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Bible Commentaries

Layman's Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 15

Verses 1-8

Israel a Useless Vine (15:1-8)

This chapter is built around an ancient allegory of the vine, which is useless for purposes other than producing fruit. The original core of the oracle is to be found in verses 2-5; the remainder serves as expansion and application to the current situation in life.

The prophecy begins with a rhetorical question expecting a negative answer: "Is wood taken from it to make anything?" Obviously the wood of the vine is greatly inferior to any other kind of wood. The next questions are satirical and also require negative replies. A peg cannot be made of it; it does not bum evenly in the fire; when it is whole it is used for nothing; after it has been charred in fire it is even more worthless. Taking his cue from the word "fire," the prophet applies this ancient oracle, which was probably well known among his hearers, to the contemporary situation. Jerusalem will become like "wood of the vine" for fuel. Even though some will escape from the fire "charred" but not consumed, eventually the fire will consume even them. We should understand this chapter as another figure employed to reinforce the main theme of the prophet; that is, Israel has reached the point where neither redemption nor rescue is possible.

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"Commentary on Ezekiel 15". "Layman's Bible Commentary".