Atlanta Bible Students
The Book of Ezekiel

Chapter 17
Go To Verse 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
This chapter may be broken down into the following segments:
Verses 1-2 – God's instruction to the "Son of Man."
Verses 3-10 – The Riddle
Verses   3-6 – Section I – The First Great Eagle
Verses  7-10 – Section II – Another Great Eagle
Verses 22-24 – Section IV – God's Wrap-up of the Riddle
Verses 11-21 – Section III – The Parable (type – nominal fleshly Israel, and antitype – nominal spiritual Israel)

[1] And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; [3] And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] And it 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.

Verses 1-2  Expanded Bible Comments

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
QuestionAnswer
In verse 1, who is "me?" Ezekiel, picturing Pastor Russell. – see Son of Man
How is he addressed? As "Son of man."
What is he to put forth? A riddle.
In what manner is he to speak to "the house of Israel?" In a parable. – R1000; R1498
What does this suggest as to the origin of the message? Matt. 13:34-35; Psa. 78:2 – This is the normal way the Lord gives His messages. They are not designed for the casual hearer/reader. In order to understand them one needs to be guided by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Pet. 1:20-21

A break-down of vss. 3-6

– Note – The wings of this eagle has various colors.

The great eagle with great wings does the following:
 1) Came to Lebanon
 2) Took the highest branch of the cedar
 3) Cropped off the top of his young twigs
a) carried it to a land of traffic
b) set it in a city of merchants
 4) Took the seed of the land
a) planted that tree in a fruitful field
b) put it by great waters
c) set it as a willow tree

This resulted in:
1) The tree became a spreading vine – of low stature
– its branches turned toward the great eagle
– the roots of this vine were under the great eagle
– It BECAME a vine
– It brought forth branches
– It shot forth sprigs.
The Riddle

Section I – Verses 3-6 Section II – Verses 7-10 Section IV – Verses 22-24
The Wisdom [eagle] of God's Plan during the Gospel Age
The Wisdom [eagle] of Satan's Counterfeit Plan during the Gospel Age
What God does during the Millennial Age
[3] And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] And it 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. [7] 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 plantation. [8] 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. [9] 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. [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 an high mountain and eminent: [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. [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.

Section I – Verses 3-6 Section II – Verses 7-10 Section IV – Verses 22-24
Great Eagle with great wings full of feathers Great Eagle with great wings many feathers The Lord God (Attribute of Wisdom pictured by Eagle)
Takes highest branch of the cedar. Takes this (already existing) vine. – vs. 6 Takes highest branch of the high cedar.
Cropped off top of young twigs. Will crop off from the top of his young twigs.
Carried to a land of traffic.
Set it in a city of merchants.
Mingled it with the seed of the land.
Planted in a fruitful field, by great waters. Planted in good soil, by great waters. Will plant upon an high mountain.
Set it to be as an eminent tree. Planted in an eminent mountain, the mountain of the height of Israel.
The Lord brings down the high (eminent, willow) tree.
It became a vine of low stature. It might be a goodly vine. It shall be a goodly cedar.
It brought forth branches and shot forth sprigs. It might bring forth branches. It might bear fruit. It shall bring forth boughs (strong branches.) It shall bear fruit.
Branches turned toward him. Her branches were toward him. All fowl of every wing shall dwell in the shadow of the branches.
The roots were under him. Her roots were toward him. (From vs. 9) The vine is plucked up by the roots.



We make the following suggestion: Verses 3-6 and 7-10 constitute the "Riddle" of verse 2, while verses 11-21 constitute the "Parable." The parable really indicating type and anti-type and applies to both the nominal Jewish house and to the nominal Christian house.

Comparing the Two Eagles
First Eagle
Second Eagle
Verses 3-4: And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: [4] 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. Verse 7: There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him...
A great eagle. Far-sighted, Wisdom. A great eagle. Far-sighted, Wisdom.
Great wings. Very strong, able to lift to fly high. Able to protect those under his wings. – It is suggested that this first eagle pictures the Wisdom [eagle] of God's Plan during the Gospel Age. Great wings. Very strong, able to lift to fly high. Able to protect those under his wings. – It is suggested that this second eagle pictures The Wisdom [eagle] of Satan's Counterfeit Plan during the Gospel Age. – Isa. 14:12-14. Satan tries to be like God, so he creates a counterfeit plan. But that plan falls short in every way.
Longwinged. Suggests the stronger of the two, able to fly higher and farther, and to provide greater protection.
Full of feathers. – Full
Strong's H4392
מָלֵא
mâlê'
maw-lay'
From H4390; full (literally or figuratively) or filling (literally); also (concretely) fulness; adverbially fully: - X she that was with child, fill (-ed, -ed with), full (-ly), multitude, as is worth.
1st eagle is complete (lacking nothing) with feathers. Psa. 91:4; Matt. 23:37
Many feathers. – Many
Strong's H7227
רַב
rab
rab
By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality): - (in) abound (-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great (-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, [time]), (do, have) many (-ifold, things, a time), ([ship-]) master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply (-tude), officer, often [-times], plenteous, populous, prince, process [of time], suffice (-ient).
2nd eagle has many feathers, but not complete as is the 1st eagle.
"Full" vs. "Many"
This is a similar concept to the difference between Bible Students and "Jehovah's Witness" concerning the Ransom. Bible Students understand that Jesus gave his life as "a ransom for all." JW's say he gave his life as "a ransom for all sorts of people." All means 100%. All sorts could mean 85%, 20%, 1% or even less, so long as you get at least 1 of every "sort."

