1 Jehovah continued to speak his word to me:
2 »Son of man, tell this riddle. Give this illustration to the nation of Israel.
3 Say The Lord Jehovah says: »A large eagle came to Lebanon. It had large wings with long, colorful feathers. It took hold of the top of a cedar tree.
4 »»It broke off the highest twig and carried it to a country of merchants. It planted the twig in a city of merchants.
5 »»Then it took a seedling from that country and planted the seedling in fertile soil. The eagle planted the seedling like a willow where there was plenty of water.
6 »»The plant sprouted and grew into a low vine that spread over the ground. Its branches turned upward toward the eagle. Its roots grew downward. Thus it became a vine, producing branches and growing shoots.
7 »»There was another large eagle with large wings and many feathers. Now, the vine stretched its roots toward this eagle and sent its branches toward the eagle so that the eagle could water it. The vine turned away from the garden where it was planted.
8 »»It was planted in good soil beside plenty of water so that it could grow branches, bear fruit, and become a wonderful vine.«
9 »Say, The Lord Jehovah says: »Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it and all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again.
10 »»Though it is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not completely wither as soon as the east wind strikes it, wither on the beds where it grew?« «
11 Moreover, the word of Jehovah came to me:
12 »Say now to the rebellious house: Do you not know what these things mean? Say, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and princes and brought them to him in Babylon.
13 »He took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land,
14 that the kingdom might be in subjection, not exalting itself, but keeping his covenant that it might continue.
15 »But he rebelled against him! He sent his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape?
16 »»As I am alive, says the Lord Jehovah, this king will die in Babylon because he broke his oath and the treaty with the one who put him on the throne the king of Babylon.
17 »Even the powerful army of the king of Egypt will not be able to help him fight when the Babylonians build earthworks and dig trenches in order to kill many people.
18 »He broke his oath and the treaty he had made. He did all these things, and now he will not escape.«
19 »The Lord Jehovah says: »As surely as I am the living God, I will punish him for breaking the treaty that he swore in my name to keep.
20 »I will spread out a hunter's net and catch him in it. I will take him to Babylon and punish him there, because he was unfaithful to me.
21 »His best troops will be killed in battle, and the survivors will be scattered in every direction. I Jehovah have spoken.«
22 »Someday, I, Jehovah, will cut a tender twig from the top of a cedar tree. I will then plant it on the peak of Israel's tallest mountain, where it will grow strong branches and produce large fruit.
23 »All kinds of birds will find shelter under the tree, and they will rest in the shade of its branches.
24 »Every tree in the forest will know that I, Jehovah, can bring down tall trees and help short ones grow. I dry up green trees and make dry ones green. I, Jehovah, have spoken, and I will keep my word.« «