And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying:
'Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel,
and say: Thus saith the L-rd GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar;
He cropped off the topmost of the young twigs thereof, and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants.
He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil; he placed it beside many waters, he set it as a slip.
And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose tendrils might turn toward him, and the roots thereof be under him; so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers; and, behold, this vine did bend its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it.
It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a stately vine.
Say thou: Thus saith the L-rd GOD: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither, yea, wither in all its sprouting leaves? neither shall great power or much people be at hand when it is plucked up by the roots thereof.
Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? In the beds where it grew it shall wither.'
Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying:
'Say now to the rebellious house: Know ye not what these things mean? tell them: Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and brought them to him to Babylon;
and he took of the seed royal, and made a covenant with him, and brought him under an oath, and the mighty of the land he took away;
that his might be a lowly kingdom, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand.
But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? shall he break the covenant, and yet escape?
As I live, saith the L-rd GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company succour him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many souls;
seeing he hath despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.
Therefore thus saith the L-rd GOD: As I live, surely Mine oath that he hath despised, and My covenant that he hath broken, I will even bring it upon his own head.
And I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his treachery that he hath committed against Me.
And all his mighty men in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward every wind; and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it.
Thus saith the L-rd GOD: Moreover I will take, even I, of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent;
in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a stately cedar; and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing, in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.
And all the trees of the field shall 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 to flourish; I the Lord have spoken and have done it.'
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