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 planting of the seed (Ezek 17:5-17:6)

“Then the eagle

Took a seed

From the land.

He placed it

In fertile soil.

He planted it

By abundant waters.

He set it

Like a willow twig.

It sprouted.

It became a vine,

Spreading out,

But low.

Its branches

Turned toward him,

Its roots remained

Where it stood.

So it became a vine.

It brought forth branches.

It put forth foliage.”

Then this eagle took a seed from the land. He placed it in a particular fertile soil by some water, so that it was just like a willow twig. This twig sprouted and became a low vine, spreading out its branches toward him. The roots remained strong so that it became a vine with branches and foliage. Perhaps this is an allusion to King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE), who was placed on the throne of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar.

The evil King Zedekiah (Jer 52:2-52:3)

“King Zedekiah

Did what was evil

In the sight of Yahweh,

Just as King Jehoiakim

Had done.

Indeed,

Jerusalem

With Judah

So angered Yahweh

That he expelled them

From his presence.

However,

King Zedekiah

Rebelled

Against the king of Babylon.”

This is word for word the same as the opening of 2 Kings, chapter 25. Yahweh was angry with King Zedekiah, since he walked in the evil ways of his brother King Jehoiakim, and not in the good ways of his father, King Josiah. However, King Zedekiah also rebelled against the king of Babylon, which was not always a good idea since the king of Babylon had put him on the throne.

The future righteousness king (Jer 33:15-33:17)

“In those days,

At that time,

I will cause

A righteous branch

To spring up

For David.

He shall execute justice

In the land.

He shall execute righteousness

In the land.

In those days,

Judah will be saved.

Jerusalem will live in safety.

This is the name

It will be called.

‘Yahweh is our righteousness.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘David shall never lack

A man to sit

On the throne

Of the house of Israel.’”

This is almost word for word from chapter 23 of this work. Yahweh indicates that a future Davidic king would rule in both Judah and Jerusalem, not Israel as in chapter 23. This king would come from David’s righteous branch. He would rule wisely with justice and righteousness. Judah would be saved and Jerusalem, not Israel, would live in safety. The name of Jerusalem would be called “Yahweh of our righteousness.” However, Yahweh said that they would never lack a descendant of David to sit on the throne as the king of Israel.

The prophet Hananiah speaks (Jer 28:2-28:4)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘I have broken the yoke

Of the king of Babylon.

Within two years,

I will bring back

To this place

All the vessels

Of Yahweh’s house

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Took away from this place.

He carried them

To Babylon.

I will also bring back

To this place

King Jeconiah,

The son of King Jehoiakim

Of Judah,

With all the exiles

From Judah

Who went to Babylon.

I will break

The yoke

Of the king of Babylon.’

Says Yahweh.”

Hananiah, the prophet from Gibeon, then uttered an oracle of Yahweh, the God of Israel, much like Jeremiah had done. He claimed that he had broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. He said that within 2 years all the vessels from the Temple sanctuary would be returned to Jerusalem. He was also going to bring back the deposed King Jeconiah or King Jehoiachin or King Coniah as he was known as, who had been king for only a couple of months in 598 BCE after his father King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE) had been killed. In the meantime, King Nebuchadnezzar had put King Jeconiah’s uncle on the throne, King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE). The exiled King Jeconiah was in Babylon in captivity. He was part of the first captivity of 598 BCE, when the sacred vessels and the other exiles also went to Babylon. Clearly, Hananiah the prophet said that Yahweh wanted to break the yoke of the king of Babylon. However, Jeremiah the prophet had said that Yahweh was in favor of this yoke. Let’s see what happens as these 2 prophets interpret the will of Yahweh as regards Babylon.

King Zedekiah was to serve the Babylonian king (Jer 27:12-27:13)

“I spoke to King Zedekiah

Of Judah

In the same way.

‘Bring your necks

Under the yoke

Of the king of Babylon.

Serve him!

Serve his people!

Live!

Why should you,

With your people,

Die

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence?

Yahweh has spoken

Concerning any nation

That will not serve

The king of Babylon.”

Jeremiah says that he spoke to King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE) who had been put on the throne by the King of Babylon. Jeremiah told King Zedekiah to put his neck unde the yoke of this Babylonian king. He was to serve him and his people. Thus he would live. Why should they die by the sword, famine, or pestilence? Yahweh had said that this was to be the fate of those who did not serve the king of Babylon.

The death of the prophet Uriah (Jer 26:21-26:23)

“When King Jehoiakim,

With all his warriors,

With all his officials,

Heard his words,

The king sought

To put him to death.

When Uriah heard this,

He was afraid.

He fled.

He escaped to Egypt.

Then King Jehoiakim sent

Elnathan,

The son of Achbor,

With other men with him,

To Egypt.

They took Uriah

From Egypt.

They brought him

To King Jehoiakim.

He struck him down

With the sword.

They threw his dead body

Into the burial place

Of the common people.”

King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE), the same king as when Jeremiah was prophesying, heard about the prophecies of Uriah. He had an immediate reaction as he with his warriors and officials wanted to kill Uriah for his prophecy about the demise of Judah and Jerusalem. This prophet Uriah then fled to Egypt. However, the king of Egypt had put King Jehoiakim on the throne. Elnathan, the son of Achbor, may have been the father-in-law of the king of Judah. Achbor had helped King Josiah in his religious reforms. Thus when he showed up with some men in Egypt, they were able to bring him back to the king of Judah. There they killed Uriah with a sword. Then they threw his dead body in the common burial place. Uriah did not have a happy ending. He was one of the few prophets to be killed.