their desolate…: or, their widows
the fulness…: or, all it containeth
in chains: or, in hooks
in…: or, in thy quietness, or, in thy likeness
Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
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
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
under the figure of two lion whelps
, which were taken by hunters
and confined in cages
. Next he shows the desolation of Jerusalem
, which he compares to a beautiful vine
pulled up by
the roots, withered, and at last burned. Calmet
that the style of this song is beautiful, and the allegory well
And say, What is
thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
Verse 2. What
is thy mother? A lioness
may here be the mother
; the lioness
, Jerusalem. Her lying down among lions
having confederacy with the neighbouring kings
; for lion
And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.
Verse 3. She brought up one of her whelps
, 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
devoured their substance
The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
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
, 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.
Now when she saw that she had waited, and
her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and
made him a young lion.
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.
And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and
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
And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring.a, b
Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
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
And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.c
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
¶ Thy mother is
like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.d
Verse 10. Thy mother
(Jerusalem) is like a vine in thy blood
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
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.
And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
Verse 11. She had strong rods
, 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
But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
Verse 12. But she was plucked up in fury
] Jerusalem; taken after
a violent and most destructive siege; Nebuchadnezzar being
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.
And now she is
planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
Verse 13. And now she
is planted in the wilderness
] In the land
, whither the people have been carried captives; and
which, compared with their own land, was to them a dreary wilderness
And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which
hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be
a sceptre to rule. This is
a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
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.