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.


  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

Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Nebuchadnezzar the king,

(A)To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders (B)that the Most High God has worked for me.

(C)How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is (D)an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid, (E)and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head (F)troubled me. Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. (G)Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. But at last Daniel came before me (H)(his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; (I)in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: “Belteshazzar, (J)chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
(K)A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
(L)The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was (M)a watcher, (N)a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried [a]aloud and said thus:

(O)‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
(P)Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven (Q)times[b] pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order (R)that the living may know
(S)That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
(T)Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the (U)lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, (V)since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, (W)for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, (X)whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts (Y)troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.”

Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may (Z)the dream [c]concern those who hate you, and its interpretation [d]concern your enemies!

20 (AA)“The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home— 22 (AB)it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, (AC)and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 (AD)“And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, (AE)and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven [e]times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall (AF)drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you (AG)eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven [f]times shall pass over you, (AH)till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and (AI)gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that (AJ)Heaven[g] rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; (AK)break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. (AL)Perhaps there may be (AM)a [h]lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking [i]about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king (AN)spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 (AO)While the word was still in the king’s mouth, (AP)a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And (AQ)they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven [j]times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 And (AR)at the end of the [k]time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him (AS)who lives forever:

For His dominion is (AT)an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 (AU)All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
(AV)He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
(AW)No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, (AX)“What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, (AY)and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was (AZ)restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was (BA)added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, (BB)praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, (BC)all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. (BD)And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.


  1. Daniel 4:14 Lit. with strength
  2. Daniel 4:16 Possibly years
  3. Daniel 4:19 be for
  4. Daniel 4:19 for
  5. Daniel 4:23 Possibly years
  6. Daniel 4:25 Possibly years
  7. Daniel 4:26 God
  8. Daniel 4:27 prolonging
  9. Daniel 4:29 Or upon
  10. Daniel 4:32 Possibly years
  11. Daniel 4:34 Lit. days

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