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Parable of the Vine. 1* The word of the LORD came to me:

2Son of man,

what makes the wood of the vine

Better than the wood of branches

found on the trees in the forest?a

3Can wood be taken from it

to make something useful?

Can someone make even a peg out of it

on which to hang a vessel?

4Of course not! If it is fed to the fire for fuel,

and the fire devours both ends of it,

Leaving the middle charred,

is it useful for anything then?

5Even when it is whole

it cannot be used for anything;

So when fire has devoured and charred it,

how useful can it be?

6Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD:

Like vine wood among forest trees,

which I have given as fuel for fire,

So I will give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

7I will set my face against them:

Although they have escaped the fire,

the fire will still devour them;

You shall know that I am the LORD,

when I set my face against them.b

8Yes, I will make the land desolate,

because they are so unfaithful—

oracle of the Lord GOD.

* [15:18] Verses 25 point out that the wood of the vinestock may be burned for fuel, fit only for destruction. In vv. 68 Ezekiel asserts that Jerusalem has the same destiny.

a. [15:2] cf. Ps 80; Is 5:17.

b. [15:7] Is 24:18; Am 9:14.

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