Yahweh explains the allegory (Ezek 17:11-17:14)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Say now

To the rebellious house!

Do you not know

What these things mean?

Tell them!

The king of Babylon

Came to Jerusalem.

He took its king.

He took its officials.

He brought them

Back with him

To Babylon.

He took

One of the royal offspring.

He made a covenant

With him.

He put him

Under oath.

He had taken away

The chief men

Of the land.

Thus the kingdom

Might be humble.

The kingdom might not

Lift itself up.

By keeping

His covenant,

It might stand.’’’

Ezekiel had another oracle from Yahweh that explained the first eagle allegory or riddle. Obviously the rebellious house of Judah did not understand it. Thus Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to explain it to them. The first eagle was the king of Babylon who came to Jerusalem. He took its king and officials back with him to Babylon. Then he took one of the Judean royal offspring and made an agreement with him. This new king swore an oath of allegiance to the King of Babylon. The first king that was uprooted was King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), while the new king was King Zedekiah (598-587). Thus the kingdom of Judah would be humbled and not be able to lift itself up. It would be allowed to exist, if it kept the agreement with the King of Babylon.

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Another eagle and the vine (Ezek 17:7-17:8)

“There was another great eagle,

With great wings,

With much plumage.

See!

This vine stretched out

Its roots

Toward him.

It shot out

Its branches

Toward him.

Thus he might water it.

From the bed

Where it was planted,

It was transplanted

To good soil

By abundant waters,

So that it might

Produce branches.

It might bear fruit.

It might become

A noble vine.”

After the introduction of the first eagle, there was now a second eagle. This second eagle may be an allusion to Egypt, the other great eagle. This eagle also had great wings and feathers. However, the vine stretched out to this eagle, so that the second eagle might help it grow by giving it water. Thus Jerusalem had reached out to Egypt to help it grow against Babylon. This second eagle then took the vine and tried to transplant it in good soil with a lot of water so that it might produce branches with good fruit, more like a noble vine.