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Chapter 19 1 A lamentation for the princes of Israel, under the parable of lions' whelps taken in a pit, 10 and for Jerusalem, under the parable of a wasted vine.
OREOVER take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
2 And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey;
it devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
5 Now 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.
6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.
7 And 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.
8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
9 And 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.
10 | Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
11 And 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.
12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground,
EZEKIEL XX-GOD REFUSETH ISRAEL
and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
14 And 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.
Chapter 20 1 God refuseth to be consulted by the elders of Israel. 5 He sheweth the story of their rebellions in Egypt, the wilderness, 27 and in the land. 33 He promiseth to gather them by the gospel. 45 Under the name of a forest he sheweth the destruction of Jerusalem.
ND it came to pass in the seventh' year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel
came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. ? Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, 3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to inquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.
4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:
5 [And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted upmine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they försake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
That is, the seventh year of the captivity in Babylon, and also the seventh of Zedekiah's reign as the
last king of Jerusalem.
“Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest.”—Lamentations, 1, 3.
E TURN now to the period of Judah's exile.
Jerusalem, the mighty walled fortress, the gor
geous metropolis with its teeming multitude, Jerusalem was no more. Its people were scattered over foreign lands. Yet even there they continued as a nation, a “peculiar people,” having their own faith, their literature, and their prophets.
First of these writers of the exile, there was Jeremiah himself, or another speaking very like him, who wrote the Book of Lamentations. Its association with the great prophet is based only on tradition, and on an introduction prefixed to it in one version of the Bible, which reads, “And it came to pass after Israel had been carried away captive, and Jerusalem had been laid waste, that Jeremiah sat weeping, and lamented with this lamentation, and said:”
Then follows the first pathetic lament, opening, “How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!"
The book consists of five chapters or rather five separate songs of lamentation, each dealing with a fresh aspect of the great disaster. The first song tells of the des
olation of Jerusalem and the misery of the people.