5. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow-tree:
6. And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
After Ezekiel has narrated that Jehoiacin was carried away with his counselors and the flower of the whole people, and was so deprived of his native country as to be without hope of return, he now says, that the eagle took up the seed in Judea, and placed it in a fertile land; for he calls it a land of seed, since it was cultivated and produced fruit abundantly. He says, that the seed was afterwards hidden in the soil, that it grew immediately, and became a luxuriant vine. He says also, that its roots were irrigated, like a willow planted by a river's bed. The Prophet afterwards explains himself: hence it is sufficient to state briefly what he means. The seed, then, which he here means is Zedekiah, the last king. It is said to have been planted beside the waters; for his condition was tolerable, since the royal name and dignity and wealth was left to him. For although he was tributary, the kindness with which he was treated by Nebuchadnezzar was not to be despised, since, by the right of war, he was able to lead him captive. together with his nephew; for Zedekiah was the uncle of Jeconiah or Jehoiacin. But he said, that this vine, which sprang from a seed or germ, grew so that it was of low stature; the Prophet means by these words, as we shall afterwards see, that Zedekiah was not a king, that he was restrained by a bridle from daring to rebel against the king of Babylon; and hence it is added, that its branches turned towards the eagle, and its roots were under him; but in the next clause Ezekiel announces, that it became a vine which set forth branches, and shot forth boughs, which he repeats again, that Zedekiah's ingratitude may appear the greater, who, not content with his moderate confinement, perfidiously revolted from the king of Babylon, through reliance on the new treaty, on which we touched yesterday. It now follows --
1 "He took." -- Calvin.
2 That is, "a fertile or rich field." -- Calvin.
3 "The eagle." -- Calvin.
4 Or, "twigs." -- Calvin.
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