In this analogy "all" corresponds to "full" and "many" corresponds to "all sorts."
Has diverse (various) colors. God makes use of colors to instruct us. Blue – faithfulness; Red – ransom, blood; Green – Earthly life, restitution; Gold – things divine (divine nature, promises); Silver – great company; truth; etc. God's Truth (plan) is full of color. No colors. Satan's counterfeit is shallow, has no color.
The suggestion has been made that the two eagles may picture the Old and New Testaments – Rev. 12:14. While it is clear that this Revelation picture does refer to the Old and New Testaments, yet in that picture there is only one "great eagle," not two. If we applied the thought that the two eagles picture the Old and New testaments, it would seem logical that the First great eagle would then picture the Old and the Second the New. Based on what we have covered so far, the more complete of these two great eagles is the First. That would then suggest that the Old Testament is the more complete, and the new is of less importance.
For this reason we are inclined to, at least for now, reject this line of reasoning.
Comes to Lebanon (picturing Israel, in this case, those who were chosen to become Spiritual Israel.)
Took the highest branch of the cedar. – Jesus being the "branch."
He cropped off the top of his young twigs [sprouts]. – The top (the best) of is young twigs (the early church.) The followers of Jesus during His first advent. "To take out .. a people for his name." Acts 15:14. This vine – already existing vine (see Verse 6.) This "spreading vine of low stature" (nominal spiritual Israel – which contained the true wheat) was the antitype of natural Israel, who was described by God as being His vineyard. Isa. 5.
Carried it into a land of traffic. – The apostles not only were the shining lamps for the early church, but some (especially Paul) spread the Gospel to various parts of the world (a land of traffic.)

Traffic
Strong's H3667
כְּנַעַן
kenaan
ken-ah'-an
From H3665; humiliated; Kenaan, a son of Ham; also the country inhabited by him: - Canaan, merchant, traffick.
We notice that this word "traffick" – Strong's H3667 is almost always translated as "Canaan."
"This vine did bend her roots toward him."
The vine of the Lord's planting, the true church, as it became filled more and more with those of the world, turned their attention to the outward show of power and authority of the church of Rome. Thus did they "bend her roots toward him," – towards the Wisdom [eagle] of the Adversary's counterfeit plan (and toward its representative the pope.)
He set it in a city of merchants.
Merchants
Strong's H7402
רָכַל
râkal
raw-kal'
A primitive root; to travel for trading: - (spice) merchant.
This appears to refer to the Truth being discussed in the market-place of ideas. The Lord's people witnessed to the Truth wherever they went. In the early church, this was still primarily in Israel, in the land of Canaan.

Continue Comparing the Two Eagles
First Eagle
Second Eagle
Verses 5-6: 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. [6] And it 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. Verses 7-9: .. And shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. [8] 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. [9] 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.
"He took also of the seed of the land." – The land was the land of Canaan. God took from those who had a degree of nobility, having been at least somewhat educated in the law, and therefore might be expected to produce fruit.
"And planted it in a fruitful field." – The field had already produced a certain amount of fruit. Matt. 13:24-25. "It was planted in a good soil." – The expectation was that this should produce fruitage. Matt. 13:24-25
"He placed it by the great waters."Rev. 17:15 "By great waters."Rev. 17:15; 16:12
"Set it as a willow tree."
Strong's H6851
צַפְצָפָה
tsaphtsâphâh
tsaf-tsaw-faw'
From H6687; a willow (as growing in overflowed places): - willow tree.
This is the only place in the Bible where this word is used. Both Brenton and YLT translate this as being set "in a conspicuous place." We suggest that both thoughts are contained in this word, i.e., a willow tree and in a conspicuous place. Those seeking to the Lord during the Gospel Age would come to find shelter from the heat of the day under the branches of the willow tree. This is a well watered tree. The True Church (of the Father's planting) is designed to ultimately be (with His Son) in the most prominent place in the Kingdom.
While there is nothing directly corresponding in these verses concerning the "willow tree" or "in a conspicuous place," we do know that under the Adversary's counterfeit plan [wisdom, eagle] the church of Rome and later its daughters, [organized Protestant churches,] managed to set it up to be very conspicuous. – As of 2018 there were 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and 900 million Protestants in the world. – Somehow this seems too large to constitute the "little flock." Luke 12:32
"It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature." – It became the true vine of the Father's planting. It was of low stature. 1 Cor. 1:26
"Whose branches turned toward him." – The ecclesias turned to the Heavenly Father's wise plan centered in His Son. "Shot forth her branches toward him."
This may have reference to the time of the Protestant Reformation. During that time the church nominal broke into various factions (Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans, etc.) These no longer looked to the Pope, but they (the majority) did still follow the false teachings [wisdom, eagle] of the Adversary.
The churches became worldly and looked to the outward show of religion, following the counterfeit plan [eagle] of the Adversary.
"That he might water it by the furrows of her plantation."
The wisdom [eagle] of the counterfeit plan "waters" with the polluted teachings of his "abominations" the nominal church. This is done by the furrows (channels) of her plantation (the various false churches and their various false doctrines.) The key word here is "might."
"Let us be good sheep! Let us not stray from the Fold, .. nor be attracted away from the .. pure waters, .. or to drink of the muddy, polluted waters of human speculation and delusive theories of men." R5491:2
"And the roots thereof were under him."Eph. 3:17-19; Prov. 12:3,12; Isa. 11:10 See above.
"It became a vine." – It actually became the vine of the Lord, the true church, the embryo new creation. "It might be a goodly vine." – The Adversary wanted his wise? [eagle] counterfeit plan to produce a vine, the church, worshiping him.
"It brought forth branches." – Ecclesias of the true church. "It might bring forth branches."
"And shot forth sprigs." – Growth. "It might bear fruit."
Verse 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.

