In 588 BC Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar who, nine years previously, had installed him as puppet-king of Judah, at the time when Jehoiachin had been taken captive to Babylon. His rebellion encouraged false hopes among the exiles of speedy end to their captivity, but Ezekiel silenced these with this parable about the eagle, the cedar and the vine. The first eagle (verse 3) was Nebuchadnezzar, removing the Davidic King Jehoiachin (the cedar twig, verse 4). Those who remained in Jerusalem under Zedekiah (the vine, verse 6) flourished for a time, but then turned towards the king of Egypt (the second eagle, verse 7), whose influence caused them to wither away.
- What sin is the prophet specifically rebuking here?
With verses 13-16, cf. 2 Chr. 36:13; and with verses 7 and 15, cf. Jer. 37:5-8.
- How do verses 22-24 show that neither the ambitious designs nor the perfidies of men can frustrate the purposes of God?
Notice the emphatic and repeated ‘I’. Cf. Prov. 19:21; Is. 46:8-13.