The meaning of the words ‘branch’ and ‘twig’ in Ezekiel 17:22

Some notes on Anglo-Israelist dogmas regarding king Zedekiah’s daughters

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This article belongs to a series on the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel. This present part focuses on certain Anglo-Israelist claims around the words “branch” and “twig” in Ezekiel 17:22.

(The article rya121.htm considers the claim that the prophet Jeremiah travelled to Ireland, “with the daughters of Zedekiah”. The article rya101.htm takes a closer look at the dogma which says that the line of David the king of Israel is still ruling somewhere on Earth.)

Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that Ezekiel 17:22 refers to a daughter of king Zedekiah. Is that correct? Let us consider that passage and matter.

Ezekiel 17:22 Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. 23 “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it […] (NKJV)

Those verses belong to a parable, see verse 1 and onward, which mentions a twig of a cedar branch the Lord was to plant. That planted twig was then to become a great cedar.

Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the word “twig” in verse 22 refers to a daughter of king Zedekiah. They have further claimed, in effect, that the words “mountain height of Israel” in verse 23 refer to Ireland. – Others say that those verses refer to Jesus and the land of Israel. So, what should one think, in regard to that passage?

Verse 22 says, “I will take also one of the highest branches”. So, let us consider certain other passages which mention a “branch”.

Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. (NKJV)

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: The Lord our righteousness. (NKJV)

Zechariah 3:8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch. (NKJV)

It is clear that those passages refer to Jesus who was a descendant of Judah through Jesse and his son David the king. The question is, whom do the words “branch” and “twig” refer to, in the case of Ezekiel 17:22?

More on the parable regarding the twig of a cedar branch.

Ezekiel 17 contains a parable. A part of it, see verses 11 to 21, is connected to Zedekiah whom the king of Babylon had made a ruler in Jerusalem. The last part of that parable, verses 22–24, is connected to a “branch” of which the Lord was to take a “twig” and plant it on the mountain height of Israel.

Ezekiel 17:22 Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. 23 “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. 24 “And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.” (NKJV)

That parable was spoken and written at a time when most of Israel had been taken into captivity. The ten northern tribes had been exiled a long time earlier, and in the prophet Ezekiel’s day a large part of the southern tribes (the Jews) had also been taken away from their own land, to Babylon. The prophet himself was among those exiles. The rule by king David’s descendants had actually come to an end, [a] but for a time, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon used Zedekiah as a ruler or governor in Jerusalem. Later, Zedekiah was taken to Babylon as a prisoner, and his sons were killed; see verses 13–16 and Jeremiah 39:1–6.

And again, Ezekiel 17:22–24 mentions a branch of which the Lord was to take a twig and plant it on the mountain height of Israel. And yes, that was connected to rulership. The question is, does that refer to Jesus, or to “Zedekiah’s daughters” as some claim?

a It was prophesied that the rule by the house of David was to cease for a long time. Hosea 3:4, “for the children of Israel will for a long time be without king and without ruler” (BBE). – The Lord had promised king David that his descendants would rule over Israel, but apparently, there was an “if” connected to that promise, so that it was conditional: 1 Kings 2:4, “if your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel” (NRSV). As things went, David’s descendants were not faithful to the Lord, and so, there came a break to the rulership. This passage refers to that break:

Ezekiel 21:27 Ruin, ruin! I will ruin it! It shall be no more, until He comes whose right it is. And I will give it to Him. (VW06)

“Until He comes whose right it is” – those words refer to Jesus. Even Ezekiel 17:22, the mention of a twig which the Lord was to plant, is connected to him.

A note: Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the first part of the above-quoted Ezekiel 21:27 means that the house of David was to be “moved to Ireland” and then further to Scotland and England. But, the Hebrew text of that verse talks about making it a ruin. And again, the second part of that verse says, “It shall be no more, until He comes whose right it is. And I will give it to Him.” Again, that refers to Jesus. The articles rya121.htm and rya101.htm have more on this and on the “line of David” matter in general.

Regarding the claim that the word ‘tender’ in Ezekiel 17:22 ‘must refer to a female’.

Some writers have argued that Ezekiel 17:22 “must refer to a female”, on the grounds that a number of bible-translations have in that verse such wordings as “I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one”. They have claimed that that “tenderness” must mean that the person in question was a female. Is that correct? Let us consider this matter.

Here is a passage where the word “tender” refers to a male:

1 Chronicles 22:5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender (KJV1769)

It is the same in 1 Chronicles 29:1, KJV1769. More – even here, the word “tender” refers to a male:

Proverbs 4:3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. (KJV1769)

In this prophecy, Jesus was called “a tender plant”:

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (KJV1769)

So, we see that in the Bible, the word “tender” certainly can refer to males.

