Ezekiel 17

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

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1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel;

3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colors, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar:

4 he cropped off the topmost of the young twigs of it, and carried it to 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 soil; he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a willow tree.

6 It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots 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 its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it.

8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

9 Say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither; that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? and not by a strong arm or many people can it be raised from its roots.

10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the beds where it grew.

11 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

12 Say now to the rebellious house, Don't you know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon:

13 and he took of the seed royal, and made a covenant with him; he also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land;

14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand.

15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape who does such things? shall he break the covenant, and yet escape?

16 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many persons.

18 For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape.

19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely my oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, I will even bring it on his own head.

20 I will spread my net on 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 has trespassed against me.

21 All his fugitives in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered toward every wind: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it.

22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain:

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 birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell.

24 All the trees of the field shall know that I, Yahweh, 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, Yahweh, have spoken and have done it.

← Ezekiel 16   Ezekiel 18 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 140


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 40, 368, 776, 885, 2702, 3448, 3901, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 244, 298, 343, 400, 401, 757, 759

Doctrine of the Lord 28

True Christianity 290, 468


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 281, 283, 355, 419, 507, 577, ...

The White Horse - Appendix 1

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 41:6

Deuteronomy 17:16, 28:49

Joshua 9:20

Judges 14:12

1 Samuel 2:7

1 Kings 32, 33

2 Kings 10:15, 24:12, 14, 15, 16, 20

2 Chronicles 36:10

Psalms 2:6

Isaiah 11:1, 31:1, 36:6

Jeremiah 22:23, 23:5, 24:1, 32:4, 34:3, 21, 37:5

Ezekiel 2:5, 5:13, 9:10, 12:9, 13, 14, 16:43, 19:10, 12, 20:40, 21:5, 28, 22:14, 24:3, 14, 29:6, 31:6, 36:36, 37:14

Daniel 4:8, 9

Hosea 12:11

Micah 4:1

Matthew 13:32, 23:12

Mark 4:32

Luke 1:52

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

says
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

Eagle
Eagle wings, referred to in Daniel 7:3, signify rational principles grounded in man's proprium.

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

Feathers
Feathers signify spiritual good, from which truth is derived.

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Lebanon
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Merchants
'Merchants' signify people who have knowledges of good and truth. Merchants,' as in Nahum 3:16, signify people who falsify the Word, and communicate, and sell.

the seed of
'The seed of Sihor,' as in Isaiah 23:3, signifies scientific truth.

seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

stature
'Height' signifies the good and truth of the church in every degree.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

roots
'A root,' as in Malachi 4:1, signifies charity. The dried up root,' as in Hosea 9:16, 17, signifies charity which could not bear fruit.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

branches
A branch (Matt. 24:32) signifies affection, for affection springs and flourishes from good as a branch Springs from its trunk. A branch (Mal. 4:1) denotes...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

bear fruit
In Revelation 22, to yield fruit signifies to produce goods.

Vine
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

Prosper
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

wither
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

arm
Arms and feet (Daniel 10:6) signify the exterior things of the Word, which are its literal sense.

wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

touches
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

babylon
Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...

jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

Oath
An oath' or 'swearing' signifies confirmation and conjunction.

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

keeping
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

rebelled
'Rebel,' as in Genesis 14:4, relates to evils pertaining to a person, or to evil spirits, when they begin to arise and infest, after they...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

horses
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

die
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

army
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

company
A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

war
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

mounds
'Mound' signifies truths not appearing because they are falsified.

build
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

Net
To cast the net on the right side,' as in John 21:6, signifies teaching the good of life.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

judgment
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

plant
'A shrub' signifies the knowledges of truth.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

birds
"Birds" mean rational concepts in the external man and intellectual concepts in the internal man.

wing
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

shade
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

Trees of the field
'The trees of the field,' as in Ezekiel 31:15, signify the knowledges of truth in the church.

trees
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

tree
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

dried
'Withering and drying up,' as in Ezekiel 17:10, referring to the east wind, signifies when there is no good or truth.

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.


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