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Book of Ezekiel
The sole purpose of this tremendous chapter is stated very bluntly in the second verse: Ezekiel 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, (KJV) . . . Ezekiel highly honored this assigned command in a most accurate and realistic way, which some say is the most repulsive chapter in the Bible. Sad to say, the vast majority (Mat.7:14) of God’s servants today are afraid to speak in such truthful, harsh, realistic and even vulgar language that we see here . . . but the truth is that it was only this kind of brutally blunt and honest language could get the attention of Israel then and the sinful world today!
The problem was the nationwide attitude of the entire Jewish nation, remembering their past glory, the amazing help from the Lord GOD which had given them their prominence, the extravagant luxury of their formerly great empire, and their constant idea of their being God's chosen people, the choicest among the nations, etc. http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel.html
The Jews totally hated all the other races on Earth. Had not God wiped out Samaria? And Sodom? Their national expectation looked forward to the Day of the Lord (Isa.61:2; Jer.30 &31; Joel 2:1-32. Amos 9:11-15; Mic.4:6; Zep. 3:9-20; Zec.13 & 14), when God would appear, probably on a white horse (Rev.19:11), kill all the Gentiles, and turn the whole world over to His favorite people, the Jews.
It really was this national self-importance which had stopped the Jews, in grasping and understanding just WHAT Ezekiel was trying to get through to them! Ezekiel was a loyal servant of God and was doing all that he could to bring the Truth to them, but they hardened their hearts and stopped up their ears so as not to hear! There are many prophecies concerning the worthlessness and reproach of the Once Chosen people and that is the background of this chapter.
Ezekiel used the symbol of the marriage covenant, so vividly depicted in Hosea 2:2-14, expanding and elaborating on it, making it the startling parable of the adulteress, which fully deserved the brutal and sadistic punishment of adulteresses in ancient times. http://www.godcannotlie.org/hos_ch2.htm
This whole Chapter is a graphic, intense portrayal of Israel's idolatry under the symbol of a bride, who made herself a prostitute to every man that passed by, therefore making her even worse than Samaria and Sodom.
The scenes brought forth here by the prophet were a very familiar thing to the men of the generation addressed by Ezekiel. The picture of Israel is so revolting in this chapter that supposedly it was forbidden to be read or translated in public.
Why was Jerusalem, the Holy City, compared to Sodom? Sodom had been notorious not only for its immoral practices, which Judeans now surpassed, but also for its hardheartedness (16:47-48, 50). Over a hundred years before Ezekiel, the prophet Isaiah had also compared the inhabitants of Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah, which led to his execution (Isa.1:10). Isaiah’s death is not recorded in the Bible but one tradition supposes that he was sawn in two by King Manasseh.
The Lord GOD is still explaining WHY He is about to bring destruction upon Jerusalem; and mainly in Chapter 16, He shows Ezekiel, and commands him to show the people, that what He did to punish them, was because it was exactly what their sins deserved. In Chapter 15, the Lord GOD had compared Jerusalem to an unfruitful vine, and that it was fit for nothing but the fire. http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel_unfruitful.html
In Chapter 16, the LORD compares Israel to an adulteress, and that in justice, should be abandoned and exposed; so He must show the people just how terrible their abominations were, so that they might see that they had no reason to complain of the judgments they were under. http://hisservants.org/israel_h_s.htm
In the long discourse of Chapter 16, several advices and warnings are set before us:
<><><>The despicable and deplorable beginnings of that church and nation (16:3-5).
<><><>The many honors and favors God had bestowed upon them (16:6-14).
<><><>Their unfaithful and ungrateful departures from Him to serve and worship idols, here symbolized by the most brazen whoredom (16:15-34). http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_Israel_adultress.html
<><><>A threat of terrible destroying judgments, which God would bring upon them for this sin (16:35-43).
<><><>A worsening both of their sin and of their punishment, by comparing them with Sodom and Samaria (16:44:59).
<><><>A Promise of mercy in the end, which God would show to a penitent remnant (16:60-63).
And dear one, this is designed for a warning to us. BEWARE!!! Let us learn a lesson from the whore Jerusalem: let us not serve idols but serve the One True God who has provided us with every blessing!
God’s blessings come ONLY when we are committed to Him, listen to and obey His guidance, walk in the Light of Jesus, and NOT when we blindly hang on to our sinful ways which are an abomination to God.
The Despicable and Deplorable Beginnings of That Nation (16:3-5)
Ezekiel 16:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . this phrase is found 46 times in Ezekiel and 9 times in Jeremiah; the word of prophecy from the LORD, as the Targum; the following representation was made to him under a spirit of prophecy. The destruction of Jerusalem had been represented under different types and symbols before, as of a siege, and a sharp razor; and of a fruitless and useless vine, only fit for the fire.
*****The LORD is still preaching to Israel through His faithful servant Ezekiel. He here will use the likeness of as an adulteress.
Ezekiel 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, (KJV)
Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations . . . meaning the inhabitants of Jerusalem, because Jerusalem was the city of the nation, whose sins were very many and heinous, they are called abominations, because repulsive to God, and mainly their idolatries are meant. The Targum is, son of man, reprove the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and show them their abominations. Son of man is found 94 times in the Book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 16:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. (KJV)
And say, thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem . . . to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as the Targum:
Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan . . . Canaan is where the Jewish ancestors for a time dwelt and sojourned, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but while it follows, and thy nativity, this does not solve what some say is a difficulty: although Abraham was a Chaldean, he was called out of Chaldea into the land of Canaan, where Isaac was born; and too Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes. Also, the Israelites were the successors of the Canaanites in their land, and so seemed to descend from them; and it is not unusual for such to be reckoned the children of those whom they succeed; to which may be added, that they were like the Canaanites in their manners, especially in their idolatries; and so their children, are said to be the offspring and descendants of those whose examples they follow or imitate.
Thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite . . . Abraham and Sarah, who were properly speaking, the father and mother of the Jewish nation, were Chaldeans; and neither Amorites nor Hittites; but because they lived among them; are so called; and especially since before their conversion they were idolaters, as those were; besides, the Jews who descended from Judah, and from whom they have their name, very probably sprung from ancestors who might be Amorites and Hittites: since Judah married the daughter of a Canaanite, and such a one seems to be Tamar, he took for his son Er, and by whom he himself had two sons, Pharez and Zarah (1 Chron. 2:4). The Jews were the successors of these people, and possessed their land, and imitated them in their wicked practices (Amos 2:10); and these two, the Amorite and Hittite, of all the seven nations, are mentioned, because they were the worst, and the most wicked (Gen.15:16).
Ezekiel 16:4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. (KJV)
And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born . . . this refers either to the time when Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldeans, who had before been an idolater; or to the time when the children of Israel were in Egypt, and there grew and multiplied, and became a great body of people and a nation, which may be called the day of their birth as a people (Hos.2:3). http://www.godcannotlie.org/hos_ch2.htm
Thy navel was not cut . . . referring to what is done to a newborn infant, when the midwife cuts the navel cord, by which the child clings to to its mother, and breathing and being nourished while in the womb; but now, being of no longer in the womb, it is cut and tied for the safety of both mother and child. This means the desperate condition the Israelites were in when in Egypt, being greatly oppressed and afflicted, and in looming danger of being destroyed.
Neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee . . . which also is done, to an infant as soon as born, to cleanse it from the blood, to make the flesh sleek, and smooth, which is done in water.
Thou wast not salted at all . . . salt has a drying and cleansing effect, and was used to purge, dry and strengthen the new-born child, and make it the more beautiful.
Nor swaddled at all . . . this was for the continued preservation of the infant, for strengthening it, yet there was none that would do this for this infant. So forlorn was the state of the Jews in their birth, without beauty, wallowing in blood, without strength, new-born, without friend that might act the mother’s or midwife’s office (Lk.2:7). These things being necessary to be done immediately, were lawful to be done even on a Sabbath day, according to the traditions of the elders.
*****And as for thy nativity . . . Israel was abandoned like an infant, when no care is taken. The terms used in this verse allude to the customs observed by eastern nations at the birth of their children; and the plan of the prophet is to mark out that state of impurity where the Jews were found in Egypt; plunged in idolatry and ignorance, and oppressed with cruel servitude.
Ezekiel 16:5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. (KJV)
None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee . . . it is sad indeed, in the case of an infant, when it meets with no tender heart or kind hand from midwife, nurse or mother, to do these things for it. This expresses the helpless, forsaken and pitiful state of the Israelites in Egypt; who, when their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, was shown no mercy to them by Pharaoh and his taskmasters (Ex.1:14).
So the Targum, the eye of Pharaoh did not spare you to do one good thing for you, to give you rest from your bondage, to have mercy on you.
