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Author: Ron Graham


Ezekiel Chapters 16 and 17
—Outline and Notes

1 Context Overview

Chapters 16 and 17 of Ezekiel continue to record the messages that came to Ezekiel from the LORD God. God speaks of his love for Israel, his sorrow for their terrible sins, and their coming destruction at the hands of their enemies. But again God promises that whilst Israel is a tree cut down, a tender branch of it will be grown into a new tree and thrive.

The Chaldeans, under king Nebuchadnezzar, are tightening their grip on Jerusalem. Many Israelites have already been taken captive. The final assault will happen soon. Many will be killed, many will be scattered, and many will be among the captives —all this because they persisted in idolatry and all its abominations.

Ezekiel chapters 16 and 17 record a series of messages from God to Ezekiel concerning this situation.

Symbol and Parable

Chapter 16 is symbolic. Jerusalem is likened to God’s bride who became unfaithful and adulterous. There was probably much sexual immorality in Jerusalem. However God is referring to the idols that Jerusalem worshipped. She gave herself to other gods as her lovers, instead of being true to the God of Israel who was her husband.

Chapter 17 is also symbolic. It is in the form of a parable about two eagles, a cedar tree, and a vine that grew from a piece of the cedar. This looks forward to the restoration of Jerusalem when the remnant returned. It also looks to the more distant future when Messiah came and established the new Jerusalem, his church or kingdom (Hebrews 12:22).

2 Outline of Ezekiel 16 and 17

Jerusalem God’s Bride

Jerusalem’s Wicked Family

God Will Remember His Covenant

Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine

References: (2Kings 24, 2Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 52).

3 Ezekiel is Shown the Future

The looming destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of king Nebuchadnezzar was prophesied by Ezekiel at a time when any discerning person could have seen it coming. That is not to say Ezekiel’s strenuous efforts were unnecessary. The Israelites were blind to the obvious, so, under God’s direction, Ezekiel tried to wake them up.

But beyond that, there are elements of Ezekiel’s prophecy that look beyond Jerusalem’s destruction into the more distant future that only a prophet could forsee.

The immediate future is black. But the more distant future is bright. Ezekiel is able to see that distant light.

The Return and Rebuilding

There are statements in Ezekiel that the scattered Israelites would return to Judah, and Jerusalem will be rebuilt. We know that this indeed happened in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

For example, in the early chapters of Ezekiel we find the following...

The Advent of the Messiah

Furthermore, the visions God gave to Ezekiel also glimpse the coming of Messiah and his glorious kingdom even further in the future.


Webservant Ron Graham

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