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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 17

Verses 1-24

  1. Intro:
    1. Pray for Pham’s & Albert at end of service: Heading back to the field.
    2. God uses allegories to raise interest & capture attention.
      1. Jesus used parables for the same purpose.
    3. A Riddle turned Parable, turned Allegory:
      1. A riddle is an obscure saying that requires interpretation.
      2. A parable usually has one point of comparison.
      3. An allegory is an extended metaphor with several points of comparison.
    4. Purpose of this Riddle turned Parable, turned Allegory:
      1. [1] To show the sure promises of God may only be realized in the promises of God, in this case, in the restoration of the House of Israel
      2. [2] To show Gods sovereignty over nations & men.
      3. [3] It reveals rebellion, of one seeking an alliance with a strong neighbor instead of trusting God.
  2. 2 Eagles, 1 Vine, & a Tender Twig! (1-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​GREAT EAGLE #1 – NEBUCHADNEZZAR! (1-4)
    2. Picture: We’ve all see picture of a mighty eagle swooping down on its prey. (Alaska)
    3. A Great Eagle (Neb.) plucks off the topmost twig (King Jehoiachin 597bc) of a tall cedar tree (from Lebanon, now represents Timbers in the Temple) & replants it in fertile soil (Babylon).
      1. Left some of the seed behind (i.e. King Zedekiah as a vassal king – vs.5,6)
    4. SPREADING VINE OF LOW STATURE! – ZEDEKIAH! (5,6)
    5. Picture: A vine that has no trellis to grow on can only grow along the ground.
    6. King Zedekiah is represented as a spreading vine of low stature.
      1. (i.e.) He isn’t a tall tree, but has been humbled to only growing along the ground.
    7. GREAT EAGLE #2 – PHARAOH! (7-10)
    8. Soon, this “vine of low stature” gives his allegiance to another eagle. (9 years)
      1. I.e. she bent her roots to be watered by her (Egypt).
      2. None other than Pharaoh Hophra [588-569bc] (Jer.44:30)
    9. It’s a strong eagle, but not as strong as the 1st.
      1. Egypt is past the zenith of her power. Decay was apparent.
      2. Judah could not overthrow the yoke of Babylon by seeking this alliance with Egypt.
    10. Judah will be plucked up by its roots, & won’t survive the East wind (Babylon).
    11. YOUNG TWIG, TENDER ONE,…MAJESTIC CEDAR! – JESUS! (22-24)
    12. This is the One who is a Divine choice; whose kingdom is yet future; who is to be a descendant of the king of Judah, & greater than the greatest of all previous kings.
    13. This majestic cedar represents the Davidic dynasty.
      1. One day God will take a lowly young twig from David’s line (Jesus Christ) & will establish His glorious kingdom.
      2. It becomes the ultimate & universal tree!
      3. This is the glorious future of Israel!
    14. Under its branches birds of every sort – representing all the nations’ benefiting from Messiah’s reign!
    15. The high tree (Babylon) will be humbled; & the low tree (the nation of Israel) will be exalted under Messiah’s rule.
    16. Trust: To lean your whole weight upon” [John Paton, missionary to the Islands off Scotland, the New Hebrides(hebra Deez)]
    17. We tend to not trust when we don’t understand what God is doing!
      1. Samuel Rutherford said, “Duties are ours, events are God’s; When our faith goes to meddle with events, and to hold account upon God’s Providence, and beginneth to say, ‘How wilt Thou do this or that?’ we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left for us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we roll the weight of our weak souls upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall be neither our sin nor our cross.” (Samuel Rutherford, in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham, 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, p. 106)
      2. Q: Who are you in an unhealthy alliance with?
        1. Unhealthy alliance with friends (be-friend or best friend)
          1. ​​​​​​​Evil company corrupts good habits. 1 Cor.15:33
        2. Unhealthy alliance with opposite sex.
          1. [Alliance = a close relationship, based on the possession of similar aims or characteristics, between two or more people or things, especially a love affair]
      3. 2 Cor.6:14-18, from a modern translation, Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God. (Message)
      4. Q: Where are you not trusting God but have placed your trust in something other?
    18. Do we trust God? - Once in the south a man stopped at a watermelon stand, picked out a watermelon, and asked how much it cost. “It’s $1.10,” he replied. He dug into his pocket, found only a bill and said, “All I have is a dollar.” “That’s OK,” the proprietor said, “I’ll trust you for it.” “Well, that’s mighty nice of you,” he responded, and picking up the watermelon, started to leave. “Hey, where are you going?” the man behind the counter demanded. “I’m going outside to eat my watermelon.” “But you forgot to give me the dollar!” “You said you would trust me for it,” he called back. “Yeah, but I meant I would trust you for the dime!” He replied, “You weren’t going to trust me at all. You were just going to take a 10-cent gamble on my integrity!”
      1. ​​​​​​​Q: Have we placed our trust in God? (Trust = To lean your whole weight upon) Or, are we taking a 10-cent gamble on His integrity?
    19. Analogy of a Healthy Alliance!
      1. ​​​​​​​Do you know the name of the fish that swim on the side of a shark? Pilot Fish
      2. It was thought originally that they actually navigated the shark (toward food) or the ships (toward shore). {i.e. the name “piloting”}
        1. If small enough will even swim in the sharks mouth to clean teeth.
      3. Their relationship then was mutualistic (each benefit from the other)
        1. The pilot gets protection – the shark gets freedom from parasites.
      4. Maybe a good picture of us shadowing God & what He’s doing!
        1. ​​​​​​​And not swimming away every time we don’t understand where He’s swimming, or what He’s swimming us into!
        2. Now we know,…Pilots don’t really pilot! – They come along for the free ride, free protection, & free food…but the shark never minds, in fact, they seem to love the company!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezekiel 17". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/ezekiel-17.html. 2017.