Burning a Useless Vine1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, of all the woody branches among the trees of the forest, what happens to the wood of the vine? ▼
▼ 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.▼ 3 Can wood be taken from it to make anything useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 4 No! ▼ 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? 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?
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 ▼ as fuel. ▼
▼ The words “as fuel” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.7 I will set ▼
▼ The word translated “set” is the same Hebrew word translated as “provide” in the previous verse.my face against them – although they have escaped from the fire, ▼ the fire will still consume them! Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 8 I will make ▼ the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully, declares the sovereign Lord.”
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