Ezekiel Chapter 17 |
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2O mortal, propound a riddle and relate an allegory to the House of Israel. 3Say: Thus said the Lord God: The great eagle with the great wings and the long pinions, with the full plumage and the brilliant colors, came to the Lebanon range and seized the top of the cedar. 4He plucked off its topmost bough and carried it off to the land of traders and set it in a city of merchants. 5He then took some of the seed of the land and planted it in a fertile field; he planted and set it like a willow beside abundant waters. 6It grew and became a spreading vine of low stature; it became a vine, produced branches, and sent out boughs. [He had intended] that its twigs should turn to him, and that its roots should stay under him.
7But there was another great eagle with great wings and full plumage; and this vine now bent its roots in his direction and sent out its twigs toward him, that he might water it more than the bed where it was planted— 8though it was planted in rich soil beside abundant water—so that it might grow branches and produce boughs and be a noble vine.
9Say: Thus said the Lord God: Will it thrive? Will he not tear out its roots and rip off its crown, so that its entire foliage withers? It shall wither, despite any strong arm or mighty army [that may come] to remove it from its roots. 10And suppose it is transplanted, will it thrive? When the east wind strikes it, it shall wither—wither upon the bed where it is growing.
11Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12Say to the rebellious breed: Do you not know what these things mean? Say: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and carried away its king and its officers and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13He took one of the seed royal and made a covenant with him and imposed an oath on him, and he carried away the nobles of the land— 14so that it might be a humble kingdom and not exalt itself, but keep his covenant and so endure.
15But [that prince] rebelled against him and sent his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Shall he break a covenant and escape? 16As I live—declares the Lord God—in the very homeland of the king who made him king, whose oath he flouted and whose covenant he broke—right there, in Babylon, he shall die. 17Pharaoh will not fight at his side with a great army and with numerous troops in the war, when mounds are thrown up and siege towers erected to destroy many lives. 18He flouted a pact and broke a covenant; he gave his promise and did all these things—he shall not escape. 19Assuredly, thus said the Lord God: As I live, I will pay him back for flouting My pact and breaking My covenant. 20I will spread My net over him and he shall be caught in My snare; I will carry him to Babylon and enter with him into judgment there for the trespass which he committed against Me. 21And all the fugitives of all his battalions shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall scatter in every direction; then you will know that I the Lord have spoken.
22Thus said the Lord God: Then I in turn will take and set [in the ground a slip] from the lofty top of the cedar; I will pluck a tender twig from the tip of its crown, and I will plant it on a tall, towering mountain. 23I will plant it in Israel’s lofty highlands, and it shall bring forth boughs and produce branches and grow into a noble cedar. Every bird of every feather shall take shelter under it, shelter in the shade of its boughs. 24Then shall all the trees of the field know that it is I the Lord who have abased the lofty tree and exalted the lowly tree, who have dried up the green tree and made the withered tree bud. I the Lord have spoken, and I will act.