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Parable of the Twig of a Cedar.

Parable of the Twig of a Cedar.

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Published by glennpease
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Ezek. xvii. 22 — 24. Thus sa'ilh 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 aji high mountain and eminent :
in the mountain of the height of Israel luill I plant it; a7id
it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly
cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every iving ;
in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And
all the trees of the field shall know, that I the Loi'd 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 the Lord have spoken, and have done it.
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Ezek. xvii. 22 — 24. Thus sa'ilh 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 aji high mountain and eminent :
in the mountain of the height of Israel luill I plant it; a7id
it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly
cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every iving ;
in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And
all the trees of the field shall know, that I the Loi'd 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 the Lord have spoken, and have done it.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 25, 2014
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PARABLE OF THE TWIG OF A CEDAR.THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Ezek. xvii. 22 — 24. Thus sa'ilh 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 aji high mountain and eminent : in the mountain of the height of Israel luill I plant it; a7id it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every iving ; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know, that I the Loi'd 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 the Lord have spoken, and have done it. The 174 E2EKIEL, XVII. 22— 24. [582. THE promises of God to his Church are not un^ frequently connected with, and, as it were, made to arise out of, his judgments denounced against his enemies. Of this we have a very striking example in the chapter before us, where the very images which are used to represent the guilt and punishmeut of the king of Judah are employed to prefigure the establishment and increase of the Church of Christ. To understand the text aright, the preceding con- text should be considered. The Prophet was commanded to deliver a riddle, or parable, that should set forth the conduct of the Jewish people in a mysterious, but just, light: and then, lest it should not be fully understood, he was
 
to give them the true interpretation of it. ebuchad- nezzar, having taken Jeconiah king of Judah and all his princes captive to Babylon, would not entirely destroy Jerusalem, but made Mattaniah (whom he named Zedekiah) king in the place of Jeconiah his uncle, and suffered him to enjoy all the rights and honours of royalty, on the express condition of his holding them, not as an independent sovereign, but as tributary to the king of Babylon. All this was quite a gratuitous act ; and it lay Zedekiah under the strongest obligations to fulfil towards his benefactor all the engagements that he had entered into, more especially as they were confirmed by a solemn oath. But Zedekiah, unmindful of his oaths, sought the aid of the king of Egypt, that so he might be delivered from what he considered as a disgraceful vassalage, and enjoy a sovereignty independent and uncon- trolled. This treachery is represented by God under the image of a twig, cropt off a lofty cedar by a great eagle, and planted by him in a fruitful field, and growing so as to be highly respectable, though in- ferior in grandeur to the parent stock. This young cedar, dissatisfied with its state, spreads its roots towards another great eagle, (the king of Egypt,) in hopes that through his influence it shall attain a far greater eminence and fertility. But God, whose oath was thereby violated, declared, that the attempt should 582.] PARABLE OF THE TWIG OF A CEDAR. 1 f 5 should not prosper, but that, on the contrary, the perjured monarch, who was thus described, should bring ruin, irreparable ruin, on his own head ". From hence it might be supposed, that David's throne should never be re-established ; but God promises, under precisely the same figure that had been em-
 
ployed to represent these things, that he v/ill restore the kingdom of David, partly under Zerubbabel, but principally under the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ ; and that, instead of being ever subverted, like the Jewish polity, or the kingdoms of this world, it shall stand for ever and ever, a glorious monument of his power and truth. We propose to consider this prophecy, I. As already accomplished — The Church, though low in its origin, is become exceeding great — [The Lord Jesus Christ, the Founder of it, was brought into the world when the Family of David was reduced to a very low and abject state. He is fitly called " A rod out of the stem of Jesse ''," that " grew up as a tender plant, as a root out of a dry ground''." During the whole time of his sojourning on earth, he existed in a state of the deepest humiliation : and his Church which he established consisted only of himself and a few poor fishermen. However, this twig, being planted in the height of Israel, grew, and " brought forth boughs, and bare fruit, and speedily became a goodly cedar." Great and vehement were the storms which menaced its existence; but it withstood them all; and in a little time it spread its branches throughout all the Roman empire. Then " birds of every wing (that is, Jews and Gentiles) came to dwell under its shadow," and to be nourished by its fruits. At this hour its growth is visible from year to year: and in due season it will fill the whole earth, and be the one centre of union, and source of happiness to all mankind.] And thus far God is greatly glorified in it — [" Every tree of the field must know" whose work this is, and to whom all the glory of it belongs. Who can survey the Church in its infancy, and not wonder that it was not rooted up as soon as ever it was planted ? Every arm was lifted up against

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