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The Useless Vine

15 The word of the Lord came to me:

O mortal, how does the wood of the vine surpass all other wood—
    the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest?
Is wood taken from it to make anything?
    Does one take a peg from it on which to hang any object?
It is put in the fire for fuel;
    when the fire has consumed both ends of it
    and the middle of it is charred,
    is it useful for anything?
When it was whole it was used for nothing;
    how much less—when the fire has consumed it,
    and it is charred—
    can it ever be used for anything!

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. I will set my face against them; although they escape from the fire, the fire shall still consume them; and you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, says the Lord God.

Jerusalem as a Useless Vine

15 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine(A) different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful?(B) Do they make pegs(C) from it to hang things on? And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything?(D) If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. I will set my face against(E) them. Although they have come out of the fire(F), the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord.(G) I will make the land desolate(H) because they have been unfaithful,(I) declares the Sovereign Lord.”

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