And the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
The Jewish nation, about to be destroyed by the Chaldeans,
compared to a barren vine which is fit for nothing but to be
cast into the fire, 1-8.
NOTES ON CHAP. XV
Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than
a branch which is among the trees of the forest?
Verse 2. What is the vine tree more than any tree
] It is certain
that the vine is esteemed only on account of its fruit
. In some
countries, it is true, it grows to a considerable size and
thickness: but, even then, it is not of a sufficient density to
work into furniture. But whatever may be said of the stock
vine, it is the branch
that the prophet speaks of here; and I
scarcely know the branch of any tree in the forest more useless
than is the branch of the vine. Out of it who can even make a pin
to drive into a mud wall, or hang any vessel on
? A vine would
never be cultivated for the sake of its wood
; it is really worthless
but as it bears fruit
. What is Israel
? Good for
nothing, but as God influenced them to bring forth fruit to his
glory. But now that they have ceased to be fruitful
, they are good
for nothing, but, like a withered branch of the vine, to be burnt.
Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men
take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
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 any
Verse 4. The fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned.
] Judea is like a vine branch thrown into the
fire, which seizes on both the ends
, and scorches the middle
both the extremities of the land is wasted; and the middle,
Jerusalem, is now threatened with a siege, and by and by will be
Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet for any
work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned?b
¶ 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.
Verse 6. Therefore thus saith the Lord
] As surely as I have
allotted such a vine branch
, or vine branches
, for fuel
surely have I appointed the inhabitants
of Jerusalem to be
The design of this parable is to abate the pride of the Jews; to
show them that, in their best estate, they had nothing but what
they had received, and therefore deserved nothing; and now, having
fallen from all righteousness, they can have no expectation of any
thing but judgment unmixed with mercy.
And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one
fire, and another
fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am
, when I set my face against them.
Verse 7. They shall go out from one fire, and
another fire shall devour them
] If they escape the sword
, they shall perish by the famine
; if they escape the famine
, they shall be led away captives
. To escape will be impossible. It will be to them
according to the proverb:-
Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim.
"Out of the scald, into the flame."
And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD
Verse 8. They have committed a trespass
] They have prevaricated
they are the worst of sinners, and shall have the heaviest of
punishments. Can men suppose that it is possible to hide even
their dark hearts from God?