The nominal church was planted (according to the Adversary's wisdom [eagle, counterfeit plan,] but did it prosper? Only as an earthly organization. From the spiritual standpoint it did NOT prosper.
When the "east wind" came from the loosing of "the four winds," "that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared," "it" (Christendom) [the result of following the counterfeit eagle, wisdom, plan] did indeed wither away. Rev. 7:1; 16:12; Isa. 34:4
Did it "wither in the furrows where it grew?" It was in the furrows where the vine of the earth was watered. When it came time to harvest the vine of the earth (in 1914) the fruitage was harvested from those furrows (denominations) and it was "cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." – 1600 years from 314-1914 A.D. – Rev. 14:19-20



Section III – What about Verses 11-21?

Br. Perry has supplied the following to help follow these verses:

Ezekiel 17 verse 11. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Verse 12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon [Nebuchadnezzar] is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof [Jehoiakim], and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
Verse 13 And hath taken of the king's seed [family], and made a covenant with him [Jehoiachin], and hath taken an oath of him [Jehoiachin]: he hath also taken the mighty of the land [the government, and smart people of Israel, e.g., Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah] :
Verse 14 That the kingdom [Israel] might be humble, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his [Israel�s] covenant [with Babylon, and God too] it might stand.
Verse 15 But he [Mattaniah was made �King� of Israel, and renamed �Zedekiah� (by Nebuchadnezzar)] rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar] in sending his [Zedekiah�s] ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he [Zedekiah] prosper? shall he [Zedekiah] escape that doeth such things? or shall he [Zedekiah] break the covenant [with Babylon], and be delivered [from Nebuchadnezzar, and God�s wrath, due to the 70 years prophecy of desolation of the land due to the failure to properly let the land rest according to the Sabbath system. 2 Chron. 36:21]
Verse 16 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king [of Babylon] dwelleth that made him [Zedekiah] "king" [of Israel] whose oath [with Babylon] he [Zedekiah] despised, and whose covenant [with Babylon] he [Zedekiah] brake, even with him [Nebuchadnezzar] in the midst of Babylon he [Zedekiah] shall die.
Verse 17 (CEV) Even the king of Egypt and his powerful army will be useless to Judah when the Babylonians attack and build dirt ramps to invade the cities of Judah and kill its people.
Verse 18 Seeing he [Zedekiah] despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.
Verse 19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he [Zedekiah] hath despised [re: Israel�s captivity in Babylon; and 70 years desolation of the land in Israel (to make up for the Jubilees)], and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.
Verse 20 And I [God] will spread my net upon him [Israel], and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon [11 years after the first group was taken there, (e.g., Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)], and there I will be his judge for the wrong which he has done against me [God]. [KJV & BBE]
Verse 21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword [Zedekiah�s sons & family killed in his sight], and they that remain [in Jerusalem] shall be scattered toward all winds [e.g., to Egypt]: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it. [about the 70 years desolation of the land etc.]

Let us examine verses 11-21
The Parable

[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; [13] And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of 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 much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? [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 brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. [17] Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, 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 enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. [21] And all his fugitives with all his bands 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.

Making sure we understand the type (the parable) first.

Verses 11-12  Expanded Bible Comments

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;
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Ezekiel, saying, [12] Say now to [Judah] the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and has taken king Jehoiachin, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
QuestionAnswer
Who is speaking? God.
To whom is he speaking? Ezekiel.
Is there a reason why he does NOT address him as "son of man?" Perhaps this is being addressed more to the Prophet Ezekiel because it is focusing on the Type. This would NOT exclude it applying to nominal Spiritual Israel during the Gospel Age, but the emphasis seems to be: First understand the Type, then you will be better enabled to understand the anti-type.
To whom is Ezekiel to speak? To "the rebellious house," i.e., to nominal fleshly Israel.
"Do you not know what these things mean?" Who is "you?" and Why would this question need to be asked? "You" is nominal fleshly Israel. This is asked largely as a reminder to King Zedekiah that he was placed upon the throne on the condition that he serve the King of Babylon. – see the following verses.
"Tell them." Remind them (and especially Zedekiah) that he made this oath.
"Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem." Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon came to Jerusalem in the days of King Jehoiachin.
"And [the king of Babylon] hath taken the king [Jehoiachin, king of Jerusalem] thereof, and the princes thereof [of Jerusalem], and led them with him [the king of Babylon] to Babylon." In other words, King Jehoiachin and his court (those who supported his authority) were all removed by King Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon.

