Ezekiel 17:24
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.
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(24) All the trees of the field shall know.—As the cedar represents the kingdom of Israel, so the other trees represent all other earthly powers who shall ultimately acknowledge the work of the Lord in the redemption of mankind through His Son.

Have brought down the high tree.—Comp, the song of Hannah (1Samuel 2:1-10) and that of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:52-55). In all alike there is the acknowledgment that all power is from God, and that He, in the working out of His purposes, gives and takes away as to Him seems good. Very precious to His Church of old in its desolation and distress must have been the announcement of this truth, and very precious it is still to all who pray “Thy kingdom come.”

Ezekiel 17:24. All the trees of the field — All the nations of the world; shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree — Have subdued and degraded the enemies of my people; have exalted the low tree — Have advanced my church, and made it flourish; have dried up the green tree, &c. — The same thing expressed in somewhat different words. Although these expressions may partly refer to the overthrow of the mighty Babylonian empire, and the restoration of the Jewish state by their return out of captivity, yet they are so magnificent, that they evidently intend much more than this. The Jewish kingdom did never, after the captivity, arrive at such a pitch of greatness as to give occasion to these magnificent expressions. Some more noble kingdom is undoubtedly here pointed at, namely, the kingdom of Christ, as has been observed above, which will at last be exalted above all the kingdoms of the world, and put an end to them all, while it will continue to all eternity: see Daniel 4:35, 44, and Daniel 7:27; Luke 1:33; 1 Corinthians 15:24. It is under Christ’s kingdom only that people of all nations, signified here by fowls of every kind, shall be gathered together. And the subjects of that kingdom only have a certain and eternal protection, and a supply of every thing necessary. There is therefore no doubt that this was spoken, in its full sense, of the eternal and all-powerful kingdom to be established in Christ, one of the royal seed of Judah according to the flesh. I the Lord have spoken it, and have done it — The prophets often speak of future events as if they were already accomplished, to assure us that they shall certainly come to pass.

17:22-24 The unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God of none effect. The parable of a tree, used in the threatening, is here presented in the promise. It appears only applicable to Jesus, the Son of David, the Messiah of God. The kingdom of Satan, which has borne so long, so large a sway, shall be broken, and the kingdom of Christ, which was looked upon with contempt, shall be established. Blessed be God, our Redeemer is seen even by the ends of the earth. We may find refuge from the wrath to come, and from every enemy and danger, under his shadow; and believers are fruitful in him.The trees fo the field - The kingdoms of the world as contrasted with the kingdom of God. The truth here enunciated is a general one. God gives the promise, God fulfils it. 24. I … brought down the high—the very attribute given to God by the virgin mother of Him, under whom this was to be accomplished.

high … low tree—that is, princes elevated … depressed. All the empires of the world, represented by Babylon, once flourishing ("green"), shall be brought low before the once depressed ("dry"), but then exalted, kingdom of Messiah and His people, the head of whom shall be Israel (Da 2:44).

The trees of the field; the great ones on earth, all considering persons.

Shall know; see and confess.

The high tree; Zedekiah, that would neither hearken to me, my prophets, or to Nebuchadnezzar; or the kingdom of Babylon, which was brought low indeed, when overthrown by Darius and Cyrus.

The low tree; either Jehoiachin’s lineage, or the church, which, from being low, was exalted by the Lord, bending Cyrus to that work of restoring the captivity from Babylon, and building the city and house of God: its meaning is, the advancing the kingdom of Christ, and suppressing the enemies thereof.

Dried up the green tree; the same thing expressed in somewhat different words.

I the Lord have spoken; the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God, who can do what he pleaseth, and will do what he promiseth, is the assurance of the future accomplishment of his word.

And all the trees of the field shall know,.... All the nations of the World, and the great ones, and the mighty men of the earth, shall know, own, and acknowledge, when the above things are accomplished:

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: some by the high and green tree understand Zedekiah, who was brought low; and by the "low" and "dry tree", Jeconiah, who was raised by the king of Babylon, Jeremiah 52:11; this is Jarchi's sense, and is mentioned by Kimchi: others, by the former, think Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonish monarchy are intended, which were brought down; and, by the latter, the house of David, and kingdom of Judah, which were exalted: though rather by the one are meant the people of the Jews, once the people of God, but now cast off; and by the other the Gentiles, called by the grace of God, and received by him: though it seems best of all to interpret the "high and green tree" of the mighty kingdoms of this world, which will be put down by Christ; and the "low and dry tree" of his kingdom and interest, which shall flourish and spread abundantly, and be an everlasting kingdom; see Daniel 2:44;

I the Lord have spoken and have done it; because the prophecy of it is sure, and because of the certainty of the fulfilment of it, it is said to be done as soon as it was spoken of.

And all the {q} 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.

(q) All the world will know that I have plucked down the proud enemies, and set up my Church which was low and contemned.

