The second young lion (Ezek 19:5-19:6)

“When the lioness saw

That she was thwarted,

That her hope was lost,

She took another

Of her lion cubs.

She made him

A young lion.

He prowled

Among the lions.

He became a young lion.

He learned

To catch prey.

He devoured people.”

With the capture of the first young lion, this lioness tried to develop a second young lion. She had given up hope, but then she found another one of her young lion cubs. She made him into another young lion so that he prowled among the other young lions. He then learned to catch prey and devour humans. Perhaps this lioness is a reference to Hamutal, the wife of King Josiah (640-609 BCE), whose two sons became kings, King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE) and King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE).

King Zedekiah (Jer 52:1-52:1)

“King Zedekiah

Was twenty-one years old,

When he began to reign.

He reigned eleven years

In Jerusalem.

His mother’s name

Was Hamutal

The daughter

Of Jeremiah

Of Libnah.”

This is very similar to the ending of 2 Kings, chapter 24, almost word for word. However, there is no mention here that the king of Babylon established Mattaniah, the son of King Josiah, as the king and then gave him a new name, King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE). This 21 year old King Zedekiah was 3 years older than his nephew, the deposed King Jehoiachin (598 BCE). He had the same mother, Hamutal from Libnah, as King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), so that they were blood brothers with the same mother and father. King Zedekiah ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem.

Menace to the king and his mother (Jer 13:18-13:19)

“Say to the king!

Say to the queen mother!

‘Take a lowly seat!

Your beautiful crown

Has come down

From your head.’

The cities of the Negeb are shut up.

There is no one to open them.

Judah is taken into exile.

They are wholly taken into exile.”

The good and just King Josiah (640-609 BCE) had died in 609 BCE. His wife lived after him and thus his 3 so-called evil sons ruled until the Exile, King Jehoahaz or Shallum, (609-609 BCE), King Jehoiakim or Eliakim (609-598 BCE), King Jehoiachin (598-598 BCE), son of Jehoiakim, and finally King Zedekiah or Mattanyahu (598-587 BCE), the 3rd son of King Josiah. This last king was only 21 when he took over from his nephew. His mother would have been Hamutal. It is not clear which of these kings and his mother are implied here. However, it could be King Zedekiah since he was the last king before the exile. Their crowns would be taken from their heads. Already the southern cities of the Negeb, close to Edom were shut down. Judah was on its way to captivity.