Ezekiel 19

1 ‘Say this to the leaders of Israel. It is a sad song and it is about them.

2 “Your mother was a strong female among the great wild animals.

She lay among her young animals. She kept them safe among the males.

3 One of her young animals became a great strong male.

He caught animals for food and he tore them into pieces.

He also ate men.

4 Men in other countries heard what he did.

So they dug a hole and they caught him in it.

They pulled him out and they took him to Egypt.

5 The mother saw that her strong son was taken away.

So she took another of her sons and she made him big and strong.

6 Now he was big. And he learned to kill and tear his food.

And he killed and ate men.

7 He attacked their towns and he broke down their strong buildings.

All the people in the country were afraid. The noise that he made frightened them.

8 Men from countries round them came to attack him.

They dug a hole and they made him run into it.

They caught him and they put him in a box.

9 They took him to the king of Babylon.

There they put him in prison.

The people on the hills of Israel could not hear his voice any longer.

10 Your mother was like a vine that was growing in a field of vines.

Her vine grew near the water and its branches had much fruit.

11 The branches were strong enough to use as a stick to show a king's power.

The vine grew high above other trees.

It was very tall and it had many branches.

12 But I was angry with it. So I threw it to the ground.

The east wind dried it up and its leaves died.

They took its fruit.

Its strong branches dried and they burnt them in a fire.

13 Now the vine is growing in a dry and empty land (a desert).

14 Fire from one of its big branches burnt up its fruit.

Now it has no big branches that men can make into a special stick.

That stick is for the king.

This is a sad story for people to sing.” ’