-Ezekiel uses the illustration of the lioness among lions as a metaphor for the Kingdom of Judah and her princes as he raised the interest level of his audience. There is former splendor as the nation rose from mediocrity to a very powerful status because of the blessing of the LORD. But, her splendor eroded with the infiltration of foreign cultures and decisive blows to her prestige and pride. The first prince to be captured in their pit and taken to Egypt with hooks was King Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:31-33, Ezekiel 19:4). The second could refer to either King Jehoiachin, who at the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy would have already been in Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:8-16), or it could refer to King Zedekiah, who would soon be dragged with hooks to Babylonian as a captive (2 Kings 25:7, Ezekiel 19:9). The vine (Judah) had been plucked after a time of fruitbearing. She had been planted by the waters full of braches strong enough to support her rulers with heights above the clouds. But the LORD’s fury for her abominations cast her down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit. The strong branch was torn off so that it withered, and fire consumed it. Now the exiles would be planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. This is the reason for Ezekiel’s lamentation (Ezekiel 19:10-14). This illustration portrayed to the captives the fact that this exile would be long in duration with no hope of a quick return to the land and no escape from their Babylonian captors. Woe upon woe was decreed at the discretion of the LORD.
-*Application* What we should take from this incident in history is that complacency and lethargy are to be vigilantly scrutinized and remedied in our Christian walk. Don’t grow weary of well doing (Joshua 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:13). Continue steadfastly in the energy and passion of the Lord in your calling. Don’t make the mistake of compromise and let things spiral downward in your efforts. Grow, don’t stagnate. Death and rot will occur in a plant soon after it ripens.
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 19:9