The idolatry of Jerusalem is seen in chapter 16. The allegory here is that of the faithless wife. She had turned away from God and committed adultery with other gods. This is a very graphic and vivid portrayal of Israel's idolatry. Israel is pictured here as a bride who had a beloved husband who made her a queen and lavished many precious gifts upon her. She then made herself a prostitute to every man that passed by, shaming even Sodom and Samaria.
Chapter 17 is a parable of the two eagles. The "great eagle" (verse 3) was the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. The "top of the cedar" (verse 3) was the house of David; the "young twig" (verse 4) was Jehoiachin; the "land of traffick" was Babylonia; the "seed of the land" was Zedekiah. "Another great eagle" (verse 7) was Psammethichus II (594 b.c. to 588 b.c.), who enrolled Zedekiah and other western powers in a coalition against Babylon. "The east wind" (verse 10) was Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Zedekiah was doomed to fall.
In the allegory of the cedar, as given to us in verses 22-24, Israel's hope for the future once again comes into view. The Lord will take a "sprig" (Messiah) from "the lofty top of the cedar" (David's house), and "one of its young tender twigs" (the Messiah), and "plant it upon a high and lofty mountain." "The high tree" brought low and "the green tree" dried up (verse 24) symbolize Gentile world power. "The low tree" exalted and "the dry tree" revived portray the restoration of the kingdom to Israel when the Son of David returns. Gentile world power will be broken and Israel will be restored to governmental and spiritual glory under Messiah.
Index of Daily Devotions