Ezekiel 19:14
And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Fire is gone out of a rod of her branches.—The rods, as shown in Ezekiel 19:11, are the royal sceptres of her kings. It was by the sin and folly of these kings, together with the sins and follies of the whole people, that judgment was drawn down upon them. Many of them did their full share of the evil work; but a “rod” is here spoken of in the singular, with especial reference to the last king, Zedekiah, who finally brought on the utter ruin of both himself and his people.

This is . . . and shall be.—It is a lamentation now in the half accomplished desolation; it shall remain for a lamentation when all shall be fulfilled.

19:10-14 Jerusalem was a vine, flourishing and fruitful. This vine is now destroyed, though not plucked up by the roots. She has by wickedness made herself like tinder to the sparks of God's wrath, so that her own branches serve as fuel to burn her. Blessed be God, one Branch of the vine here alluded to, is not only become a strong rod for the sceptre of those that rule, but is Himself the true and living Vine. This shall be for a rejoicing to all the chosen people of God throughout all generations.Fire is gone out - Compare the marginal reference. Zedekiah is regarded, like Abimelech, as all usurper and the ruin of his people. 14. fire … out of a rod of her branches—The Jews' disaster was to be ascribed, not so much to the Chaldeans as to themselves; the "fire out of the rod" is God's wrath kindled by the perjury of Zedekiah (Eze 17:18). "The anger of the Lord" against Judah is specified as the cause why Zedekiah was permitted to rebel against Babylon (2Ki 24:20; compare Jud 9:15), thus bringing Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem.

no strong rod … sceptre to rule—No more kings of David's stock are now to rule the nation. Not at least until "the Lord shall send the rod of His strength ("Messiah," Ps 110:2; Isa 11:1) out of Zion," to reign first as a spiritual, then hereafter as a literal king.

is … and shall be for a lamentation—Part of the lamentation (that as to Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim) was matter of history as already accomplished; part (as to Zedekiah) was yet to be fulfilled; or, this prophecy both is a subject for lamentation, and shall be so to distant posterity.

This verse gives you account of the immediate cause of this hasty, furious, total pulling up of this vine.

And fire, of rebellion, will be kindled by a rod of her branches, Zedekiah, who is of the blood royal, made king by Nebuchadnezzar, and who swore allegiance to him.

Hath devoured her fruit; brought the land, city, king’s palaces, and God’s temple to utter desolation. She hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule; the regal dignity is ceased, and shall no more rise, you shall never have a crowned head to rule you more.

This is a lamentation; this I have told you is the subject of my mournful thoughts.

And shall be for a lamentation; my the execution of these things which shall be much more terrible, shall make you lament at sight of them, and at remembrance of them, as long as you live.

And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches,.... By "her branches" are meant the rest of the Jews left in the land; and by the "rod" of them King Zedekiah, now on the throne, when this prophecy was given out; the "fire" said to go out of him signifies his rebellion against the king of Babylon, his breaking covenant and oath with him, which greatly provoked the Lord, and brought down the fire of his wrath upon him, 2 Kings 24:20;

which hath devoured her fruit; destroyed the people by sword, famine pestilence, and captivity; yea, the city and temple of Jerusalem, with the palaces and houses therein, were burnt with material fire; their king was taken, and his eyes put out; his sons were slain, and all the princes of Judah:

so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule; none to be king, or succeed in the kingdom; and there never was a king after of the family of David, or of the tribe of Judah, till Shiloh the Messiah came; though there were princes and governors, yet no sceptre bearer, no king. The Targum of the whole is,

"and there came people who were strong as fire, and, because of the sins of her pride, slew her people; and there were not in her strong rulers, kings that are mighty to subdue kingdoms;''

this is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation; that is, this prophecy, as the Targum, is a lamentation, or matter of lamentation; what of it had been already fulfilled occasioned lamentation; and, when the rest should be fulfilled, it would be the cause of more. Lamentable was the case of the Jews already, but it would be still more so when all that was foretold of them should be accomplished. It denotes the continuance of the sad estate of that people; and perhaps may refer to their present condition, which will continue till they are turned to the Lord.

And fire hath gone out {i} of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

(i) Destruction is come by Zedekiah, who was the opportunity for this rebellion.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. The fire that consumed the vine went out from her own rods. The royal house brought destruction on the nation as well as on itself. Reference is to the rebellion of Zedekiah.

gone out of a rod] Possibly collective: out of the rods. The reference to Zedekiah is expressed generally in terms of the royal house.

shall be for a lamentation] Lit. and is become a lamentation. Sad enough is the history, ch. Ezekiel 32:16. It is not necessary, however, to infer from this that the lamentation was written after the exile. The passage Ezekiel 19:10-14 is prophetic, cf. Isaiah 47; Jeremiah 9:16-21. In the Book of Kings both Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin are said to have “done evil.” A three months’ reign afforded little scope for much mischief. Ezekiel’s treatment of the young lions is ideal, and in the case of Jehoiachin the reference is rather to the evils which his attitude brought upon the country, than to any ravages which he wrought personally.

