Ezekiel 19

Ezekiel 19

Lamentation over the downfall of the Royal house (four successive kings).

Whereas the prophet has spoken of the people as a whole having some future hope, the royal family would not. The princes of Israel, namely Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), and Zedekiah behaved like young lions who copying the ways of the heathen kings around them (see Jer.50:17) selfishly and through corruption oppressed their people as prey (II Kings 23:32) and in judgment God would bring first Egypt (Pharaohneco) to catch the lion when he was taken in their pit, alluding to the manner of hunting and taking lions, so Pharaohnecho king of Egypt came out against Jehoahaz, and took him(609BC), and put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might reign no more in Jerusalem, after he had been on the throne but three months, (II Kings 23:31-34) and they brought him with chains into the land of Egypt where he died (Jer.22:10-12). Then Jehoiakim, his brother, who before was called Eliakim, but whose name was changed by Pharaohnecho was made king and was also wicked (Jer.22:13-18) and so the Babylonians having defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish (605BC), with soldiers from all its provinces came up against him and he was put in fetters and carried away but died apparently on the way to Babylon (II Kings 24:1-2, II Chron.36:6)

In the second allegory, the vine of Israel is dried up and burnt and part, dried up by an east wind (Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians) was transplanted in a dry land (II Kings 24:11-16) according to prophecy this was what happened to Jehoiachin (Jehoiakim’s wicked son (age 18) 597 BC) and all the royal family, his mother, the leaders and mighty men were taken. Compare with John 15:6, “ If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

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Blighted vines

Finally (v14) after Zedekiah (Jehoiachin’s uncle 597-587 BC) is made king at age 21, from the branches meaning the rest of the Jews left in the land, the rod King Zedekiah, now on the throne, sends “fire” out of him signifying his rebellion against the king of Babylon and his breaking covenant and oath with him, which greatly provoked the Lord. As a result, the Lord brought down the fire of his wrath upon him, (2 Kings 24:20) which hath devoured her fruit. He destroyed the people by sword, famine pestilence, and captivity; yea, the city and temple of Jerusalem, with the palaces and houses therein, were burnt with material fire; their king was taken, and his eyes put out; his sons were slain, and all the princes of Judah: so that she hath no strong rod [to be] a sceptre to rule; none to be king, or succeed in the kingdom; and there never was a king after of the family of David, or of the tribe of Judah, till Shiloh the Messiah came.

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A royal sceptre

“As, in the case of the people at large, their falling away from the righteous purposes, for which they were planted in the land of Canaan, carried along with it the forfeiture of all their blessings, so in the house of David, their inveterate attachment to sinful and worldly aims must of necessity involve the extinction of all its rank and consideration among men.” (Fairbairn).

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