Moreover take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say:
‘What is your mother? A lioness:
She lay down among the lions;
Among the young lions she nourished her cubs.
She brought up one of her cubs,
And he became a young lion;
He learned to catch prey,
And he devoured men.
The nations also heard of him;
He was trapped in their pit,
And they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt.
When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost,
She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.
He roved among the lions,
And became a young lion;
He learned to catch prey;
He devoured men.
He knew their desolate places,
And laid waste their cities;
The land with its fullness was desolated
By the noise of his roaring.
Then the nations set against him from the provinces on every side,
And spread their net over him;
He was trapped in their pit.
They put him in a cage with chains,
And brought him to the king of Babylon;
They brought him in nets,
That his voice should no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel.
‘Your mother was like a vine in your bloodline,
Planted by the waters,
Fruitful and full of branches
Because of many waters.
She had strong branches for scepters of rulers.
She towered in stature above the thick branches,
And was seen in her height amid the dense foliage.
But she was plucked up in fury,
She was cast down to the ground,
And the east wind dried her fruit.
Her strong branches were broken and withered;
The fire consumed them.
And now she is planted in the wilderness,
In a dry and thirsty land.
Fire has come out from a rod of her branches
And devoured her fruit,
So that she has no strong branch—a scepter for ruling.’ ”
This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.—Ezekiel 19
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. —Genesis 49:8-10
He crouched, he lay down like a lion
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed are those who bless you,
and cursed are those who curse you.—Numbers 24:9
The Word of God can take care of itself, and will do so if we preach it, and cease defending it. See you that lion. They have caged him for his preservation; shut him up behind iron bars to secure him from his foes! See how a band of armed men have gathered together to protect the lion. What a clatter they make with their swords and spears! These mighty men are intent upon defending a lion. O fools, and slow of heart! Open that door! Let the lord of the forest come forth free. Who will dare to encounter him? What does he want with your guardian care? Let the pure gospel go forth in all its lion-like majesty, and it will soon clear its own way and ease itself of its adversaries.—Charles Spurgeon
Artwork: Vincent van Gogh: Vase with five sunflowers