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Ezekiel 19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 19

Allegory of the Lions[a]

As for you, raise a lamentation over the princes of Israel, and say:

What a lioness was your mother,
    a lion among lions!
She made her lair among young lions,
    to raise her cubs;
One cub she raised up,
    a young lion he became;
He learned to tear apart prey,
    he devoured people.
Nations heard about him;
    in their pit he was caught;
They took him away with hooks
    to the land of Egypt.[b]
When she realized she had waited in vain,
    she lost hope.
She took another of her cubs,
    and made him a young lion.
He prowled among the lions,
    became a young lion;
He learned to tear apart prey,
    he devoured people.
He ravaged their strongholds,
    laid waste their cities.
The earth and everything in it were terrified
    at the sound of his roar.
Nations laid out against him
    snares all around;
They spread their net for him,
    in their pit he was caught.
They put him in fetters and took him away
    to the king of Babylon,
So his roar would no longer be heard
    on the mountains of Israel.

Allegory of the Vine Branch

10 Your mother was like a leafy vine[c]
    planted by water,
Fruitful and full of branches
    because of abundant water.
11 One strong branch grew
    into a royal scepter.
So tall it towered among the clouds,
    conspicuous in height,
    with dense foliage.
12 But she was torn out in fury
    and flung to the ground;
The east wind withered her up,
    her fruit was plucked away;
Her strongest branch dried up,
    fire devoured it.
13 Now she is planted in a wilderness,
    in a dry, parched land.
14 Fire flashed from her branch,
    and devoured her shoots;
Now she does not have a strong branch,
    a royal scepter!

This is a lamentation and serves as a lamentation.


  1. 19:1–9 Some commentators identify Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, sons of the same mother, as the “two young lions”; they were deported to Egypt and Babylon respectively. Cf. 2 Kgs 23:31–34; 24:18–20.
  2. 19:4 A common fate for royal prisoners: e.g., Assurbanipal claims he put a ring in the jaw of a captive king and a dog collar around his neck (cf. v. 9). A wall relief shows Esarhaddon holding two royal captives with ropes tied to rings in their lips.
  3. 19:10–14 Vine: Judah. One strong branch: the Davidic king. This allegory describes the deportation of the Davidic dynasty to Babylon and laments the destruction of the house of David. From Ezekiel’s perspective, the arrogance of Judah’s kings leads to this tragedy (vv. 12–14).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Ezekiel 19 New International Version (NIV)

A Lament Over Israel’s Princes

19 “Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel and say:

“‘What a lioness was your mother
    among the lions!
She lay down among them
    and reared her cubs.
She brought up one of her cubs,
    and he became a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
    and he became a man-eater.
The nations heard about him,
    and he was trapped in their pit.
They led him with hooks
    to the land of Egypt.

“‘When she saw her hope unfulfilled,
    her expectation gone,
she took another of her cubs
    and made him a strong lion.
He prowled among the lions,
    for he was now a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
    and he became a man-eater.
He broke down[a] their strongholds
    and devastated their towns.
The land and all who were in it
    were terrified by his roaring.
Then the nations came against him,
    those from regions round about.
They spread their net for him,
    and he was trapped in their pit.
With hooks they pulled him into a cage
    and brought him to the king of Babylon.
They put him in prison,
    so his roar was heard no longer
    on the mountains of Israel.

10 “‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard[b]
    planted by the water;
it was fruitful and full of branches
    because of abundant water.
11 Its branches were strong,
    fit for a ruler’s scepter.
It towered high
    above the thick foliage,
conspicuous for its height
    and for its many branches.
12 But it was uprooted in fury
    and thrown to the ground.
The east wind made it shrivel,
    it was stripped of its fruit;
its strong branches withered
    and fire consumed them.
13 Now it is planted in the desert,
    in a dry and thirsty land.
14 Fire spread from one of its main[c] branches
    and consumed its fruit.
No strong branch is left on it
    fit for a ruler’s scepter.’

“This is a lament and is to be used as a lament.”


  1. Ezekiel 19:7 Targum (see Septuagint); Hebrew He knew
  2. Ezekiel 19:10 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts your blood
  3. Ezekiel 19:14 Or from under its
New International Version (NIV)

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