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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



EZEKIEL 17

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PARABLE OF THE EAGLES

17:1, 2. And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable, unto the house of Israel. — Chapter 17 pictures ecclesiasticism as a king, his partial captivity to the forces destined to destroy him, his turning for support to the forces of worldly wisdom and power, the failure of the attempted alliance, and his final downfall.
17:3. 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. — The Assyrians (a great eagle) with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers (strong of wing, powerful), which had divers colors (many varieties and phases of appearance) came to Lebanon (the Hebrew kingdom) and took the highest branch of the cedar (carried King Jehoiachim captive). In antitype this signifies: The power destined to destroy Christendom (anarchy, Nihilism, Socialism, and their wisdom expressed in schools of thought tending to destroy respect for Christendom) like an eagle (wise one) with great wings (impressive words) long-winged (far-reaching), full of feathers (full of argument), has quietly made its way into Christendom since 1878 and taken captive the highest ones, many of the leading class of Christendom (the Cedar) with, doctrines of Evolution, Socialism, and Higher Criticism, all destructive of the existing order of things.
17:4. He cropped off the top of his twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants. — These were taken captive by these systems of thought into a condition where the Heavenly ideals of the church were abandoned for mere trafficking for position and power, and in human, earthly theories and philosophies.
17:5. 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. — The remaining people of ecclesiasticism, more lowly, the seed from whom had once sprung the ruling classes, will be planted in rich, deep soil, well saturated with waters of the great truths of fraternity, equality and liberty,
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17:6. 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. — The new ecclesiasticism, fostered by revivalists, evangelists, social and civic workers and other earthly reformers, will grow and flourish into a form of ecclesiasticism, low, never far above earthly things, whose numbers (branches) tended toward anarchous systems of thought, and whose roots, fundamental philosophy, will be under the sway of the same.
17:7, 8. There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. — But the new, low-born ecclesiasticism, alarmed at the anarchous trend of thought, shall turn toward another great system of wisdom (an eagle) equally of demoniacal origin; i. e., conservative, worldly wisdom tending to uphold the present unholy state of affairs.
17:9. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? It shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. — The time of God's Kingdom having come, God purposes to uproot the new ecclesiasticism. Its character fruitage, being of the spirit of this world, must be cut off and withered in the fiery trials of this tribulation time. Its promise (leaves) shall wither away, even as it has withered wherever the great war has touched.
17:10. Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew. — From the east, the direction of the rising Sun of Righteousness, comes a wind, a teaching, Present Truth, that shall touch the new ecclesiasticism and wither it in a time when there is "perplexity and distress of nations, men's hearts failing them for fear of the things coming on the earth" (Luke 21:24, 25) — the social order — ecclesiasticism — "the vine." — Rev. 14:18.
17:11, 12. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him
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to Babylon. — The king of Babylon, Satan, has already come to ecclesiasticism and taken captive the ruling class, the prominent clergy.
17:13. And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him; he hath also taken the mighty of the land. — He holds the chief ones captive by reason of their agreement with his modern, false, religious, social and economic teachings.
17:14. That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. — As a result ecclesiasticism will not be able to rise above earthly things nor lift itself up to combat anarchous systems of thought. If it could do so, it might! not be overthrown immediately, but might continue to stand for yet a little while.
17:15. But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? — Ecclesiasticism has rebelled by crying out to the established wisdom of this world (Egypt), relying upon strong, conservative worldly doctrines (horses) and many supporters of the reactionary ideas, to save it from complete overthrow.
17:16. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. — As God lives! In the condition of lawlessness, wherein Satan, the king of anarchy, liveth, who elevated ecclesiasticism to its place of power, there, in anarchy, in the midst of lawless hosts, shall ecclesiasticism perish.
17:17. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons. — Neither shall worldly wisdom, with its mighty following, accomplish anything for ecclesiasticism in its death struggle with anarchy, not even by raising up governmental support (mounts) nor by the united efforts of the strongest elements of this world's might.
17:18, 19. Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely Mine oath that he hath despised, and My covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. — Ecclesiasticism has been faithless to Jehovah and will be faithless to its newly acquired philosophy.
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17:20. And I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against Me. — Like a snare, a net, shall the Time of Trouble come upon ecclesiasticism; and it shall not escape destruction at the hands of anarchy.
17:21. And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it. — Millions that abandon churches and clergy in the trouble shall fall physically by violence, and be slain spiritually by the Sword of the Spirit; and those that escape death shall be scattered in the world-wide commotion (winds) far from the systems they once supported. They shall know that God has spoken truly, when the day of anarchy shall come.

ZIONISM TO PROSPER

17:22. Thus saith the Lord God: I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent. — Thus says the Lord God: One of the highest branches of ecclesiasticism is Judaism. I will establish Judaism. I will take, in Judaism, one of its young and tender aspirations — Zionism — and will plant it, establish it at the very pinnacle of the coming Kingdom of God — the Jews ruling, through the resurrected Ancient Worthies — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. — over the earthly phase of that Kingdom. — Psa. 45:16; Heb. 11:40.
17:23. In the mountains of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar; and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. — It shall branch above all nations (boughs) and bear character fruit unto life eternal. (John 4:36.) It shall be the desire of all nations (Hag. 2:7) (a goodly cedar). Under it shall dwell in peace all the truly wise ones of earth.
17:24. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it. — All the people (trees) of the world (field) shall know that the Lord has brought down nominal ecclesiasticism and exalted the Ancient Worthies, has dried up "Christianity" and given vitality to Zionism and Judaism.

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