Matthew Henry's Commentary
Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel,
19:1-9 Ezekiel is to compare the kingdom of Judah to a lioness. He must compare the kings of Judah to a lion's whelps; they were cruel and oppressive to their own subjects. The righteousness of God is to be acknowledged, when those who have terrified and enslaved others, are themselves terrified and enslaved. When professors of religion form connexions with ungodly persons, their children usually grow up following after the maxims and fashions of a wicked world. Advancement to authority discovers the ambition and selfishness of men's hearts; and those who spend their lives in mischief, generally end them by violence.
And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions.
And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.
The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.
Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion.
And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.
And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring.
Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit.
And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
19:10-14 Jerusalem was a vine, flourishing and fruitful. This vine is now destroyed, though not plucked up by the roots. She has by wickedness made herself like tinder to the sparks of God's wrath, so that her own branches serve as fuel to burn her. Blessed be God, one Branch of the vine here alluded to, is not only become a strong rod for the sceptre of those that rule, but is Himself the true and living Vine. This shall be for a rejoicing to all the chosen people of God throughout all generations.
And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.