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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.(A)
Nations heard about him;
    in their pit he was caught;
They took him away with hooks
    to the land of Egypt.[b](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.(C)
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.(D)
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.(E)
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.(F)
13 Now she is planted in a wilderness,
    in a dry, parched land.(G)
14 Fire flashed from her branch,
    and devoured her shoots;
Now she does not have a strong branch,
    a royal scepter!(H)

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).