The second eagle was Egypt (Ezek 17:15-17:16)

“But the new king

Rebelled against him.

He sent ambassadors

To Egypt.

He hoped

That they might

Give him

Horses

With a large army.

Will he succeed?

Can one escape

Who does such things?

Can he break the covenant?

Can he yet escape?

As I live,

Says Yahweh God!

‘Surely in the place

Where the king resides,

Who made him king,

Whose oath he despised,

Whose covenant

With him

He broke,

He shall die

In Babylon.’”

The explanation of the riddle of the eagles continued with the assertion that the second eagle was Egypt. This new king, King Zedekiah, rebelled against the king of Babylon. King Zedekiah sent ambassadors to Egypt in order to get horses and a large army. Would he succeed? What happens to people who do things like this? Would he be able to break the covenant and escape? Yahweh had a different idea. The king of Judah had broken his agreement with the king of Babylon, the same one who put him on the throne. The result was that the king of Judah would die in Babylon.

The language problem of the Israelites (Isa 36:11-36:11)

“Then Eliakim,

Shebnah,

With Joah

Said to Rabshakeh.

‘Please speak to your servants in Aramaic.

We understand it.

Do not speak to us

In the language of Judah

Within the hearing of the people

Who are on the wall.’”

In words that are word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 18, the 3 ambassadors of King Hezekiah, Eliakim, Shebnah, and Joah asked Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic because they understood it. The language of Judah refers to local Hebrew. Perhaps as early as the 8th century BCE Aramaic was the common Mid Eastern language, while Hebrew was the unique to Israel. Apparently the ambassadors of King Hezekiah did not want the people sitting on the wall to hear this conversation. Rabshakeh may have had some prior connections with the Israelites since he knew their local language.

King Alexander I sends a message to Egypt (1 Macc 10:51-10:54)

“Then Alexander sent ambassadors to King Ptolemy of Egypt with the following message.

‘I have returned to my kingdom.

I have taken my seat on the throne of my ancestors.

I have established my rule.

I crushed Demetrius.

I gained control of our country.

I met him in battle.

He and his army were crushed by us.

We have taken our seat on the throne of his kingdom.

Now therefore let us establish friendship with one another.

Give me now your daughter as my wife.

I will become your son-in-law.

I will make gifts to you

And to her,

In keeping with your position.’”

King Alexander I of Syria called Balas sent ambassadors to the king of Egypt, King Ptolemy. His message was simple. He was in charge of the Seleucid Empire now since he had defeated King Demetrius I. He wanted to have friendly relationships with the Egyptians. In order to cement their relationship he wanted the king of Egypt to give him his daughter in marriage. He would then send appropriate gifts to him and her. This seems like a simple solution.

Jonathan and the peace treaty (1 Macc 9:70-9:73)

“When Jonathan learned of this, he sent ambassadors to Bacchides to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives. Bacchides agreed and he did as Jonathan said. He swore to Jonathan that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived. He restored to him the captives whom he had previously taken from the land of Judah. Then he turned and departed to his own land. He never came back into their territory. Thus the sword ceased from Israel. Jonathan settled in Michmash. He began to judge the people. He destroyed the godless out of Israel.”

When Jonathan heard that General Bacchides was leaving, he sent messengers to him to make peace and exchange prisoners. General Bacchides agreed with Jonathan. He swore that he would not harm Jonathan as long as he lived. They then exchanged prisoners or captives. General Bacchides left for his own land and never came back again. Thus there was peace in Israel. For someone unknown reason, Jonathan did not go to Jerusalem. Instead he settled in Michmash, about 8 miles northeast of Jerusalem and about 9 miles south of Bethel, where Saul had his fight with the Philistines. Jonathan was more like the early Israelite judges and Samuel than a king. However, he did destroy the godless renegades.