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EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 15
ISRAEL LIKE USELESS WOOD OF A WILD VINE
Verse 1 is a transitional verse from the idea of showing that God would not spare Jerusalem, for the mere sake of the righteous who were there, to the additional concept that Israel had no natural superiority of righteousness, above any other nation, as the word of the Lord came again or further to Ezekiel.
Verse 2 asks just how is a vine tree more important than any other tree of the forest? Or even more important than a branch among the trees of the forest? It was a repeated figure, used by the prophets of Israel, that she was compared to a vine or vineyard, as indicated Isaiah 5:1-7; John 15:6; Hosea 10 ch; Jeremiah 2:21. In every instance, except in Psalms 80, the figure was used to point out the degeneracy of Israel.
Verse 3 rhetorically asks whether or not men will take the wood of a vine tree for any constructive use to hang a vessel on, indicating that they did not; For its wood was not of durable strength. It is too weak to bear anything but fruit. And if it fail in that, it is useless, except for kindling a fire, Deuteronomy 32:32; Psalms 80:8-9; Isaiah 5:1; Jeremiah 2:21; Hosea 10:1; Matthew 21:33. Even as the lives of God’s children are of no extrinsic or practical use, if they do not bear good, righteous fruit, John 15:2; John 15:5; John 15:8; John 15:16. Men would not even use a pin of the wood of a vine to hang a household utensil on, because it was so fragile, Isaiah 22:23-25.
Verse 4 calls upon the Israel captives to observe that non-fruit bearing branches, of the vine tree order, are tossed into the fire for fuel, John 15:6; Hebrews 6:8. And when the whole of it is burned it is not of any further use, is it? The suggested answer is "no". Even so, Israel in her unfruitful, unrighteous state was not of honor to her Lord or Master. The idea is that if the wood of the vine tree is of little or no practical use other than to sustain fruit, is there any defensible reason why it should not be destroyed, as both the northern and southern kingdoms had been? 2 Kings 23:29-35. The implication is "no". Why should God’s salt not be used to preserve, and God’s light to banish darkness, and God’s vine to produce fruit? See? Matthew 5:13-16; John 15:1-8; John 16:17.
Verse 5 emphasizes that the wood of the vine tree is less useful when burned to ashes than before. And somehow this seems to emphasize that even God’s children as well as Israel, even members of His church, may so live as to be saved "as if by fire," and stand before Him "ashamed" at the hour of the judgment seat of Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 2:11; 1 Peter 4:16.
Verse 7 restates that the Lord would set His face against the inhabitants of Jerusalem, at which time of judgment He would cause them to go out of or away from Jerusalem, as a fire, and be devoured of another fire, much as the proverb of ones getting "out of the frying pan into the fire" Ezekiel 14:8; as further forewarned Leviticus 17:10; Psalms 66:12.
Verse 8 then concludes that the Lord would make the land of the house of Israel to be desolate because of their hypocritical pollutions and idolatrous abominations. Like the Ruebenites and Saul. This repeats and confirms the threat of Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 14:15; Romans 1:18; See also Isaiah 7:23-24; Isaiah 24:18; Psalms 107:3-4.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany