And the word of the Lord came to me:
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
The Parable of the Vine
“Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest?
“Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any wood of a branch which is among the trees of the forest?
Is wood taken from it to make anything?
Can wood be taken from it to make anything, or can men take a peg from it on which to hang any vessel?
Do people take a peg from it to hang any vessel on it?
Behold, it is given to the fire for fuel.
If it has been put into the fire for fuel, and the fire has consumed both of its ends and its middle part has been charred, is it then useful for anything?
When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred,
is it useful for anything?
Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing.
Behold, while it is intact, it is not made into anything. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it still be made into anything!
How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything!
Therefore thus says the Lord God:
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘As the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
Application to Jerusalem
Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel,
so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And I will set my face against them.
and I set My face against them. Though they have come out of the fire, yet the fire will consume them. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them.
Though they escape from the fire,
the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lord,
when I set my face against them.
And I will make the land desolate,
Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have acted unfaithfully,’” declares the Lord God.
because they have acted faithlessly,
declares the Lord God.”
Structure This chapter is structured as a parable and an application of the parable. Both sections are set up as chiastic structures (A,B,C,D,D',C',B',A'). The phrase above highlights the structure and leads the eye to the central points at the bookends (A,A') and center (D,D') of the structure. Parable (v2-5) In the first verse the reader is directed toward the use of the 'wood of the vine' and a question is posed: how does it compare to other woods? This theme is built on with two rhetorical questions in the next verse. In verse 4 comes the first point of the parable: the 'wood of the vine' is good for nothing but fuel for fire. Verse 4 also poses a second question: is this wood good for anything once it has been burned? This question is answered and the second point of the parable is made in verse 5: the 'wood of the vine' is good for even less once it has been burned. Application (v6-8) The Lord then applies the points of the parable to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In verse 6 God states that he has given up Jerusalem to the fire just like the 'wood of the vine'. In verse 7 the main reason for God to act this way towards the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It is so that the exiles may know that he is the Lord. Verse 8 gives the last point, the reason that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are like the worthless 'wood of the vine': "because they have acted faithlessly." Main Point God has two reasons for his wrath and judgement: the vindication of his holiness and the faithlessness of his people. These show God to be just and sovereign. The theme of God's justice and sovereignty is central to the entire book of Ezekiel and is laid out clearly in this chapter. God will make himself known to all people. He does this through his wrath towards Israel and he reveals himself even more clearly through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus!