Ezekiel 17 – “A Metaphor About Israel, Babylon, and Egypt”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
By making use of a metaphor, God proclaims that Babylon will punish Israel for surreptitiously turning to Egypt.

II. Photo
God tells a metaphor: “The great vulture with the great wings and the long pinions, with the full plumage and the brilliant colors, came to the Lebanon range and seized the top of the cedar…” (v. 3)

III. Important Verses
2: O mortal, propound a riddle and relate an allegory to the House of Israel.
12-18: Say to the rebellious breed: Do you not know what these things mean? Say: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and carried away its king and its officers and brought them back with him to Babylon. He took one of the seed royal and made a covenant with him and imposed an oath on him, and he carried away the nobles of the land —  so that it might be a humble kingdom and not exalt itself, but keep his covenant and so endure. But [that prince] rebelled against him and sent his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Shall he break a covenant and escape? As I live — declares the Lord GOD — in the very homeland of the king who made him king, whose oath he flouted and whose covenant he broke — right there, in Babylon, he shall die. Pharaoh will not fight at his side with a great army and with numerous troops in the war, when mounds are thrown up and siege towers erected to destroy many lives. He flouted a pact and broke a covenant; he gave his promise and did all these things — he shall not escape.
24: Then shall all the trees of the field know that it is I the LORD who have abased the lofty tree and exalted the lowly tree, who have dried up the green tree and made the withered tree bud. I the LORD have spoken, and I will act.

IV. Outline
1. Introduction
2. God tells Ezekiel to tell a metaphor
3-10. Metaphor: an eagle takes a piece of cedar, plants it, but destroys it when it turns to another eagle
11-12a. Introduction to the explanation
12b-21. Explanation: The Babylonians will punish Judah for turning to Egypt
22-24. God will plant a new cedar

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Allen, Leslie C. “Ezekiel 1-19” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 28 (Waco, Texas: Wordbook, 1994).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hals, Ronald M. “Ezekiel” The forms of the Old Testament Literature vol. 19 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1989)
Photo taken from http://www.schmoker.org/BirdPics/2007/RaptorsVultures/TUVU5.jpg