But thou wast cast out in the open field . . . referring to infants exposed by their wicked parents, or unkind nurses, and left in an open field, or any desert place to perish.
To the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born . . . the Israelites were hateful to the Egyptians, as every shepherd was an abomination to them (Gen.46:34). All this may be applied to the state and condition of men by nature (Jer.17:9), even God's elect, who are descendants of fallen man (Gen.3); descending from unclean parents; are conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity (Ps.51:5).
*****Thou wast cast out in the open field . . . this is an reference to the custom of some heathen and barbarous nations, who exposed their children in the open fields to be devoured by wild beasts who had any kind of deformity, or whom they could not support. This, sad to say, still goes on today, in a way!
Ezekiel 16:6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. (KJV)
And when I passed by thee . . . this refers to a traveler passing by where an infant lies exposed in an open field, has compassion on it and takes it up; or it may refer to Pharaoh's daughter walking by the river side, when she spied the ark in which Moses was laid (Ex.2:1-10) and ordered it to be taken up, and so saved his life.
And saw thee in thine own blood . . . staying with the image of a newborn infant, that has nothing done to it, but is all over covered with blood; meaning the wretched and miserable estate the Jews were in when in Egypt.
I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, live: yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live. . . the LORD preserved them and saved them alive, when they were close to destruction, and delivered them by the hands of Moses, which was as life from being dead. This the Lord GOD did of His own sovereign good will and pleasure, NOT for any worth or merit in them and NOT for any goodness or righteousness of theirs . . . for this He did when they were in their blood, pollution and guilt; and which, that it might be understood, is repeated.
*****The Lord GOD found Israel in a dreadful state, kicking and struggling in her own blood and had pity on her. Without Him Israel would have ceased to be. Life began again when Israel was spared at the Passover (Ex.12:21-28), and crossed the Red Sea (Ex.14:21-31). But it is also a beautiful picture of the new birth (Jn.3:3-8), something experienced by God’s TRUE people in every age.
Ezekiel 16:7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. (KJV)
I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field . . . or made thee millions, like the sand of the sea (Gen.32:12). This refers to the multiplication of the children of Israel in Egypt, especially after the death of Joseph, and even while they were sorely afflicted, and also in later times. Jacob went down to Egypt with only 75 people, but when his posterity returned from there, they were over 600,000 men that were able to go forth to war (Gen.46:27; Ex.12:37).
And thou hast increased and waxed great . . . they became large families and tribes,
And thou art come to excellent ornaments . . . or, as a young woman, when she is grown up, comes to wear better and finer clothes than in infancy; perhaps there is an allusion to the jewels the Israelites brought out of Egypt with them: this may be applied to the laws, statutes and ordinances given them, which were an ornament of grace (Pro.1:9; 4:9).
Thy breasts are fashioned . . . the prophet further describes the beauty and glory of the Jewish nation, grown up and fashioned under God’s own Hand, in order to be solemnly betrothed to Him; breasts are fashioned . . . came to a proper size and shape, as in persons grown and marriageable (Song 8:10).
And thine hair is grown . . . an understatement, expressing puberty, which in females was at twelve years of age.
Whereas thou wast naked and bare . . . in a state of infancy when in Egypt, poor, oppressed and despised. Some interpret this of the Israelites being without the commandments. The whole of what is said here, may be applied to converted persons, who grow in grace, increase in spiritual knowledge and are adorned with the ornaments of grace and good works. They attend the word and ordinances, which are the church's breasts; who, while in their natural state, were naked and destitute of righteousness and grace.
*****The LORD who chose Abraham and his seed, and by His blessing these people were increased by millions, from such a small clan of 75 persons! So few went with Jacob into Egypt, where in 250 years they grew to over 600,000 beside the women and children under twenty years, and old men over sixty years old. So the Promise of God was fulfilled (Gen.12:2; 15:5; 17:2, 4).
Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. (KJV)
Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee . . . the Targum refers to the LORD'S appearance to Moses in the bush (verse 6). This second passing by may well be understood of God’s visiting them and calling them out of Egypt.
Behold, thy time was the time of love . . . the time of their misery was the time of love and pity of the Lord GOD towards them, and the time of their grown beautified state was the time of the LORD’S love of delight, when He rejoiced in them, and adopted them to be His wife. Thy time, the season most fit for the discovery of God’s purposes towards them, was the time of love, which is expressed in what follows.
And I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness . . . the Lord GOD espoused the people of Israel to Himself in the wilderness, after He had brought them out of Egypt, and took them under the wings of His protection; both which this phrase may express. Some think this of GOD giving them the spoils of the Egyptians, and also the law. This may be applied to the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30), which is often compared to a garment, for which the skirt, or part, is put; and this is put on as a garment and covers the nakedness of men, which their own righteousness cannot do. This righteousness the LORD spreads over His people, and covers them with; and when clothed with it (Rom.5:1), they shall not be found naked.
Yea, I sware unto thee . . . to His love expressed to His people, and to His covenant He entered into with them, neither of which shall ever be removed; this making for their abundant comfort (Ps.89:3-4).
And entered into covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD . . . as He did with the people of Israel at Horeb, and which was a sort of a marriage contract with them (Deut.29:1); the covenant of grace was made from everlasting with Christ, and the elect in Him; but is made clear at conversion, when the LORD makes Himself known unto them as their Covenant God; and leading them to Christ the Mediator of it; sending His Spirit down into their hearts.
And thou becamest mine . . . as Israel did when she became the LORD'S peculiar people, and were claimed as such by Him, when in conversion, those who before were secretly the LORD'S by electing and redeeming grace, become openly His by calling and sanctifying grace by thy own voluntary act and consent, by promise and profession (Ex.19:7-8). Peculiar people: (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18; Ps.135:4; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet.2:9).
Ezekiel 16:9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. (KJV)
Then washed I thee with water . . . brought Israel out of the cruel, hopeless and wretched state which they were in, when among the mortar, bricks and pots, into a state of freedom. Washed I thee . . . brides had to pass through a preparative purification (Est.2:12). Israel was washed before the giving of the law, at Sinai Moses sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes (Ex.19:14). So too it is said of believers (1 Cor.6:11).
Yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee . . . as with an overflowing flood; this very fitly indicates what is mentioned in verse 6; for they were said to be polluted in their blood, and now washed from it. All people are defiled with sin, originally, naturally, internally, and universally . . . and they CANNOT cleanse themselves by anything they do, only God alone can cleanse; and this He promises to do. This does NOT mean water baptism, which does NOT take away ANY sin, original or actual . . . it means being spiritually born again (Jn.3:3-8). This is done ONLY by the Holy Spirit (Eze.36:25-27) . . . when a clean heart is created in a person, a new man is formed in righteousness and true holiness. New man: (2 Cor.5:17; Eph.2:15; 4:24; Col.3:10) .
And I anointed thee with oil. . . referring to the anointing oil, with which the priests, the tabernacle and its vessels, were anointed; or maybe to the land of Canaan, a land of oil olive trees, into which the Israelites were brought. Oil is the symbol of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah (Ps.45:7).
Ezekiel 16:10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. (KJV)
I clothed thee also, with broidered work . . . pretty needle work, garments of various colors, like Joseph's coat; maybe it referred to the rich clothing borrowed of the Egyptians, from whence they came. Broidered: (Ex.28:5-6). Their other clothes, waxed not old all the while they were in the wilderness (Deut.8:4; Neh.9:21). 40 years in the wilderness with the same clothes, because they never wore out! So, the LORD gave them nice, new clothes!
And shod thee with badgers' skin . . . badgers' skin was what the covering of the tabernacle (Ex.26:14). The Israelites’ shoes did not wear out either (Deut.29:5). Dear one, GOD can do things we see as impossible!
And I girded thee about with fine linen . . . the high priest was girded with the linen girdle of the ephod (Ex.28:8). I girded thee for strength, activity and ornament. With fine linen, soft, warm and attractive. Such soft clothing was used in kings’ courts.
And I covered thee with silk . . . some interpret this of the clothing of the high priest; but the Levite priests were clothed with wool and linen, NOT silk. It seems that silk was known among the Jews in the times of Ezekiel, nor even before the times of Christ; nor does it seem that it was known among the Romans before the times of Augustus. The word silk seems to be derived from an Arabic word, which means to color or paint clothes; and may be rendered painted or colored cloth or clothing, and so the Targum renders it died or coloured garments. One commentator translates it a flowered garment, either painted or formed with flowers.
Ezekiel 16:11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
And I decked thee also with ornaments . . . the Targum interprets this of the ornament of the words of the law (Pro.1:8-9); but may also be understood of good works done in obedience to them, from a right principle, and for right ends; which adorn professors of religion, their profession, and the doctrines of Christ, which they profess (1 Tim.2:9); or maybe the graces of the Spirit, which are all very ornamental to the saints, as faith, hope, love, humility and are in the sight of God of great price (1 Pet.3:2-4).
