Ezekiel 19

CHAPTER XIX

This chapter contains two beautiful examples of the parabolic

kind of writing; the one lamenting the sad catastrophe of

Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, 1-9,

and the other describing the desolation and captivity of the

whole people, 10-14.

In the first parable, the lioness is Jerusalem. The first of

the young lions is Jehoahaz, deposed by the king of Egypt; and

the second lion is Jehoiakim, whose rebellion drew on himself

the vengeance of the king of Babylon. In the second parable the

vine is the Jewish nation, which long prospered, its land being

fertile, its princes powerful, and its people flourishing; but

the judgments of God, in consequence of their guilt, had now

destroyed a great part of the people, and doomed the rest to

captivity.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIX

Verse 1. Moreover take thou up a lamentation] Declare what is

the great subject of sorrow in Israel. Compose a funeral dirge.

Show the melancholy fate of the kings who proceeded from Josiah.

The prophet deplores the misfortune of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim,

under the figure of two lion whelps, which were taken by hunters,

and confined in cages. Next he shows the desolation of Jerusalem

under Zedekiah, which he compares to a beautiful vine pulled up by

the roots, withered, and at last burned. Calmet justly observes,

that the style of this song is beautiful, and the allegory well

supported throughout.

Verse 2. What is thy mother? A lioness] Judea may here be the

mother; the lioness, Jerusalem. Her lying down among lions, her

having confederacy with the neighbouring kings; for lion here

means king.

Verse 3. She brought up one of her whelps] Jehoahaz, son of

Josiah, whose father was conquered and slain by Pharaoh-necho,

king of Egypt.

It learned to catch the prey] His reign was a reign of

oppression and cruelty. He made his subjects his prey, and

devoured their substance.

Verse 4. The nations also heard of him] The king of Egypt, whose

subjects were of divers nations, marched against Jerusalem, took

Jehoahaz prisoner, and brought him to Egypt. Thus-

He was taken in their pit] Here is an allusion to those

trap-pits digged in forests, into which the wild beasts fall,

when the huntsmen, surrounding a given portion of the forest,

drive the beasts in; by degrees narrowing the inclosure, till the

animals come to the place where the pits are, which, being lightly

covered over with branches and turf, are not perceived, and the

beasts tread on them and fall in. Jehoahaz reigned only three

months before he was dethroned by the king of Egypt, against whom

it is apparent some craft was used, here signified by the pit,

into which he fell.

Verse 5. When she saw that she had waited] Being very weak, the

Jews found that they could not resist with any hope of success; so

the king of Egypt was permitted to do as he pleased.

She took another of her whelps] Jehoiakim.

And made him a young lion.] King of Judea.

Verse 6. And he went up and down among the lions] He became a

perfect heathen, and made Judea as idolatrous as any of the

surrounding nations. He reigned eleven years, a monster of

iniquity, 2Ki 23:30, &c.

Verse 8. The nations set against him] The Chaldeans, Syrians,

Moabites, and Ammonites, and the king of Babylon-king of many

nations.

He was taken] The city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar; and

Jehoiakim was taken prisoner, and sent in chains to Babylon.

Verse 9. That his voice should no more be heard] He continued in

prison many years, till the reign of Evil-merodach, who set him at

liberty, but never suffered him to return to the mountains of

Israel. "The unhappy fate of these princes, mentioned

Eze 19:4, 8, 9, is a just subject of

lamentation."-Newcome.

Verse 10. Thy mother (Jerusalem) is like a vine in thy blood] Of

this expression I know not what to make. Some think the meaning is

"A vine planted by the waters to produce the blood of the grape."

See De 32:14. Others, for

bedamecha, in thy blood, would read berimmon, in or at a

pomegranate; like a vine planted by or beside a pomegranate-tree,

by which it was to be supported. And so the Septuagint and Arabic

appear to have read. Calmet reads carmecha, thy vineyard,

instead of bedamecha, in thy blood. Here is no change but a

resh for a daleth. This reading is supported by one of

Kennicott's and one of De Rossi's MSS.: "Thy mother is like a

vine in thy vineyard, planted by the waters." Though this is

rather an unusual construction yet it seems the best emendation.

Of the textual reading no sense can be made. There is a corruption

somewhere.

Full on branches] Many princes. See next verse.

Verse 11. She had strong rods] Zedekiah, and his many sons.

Her stature was exalted] Zedekiah grew proud of his numerous

offspring and prosperity; and although he copied the example of

Jehoiakim, yet he thought he might safely rebel against the king

of Babylon.

Verse 12. But she was plucked up in fury] Jerusalem; taken after

a violent and most destructive siege; Nebuchadnezzar being

violently enraged against Zedekiah for breaking his oath to him.

She was cast down to the ground] Jerusalem was totally ruined,

by being burned to the ground.

Her strong rods were broken] The children of Zedekiah were slain

before his eyes, and after that his own eyes pulled out; and he

was laden with chains, and carried into Babylon.

Verse 13. And now she is planted in the wilderness] In the land

of Chaldea, whither the people have been carried captives; and

which, compared with their own land, was to them a dreary

wilderness.

Verse 14. Fire is gone out] A vindictive and murderous

disposition has taken hold-

Of a rod of her branches] Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, who was of

the blood-royal of Judah-

Hath devoured her fruit] Hath assassinated Gedaliah, slain many

people, and carried off others into the country of the Ammonites.

But he was pursued by Jonathan, the son of Kareah, who slew many

of his adherents, and delivered much of the people.

She hath no strong rod] None of the blood-royal of Judah left.

And from that time not one of her own royal race ever sat upon the

throne of Israel.

This is a lamentation] This is a most lamentable business.

And shall be for a lamentation.] These predictions shall be so

punctually fulfilled, and the catastrophe shall be so complete,

that it shall ever remain as a lamentation; as this state of

Jerusalem shall never be restored. Even to the present day this,

to a Jew, is a subject of mourning.

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