1. The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
2. 'Son of man, put a riddle, propound a parable to the House of Israel.
3. Say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: A great eagle with great wings, long-pinioned, rich with many-coloured plumage, came to the Lebanon.
4. He took the top of the cedar tree, he plucked off the top branch, he carried it off to the country of merchants and set it down in a city of shopkeepers.
5. Next, he took one of the country's seeds and put it in a fertile field; by the side of a generous stream, like a willow tree, he placed it.
6. It grew and became a fruitful vine of modest size, grew up towards the eagle, its roots grew downwards. So it became a vine, branching out and sprouting new shoots.
7. But there was another great eagle with great wings and thick plumage. And now the vine twisted its roots towards him and stretched its branches towards him, for him to water it away from the bed where it was planted.
8. It was in a fertile field, by the side of a wide stream that the vine had been planted, to branch out and bear fruit and become a noble vine."
9. Say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Will it succeed? Will the eagle not tear out its roots and strip off its fruit, so that all the new leaves it puts out will wither, and no great strength is needed nor many people to pull it up by the roots?
10. Planted it may be -- will it succeed? Will it not shrivel up when the east wind blows? It will wither in the bed where it was growing!" '
11. The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
12. 'Say to that tribe of rebels, "Do you not know what this means?" Say this, 'Look, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem; he carried away the king and the princes, and took them to his home in Babylon.
13. He took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, forcing him to swear loyalty, having already deported the leading men of the country,
14. so that the kingdom would remain modest and without ambitions, and would keep and honour his treaty.
15. But the prince rebelled against him and sent envoys to Egypt to procure himself horses and a large number of troops. Will he succeed? Will a man who has done this go unpunished? Can he break a treaty and go unpunished?
16. As I live, I swear it -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- in Babylon, in the country of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he has disregarded and whose treaty he has broken, there he will die.
17. Despite the pharaoh's great army and hordes of men, he will not be able to save him by fighting, however many earthworks are raised, however many trenches dug to the loss of many lives.
18. He has disregarded the oath by breaking the treaty to which he had pledged himself and, having done all this, will not go unpunished.
19. "So, the Lord Yahweh says this: As I live, I swear it: my oath which he has disregarded, my treaty which he has broken, I shall make them both recoil on his own head.
20. I shall throw my net over him, he will be caught in my mesh; I shall take him to Babylon and punish him there for being unfaithful to me.
21. All the pick of all his troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors be scattered to all the winds. And you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken.
22. "The Lord Yahweh says this: From the top of the tall cedar tree, from the highest branch I shall take a shoot and plant it myself on a high and lofty mountain.
23. I shall plant it on the highest mountain in Israel. It will put out branches and bear fruit and grow into a noble cedar tree. Every kind of bird will live beneath it, every kind of winged creature will rest in the shade of its branches.
24. And all the trees of the countryside will know that I, Yahweh, am the one who lays the tall tree low and raises the low tree high, who makes the green tree wither and makes the withered bear fruit. I, Yahweh, have spoken, and I will do it." '