by Clarence E. Macartney

This content is part of a series.

The Parable of the Two Eagles and the Vine (8 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
Ezekiel 17

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.

What a magnificent epitome of human history! The prophet Ezekiel had been taken down into Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, carried away into captivity the last king of Judah, Jehoiachin. The prophecy with which we have to do in this chapter was uttered during the seven years between that event and the final destruction of Jerusalem, and the crushing of Zedekiah's rash and perfidious rebellion. To his captive countrymen living on the banks of the Chebar, the harp of their national life hanging voiceless on the willows of captivity, Ezekiel is sent to speak the parable of the Two Eagles and the Vine. ''Speak a parable to the House of Israel and say, 'Thus saith the Lord.'''

A great eagle, with great wings, and full of feathers, which had diverse colors, came to Lebanon and cropped off the highest branch of the cedar and carried it into a land of traffic and set it in a city of merchants. He took also of the seed of the land and planted it in a fruitful field and placed it by great waters. And it grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him. But there was another great eagle, with great wings and many feathers, and behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him. For that reason, its bending away from the first great eagle and toward the second, the vine is to be pulled up by the roots, its fruit cut off, and its leaves withered as by the scorching breath of the east wind.

The parable as Ezekiel delivered it was part history and part prophecy. His contemporaries would have no difficulty in understanding him and all his metaphors. Nor to any one f ...

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