Verse 13  Expanded Bible Comments

And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:
And [Nebuchadnezzar] hath taken of the king's [Jehoiakim's] seed [his brother Zedekiah], and made a covenant with him [with Zedekiah], and hath taken an oath of Zedekiah: he [Nebuchadnezzar] hath also taken the mighty of the land:
QuestionAnswer
"Hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him." What does that mean? This refers to Zedekiah agreeing (making a covenant) to be the servant of King Nebuchadnezzar (thus "taking of the king's seed.") – R3623
"Hath taken an oath of him". It was only because Zedekiah made this oath with Nebuchadnezzar that he was made king.
"He hath also taken the mighty of the land." This likely refers to Zedekiah taking the strongest (and probably the most vicious) of those remaining in Jerusalem to be his court, i.e., his bodyguard.

Josiah (a good king) was slain in battle with Egypt in the valley of Megiddo (2 Chron. 35:22-24.)
Jehoiakim (Son of King Josiah) reigns 11 years. "In his [Jehoiakim's] days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him." 2 Kings 24:1
Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim) "So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead." 2 Kings 24:6 "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months." 2 Kings 24:8
"And the king of Babylon [Nebuchadnezzar] made Mattaniah his father's [King Jehoiakim's] brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah." 2 Kings 24:17

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
That the kingdom [of Judah, headquartered in Jerusalem] might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant [with king Nebuchadnezzar] it [the kingdom of Judah] might stand.
QuestionAnswer
What is meant by "That the kingdom might be base?" That Judah may be humbled.
What is meant by "That it might not lift itself up?" That the kingdom of Judah should not become arrogant and rise up in rebellion against Babylon.
How would "keeping of his covenant" possibly allow the kingdom of Judah to stand? The covenant made by King Zedekiah with Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon would not have to worry about Judah rebelling. However, the main point is really that Zedekiah should have been faithful to God. Eventually he broke both covenants (1 - with God, and 2 - with Babylon.)

Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
But he [Zedekiah] rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar] in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they [Egypt] might give him [Zedekiah] horses and much people. Shall he [Zedekiah] prosper? shall he [Zedekiah] escape that does such things? or shall he [Zedekiah] break the covenant [with king Nebuchadnezzar], and be delivered?
QuestionAnswer
Did Zedekiah keep his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar? Not only did Zedekiah go the wrong way by making league with the king of Babylon, and rejecting God, but now he did not even remain obedient to that arrangement. Instead "he [Zedekiah] rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar] in sending his ambassadors into Egypt."
What was Zedekiah's purpose in sending ambassadors to Egypt? To enlist the aid of Egypt in their battle with Babylon. Zedekiah was hoping to gain the use of additional horses and soldiers from Egypt.
What question does the LORD here ask concerning Zedekiah? Considering that Zedekiah had already failed to keep his covenant with the LORD, and now he sets out to break his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar, will Zedekiah escape punishment?

Verse 16  Expanded Bible Comments

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 brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where king Nebuchadnezzar dwells that made Zedekiah king, whose oath Zedekiah despised, and whose covenant Zedekiah brake, even with king Nebuchadnezzar in the midst of Babylon Zedekiah shall die.
QuestionAnswer
What is indicated by the phrase "As I live?" Since God is "from everlasting to everlasting" it indicates something that is absolutely 100% sure.
Who was "the king" .. "that made him king?" Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon.)
Who made "the oath" (which he later despised) and with whom did he make it? Zedekiah made the oath with king Nebuchadnezzar. R3623
What was to be the result of Zedekiah breaking his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar? That Zedekiah would die in Babylon.
What was the real cause (not directly stated in these verses) for the dethronement of Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem? The failure to keep their oath with God. Exo. 24:3,7

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:
Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and [his] great company make for [come to the aid of] Zedekiah in the war, when the Babylonians build dirt ramps, and build siege walls, to cut off many lives:
QuestionAnswer
(CEV) Even the king of Egypt and his powerful army will be useless to Judah when the Babylonians attack and build dirt ramps to invade the cities of Judah and kill its people.
Of how much assistance would Pharaoh of Egypt be to Zedekiah in the defense of Jerusalem? Of little or no help.

Verse 18  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
Seeing Zedekiah despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, Zedekiah had given his hand, and hath done all these things, Zedekiah shall not escape.
QuestionAnswer
What was to be the result for Zedekiah of his breaking the covenant? 2 Kings 25:5-10.
Specifically, what covenant did he break that sealed his fate? See the next verse.

Verse 19  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that Zedekiah hath despised, and my covenant that Zedekiah hath broken, even it will I recompense upon Zedekiah's own head.
QuestionAnswer
Why does this verse begin with "therefore?" Cause and effect.
Who is speaking? The LORD.
What was "my oath?" The Law Covenant. Exo. 24:3,7
What was the "it" that God was speaking about? The Law Covenant.
What does it mean to "recompense?" Considering the way this is normally used in the Bible, we might better think of this by the common phrase of today: "pay back."
In this verse God said "I will recompense.." Why then was it that king Nebuchadnezzar was the one to dish out this punishment? God accomplishes His will through whomsoever He will. – Exo. 9:13,16. Consider also Eze. 9. God used "the man clothed in linen" to set a mark (seal) of the saints in Christendom. He also used the six men (the saints still on this side the veil at that time) to destroy Christendom. He did this by having them proclaim present truth.

Verse 20  Expanded Bible Comments

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 enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.
And I will spread my net upon Zedekiah, and Zedekiah shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring Zedekiah to Babylon, and will enter into judgment with Zedekiah there for Zedekiah's trespass that Zedekiah hath trespassed against me.
QuestionAnswer
What net did God spread? The army of Babylon.
Was King Zedekiah taken? Yes, by the Babylonian army.
Was Zedekiah taken to Babylon? Yes. He was captured and had to watch as his sons were slain before his eyes. After which Zedekiah was blinded and taken to Babylon.
Why did these things come upon Zedekiah? "For his trespass that he hath trespassed against me."

