Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, propound a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel, [a]saying, ‘Thus says the Lord [b]God, “A great eagle with great wings, long pinions and a full plumage of many colors came to Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar. He plucked off the topmost of its young twigs and brought it to a land of merchants; he set it in a city of traders. He also took some of the seed of the land and planted it in [c]fertile soil. He [d]placed it beside abundant waters; he set it like a willow. Then it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine with its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and yielded shoots and sent out branches.
“But there was [e]another great eagle with great wings and much plumage; and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and sent out its branches toward him from the beds where it was planted, that he might water it. It was planted in good [f]soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine.”’ Say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers—so that all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great [g]strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again. Behold, though it is planted, will it thrive? Will it not completely wither as soon as the east wind strikes it—wither on the beds where it grew?”’”
Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Say now to the rebellious house, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say, ‘Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and princes and brought them to him in Babylon. He took one of the royal [h]family and made a covenant with him, [i]putting him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, that the kingdom might be [j]in subjection, not exalting itself, but keeping his covenant that it might continue. But he rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many [k]troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape? As I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘Surely in the [l]country of the king who [m]put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, [n]in Babylon he shall die. Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not [o]help him in the war, when they cast up ramps and build siege walls to cut off many lives. Now he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and behold, he [p]pledged his allegiance, yet did all these things; he shall not escape.’” Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “As I live, surely My oath which he despised and My covenant which he broke, I will [q]inflict on his head. I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. Then I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there regarding the unfaithful act which he has committed against Me. All the [r]choice men in all his troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind; and you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Thus says the Lord God, “I will also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every [s]kind will [t]nest under it; they will [u]nest in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”
- Ezekiel 17:3 Lit and you shall say
- Ezekiel 17:3 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
- Ezekiel 17:5 Lit a field of seed
- Ezekiel 17:5 Lit took
- Ezekiel 17:7 So with several ancient versions; M.T. one
- Ezekiel 17:8 Lit field
- Ezekiel 17:9 Lit arm
- Ezekiel 17:13 Lit seed
- Ezekiel 17:13 Lit and caused him to enter into an oath
- Ezekiel 17:14 Lit low
- Ezekiel 17:15 Lit people
- Ezekiel 17:16 Lit place
- Ezekiel 17:16 Lit made him king
- Ezekiel 17:16 Lit with him in Babylon
- Ezekiel 17:17 Lit act with
- Ezekiel 17:18 Lit gave his hand
- Ezekiel 17:19 Lit give it
- Ezekiel 17:21 So many ancient mss and versions; M.T. fugitives
- Ezekiel 17:23 Lit wing
- Ezekiel 17:23 Lit dwell
- Ezekiel 17:23 Lit dwell
God Deals Justly with Individuals
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying,
‘The fathers eat the sour grapes,
But the children’s teeth [a]are set on edge’?
As I live,” declares the Lord [b]God, “you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. Behold, all [c]souls are Mine; the [d]soul of the father as well as the [e]soul of the son is Mine. The [f]soul who sins will die.
“But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period— if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man, if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord God.
“Then he may [g]have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination, he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be [h]on his own head.
“Now behold, he [i]has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife, or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, he keeps his hand from [j]the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.
“Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.
“But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “[k]rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
- Ezekiel 18:2 Lit become dull
- Ezekiel 18:3 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
- Ezekiel 18:4 Or lives
- Ezekiel 18:4 Or life
- Ezekiel 18:4 Or life
- Ezekiel 18:4 Or person
- Ezekiel 18:10 Lit beget
- Ezekiel 18:13 Lit on him
- Ezekiel 18:14 Lit begets
- Ezekiel 18:17 So M.T.; Gr reads iniquity as in v 8
- Ezekiel 18:23 Lit is it not