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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 19


As for you, son of man, raise a lamentation over the prince of Israel:


1 What a lioness was your mother, a lion of lions! Among young lions she couched to rear her whelps.


One whelp she raised up, a young lion he became; He learned to seize prey, men he devoured.


Then nations raised cries against him, in their pit he was caught; They took him away with hooks to the land of Egypt.


Then she saw that in vain she had waited, her hope was destroyed. She took another of her whelps, him she made a young lion.


He prowled among the lions, a young lion he became; He learned to seize prey, men he devoured;


He ravaged their strongholds, their cities he wasted. The land and all in it were appalled at the noise of his roar.


Nations laid out against him snares all about him; They spread their net to take him, in their pit he was caught.


They put him in a cage and took him away to the king of Babylon, So that his voice would not be heard on the mountains of Israel.


2 Your mother was like a vine planted by the water; Fruitful and branchy was she because of the abundant water.


One strong branch she put out as a royal scepter. Stately was her height amid the dense foliage; Notably tall was she with her many clusters.


But she was torn up in fury and flung to the ground; The east wind withered her up, her fruit was torn off; Then her strong branch withered up, fire devoured it.


So now she is planted in the desert, in a land dry and parched,


For fire came out of the branch and devoured her shoots; She is now without a strong branch, a ruler's scepter. This is a lamentation and serves as a lamentation.



1 [2-9] The meaning of this allegory is uncertain. Probably the two young lions are Jehoahaz and Zedekiah, sons of the same mother, who were deported to Egypt and Babylonia respectively. Cf 2 Kings 23:31-34; 24:18-20.

2 [10-14] A vine: Judah. One strong branch: the Davidic king.

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