1Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
Ezekiel is going to take up a lamentation for past leaders of the Jews. A lamentation or song of lament is an expression of grief and mourning.
2And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
This first lament uses the allegory of lions. Just as Jerusalem above (spiritual Jerusalem) is the mother of all Christians (Gal. 4:26), here the mother is physical Jerusalem. The whelps are the kings of the royal line.
3And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
One of the kings (whelps) was Jehoahaz son of Josiah (2 Kings 23:34; 2 Chron. 36) who was captured by Pharaoh-Necho and imprisoned in Egypt. His brother, Eliakim (changed to Joehoiakim) was placed by Necho to rule in his brother’s stead.
5Now 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. 6And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. 7And 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. 8Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. 9And 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.
The second whelp-king is Jehoiakim, Jehoahaz’s brother. He became like all the other lions (kings) around him, a complete heathen, one among many (2 Kings 23:37). In so doing, he spoiled the land of Judah (2 Kings 23:35) ridding it of its wealth (remember the stupid prostitute who paid others for sex instead of receiving money for it).
We see instead that the surrounding nations attacked him (2 Kings 24:2) and he was captured by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chron. 36:6) and he was never allowed to return to the land of Judah.
10Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11And 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.
This second part of the lamentation begins to speak of Zedekiah. The translation here “in thy blood” is better translated “in they vineyard”. I can supply evidence upon request. This vine is Jerusalem, planted by waters and fruitful because of her location. Jerusalem was always a central crossroads of commerce because of her location, gaining much over the nations that had to travel through Judah when going over land. This is important when we get to Revelation and see all the merchants weeping over the death of the whore of Babylon.
The branches are the leaders, the kings. Many of Judah’s rulers were good men and strong rulers. David, Solomon, and Josiah among them.
12But 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.
The is the coming attack of Babylon and the death of Zedekiah’s sons and the breaking of the line of kings. The fire is judgment against Jerusalem.
13And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. 14And 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.
Jerusalem would be left in the hands of those not of the royal line of David. Gedeliah and such like after him. She would be a broken wasteland of no consequence where before she had been a prosperous city on the crossroads of the world.
In Truth and Love,