Verse 14. - Fire is gone out. The words are an echo of Judges 9:15. Zedekiah's reign was to work destruction for his people, as that of Abimelech had done.



Ezekiel 19:14Destruction of the Kingdom, and Banishment of the People

Ezekiel 19:10. Thy mother was like a vine, planted by the water in thy repose; it became a fruitful and rich in tendrils from many waters. Ezekiel 19:11. And it had strong shoots for rulers' sceptres; and its growth ascended among the clouds, and was visible in its height in the multitude of its branches. Ezekiel 19:12. Then it was torn up in fury, cast to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit; its strong shoots were broken off, and withered; fire devoured them. Ezekiel 19:13. And now it is planted in the desert, in a dry and thirsty land. Ezekiel 19:14. There goeth out fire from the shoot of its branches, devoureth its fruit, so that there is no more a strong shoot upon it, a sceptre for ruling. - A lamentation it is, and it will be for lamentation. - From the lamentable fate of the princes transported to Egypt and Babylon, the ode passes to a description of the fate, which the lion-like rapacity of the princes is preparing for the kingdom and people. Israel resembled a vine planted by the water. The difficult word בּדמך we agree with Hvernick and Kliefoth in tracing to the verb דּמה, to rest (Jeremiah 14:17), and regard it as synonymous with בּדמי in Isaiah 38:10 : "in thy repose," i.e., in the time of peaceful, undisturbed prosperity. For neither of the other renderings, "in thy blood" and "in thy likeness," yields a suitable meaning. The latter explanation, which originated with Raschi and Kimchi, is precluded by the fact that Ezekiel always uses the word דּמוּת to express the idea of resemblance. - For the figure of the vine, compare Psalm 80:9. This vine sent out strong shoots for rulers' sceptres; that is to say, it brought forth powerful kings, and grew up to a great height, even into the clouds. עבתים signifies "cloud," lit., thicket of clouds, not only here, but in Ezekiel 31:3, Ezekiel 31:10,Ezekiel 31:14. The rendering "branches" or "thicket of foliage" is not suitable in any of these passages. The form of the word is not to be taken as that of a new plural of עבות, the plural of עב, which occurs in 2 Samuel 23:4 and Psalm 77:18; but is the plural of עבות, an interlacing or thicket of foliage, and is simply transferred to the interlacing or piling up of the clouds. The clause 'ויּרא וגו, and it appeared, was seen, or became visible, simply serves to depict still further the glorious and vigorous growth, and needs no such alteration as Hitzig proposes. This picture is followed in Ezekiel 19:12., without any particle of transition, by a description of the destruction of this vine. It was torn up in fury by the wrath of God, cast down to the ground, so that its fruit withered (compare the similar figures in Ezekiel 17:10). מטּה עזּהּ is used collectively, as equivalent to מטּות עז (Ezekiel 19:11); and the suffix in אכלתהוּ is written in the singular on account of this collective use of מטּה. The uprooting ends in the transplanting of the vine into a waste, dry, unwatered land, - in other words, in the transplanting of the people, Israel, into exile. The dry land is Babylon, so described as being a barren soil in which the kingdom of God could not flourish. According to Ezekiel 19:14, this catastrophe is occasioned by the princes. The fire, which devours the fruit of the vine so that it cannot send out any more branches, emanates ממּטּה בדּיה, from the shoot of its branches, i.e., from its branches, which are so prolific in shoots. מטּה is the shoot which grew into rulers' sceptres, i.e., the royal family of the nation. The reference is to Zedekiah, whose treacherous breach of covenant (Ezekiel 17:15) led to the overthrow of the kingdom and of the earthly monarchy. The picture from Ezekiel 19:12 onwards is prophetic. The tearing up of the vine, and its transplantation into a dry land, had already commenced with the carrying away of Jeconiah; but it was not completed till the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of Zedekiah, which were still in the future at the time when these words were uttered. - The clause 'קינה היא does not contain a concluding historical notice, as Hהvernick supposes, but simply the finale of the lamentation, indicating the credibility of the prediction which it contains. ותּהי is prophetic, like the perfects from ותּתּשׁ in Ezekiel 19:12 onwards; and the meaning is this: A lamentation forms the substance of the whole chapter; and it will lead to lamentation, when it is fulfilled.

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