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Dissertation Fourteenth.

α THE GREAT EAGLE.

Ezekiel 17:3

The allegory of “The Great Eagle” is well sustained throughout this chapter. A golden eagle with extended wings was the standard of the king of Persia in the time of Cyrus, (Xenoph. Cyrop., lib. 7 chap. 1,) and it was probably adopted from the Assyrian empire. The length of its wing is supposed by Grotius to apply to the widely-extended empire of Nebuchadnezzar. Kimchi interprets “the variegated color like a peacock” of the majesty and dignity of his kingdom; but Michaelis agrees with Calvin. The interpretation of Lebanon, to which Calvin objects, is adopted by Jerome and Theodoret; but Rosenmuller agrees with our Author. He also takes the word כנען, ken-men, (Ezekiel 17:4,) exactly in Calvin’s sense, quoting Proverbs 31:24, “quod incolae ejus terrae, utpote maris accolae, mercaturae erant deditissimi.” See also Dathe’s edit. of Glass. Phil. Sac., p. 1184. The sense which Calvin disapproves is adopted by the Septuagint, the Roman Codex, the Arabian version, Theodoret, and the Chaldee paraphrast. The criticism in the note to verse 8 is correct; and the interpretation generally is in accordance with the explanations of Jarcin, Kimchi, Jerome, Michaelis, Grotius, and other critics ancient and modern. Newcome has noticed some various readings, and others are easily gathered from De Rossi, and the different versions and codexes; but they are not of sufficient interest, to need further detail.

β THE LOFTY BRANCH OF THE TALL CEDAR.

Ezekiel 17:22

The interpretation of Ezekiel 17:22 is worthy of remark. Kimchi and Grotius think that Zerubbabel is intended here, but Rosenmuller agrees with Calvin in referring it to Christ. The Chaldee paraphrast and Jarchi apply it to “King Messiah.” (See Talm. Schabba,, fol. 30, and Cholin, fol. 139, b., and R. Abendana ad Michal Jopin.) Calvin’s supposition, however, that where the prophets speak of “this hope of freedom to the elect,” it should be dated from the rebuilding of the temple, and continued to the end of Christ’s kingdom, is incorrect. It causes him, to date this kingdom from the rebuilding of the temple, in forgetfulness of the many disasters which happened to the people between the times of Ezra and of our Lord. The building of the second temple was not an event of any immediate spiritual import to the Jews’ it was followed by overwhelming temporal disasters; so that the reign of Messiah did not commence till the Mediator of the New Covenant was revealed, and “the new kingdom of the heavens” fully heralded into the world at large.

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