The kings – David’s sons
1 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 2 “Son of man, set a riddle and relate a parable to the people of Israel. Yahweh says this:
3 The great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and fine plumage of various colors came to Lebanon and removed the top of a cedar. 4 He broke off the topmost of the twigs and carried it off to a land of trade and set it in a city of mer chants. 5 He then took a seed of the land and planted it like a willow in fertile soil near abundant water. 6 It grew and became a splendid vine with spreading branches turned to wards the eagle, and roots growing deep. It became a vine growing branches and producing foliage.
7 But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and abundant plumage and the vine twisted its roots and 8 its branches towards him to be better watered than in the soil where it was planted. That vine, however, was able to produce branch es, bear fruit and develop into a magnificent vine, because it had been planted in a good field near abundant water.”
9 Yahweh says, “Will the vine prosper? Will the eagle not tear out its roots and cut away its fruit so that the foliage will wither and the vine dry up? It will not take much effort or many people to pull up its roots. 10 It has been transplanted, but it will not prosper. When the east wind blows, the vine will completely wither away. In the soil where it grows it will wither!”
11 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 12 “Say to these rebellious people: Do you not recognize what all this signifies? The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and carried the king and princes off to Babylon. 13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made an alliance with him, binding him by oath. He also carried off the leading citizens 14 to keep the kingdom hum ble and unable to assert itself, and to oblige the king to respect the treaty. 15 But the king rebelled against him and sent messengers to Egypt to ask for horses and a powerful army. Will he succeed? Will he escape after doing this? Will he escape after breaking the treaty? 16 As I live, word of Yahweh, he will die in the land of the king who put him on the throne, but whose oath he despised, and whose treaty he has broken. There in Babylon he will die.
17 Pharaoh will not send a mighty army and throngs of men to help him in war when ramps are built and siege works erected to kill many people. 18 This king has despised the oath and broken the treaty. Because he did all these things after giving his hand, he shall not escape!
19 That is why Yahweh speaks thus: “As I live, I will make him account for the oath he despised and the treaty he broke. 20 I will spread my net over him and he will be caught in its mesh. I will bring him to Babylon and there I will de mand an account of his infidelity to me. 21 As for the pick of his troops they will fall by the sword; those who survive will be scattered to the winds and you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken.”
22 Thus says Yahweh: “At the top of the cedar I will take one of its uppermost branches, a tender twig and plant it. 23 On a lofty, massive mountain, on a high mountain of Israel I will plant it. It will produce branches and bear fruit and become a magificent cedar. Birds of all kinds will nest in it and find shelter in its branches. 24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I am Yahweh, I who bring down the lofty tree and make the lowly tree tall. I will make the tree that is full of sap wither and the dry tree bloom. I, Yahweh, have spoken and this will I do.”