by Christmas Evans

The Cedar of God
Christmas Evans
Ezekiel 17:22-24

You perceive that our text abounds in the beautiful language of allegory. In the context is portrayed the captivity of the children of Israel, and especially the carrying away of the royal family, by the king of Babylon. Here God promises to restore them to their own land, in greater prosperity than ever; and to raise up Messiah, the Branch, out of the house of David, to be their king. All this is presented in a glowing figurative style, dressed out in all the wealth of poetic imagery, so peculiar to the Orientals. Nebuchadnezzar, the great eagle - the long-winged, full-feathered, embroidered eagle - is represented as coming to Lebanon, and taking the highest branch of the tallest cedar, bearing it off as the crow bears the acorn in its beak, and planting it in the land of traffic. The Lord God, in his turn, takes the highest branch of the same cedar, and plants it on the high mountain of Israel, where it flourishes and bears fruit, and the fowls of the air dwell under the shadow of its branches.

We will make a few general remarks on the character of the promise, and then pass to a more particular consideration of its import.

I. This is an evangelical promise. It relates to the coming and kingdom of Messiah. Not one of the kings of Judah since the captivity, as Boothroyd well observes, answers to the description here given. Not one of them was a cedar whose branches could afford shadow and shelter for all the fowls of heaven. But the prophecy receives its fulfilment in Christ, the desire of all nations, to whom the ends of the earth shall come for salvation.

This prophecy bears a striking resemblance in several particulars, to the parable of the mustard-seed, delivered by our Lord. The mustard-seed, said Jesus, "is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." So the delicate twig ...

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