15:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 15:2 “Son of man, of all the woody branches among the trees of the forest, what happens to the wood of the vine? 1 15:3 Can wood be taken from it to make anything useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 15:4 No! 2 It is thrown in the fire for fuel; when the fire has burned up both ends of it and it is charred in the middle, will it be useful for anything? 15:5 Indeed! If it was not made into anything useful when it was whole, how much less can it be made into anything when the fire has burned it up and it is charred?
15:6 “Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Like the wood of the vine is among the trees of the forest which I have provided as fuel for the fire – so I will provide the residents of Jerusalem 3 as fuel. 4 15:7 I will set 5 my face against them – although they have escaped from the fire, 6 the fire will still consume them! Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 15:8 I will make 7 the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully, declares the sovereign Lord.”
placed it in a cultivated plot; 9
a shoot by abundant water,
like a willow he planted it.
17:6 It sprouted and became a vine,
spreading low to the ground; 10
So it became a vine; it produced shoots and sent out branches.
with broad wings and thick plumage.
Now this vine twisted its roots toward him
and sent its branches toward him
to be watered from the soil where it was planted.
17:8 In a good field, by abundant waters, it was planted
to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a beautiful vine.
17:9 “‘Say to them: This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘Will it prosper?
Will he not rip out its roots
and cause its fruit to rot 14 and wither?
All its foliage 15 will wither.
No strong arm or large army
will be needed to pull it out by its roots. 16
17:10 Consider! It is planted, but will it prosper?
Will it not wither completely when the east wind blows on it?
Will it not wither in the soil where it sprouted?’”
It was fruitful and full of branches because it was well-watered.
It stood out because of its height and its many branches. 19
19:12 But it was plucked up in anger; it was thrown down to the ground.
The east wind 20 dried up its fruit;
its strong branches broke off and withered –
a fire consumed them.
19:13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land. 21
No strong branch was left in it, nor a scepter to rule.’
This is a lament song, and has become a lament song.”
1 tn Most modern translations take the statement as a comparison (“how is vine wood better than any forest wood?”) based on the preposition מִן (min). But a comparison should have a word as an adjective or stative verb designating a quality, i.e., a word for “good/better” is lacking. The preposition is translated above in its partitive sense.
sn Comparing Israel to the wood of the vine may focus on Israel’s inferiority to the other nations. For the vine imagery in relation to Israel and the people of God, see Ps 80:8-13; John 15:1-7; Rom 11:17-22.
2 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws one’s attention to something. Sometimes it may be translated as a verb of perception; here it is treated as a particle that fits the context (so also in v. 5, but with a different English word).
4 tn The words “as fuel” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
5 tn The word translated “set” is the same Hebrew word translated as “provide” in the previous verse.
8 tn Heb “took of the seed of the land.” For the vine imagery, “seedling” is a better translation, though in its subsequent interpretation the “seed” refers to Zedekiah through its common application to offspring.
9 tn Heb “a field for seed.”
10 tn Heb “short of stature.”
11 tn That is, the eagle.
12 tn Or “him,” i.e., the eagle.
13 sn The phrase another great eagle refers to Pharaoh Hophra.
14 tn The Hebrew root occurs only here in the OT and appears to have the meaning of “strip off.” In application to fruit the meaning may be “cause to rot.”
15 tn Heb “all the טַרְפֵּי (tarpey) of branches.” The word טַרְפֵּי occurs only here in the Bible; its precise meaning is uncertain.
16 tn Or “there will be no strong arm or large army when it is pulled up by the roots.”
17 tc The Hebrew text reads “in your blood,” but most emend to “in your vineyard,” assuming a ב-כ (beth-kaph) confusion. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:284. Another attractive emendation assumes a faulty word division and yields the reading “like a vine full of tendrils, which/because…”; see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:607, n. 68.
18 tn The word “fit” does not occur in the Hebrew text.
19 tn Heb “and it was seen by its height and by the abundance of its branches.”
20 sn The east wind symbolizes the Babylonians.
21 sn This metaphor depicts the Babylonian exile of the Davidic dynasty.