Verse 1 – “Moreover take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
Verse 2 – “and say: ‘What is your mother? A lioness: She lay down among the lions; among the young lions she nourished her cubs.
The mother in this allegory is the nation of Israel, who had produced the kings of the nation.
Verse 3 – She brought up one of her cubs, and he became a young lion; he learned to catch prey, and he devoured men.
Brought up – the first cub, Jehoahaz, was the second son of Josiah. He was shrewd, fierce, and cruel, but was taken almost immediately captive by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt.
Verse 4 – The nations also heard of him; he was trapped in their pit, and they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt.
Verse 5 – ‘When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost, she took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.
Another – Jehoiachin who soon showed himself as unworthy as Jehoahaz. After a reign of only three months and ten days, Jehoiachin was imprisoned in Babylon for 37 years until the Babylon King, Evil-Merodach, released him.
Verse 6 – He moved among the lions, and became a young lion; he learned to catch prey; he devoured men.
Verse 7 – He knew their desolate places, and laid wasted their cities; the land with its fullness was desolated by the noise of his roaring.
Verse 8 – Then the nations set against him from provinces on every side, and spread their net over him; he was trapped in their pit.
Verse 9 – 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.
Verse 10 – ‘Your mother was like a vine in your bloodline, planted by the waters, fruitful and full of branches because of many waters.
Verse 11 – 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.
Verse 12 – 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.
This east wind was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. This image refers to the capture and death of King Zedekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem. Not even the political and military might of Judah’s king could save the nation. Like branches of a vine, they would be cut off and uprooted by the “east wind.”
Verse 13 – And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land.
Verse 14 – 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.
In the land of Chaldea, compared to what the land of Israel had been, it was a dreary wilderness. The scepter was temporarily removed from Judah as a punishment for sins. In the person of Christ, however, God’s promise that the scepter will not depart from the line of Judah (Genesis 49:10) will be ultimately fulfilled.
Moral – “Don’t switch God’s!”