And I put bracelets upon thine hands . . . the Targum also explains this of the law, written on two tables of stone (Ex.34:4), and given by the hands of Moses. Bracelets which usually were of gold (Gen.24:22), and presents made of these indicate great respect.
And a chain on thy neck . . . the Targum understands this of sanctification, paraphrasing it, and with the holiness of my great name I sanctified you. A chain of gold is a token of honor and authority (Gen.41:42; Dan.5:16). This may be applied to the graces of the Spirit, which are as a chain, whose links are joined together; for, where one grace is, there are all the rest: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal.5:22-23). Both the grace and blessings of God make the saints very beautiful.
Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. (KJV)
And I put a jewel on thy forehead . . . the same as the nose jewel, which was hung upon the forehead, and reached down to the nose and mouth; and no matter how distasteful it may seem to us, was considered very attractive in the eastern countries (Isa.3:21).
And earrings in thine ears . . . golden ornaments hanging in the fleshy part of the ear.
And a beautiful crown upon thine head . . . a crown, the badge of a bride, and of her being made a queen, as being spouse of the King; the very name Israel meaning a prince of God. So they are called a kingdom of priests (Ex.19:6; Rev.1:6). Although the external blessings bestowed on Israel were great, yet it is NOT these, but the internal and spiritual, that form the main reference in the kingly marriage to which Israel was advanced.
Ezekiel 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. (KJV)
Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver . . . the Targum interprets it of the tabernacle adorned with gold and silver, and linen curtains, of various colors; but it refers to the ornaments, bracelets, chain, earrings, and crown before, mentioned (Ps.45:9).
And thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work . . . see verse 10; also see (Rev.19:8).
Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil . . . flour, honey and oil . . . these three mixed make the sweetest cakes; not dry bread and leeks as in Egypt. These were the choicest kinds of food. This good food helped abundantly to contribute to Israel’s beauty and charm (Dan.1:5). This the Targum explains of the manna with which the LORD fed the Israelites in the wilderness, and was good, like fine flour, and honey, and oil. Exodus 16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (KJV)
And thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom . . . the Targum is, and ye became rich, and were greatly strengthened, and prospered, and ruled over all kingdoms. Into a kingdom, this part of the description refers to the reigns of David and Solomon, when the kingdom of Israel (still undivided) reached its highest status of grandeur.
Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
And thy renown went forth among the Heathen for thy beauty . . . thy renown, their name was great and honored, among the heathen, not only next-door neighbors, but the uttermost ends of the earth, as it is said that even the queen of Sheba heard of Israel (1 Ki.10; 2 Chron.9), for thy beauty . . . the excellent order of their government, prosperity of their country, riches of their merchants and the abundance of their peace.
For it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD . . . all the outward happiness and prosperity of the Israelites in the days of David and Solomon, or any other time, was NEVER of themselves, but was always of the LORD! And so it is today with the beauty of the saints and people of God . . . it is NOT of themselves, but of the Lord GOD! They are by nature black (Jer.8:21) and deformed; they are defiled with original and actual sin; they are as an unclean, thing; they are corrupt, abominable, and loathsome . . . they have no beauty by nature, nor is it gained by them by anything they do! Beauty of the saints come only from the Lord GOD!
*****All the beauty of Israel which gave her renown among the nations came from Almighty God (Deut.4:6-8; Ps.50:2; Isa.60:1). Her deliverance from Egypt, her takeover of Palestine, her power and wealth under the early kings, and her gorgeous Temple with all its splendor, making her the glory of all lands (Eze.20:6); all this comeliness or adornment was from the Lord GOD (Deut.32:10; Jer.2:2; Hosea 10:10). And it is the same today with Israel or the Gentiles!
Ezekiel 16:15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. (KJV)
But thou didst trust in thine own beauty . . . instead of giving God the glory of all her vast privileges and gifts, she took the credit herself, and then turned away from their awesome triune God, and wantonly devoted their worship to abominable idols (16:20-21; 20:26, 31; 23:37, 39). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html
And playedst the harlot because of thy renown . . . idolatry is often meant by playing the harlot, or by fornication and adultery. The Jews wisdom, riches and power was a snare to them, just as a woman's beauty is to her. They were admired, courted and complimented by their neighbors, and so were drawn into idolatry, as women are into fornication and adultery by the admirers of them. Played the harlot: (Isa.1:21; Jer.3:1,6,8; Eze.16:15-16,28,31,35,41; 23:5,19;44; Hos.2:5)
And pouredst out thy fornication on everyone that passed by . . . fornicationshere is to be interpreted idolatry, not to sins of the flesh, and this expresses the multitude of their idolatries; the measure of them, which ran over; and the affection they had for every idol of their neighbors. They were like a common harlot, which prostitutes herself to everyone, not only to the men of her own place and city, but to all strangers and travelers. It seems that the Jews were not content with the idols they had, but embraced all that their neighbors had (Isa.1:21; 57:8; Jer.3:2,6).
His it was . . . their beauty was yielded up to every passer-by. Israel’s passion for the worship of abominable idols was their carnal lust, and the idols were the height of their stupidity.
Ezekiel 16:16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. (KJV)
And of thy garments thou didst take . . . which were made of fine linen, silk and broidered work (verse 13); which God had given them, and with which they were richly clad. They spared no cost to the monuments of idolatry. Thou didst take, as an adulteress that parts with the rich gifts of her husband to please an adulterer.
And deckedst thy high places with divers colours . . . either they erected tents on their high places, made with these; or they covered their altars with them, which were on their high places, for ornaments of them, as harlots deck their beds to allure their lovers (Pro.7:16). These idols were decorated as children's baby dolls are; and as one version says, thou hast made for thyself babies. Deckedst or decorated like this, shows how shameless she had become, that she did not blush when made known, that she had abused the unmatched kindness of her God to the open and public service of her adulterer, her ridiculous idol; thus she turned her glory into shame.
The like things shall not come, neither shall it be so . . . so matchless is this adulteress, that none shall be so impudent, and do like her; as there was none before her that hath done so to be her example, so shall there be none to follow her in these things wherein she hath exceeded.
Ezekiel 16:17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, (KJV)
Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold, and of my silver, which I had given thee . . . thy fair jewels she forgot the property was God’s, she considered them to be her own. This also could include vessels, instruments, furniture of all sorts which, she abundantly stored from their departure out of Egypt, when they spoiled the Egyptians (Ex.11:2), and more since Solomon made gold and silver so common in Jerusalem, with which they made vessels for use, and furniture of all kinds for ornament.
And madest to thyself images of men . . . images in the shape of men; some were in the shape of women, others in the shape of men; here only male images are mentioned, because the idolatrous Jews are represented by an adulterous woman committing adultery with men; and these were made by themselves, with their jewels of gold and silver; or of their golden and silver pots and pans which they had to cook in and eat and drink from. These items were melted down and made idols of them in the form of men, just as the molten calf was made of the earrings of the women (Ex.32:2-4). This showed a terrible lack of gratitude to God, their Benefactor, and their utter stupidity and ignorance in their worshipping idols which they made.
And didst commit whoredom with them . . . the images, the idols they made, which is spiritual idolatry.
*****Possibly this means the vessels of gold and silver in the Temple, which they converted to idolatrous uses; or maybe their own household vessels of gold and silver which God had given them, as the bounties of His providence, and He still had a right to, and which they used to dishonor His Holy Name; which revealed terrible ungratefulness. My gold, the greater was the sin of this harlot, her ingratitude and her injustice . . . becaue she robbed God, committed irreverence that she might have idols with which to defile herself by her idolatry.
Ezekiel 16:18 And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them. (KJV)
And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them . . . thy broidered garments (16:10), given by the Lord GOD who embraced this woman. Verse 17 speaks of Israel making idols, here they covered them with beautiful broidered cloth or clothes.
And thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them . . . the oil which the LORD gave them for food, or which was to light the lamps in the Temple with; or was used in sacrifice to the LORD, mainly in the meat offerings (Lev.2:1-2); and the incense, which was supposed to be offered to the LORD on the altar of incense (Ex.30:27; Lev.4:7) . . . this oil and incense was set upon the altars of the male images before mentioned (Hos.2:8).
******The images of men, the idols Israel worshipped (Jer.10:2-4) . . . but pay attention! There is a lesson here for today’s world. BEWARE!! The Catholic Church to this day worship images and cover their idols, the images of the Virgin Mary, and other saints, with rich apparel, to draw the attention, admiration, and reverence of the people to them. That is IDOLATRY!
Ezekiel 16:19 My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
My meat also which I gave thee . . . meat is put for all kinds of food. The Targum renders it, my good things.
