PRINCES: Ezekiel's characteristic word for "king" (Eze
21:25; 34:24). By extension, perhaps, the whole royal house of Judah.
Lion ref tribe of Judah (Gen 49:9). Lions were a common sight
in Judah in Ezekiel's day. Lions were reckless, capricious, selfish.
Vv 2-4: "This section... is a lamentation for two of the last
princes of Israel, and for Israel itself. When Josiah was killed at the battle
of Megiddo, he was still a young man -- under forty years of age; his sons were
therefore very young to succeed to the throne of a kingdom in such precarious
times. It is perhaps for that reason that the two who are mentioned in the
lamentation are spoken of as whelps. The 'mother' is the kingdom of Judah. On
the death of Josiah it is said 'the people of the land' -- that is the mother
country -- took Jehoahaz, and anointed him as king in place of his father... He
was 23 years old, and only reigned three months, when the Pharaoh of Egypt,
returning from Megiddo, deposed him and carried him to Egypt as a prisoner [2Ki
23:31,33,34; Jer 22:11,12,18], setting Jehoiakim on the throne of Judah to reign
there as a vassal king [Eze 19:5]" (BEz 86).
A lion hunt, ending in the capture of the lion.
THEY LED HIM WITH HOOKS TO THE LAND OF EGYPT: Jehoahaz,
appointed king by people of Judah (2Ki 23:30), but carried captive to Egypt (2Ki
23:33; Jer 22:10-12).
Jehoiakim, a vassal, rules for 11 years and then dies. Then
the nation takes another king, Jehoiachin.
Jehoiachin's reign ended just as ingloriously as had that of
Jehoahaz, as he was carried to Babylon (2Ki 24:15; 2Ch 36:10).
Vv 10-14: A graphic picture of the spiritual decline of the
nation of Israel, and how they have abused their inheritance.
A VINE IN YOUR VINEYARD: The nation of Israel likened
to a vine (Isa 5:1-7; Psa 80:8,16). Judah, a vine and a scepter (Gen
The Solomonic line of David's family -- from whence all of
Judah's kings came.
The fire of judgment came as a direct result of the deeds of
But "the scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's
staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs [or 'until Shiloh
comes'; or 'until he comes to whom tribute belongs'] and the obedience of the
nations is his" (Gen 49:10). However, Jesus is not literally (but only by
"adoption" and "legally") from the Solomonic line of Judah.