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The kingdom of Judah and house of David is compared to a
lioness, and their princes to lions taken in nets, ver. 1 - 9.
The kingdom and house are compared to a vine, and these princes
to branches, now broken off and burnt, ver. 10 - 14.
1: For the princes - Jehoahaz, Jehoiachim, Jehoiachin, and
2: What - What resemblance shall I use to set out the nature,
deportment, and state of the mother of these princes? Thy - One of whom
was upon the throne at once, and therefore the prophet speaks to one
at a time. Mother - The land of Judea, and Jerusalem, the chief
city of it, the royal family of David. Lioness - Tho' chosen of God
to execute justice; yet they soon degenerated into the fierce and
ravening nature of the lioness. Lay down - Associated, and grew familiar
with neighbour kings, called here lions; fierce and bloody.
Her whelps - Her sons, successors to the crown. Young lions - Either
foreign princes and kings, or some of the fierce, unjust, tyrannizing
princes at home.
3: Brought up - Advanced, caused him to take the throne after the
slaughter of Josiah. One - Jehoahaz the second son of Josiah.
Became - Soon shewed his fierce, cruel, and bloody disposition.
4: The nations - The Egyptians heard what he did.
5: Made him - King, and infused the lion - like maxims into him.
6: He - Jehoiachim. Went up - He continued eleven years on the
throne; whereas Jehoahaz was taken as soon as he first ventured out.
The lions - Heathen kings, with whom he entered into leagues.
He became - Fierce, ravenous, unsatiable.
7: He knew - By taking them, he came to know their places, which are
here called, what he made them, desolate. Roaring - By the perpetual
violent threats of this cruel king.
8: The nations - Which were tributary to Nebuchadnezzar.
Set against - By order of the king of Babylon.
The provinces - Which belonged to the Babylonish kingdom.
10: Thy mother - O thou prince of Israel. By the waters - In a
very fruitful soil. Full of branches - Full of children; when Josiah
died, he left four behind him, beside other branches of the royal line.
11: Strong rods - Many excellent persons endowed with qualifications
befitting kings, that they might sway the scepter. Exalted - Above
the ordinary majesty of other kingdoms. Thick branches - This kingdom
equalled, if not excelled, the greatest neighbour - kingdoms, and her
kings exceeded all their neighbouring kings, in riches and power.
12: The east wind - God raised up the king of Babylon to pull up
this sinful kingdom. Dried up - Blasted all her fruit, deposed her king,
captivated him, his family, and the whole kingdom. Strong rods - All
the choice men.
13: She - A few of the branches of the last pruning.
In the wilderness - Tho' Babylon was in a very fruitful place, yet
the cruelty of the Babylonians, made it to the Jews as terrible
as a wilderness.
14: Fire - The fire of rebellion, kindled by Zedekiah, who is of
the blood - royal. No strong rod - The regal dignity is ceased.