Two eagles, a cedar and a vine: Ezekiel 17 (13 September 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



We come before you Lord, just as we are: nothing more, nothing less. You made us in your image and loved us into being. So be among us now, just as we are: nothing more, nothing less. We thank you God for this time today. Amen.


Daily reflection: Ezekiel 17

This vision is a message concerning Jewish royalty and the world powers of Ezekiel's time. It is first presented as a riddle or parable of two great eagles, a cedar tree and a vine. The exiles with Ezekiel are given some time to make sense of it, but they are unable to decode the riddle properly so God directs his prophet to make the meaning clear.

The first eagle represented Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar. The eagle was used to symbolise both the means God used to punish as well as the speed at which the punishment was carried out. The large, powerful wings enabled the eagle to fly long distances and signified the extent of the territory under the eagle's power. So for example, 'full plumage' represented a big empire and 'various colours' showed that the empire was populated by different peoples from various nations.

At this time in Israel’s history, the politics are so complicated that God is far too often overlooked by so-called human ‘superpowers’. When these powers fail, instead of remembering their God, who does have divine control, the exiles persist in searching aimlessly for yet another king to defeat Egypt, Babylon or Assyria. It is therefore, astonishing that God promised to take back a remnant, the sprig of the cedar, and in the future, make it flourish in its own land. God does this, because only in this way, will the people be ready for his son in years to come, ready to welcome the perfect Davidic king, Christ Jesus.



Loving Lord, your prophets from of old prepared the way for your Son. May I always remember your covenants and the journey through exile to this day. Amen.

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