The planting of the seed (Ezek 17:5-17:6)

“Then the eagle

Took a seed

From the land.

He placed it

In fertile soil.

He planted it

By abundant waters.

He set it

Like a willow twig.

It sprouted.

It became a vine,

Spreading out,

But low.

Its branches

Turned toward him,

Its roots remained

Where it stood.

So it became a vine.

It brought forth branches.

It put forth foliage.”

Then this eagle took a seed from the land. He placed it in a particular fertile soil by some water, so that it was just like a willow twig. This twig sprouted and became a low vine, spreading out its branches toward him. The roots remained strong so that it became a vine with branches and foliage. Perhaps this is an allusion to King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE), who was placed on the throne of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Yahweh restores us (Ps 126:4-126:6)

“Restore our fortunes!

Yahweh!

Make us

Like the watercourses in the Negeb!

May those who sow in tears

Reap with shouts of joy!

May those who go out weeping,

Bearing the seed for sowing,

Come home with shouts of joy,

Carrying their sheaves.”

This short psalm ends with a cry or prayer for the restoration of Israel. They wanted their fortunes restored. They wanted to be like the arid land of the Negeb south of Israel with just enough water. They would sow in tears but reap in joy. They would go out weeping with their seeds. However, they would come home with shouts of joy with their wheat harvest sheaves full.