Ezekiel 19 Commentary

Mourning for Judah’s kings (19:1-14)

Although the prophet realized that God’s judgment on the sinful people of Judah was fitting, he felt sorry for those Judean kings who fell victim to the foreign invaders (19:1). Judah was like a mother lion whose young lions became kings to rule over nations. However, when Egypt in 609 BC gained control of the region, Judah’s king Jehoahaz was captured, bound and taken to Egypt, where he later died (2-4; see 2 Kings 23:31-34).

The next ‘lion’ had all the fierce and aggressive characteristics of Judah’s next king, Jehoiakim (5-8; see 2 Kings 23:36-37; 24:1; Jer 22:13-19). Unlike the kings before and after him, Jehoiakim died not in a foreign country but in Jerusalem (Jer 22:19). His son and successor, Jehoiachin, was captured and taken prisoner to Babylon. Although Jehoiachin reigned only three months, he showed he had the same evil characteristics as his father (9; see 2 Kings 24:8-15).

Judah is pictured also as a strong healthy vine, and her kings as fruitful branches of that vine. But the ‘vine’ withered and was taken, along with its last rightful king, Jehoiachin, into the dry and thirsty land of Babylon (10-13). Back in Jerusalem the king appointed by Babylon proved to be a ‘fire’ who destroyed the little that remained of the vine. Through Zedekiah both the nation and the Davidic line of kings came to an end (14; see 2 Kings 24:20-25:21).

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