Parable of the Eagles
1The word of the Lord came to me:
2“Son of man, pose a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel.17:2 Ezk 20:49; 24:3
3You are to say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: A huge eagle with powerful wings,17:3 Jr 48:40 long feathers, and full plumage of many colors came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar.17:3 Ezk 17:12
4He plucked off its topmost shoot, brought it to the land of merchants, and set it in a city of traders.
5Then he took some of the land’s seed and put it in a fertile field;17:5 Dt 8:7–9 he set it like a willow,17:5 Is 44:4 a plant17:5 Hb obscure by abundant water.
6It sprouted and became a spreading vine, low in height with its branches turned toward him,17:6 Ezk 17:14 yet its roots stayed under it. So it became a vine, produced branches, and sent out shoots.
7“‘But there was another huge eagle with powerful wings and thick plumage. And this vine bent its roots toward him! It stretched out its branches to him from the plot where it was planted,17:7 Ezk 31:4 so that he might water it.
8It had been planted in a good field by abundant water in order to produce branches, bear fruit, and become a splendid vine.’
9“You are to say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Will it flourish? Will he not tear out its roots17:9 2Kg 25:7 and strip off its fruit so that it shrivels? All its fresh leaves will wither! Great strength and many people will not be needed to pull it from its roots.
10Even though it is planted, will it flourish? Won’t it wither completely when the east wind strikes it?17:10 Gn 41:6; 2Kg 19:26; Ezk 19:12; Hs 13:15; Jnh 4:8 It will wither on the plot where it sprouted.’”
11The word of the Lord came to me:
12“Now say to that rebellious house,17:12 Ezk 2:3–5; 12:9–11 ‘Don’t you know what these things mean? ’ Tell them, ‘The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and officials,17:12 2Kg 24:11–15 and brought them back with him to Babylon.
13He took one of the royal family17:13 2Kg 24:17 and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath.17:13 2Ch 36:13 Then he took away the leading men of the land,
14so that the kingdom would be humble and not exalt itself17:14 Ezk 29:14 but would keep his covenant in order to endure.
15However, this king revolted against him17:15 2Kg 24:20; 2Ch 36:13 by sending his ambassadors to Egypt so they might give him horses and a large army.17:15 Dt 17:16 Will he flourish? Will the one who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still escape?
16“‘As I live — this is the declaration of the Lord God — he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne,17:16 Ezk 12:13 whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke.
17Pharaoh with his mighty army and vast company will not help him in battle,17:17 Jr 37:5,7 when ramps are built and siege walls constructed to destroy many lives.
18He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. He did all these things even though he gave his hand in pledge.17:18 1Ch 29:24 He will not escape!
19“‘Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: As I live, I will bring down on his head my oath that he despised and my covenant that he broke.
20I will spread my net over him,17:20 Ezk 12:13 and he will be caught in my snare.17:20 2Kg 25:5–6; Jr 39:5 I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment on him there for the treachery he committed against me.17:20 Ezk 20:35–36
21All the fugitives17:21 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg read choice men among his troops will fall by the sword, and those who survive will be scattered to every direction of the wind.17:21 Ezk 5:10 Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.
22“‘This is what the Lord God says:
I will take a sprig
from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.17:22 Ps 2:6
I will pluck a tender sprig
from its topmost shoots,
and I will plant it
on a high towering mountain.
23I will plant it on Israel’s high mountain17:23 Ezk 20:40
so that it may bear branches, produce fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind will nest under it,17:23 Dn 4:12
taking shelter in the shade of its branches.
24Then all the trees of the field will know
that I am the Lord.
I bring down the tall tree,
and make the low tree tall.17:24 Is 40:4
I cause the green tree to wither
and make the withered tree thrive.17:24 Am 9:11
I, the Lord, have spoken
and I will do it.’”17:24 Nm 14:35; Ps 33:9; Is 46:11; 55:11; Ezk 17:24; 22:14; 24:14; 36:36; 37:14