1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? 3Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
God is asking Ezekiel to consider the worth of a vine for use as wood. He asks if it is better than any tree or even the branches of trees in the forest for use as wood. Is it useful as wood in any respect.
4Behold, 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 work? 5Behold, 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?
God then answers this rhetorical question with a “no”. He says that even as fuel for a fire it burns quickly, consumed at both ends and at the middle all at once. Whole the vine does nothing useful. After the fire has burned it up, it is even less useful.
6Therefore 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. 7And 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 the LORD, when I set my face against them. 8And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.
God then compares Jerusalem to the vine. He has found them useless as they exist and so will burn them (judge them), from the ends and in the middle swiftly. He will make them even more useless, completely empty because of their trespass.
Compare this then with Matt. 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9 (axe now laid at the tree – tree = Jewish nation); John 15:6 (individual judgment); and Romans 11.
In Truth and Love,