Verse 21  Expanded Bible Comments

And all his fugitives with all his bands 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.
And all Zedekiah's fugitives with all Zedekiah's bands 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.
QuestionAnswer
What happened to Zedekiah's consorts? They were slain.
What about the remainder of Jerusalem's inhabitants? They were taken to Babylon and eventually (after being released by King Darius) were scattered to the four corners of the earth.
After having been taken to Babylon, did Judah know that the LORD did it? Psa. 137:1,4-6; Luke 3:15 - In Babylon they remembered Jerusalem (where God had put His name.) In John the Baptist's day the people were looking for the Messiah. The only reason to do so is because they knew that it was because of NOT following God's instructions that they had lost their kingdom and the promised Messiah was to free them and restore the kingdom to Israel. In other words, they knew that God had done this.

What does the Parable Mean?
In order to better understand the Parable (vss. 11-21) Let us attempt to identify who (or what) the actors in these verses represent.
QuestionSuggested Answer
In what time period was the Parable placed? The time leading up to the last carying away into Babylon, a.k.a, The Beginning of "The times of the Gentiles." Luke 21:24
What time period would the fulfillment of the parable be? The time leading up to the end of "The times of the Gentiles," 1914. Luke 21:24
In the following Please identify who or what is pictured by:
Who or WhatSuggested Answer
me/Ezekiel? Pastor Russell, son of man.
"The rebellious house:" Primarily the religious element of Christendom, likely including those closely associated with Christendom, like the United States.
Babylon: Christendom.
Jerusalem: The Religious element of Christendom (the clay part of the Image.)
The Princes of Jerusalem: Religious leaders of Christendom.
King Nebuchadnezzar: The Civil Power (the Iron part of the Image.) The Kings of Christendom (Kaiser, Czar, etc.)
King Jehoiakim: Leaders of religious element of Christendom up to "the time of the end" (1799).
King Jehoiakin (the 3 month king): Leaders of religious element of Christendom from 1799 up to the Lord's Second Advent.
King Zedekiah: Leaders of religious element of Christendom from the time they were cast off in 1878 forward. Rev. 18:4
Egypt: The world.
Pharoah: Satan, "the god of this world." 2 Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

Verses 11-12  Expanded Bible Comments

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;
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Ezekiel, saying, [12] Say now to [Judah] the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and has taken king Jehoiachin, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
QuestionSuggested Answer
Who is speaking? God.
To whom is he speaking? Ezekiel, i.e., Pastor Russell.
To whom is Ezekiel to speak? To "the rebellious house," i.e., to nominal spiritual Israel.
"Do you not know what these things mean?" Who is "you?" and Why would this question need to be asked? "You" is nominal spiritual Israel. The reason this question needed to be asked is that they had gotten so far away from the actual Gospel of Christ (the blessing of all the families of the earth [Gal. 3:8] and the times of restitution of all things [Acts 3:21]) that they had become completely ignorant of the true gospel.
"Tell them." Remind them of what they once (in the days of the Apostles) knew.
"Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem." In the beginning of the church-state union, the mixture of iron (civil power of Rome) and miry clay (Christianity corrupted with fallen man's ways) the civil power was the stronger. Later the Church of Rome became the dominant one. In this parable, the Kings of what was once called the "Holy Roman Empire" are come to nominal spiritual Israel to take back the dominant position in their church-state arrangement.
"And [the king of Babylon] hath taken the king [Jehoiachin, king of Jerusalem] thereof, and the princes thereof [of Jerusalem], and led them with him [the king of Babylon] to Babylon." By substituting the definition for the various symbols, the end of verse 12 comes out something like this:

And the kings of the civil power of Christendom have taken the leaders of the religious element of Christendom (during the period from 1799-1874/78) and led them back to the early arrangement of church-state union when the civil power was dominant over the religious element.

Verse 13  Expanded Bible Comments

And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:
And [Nebuchadnezzar] hath taken of the king's [Jehoiakin's] seed [his uncle Zedekiah], and made a covenant with him [with Zedekiah], and hath taken an oath of Zedekiah: he [Nebuchadnezzar] hath also taken the mighty of the land:
QuestionSuggested Answer
The wording in this verse says "hath taken of the king's seed.." Why not simply say "Nebuchadnezzar made king Jehoiakim's brother (Zedekiah)" to be the Jerusalem's king? Some of the various translations of "the king's seed" include:
"the seed royal" (Brenton, JPS, Roth, RV, RVIC)
"someone from the family of Judah's king" (CEV)
"a man from the king's family" (ERV, GNB)
"one of the royal offspring" (ESV)
"one of the royal descendants" (ISV)
"the seed of the kingdom" (JUB, YLT)
"The seed of the kingship" (LEB)

