Thursday, February 11, 2010
When you are given a list of turns and distances to a particular destination, getting the first turn right is the most critical. If you make a wrong last turn, you may only end up on the wrong street. Whereas if you make a wrong first turn, you could end up in another state. The same is true with various Bible passages. If you get some passages wrong, you will have only slightly different views. But if you get the “pivotal passages” wrong, you will end up with a completely different “big picture” in many cases.
Ezekiel 17:22 is one of the "pivotal passages" in the Bible because what you believe the phrase "his young twigs" in that verse is referring to will greatly affect what you believe about the historical and prophetical portions of the Bible.
Ezekiel chapter 17 records a riddle of the Lord. We are given the interpretation of the first part of the riddle, but we are not given the interpretation of the last part of the riddle.
Ezekiel 17:3-4 Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.
Ezekiel 17:12 Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
We are told that "the highest branch" is referring to "the king" (King Zedekiah) and that "his young twigs" is referring to "the princes" (the children of King Zedekiah).
So now we come to the "pivotal passage", verse 22. The Lord gives us more of the riddle without giving us the interpretation.
Ezekiel 17:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:
According to the natural reading of this passage, "the highest branch" in verse 22 must be referring to King Zedekiah and "his young twigs" must be referring to his children. Keep this in mind when you are searching for a commentary to tell you what this passage means.