God gives two metaphors for Israel, one about a lioness losing her cubs and the other about a tree being uprooted.
Israel is like a misplaced tree: “Now she is planted in the desert, In ground that is arid and parched.” (v. 13)
III. Important Verses
2-4: What a lioness was your mother Among the lions! Crouching among the great beasts, She reared her cubs. She raised up one of her cubs, He became a great beast; He learned to hunt prey — He devoured men. Nations heeded [the call] against him; He was caught in their snare. They dragged him off with hooks To the land of Egypt.
9: With hooks he was put in a cage, They carried him off to the king of Babylon And confined him in a fortress, So that never again should his roar be heard On the hills of Israel.
10-14: Your mother was like a vine in your blood, Planted beside streams, With luxuriant boughs and branches Thanks to abundant waters. And she had a mighty rod Fit for a ruler’s scepter. It towered highest among the leafy trees, It was conspicuous by its height, By the abundance of its boughs. But plucked up in a fury, She was hurled to the ground. The east wind withered her branches, They broke apart and dried up; And her mighty rod was consumed by fire. Now she is planted in the desert, In ground that is arid and parched. Fire has issued from her twig-laden branch And has consumed her boughs, She is left without a mighty rod, A scepter to rule with.
2-4. A mother loses her first cub to Egypt
5-9. A mother loses her second cub to Babylon
10-14a. Israel’s mother is like an uprooted tree
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Allen, Leslie C. “Ezekiel 1-19” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 28 (Waco, Texas: Wordbook, 1994).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hals, Ronald M. “Ezekiel” The forms of the Old Testament Literature vol. 19 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1989)
Photo taken from http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs29/f/2008/123/3/9/A_man__a_tree_and_the_desert_by_e_antoine.jpg