Ezekiel 17

 

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   17:1

Ezek. 17:1   And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

בֶּן־אָדָם חוּד חִידָה וּמְשֹׁל מָשָׁל אֶל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   17:2

Ezek. 17:2   “Human, propose a riddle and present a parable to the house of Israel.”

וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הַנֶּשֶׁר הַגָּדֹול גְּדֹול הַכְּנָפַיִם אֶרֶךְ הָאֵבֶר מָלֵא הַנֹּוצָה אֲשֶׁר־לֹו   17:3           הָרִקְמָה בָּא אֶל־הַלְּבָנֹון וַיִּקַּח אֶת־צַמֶּרֶת הָאָרֶז׃

Ezek. 17:3   “And you shall say, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:

                      The great eagle, great of wings,

                               long of pinion, full of plumage,

                      which are the structure,

                               came to Lebanon

                       and snatched the top of a cedar.’

As we will learn later in this chapter, the eagle is the king of Babylon, and the top of a cedar is the king of Judah, Jehoiachin, who was king when Nabuchadnezzar deposed him (see v. 17:12).

אֵת רֹאשׁ יְנִיקֹותָיו קָטָף וַיְבִיאֵהוּ אֶל־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בְּעִיר רֹכְלִים שָׂמֹו׃   17:4

Ezek. 17:4   ‘He plucked off the topmost one

                               of its young shoots

                      and carried it away

                                to a trading land;

                      he set it in a city of merchants.’

וַיִּקַּח מִזֶּרַע הָאָרֶץ וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ בִּשְׂדֵה־זָרַע קָח עַל־מַיִם רַבִּים צַפְצָפָה שָׂמֹו׃   17:5

Ezek. 17:5   ‘He also took from the seed of the land

                                and set it in a fruitful field,

                      placed by abundant water;

                                he made it a willow.’

וַיִּצְמַח וַיְהִי לְגֶפֶן סֹרַחַת שִׁפְלַת קֹומָה לִפְנֹות דָּלִיֹּותָיו אֵלָיו וְשָׁרָשָׁיו תַּחְתָּיו יִהְיוּ וַתְּהִי לְגֶפֶן   17:6           וַתַּעַשׂ בַּדִּים וַתְּשַׁלַּח פֹּארֹות׃

Ezek. 17:6   ‘And it grew and became

                                as a luxurious vine,

                       low of stature,

                                turning its branches to him,

                      while its roots would be under it;

                                so it became for a vine

                      and made shoots

                                and shot forth branches.’

This is Zedekiah, who was set on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar (see v. 17:13).

וַיְהִי נֶשֶׁר־אֶחָד גָּדֹול גְּדֹול כְּנָפַיִם וְרַב־נֹוצָה וְהִנֵּה הַגֶּפֶן הַזֹּאת כָּפְנָה שָׁרֳשֶׁיהָ עָלָיו וְדָלִיֹּותָיו   17:7             שִׁלְחָה־לֹּו לְהַשְׁקֹות אֹותָהּ מֵעֲרֻגֹות מַטָּעָהּ׃

Ezek. 17:7   ‘There was also another great eagle,

                               great of wings and abundant of plumage,

                       and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him

                               and its branches sent off toward him,

                      watering it from the planting beds.’

The second eagle is Egypt, to whom Zedekiah went for help, betraying Nabuchadnezzar (see vss. 17:14 and 15).

אֶל־שָׂדֶה טֹּוב אֶל־מַיִם רַבִּים הִיא שְׁתוּלָה לַעֲשֹׂות עָנָף וְלָשֵׂאת פֶּרִי לִהְיֹות לְגֶפֶן אַדָּרֶת׃   17:8

Ezek. 17:8   ‘It was planted in a rich field

                               by abundant water,

                       to make branch and to bear fruit,

                                to be for a vine of splendor.’”