The Jews apply it to the manna, which, they say, descended the same day the molten calf was made, and they set it before it.
Fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee . . . the land of Canaan was a land of wheat, of which fine flour was made; and of olives, from whence was the best oil; and it was a land flowing with milk and honey; and that was given to them by the LORD, and so it might be said the land fed them. But instead of glorifying Him, and being thankful for the land and all they had, they used it all to blaspheme the Lord GOD! Land flowing with milk and honey: (Ex.3:8, 17; 13:5; Jer.11:5; 32:22; Eze.20:6, 15)
Thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour . . . that is, they made a meat offering of their fine flour, oil, and honey, and set it before their idols; to gain their favor and good will; to pacify them, and hoping it would be acceptable to them. All these things were used in meat offerings and sacrifices unto the LORD, except honey and leaven, which was forbidden; but was used among the Gentiles (Lev.2:11). For a sweet savour is a legal phrase, found only in Ezekiel outside the Pentateuch which Ezekiel uses four times (6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41).
And thus it was, saith the Lord GOD . . . all their idolatry, ingratitude and folly, have been committed, and is most shameful, and there is no denying it . . . for the all-knowing Lord GOD affirms it. The Targum puts it in the way of a question, and even of astonishment and admiration: are not all these things done, saith the Lord God!
*****All the good things which the Lord GOD had given to Israel, she passed on to their abominable idols. The bread on which they had in abundance fed, and the luxury food which He had given them to enjoy, was far from the hunger and poor food they had known in the wilderness before they received the manna (Ex.16:3-4). Yet these good things they offered, NOT in thanksgiving to the Almighty LORD, but as a sweet savour to their NEW gods. God had fulfilled all His Promises to them and they had thanked Him by offering His abundance to their lovers. And thus it was, says the Lord GOD . . . this was God’s final summary on their behavior. All the things He had given them, luxury food, luxury clothing, luxury jewelry, gold and silver and ornaments, all the wonderful things He had amassed on them in His grace and goodness, they were giving to His enemies. That was how they had behaved. Could there be anything worse? Yes! Worse would follow!
Ezekiel 16:20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, (KJV)
Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters . . . thy sons were hers by birth, and should have been hers in affection, care and preservation . . . but since idolatry is from the father of all lies (Jn.8:44), the old murderer, it is even cruel, and spares neither sons or daughters. Sons that are usually the father’s delight, and are always the strength and glory of the family, but were by this adulteress intended to please the idol. Daughters are usually the mother’s great delight, but here are by a cruel mother in her idolatrous abominations utterly destroyed.
Whom thou hast borne unto me . . . although the children were born of the Israelites, they were born unto the LORD, the Creator of them, and who had the sole right to dispose of them. It is NOT in the power of their parents to take away a child’s life at pleasure . . . as takes place today in abortion! Only the Lord GOD alone, has the sovereign power of life and death! http://hisservants.org/abortion_h_s.htm
And these hast thou sacrificed unto them . . . the male images before mentioned (verse 17); one of which was Molech , who is here especially intended. Molech, male idol: (Lev.18:21; 20:2-5; 1 Ki.11:7; 2 Ki.23:10; Jer.32:35)
To be devoured . . . in the arms of that image; or to be consumed by fire, in which they were burned to death when sacrificed to it.
Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter . . . what a question! It was absolutely NOT a small matter! It was extremely dreadful, heinous and inhuman . . . yet by some it was considered a small matter . . . again, like ABORTION is today!!! This was of all their idolatries, the most shocking, and the most serious. It was not a small thing that they should play the harlot, or worship idols . . . but for them to sacrifice their own children on the altar of an idol, was more than the LORD could stand!
*****Bible history tells us of the human sacrifices offered to Baal or Moloch. These victims were placed on the arms of this cruel god, and from there rolled off into a fiery furnace. There is no doubt whatsoever that the practice of child sacrifice is referred to here. Child sacrifice: (2 Ki.3:26-27; 16:2-3; 17:16-17, 31; 23:10;
2 Chron.1-3; 33:6; Ps.106:30-41; Jer.7:31; Eze.20:25-26; 23:37-39)
According to the doctrine of the prophets, idolatry was spiritual death (Rom.6:23), and teaching one’s children to be idol worshipers was the same as killing them outright.
Ezekiel 16:21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? (KJV)
That thou hast slain my children . . . by Creation, as all born into the world are; and by national adoption, as all the Jewish children were; and mainly the firstborn were eminently His (Num.3:13), and they were the children that were slain and sacrificed to Molech (Eze.20:26). This cruel mother (Israel), this disloyal wife, this profane adulteress, sacrificed these children to her abominable idols.
And delivered, them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? . . . for the worship of idols; this they supposedly did BEFORE they were slain; first causing them to pass through between two fires, thus offering them to the idol, and then slew them by burning them in the fire, or by putting them into the arms of the idol, made burning hot. What terrible things people do when they forsake the LORD!
*****Their blind superstition called this religion, and considered it sacrifice, but the truth is it was murder; it was as if thou had cut their children’s throat . . . NO! It was worse because it put them to a much greater torture. Abortion in today’s times is also murder in the eyes of GOD!
2 Chron. 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. (KJV)
Isaiah 57:5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks? (KJV)
Jer. 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (KJV)
Hosea 5:2 And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all. (KJV)
Ezekiel 16:22 And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood. (KJV)
And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms . . . meaning idolatries, which were abominable to God, and were many; and of which that the one just mentioned was the worst!
Thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth . . . they had been in a destitute and forlorn condition when in Egypt, when great favors were then bestowed on them by the Lord GOD.
When thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood . . . see verses 6-7. This is mentioned to rebuke the Jews of their ingratitude; for they forgot the miserable condition they were in in Egypt, and what great things the LORD had done for them, and they also forgot the responsibilities they were laid under to Him. Forgetting God’s love is the source of all sins.
Ezekiel 16:23 And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;) (KJV)
And it came to pass after all thy wickedness . . . there will be a dreadful threat of misery to come upon the Jews for all their wickedness. When they have filled up the measure of their sins, God will fill them with His judgments, and bring one woe after another upon them, as they proceeded from one wickedness to another. Sin, piling up: (Isa.30:1; Rom.2:5; 2 Tim.3:13). BEWARE!!! God’s patience will eventually wear thin!
Woe, woe unto thee, saith the Lord of hosts; Woe, woe unto thee, saith the Lord God . . . this really is an introduction to a further declaring of this people’s multiplied wickedness, with a dreadful threat introduced quite abruptly, expressing God’s great displeasure against them. The threat is doubled, because it is certain to come, and will be terrible when it does come. This parenthetical exclamation has an awful effect, coming like a sudden flash of lightning, judgment in the midst of the dark clouds of Israel's guilt. Parenthetical simply means giving additional information, as Revelation Chapter 7 is a parenthetical Chapter.
Ezekiel 16:24 That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street. (KJV)
That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place . . . a brothel or whoring house. They were not content to commit spiritual idolatry privately, so they built a public place for their idolatrous worship. An eminent place is literally an outstanding building, that it might invite men in, and have room to treat them.
And hast made thee an high place in every street. . . of Jerusalem, and other cities; it was usual to erect high places in streets, where altars were built, and idols set up to be worshipped; it means the public manner in which they committed idolatry, and the multitude of their idols; which shows their boldness and hardness of heart.
Ezekiel 16:25 Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. (KJV)
Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way . . . where two or more streets met; and so was most exposed, and was seen from different parts; which shows the same as before.
And hast made thy beauty to be abhorred . . . their beauty was hated by the LORD Himself, Who always greatly desires and delights in the beauty of His people, when they worship Him (Ps.45:11), and by all good men, and such as fear the LORD, who like the LORD, hate idolatrous practices, and those that are guilty of them.
And hast opened thy feet to everyone that passed by . . . opened thy feet is an understatement, meaning to expose the private or secret parts, to attract impure embraces . . . meaning that the Jews were ready to receive any idol, and give all worship possible to them. Hast opened thy feet is an expression of the most arrogant practice of lewd and greedy adulteresses and whores, which are ready for every comer, and tempt even those that are not lured by them (16:32-33).