The origin of the claim that the prophet Jeremiah transported the ‘branch’ or ‘twig’ of Ezekiel 17:22 to Ireland.

Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the British royals are “of the line of David”. That is connected to a claim that the prophet Jeremiah “transported” king David’s lineage, from Jerusalem to Egypt and then to Ireland. – Please note that according to ancient writers, Jeremiah died in Egypt, when certain Jews stoned him.

It appears that Anglo-Israelist writers have copied the story which says that Jeremiah travelled to Ireland, from the book ‘The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet, A Masonic Tale of the Captive Jews and the Ark of the Covenant’ (Freemason publishing house, 1896). – Just as the word “tale” in that book’s title indicates, it is a work of fiction. It consists of a number of fictitious stories. The article rya121.htm has more on the prophet Jeremiah, including some notes on the above-mentioned Freemason fiction book which certain Anglo-Israelist writers have quoted or referred to.

Some notes on the princess who according to certain Irish Catholic stories came from Egypt to Ireland.

Again, some writers have claimed that the prophet Jeremiah transported “the line of David” from Israel to Ireland. They have further claimed that it was later taken to Scotland and then to England. For proving their claims regarding Jeremiah, those writers have in a vague manner referred to some undefined passages in “Irish annals”.

Now, there is an Irish Catholic story which talks about some kind of a “princess” who came to Ireland, from Egypt. But, she was an Egyptian woman, and not an Israelite princess. Also, the timing of the events of that story is several hundred years before the days of the prophet Jeremiah. Point: The Egyptian woman who appears in some Irish Catholic stories, had nothing to do with “daughters of Zedekiah”. Zedekiah and the prophet Jeremiah were born hundreds of years later.

Consider this: We can be certain that if there existed some old documents that would give support to Anglo-Israelist dogmas, Anglo-Israelist writers would have spread countless facsimile copies of them. But, they have not done that. For, there are no such documents.

The article rya121.htm sorts out the “Jeremiah in Ireland” story.

Some writers have also talked about a group of people called “Tuatha Dé Danann” which appears in Irish-Celtic mythology. They have claimed that that group was connected with the tribe of Dan of Israel. But, it is not so. Apparently, the old Irish phrase Tuatha Dé Danann meant something like “the peoples of [the goddess] Danu”. Danu was the “mother” of various Irish “gods”. The article rya132.htm has some notes on this.

Links to the other 14 parts in this series on the tribes of Israel are found in the “recommended reading” section, below.

Please send or mention the address to this site to others. Please also link to this site. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/contents.htm

Recommended reading here at the Bible Pages, on related as well as other matters.

An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → rsa091.htm

On the King James version. The story behind king James’ bible, including the men who were involved in producing it. → rsa031.htm

On the words “gentiles”, “pagans” and “heathen” and what they actually mean and refer to. → rga012.htm

Easy keys to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. → rga021.htm

The other parts in the ‘tribes’ series:

What biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel. → rya012.htm

Leviticus 26:19, “and I will break the pride of your power”. How and when was the ancient Israelites’ pride broken? → rya022.htm

On the meaning of Genesis 22:17, the words “and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”. → rya032.htm

On what the concept “birthright” meant and referred to, in regard to inheritance, in ancient times. Also, some notes on the patriarch Jacob’s birthright, and that of his son Joseph. → rya042.htm

On the meaning of the words “seven times” in Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24 and 28. Does the wording in the Hebrew text mean “seven times more” or “sevenfold” as many translations have it, or “2520 years” as some writers have claimed? → rya052.htm

Jeremiah 30:7, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. On what chapter 30 in the book of Jeremiah means and refers to. → rya062.htm

On the prophet Ezekiel and his mission, and the “Ezekiel message” dogma. → rya071.htm

Matthew 10:5–6, “do not go into the way of the gentiles and do not enter a city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Who and where were those “sheep”? Where did the apostles go? → rya082.htm

Did the ten lost tribes of Israel move to Europe? Are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say? → rya091.htm

Is the line of David the king of Israel still ruling somewhere on Earth? → rya101.htm

The prophet Jeremiah – where did he die? Did he go to Ireland, as some have claimed? Also, what about the “stone of destiny” which some writers talk about? → rya121.htm

Did people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travel to Greece, Denmark and Ireland? Some notes on certain Anglo-Israelist dogmas. → rya132.htm

Regarding Anglo-Israelism: What if Russia with her Slavic sister nations are the ten lost tribes of Israel? → rya141.htm

Ethnic groups which could eventually belong to the lost tribes of Israel. → rya152.htm


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