אֱמֹר כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה תִּצְלָח הֲלֹוא אֶת־שָׁרָשֶׁיהָ יְנַתֵּק וְאֶת־פִּרְיָהּ יְקֹוסֵס וְיָבֵשׁ כָּל־טַרְפֵּי   17:9         צִמְחָהּ תִּיבָשׁ וְלֹא־בִזְרֹעַ גְּדֹולָה וּבְעַם־רָב לְמַשְׂאֹות אֹותָהּ מִשָּׁרָשֶׁיהָ׃

Ezek. 17:9   “Say, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:

                                Can it prosper?

                       Shall he not pull up its roots

                                and strip off its fruit,

                       and make all the leaves

                                of its growth dry?

                        It shall wither, but not by a great arm

                                or by a numerous people

                       pulling it up from its roots.’

וְהִנֵּה שְׁתוּלָה הֲתִצְלָח הֲלֹוא כְגַעַת בָּהּ רוּחַ הַקָּדִים תִּיבַשׁ יָבֹשׁ עַל־עֲרֻגֹת צִמְחָהּ תִּיבָשׁ׃   17:10

Ezek. 17:10   ‘So behold, having been planted,

                                 can it prosper?

                         After the wind of the east

                                  touching on it,

                          shall it not utterly wither?

                                  It shall wither on its bed of growth.’”

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   17:11

Ezek. 17:11   Then the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

אֱמָר־נָא לְבֵית הַמֶּרִי הֲלֹא יְדַעְתֶּם מָה־אֵלֶּה אֱמֹר הִנֵּה־בָא מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיִּקַּח אֶת־מַלְכָּהּ   17:12 וְאֶת־שָׂרֶיהָ וַיָּבֵא אֹותָם אֵלָיו בָּבֶלָה׃

Ezek. 17:12   “Now say to the house of rebellion, ‘Do you not know what these things are?’”  “Say, ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took her king and his princes and brought them to him to Babylon.’

וַיִּקַּח מִזֶּרַע הַמְּלוּכָה וַיִּכְרֹת אִתֹּו בְּרִית וַיָּבֵא אֹתֹו בְּאָלָה וְאֶת־אֵילֵי הָאָרֶץ לָקָח׃   17:13

Ezek. 17:13   ‘Then he took from the seed of royalty and he made a covenant with him and entered him in an oath, and he took away the strong of the land,

לִהְיֹות מַמְלָכָה שְׁפָלָה לְבִלְתִּי הִתְנַשֵּׂא לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־בְּרִיתֹו לְעָמְדָהּ׃   17:14

Ezek. 17:14   for it to be a lowly kingdom so as not to lift itself up, lifting up to stand, to keep his covenant.’

וַיִּמְרָד־בֹּו לִשְׁלֹחַ מַלְאָכָיו מִצְרַיִם לָתֶת־לֹו סוּסִים וְעַם־רָב הֲיִצְלָח הֲיִמָּלֵט הָעֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה וְהֵפֵר   17:15

 בְּרִית וְנִמְלָט׃

Ezek. 17:15   ‘But he rebelled against him, sending his messengers to Egypt to give horses and many people to him.  Can he prosper?  Can the doer of these things escape, or break a covenant, yet escape?’

חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אִם־לֹא בִּמְקֹום הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמַּמְלִיךְ אֹתֹו אֲשֶׁר בָּזָה אֶת־אָלָתֹו וַאֲשֶׁר הֵפֵר   17:16

 אֶת־בְּרִיתֹו אִתֹּו בְתֹוךְ־בָּבֶל יָמוּת׃

Ezek. 17:16   ‘As I live, declares the Master, the Lord, surely,  in the place of the king who made him king who despised his oath and who broke his covenant with him, in the midst of Babylon, he shall die.’

וְלֹא בְחַיִל גָּדֹול וּבְקָהָל רָב יַעֲשֶׂה אֹותֹו פַרְעֹה בַּמִּלְחָמָה בִּשְׁפֹּךְ סֹלְלָה וּבִבְנֹות דָּיֵק לְהַכְרִית   17:17 נְפָשֹׁות רַבֹּות׃

Ezek. 17:17   ‘Even with a great army and with a large company, Pharoah would not have affected him in the war, by pouring out a mound and by building a bulwark to cut off many souls.