24. As this kingdom is compared to a cedar other kingdoms are likewise called trees; cf. ch. Ezekiel 31:5; Ezekiel 31:8; Ezekiel 31:14; Ezekiel 31:16; Ezekiel 31:18. Kings and kingdoms are hardly distinguished, the kingdom is but the expression of the king. Then all shall know that this great result is the work of Jehovah, who worketh contrary to men’s expectations; who overturneth till he come whose right it is to rule. Cf. 1 Samuel 2:4-8; Luke 1:51-53.

Verse 24. - All the trees of the field, etc. As the cedar of Lebanon stands here for the royal house of David, so the other "trees" represent the surrounding nations, who are thought of as witnessing, first the strange prostration, and then the yet stranger resurrection of the house and the might of Judah and Israel. The thought, which reproduces that of 1 Samuel 2:7, finds an echo in Luke 1:51, 52. Another echo of the words may, perhaps, be traced in the "green tree" and the "dry" of Luke 23:31. Here then, also, as in ch. 16, the utterance which begins with judgment, ends in mercy. Behind the picture of the blind, discrowned king the prophet sees that of the Divine ideal King in the fulness of his majesty and power.

Ezekiel 17:24The Planting of the True Twig of the Stem of David

Ezekiel 17:22. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, And I will take from the top of the high cedar, and will set it; from the topmost of its shoots will I pluck off a tender one, and will plant it upon a high and exalted mountain. Ezekiel 17:23. On the high mountain of Israel will I plant it, and it will put forth branches, and bear fruit, and become a splendid cedar, so that all the birds of every plumage will dwell under it. In the shade of its branches will they dwell. Ezekiel 17:24. And all the trees of the field will learn that I Jehovah have lowered the lofty tree, lifted up the low tree, made the green tree wither, and the withered tree become green. I Jehovah have said it, and have done it. - Although the sprout of David, whom Nebuchadnezzar had made king, would lose the sovereignty because of his breach of faith, and bring about the destruction of the kingdom of Judah, the Lord would not let His kingdom be destroyed, but would fulfil the promise which He had given to the seed of David. The announcement of this fulfilment takes its form from the preceding parable. As Nebuchadnezzar broke off a twig from the top of the cedar and brought it to Babel (Ezekiel 17:13), so will Jehovah Himself also pluck off a shoot from the top of the high cedar, and plant it upon a high mountain. The Vav before לקחתּי is the Vav consec., and אני is appended to the verb for the sake of emphasis; but in antithesis to the acting of the eagle, as described in Ezekiel 17:3, it is placed after it. The cedar, which it designated by the epithet râmâh, as rising above the other trees, is the royal house of David, and the tender shoot which Jehovah breaks off and plants is not the Messianic kingdom or sovereignty, so that Zerubbabel could be included, but the Messiah Himself as "a distinct historical personage" (Hvernick). The predicate רך, tender, refers to Him; also the word יונק, a sprout (Isaiah 53:2), which indicates not so much the youthful age of the Messiah (Hitzig) as the lowliness of His origin (compare Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2); and even when applied to David and Solomon, in 2 Samuel 3:39; 1 Chronicles 22:5; 1 Chronicles 29:1, expresses not their youthfulness, but their want of strength for the proper administration of such a government. The high mountain, described in Ezekiel 17:23 as the high mountain of Israel, is Zion, regarded as the seat and centre of the kingdom of God, which is to be exalted by the Messiah above all the mountains of the earth (Isaiah 2:2, etc.). The twig planted by the Lord will grow there into a glorious cedar, under which all birds will dwell. The Messiah grows into a cedar in the kingdom founded by Him, in which all the inhabitants of the earth will find both food (from the fruits of the tree) and protection (under its shadow). For this figure, compare Daniel 4:8-9. צפּור כּל־כּנף, birds of every kind of plumage (cf. Ezekiel 39:4, Ezekiel 39:17), is derived from Genesis 7:14, where birds of every kind find shelter in Noah's ark. The allusion is to men from every kind of people and tribe. By this will all the trees of the field learn that God lowers the lofty and lifts up the lowly. As the cedar represents the royal house of David, the trees of the field can only be the other kings or royal families of the earth, not the nations outside the limits of the covenant. At the same time, the nations are not to be entirely excluded because the figure of the cedars embraces the idea of the kingdom, so that the trees of the field denote the kingdoms of the earth together with their kings. The clauses, "I bring down the high tree," contain a purely general thought, as in 1 Samuel 2:7-8, and the perfects are not to be taken as preterites, but as statements of practical truths. It is true that the thought of the royal house of David in its previous greatness naturally suggests itself in connection with the high and green tree, and that of Jehoiachin in connection with the dry tree (compare Jeremiah 22:30); and these are not to be absolutely set aside. At the same time, the omission of the article from עץ and the objects which follow, is sufficient to show that the words are not to be restricted to these particular persons, but are applicable to every high and green, or withered and lowly tree; i.e., not merely to kings alone, but to all men in common, and furnish a parallel to 1 Samuel 2:4-9, "The bows of the mighty men are broken; and they that stumbled are girded with strength," etc.

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