1The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
2“Son of man, tell a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel;
3and say, ‘The Lord GOD says: “A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers which had various colours, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar.
4He cropped off the topmost of its young twigs, and carried it to a land of traffic. He planted it in a city of merchants.
5“‘“He also took some of the seed of the land and planted it in fruitful soil. He placed it beside many waters. He set it as a willow tree.
6It grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned towards him, and its roots were under him. So it became a vine, produced branches, and shot out sprigs.
7“‘“There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers. Behold, this vine bent its roots towards him, and shot out its branches towards him, from the ground where it was planted, that he might water it.
8It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might produce branches and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a good vine.”’
9“Say, ‘The Lord GOD says: “Will it prosper? Won’t he pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, that it may wither, that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? It can’t be raised from its roots by a strong arm or many people.
10Yes, behold, being planted, will it prosper? Won’t it utterly wither when the east wind touches it? It will wither in the ground where it grew.”’”
11Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying,
12“Say now to the rebellious house, ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon.
13He took one of the royal offspring, and made a covenant with him. He also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land,
14that the kingdom might be brought low, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand.
15But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the covenant, and still escape?
16“‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the middle of Babylon he will die.
17Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company won’t help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts to cut off many persons.
18For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things. He won’t escape.
19“Therefore the Lord GOD says: ‘As I live, I will surely bring on his own head my oath that he has despised and my covenant that he has broken.
20I will spread my net on him, and he will be taken in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, and will enter into judgement with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me.
21All his fugitives in all his bands will fall by the sword, and those who remain will be scattered towards every wind. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken it.’
22“The Lord GOD says: ‘I will also take some of the lofty top of the cedar, and will plant it. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23I will plant it in the mountain of the height of Israel; and it will produce boughs, and bear fruit, and be a good cedar. Birds of every kind will dwell in the shade of its branches.
24All the trees of the field will know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree flourish. “‘I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it.’”