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.
14. Et egressus est ignis a virga ramorum ejus, fructum ejus voravit, et non fuit in ea virga fortitudinis, sceptrum ad dominandum. Lamentatio haec, et erit in lamentationem.
Here the Prophet comes down to the close of their woes, when Zedekiah was dragged into captivity, and so the people's independence was abolished. God had formerly planted that vine, or at least some of the branches, in a desert spot, since first four tribes, and afterwards seven, were led away, and last of all, the greater part of the tribe of Judea; but the little that remained with King Zedekiah perished. He says, therefore, that the fire went forth from the vine branches: thus he shows that the last slaughter proceeded only from the people themselves; and lest they should utter their accustomed complaints, the Prophet meets them by saying that they were consumed by intestine fire; that is, their slaughter could not be ascribed to their Chaldaean conquerors, but to themselves; because King Zedekiah, by his own perfidy, had stirred up the king of Babylon against himself; for he might have spent his time in his kingdom, but he could not refrain himself from throwing off the yoke; for this reason he armed himself against the king of Babylon, because he was a breaker of treaties: and thus the Prophet says, with propriety, that a fire went forth from one rod, or twig of its branches, and hence the fruit of the whole vine was consumed; that is, the remnant was lost by the fault of that perfidious king. He now adds, there was no scepter for ruling among its rods. Hence it appears that the exposition which I have advanced suits best, and is entirely genuine. He said first that the rods were for a scepter of the rulers; but he here says there was no scepter for them among these rods. What follows we will treat tomorrow.