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EXEGESIS PROJECT ( EZEKIEL 15:1-8 ) - Research Paper Example

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“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood , the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? Instead,…
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EXEGESIS PROJECT ( EZEKIEL 15:1-8 )
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and Number Ezekiel 15 8 “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood , the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel ; the fire devours both ends of it , and its middle is burned. Is it useful for any work? Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire had devoured it, and it is burned? Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord”(New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.1-8).
Background Information
This particular passage—Ezekiel 15: 1-5—come from the book of Ezekiel. According to “Life Application Bible for Student: New King James Version,” this book was written by a man by the name of Ezekiel who happened to be the son of a man named “Buzi” who was a “Zadokite priest”( New King James Version, 756). The book is estimated to have been written around 571 B.C.( New King James Version, 756). The book is supposed to have been written by Ezekiel while he was held captive in Babylon with many other Jews who had also been taken captive due to various political upheavals and wars(New King James Version, 756). The genre of Ezekiel might be considered a Prophetic Book as it is warning the Israelites about their imminent destruction if they don’t turn from their ways. The purpose or overall message of the book is stated as being “to announce God’s judgment” and “to foretell the salvation of God’s people”( New King James Version, 756). Due to this particular purpose, it appears that the overall format and style of the writing in this book is fairly simplistic and informal as it is meant to communicate with the masses.
Analysis of Passage
Ezekiel 15: 1-“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying”( New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.1).
This particular verse is merely used to introduce the passage as a whole. It would be considered a Prophetic Introduction which is often used when beginning direct words from God. Readers are able to see that the following words are coming from the Lord or God which increases its meaning and importance exponentially.
Ezekiel 15: 2-“Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood , the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest?” (New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.2).
Readers are meant to infer that the vine referred to in this verse symbolizes Israel. Here, the Lord is basically saying that a vine, when it is by itself, has very little use or importance(Wesley). Additionally, it appears that the verse may be referring to the fact that Israel is no better than any other peoples or countries. This is due to the comparison of the vine to the other trees in the forest which is essentially representative of Israel and the many other people in the world, or perhaps those who aren’t Jewish.
Ezekiel 15:3- “Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on?” (New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.3).
This verse continues to refer to the overall uselessness of Israel. The Lord is essentially saying that wood from the tree or vine would not be used to make anything or to hang anything upon it because it is weak and broken. In essence, this is referring to Israel’s sinful nature(Henry).
Ezekiel 15:4 “Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel ; the fire devours both ends of it , and its middle is burned. Is it useful for any work?” (New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.4).
In the last verse, the Lord describes how the wood from this tree would not be used due to its weakness and rotting nature. Here, the Lord shows what would happen to the wood instead. Basically, the wood is destroyed and cast out into the void, thrown away essentially. This is referencing the Lord’s desire to destroy Israel(Wesley).
Ezekiel 15:5 “Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire had devoured it, and it is burned?”( New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.5).
This verse is a summation of verses 3 and 4. No object can be made from the weak, useless, and rotting wood. All that remains for the wood is to be burned, and of course, this makes it completely devoid of any use. This continues to refer to the fact that by destroying Israel, it will cease to be useful at all(Wesley).
Ezekiel 15:6 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem;” New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.6).
Here, the Lord is saying that just like this example of the vine and wood that He has been talking about, so too will He give up on and destroy Israel. He is giving up on Israel because they are not following God in the way they should and bearing the fruit of that relationship with God(Henry).
Ezekiel 15:7 “and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them”( New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.7).
This verse is basically saying that Israel will only really know true destruction when the Lord turn His back on them and destroy them. The Israelites—Jerusalem specifically—believes that they have face hardships and destruction before, but when the Lord decides to cast them into the fire, so to speak, then they will really know misery(Wesley). They will also truly understand the Lord’s power(Henry).
Ezekiel 15:8 “Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord” (New King James Version, Ezekiel 15.8).
Here, the Lord is essentially saying that if they don’t turn around to Him and make things right, He will destroy them and their land due to their stubbornness, sin, and unfaithfulness(Wesley). This last verse is the ultimate warning to the people of Jerusalem from the Lord.
Relevant Word
From my passage of Ezekiel 15: 1-8, I chose the word “vine.” In looking this up in a Biblical dictionary online, I was able to find that there are many mentions of the word “vine.” throughout the Bible(“Easton’s Bible Dictionary”). In several different passages within the Bible, the vine is used to represent something else. In the Ezekiel passage, the vine represent Jerusalem and its overall fruitlessness. In Psalm 80:8, the word “vine” is used to represent the “church,” and in John 15:1, the vine is used to represent Christ himself(“Easton’s Bible Dictionary”). Due to the fact that in all three circumstance, the vine is used to represent something greater than itself, it is fair to say that the word is used similarly in all three of these examples. The reason that I was attracted to this word was because it was the one of the few words in the text that was repeated many times over, along with wood. Because of this repetition, it made this word appear more significant and important than other words in the verse.
Conclusion
Like many passages within the Bible, Ezekiel 15:1-8 can be utilized in a more modern context. I think that this passage could be used to refer to all people in general. In the United States, particularly, we tend to be a people who are more concerned with seeking out entertainment, or we are preoccupied with material goods. Either way, we are not being fruitful both in terms of our relationship with God, and in the general sense of being a productive society. Therefore, the Lord could be very well speaking to our own society by saying that if we don’t turn to God and become more useful/fruitful, He very well may destroy us as well in order to punish us. The people of Israel can become more fruitful by following God’s word, listening to what He tells them, and being obedient in all aspects of their lives.
Works Cited
"Bible Dictionary: Vine." Multi-Source Bible Dictionary. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/search--vine
Bruce, F. F.. The International Bible commentary. N.I.V. ed. Carmel : Marshall Pickering, 1986. Print.
Henry , Matthew . "Matthew Henrys Concise Commentary on the Bible." E-WordToday.com . Web. 5 Nov. 2011. http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/ezekiel/mhc/ezekiel15.htm
Life application Bible for students: the New King James Version. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1994. 756 and 766 Print.
Lockyer, Herbert. "The Parable of the Vine Branch (Ezekiel 15:1-8)." All the parables of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1963. 75-76. Print.
The New American Bible. Saint Joseph ed. New York: Catholic Book Pub. Co., 1970. Print.
Wesley , John. "Ezekiel 15 : Wesley’s Explanatory Notes ." Christ Notes: Bible Search & Bible Commentary. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=26&c=15 Read More
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