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Two Eagles and a Vine

17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel, and say, Thus says the Lord God: A great eagle with great wings, long-winged, full of feathers which had various colors, came to Lebanon and took away the highest branch of the cedar. He cropped off the top of its young twigs and carried it into a land of merchants. He set it in a city of dealers.

He took also some 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. It grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots were under it. 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 this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him, that he might water it by the bed where it was planted. It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a splendid vine.

Say: Thus says the Lord God: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its spring leaves wither? It will not take a great power or many people to pull it from its roots. 10 Though it has been planted, will it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither when the east wind hits it? It shall wither in the furrows where it grew.

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 12 Say now to the rebellious house: Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king and its officials, and led them to him in Babylon. 13 He took one of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and put him under oath. He has also taken away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be debased, that it might not lift itself up, but by the 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 who does such things? Can he indeed break the covenant and be delivered?

16 As I live, says the Lord God, surely in the country of the king who made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17 Nor shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help 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 he had given his allegiance and has done all these things, he shall not escape.

19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely My oath that he has despised and My covenant that he has broken, I will inflict upon his own head. 20 I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and will enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against Me. 21 All the choice men in all his troops shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered toward all winds. And you shall know that I the Lord have spoken it.

22 Thus says the Lord God: I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar and set it aside. I will crop off from the top of its young twigs a tender one and will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain of the height of Israel I will plant it. And it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a splendid cedar. And under it all fowl of every wing shall nest. In the shadow of its branches they shall nest. 24 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 will do it.