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Ezekiel 17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Two Eagles and the Vine

17 The word of the Lord came to me: O mortal, propound a riddle, and speak an allegory to the house of Israel. Say: Thus says the Lord God:

A great eagle, with great wings and long pinions,
    rich in plumage of many colors,
    came to the Lebanon.
He took the top of the cedar,
    broke off its topmost shoot;
he carried it to a land of trade,
    set it in a city of merchants.
Then he took a seed from the land,
    placed it in fertile soil;
a plant[a] by abundant waters,
    he set it like a willow twig.
It sprouted and became a vine
    spreading out, but low;
its branches turned toward him,
    its roots remained where it stood.
So it became a vine;
    it brought forth branches,
    put forth foliage.

There was another great eagle,
    with great wings and much plumage.
And see! This vine stretched out
    its roots toward him;
it shot out its branches toward him,
    so that he might water it.
From the bed where it was planted
    it was transplanted
to good soil by abundant waters,
    so that it might produce branches
    and bear fruit
    and become a noble vine.

Say: Thus says the Lord God:

Will it prosper?
Will he not pull up its roots,
    cause its fruit to rot[b] and wither,
    its fresh sprouting leaves to fade?
No strong arm or mighty army will be needed
    to pull it from its roots.
10 When it is transplanted, will it thrive?
When the east wind strikes it,
    will it not utterly wither,
    wither on the bed where it grew?

11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 Say now to the rebellious house: Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and its officials, and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13 He took one of the royal offspring and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (he had taken away the chief men of the land), 14 so that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him by sending ambassadors to Egypt, in order that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape? 16 As I live, says the Lord God, surely in the place where the king resides who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke—in Babylon he shall die. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when ramps are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. 18 Because he despised the oath and broke the covenant, because he gave his hand and yet did all these things, he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, I will surely return upon his head my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. 20 I will spread my net over him, and he shall be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treason he has committed against me. 21 All the pick[c] of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind; and you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken.

Israel Exalted at Last

22 Thus says the Lord God:

I myself will take a sprig
    from the lofty top of a cedar;
    I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
    from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
    on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain height of Israel
    I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
    and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
    in the shade of its branches will nest
    winged creatures of every kind.
24 All the trees of the field shall know
    that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
    I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
    and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
    I will accomplish it.


  1. Ezekiel 17:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Ezekiel 17:9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Ezekiel 17:21 Another reading is fugitives
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 17 Common English Bible (CEB)

Transplanted cedar

17 The Lord’s word came to me: Human one, compose a riddle and a parable about the house of Israel. Say, The Lord God proclaims: The great eagle with great wings, long feathers, and full, colorful plumage came to Lebanon and took the top branch of the cedar. He plucked a twig from the cedar’s crown, brought it to the land of traders, and set it down in a city of merchants. He took a native seed and planted it in a prepared field, placing it like a willow beside plentiful water. It grew and became a low-spreading vine. Its foliage turned toward him, and its roots developed under him. And so it became a vine, and it produced branches and sent out its shoots.

Now there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage. This vine bent its roots and turned its branches toward him so that it might draw more water from him than from its own bed, a good field with plentiful water where it was planted to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a splendid vine. Say, The Lord God proclaims: Will it thrive? Won’t he tear out its roots, strip its fruit, and cause all the leaves of its branches to wither? It will dry up, and no one will need a strong arm or a mighty army to uproot it. 10 Though it is planted, will it thrive? When the east wind touches it, won’t it completely wither? On the bed in which it was planted, it will wither away.

11 The Lord’s word came to me: 12 Say now to the rebellious household: Don’t you know what these things mean? Say: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and carried its king and its officers away with him to Babylon. 13 Then he took a prince from the royal line, made an agreement with him, and made him take a solemn pledge of loyalty. He also took away the land’s officials. 14 Thus it would be a lowly kingdom, not asserting its own interests but observing the agreement so that it would survive. 15 But the prince rebelled against him and sent messengers to Egypt to supply him with horses and a great army. Can such a person succeed? Can one who does these things escape? Can he overturn the agreement and escape capture? 16 As surely as I live, says the Lord God, he will die in Babylon, in the place of the king who gave him the authority to rule, whose solemn pledge he scorned and whose agreement he overturned. 17 Pharaoh won’t help him. There will be no strong force or mighty army in battle when siege ramps are set up and towers are built to eliminate many lives. 18 He scorned the solemn pledge and overturned the agreement! Even though he made a promise, he did all these things, and he won’t escape capture. 19 So now the Lord God proclaims: As surely as I live, it was my solemn pledge that he scorned and my agreement that he overturned, and I will hold him accountable. 20 I will spread my net over him, and he will be caught in my trap. I will bring him to Babylon, and I myself will enter into judgment with him there for rebelling against me. 21 All his elite fighters[a] along with all his troops will fall by the sword, and those who are left will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.

22 The Lord God proclaims: I myself will take one of the top branches from the tall cedar. I will pluck a tender shoot from its crown, and I myself will plant it on a very high and lofty mountain. 23 On Israel’s mountainous highlands I will plant it, and it will send out branches and bear fruit. It will grow into a mighty cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it and find shelter in the shade of its boughs. 24 Then all the trees in the countryside will know that I, the Lord, bring down the tall tree and raise up the lowly tree, and make the green tree wither and the dry tree bloom. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.


  1. Ezekiel 17:21 LXX, Syr, Tg; MT his fugitives
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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