6

Eze 17:6. This verse is a picture of the relative prosperity of Judah under the domination of the great eagle which represented Babylon. Vine of low stature means it prospered as a spreading vine, but was not permitted to raise its head to the equal of Babylon, Turned toward him. means that Judah had to look to Babylon as a superior.

Verse 7

Eze 17:7. The great eagle was Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who would have come to the side of Judah had he been able; this fact is also re-vealed in 2 Kings 24 : It may be seen also that Judah would have been eager to have the support of Egypt, which is the meaning of branches toward him in this verse.

Verse 8

Eze 17:8. This verse shows the prosperous state of Egypt and what that country could have done for Judah had the Lord not interfered.

Verse 9

Eze 17:9. The central idea in this verse is similar to the preceding one. In spite of the many natural resources of Pharaoh's kingdom, that monarch would not be able to save Judah from her overthrow when God decreed it to be otherwise.

Verse 10

Eze 17:10. Maintaining the figurative form of a vine for Egypt, the writer predicted that the plant would not prosper, which means it would not succeed in the plans for coming to the aid of Judah.

Verse 11

Eze 17:11-12. The king of Babylon corresponds with great eagle of verse 3; Jerusalem is to identify Lebanon of that verse, and princes was called the cedar. The events pictured are recorded in the closing chapters of 2 Kings.

Verse 13

Eze 17:13. King’s seed is indefinite and refers to the leading men in Jerusalem whom the king of Babylon pressed into service. However, among these leading men there was one (Zedekiah) who was appointed to sit as acting ruler in Jerusalem.

Verse 14

Eze 17:14. Kingdom be base denotes that the realm of Judah was to be subject to the rule of Babylon even though the acting king was suffered to remain in Jerusalem.

Verse 15

Eze 17:15. Zedekiah thought he could get help from Egypt against the king of Babylon. He sent ambassadors into Egypt according to this verse, and the same is recorded in Jer 37:7 as a bit of history included in that prophetic hook.

Verse 16

Eze 17:16. King dwelleth that made him king refers to the king of Babylon, for in 2Ki 24:17 we have the record of that appointment. This verse predicts that Zedekiah was to die in the very land of him who had given him his appointment as king.

Verse 17

Eze 17:17. It was predicted that the attempted alliance with Egypt would prove disappointing. When God decrees that his people are to receive some chastisement for their unfaithfulness, it is useless for them to think they can avoid it by calling for help from others, for numbers and other might count nothing against Him.

Verse 18

Eze 17:18. Zedekiah had made an agreement with the king of Babylon to serve him while remaining on the throne in Jerusalem. He broke that convenant by calling on Egypt for help, and such an act was against the will of God. for it was the divine wili that Babylon be given possession of Jerusalem and her people.

Verse 19

Eze 17:19. The oath that Zedekiah made with Nebuchadnezzar was the same as if it had been made with the Lord, since He had decreed that the Babylonians were to conquer.

Verse 20

Eze 17:20. Spread my net refers to the pursuit and capture of Zedekiah when he sought to escape by fleeing in the night (2Ki 25:4-7),

Verse 21

Eze 17:21. Some of Zedekiah’s men tried to escape with him, but they were captured and taken f)'om their king. This event is recorded in 2Ki 25:5.

Verse 22

Eze 17:22-24. These verses should he grouped in a bracket and given a twofold interpretation. The first is a prediciton of the return of God’s people from captivity. The second is a prediction of Christ as King and Redeemer over all earth spiritually.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 17". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-17.html. 1952.
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