Because this part is not really about Nebuchadnezzar and Zedekiah. Rather it is about what was to take place with the rulership of Christendom during the end of the Philadelphia and the beginning of the Laodicean periods.
What symbolically is indicated by King Nebuchadnezzar removing King Jehoiakin and replacing him with King Zedekiah? This may go back to the change that took place in 1799. Up to that date people still believed that the Pope was God's representative on earth and as such all religious authority rested in him. By his dying as the prisoner of Napoleon, this myth was broken. During the period from 1799-1874 we saw the first stirring of the virgins (1829-1844), and the cleansing of the sanctuary as well as the setting up of the Image of the beast (1846, Evangelical Alliance.) Without the Pope, the civil power began to regain its once dominant part of the church-state alliance.
What does King Nebuchadnezzar forcing King Zedekiah to take an oath to be obedient to him (King Nebuchadnezzar) picture? Consider the 1846 Evangelical Alliance. "The Evangelical Alliance is founded at a meeting of 800 evangelical leaders in London on 19 August 1846.""The motto of the Evangelical Alliance when it was founded was: 'We are one body in Christ', and unity was the key principle. By the end of 1846, the Evangelical Alliance had 3,000 members."
There began to be a connection of this Protestant organization with the civil power [pictured by King Nebuchadnezzar.] "During the mid-19th century, religious freedom for all in Europe was high on the Evangelical Alliance's agenda and led to some of the Evangelical Alliance's first engagements with government advocacy.""A letter was sent to the Sultan of Turkey appealing for the removal of the death penalty for Muslim apostates. Messages were also sent to Queen Victoria, US President Franklin Pierce, Napolean III, and Emperor Franz Joseph I. The campaign was successful." www.eauk.org/about-us/history (Under 1855, click "Read More")
In this arrangement, what would be pictured by King Nebuchadnezzar taking "the mighty of the land?" Perhaps this was indicating that "the mighty of the land" (symbolic earth) were changing. The more gifted formerly went into the clergy but now (in the period from 1799 onward) they tended to go into civil service, running for public office, etc.

As our understanding of the "Parable" is based on the events leading up to the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles, we here give this short summary as a reminder of those events.
Josiah (a good king) was slain in battle with Egypt in the valley of Megiddo (2 Chron. 35:22-24.)
Jehoiakim (Son of King Josiah) reigns 11 years. "In his [Jehoiakim's] days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him." 2 Kings 24:1
Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim) "So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead." 2 Kings 24:6 "Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months." 2 Kings 24:8
"And the king of Babylon [Nebuchadnezzar] made Mattaniah his father's [King Jehoiakim's] brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah." 2 Kings 24:17

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
That the kingdom [Religious element of Christendom] might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant [with Christendom's Civil Power] it [Religious element of Christendom] might stand.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Why would the kingdom (religious element of Christendom) need to become base (humbled)? Because the Religious element had held the higher position (between church and state) from 539 A.D. (and especially since 800 A.D.) Now (from 1799 A.D.) the Lord humbled them (using Napoleon to accomplish this.) – Jer. 51:9 ("we would have healed babylon.."); Rev. 17:3,7 (woman rides beast)
Was there really a danger of the religious element of Christendom lifting itself up? Remember that this is the Religious element (church) of "Christendom" ("Christ's Kingdom" falsely so-called), Satan's counterfeit of the true Kingdom of Christ. Therefore it had taken on the characteristics of its true founder who said "I will be like the most high." In other words, Pride was a very big problem for them.
In this unholy union of convenience (each to one degree or another) needed the other, yet there had always been a desire on the part of each to have the superior position.
Why does this verse add "that by keeping of his covenant it might stand?" The covenant was that the Churches [Zedekiah] would support the Kings of Europe (Nebuchadnezzar.) "It (the false church systems) might stand." They attempt this because they have become so weak that they now desparately need the Kings of Christendom to keep them afloat.

Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
But he [Zedekiah - Protestantism] rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar - Civil Power] in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they [Egypt - The world] might give him [Zedekiah - Protestantism] horses [worldly doctrines] and much people. Shall he [Zedekiah - Protestantism] prosper? shall he [Zedekiah - Protestantism] escape that does such things? or shall he [Zedekiah - Protestantism] break the covenant [with king Nebuchadnezzar - Civil Power], and be delivered?
QuestionSuggested Answer
When did the leaders of the religious element of Christendom (Zedekiah) send ambassadors to the world (Egypt) as a rebellious act against the Kings of Christendom (pictured by Nebuchadnezzar)? How about the World's Parliament of Religions in 1893? Instead of strongly maintaining their claim that "We (church and state united together) are Christ's Kingdom, reigning in power," they (by this Parliament,) in effect said:
"This arrangement we have is not holding up to the scrutiny we have been placed under. Maybe, by lowering our standards even further, we can add to our numbers by 'making nice' with the non-Christian religions of the world, and if our numbers are sufficient, we might keep our standing in the world."
What is pictured by Zedekiah attempting to get "horses and much people" from Egypt? Here the religious leaders of Christendom are being pictured. Horses symbolize doctrines. These religious leaders, after having been cast off in 1878, are shown as trying to become more popular with the world (Egypt,) hoping thus to increase their numbers. So they preach worldly ideas (evolution and the like) and they introduced worldly practices (raffles, dances, games, etc.)
Will the churches (Zedekiah) prosper and escape unscathed by going more worldly? See remainder of the verse, beginning with "Shall he prosper? .."
Will the churches be delivered from collapse by not strongly supporting the Kings of Christendom? See next verse.

