Ezekiel 15



Jerusalem, A Useless Vine (15:1–8)

1–8 In this parable, Israel is compared to a useless vine. A vine’s only use is to bear fruit; the wood itself is good for nothing except to burn. But Israel had borne no fruit (see Isaiah 5:1–7). God had intended that Israel be a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:2–3); but because of the Israelites’ unfaithfulness, they had been unfruitful. Therefore, God would make their land desolate (verse 8).

In this chapter, God is giving Ezekiel further justification for the impending destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. Judah had already been burned (invaded) by the Babylonians (verse 5)—once in 605 B.C. and once again in 597 B.C. But the Jews had come out of the fire (verse 7). However, they would be attacked again (in 586 B.C.); thus God says,“ The fire will yet consume them” (see 2 Kings 25:8–9).

The exiles in Babylonia, to whom Ezekiel told this parable, had escaped the fire but they had been “pruned”—disciplined. The purpose of God’s pruning is to make a branch even more fruitful (see John 15:12). But if the branch remains unfruitful—if the life of the vine does not flow into the branch—it will be cut off and cast into the fire (John 15:5–6). Let the exiles in Babylonia—and believers today—be warned!