The word of the LORD came to me:
“Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.
Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar,
he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.
“ ‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,
and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.
“ ‘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.
It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, 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.
It has been planted, but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?’ ”
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
“Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles, bringing them back with him to Babylon.
Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, putting him under oath. He also carried away the leading men of the land,
so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty.
But the king rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?