The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell the house of Israel a parable.13
Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle2 with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon.3 Taking hold of the top of a cedar,
he broke off4 its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.
" 'He took some of the seed of your land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,56
and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches6 turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.77
" 'But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.88
It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches,9 bear fruit and become a splendid vine.'
"Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots.1010
Even if it11 is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it--wither away in the plot where it grew?12' "