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Ezekiel 17

1 The word of ADONAI came to me:
2 "Human being, propound this riddle, tell the house of Isra'el this allegory,
3 say that Adonai ELOHIM says this: 'A big eagle having great wings and long pinions full of varicolored feathers came to the L'vanon and took over the top of the cedar.
4 He cropped off the topmost of its young twigs, carried them to a land of traders and set them down in a city of merchants.
5 He also took some of the seed in the land and planted it in fertile soil, placing it where there was abundant water, as one would a willow.
6 It grew to become a fruitful vine sprawling over the ground; its branches turned toward him, and its roots were under him - thus it became a vine, sprouting branches and putting forth shoots.
7 "'There was another big eagle with great wings and many feathers; and the vine bent its roots toward him and put forth its branches toward him, so that he might water it more than in the bed where it was planted.
8 It had been planted in good soil, near plenty of water, so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a noble vine.'
9 "Say that Adonai ELOHIM asks: 'Will it succeed? Won't he pull it up by the roots and cut off its fruit; so that it dries up; and all its sprouting leaves wither? There will be no great power and few people there when it is plucked up by the roots.
10 Will it thrive just because it was planted? Won't it wither altogether when the east wind strikes it? Yes, it will wither right there in the beds where it was growing.'"
11 The word of ADONAI came to me:
12 "Say to the rebellious house: 'Don't you know what these things mean?' Tell them: 'Here, the king of Bavel came to Yerushalayim, took its king and princes and brought them to himself in Bavel.
13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. He removed the powerful leaders of the land,
14 so that this kingdom of his would stay humble and not develop aspirations of its own; rather, it would keep his covenant and live accordingly.
15 But this man rebelled and sent representatives to Egypt, in order to obtain horses and a sizeable army. Can he succeed? Can someone who does such things escape punishment? Can he break the covenant and still escape punishment?
16 "'As I live,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'in the place where the king who gave him his throne lives, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, there with him in Bavel I swear that he will die.
17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and numerous troops will give him no help in the war, when they raise siege-works and build fortified towers to destroy many people;
18 because he despised the oath by breaking the covenant to which he had sworn allegiance; having done all these things, he will not escape unpunished.'
19 Therefore Adonai ELOHIM says: 'As I live, I swear that it is my oath he has despised and my covenant he has broken, and I will bring this on his own head.
20 I will spread my net over him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Bavel and bring him to judgment there for breaking faith with me.
21 The elite troops among his forces will die by the sword, and those who survive will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, ADONAI, said it.'
22 "Adonai ELOHIM says, 'From the top of this tall cedar, from its highest branch, I will take a shoot and plant it myself on a high and prominent mountain.
23 I will plant it on the highest mountain in Isra'el, where it will put out branches, bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it will live all kinds of birds; winged creatures of every description will live there in the shadow of its branches.
24 Then all the trees of the field will know that I, ADONAI, bring down the tall tree and raise up the low tree, wither the green tree and make the withered tree bear fruit. I, ADONAI, have spoken; and I will do it.'"
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