Ezekiel 16:26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. (KJV)
Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians . . . by entering into leagues and alliances with them and seeking to them for help and assistance against their enemies (Isa.31:1-3; 36:6), from whose bondage they had formerly been delivered, and whose culture they were cautioned against; and yet they forsook the LORD, and joined themselves to them by solemn agreement; and not only that, but worshiped their idols, for Egypt was most superstitious and idolatrous, and many of their idolatrous rites and ceremonies were received and retained by the Jews, such as the worshipping of Tammuz (8:14), and other idols: With the Egyptians: (8:10,14; 20:7,8; 23:3,8,19-21; Ex.32:4; Deut.29:16-17; Josh.24:14)
Thy neighbours, great of flesh . . . great of flesh means powerful manly parts; symbolic of the gross and lustful religion of Egypt, which alone could satisfy the abominable lust of Israel (20:7-8, 23:19-21). Being their neighbors, and full of power and strength to help them, they courted their friendship. Egypt’s idolatries were immorally wicked and many, and were pursued by Israel. The reference is to women who are shameless, bold and have gluttonous lust, who crave men, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and their issue as horses (23:19-21). Flesh here may signify the private parts of men, or men of great strength.
And hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke my anger . . . they multiplied their idolatries, which they learned from the Egyptians, a people which were abominable and highly provoking to God (1 Pet.4:3). The Targum is, thou hast increased thine idols.
Ezekiel 16:27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way. (KJV)
Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee . . . the LORD’S chastising and correcting Hand, to show His utter anger at their sins, and bring them to a sense of repentance.
And have diminished thine ordinary food . . . as a husband lessens the things which added to the luxury of an unfaithful wife, so too the LORD did, to cut Israel short because of her unfaithfulness. God deals with Israel as husbands do with their unfaithful wives, keeping them to a strict allowance and severe confinement, trying to check and pacify them.
And delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines . . . which possibly may refer to the times of Ahaz, when the Philistines invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and took many of their cities, and brought Judah low (2 Chron.28:18).
Which are ashamed of thy lewd way . . . the LORD was ashamed of the way they kept changing their religion, renouncing the worship of the TRUE God, and embracing that of false gods!
Ezekiel 16:28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. (KJV)
Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians . . . by making sinful unions, and gadding about so much to change thy way (Jer.2:36); and by worshipping their idols; which was done in the times of Ahaz (2 Ki.16:3-4), who sent to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria for help, and to Damascus for the fashion of the altar there, and built one according to it (2 Ki.16:10).
Because thou wast unsatiable . . . because they were not content with the alliance and idolatries of the Egyptians. Israel had the never-ending lusts of a lascivious adulteress, and in which the endless lusting of a wicked heart (Jer.17:9). Adulterers have a wicked and lustful heart!
Yea, thou hast played the harlot with them . . . repeated to disgrace and shame her and make repent.
And yet couldest not be satisfied . . . Israel was never satisfied with their idols and the worship of them, she was like a common whore, who having prostituted herself to one, then another and another, still remained unsatisfied, still seeking others.
Ezekiel 16:29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. (KJV)
Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan . . . multiplied thy fornication with the inhabitants of the land, doing the same evils and the same idolatries as the old inhabitants of Canaan did. The Babylonian gods were included in the Jews worship, both in Jerusalem and those in exile, as we have seen earlier, they had a whole assortment of gods (Chapter 8). The whole of Israel’s history since the time of Solomon has been one of being unfaithful to the Lord GOD, and drooling over other gods that CANNOT in any way help them!
And yet thou wast not satisfied herewith . . . but even with all these abominations that they had, they still wanted other idols and other ways to worship them. . . not content with the gods of the Egyptians, nor the Assyrians, nor the Canaanites, nor the Chaldeans. They simply could not be satisfied, no matter what! Sounds like today!
Ezekiel 16:30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; (KJV)
How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD . . . weak as water, surrendered totally to spiritual lust, rotting and perishing daily through sin, being totally destitute of the grace of God (Rom.5:2, 15), these are unable to resist any temptation or back away from lust. The stronger the wickedness of the heart, the weaker the heart is.
Seeing thou doest all these things . . . meaning all the idolatries, which revealed her weakness, not her strength. The work of an imperious whorish woman . . . a strong whore; weak to do good, but strong to do evil; so it is with all idolaters, bold, brazen and arrogant, one that will not be guided or governed to do good, nor rebuked nor rescued from evil.
Ezekiel 16:31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire; (KJV)
In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way . . . or brothel house, as before (16:24), which revealed her to be a haughty whore, such as the lovers of other lewd women build for them (1 Ki.11:7-8), as it is reported of Solomon. This unfaithful nation forsook their God, committed fornication with strange gods, built their temples, and gave them sacrifices and maintained the priests.
And makest thine high place in every street . . . see verse 24.
And hast not been as an harlot . . . a common whore, or as a harlot usually is.
In that thou scornest hire . . . which they do not; for it is for hire they prostitute themselves (Eze.16:33-34; Isa.52:3).
Ezekiel 16:32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband! (KJV)
But as a wife that committeth adultery . . . a wife who has a husband, and is provided for with all the necessaries of life, with food and clothing; has no need to prostitute herself for a living, as common harlots do; but does it only to satisfy her lust . . . such were these Jews, they were married to the LORD, who took care of them, and provided everything for them, and acted the part of a Husband to them . . . so that it was the weakness of their hearts, and the strength of their lust, which led them to depart from Him, and commit idolatry . . . which in the Jews, it was the sin of adultery, whereas with the Gentiles, it was the sin of fornication, because they were not married to the Lord GOD.
Which taketh strangers instead of her husband . . . they took other men into their bed instead of her husband, not for the sake of gain, but of lust . . . this was the situation of the Jews, who were a wicked people (Ex.9:27; 2 Chron.7:14; Jer.5:26) an adulterous generation (Mat.12:39; 16:4; Mk.8:38). Israel took strange gods to worship instead of the TRUE God, who had been a husband to them (Jer.31:32); instead of her husband (Num.5:19-20, 29). Consider: the window of the ark being shut, the waters of the flood could not enter into it.
*****Some omit this verse. Although it is difficult, the meaning is probably: An adulterous wife, who, even though she is under her husband, yet taketh strangers (16:8; 23:5, 7, 9, 12, 16, 20).
Ezekiel 16:33 They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. (KJV)
They give gifts to all whores . . . they, unclean fornicators and adulterers, and may be referred to (2 Ki.16:8-9), as an instance in illustration. Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, as well as the treasures of the king’s house, and used it to secure the alliance of the king of Assyria. Give gifts, this does not speak of any kind of gifts in general, but mean such gifts as are presented by one who is an embracer of a woman, with which she is enriched and adorned. Gifts are usually given to whores, by those who commit whoredom with them (Gen.38:16).
But thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers . . . the Jews gave the Egyptians and Assyrians money, to gain their friendship, and procure alliances with them (2 Ki.16:8); and were at great expense with their idols, and in support of their idolatrous worship.
And hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom . . . they courted the nations all around them for their favor and friendship, and bribed them into it.
Ezekiel 16:34 And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary. (KJV)
And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms . . . of which an instance is given before, and another is added, which simply repeats the one before.
Whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms . . . the Jews followed the examples, customs and practices of the Gentiles, in worshipping their idols; but the Gentiles did not follow the Jews, they kept to their own gods, and did not worship the God of Israel.
And in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee . . . reward = hire, used especially for the hire of fornication. Refers to the Pentateuch (Deut.23:18). Used outside the Pentateuch only in (Eze.16:31); hire (Eze.16:33, 41; Isaiah 23:17); hire (Isa.23:18); reward (Hosea 9:1); hire (Mic.1:7).
Therefore thou art contrary . . . to all other lewd women, who take, but give no reward.
*****The Prophet only confirms his former teaching, that the Jews were seized with such deep inflicted lust, and in such an unusual way, that they could only satisfy their desires with severe loss; but this only magnifies their crime, for they were worse than any harlots . . . for although they immorally sell themselves, yet the hope of gain is a kind of grounds and excuse, and a starving woman may be led into great excess; but far more vulgar and less excusable is her conduct who buys her lovers.
This begins the threat of wrath to be poured out on her (16:35-52)
The prophet, having up to this point described the sin, now turns to pronounce the punishment upon Israel (16:35-52). These verses speak of the awful punishment of God’s Chosen People and of its absolute justice in God's sight. The same symbol is still preserved, and the punishment is portrayed in the same symbolic language as was the sin. This portion of the prophecy could be divided into two parts: (1) the first of which the punishment itself is described in terms taken from the legal punishment of the adulteress and murderess (Eze.16:35-43); and (2) the justice of this doom is rightfully justified, especially by comparing Samaria with Sodom (Eze.16:44-52).
The punishment of unfaithful wives in ancient times was sadistically cruel as anything ever known. It is described in Nahum 3:4-7 . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/nahum_ch3.htm God condemned Israel to suffer such a shameful and terrible punishment. Why? They had really cast into jeopardy the salvation of all mankind!
