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A Funeral Song for Israel’s Leaders

The Lord said:

19 Ezekiel, sing a funeral song for two of Israel’s leaders:[a]

Your mother was a brave lioness
who raised her cubs
    among lions.
She taught one of them to hunt,
    and he learned to eat people.
When the nations heard of him,
    they trapped him in a pit,
then they used hooks
    to drag him to Egypt.

His mother waited
    for him to return.
But soon she lost all hope
and raised another cub,
    who also became fierce.
He hunted with other lions
    and learned to eat people.
He destroyed fortresses[b]
    and ruined towns;
his mighty roar
    terrified everyone.
Nations plotted to kill him,
and people came from all over
    to spread out a net
    and catch him in a trap.
They put him in a cage
    and took him to Babylonia.
The lion was locked away,
    so that his mighty roar
would never again be heard
    on Israel’s hills.

10 Your mother was a vine[c]
    growing near a stream.
There was plenty of water,
so she was filled with branches
    and with lots of fruit.
11 Her strong branches
    became symbols of authority,
and she was taller
    than all other trees—
everyone could see how strong
    and healthy she was.
12 But in anger, I pulled her up
    by the roots
and threw her to the ground,
where the scorching desert wind
    dried out her fruit.
Her strong branches wilted
    and burned up.
13 Then she was planted
    in a hot, dry desert,
14 where her stem caught fire,
and flames burned
    her branches and fruit.
Not one strong branch is left;
    she is stripped bare.

This funeral song must be sung with sorrow.


  1. 19.1 two of Israel’s leaders: Probably Jehoahaz (ruled three months in 609 B.C.) and Jehoiachin (ruled three months in 598 B.C.) or Zedekiah (598-586 B.C.).
  2. 19.7 He destroyed fortresses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 19.10 Your mother was a vine: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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