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©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 17:22-24 (ESV)

Posted on February 12, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 17:22-24 (ESV) - Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

Question to consider: Who is the sprig broken off from the lofty top of the cedar?

In the parable from yesterday, the first eagle took twigs from the finest of the cedar of Lebanon, and planted a seed in a fertile place so that it would grow up high and lofty. However, it instead grew low and bent away from the fertile place to a different eagle who would be no help at all. God explained that the twigs were the king and princes of Israel, the seed was a reference to Zedekiah, the new king planted in Jerusalem, and the two eagles were rulers from Babylon and Egypt. From this explanation, we are equipped with the clues to figure out the word of the Lord given in today’s passage.

The shoot which would be taken from the very top of a cedar would be a yet unknown king or prince whom God Himself would select and plant on a high and lofty mountain of Israel. Rather than the low and crooked tree planted in the fertile land, this sprig would become a splendid cedar with many branches and produce fruit.

From hindsight, we know that the tender sprig selected by God was none other than the son born to the wife of a lowly carpenter and laid in a manger. He would be planted by God on the mountain of the skull, Golgotha, and buried in a tomb. From the tomb, He would be raised up to be the king of kings, ruling from the heavenly Mount Zion according to the writer of Hebrews, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22-24)

The fruit of this noble cedar would be all who would follow Christ as a disciple, and the branches that are produced would refer to the church, the kingdom over which Christ would rule. The birds of every sort who would find rest would be a reference to the gospel going out into the whole world and salvation being given to people from every nation on earth. The description of God bringing low the high tree and making high the low tree, drying up the green tree, and making the dry tree flourish is reminiscent of Jesus’ words about greatness in the kingdom of God, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving Ezekiel the promise of Christ in the midst of the greatest difficulty he had ever faced. Help us to keep our eyes on Christ and the promise of His return as we go through our own time of exile here in the world. Amen.