Ezekiel 17International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Eagle and the Vine
17 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said: 2 “Human being, give a riddle. Tell a story to the people of Israel. 3 Say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: A great eagle came to Lebanon. He had great wings with long feathers of many different colors. The eagle took hold of the top of a cedar tree. 4 He pulled off the top branch. And he brought it to a land of traders. The eagle planted it in a city of traders.
5 “‘The eagle took a young plant from the land. And he planted it in a good field near plenty of water. He planted it to grow like a willow tree. 6 The plant grew and became a low vine that spread over the ground. The vine’s branches turned toward the eagle. The vine’s roots were under the eagle. So the plant became a vine. And its branches grew, sending out leaves.
7 “‘But there was another eagle with great wings and many feathers. The vine then bent its roots toward this eagle. The vine also sent out its branches toward the eagle so he could water it. The vine turned away from the area where it was planted. 8 It was planted in a good field. It was by plenty of water so it could grow branches and give fruit. It could have become a fine vine.’
9 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: The vine will not continue to grow. The first eagle will pull up the vine’s roots and strip off its fruit. Then the vine will dry up. All its new leaves will dry up and die. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull the vine up by its roots. 10 It might be planted again. But it will not continue to grow. It will completely die when the east wind hits it. It will dry up in the area where it grew.’”
Zedekiah Against Nebuchadnezzar
11 Then the Lord spoke his word to me. He said: 12 “Say now to the people who refuse to obey: ‘Do you know what these things mean?’ Say: ‘The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem. He took the king and important men of Jerusalem and brought them to Babylon. 13 Then he took a member of the family of the king of Judah. He made an agreement with him. The king of Babylon made this person promise to support him. The king also took away the leaders of Judah. 14 He did this to make the kingdom of Judah weak so it would not be strong again. Then the kingdom of Judah could continue only by keeping its agreement with the king of Babylon. 15 But the king of Judah turned against the king of Babylon. The king of Judah sent his messengers to Egypt. He asked the Egyptians for horses and many soldiers. Will the king of Judah succeed? Will the one who does such things escape? He cannot break the agreement and escape.
16 “‘As surely as I live, says the Lord God, he will die in Babylon. He will die in the land of the king who made him king of Judah. The king of Judah hated his promise. He broke his agreement with the king of Babylon. 17 The king of Egypt will not help the king of Judah in the war. He will not help with his mighty army and many people. The Babylonians will build devices to attack the cities and to kill many people. 18 The king of Judah showed that he hated the promise by breaking the agreement. He promised to support Babylon, but he did all these things. So he will not escape.
19 “‘So this is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, this is true: I will pay back the king of Judah for hating my promise and breaking my agreement. 20 I will spread my net over him. He will be caught in my trap. Then I will bring him to Babylon. There I will judge him for the unfaithful acts he did against me. 21 And all the best of his soldiers who escape will die by the sword. Those who live will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 “‘This is what the Lord God says: I myself will also take a young branch from the top of a cedar tree. And I will plant it. I will cut off a small twig. It will be from the top of the tree’s young branches. I will plant it on a high and great mountain. 23 I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel. Then it will grow branches and give fruit. And it will become a great cedar tree. Birds of every kind will build nests in it. They will live in the shelter of the tree’s branches. 24 Then all the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord. I am the one who brings down the high tree. I make the low tree tall. I dry up the green tree. And I make the dry tree grow. I am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it.’”
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