Ezekiel 19

A Funeral Song for Israel’s Leaders

The Lord said:

1 Ezekiel, sing a funeral song for two of Israel’s leaders:
2 Your mother was a brave lioness
    who raised her cubs
        among lions.
3 She taught one of them to hunt,
        and he learned to eat people.
4 When the nations heard of him,
        they trapped him in a pit,
    then they used hooks
        to drag him to Egypt.
5 His mother waited
        for him to return.
    But soon she lost all hope
    and raised another cub,
        who also became fierce.
6 He hunted with other lions
        and learned to eat people.
7 He destroyed fortresses
        and ruined towns;
    his mighty roar
        terrified everyone.
8 Nations plotted to kill him,
    and people came from all over
        to spread out a net
        and catch him in a trap.
9 They put him in a cage
        and took him to Babylonia.
    The lion was locked away,
        so that his mighty roar
    would never again be heard
        on Israel’s hills.

10 Your mother was a vine
        growing near a stream.
     There was plenty of water,
     so she was filled with branches
        and with lots of fruit.
11 Her strong branches
        became symbols of authority,
     and she was taller
        than all other trees—
    everyone could see how strong
        and healthy she was.
12 But in anger, I pulled her up
        by the roots
     and threw her to the ground,
     where the scorching desert wind
        dried out her fruit.
     Her strong branches wilted
        and burned up.
13 Then she was planted
        in a hot, dry desert,
14 where her stem caught fire,
     and flames burned
        her branches and fruit.
     Not one strong branch is left;
        she is stripped bare.

This funeral song must be sung with sorrow.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary