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A Parable About Israel’s Princes

19 Now you are to take up a lament for the princes of Israel. This is what you are to say:

    What a lioness your mother was!
    She crouched among the lions.
    Among the young lions she reared her cubs.
She raised up one of her cubs.[a]
    When he became a young lion,
        he learned to tear his prey.
    He even ate humans.
When the nations heard about him,
        he was trapped in their pit.
    With hooks they led him to the land of Egypt.

When she saw that she was waiting in vain,
    that her hope was lost,
        she took another of her cubs
        and made him a young lion.
He prowled around among the lions,
    because he too had become a young lion.
    He learned to tear prey.
    He even ate humans.
He knew how many widows he made[b]
        as he ravaged their cities.
    The land and everyone in it were stunned
        by the noise of his roaring.
Nations set upon him from the surrounding provinces.
    They spread their net over him,
    and he was trapped in their pit.
With hooks they put him in a wooden cage,[c]
    and they brought him[d] to the king of Babylon.
    They brought him into prison
        so that his roar would no longer be heard
        on the mountains of Israel.
10 Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard,[e]
    planted by water, fruitful and full of branches
    because of plentiful waters.
11 Its strong branches[f] became scepters for rulers.
    It towered high, among the clouds.
    It was outstanding because of its height,
    and because of the abundance of its branches.
12 But the vine was uprooted in wrath,
    and it was hurled to the ground.
    The east wind dried up its fruit.
    Its strong branch was torn off so that it dried up,
    and fire devoured it.
13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,
    in a dry and thirsty land.
14 Fire has come out from its main branch
    and consumed its fruit,
    so that it no longer has a strong branch,
    no scepter fit for ruling.

This is a lament, and it was used as a lament.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 19:3 King Jehoahaz of Judah
  2. Ezekiel 19:7 The translation follows the Hebrew. Other ancient versions read he devastated their strongholds, which seems to fit the parallelism with ravaging cities.
  3. Ezekiel 19:9 Or a collar
  4. Ezekiel 19:9 King Jehoiachin of Judah
  5. Ezekiel 19:10 A few Hebrew manuscripts read vineyard. Most Hebrew manuscripts read blood, but the context supports vineyard.
  6. Ezekiel 19:11 The word translated strong branches also means rulers’ staffs. Also in verses 12 and 14.

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