Ezekiel 17 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Eagle and the Vine
17 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 2 “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], give a ·riddle [allegory] and tell a ·story [parable] to the ·people [L house] of Israel. 3 Say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: A ·giant [great; mighty] eagle with ·big [great] wings and long ·feathers [L feathers and plumage] of many different colors [16:10] came to Lebanon and took hold of the top of a cedar tree. 4 He pulled off the top ·branch [shoot] and brought it to a land of ·traders [merchants; C Babylon], where he planted it in a city of traders [C the eagle symbolizes King Nebuchadnezzar; v. 12].
5 “‘The eagle took ·some seed [or a seedling] from the land and planted it in ·a good field [fertile soil] near plenty of water. He planted it to grow like a willow tree. 6 It sprouted and became a low vine that spread over the ground. The branches turned toward the eagle, but the roots were under ·the eagle [or itself; L it]. So the seed became a vine, and its ·branches [shoots] grew, sending out ·leaves [or branches; boughs].
7 “‘But there was another ·giant [great; mighty] eagle with ·big [great] wings and ·many feathers [full plumage]. The vine then ·bent [sent] its roots toward this eagle. It ·sent [stretched; shot] out its branches from the ·area [bed; plot] where it was planted toward the eagle ·so he could water it [to get water]. 8 It had been planted in ·a good field [good soil] by plenty of water so it could grow branches and bear fruit. It could have become a ·fine [beautiful; splendid] vine.’
9 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: ·The vine will not continue to grow [L Will it thrive/prosper?]. ·The first eagle will [L Will he not…?] pull up the vine’s roots and strip off its fruit. Then the vine and all its new leaves will ·dry up and die [wither]. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull the vine up by its roots. 10 [L Look; T Behold] Even if it is planted again, ·it will not [L will it…?] ·continue to grow [thrive]. ·It will [L Will it not…?] completely ·dry up and die [wither] when the east wind hits it. ·It will [or Will it not…?] ·dry up and die [wither] in the ·area [bed; plot] where it ·grew [sprouted].’”
Zedekiah Against Nebuchadnezzar
11 Then the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 12 “Say now to the ·people who refuse to obey [L rebellious house]: ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ Say: ‘[L Look; T Behold] The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took the king [C Jehoiachin; 2 Kin. 24:12] and ·important men [nobles; officials] of Jerusalem and brought them to Babylon. 13 Then he took ·a member of the family of the king of Judah [L from the royal offspring/seed; C Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle; 2 Kin. 24:17] and made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with him, ·forcing him to take an [putting him under] oath. The king also took away the leaders of ·Judah [L the land] 14 to ·make the kingdom weak [humble/bring low the kingdom] so it would not ·be strong [rise; exalt itself] again. Then the kingdom of Judah ·could continue only [would stand] by keeping its ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with the king of Babylon. 15 But ·the king of Judah [L he; C referring to Zedekiah; 2 Kin. 24:20] ·turned [rebelled] against the king of Babylon by sending his ·messengers [emissaries] to Egypt and asking them for horses and many soldiers [2 Kin. 24:20]. Will ·the king of Judah succeed [he prosper/succeed]? Will the one who does such things escape? ·He cannot [L Can he…?] break the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] and escape.
16 “‘As surely as I live, says the Lord God, he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who made him king of Judah. The king of Judah ·hated [despised] his ·promise [oath] to the king of Babylon and broke his ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with him. 17 ·The king of Egypt [L Pharaoh] with his mighty army and ·many people [vast horde] will not help ·the king of Judah [L him] in the war. The Babylonians will build ·devices [ramps and siege walls] to attack the cities and to ·kill [destroy; cut off] many people. 18 The king of Judah showed that he ·hated [despised] the ·promise [oath] by breaking the ·agreement [covenant; treaty]. He ·promised to support Babylon [L gave his hand (in pledge)], but he did all these things. So he will not escape.
19 “‘So this is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, I will ·pay back the king of Judah [L bring down on his head] for ·hating [despising] my ·promise [oath] and breaking my ·agreement [covenant; treaty]. 20 I will spread my net over him, and he will be caught in my ·trap [snare]. Then I will bring him to Babylon, where I will ·punish [execute judgment on] him for the ·unfaithful acts [treachery] he did against me. 21 All the ·best[a] [choice men] of his soldiers will die by the sword, and those who live will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 “‘This is what the Lord God says: I myself will also take a ·young branch [shoot; sprig] from the top of a tall cedar tree, and I will plant it. I will cut off a ·small [tender] twig from the top of the tree’s young branches, and I will plant it on a ·very high [L high and lofty] mountain. 23 I will plant it on the ·high mountain [mountain heights] of Israel. Then it will grow branches and give fruit and become a ·great [beautiful; majestic] cedar tree. Birds of every kind will build nests in it and live in the ·shelter [shade] of the tree’s branches. 24 Then all the trees in the ·countryside [field] will know that I am the Lord. I bring down the high tree and make the low tree tall. I ·dry up [wither] the green tree and make the dry tree ·grow [thrive; flourish]. I am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it.’”