Ezekiel 17

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying,

2 `Son of man, put forth a riddle, and use a simile unto the house of Israel,

3 and thou hast said: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: The great eagle, great-winged, long-pinioned, Full of feathers, that hath diverse colours, Hath come in unto Lebanon, And it taketh the foliage of the cedar,

4 The top of its tender twigs it hath cropped, And it bringeth it in to the land of Canaan. In a city of merchants it hath placed it.

5 And it taketh of the seed of the land, And doth put it in a field of seed, To take by many waters, In a conspicuous place it hath set it.

6 And it springeth up, and becometh a spreading vine, humble of stature, To turn its thin shoots toward itself, And its roots are under it, And it becometh a vine, and maketh boughs, And sendeth forth beauteous branches.

7 And there is another great eagle, Great-winged, and abounding with feathers, And lo, this vine hath bent its roots toward him, And its thin shoots it hath sent out toward him, To water it from the furrows of its planting,

8 On a good field, by many waters, it is planted, To make branches, and to bear fruit, To be for an goodly vine.

9 Say: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: It prospereth -- its roots doth he not draw out, And its fruit cut off, and it is withered? [In] all the leaves of its springing it withereth, And not by great strength, and by a numerous people, To lift it up by its roots.

10 And lo, the planted thing -- doth it prosper? When come against it doth the east wind, Doth it not utterly wither? On the furrows of its springing it withereth.'

11 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying:

12 `Say, I pray thee, to the rebellious house, Have ye not known what these [are]? Say, Lo, come hath the king of Babylon to Jerusalem, And he taketh its king, and its princes, And bringeth them to himself to Babylon.

13 And he taketh of the seed of the kingdom, And maketh with him a covenant, And bringeth him in to an oath, And the mighty of the land he hath taken,

14 That the kingdom may be humble, That it may not lift itself up, To keep his covenant -- that it may stand.

15 And he rebelleth against him, To send his messengers to Egypt, To give to him horses, and much people, Doth he prosper? doth he escape who is doing these things? And hath he broken covenant and escaped?

16 I live -- an affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, Doth he not -- in the place of the king who is causing him to reign, Whose oath he hath despised, And whose covenant he hath broken, With him -- in the midst of Babylon -- die?

17 And not with a great force, and with a numerous assembly, Doth Pharaoh maintain him in battle, By pouring out a mount, and in building a fortification, To cut off many souls.

18 And he despised the oath -- to break covenant, And lo, he hath given his hand, And all these he hath done, he escapeth not.

19 Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah: I live -- Mine oath that he hath despised, And My covenant that he hath broken, Have I not put it on his head?

20 And I have spread out for him My snare, And he hath been caught in My net, And I have brought him in to Babylon, And pleaded with him there his trespass, That he hath trespassed against Me.

21 And all his fugitives, with all his bands, By sword do fall, and those remaining, To every wind they are spread out, And ye have known that I, Jehovah, have spoken.

22 Thus said the Lord Jehovah: I have taken of the foliage of the high cedar, And I have set [it], From the top of its tender shoots a tender one I crop, And I -- I have planted [it] on a mountain high and lofty.

23 In a mountain -- the high place of Israel, I plant it, And it hath borne boughs, and yielded fruit, And become a goodly cedar, And dwelt under it have all birds of every wing, In the shade of its thin shoots they dwell.

24 And known have all trees of the field That I, Jehovah, have made low the high tree, I have set on high the low tree, I have dried up the moist tree, And I have caused the dry tree to flourish, I, Jehovah, 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 Christian Religion 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

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...

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...

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.

winged
'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...

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

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

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

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

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

bringeth
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...

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

canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

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.

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...

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...

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' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

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

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

turn
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...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

water
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

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...

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

say
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...

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...

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

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...

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....

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

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...

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

keep
"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...

messengers
In the most ancient church, their method of expressing themselves was such, that when they mentioned earthly and worldly things, they thought of the spiritual...

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 dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

reign
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

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
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

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

assembly
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...

Pharaoh
'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...

battle
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...

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

souls
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

plant
'A shrub' signifies the knowledges of truth.

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

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

trees
'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...

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


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