Legal punishment of the adulteress and murderess (16:35-43)
Ezekiel 16:35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD: (KJV)
Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord . . . God’s sentence upon them is about to be pronounced; declaring some to be slain with the sword, some to be stoned and some burned; the crime for which is to be delivered in the name of harlot, rightly given to an apostate people; as it often is to the church of Rome in the book of the Revelation. The Targum is, whose works are as an harlots; O congregation of Israel, receive the words of the Lord; which follow:
Ezekiel 16:36 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord God, because thy filthiness was poured out . . . filthiness is literally brass; symbol for the lowest part of the person (Dan.2:32). Another version says: thy filthy lewdness is poured out without restraint (Jer.13:27). As silver is a symbol of purity, brass symbolizes filthiness, because it easily contacts rust. One explains it, because thy money was lavished on thy lovers (16:31, 33-34).
And thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers . . . which Israel discovered or exposed to view herself, to entice her lovers to lie with her, and for the sake thereof (16:25).
And with all the idols of thine abominations . . . abominable idols, which were repulsive to God, and so made the worshippers of them also repulsive; these are set apart from her lovers, the Egyptians and Assyrians, her confederates, and by means of whose alliance she fell into the sin of idolatry.
And by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them . . . the idol Molech (16:20-21, 26, 31, 37, 39; Isa.57:5; Jer.7:31; 32:35), to whom they were dedicated and sacrificed their children; and for whose sake, and for the worship of them, the children were caused to pass through the fire, and were burnt in it; and by such shocking murders, as well as idolatrous practices, the depravity of their nature, the wickedness of their hearts, their hypocrisy, treachery, and infidelity, were discovered and made known. Blood of thy children . . . (16:20; Jer.2:34).
Ezekiel 16:37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. (KJV)
Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure . . . behold . . . look, see, God calls on her to consider what heavy judgment He pronounces and will execute. I will gather all thy lovers the Egyptians and Assyrians, whose friendship and idolatrous customs they were fond of. The law of retribution is all the more totally demonstrated by God employing, as His instruments of judgment on Israel, those very nations whose alliance and idols Israel had so eagerly sought, besides giving her up to those who had been always her enemies. Something to consider: God will make those who leave Him for the world, disgraced even in the eyes of the world (Isa.47:3; Jer.13:26; Hos.2:10, 13; Nah. 3:5). Idolatry will not be tolerated by the LORD! Believe it and change your ways or pay the penalty on Judgment Day (Rev.20:11-15). It is YOUR choice! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_day_IS_coming.htm
With all them that thou hast hated . . . the Edomites and Philistines; especially Moab and Ammon (Deut. 23:3).
I will even gather them round about against thee . . . as they were in the Chaldean army, which consisted of many nations.
And will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. . . this is to be understood of the spoiling of the city and Temple. God retaliated and punished sinners, so that their sin would be seen in the punishment.
Ezekiel 16:38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. (KJV)
And I will judge thee as women that break wedlock . . . break the marriage covenant, defile the marriage bed, and were adulteresses, who by the law of Moses were to be punished with death (Lev.20:10; Deut.22:22). The Egyptians cut off the harlot’s nose, and the adulterer’s private parts; the Romans beheaded them; one country whipped them through the streets; a Danish king banished them; a king in another land cut them apart with an axe; by other laws they were to be hanged, and by the Jews’ laws they were to be stoned (16:40).
And shed blood are judged . . . those who shed blood by sacrificing their infants to idols were not only guilty of spiritual adultery, meaning idolatry; but also of murder, for murder often follows after adultery (Gen.9:6).
And I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy . . . by way of retaliation; since blood was shed, blood is given, and that in wrath and vengeance; the reference is to a jealous and abused husband, that avenges himself of the person that has injured him (Rev.16:6), like judgment is expressed by watering the land with blood (32:6), and by preparing one for blood (35:6). God will always get even for sin, IF you force Him to do so!
Ezekiel 16:39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. (KJV)
And I also will give thee into their hand . . . this for the most part, describes the way in which God will do what He threatens. He will give Israel into the hand of their lovers and enemies that would be gathered against them, the Assyrians and Chaldeans, along with others that joined them (verse 37).
And they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thine high places . . . the city of Jerusalem, the Temple and altars; and not only these, but even the high places and altars which were set up for idolatry; all would be destroyed by the Chaldean army. The Targum is, and they shall destroy thy walls, and thy high places shall be destroyed (16:24-25, 31; Isa.27:9).
They shall strip thee also of thy clothes . . . meaning that when people are taken captives, their clothes are taken from them (23:26, 29; Isa.3:16-24; Hosea 2:3, 9-13).
And shall take thy fair jewels . . . the vessels of the sanctuary of gold and silver, and their own household furniture, with all their riches and substance;
And leave thee naked and bare . . . as they were when they were in Egypt (16:7).
Ezekiel 16:40 They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. (KJV)
They shall also bring up a company against thee. . . they, the king of Babylon, his counsellors, and captains.
An army, so the Targum; the Chaldean army. The Chaldeans were a hasty and bitter nation (Hab.1:6).
And they shall stone thee with stones . . . cast out of their engines and slings, by which they battered the walls, as well as killed the inhabitants; and so the Targum renders it, with sling stones; the reference seems to be the stoning of adulterous persons (Deut.22:24).
And thrust thee through with their swords . . . those who attempted to escape out of the city, or fell into the hands of the enemy when it was taken, were slain with the sword.
Ezekiel 16:41 And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. (KJV)
And they shall burn thine houses with fire . . . as the houses in Jerusalem were burned by Nebuchadnezzar's army, along with the Temple . . . all the houses in the city would be burned, including the king's house, and the houses of great men (Jer.39:8; 52:13), and as was commanded to be done to idolatrous cities (Deut.13:16); this also may also be said in reference to the burning of adulterous persons (Gen.38:24).
And execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women . . . meaning the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites, who would rejoice in Israel’s ruin.
And I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more . . . their idols, high places and altars, being demolished, and they being robbed of their substance . . . after the Babylon captivity, the Jews never returned to idolatry again (22:15; 23:27; 36:25, 29; 37:23; Isa.1:25-26; 2:18; 4:4; 27:9; Mic.5:10-14; Zec.13:2). We are not told how this will be done, whether by changing their minds, or by utterly ruining them; but it shall be done! God does NOT lie (Tit.1:2).
Ezekiel 16:42 So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. (KJV)
So will I make my fury towards thee to rest . . . when the Jews stop their idolatries, and no longer worship the gods of the nations . . . then the fury of the LORD and the effects of it would stop. When repentance is brought about by afflictions or judgments, the Lord GOD will end His wrath and fury. Common sense tells us that God’s Holy and righteous wrath would abide upon them, and NOT be removed: either until an utter end was made of them or they repented of their sin. It is the same today! God has NOT changed. He hates SIN!
And my jealousy shall depart from thee . . . as it does from a man when he has utterly rejected his wife because of adultery, and is divorced from her; and that burning jealousy has satisfied itself, and there is no other way to operate and show itself in; or when a woman returns to her husband and gives him satisfaction, keeps close unto him, and lives purely with him, having given up her former lewd ways.
And I will be quiet, and will be no more angry . . . the effects of God’s anger cease, His judgments stopped, and He is at peace with them, and they with Him; for He retaineth not his anger for ever: (Ps.103:9; Jer.3:5, 12; Mic.7:18). There are some who think this means His being quiet and at ease in the destruction of the Jews; there being no more to wreak His vengeance upon. We today, must remember that God will not share us with any other god. God is a jealous God: (Ex.20:5; 34:14; Deut.4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh.24:19; Nah.1:2). BEWARE!!!
Ezekiel 16:43 Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. (KJV)
Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth . . . the low estate they were once in, in Egypt, and the great favors bestowed upon them afterwards, put them under a great obligation to serve the Lord GOD, and He alone . . . but this they forgot, which highly provoked the LORD to wrath, causing Him to do the things He did (16:22).
And hast fretted me in all these things . . . they irritated Him, provoked Him and moved Him to extreme wrath, stirring up in His Breast a chaos by their offensive ungratefulness, idolatry and other sins.
Behold, therefore, I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD . . . the LORD would strike back at their evils, punish them according to what their sins deserved.
And thou shall not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations . . . this phrase is rather complicated, and is read by some thus, I have not done according to what all thine abominations deserve, or I have not executed such thoughts as all thy lewdness calls for. This lewdness above all thine abominations must refer to the appalling piece of wickedness . . . sacrificing their children to their idols (16:20-21). This wickedness was especially hateful to God, over and above all thine other abominations. He would put it out of their power to commit it by cutting the off. The Lord will deal with them according to works: (Ps.62:12; Pro.24:12,29; Isa.59:18; Jer.21:14; 25:14; 32:19; Lam.3:64; Eze.7:8-9; 18:30; Hos.12:2; Zec.1:6; Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6; 2 Tim.4:14; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12).
