A Song of Sorrow
1The LORD told me to sing this song of sorrow for two princes of Israel:
2What a lioness your mother was!
She reared her cubs among the fierce male lions.
3She reared a cub and taught him to hunt;
he learnt to eat people.
4The nations heard about him
and trapped him in a pit.
With hooks they dragged him off to Egypt.
5She waited until she saw all hope was gone.
Then she reared another of her cubs,
and he grew into a fierce lion.
6When he was full-grown,
he prowled with the other lions.
He too learnt to hunt and eat people.
7He wrecked forts,#19.7 One ancient translation wrecked forts; Hebrew unclear. he ruined towns.
The people of the land were terrified
every time he roared.
8The nations gathered to fight him;
people came from everywhere.
They spread their hunting nets
and caught him in their trap.
9They put him in a cage
and took him to the king of Babylonia.
They kept him under guard,
so that his roar would never be heard again
on the hills of Israel.
10Your mother was like a grapevine#19.10 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear.
planted near a stream.
Because there was plenty of water,
the vine was covered with leaves and fruit.
11Its branches were strong,
and grew to be royal sceptres.
The vine grew tall enough to reach the clouds;
everyone saw how leafy and tall it was.
12But angry hands pulled it up by the roots
and threw it to the ground.
The east wind dried up its fruit.
Its branches were broken off;
they dried up and were burnt.
13Now it is planted in the desert,
in a dry and waterless land.
14The stem of the vine caught fire;
fire burnt up its branches and fruit.
The branches will never again be strong,
will never be royal sceptres.
This is a song of sorrow; it has been sung again and again.