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The Eagle of Babylon



"And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar."-Ezekiel, 17, 3.


ZEKIEL now goes on by parable after parable to express the wickedness of Judah and the inevitable destruction that approaches. He compares the nation to a vine tree, fit only for burning, to a miserable infant, rescued by God and now turned against Him, to a woman "that loatheth her husband and her children." In a longer "riddle," more fully developed, he shows the exact method of the attack upon Jerusalem. She is figured as a cedar tree, and the King of Babylon as an eagle which has already punished and partly stripped the cedar, yet now protects and would preserve it. But Judah turns instead to another eagle, Egypt. Between the two she shall perish. The Ammonites shall also rebel against Babylon; and Nebuchadnezzar shall lead his armies against both rebels, hesitant which to attack. "For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver." These were methods of choosing lots, trusting to spiritual guidance. In this case, alas, the lot was to fall against Jerusalem, and the Babylonians would advance against her and destroy her.


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put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.

25 But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.

26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 31

1 A relation unto Pharaoh, 3 of the glory of Assyria, 10 and the fall thereof for pride. 18 The like destruction of Egypt.

ND it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?

3 ¶ Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.

4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.

5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.

6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.

7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.

8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.

9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

10 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;

11 I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.

12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his

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