Verse 16  Expanded Bible Comments

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 brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king [Civil Power pictured by Nebuchadnezzar] dwells that made him [Protestantism, pictured by Zedekiah] king, whose oath he [Protestantism, pictured by Zedekiah] despised, and whose covenant he [Protestantism, pictured by Zedekiah] brake, even with him [Civil Power pictured by Nebuchadnezzar] in the midst of Babylon [Christendom] he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] shall die.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is the place where Nebuchadnezzar (Civil Powers, kings of Europe) dwells? Babylon, Christendom (civil and religious powers united.) This seems to have its focus on the territory held by this unholy alliance, i.e., the territory of the old "Holy Roman Empire," primarily Europe and western Russia.
How did the Kings of Christendom (pictured by King Nebuchadnezzar) make the churches (Zedekiah) "king?" By the general acceptance of the organized Protestant churches (Evangelical Alliance) while maintaining ties with the Pope.
How did the Protestant churches (Zedekiah) brake their covenant with the kings of Christendom (Nebuchadnezzar)? See suggested answers for first two questions on verse 15.
Did Zedekiah (Protestantism) die in Babylon (Christendom)? They lost any life they had when Christendom died after WWI. – End of Christendom; Is Europe the New 'Dark Continent'?

Encyclopaedia Britannica
(as of March 12, 2019)

Protestantism in the 20th century
Mainstream Protestantism

"World War I broke Europe's waning self-confidence in the merits of its own civilization and, because it was fought between Christian nations, weakened worldwide Christianity [Churchianity]. The seizure of power by a formally atheist government in Russia in 1917 brought negative pressure on Christendom and sharpened the social and working class conflicts of western Europe and the United States. During the following 40 years the Protestant churches in Europe suffered inestimable losses in adherents and formal influence."

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:
(CEV) Even the king of Egypt and his powerful army will be useless to Judah when the Babylonians attack and build dirt ramps to invade the cities of Judah and kill its people.
[17] Neither shall Pharaoh [Satan] with his mighty army [Worldly leaders] and great company [the masses of mankind] make for him [Protestantism - Zedekiah] in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:
In other words, Satan is unable to help, unable to bring his worldly forces to protect his master-piece, the false religious systems. He is unable to keep them from being trapped in the collapse of the church-state union (a.k.a. Christendom.)
QuestionSuggested Answer
Of what use will the world (Egypt) be to the churches (Zedekiah) when the battle (Armageddon) comes? Not much help. They build dirt (earthly, man-made defences) ramps and mounds in an attempt to stave off disaster. This will not help. After all, "the battle is the Lord's." 1 Sam. 17:47
We also remember what happens during the battle of "Armageddon" (7th Plague,) i.e., the four winds are let loose ("poured out his vial into the air"), "there was a great earthquake" (revolution), "The great city [Christendom] was divided into three parts" – divided back into its three component parts: The Dragon (civil power), the Beast (Catholic church) and the false prophet (Protestantism.) "And the city of the nations fell."

Verse 18  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
Seeing he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] shall not escape.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What covenant did Protestantism (Zedekiah) break? The one specifically indicated by this context is its covenant (agreement) with the Civil Power of Christendom (what remained of the "iron" part if the image – Dan. 2:40-44.)
Does Protestantism (Zedekiah) escape the destruction of Christendom? Not a chance.

Verse 19  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] hath despised, and my covenant that he [Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism] hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his [Zedekiah's, picturing Protestantism's] own head.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What "oath" is here being referred to? God calls it "mine oath" and "my covenant." There can be no doubt that this is different from the oath spoken of in verse 18. The "oath" and "covenant" spoken of here was Israel's agreement to obey the "Law Covenant." Exo. 19:3-8
Did he [Zedekiah - Protestantism] keep that covenant? No! The true church during the Gospel age is under the "grace" covenant. The protestant churches (daughters of the "mother" church, like her "mother", claim to be the true church and thus under the same covenant. And, like their forerunner, Judah, have failed to keep that covenant. Remember, "you only have I known of all the families of the earth." Amos 3:2
What is the result of breaking this covenant? "Even it will I recompense upon his own head." Heb. 10:30-31

Verse 20  Expanded Bible Comments

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 enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.
And I will spread my net upon Zedekiah, and Zedekiah shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring Zedekiah to Babylon, and will enter into judgment with Zedekiah there for Zedekiah's trespass that Zedekiah hath trespassed against me.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is meant by "I will spread my net upon him?" The "him" is Zedekiah, picturing Protestantism. The Lord's "net" is the Gospel, the Truth which reveals that the character of the false churches does not measure up to the character outlined in the Bible. "Your are not as good as your book." To our understanding the "net" was full and drawn to shore (to begin the separating work) during the period from 1878-1881.
What is the Lord's "snare?" The word "snare" is Strong's H4686
Strong's H4686
מְצֻדָה מְצוּדָה מָצוּד
mâtsûd metsûdâh metsûdâh
maw-tsood', mets-oo-daw', mets-oo-daw'
From H4685; a net, or (abstractly) capture; also a fastness: - castle, defence, fort (-ress), (strong) hold, be hunted, net, snare, strong place.
The word occurs 22 times and usually indicates a fortress or strong-hold. "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress.." The "snare" would likely be the vehicle by which the Lord gathered the church nominal to be tied closer to the civil power. – Remember, both civil and religious elements of Christendom are now greatly weakened which is why they attempt to more closely unite.
This "snare" may include the World Parliament of Religions (1893), and/or the 3 unclean spirits like frogs (Rev. 16:13-16) which the Lord used to "gather the nations" to Armageddon.
Did the Lord "enter into judgment" with Zedekiah (the nominal church systems?) The judgment was set in 1878 and began to be fully executed in 1914.
Why would the Lord do this? "For his [Zedekiah's, the church nominal's] trespass that he hath trespassed against me."

