Parable of the Eagles 17 1The word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, pose a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel. 3You are to say: This is what the Lord God says: A great eagle with great wings, long pinions, and full plumage of many colors came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. 4He plucked off its topmost shoot, brought it to the land of merchants, and set it in a city of traders. 5Then he took some of the land’s seed and put it in a fertile field; he set it like a willow, a plant[B] by abundant waters. 6It sprouted and became a spreading vine, low in height with its branches turned toward him, yet its roots stayed under it. So it became a vine, produced branches, and sent out shoots. 7But there was another great eagle with great wings and thick plumage. And this vine bent its roots toward him! It stretched out its branches to him from its planting bed, so that he might water it. 8It had been planted in a good field by abundant waters in order to produce branches, bear fruit, and become a splendid vine. 9You are to say: This is what the Lord God says: Will it flourish? Will he not tear out its roots and strip off its fruit so that it shrivels? All its fresh leaves will wither! Great strength and many people will not be needed to pull it from its roots. 10Even though it is planted, will it flourish? Won’t it completely wither when the east wind strikes it? It will wither on the bed where it sprouted.” 11The word of the Lord came to me: 12“Now say to that rebellious house: Don’t you know what these things mean? Tell them: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and officials, and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13He took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. Then he took away the leading men of the land, 14so the kingdom might be humble and not exalt itself but might keep his covenant in order to endure. 15However, this king revolted against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt so they might give him horses and a large army. Will he flourish? Will the one who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still escape? 16“As I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke. 17Pharaoh will not help him with his great army and vast horde in battle, when ramps are built and siege walls constructed to destroy many lives. 18He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. He did all these things even though he gave his hand in pledge. He will not escape!” 19Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “As I live, I will bring down on his head My oath that he despised and My covenant that he broke. 20I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment on him there for the treachery he committed against Me. 21All the fugitives[C] among his troops will fall by the sword, and those who survive will be scattered to every direction of the wind. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken.” 22This is what the Lord God says: I will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it. I will pluck a tender sprig from its topmost shoots, and I will plant it on a high towering mountain. 23I will plant it on Israel’s high mountain so that it may bear branches, produce fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind will nest under it, taking shelter in the shade of its branches. 24Then all the trees of the field will know that I am Yahweh. I bring down the tall tree, and make the low tree tall. I cause the green tree to wither and make the withered tree thrive. I, Yahweh, have spoken and I will do it.
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