Ezekiel (Ch 17-18) 

Chapter 17 starts with a riddle of two eagles and a vine and some mysteries along the historical footpaths in the complexities of the house of Judah and the house of Israel. The best book to have expounded this riddle is “Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright” by J.H. Allen (1847-1930).

In summary, this riddle is a mysterious prophecy as a form of a riddle to both Judah and Israel, which shows how the planting and rebuilding of David’s throne was survive beyond the captivity.

“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; and say, Thus says the Lord God; A great eagle… came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: he cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature… and shot forth sprigs” (Ezekiel 17:1-6).

An Amazing Commission—and a Breach Healed!

The great eagle at the beginning of the riddle was the king of Babylon, who took Zedekiah captive. Verse 11 describes the destruction of Zedekiah’s Pharez lineage. The execution of his sons is the cropping off of the cedar’s young twigs. The “vine of low stature… [shooting] forth sprigs” reflects Judah’s freedom to movement while in captivity in Babylon. The second great eagle (vs. 7) refers to Jeremiah who took the princess from Babylon to Egypt, and later, beyond the seas to the British Isles.

This part of the prophecy pertained to the first eagle of Ezekiel’s riddle—the rooting up and tearing down of the existing throne in Judah. But within this same prophecy, the planting and building up is also addressed, which is the work of the second eagle performed by prophet Jeremiah.

Verses 22-23 go on to describe what was Jeremiah’s commission to re-establish David’s throne in another location. God says that He will take of the highest branch—the seed of King Zedekiah—and set it or plant it. The “tender young twig” of verse 22 could be none other than one of the king’s daughters that Jeremiah took with him to plant in the British Isles. Thus, the “high mountain and eminent” depicts the nations of Israel as God knew they were destined to become, once the birthright promise was realized.

God states that it will eventually be known that it was He who brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree (vs. 24). In light of this, notice a parallel Scripture in Isaiah: “And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward” (37:31). Jeremiah presented this young Hebrew princess—Tea Tephi—to the Zarah line ruling in the British Isles! Her marriage and children would continue the scepter and the dynasty promised David—and heal the breach.

Ezekiel 17

1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel,

and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers which had diverse colors, came unto Lebanon and took the highest branch of the cedar. a great eagle; which is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, as it is explained, Ezekiel 17:12; who is compared to an eagle for his power and authority, that being the king of birds, and for his swiftness and voracity in conquering and subduing kingdoms; see Jeremiah 48:40.

He cropped off the top of it young twigs and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. — young twigs mentioned, but tender ones.

He took also of the seed of the land and planted it in a fruitful field. He placed it by great waters and set it as a willow tree. The seed of the land — Zedekiah, brother of Jehoiachin, and all their children.

And it [the seed] grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him and the roots thereof were under him. So it became a vine, and brought forth branches and shot forth sprigs. this indicates that children were born unto them that were in captivity, but that they were to keep a low profile.

“‘There was also 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 planting. There was also another great eagle, with great wings and many feathers: — Many (John Gill, Adam Clarke, though JH Allen is indecisive or ambiguous) identify this second eagle as the Pharaoh of Egypt, but it seems more like whoever took Jeremiah and the king’s daughters to the British Isles fit this character of a great eagle with great wings. It remains a mystery but whoever took Jeremiah and the king’s daughters in its ship or ships, would be the second eagle that flew over the great seas to transplant the tender twigs there.

It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.’

Say thou, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Shall it prosper? Shall he not pull up the roots thereof and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? It shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.

10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither when the east wind toucheth it? It shall wither in the furrows where it grew.’”

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

12 “Say now to the rebellious house: ‘Know ye not what these things mean?’ Tell them: ‘Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes (but princess left out here) thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; the king of Judea, and the princes of it; Jeconiah and his nobles, who had been carried captive into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar; for Ezekiel was among these captives.

13 and hath taken of the king’s seed and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath from him. He hath also taken the mighty of the land,

14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.

15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? Shall he escape that doeth such things? Or shall he break the covenant and be delivered? But he rebelled against him…. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon, broke the covenant he entered into, and violated his oath.

16 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king; in Babylon, where Nebuchadnezzar dwelt, that made Zedekiah king of Judah; which is mentioned, to point out the ingratitude of Zedekiah toward the king of Babylon, but instead, send envoys to Egypt, asking for horses and an army to help him (verse 15).

17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, by casting up siege mounds and building forts to cut off many persons.

18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: As I live, surely Mine oath that he hath despised and My covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

20 And I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against Me.

21 And all his fugitives with all his troops shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds; and ye shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it.

