Bible Study: Ezekiel 19 – A Lamentation

The book of Ezekiel is one of the major prophets in the Old Testament. It was authored by Ezekiel who was set as a watchman to the house of Israel.

Ezek 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:

The nineteenth chapter of Ezekiel is about a lamentation for the princes of Israel.

Captivity of Jehoahaz

Ezek 19:1-4 “Moreover take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say: ‘What is your mother? A lioness: She lay down among the lions; Among the young lions she nourished her cubs. She brought up one of her cubs, And he became a young lion; He learned to catch prey, And he devoured men. The nations also heard of him; He was trapped in their pit, And they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt.

God is using a lioness as a mother to symbolize Jerusalem and the princes of Israel.

Gal 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Jerusalem is referred as mother when Paul is writing to Galatians

2Kgs 23:31-34 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. Now Pharaoh Necho put him in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Then Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Pharaoh took Jehoahaz and went to Egypt, and he died there.

Using symbols, God is referring to the captivity of Jehoahaz where Pharaoh Necho put him in prison at Riblah in the land of Hanath.

 

Captivity of Jehoiakim

Ezek 19:5-9 When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost, She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion. He roved among the lions, And became a young lion; He learned to catch prey; He devoured men. He knew their desolate places, And laid waste their cities; The land with its fullness was desolated By the noise of his roaring. Then the nations set against him from the provinces on every side, And spread their net over him; He was trapped in their pit. They put him in a cage with chains, And brought him to the king of Babylon; They brought him in nets, That his voice should no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel.

Jehoiakim was the next king of Judah as we read in the below passage.

2Chr 36:4 Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt.

He did evil in the sight of the Lord and rebelled against the king of Babylon.

2Chr 36:5-8 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.

Jehoiakim was bound in bronze fetters and was carried to Babylon.

 

Conclusion

Ezek 19:10-14 Your mother was like a vine in your bloodline, Planted by the waters, Fruitful and full of branches Because of many waters. She had strong branches for scepters of rulers. She towered in stature above the thick branches, And was seen in her height amid the dense foliage. But she was plucked up in fury, She was cast down to the ground, And the east wind dried her fruit. Her strong branches were broken and withered; The fire consumed them. And now she is planted in the wilderness, In a dry and thirsty land. Fire has come out from a rod of her branches And devoured her fruit, So that she has no strong branch– a scepter for ruling.’ ” This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.

As we saw earlier, mother represents Jerusalem. The Father is God Himself married Jerusalem which is a symbolic representation of the children of Israel as we saw in chapter 16.
Previous state of Jerusalem:
  • Planted by the waters
  • Fruitful and full of branches
  • Strong branches (scepter of rulers)
  • Towered in stature above the thick branches
The above state echoes the first chapter of Psalms.

Ps 1:1-3 BLESSED is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The previous state of Jerusalem is how God clothed Jerusalem in righteousness. It did not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the path of sinners, did not sit in the seat of the scornful, but delighted in the law of the Lord and meditate it day and night.
Jerusalem however forsook God, His law and His commandments to worship other gods and idols. This caused Jerusalem’s downfall and God’s anger upon Jerusalem.
  • Plucked in fury
  • Cast down to ground
  • Fruits dried
  • Strong branches broken
  • Fire consumed
Aftermath (Exile):
  • Planted in wilderness, a dry and thirsty land
  • Fire has come out from a rod of her branches and devoured her fruit
  • No strong branch (no scepter for ruling)
After siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon came against Jerusalem, the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah was scattered and taken as captives.

John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

If you walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful, you will be plucked in fury, cast down to ground, wither and your fruits will dry, your strong branches will be broken and fire will consume.