Psalter manuscript

Two Eagles and a Vine – Ezekiel 17


The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘O Son of man,
Declare now this riddle of woe to all Israel,
The chief of all eagles swooped down
Scattering high foliage around
Terrifying strong cedars up-standing in proud Lebanon

A captive to pinions and wings the seed of that bough
Was planted in well-watered land far away from the shade
Behold, there the sapling spread forth
The noblest of vines on the earth
“Will it thrive?” asked the Lord, “when the easterly hurricanes blow?”

The eagle is Babylon’s kingdom and warrior crown
The seedling’s Jehoiachin’s offspring appointed the throne!
Whose covenant oath in his hand, secure in God’s keeping would stand,
But alas in the end, for the Pharaoh’s assistance he sent!

“As I live”, says the Lord, “here in Babylon’s courts he shall die!”
For the covenant oath that he promised to keep he betrayed;
Putting trust in the strength of man’s might
He abandoned the Lord of all light
Bringing down on his head fiery tokens of frowns from on high!

For the mightiest hand among men is as nought before Christ
And the fiercest of troops is as chaff in the heat of His breath;
So at last in the shame of their pride
They were scattered abroad far and wide
For disdaining the Word of the Lord in the sight of their eyes!

Yet a cedar most lofty on glorious heights He shall root
Overwhelming the ground with a harvest of succulent fruit
In its branches the birds of the air
Will a home for their young there prepare
Till the trees all around full of praise for their Maker resound!

Steve Layfield – November 2016

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