Ezekiel 17

The Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, pose a riddle; speak a parable to the house of Israel and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers of many colors, came to Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar. He plucked off its topmost shoot, carried it to the land of merchants, and planted it in a city of traders. He took some of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil;
Hebrew in a field of seed
he placed [it] by abundant waters; he set it out like a willow.
It sprouted and became a spreading vine, low in height with branches turned toward him; yet its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and yielded branches, and sent out shoots. But there was another great eagle with great wings and many feathers. And behold, this vine bent its roots toward him. It stretched out its branches to him from its planting bed, so that he might water it. It had been planted in good soil by abundant waters in order to yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’ So you are to tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Will it flourish? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it shrivels? All its foliage will wither! It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by its roots. 10  Even if transplanted, will it flourish? Will it not completely wither when the east wind strikes? It will wither on the bed where it sprouted.’”

The Parable Explained

11  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 12  “Now say to this rebellious house: ‘Do you not know what these [things] [mean] ?’ Tell [them] , ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, carried off its king and officials, and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13  He took a member of the royal family
Hebrew seed
and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. Then he carried away the leading men of the land,
14  so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to lift itself up, keeping his covenant to survive. 15  But this [king] rebelled against [Babylon] by sending his envoys to Egypt to ask for horses and a large army. Will he flourish? Will the one who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and yet escape?’ 16  ‘As surely as I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who enthroned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke. 17  Pharaoh with [his] mighty army and vast horde will not help him in battle, when ramps are built and siege walls constructed to destroy many lives. 18  He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Seeing that he gave his hand in pledge yet did all these, he will not escape!’ 19  Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘As surely as I live, I will bring down upon his head My oath that he despised and My covenant that he broke. 20  I will spread My net over him and catch him in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment upon him there for the treason he committed against Me . 21  All his fleeing troops will fall by the sword, and those who survive will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken.’ 22  This is what the Lord GOD says: ‘I will take a shoot from the lofty top of the cedar, and I will set [it] out. I will pluck a tender sprig from its topmost shoots, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23  I will plant it on the mountain heights of Israel so that it will bear branches; it will yield fruit and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind will nest under it, taking shelter in the shade of its branches. 24  Then all the trees of the field will know that I am the LORD. I bring the tall tree {down} , and make the low tree tall. I dry up the green tree and make the withered tree flourish. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.’”
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