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MOREOVER take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,

Ver. 1.  Princes: sons of Josias, who were so wretched.  The latter part of this beautiful canticle, or allegory, (v. 10.) regards Sedecias.  C.


2 And say: Why did thy mother the lioness lie down among the lions, and bring up her whelps in the midst of young lions?

Ver. 2.  Lioness; Jerusalem (Ch.) which made alliances with the lions, or nations.  C.


3 And she brought out one of her whelps, and he became a lion: and he learned to catch the prey, and to devour men.

Ver. 3.  Whelps; Joachaz, or Sellum, (Ch.) who reigned only three months, like his brother Jechonias.  H.

 

--- The four last kings were all cruel.  W.


4 And the nations heard of him, and took him, but not without receiving wounds: and they brought him in chains into the land of Egypt.

Ver. 4.  But.  Heb. "he was taken in their pit," (Prot.  H.) as also v. 8.  Sept. "in his or their corruption."  We do not read that Joachaz fought, (C.) though this passage insinuates as much.  Sanct.   4 K. xxiii. 30. &c.




5 But she seeing herself weakened, and that her hope was lost, took one of her young lions, and set him up for a lion.

Ver. 5.  Lions: Joakim.  Ch.

 

--- He reigned eleven years; but was such a monster, that the prophet does not speak of him or bewail his fate.  4 K. xxiii. 34.  Jer. xxii. 19.  His words are applicable to Jechonias alone; who was cruel and banished to Babylon.  v. 8.  C.


6 And he went up and down among the lions, and became a lion: and he learned to catch the prey, and to devour men. 7 He learned to make widows, and to lay waste their cities: and the land became desolate, and the fulness thereof by the noise of his roaring. 8 And the nations Game together against him on every side out of the provinces, and they spread their net over him, in their wounds he was taken.

Ver. 8.  Nations: rovers of Chaldea, Syria, &c.  4 K. xxiv. 2.  W.

 

--- Wounds.  Heb. "pit."  He was besieged, (4 K. xxiv. 11.  C.) and gave himself up. H.


9 And they put him into a cage, they brought him in chains to the king of Babylon: and they cast him into prison, 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 water: her fruit and her branches have grown out of many waters.

Ver. 10.  Blood.  She has given birth to many kings.  M.

 

--- The original may be inaccurate, and perhaps should be, "a vine-tree or branch:" (C.) cormoc instead of bedammecha.  Sept. read kerimmon, "like a rose-flower," planted, &c.  H.

 

--- He speaks of Sedecias more obscurely.  C.

 

--- The kingdom had flourished under David and Solomon.  It afterwards lost its splendour under wicked kings, and all the tribes were removed.  W.


11 And she hath strong rods to make sceptres for them that bear rule, and her stature was exalted among the branches: and she saw her height in the multitude of her branches.

Ver. 11.  Rods.  The king had many children, and confided in them, but they were slain.


12 But she was plucked up in wrath, and cast on the ground, and the burning wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods are withered, and dried up: the fire hath devoured her.

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13 And now she is transplanted into the desert, in a land not passable, and dry.

Ver. 13.  Dry; unfit for vine-trees.  He speaks of the prison of Babylon.  C.

 

--- The country was naturally wet.  H.


14 And a fire is gone out from a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit: so that she now hath no strong rod, to be a sceptre of rulers. This is a lamentation, and it shall be for a lamentation.

Ver. 14.  Fire.  Ismael, who slew Godolias, was of the royal family.  Jer. xli. &c.  C.

 


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