19 “Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel2 and say:
“‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions! She lay down among them and reared her cubs. 3 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. 4 The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit. They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt.
5 “‘When she saw her hope unfulfilled, her expectation gone, she took another of her cubs and made him a strong lion. 6 He prowled among the lions, for he was now a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he became a man-eater. 7 He broke down[a] their strongholds and devastated their towns. The land and all who were in it were terrified by his roaring. 8 Then the nations came against him, those from regions round about. They spread their net for him, and he was trapped in their pit. 9 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.’
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