New Defender's Study Bible Notes
17:2 parable. The first eagle in this parable seems to represent Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 17:3,12); the second is Pharaoh (Ezekiel 13:7,15). The vine is Judah and King Zedekiah (Ezekiel 13:6,14), vacillating between Babylon and Egypt, although God had told him to yield to Nebuchadnezzar.
17:4 city of merchants. This city is Babylon, to which the current “highest branch”—i.e., King Jehoiachin—had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 17:3; see II Kings 24:15).
17:6 vine of low stature. The Babylonian king planted “the seed of the land” (Ezekiel 17:5, see II Kings 24:14) in Judah under Zedekiah, and it became the spreading “vine of low stature.”
17:7 her branches toward him. Instead of serving under Nebuchadnezzar, as Jeremiah had urged, Zedekiah soon turned to Egypt for help (Ezekiel 17:15), but God said that the nation would “utterly wither” (Ezekiel 17:10) as a result of this rebellion (against God, as well as Nebuchadnezzar).
17:20 bring him to Babylon. Instead of serving as governor of Judah, as authorized by Nebuchadnezzar, Zedekiah was blinded and then taken to Babylon. He eventually died in Babylon.
17:22 highest branch. This prophecy looks to the distant future and Messiah. The “branch” is a frequent representation of the coming Savior/King (see Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8).