17:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great a eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had various colours, came to Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:
17:4 He cropped off the top of its young twigs, and carried it into a land of b trade; he set it in a city of merchants.
(a) That is, Nebuchadnezzar who had great power, riches and many countries under him, will come to Jerusalem and take away Jeconiah the king, as in (Ezekiel 17:12).
(b) Meaning to Babylon.
17:5 He took also of the c seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed [it] by great waters, [and] set it [as] a willow tree.
17:6 And it grew, and became d a spreading vine of e low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
(c) That is, Zedekiah who was of the king’s blood and was left at Jerusalem and made king instead of Jeconiah, (2 Kings 24:17; Jeremiah 37:1).
(d) This was Zedekiah’s kingdom.
17:7 There was also f another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.
(e) That is, might not have power to rebel against Babylon, as in (Ezekiel 17:14).
(f) Meaning, the king of Egypt from whom Zedekiah sought comfort against Nebuchadnezzar.
17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great g waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a well favoured vine.
(g) They thought to be moistened by the waters of the Nile.
17:9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall h he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by its roots.
(h) Shall not Nebuchadnezzar destroy it?
17:10 Yea, behold, [being] planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, i when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.
(i) By this dry wind he means the Babylonians.
17:12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these [things mean]? tell [them], Behold, the king of Babylon hath come to Jerusalem, and hath taken k its king, and its princes, and led them with him to Babylon;
17:13 And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken l an oath from him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:
(k) That is, Jeconiah, (2 Kings 24:15).
(l) For his subjection and obedience.
17:18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given m his hand, and hath done all these [things], he shall not escape.
(m) Because he took the name of God in vain, and broke his oath which he had confirmed by giving his hand: therefore the prophet declares that God would not permit such perjury and infidelity to escape punishment.
17:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch n of the high cedar, and will set [it]; I will crop off from the o top of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant [it] upon an high mountain and eminent:
(n) This promise is made to the Church which will be as a small remnant, and as the top of a tree.
17:23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a well favoured cedar: and under it shall dwell all p fowl of every wing; in the shadow of its branches shall they dwell.
(o) I will trim it, and dress it.
(p) Both the Jews and Gentiles will be gathered into it.
17:24 And all the q 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].
(q) All the world will know that I have plucked down the proud enemies, and set up my Church which was low and contemned.