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.’