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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 19

 

 

Introduction

Ezekiel 19. Dirge Over the Kings.—From a chapter which has the ring almost of dogmatic theology, we pass to one of pure elegiac poetry, in which Ezekiel deals a death-blow to the vain hopes reposed in the monarchy (cf. Ezekiel 12:1-15, Ezekiel 17).


Verses 1-9

Ezekiel 19. Dirge Over the Kings.—From a chapter which has the ring almost of dogmatic theology, we pass to one of pure elegiac poetry, in which Ezekiel deals a death-blow to the vain hopes reposed in the monarchy (cf. Ezekiel 12:1-15, Ezekiel 17).

Ezekiel 19:1-9. Judah the Lioness.—Mother Judah is compared to a lioness, and the kings are her whelps. Ezekiel 19:1-9 celebrates the sorrowful fate of Jehoahaz (Ezekiel 19:2-4) and Jehoiachin (Ezekiel 19:5-9), each of whom was carried into exile after a reign of only three months—Jehoahaz to Egypt in 608, Jehoiachin to Babylon in 597 B.C. The might of Judah and her kings is idealised in this "lament," and the fate of the monarchs is described in terms appropriate to the capture of a lion (Ezekiel 19:4, Ezekiel 8 f.)—dangerous beasts were sometimes trapped in pits. (In Ezekiel 19:4 "heard of" should be "clamoured against," in Ezekiel 19:5 "waited" practically = waited in vain, but the word is quite uncertain. In Ezekiel 19:7 "knew" should perhaps be "ravaged.") The melancholy cadence of the last sentence is very fine—

"That his voice should be heard no more

On the mountains of Israel."


Verses 10-14

Ezekiel 19:10-14. Judah the Vine.—The figure changes, as in Genesis 49:8-12, from lion to vine, and the king whose destiny is foreshadowed is this time Zedekiah. Judah is described as a fruitful vine, one of whose mighty branches (Zedekiah) became a royal sceptre (Ezekiel 19:11). But the vine was violently uprooted, hurled to the ground, withered by the fury of the scorching east wind—a plain allusion to the destruction of Judah by Babylon. It is to be noted, however, that the fire which consumed her issued from one of her own branches—a pointed allusion to the treachery of Zedekiah, at which Ezekiel has already expressed his horror (Ezekiel 17:19). Thus no more than his predecessors will Zedekiah save the state: he and it will perish.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 19:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezekiel-19.html. 1919.

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