Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 Son of man, put forth a riddle and speak a parable or allegory to the house of Israel;
3 Say, Thus says the Lord God: A great eagle [Nebuchadnezzar] with great wings and long pinions, rich in feathers of various colors, came to Lebanon [symbolic of Jerusalem] and took the top of the cedar [tree].
4 He broke off the topmost of its young twigs [the youthful King Jehoiachin] and carried it into a land of trade [Babylon]; he set it in a city of merchants.
5 He took also of the seedlings of the land [Zedekiah, one of the native royal family] and planted it in fertile soil and a fruitful field; he placed it beside abundant waters and set it as a willow tree [to succeed Zedekiah’s nephew Jehoiachin in Judah as vassal king].
6 And it grew and became a spreading vine of low [not Davidic] stature, whose branches turned [in submission] toward him, and its roots remained under and subject to him [the king of Babylon]; so it became a vine and brought forth branches and shot forth leafy twigs.
7 There was also another great eagle [the Egyptian king] with great wings and many feathers; and behold, this vine [Zedekiah] bent its roots [languishingly] toward him and shot forth its branches toward him, away from the beds of its planting, for him to water.
8 Though it was planted in good soil where water was plentiful for it to produce leaves and to bear fruit, it was transplanted, that it might become a splendid vine.
9 Thus says the Lord God: Ask, Will it thrive? Will he [the insulted Nebuchadnezzar] not pluck up its roots and strip off its fruit so that all its fresh sprouting leaves will wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pluck it up by its roots [totally ending Israel’s national existence].(A)
10 Yes, behold, though transplanted, will it prosper? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind touches it? It will wither in the furrows and beds where it sprouted and grew.(B)
11 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
12 Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know and realize what these things mean? Tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took its king [Jehoiachin] and its princes and brought them with him to Babylon.(C)
13 And he took one of the royal family [the king’s uncle, Zedekiah] and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. He also took the mighty and chief men of the land,(D)
14 That the kingdom might become low and base and be unable to lift itself up, but that by keeping his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] covenant it might stand.
15 But he [Zedekiah] rebelled against him [Nebuchadnezzar] in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Will he prosper? Will he escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant with [Babylon] and yet escape?
16 As I live, says the Lord God, surely in the place where the king [Nebuchadnezzar] dwells who made [Zedekiah as vassal] king, whose oath [Zedekiah] despised and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon shall [Zedekiah] die.
17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war when the [Babylonians] cast up mounds and build forts to destroy many lives.
18 For [Zedekiah] despised the oath and broke the covenant and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape.
19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely My oath [made for Me by Nebuchadnezzar] that [Zedekiah] has despised and My covenant with him that he has broken, I will even bring down on his own head.
20 And I will spread My net over him, and he shall be taken in My snare; and I will bring him to Babylon and will enter into judgment and punishment with him there for his trespass and treason that he has committed against Me.
21 And all his fugitives [from Judah] in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward every wind. And you shall know (understand and realize) that I the Lord have spoken it.
22 Thus says the Lord God: I Myself will take a twig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and will plant it upon a mountain high and exalted.(E)
23 On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and be a noble cedar, and under it shall dwell all birds of every feather; in the shade of its branches they shall nestle and find rest.
24 And all the trees of the field shall know (understand and realize) that I the Lord have brought low the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.
New International Version
Two Eagles and a Vine
17 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.(A) 3 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, 4 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.
5 “‘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) 6 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)
7 “‘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) 8 It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches,(I) bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’
9 “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)’”