Justified, comparing them with Samaria and Sodom (16:44-52)
Ezekiel 16:44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. (KJV)
Behold, everyone that useth proverbs . . . a proverb is a brief saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice. A proverb has an emotional impact of sneaking in something that is amusing and foolish, yet it mocks and ridicules.
Shall use this proverb against thee . . . indicating that the sins of Israel would be well known and exposed, and they would become the subject of the jeers and taunts of men.
Saying, as is the mother, so is her daughter . . . this is an ancient and common proverb, used to state a likeness and agreement between persons, their nature and disposition, in their behavior, conduct and lifestyle. So the Targum, as are the works of the mother, so those of the daughter. The mother is the land of Canaan, and the daughter is the inhabitants of Israel. The Jews were the successors of the old Canaanites, and they imitated them in their practices; and because both of their succession and imitation, they are called the daughter of them; a bad daughter of a bad mother (16:3).
Ezekiel 16:45 Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite. (KJV)
Thou art thy mother's daughter . . . exactly like her; they that have known the one know the other. The Targum is, wherefore art thou become the daughter of the land of Canaan, to do according to the works of the people? The most wicked daughter of just as wicked a mother.
That loatheth her husband and her children . . . a true character of an adulteress; and which agrees both with the mother the Canaanites, and with the daughter the Jews; who both despised, rejected and forsook God their husband, Creator and lawgiver, and sacrificed their children to idols (16:20-21).
And thou art the sister of thy sisters . . . the true sister of Samaria and Sodom after mentioned; not only allied to them in blood, but especially alike in manners, religion and worship. Moab and Ammon, the incestuous children of Lot (Gen.19:36-38), nephew of Abraham, Israel’s progenitor, had their start in Sodom; so Sodom might be called Judah’s sister. Samaria, answering to the ten tribes of Israel, is, of course sister to Judah.
Your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite . . . these the Israelites succeeded in their land, and followed their customs (16:3). The Targum is, was not your mother Sarah among the Hittites? and she did not do according to their works; and your father Abraham was among the Amorites, and he walked not in their counsels.
Ezekiel 16:46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. (KJV)
And thine elder sister is Samaria . . . Samaria was the capital city of the ten tribes; Samaria is called the elder sister of Jerusalem, as being a much larger kingdom than that of Judah: she also led the way to the idolatry which later infected the entire nation; totally abandoning the worship which God had arranged in His Temple, and setting up the golden calves (Hos.8:5-6). Sodom is called the younger sister, as having also abounded in every idolatrous practice. Ezekiel here considers Samaria and Sodom as two cities still existing; even though Sodom had been long since destroyed, and Samaria had been overthrown 127 years before this prophesy of Ezekiel. The vices of Sodom and Samaria were not attended with such aggravating circumstances as those of Jerusalem; because they had not been blessed by the LORD with the same great privileges. There is a similarity between the reasoning here and in: Matthew 11:20-24 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (KJV)
She and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand . . . as Samaria the sister was the metropolis of the ten tribes, her daughters are the other cities and towns around her. The Targum renders it, she and her villages; these were situated to the north of the land of Israel, as Judah was to the south, which with the Jews were left and right; for as a man standing with his face to the east has the north on his left and the south on his right side.
And thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. . . where Lot the nephew of Abraham lived (Gen.12:5), and from whom sprung the Ammonites and Moabites. Sodom was a far lesser kingdom than that of Judah, and which lay to the south; that is, to the right of it.
Ezekiel 16:47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. (KJV)
Yet hast thou not walked after their ways . . . they walked in worse ways, much more evil. They were not content to keep in step with them, and do as they did; they had to out-do them, exceeding and surpassing them in wickedness. This seems to be what the world is trying to do today!
Nor done after their abominations . . . they did not follow their abominations, but committed much worse sins than they did . . . sins of a more shocking nature. 1 Kings 11:5-7 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. (KJV) . . . Solomon was indeed the wisest man ever to live (1 Ki.3:12; 10:24). This to me shows that even the wisest people in the world can be lured by the devil to do wrong (Mat.24:24). BEWARE!!
But, as if that were a very little thing . . . to commit the sins that Samaria and Sodom did: for, it was hated bythem as a little thing, and not big, bold and daring enough to be committed.
Thou wast corrupted more than they in all their ways . . . this explains what is meant by not walking after their ways and abominations; they were far greater sinners than they; more corrupt in their principles and practices; more hardened in them, and much more difficult to be reclaimed from them (Mat.11:23).
Ezekiel 16:48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. (KJV)
As I live, saith the Lord GOD . . . this is an oath, which the Lord GOD swore; who, because He could swear by none greater, He swore by himself (Heb.6:13); and this He did to confirm what He had said and was about to say, that the sins of Judah were greater than those of Samaria and Sodom; which seem hard to believe, but it was as true as He was the Living God. As I live, saith the Lord GOD . . . (5:11; 14:16, 18, 20; 16:48; 18:3; 20:3, 31, 33; 33:11, 27; 34:8; 35:6, 11).
Sodom thy sister hath, or done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters . . . that is, the inhabitants of Sodom, and of the neighboring villages, had not committed such gross iniquities as the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the towns and villages around it, and of other cities of Judah.
Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (KJV)
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom . . . meaning the source and fountain of all the sin; the causes and ways of which are declared . . . the same sin of Sodom was the sin of Jerusalem: meaning pride . . . which was the sin of the devil (Isa.14:13-14), and the cause of their ruin; the sin of our first parents (Gen.3:6), by which they fell and destroyed themselves and their posterity; and is the dominant, governing, sin of human nature (1 Jn.2:16). Pride has been the ruin of kingdoms, cities and many people. Pride is a sin hated by God, and destructive to man. Pride was inherited by Moab, her offspring (Isa.16:6; Jer.16:6; 48:26), and by Ammon (Jer.49:4). God, is the Searcher of the heart (Ps.44:21; 139:23; Jer.17:10), and here states as Sodom’s sin, not merely her notorious lusts, but the secret fountain of them, that being pride coming from fullness of bread, caused by the fertility of the soil.
Fulness of bread . . . the land of Sodom was very fruitful before it was destroyed (Gen.19:24-28); it was like the garden of the LORD (Gen.13:10); producing plentifully, so that there was great fullness of provision, of all sorts of food, which is meant by bread. It was a blessing of the LORD'S mercy and grace to them that they had such plenty; but it was SIN to them because they abused the LORD’S goodness. Luxury and self-indulgence, eating and drinking to excess are meant; which led to the sin of immoral sexual lust (sodomy, homosexuality), and fanned the flames of it.
And abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters . . . or peace, rest, prosperity and ease, meaning the abundance of laziness and idleness, which made them feel totally secure.
Neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy . . . even though she had such abundance of food that she could help the poor and needy, and much free time to do so; her pride would not let her do it. Pride is always cruel and harsh, keeping all things to itself, having no feeling for others (Isa.16:3-4; Jer.48:27; Lk.16:19-21; Jam.5:1-5). Have not we all, at one time or another, been guilty of the sin of pride? I know I have.
Ezekiel 16:50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (KJV)
And they were haughty . . . haughty means extremely arrogant and proud, puffed up with their prosperity. The men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly, both here and in (Gen.13:13). Sodom and her daughters, lifted up themselves above God and man; they were above regarding the poor and needy; and were elated and swelled with their plenty and prosperity, and behaved very shamelessly, both to fellow citizens and strangers (Gen.19:4-5).
And committed abomination before me . . . most likely referring to the sin of sodomy (homosexuality), which gets its name Sodom from. Sodomy is a sin extremely abominable and repulsive to the Lord GOD, and terrible to human nature . . . and which they committed openly and publicly, having NO fear of God, having NO regard for men; and are said to be wicked sinners before the LORD (Gen.13:13).
