Two Eagles and a Vine

17 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.(A) Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle(B) with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon.(C) Taking hold of the top of a cedar, he broke off(D) its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.

“‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,(E) and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches(F) turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.(G)

“‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.(H) It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches,(I) bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’

“Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots.(J) 10 It has been planted,(K) but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?(L)’”

11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?(M)’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles,(N) bringing them back with him to Babylon.(O) 13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty(P) with him, putting him under oath.(Q) He also carried away the leading men(R) of the land, 14 so that the kingdom would be brought low,(S) unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty. 15 But the king rebelled(T) against him by sending his envoys to Egypt(U) to get horses and a large army.(V) Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?(W)

16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, he shall die(X) in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.(Y) 17 Pharaoh(Z) with his mighty army and great horde will be of no help to him in war, when ramps(AA) are built and siege works erected to destroy many lives.(AB) 18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge(AC) and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.

19 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant.(AD) 20 I will spread my net(AE) for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment(AF) on him there because he was unfaithful(AG) to me. 21 All his choice troops will fall by the sword,(AH) and the survivors(AI) will be scattered to the winds.(AJ) Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken.(AK)

22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot(AL) from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.(AM) 23 On the mountain heights(AN) of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit(AO) and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.(AP) 24 All the trees of the forest(AQ) will know that I the Lord bring down(AR) the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.(AS)

“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.(AT)’”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

17 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;

And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:

He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.

He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.

And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.

There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.

It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.

10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;

13 And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:

14 That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.

15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?

16 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:

18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

20 And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.

21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it.

22 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:

23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.

The Eagles and the Vine

17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, pose a riddle, and speak a (A)parable to the house of Israel, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

(B)“A great eagle with large wings and long pinions,
Full of feathers of various colors,
Came to Lebanon
And (C)took from the cedar the highest branch.
He cropped off its topmost young twig
And carried it to a land of trade;
He set it in a city of merchants.
Then he took some of the seed of the land
And planted it in (D)a fertile field;
He placed it by abundant waters
And set it (E)like a willow tree.
And it grew and became a spreading vine (F)of low stature;
Its branches turned toward him,
But its roots were under it.
So it became a vine,
Brought forth branches,
And put forth shoots.

“But there was [a]another great eagle with large wings and many feathers;
And behold, (G)this vine bent its roots toward him,
And stretched its branches toward him,
From the garden terrace where it had been planted,
That he might water it.
It was planted in [b]good soil by many waters,
To bring forth branches, bear fruit,
And become a majestic vine.” ’

“Say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Will it thrive?
(H)Will he not pull up its roots,
Cut off its fruit,
And leave it to wither?
All of its spring leaves will wither,
And no great power or many people
Will be needed to pluck it up by its roots.
10 Behold, it is planted,
Will it thrive?
(I)Will it not utterly wither when the east wind touches it?
It will wither in the garden terrace where it grew.” ’ ”

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 12 “Say now to (J)the rebellious house: ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘Indeed (K)the king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and took its king and princes, and led them with him to Babylon. 13 (L)And he took the king’s offspring, made a covenant with him, (M)and put him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be (N)brought low and not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But (O)he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, (P)that they might give him horses and many people. (Q)Will he prosper? Will he who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still be delivered?

16 As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely (R)in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke—with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17 (S)Nor will Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company do anything in the war, (T)when they heap up a siege mound and build a [c]wall to cut off many persons. 18 Since he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and in fact (U)gave[d] his hand and still did all these things, he shall not escape.’ ”

19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely My oath which he despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will recompense on his own head. 20 I will (V)spread My net over him, and he shall be taken in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and (W)try him there for the [e]treason which he committed against Me. 21 (X)All his [f]fugitives with all his troops shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be (Y)scattered to every wind; and you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Israel Exalted at Last(Z)

22 Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest (AA)branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs (AB)a tender one, and will (AC)plant it on a high and prominent mountain. 23 (AD)On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. (AE)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, (AF)have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; (AG)I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 17:7 So with LXX, Syr., Vg.; MT, Tg. one
  2. Ezekiel 17:8 Lit. a good field
  3. Ezekiel 17:17 Or siege wall
  4. Ezekiel 17:18 Took an oath
  5. Ezekiel 17:20 Lit. unfaithful act
  6. Ezekiel 17:21 So with MT, Vg.; many Heb. mss., Syr. choice men; Tg. mighty men; LXX omits All his fugitives
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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