For I [will be] unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to
the house of Judah
Being provoked by their above conduct and behaviour in seeking to others, and not to him, for help, he threatens to punish them in a more public and severe manner; not be to them only as a moth and rottenness, but as a lion, and as a young lion, creatures strong and fierce, that destroy and devour all that come into their hands, and from whom there is no deliverance: thus the Lord was both to Israel and Judah, by means of the Assyrians and Babylonians; the former are compared to a lion, that devoured Israel; and the latter to a young lion, that broke the bones of Judah; see ( Jeremiah 50:17 ) ; and last of all by means of the Romans, especially to Judah: I, [even] I, will tear and go away;
as a lion tears its prey in pieces it seizes upon, and goes away, and leaves it torn, having satisfied itself; and is in no fear of being pursued, or any vengeance taken on him for what he has done; so the Lord would destroy Israel and Judah, and leave them in their ruinous state, none being able to rise up and avenge their cause. The "I" is doubled, to express the certainty of it: I will take away, and none shall rescue [him];
as the lion, having glutted itself with its prey, takes the rest away, and carries it to its den, where none dare come and take it from him; so the Lord signifies, that those of Israel and Judah that perished not by the sword of the enemy, or by famine or pestilence, should be carried captive, and none should be able to return them till he pleases: under the wrath and displeasure of God, and under this tearing, rending, and afflictive dispensation, they now are, and will continue till the time of their conversion.