December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
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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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