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Eze 15:1-8. THE WORTHLESSNESS OF THE VINE AS WOOD ESPECIALLY WHEN BURNT, IS THE IMAGE OF THE WORTHLESSNESS AND GUILT OF THE JEWS, WHO SHALL PASS FROM ONE FIRE TO ANOTHER.
This chapter represents, in the way of a brief introduction, what the sixteenth chapter details minutely.
2, 3. What has the vine-wood to make it pre-eminent above other
forest-wood? Nothing. Nay, the reverse. Other trees yield useful
timber, but vine-wood is soft, brittle, crooked, and seldom large; not
so much as a "pin" (the large wooden peg used inside houses in the East
to hang household articles on,
can be made of it. Its sole excellency is that it should bear fruit;
when it does not bear fruit, it is not only not better, but inferior to
other trees: so if God's people lose their distinctive excellency by
not bearing fruits of righteousness, they are more unprofitable than
for they are the vine; the sole end of their being is to bear fruit to
(Ps 80:8, 9;
&c.; Jer 2:21;
In all respects, except in their being planted by God, the Jews were
inferior to other nations, as Egypt, Babylon, &c., for example, in
antiquity, extent of territory, resources, military power, attainments
in arts and sciences.
4. cast into . . . fire--
5. If useless before, much more so when almost wholly burnt.
6. So will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as being utterly unprofitable (Mt 21:33-41; 25:30; Mr 11:12-14; Lu 13:6-9) in answering God's design that they should be witnesses for Jehovah before the heathen (Mt 3:10; 5:13).
7. And I will set my face against
8. trespass--rather, "they have perversely fallen into perverse rebellion." The Jews were not merely sinners as the other nations, but revolters and apostates. It is one thing to neglect what we know not, but quite another thing to despise what we profess to worship [JEROME], as the Jews did towards God and the law.