Dirge for the Princes of Israel
1“As for you, take up a dirge (funeral poem to be sung) for the princes of Israel 2 and say,
‘What was your mother [Jerusalem and Judah]?
A lioness among lions!
She lay down among young lions,
She reared her cubs.
‘When she [the royal mother-city] brought up [Jehoahaz] one of her cubs,
He became a [young] lion,
And he learned to catch and tear the prey;
He devoured men.
‘The nations heard about him;
He was captured in their pit,
And they brought him with hooks
To the land of Egypt.
‘When she saw, as she waited,
That her hope was lost,
She took [a]another of her cubs
And made him a young lion.
‘And he moved among the lions;
He became a young lion,
He learned to tear the prey;
He devoured men.
‘He destroyed their palaces
And he flattened their cities;
And the land and all who were in it were appalled
By the sound of his roaring.
‘Then the nations set against him (the king)
On every side from the provinces,
And they spread their net over him;
He was captured in their pit.
‘They put him in a cage with hooks and chains
And brought him to the king of Babylon;
They brought him in hunting nets
So that his voice would be heard no more
On the mountains of Israel.
‘Your mother [Jerusalem] was like a vine in your [b]vineyard,
Planted by the waters;
It was fruitful and full of branches
Because of abundant water.
‘And it had strong branches for the scepters of rulers,
And its height was raised above the thick branches and into the clouds
So that it was seen [easily] in its height with the mass of its branches.
‘But the vine was uprooted in [godly] wrath [by His representative]
And it was thrown down to the ground;
The east wind dried up its fruit.
Its strong branch was broken off
So that it withered;
The fire [of God’s judgment] consumed it.
‘And now it is transplanted in the wilderness,
In a dry and thirsty land [of Babylon].
‘And the fire [of Zedekiah’s rebellion] has gone out from its branch;
It has consumed the vine’s shoots and fruit,
So that it has in it no [longer a] strong branch
As a scepter to rule.’”
This is a dirge (funeral poem to be sung), and has become a dirge.