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Song of Solomon
Ezekiel 15 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)
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And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree,
a branch which is among the trees of the forest?
What is the vine tree,
etc.? The prophet's mind had apparently been dwelling, after the close of his previous utterance, on the imagery of earlier writers, in which Israel had appeared as the vine of Jehovah (
), and to which he himself refers again in
. He saw how men might pervert that image to their own destruction. And he expands the parable, as our Lord does in
. Men might dwell, perhaps were actually dwelling, on the thought that they were branches of the true vine, and therefore could not perish. He exposes the groundlessness of that hope in tones of scornful sarcasm. If the vine did not bear fruit, or if it only brought forth wild grapes, then its special excellence was gone, and it challenged comparison with other trees only as a timber tree, and what was its worth as such? If Israel was not true to its vocation, it was poorer and weaker than the heathen nations round it. So far the general thought is clear. In dealing with details, we note that the words in italics, "or than," should disappear, and that the words should stand as in the Revised Version,
What is the vine more than any tree, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest?
Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will
take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
Shall wood be taken thereof,
etc.? As a timber tree, then, the vine was confessedly valueless. No carpenter would use it, even for the peg upon which men hang their cups, and which had become, as in
, the symbol of political stability (comp. also
). For the unfruitful vine branch these remained the doom of being cast into the fire (
). What was its worth when it was half burned at either end and in the middle? What would Israel be fit for when it had been laid low by the "fire" of God's judgment? Probably the vivid picture of the charred branch points to the successive judgments which had fallen first on the ten tribes, then on Judah, and lastly on Jerusalem itself. The word "trespass" may refer either to the general guilt of the people, or to the last crowning crime of Zedekiah's rebellion. I rather incline to the latter, the noun being in the singular.
Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for
Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet for
work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned?
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from
fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I
the LORD, when I set my face against them.
And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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