ZEKIEL 17 gives both a parable and the interpretation of that parable. Zedekiah, the king of Jerusalem was a pawn standing between 2 more significant players. Those players are described as eagles. The first eagle represented Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, the second eagle was Pharaoh and Egypt. Zedekiah had a deal with Nebuchadnezzar. He was beholden to that Chaldean. Not only that, God demanded submission of the Jews to the Babylonians. But Zedekiah had other ideas. Zedekiah believed that if he had Egypt as an ally, then he would succeed in throwing off the oppressive Babylonian empire. But he was fooling himself. He was at best a seed, or a twig, or maybe a vine. The players that he was dealing with were majestic eagles. He was out of his league. The second eagle wouldn't care for him, and the first one would pluck him up like a flimsy shrub. Yet, it wasn't the eagles who were so significant.
Not surprisingly, Ezekiel 17:19-24 indicate that the there was an expert in falconry who was behind the scenes orchestrating every geopolitical move of both the Babylonians and the Egyptians. What Zedekiah should have spent his energy on was a good diplomatic relationship with Jehovah. Egypt and Babel would have fallen into line just fine if the Jewish king would have just been obedient to God and to His words. But, he wouldn't. Even with the multiplicity of Jeremiah's clear messages instructing him in the right way, he listened to none of it. It seems that even the wicked heathen Nebuchadnezzar had more character than Zedekiah had. Nebuchadnezzar would have been willing to keep his deal with Zedekiah, but Zedekiah was unwilling to keep the greater covenant to God under which he should have been ruling.