The Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
‘A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, a
full of feathers of many colors,
came to Lebanon
and took away the top of the cedar.
4 He plucked off its topmost shoot,
carried it to the land of merchants,
and planted it in a city of traders.
5 He took some of the seed of the land
and planted it in fertile soil; b
he placed it by abundant waters
and set it out like a willow.
6 It sprouted and became a spreading vine,
low in height, with branches turned toward him;
yet its roots remained where it stood.
So it became a vine and yielded branches
and sent out shoots.
7 But there was another great eagle
with great wings and many feathers.
And behold, this vine bent its roots toward him.
It stretched out its branches to him from its planting bed,
so that he might water it.
8 It had been planted in good soil
by abundant waters
in order to yield branches and bear fruit
and become a splendid vine.’
9 So you are to tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says:
‘Will it flourish?
Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit
so that it shrivels?
All its foliage will wither!
It will not take a strong arm or many people
to pull it up by its roots.
10 Even if it is transplanted,
will it flourish?
Will it not completely wither when the east wind strikes?
It will wither on the bed where it sprouted.’ ”
The Parable Explained
Tell them, ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, carried off its king and officials, and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13 He took a member of the royal family c and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. Then he carried away the leading men of the land, 14 so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to lift itself up, surviving only by keeping his covenant.
15 But this king rebelled against Babylon by sending his envoys to Egypt to ask for horses and a large army. Will he flourish? Will the one who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and yet escape?’
16 ‘As surely as I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who enthroned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and vast horde will not help him in battle, when ramps are built and siege walls constructed to destroy many lives. 18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Seeing that he gave his hand in pledge yet did all these things, he will not escape!’
19 Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘As surely as I live, I will bring down upon his head My oath that he despised and My covenant that he broke. 20 I will spread My net over him and catch him in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment upon him there for the treason he committed against Me. 21 All his choice troops d will fall by the sword, and those who survive 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 will take a shoot from the lofty top of the cedar,
and I will set it out.
I will pluck a tender sprig from its topmost shoots,
and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23 I will plant it on the mountain heights of Israel
so that it will bear branches;
it will yield fruit
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind will nest under it,
taking shelter in the shade of its branches.
24 Then all the trees of the field will know
that I am the LORD.
I bring the tall tree down
and make the low tree tall.
I dry up the green tree
and make the withered tree flourish.
I, the LORD, have spoken,
and I have done it.’ ”
3 a Pinions are the outer parts of a bird’s wings, including the flight feathers.
5 b Hebrew in a field of seed
13 c Hebrew the royal seed
21 d Many Hebrew manuscripts; MT All his fleeing troops