Jacob 5:36 - 5:40
Jacob 5:36 Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good, and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their much strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good fruit.
However, the master does recognized that the roots are strong and they have in the past caused even wild branches to bring forth good fruit.
Jacob 5:37 But behold, the wild branches have grown and have overrun the roots thereof; and because that the wild branches have overcome the roots thereof it hath brought forth much evil fruit; and because that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit thou beholdest that it beginneth to perish; and it will soon become ripened, that it may be cast into the fire, except we should do something for it to preserve it.
The current state of the tree is that the wild branches have only produced bad fruit. In fact, the amount of bad fruit has caused the rest of the tree to be effected as well and it is about to die itself. Soon the entire tree, roots and all, will be in such a state that it will never be able to produce good fruit again and the only thing that can be done is to destroy the whole tree and replant. [This maybe where the people get to such a point that repentance is impossible. The gospel has lost all its influence so that it can no longer cause people to change their lives.]
Jacob 5:38 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit.
The master and the servant then go to the other parts of the vineyard to check on the condition of the other transplants. He wants to see if these grafted branches have also produced bad fruit.
Jacob 5:39 And it came to pass that they went down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard. And it came to pass that they beheld that the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt.
Well the master’s suspicions were verified. All the grafts wherever they were placed in the vineyard have all gone bad and only produced good for nothing olives. [I wonder if this indicates that there was a time when there was no place on earth where a righteous people were living. Maybe like the descendants of Lehi, all the other groups that the Lord had lead away to other parts of the world at other times have all gone bad. It might even refer to what we call the “dark ages” when the whole world seem to be in darkness as to the gospel. That must have been a grievous period for the Lord.]
Jacob 5:40 And the wild fruit of the last had overcome that part of the tree which brought forth good fruit, even that the branch had withered away and died.
The master than went to the back to the main tree and found that the wild branches that had produced good fruit had gone bad as well. Now there was no place in the entire vineyard that was producing good fruit. [These might mean that these branches were overcome by the natural branches which were producing bad fruit. This might be like the Israelites who return to Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity and who were righteous for a while but were corrupted by the people in the land after awhile.]