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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 19

Verses 1-14

§ 4. Further Prophecies of Israel’s Guilt and approaching Punishment (Ezekiel 12-19)

This is a somewhat miscellaneous group of prophecies intermediate in date between the preceding (August-September, 591 b.c.) and succeeding (July-August, 590 b.c.) sections. It includes fresh symbols of exile, flight, and famine (Ezekiel 12:1-20), a doctrine of prophecy, true and false (Ezekiel 12:21 to Ezekiel 14:11), an explanation of God’s exceptional treatment of Jerusalem in sparing a remnant (Ezekiel 14:12-23), Ezekiel’s parable of the Vine (Ezekiel 15), the parable of the Foundling Child (Ezekiel 16), a parable of Zedekiah’s perfidy and its punishment (Ezekiel 17), a vindication of God’s equity (Ezekiel 18), and a lament over the royal house of Judah (Ezekiel 19).

Verses 1-14

A Lament for the Royal House of Judah

This chapter is a poem in which the measure used for a dirge or elegy is more or less traceable throughout. It describes first a lioness, two of whose whelps are successively caught and taken away from her (Ezekiel 19:1-9), and next a vine with lofty branches, which is ruined by a fire proceeding from one of them (Ezekiel 19:10-14). There is no doubt that the branch from which destruction spreads to the vine is Zedekiah. The vine itself may be the nation of Israel, or the royal house, or the mother of Zedekiah. There are two interpretations of the first allegory. The lioness is usually understood to be the nation or the royal family in general, and the two whelps to be Shallum and Jehoiachin. But some take the lioness to be Hamutal, one of the wives of Josiah, and the whelps to be her two sons, Shallum and Zedekiah.

2. Thy mother] Hamutal, whom some suppose to be meant here, was one of the wives of Josiah, and the mother of Shallum (or Jehoahaz) and Zedekiah (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 24:18). Jehoiakim, the other son of Josiah who became king, had a different mother (2 Kings 23:36).

3, 4. One of her whelps, etc.] Jehoahaz, or Shallum, the youngest son of Josiah (1 Chronicles 3:15), was set on the throne by the people after his father’s death, but after reigning three months he was deposed and carried away captive to Egypt by Pharaoh-Necho (2 Kings 23:30-34; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4). His fate is lamented in Jeremiah 22:10-12.

5-9 Another of her whelps, etc.] Either Jehoiachin or Zedekiah. Jehoiachin was a grandson of Josiah, who came to the throne as a youth and was carried captive to BabyIon in 597 b.c. after a reign of three months (2 Kings 24:8-16; 2 Chronicles 36:9-10). Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, was a son of Josiah and Hamutal. He succeeded his nephew Jehoiachin, and was carried captive to Babylon in 586 b.c.: see. Intro. The high terms in which the second whelp is spoken of do not agree well with Ezekiel’s estimate of Zedekiah in Ezekiel 17.

9. In ward in chains] RV ’in a cage with hoops.’ Lion cages are represented on the monuments.

10. Thy mother] The language in this allegory is much more applicable to the nation than to Hamutal. In thy blood] a meaningless phrase. Perhaps we should read with RM ’in thy likeness.’

11. Strong rods for the sceptres] a double figure. The rods represent both the kings and their sceptres.

12, 13. These vv. describe the final destruction and captivity of Judah.

14. Out of a rod, etc.] Zedekiah’s rebellion was the cause of the ruin of the nation.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 19". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.