I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar - I will raise up another monarchy, which shall come in the line of David, namely, the Messiah; who shall appear as a tender plant, as to his incarnation; but he shall be high and eminent; his Church, the royal city, the highest and purest ever seen on the face of the earth.
A contrast between the dealings of Nebuchadnezzar and of Yahweh. Nebuchadnezzar “cut off,” Yahweh will “set up” the topshoot; Nebuchadnezzar “carried it into a land of traffic,” Yahweh will “plant it in the mountain of the height of Israel.” Nebuchadnezzar set his favorite as a “vine, lowly” though not poor, in the place where such trees as the humble “willow” grow and thrive. Yahweh‘s favorite is like the “lofty cedar, eminent upon a high mountain.”
The highest branch of the high cedar - The rightful representative of the royal house of David, the Messiah.
It was in order that the heavenly universe might see the conditions of the covenant of redemption that Christ bore the penalty in behalf of the human race. The throne of Justice must be eternally and forever made secure.... By the sacrifice Christ was about to make, all doubts would be forever settled, and the human race would be saved if they would return to their allegiance. Christ alone could restore honor to God's government. The cross of Calvary would be looked upon by the unfallen worlds, by the heavenly universe, by Satanic agencies, by the fallen race, and every mouth would be stopped. In making His infinite sacrifice Christ would exalt and honor the law. He would make known the exalted character of God's government, which could not in any way be changed to meet man in his sinful condition. LHU 257.2
Who is able to describe the last scenes of Christ's life on earth, His trial in the judgment hall, His crucifixion? Who witnessed these scenes? The heavenly universe, God the Father, Satan and his angels. Wonderful events took place in the betrayal of Christ. At His mock trial, His accusers found nothing by which He could be proved guilty. Three times Pilate declared, “I find no fault in Him at all.” Nevertheless he ordered Him to be scourged, and then delivered Him up to suffer the most cruel death that could be devised.... LHU 257.3
The terrible scenes of the crucifixion revealed what humanity will do when under Satan's control. They revealed what the outcome would be if Satan was to control the world. Those who witnessed these scenes never lost the impressions made upon their minds. Many were converted, and told others of the awful scene they beheld. Many who heard the report of Christ's death were converted, and commenced searching the Scriptures. Thus were fulfilled the words, “So shall he sprinkle many nations.” LHU 257.4
“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 an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall ... be a goodly cedar; and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.” LHU 257.5
Christ was this Branch, the highest branch of the highest cedar. He was the plant of the Lord's setting (The Signs of the Times, July 12, 1899). LHU 257.6Read in context »
“Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north,” was the message given the scattered tribes of Israel who had become settled in many lands far from their former home. “I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.” Zechariah 2:6-9. PK 599.1
It was still the Lord's purpose, as it had been from the beginning, that His people should be a praise in the earth, to the glory of His name. During the long years of their exile He had given them many opportunities to return to their allegiance to Him. Some had chosen to listen and to learn; some had found salvation in the midst of affliction. Many of these were to be numbered among the remnant that should return. They were likened by Inspiration to “the highest branch of the high cedar,” which was to be planted “upon an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel.” Ezekiel 17:22, 23. PK 599.2
It was those “whose spirit God had raised” (Ezra 1:5) who had returned under the decree of Cyrus. But God ceased not to plead with those who voluntarily remained in the land of their exile, and through manifold agencies He made it possible for them also to return. The large number, however, of those who failed to respond to the decree of Cyrus, remained unimpressible to later influences; and even when Zechariah warned them to flee from Babylon without further delay, they did not heed the invitation. PK 599.3Read in context »