וּבָזָה אָלָה לְהָפֵר בְּרִית וְהִנֵּה נָתַן יָדֹו וְכָל־אֵלֶּה עָשָׂה לֹא יִמָּלֵט׃   17:18

Ezek. 17:18   ‘When he despised an oath, breaking the covenant -- and lo, he had given his hand and had done all these things -- he shall not escape.’

לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה חַי־אָנִי אִם־לֹא אָלָתִי אֲשֶׁר בָּזָה וּבְרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר הֵפִיר וּנְתַתִּיו בְּרֹאשֹׁו׃   17:19

Ezek. 17:19   ‘Therefore thus says the Master, the Lord:  As I live, if I do not put it -- My oath that he despised and My covenant that he broke -- even on his own head.’

וּפָרַשְׂתִּי עָלָיו רִשְׁתִּי וְנִתְפַּשׂ בִּמְצוּדָתִי וַהֲבִיאֹותִיהוּ בָבֶלָה וְנִשְׁפַּטְתִּי אִתֹּו שָׁם מַעֲלֹו אֲשֶׁר   17:20           מָעַל־בִּי׃

Ezek. 17:20   ‘And I will spread My net over him and he shall be caught in My trap, and I will bring him to Babylon, and I will judge with him there, his treachery that he committed against Me.’

וְאֵת כָּל־(מִבְרָחֹו) [מִבְרָחָיו] בְּכָל־אֲגַפָּיו בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִים לְכָל־רוּחַ יִפָּרֵשׂוּ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי    17:21    אֲנִי יְהוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי׃

Ezek. 17:21   ‘And all his refugees with all his hordes!  By the sword they shall fall, and those remaining shall be scattered to every wind, that you may know that I, the Lord, speak it.’

The word in the parentheses, translated as refugees, should be plural, but it is spelled as singular.  The correction, the insertion of a yad, is in the brackets.

כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וְלָקַחְתִּי אָנִי מִצַּמֶּרֶת הָאֶרֶז הָרָמָה וְנָתָתִּי מֵרֹאשׁ יֹנְקֹותָיו רַךְ אֶקְטֹף   17:22              וְשָׁתַלְתִּי אָנִי עַל הַר־גָּבֹהַ וְתָלוּל׃

Ezek. 17:22   ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  Then I will take -- I -- from the top of a lofty cedar and I will set; from the topmost of its tender shoots I shall pluck off a tender one, and I will plant -- I -- on a mountain high and exalted.’

בְּהַר מְרֹום יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶשְׁתֳּלֶנּוּ וְנָשָׂא עָנָף וְעָשָׂה פֶרִי וְהָיָה לְאֶרֶז אַדִּיר וְשָׁכְנוּ תַחְתָּיו כֹּל צִפֹּור   17:23       כָּל־כָּנָף בְּצֵל דָּלִיֹּותָיו תִּשְׁכֹּנָּה׃

Ezek. 17:23   ‘On a mountain of the height of Israel I shall plant it, and a branch will lift up and produce fruit, and become for a majestic cedar, and every bird of every wing shall dwell under it; they shall dwell in the shade of its branches.’

וְיָדְעוּ כָּל־עֲצֵי הַשָּׂדֶה כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה הִשְׁפַּלְתִּי עֵץ גָּבֹהַ הִגְבַּהְתִּי עֵץ שָׁפָל הֹובַשְׁתִּי עֵץ לָח   17:24            וְהִפְרַחְתִּי עֵץ יָבֵשׁ אֲנִי יְהוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי וְעָשִׂיתִי׃

Ezek. 17:24   ‘And all the trees of the land shall know that I, the Lord, bring low the lofty tree, exalt the lowly tree, dry up the fresh tree, and make the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, speak and do.’”

This chapter comprises either one or two visions or dreams, depending on how much time transpired between v. 17:10 and v. 17:11.  Notice again that Ezekiel has uttered no words to Jerusalem or anyone else.  As before, this chapter contains only the Lord’s dictation to Ezekiel.  As a result, I interpret this chapter as also not having been acted out by Ezekiel, and thus would most likely be a vision.

 

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