Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel-Chapter 19

Ezek 19.1-14 is the first of five lamentations in the book. A “kinah” is a lamentation or a complimentary song on behalf of a dead person, and in this case this is a kinah for the king and people of Israel. what has happened is bad, but more is coming. This kinah is a review of Israel’s history in Ezekiel’s time.

v 1…As for you, take up a lamentation (kinah) for the princes (the last four kings of Judah, Yehoahaz, Yehoiakim, Yehoiachin, and Zedekiah) of Israel,

v 2…and say, “What was your mother? A lioness (a queen, a nation) among lions (other nations). She lay down among the lions (learned the ways of the heathen nations), she reared her cubs (her kings in the principles of these nations which were cruel and oppressive).

v 3…When she brought up one of her cubs (Yehoahaz), he became a lion (king), and he learned to tear his prey; he devoured men (bloodthirsty).

v 4…Then nations heard about him (Egypt heard he was rebelling against them); he was captured in their pit, and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt (2 Kings 23.31-33).

v 5…When she (Israel) saw, as she waited, that her hope was lost (disillusioned), she took another of her cubs (Yehioakim) and made him a young lion (he was appointed by Pharaoh but had the approval of the people; never attained the status of a full grown lion).

v 6…And he walked about among the lions (continued as king but was undirected by what Yehovah wanted him to do, followed his own heart); he became a young lion, he learned to tear his prey; he devoured men (was oppressive-2 Kings 24.4).

v 7…And he destroyed their palaces and laid waste their cities (he caused a disintegration in the land with oppressive taxes to satisfy his obligations to Egypt-2 Kings 23.33); and the land and it fulness were appalled (became desolate) because of the sound of his roaring (staying consistent with the metaphor of a lion).

v 8…Then nations set against him (bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites-2 Kings 24.2) on every side from their provinces, and they spread their net over him; and he was captured in their pit.

v 9…And they put him in a cage (neck stock) with hooks and brought him to the king of Babylon (but he died along the way-2 Chr 36.6; Jer 22.18-19); they brought him in hunting nets so that his voice should be heard no more on the mountains of Israel (in the kingdom).

In Ezek 19.10-14 the kinah continues but the metaphor changes. The “mother” now becomes a fruitful vine with many branches, planted in a fertile land.

v 10…Your mother (Israel) was like a vine in your vineyard (Isa 5), planted by the waters (Canaan-Deut 8.7-9); it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant waters (an allusion to the Torah and its blessings).

v 11…And it had strong branches fit for the scepters of rulers (princes of the royal house like David, Solomon and other righteous kings), and its height was raised above the clouds so that it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches (Israel was eminent among the nations).

v 12…But it was plucked up in fury (the ten tribes carried off by Assyria and Benjamin and Judah were carried off by Babylon later); it was cast down to the ground (Deut 29.27); and the east wind (Babylon) dried up its fruit (Zedekiah’s sons were killed, along with others), its strong branch was torn off (Zedekiah) so that it withered; the fire (of God’s wrath) consumed it (Jerusalem and the Temple were burned).

v 13…And now it is planted in the wilderness (Babylon), in a dry and thirsty land (devoid of freedom, Temple worship, civil liberties, etc.)

v 14…And fire (judgment) has gone out from a rod of its branches (Zedekiah will rebel against Babylon and the covenant that he made with Yehovah’s name in it, and this angered Yehovah resulting in his wrath-2 Kings 24.20); it has consumed its shoots and fruit (destroyed his family, the people, the land, etc.), so that there is not in it a strong branch, a scepter to rule (the Davidic kingly line ends with Zedekiah, at least until Messiah comes).” This is a lamentation (kinah) and has become a lamentation (it already was a lamentation for what had happened already, but it was also a prophecy because more was coming).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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