Ezekiel 19

1 ‘Sing this sad funeral song for the leaders of Israel.

2 Say this:

“Your mother was like a great lion among the other lions.

She lay among strong young lions.

She helped her children to grow safely.

3 She taught one of her children to catch animals for food.

As he grew, he started to eat people.

4 The people of other nations heard about him.

They dug a hole and they caught him in their trap.

They put hooks in him and they took him to Egypt.

5 His mother waited for him to return home.

He did not come and she stopped hoping for him.

She helped another of her sons to become a strong young lion.

6 He grew to be strong among the other lions.

He learned to catch wild animals and to eat them.

He also learned to eat people.

7 He attacked their strong buildings and he destroyed their cities.

When he roared, the noise frightened everyone in the land.

8 Men from other nations near there came to attack him.

They threw a net over him.

They caught him in their trap.

9 They tied hooks around his neck.

They took him to the king of Babylon.

There they put him in prison to stop him roaring.

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

10 Your mother was like a vine that was growing near a stream.

It grew well because there was plenty of water there.

It made many branches and it had a lot of fruit.

11 Its branches became big and strong.

They were strong enough to make a ruler's stick of authority.

The vine grew taller than all the other trees around it.

Everyone could see that it was very tall and strong.

12 But the Lord became angry with that vine.

He pulled up its roots and he threw it down to the ground.

The east wind made it dry and destroyed its fruit.

Its strong branches broke and they became useless.

Fire destroyed them.

13 Now that vine is growing in a desert.

It is in a hot, dry place where there is no water.

14 Fire started to burn its strongest branch.

From there the fire destroyed its other branches and its fruit.

No strong branch remained in the vine.

Now there was nothing to make a ruler's stick of authority.”

This is a funeral song. It tells a very sad story.’