Lament; Your mother, a lioness; one cub devoured men 1
Another cub devoured men and roared 5
Your mother was a vine; trampled and burned; lament 10
¶ Moreover take thou up a lamentation [expression of sorrow] for the
princes of Israel,
2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps [cubs] among young lions.
.3 And she brought up one of her whelps [cubs]: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.
4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
| 1 -
From qinah, In the form of poetry. The Hebrew has a pattern of accented
syllables. Even in English you can tell that that the poem is divided into
short thoughts. (Lions roamed Palestine, the area where Israel now is,
until later the Crusades – Medieval times.)
1 - Princes These would be Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin, verses 3 and 5.
2 - Mother Jerusalem ga0426.
2 - Lions ge4909, nu2324, nu2409. She became as the other nations 1sa0820.
3 - Cub One clue about the identity is that the lament or sorrow was for the "princes of Israel" v1. Princes could represent kings who, in this case were wicked. Jehoahaz was captured by Egypt 2ki2331.
4 - Heard Or better "Sounded an alarm" (RSV translation).
Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took
another of her whelps, and made him a young lion.
6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.
.7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring.
8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
9 And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
| 5 -
whelp (lion cub) Zedekiah was captured, and his eyes were put
out. He was taken in chains to Babylon shortly after Ezekiel wrote this
5 - Another of her cubs Jehoahaz and Zedekiah had the same mother 2ki2331, 2ki2408ff, although the mother here would have been the nation.
6 - Devoured men See v3.
7 - Desolate places From almenoth, literally "widows" which doesn't make sense. The Targums and the Theodotion Greek manuscripts read 'armenoth which means "fortresses."
¶ Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she
was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
11 And she had strong rods [branches] for the scepters of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
.12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
- Vine Notice that the "princes" are addressed v1. All the
kings were to be burned up by the fire of one (Zedekiah). Compare ez1705ff.
11 - In thy blood The original is obscure no translation is possible.
12 - Mother ... by waters Jerusalem was taken in fury because Zedekiah had broken his oath.
13 - Now ... wilderness Babylon was in the middle of a desert and the people were no doubt homesick for Palestine.
14 - Is a lamentation and shall be Present and future impact.