Verse 21  Expanded Bible Comments

And all his fugitives with all his bands 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.
And all Zedekiah's fugitives with all Zedekiah's bands 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.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"All his fugitives and all his bands.." Who is this talking about? Zedekiah, picturing the church nominal (primarily Protestant churches.)
What are his "fugitives?" [Strong's H4015 – refugees] Those who had taken refuge in the nominal church (hoping to find security from the world.)
What are his "bands?" [Strong's H102 – wings of an army, or crowds of troops] Those who believe that Christendom really is Christ's Kingdom.
How to they "fall?" "By the sword" – the word of God, the Truth.
Who are "they that remain?" The tare class?
What is indicated by them being "scattered toward all winds?" They had formerly taken refuge in the thought that Christendom was "Christ's Kingdom." They do not know where to go now that the Four Winds have been loosed.
"Ye shall know that I the LORD hath spoken it." Has this taken place? R5829

The Riddle Wrap-up

[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 an high mountain and eminent: [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. [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.

These last verses clearly refer back to the "riddle" of verses 3-10.
We observe that everything in verses 22-24 appears to be higher than in verses 3-10. These verses (22-24) refer to the true Kingdom of God.
Section I – Verses 3-6 Section II – Verses 7-10 Section IV – Verses 22-24
The Wisdom [eagle] of God's Plan during the Gospel Age
The Wisdom [eagle] of Satan's Counterfeit Plan during the Gospel Age
What God does during the Millennial Age
[3] And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] And it 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. [7] 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 plantation. [8] 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. [9] 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. [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 an high mountain and eminent: [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. [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.

Verse 22  Expanded Bible Comments

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 an high mountain and eminent:
QuestionAnswer
Who is speaking here? "The Lord GOD."
Is there a difference between "the highest branch" in this verse and "the highest branch" in verse 3? – If so, what is the difference? In verse 3 it was "the highest branch of the cedar." In verse 22 it is "the highest branch of the high cdear."
What is "the high cedar?" In verse 3 the reference is to our Lord Jesus as being "the highest branch of the cedar." Not only is the cedar an evergreen tree, but cedar is generally considered to be the best wood for building a dwelling. God took Jesus as the root of His great building. 1 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20-22
Here in verse 22 it still refers to Jesus, only now it is not in regard to the building of His Church during the Gospel Age, but to His role in the Mediatorial phase of the Kingdom.
What happened to this "highest branch?" "I will... set it." God makes this "highest branch of the high cedar" to be permanently set.
"I will crop off from the top of his young twigs.." What does this mean and how does this differ from verse 4? From verse 4: He cropped off the top of his young twigs [sprouts]. – The top (the best) of is young twigs (the early church.) The followers of Jesus during His first advent. "To take out .. a people for his name." Acts 15:14.
In verse 4 it is past tense – "He cropped.." In verse 22 it is future tense – "I will crop.."
Also in verse 22 another item is mentioned: "a tender one."
In verse 22, why is what is the sprig (twigs) referred to as "a tender one?" What does that mean? We suggest that this refers to our Lord Jesus.
What happens to this "tender one?" "I .. will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent." God makes this "tender one" permanent, planted upon an "high mountain" – not just a mountain (kingdom) but a high mountain, the permanent Kingdom of God. What could be more "eminent" than that?

Verse 23  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
QuestionAnswer
What is the importance of it being planted in "the height of Israel?" It is not planted in Jacob (natural Israel.) But it is planted in the highest place in Spiritual Israel.
Is there any significance to "it shall bring forth boughs?" A bough is a major branch of a tree. The kind used in former days to hang a back-yard swing on. This indicates the strongest, most important branch of the tree. There were no "boughs" in section I (vss 3-6) nor in section II (vss 7-10.)
It will also "bear fruit." Of what significance is that? The original "tree" was the dominion of Adam. This is prophetically described for us in Dan. 4:12"the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all." The second Adam (Christ) will have dominion over all the earth.
Is this the same "cedar" as in verse 3? Yes and no. In verse 3 the reference is to our Lord Jesus as being "the highest branch of the cedar." Not only is the cedar an evergreen tree, but cedar is generally considered to be the best wood for building a dwelling. God took Jesus as the root of His great building. 1 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20-22
"Under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell." Compare with Dan. 4:10-12.

Verse 24  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
QuestionAnswer
What is pictured by "all the trees of the field?" "The field is the world" Matt. 13:38. The trees picture nations: Luke 21:29.
What is indicated by "I the LORD have brought down the high tree?" The "high tree (nation)" was Christ's Kingdom (falsely so-called.)
What is "the low tree" that the LORD has "exalted?" This would appear to be the "vine of low stature" (verse 6,) the true church. It was low in the eyes of the world. In this fulfillment God has highly exalted them to the Divine Nature. John 15:5
What is pictured by "the green tree?" This would have been the false, counterfeit church. It prospered from the human standpoint, with the Adversary's help, but was a miserable failure in God's sight.
What is "the dry tree?" The dry tree is the nation of Israel – Mark 11:13-14,20-21. R5503
How do we know that this will happen? Because "I the LORD have spoken and have done it."