Ezekiel 19

1A lamentation for the princes of Israel, under the parable of lions' cubs taken in a pit; 10and for Jerusalem, under the parable of a wasted vine.

1MOREOVER1 take thou up a lamentation for the 2princes of Israel,

1 These are the words of God to the prophet Ezekiel.

2 Understand the kings of Judah, whom the king of Babel had brought under his yoke.

2And say, What is 3thy mother? A 4lioness: she lay down 5among lions, she nourished her 6whelps among 7young lions.

3 Understand the house, the tribe of the kingdom of Judah, and especially Jerusalem, where the kings of Judah had their court and their throne, and from which place they were descended. Other, How was thy mother a lioness lying down among the lions!

4 That is, to be compared to a lioness, namely, not only for royal power and dignity. This was in the tribe of Judah, but also for boldness, fierceness and cruelty which that tribe oftentimes showed in governing.

5 That is, dwelling in the midst of mighty kings, cruel nations or kingdoms. Compare Nahum 2:11.

6 Understand by these, the young sons of kings, who in time were to come to the place of their fathers. Now here is spoken of the sons of king Josiah, who utterly degenerated from the virtue and piety of their father.

7 Namely, which are indeed somewhat older and stronger than whelps; as may be gathered from the following verse.

3And she brought up 8one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch 9the prey; 10it devoured men.

8 Namely, Jehoahaz, who became king in his father’s stead, 2 Kings 23:30.

9 Jehoahaz is here accused of greediness after prey and oppression committed against the neighbor nations, namely, the Egyptians; afterwards of tyranny, violence and blood-shedding, even against his own subjects. Compare verse 6.

10 Compare Deut. 7 on verse 16; Deut. 31 on verse 17; Psalm 14 on verse 4; Psalm 27 on verse 2.

411The nations also heard of him; he was taken 12in their pit, 13and they brought him 14with chains unto the land of Egypt.a

11 That is, the Egyptians, as appears at the end of this verse.

12 They write that lions are accustomed to be caught in secret pits, and also with nets.

13 See 2 Kings 23:33, 34; Jer. 22:11, 12.

14 Or, with hooks, that is, with chains, which consist of many links, as of so many hooks.

a 2 Kings 23:33; Jer. 22:11.

5Now when 15she saw that she had waited, and her hope was 16lost, then she took 17another of her whelps, and made him a young lion.

15 Namely, the lioness or mother of this young lion, of which is spoken in verse 2.

16 Namely, of getting again the captured lion Jehoahaz.

17 Namely, Jehoiakim, the brother of Jehoahaz, given to the lioness by Pharaoh, and permitted by him to be in his brother’s stead, 2 Kings 23:34.

6And he went up and down among 18the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch 19the prey, and devoured men.

18 Understand kings or nations, whose cruelty, abominableness and murderousness he imitated. See on verse 2.

19 Compare verse 3.

7And he knew 20their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was 21desolate, and 22the fulness thereof, 23by the noise of his roaring.

20 Or, their widows, that is, had carnal copulation with the wives of those whom he had wrongfully murdered, and cruelly oppressed. See of the word to know so taken in Gen. 4 on verse 1. Others take the word almenoth, which signifies widows, Ezek. 22:25, for armenoth, that is, palaces, 2 Chron. 36:19, or, desolate palaces, as Isa. 13:22, see there the annotation, and that in this sense, that Jehoiakim also seized upon and took the goods of men, yea, of the great ones whom he had oppressed, for that very end and purpose viewing them, and taking notice of them.

21 That is, that which fills or that which is in it. Also Psalm 24:1; Isa. 6:3; Ezek. 32:15.

22 Or, waste and solitary.

23 That is, at his tyrannical raging and destruction.

8Then the 24nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and 25spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.

24 See of these nations and countries 2 Kings 24:2.

25 See on verse 4.

9And they put him in ward inb26chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: 27they brought 28him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.

b 2 Chron. 36:6.

26 See on verse 4.

27 That is, their intention was to bring him; but they could not perform it, because he died by the way, as Jeremiah had foretold, Jer. 22:18, 19; 36:30.

28 That is, to Babel, which was very strong, and had great forts, Jer. 51:25, 53.

1029Thy mother is like a vine 30in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

29 See on verse 2.

30 Or, in thy stillness, that is, as long as the kingdom was in peace and prosperity; or, as others, as long as thou didst remain obedient to the king of Babel. Other, in thy blood, that is, at thy birth and first coming forth into the world. Compare Ezek. 16:6 and the annotations.

11And 31she had 32strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her 33stature 34was exalted among the 35thick branches, and 36she 37appeared in her height with the 38multitude of her branches.

31 Namely, the vine tree.

32 Or, branches or sticks of strength. Understand by these, the kings and princes of royal blood, of which were made the kings of Judah.

33 Or, the stock. Hebr. stature, or tallness, as Ezek. 17:6.

34 Namely, as long as the blessing of God was upon that vine tree.

35 Understand by these the multitude of other lords, princes and great ones of the land.

36 Namely, every king, who are here called the sceptres of them that bare rule.

37 That is, famous and renowned.

38 Understand the entire kingdom and the strength of the people of the Jews.

12But she was plucked up in 39fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the 40east wind dried up her fruit: her 41strong rods were broken and withered; the 42fire consumed them.

39 Understand the righteous wrath of God.

40 This signifies here the king of Babel with his entire army, as Ezek. 17:10.

41 See on the previous verse.

42 Namely, of Divine vengeance.

13And now she is planted in 43the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.

43 Understand the land of Babylon, which, though in itself it abounded with water and was very fruitful, yet unto the captive Jews it was like a dry and barren wilderness; as the wilderness had been unto their fathers through which they traveled to the land of promise. Compare Ezek. 20:35.

14And fire is gone 44out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod 45to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

44 That is, from king Zedekiah, who, by his rebelling against the king of Babel, brought a remarkable destruction upon himself, and upon all the people of the Jews, 2 Kings 24:20; 25:1.

45 See on verse 11.