22 “‘Thus saith the Lord God: I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent. I (through the second eagle) will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one (the feminine gender); and by the “top” and “young twigs” of the highest branch of the cedar, or of the chief tribe in Israel, are meant the royal house and family of David, and the chief of the tribe of Judah; and by the “tender one” is designed the tender gender, the daughters; and the Targum, is this,

“I will bring one of the kingdom of the house of David, which is like to a high cedar, and I will raise him up an infant from his children’s children.” But Jeremiah verifies these children were the King’s daughters:

Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people who were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites. Jeremiah 41:10

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 goodly cedar, and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it…. In the highest part of the land of Israel, which during that time those at “the height of Israel” could well be in the British Isles (Israel in the isles of the sea, Isaiah 24:15), led by Ephraim. (Ephraim followeth after the east wind, Hosea 12:1)

24 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.’”

Ezekiel 18

Earlier, we have established that this prophecy that Ezekiel delivered was for many years to come (Ezekiel 12:27), and the message is primarily and principally for the United States of America, and secondarily for its European allies. Here the prophecy on the house of Israel continues. . .

1 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,

“What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? saying, the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? that is, as the Targum explains it, “the fathers have sinned, and the children are smitten.”

As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

Behold, all souls are Mine. As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. the soul that sinneth, it shall die; the soul that continues in sin, without repentance towards God, shall be separated from the presence of God, and endure his wrath to all eternity.

But if a man be just and do that which is lawful and right,

and hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbor’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife; been guilty of adultery, by lying with another man’s wife; or by marrying one divorced, not having committed fornication; which divorces were common among the people, and marrying such so divorced.

and hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath despoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

he that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, hath executed true judgment between man and man; whether in office as a judge, who sits on the bench for that purpose; or as an arbitrator chosen to decide matters in controversy between one man and another, and that does everything just and right between man and man.

hath walked in My statutes and hath kept My judgments to deal truly — he is just: he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. God’s statutes and Judgments are dedicated to his servants to implement, starting with the Great Assembly, later the Sanhedrin. Today this Sanhedrin has been re-established here, inheriting and embedded with the following mandates:

Deuteronomy 16:18 “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes; and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 

19 Thou shalt not distort judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a bribe; for a bribe doth blind the eyes of the wise and pervert the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do. Thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show thee to the right hand nor to the left. 

12 And the man who will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest who standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die; and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. 

13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

And what happened in AD 70 in Jerusalem and Judea when God exercised His judgement?

(a) The Sadducees and Boethusians, following the heretic Samaritan way of observing Passover, kept it on the night of the fourteenth; they perished in the inferno;

(b) The Essenes, after they had repudiated the calendar that was sanctioned by the Sanhedrin, then went about presumptuously making one of their own. They all perished by either the flaming Sword or the consuming Fire.

I create darkness; I create evil; I, the LORD, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7).

10 “If he beget a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and who doeth the like to any one of these things,

11 and who doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains and defiled his neighbor’s wife,

12 hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath despoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

13 hath given forth upon usury and hath taken increase — shall he then live? He shall not live. He hath done all these abominations: he shall surely die. His blood shall be upon him.

14 “Now, lo, if he beget a son who seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth and doeth not the like,

15 who hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbor’s wife,

16 neither hath oppressed any, hath not withheld the pledge, neither hath despoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry and hath covered the naked with a garment;

17 who hath taken off his hand from the poor, who hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed My judgments, hath walked in My statutes — he shall not die for the iniquity of his father: he shall surely live.

18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, despoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

19 “Yet say ye, ‘Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father?’ When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all My statutes and hath done them, he shall surely live.

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; that is, as the Targum paraphrases it, “the son shall not be punished for the sins of the father, nor shall the father be punished for the sins of the son.”

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed and keep all My statutes and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live: he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him. In his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

23 “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. — But if the righteous man turn from his righteousness, and doeth wickedness, and acteth according to all the abominations which the ungodly man hath done, should he live? All the righteousness that he hath done shall not be remembered: for his unfaithfulness that he hath committed, and for his sin that he hath sinned, for these he shall die.

25 “Yet ye say, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is not My way equal? Are not your ways unequal?

26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity and dieth in it, for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. he shall save his soul alive; from famine, pestilence, the sword, or captivity; he shall be preserved, and not be involved in calamities and distress.

28 Because he considereth and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live: he shall not die. — the Nazarenes and the Hillel branch of Pharisees survived . . . (more below)

29 Yet saith the house of Israel, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby ye have transgressed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God. Therefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

But which sects managed to escape from the Romans during the AD 66 to 70 siege of Jerusalem? History recorded only two sects that escaped this inferno:

(1) The Christians, known as Nazarenes in Acts 24:5. Many died as martyrs but according to Eusebius, some received divine warning and escaped to a northern town called Pella, west of the Jordan River.

(2) Pharisees of the House of Hillel escaped to Yavne. These were headed by a rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the head of the Sanhedrin; he was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. Later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews who established the Hillel Calendar, which was revealed by Hillel II in about AD 359 concerning the rules of the Calendar.

~ by Joel Huan on September 14, 2021.

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