G O1 P1 1-4. Great Eagle. "Topmost branch". Q1 5,6. Planting of seed. R11 7,8. Another Eagle. [Egypt.] S1 9,10. "Shall it prosper?" O2 P2 11,12. King of Babylon. Q2 13,14. Planting of seed. [Kings.] R2 15-. Another kingdom. [Egypt.] S2 -15-21. "Shall he prosper?" O3 P3 22-. Adonai Yahaveh. Q3 -22,23-. Planting of Messiah. R33 -23. His increase. S3 24. "It shall prosper."
1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Son of man, put forth an enigma (a difficult or perplexing problem put forth for solution. Distinct from "parable"), and speak a parable (= the comparing of one thing to another. Not the same as enigma)to the house of Israel;
3 And say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD; 'A great eagle (the king of Babylon) with great wings, long-pinioned, full of plumage, which had divers colors, came to Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: (Jehoiachin [i.e. Jeconiah, or Coniah]. See v.12; Jer. 22:23,24)
4 He cropped off the topmost of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of Babylon; he set it in a city of merchants.
5 He took also of the seed of the land (Zedekiah. See v.6,13. Nebuchadnezzar did not set up a Chaldean king over Judah, but nourished Zedekiah, as vv.5,6 show), and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.
6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him (Zedekiah being dependent upon Nebuchadnezzar), and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
7 There was also another great eagle (Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt) with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him (i.e. looked for succor to Egypt), and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.
8 It was planted in a good field by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.' '
9 Say you, 'Thus says the Lord GOD; 'Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her sprouting, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. (This is Yehovah's sentence on the perfidy of Zedekiah in breaking his oath to Nebuchadnezzar. Cp. v.13)
10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it (i.e. the vine) not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.' ' "
11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
12 "Say now to the rebellious house (see 2:5), 'Know you not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and has taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
13 And has taken of the king's seed (cp. 2 Kings 24;17), and made a covenant with him, and has taken an oath of him (see 16:59. 2 Chron. 36:13): he has also taken the mighty of the land:
14 That the kingdom might be low, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt (see 2 Kings 24:20. 2 Chron. 36:13), that they might give him horses and much people.
S2 c -15,16. Zedekiah's oath broken. "Yet death in Babylon." d 17. No escape through the king of Egypt. d 18. No escape from the king of Babylon. c 19-21. Yehovah's oath sure. Death in Babylon.
Shall he prosper? shall he escape that does such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
16 As I live, says the Lord GOD, 'surely in the place where the king dwells that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. (Cp. 12:13.)
17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great gathered force help him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many souls:
18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand (put for making a covenant [2 Kings 10:15. Ezra 18:10. Jer. 50:15), and has done all these things, he shall not escape.
19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; As I live, surely My oath that he has despised, and My covenant that he has broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.
20 And I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare (cp. 12:13; 32:3), and I will bring him to Babylon, and will reckon with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against Me. (See 15:8)
21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword (cp. 12:14), and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and you shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.'
22 Thus says the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar (set forth the restoration of the kingdom in Messiah. Cp. Jer. 23:5,6; 33:15. Zech. 3:8; 6:12. Isa. 4:2), and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: (cp. Isa. 11:1; 53:1,2. Messiah Himself, Whose future kingdom is to be "in the mountain of the height of Israel", and not any other country; or, during the present Dispensation)
23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it (Cp. Isa. 2:2,3; 54:1-17; 62:1-7): and it shall exalt its branch, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar:
and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.
24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.' " (He will prosper His work. This is in contrast with vv.9,10, and vv.-15-21, which would not prosper.)