Therefore I took them away as I saw good . . . the Lord GOD took them away in such a way that NONE could have suspected, and, for reasons only He Himself knew, and NONE ever saw before or since. The LORD totally destroyed Sodom with brimstone and fire (Gen.19:24, 28), and He shall condemn all who commit this sin to the eternal lake of fire (Rev.20:11-15). http://hisservants.org/hell_the_lake_of%20fire.htm
*****HOW were the sins of Jerusalem greater than Sodom’s sins? I think that it was in the provoking conditions of their sins . . . they willingly incited the LORD’S redeeming mercy, they knowingly and willingly went against the Law of God, which forbid what they did, and they refused to listen to the rebukes and warnings from the mouth of the LORD’S prophets, and against examples of God’s vengeance on Sodom and the cities of the plain. BEWARE!!! There is certainly a lesson here for people today, IF they are wise enough to pay attention! Psalm 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. (KJV) Are you wise enough to consider eternity? Or are you a fool who calls God a Liar? (1 Jn.5:10-13)
Ezekiel 16:51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done. (KJV)
Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins . . . Samaria is the ten tribes, or kingdom of Israel, founded in rebellion and idolatry. Committed half of thy sins . . . a proverb is a brief saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice. A proverb has an emotional impact of sneaking in something that is amusing and foolish, yet it mocks and ridicules. This is said in comparison to set forth the lesser part (1 Ki.10:7). The sins of Samaria were the worshipping of the calves at Dan and Bethel; but the gods of Judah were according to the number of their cities, and they even set up their idols in the Temple of Jerusalem (Jer.2:28; Eze.8:5), and besides that, their sins were aggravated by the benefits and awesome privileges they enjoyed; having the Temple, the place of worship, among them; the priests of the LORD to preside there; the LORD’S prophets to instruct and teach them; and many good kings. Samaria did not commit half thy sins of Israel, yet they looked upon her as a far greater sinner, because had already been carried away captive.
But thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they . . . more than Samaria and her daughters, or the ten tribes; or than Sodom and Samaria, since both are intended in the next clause.
And hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done . . . justified them in what they did; approved of them in their wickedness, by doing the same abominations, except more and much greater. Justified NOT made them righteous, but declared them less unrighteous than they were in their abominations; and of the two they are less guilty.
*****Consider the following: Nine good Kings of Israel: (1). David (1 Ki.11:4, 33); (2). Asa 1 Ki.15:11). (3). Jehoshaphat (1 Ki.22:43). (4). Jehoash (2 Ki.12:2). (5). Amaziah (2 Ki.14:3). (6). Uzziah (2 Ki.15:3). (7). Jotham (Ki.15:34). (8). Hezekiah (2 Ki.18:3). (9). Josiah (2 Ki.22:2).
There was NOT one king in the 33 kings of the northern kingdom that was godly. Three reasons why judgment fell upon Solomon. (1). His heart was turned away from the LORD (1 Ki.11:1-4, 9). (2). He went after other gods (1 Ki.11:10). (3). He did not keep God's covenant and statutes (1 Ki.11:11).
Ezekiel 16:52 Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters. (KJV)
Thou also which hast judged thy sisters . . . passed harsh and hasty disapprovals upon Sodom and Samaria, not clearing and forgiving them, by committing the same sins, but even more heinous ones.
Bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they . . . more abominable (16:47-48, 51); they should look upon their own sins, and be disgraced by them; confess them with shame; and be humiliated at what they did. Again, a lesson here for us all. Shame is ALWAYS the fruit of sin . . . sooner or later. BEWARE!!! IF you refuse to bow before Him today (Rom.14:11-12; Phil.2:10-11), you WILL on Judgment Day. Which would you rather it be? YOUR choice! . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_day_IS_coming.htm
They are more righteous than thou . . . when compared, Samaria was more righteous than Israel, but NEITHER of them were righteous in God’s eyes . . . yet when compared, the one was more righteous than the other, having committed less sins, with less weighty disgraces.
Yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters . . . this is repeated, more strongly, and with the reasons added to it, to show the great confusion they would be brought unto, and the certainty of it, with more to attack and affect their minds.
Ezekiel 16:53 When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them: (KJV)
When I shall bring again their captivity . . . the captivity of Sodom and Samaria, as after mentioned; however, the gracious Promise rather begins with the nevertheless (16:60), but verse 16:59 is a threat, not a promise. The sense here is, they shalt be restored when Sodom and Samaria are, but not until then (16:55), that is NEVER. This applies to the guilty who would be utterly destroyed (16:41-42); but it does NOT contradict the following Promise of restoration to their posterity (Num.14:29-33), and to the elect remnant of grace.
The captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters . . . some understand this as what never will be, for as it never yet has been. Sodom remains to this day a dead sea, and the ten tribes are not returned.
Then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them . . . what is said here comes in as the proper conclusion of the bold rebellion that Israel had been accused of. The Jews were never perfectly restored, in respect to the glory of the Temple, and the state of the kingdom. Captivity of thy captives means that it shall never be brought back again, according to the above sense; but instead this is to be understood of the calling of the Gentiles, compared to Sodom for their wickedness, as the great city of Rome is (Rev.11:8); and of the calling of God's elect among the ten tribes, scattered all through the Gentiles, by the preaching of the apostles; and when the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in (Rom.11:12, 25), then will follow the conversion of the Jews, and all Israel will be saved (Rom.11:26), for it is certain the sisters, Sodom and Samaria, were to be restored, and received into the church, and given to her for daughters (16:61); as a result the conversion of the Gentiles is indicated by bringing again the captivity of Moab and Ammon. There shall be a change, affliction into prosperity as in (Job 42:10). Sodom itself was not so restored (Jer. 20:16), but Ammon and Moab (her representatives, as sprung from Lot who dwelt in Sodom) were (Jer.48:47; 49:6). Most of the ten tribes and the adjoining nations, Ammon and Moab, etc., were in part restored under Cyrus; but the full realization of the restoration is yet future; the heathen nations to be brought to Christ being typified by Sodom, whose sins they now reproduce.
Ezekiel 16:54 That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them. (KJV)
That thou mayest bear thine own shame . . . as long as the captivity remains; or until Sodom, Samaria, the Gentiles and the ten tribes, are called and converted, they must bear their own shame. Shame is punishment for offences, and is always a disgrace and dishonor . . . with some punishments being more so than others. Such shall the Jews’ punishments be.
And mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done . . . for all that they have done, and because of all the repulsive sins they had been guilty of.
In that thou art a comfort to them . . . to Sodom and Samaria; tolerating them in their sins; justifying their iniquities, and strengthening their hands in their wickedness, by doing the same, and even worse abominations; or in partaking of the same punishment with them, captivity; this being a kind of solace to them, that they were not punished alone.
Ezekiel 16:55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. (KJV)
When thy sisters, Sodom, and her daughters, shall return to their former estate . . . this verse is explained in verse 53, and does not need a repeated explanation; it threatens an unending continuance of their low, hopeless and miserable state in their outward concerns.
Ezekiel 16:56 For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride, (KJV)
For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth . . . Jerusalem refused to acknowledge Sodom as a spiritual relative, even though the clear family likeness. It was counted a disgrace to even refer to such a disgusting neighbor.
In the day of thy pride . . . or prides, for pride buddeth (7:10) and, like a great swelling in the body which breaks and runs with loathsome and foul matter, it breaks forth into hateful practices, like in the time of their prosperity, in the days of David and Solomon, and other kings of Judah. Prosperity always makes men proud and lifts their egos far too high, causing them to forget what they had been, and to neglect seeing the judgments of God on others, and to be warned by them. Again . . . a lesson here for all of us!
*****Israel thought Sodom was not worthy to be named in the same breath with Jerusalem, never thinking that Jerusalem would at length lie under a worse and more scandalous character than Sodom had. If the Jews had only talked more often and seriously to one another, and to their children, about the wrath of God revealed from Heaven against Sodom's ungodliness and unrighteousness, it may have kept them in reverence of the LORD, and kept them from walking in Sodom’s steps; but they did not! They put Isaiah to death for putting them in mind of it, when he called them rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah (Isa.1:10). Isaiah’s death is not recorded in the Bible but one tradition is that he was sawn in two by King Manasseh. All the desolations God had brought and was bringing upon Jerusalem for all their wickedness, was because they had exceeded Sodom and Samaria’s sins. BEWARE!!! Dear one, consider you are simply preparing judgments for yourself when you refuse to take notice of God's judgments upon others. GOD will NOT tolerate sin!
Ezekiel 16:57 Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about. (KJV)
Before thy wickedness was discovered . . . by the punishment of it, by the judgments of God brought upon them. They were humbled, where before they were proud and arrogant; and might speak and think of the vengeance of God on Sodom, which before they made no mention of.
As at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines . . . the indignity and injuries done to them by Syria and the Philistines (2 Ki.16:5; 2 Chron.28:18; Isa.9:11-12). This seems to refer to the times of Ahaz, when the Syrians smote the men of Judah; and carried many of them captive; and the Philistines invaded the cities of the low country, and southern parts of Judah, and took many of them (2 Chron.28:5-6); at which time the wickedness of the Jews was discovered; and it was a perfectly clear that they had sinned against the LORD, by His allowing their enemies to come upon them, and be victorious over them; which was to their shame. The Syrians reproached them, and so did the Philistines.
Which despise thee round about . . . they spoiled and plundered them on all sides; treating them with scorn and contempt, who before had been difficult and dreadful to them. BEWARE!!! This is what happens when a people are deserted by the Lord GOD because of their sin, and they are also despised by men.
Ezekiel 16:58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations . . . rather, thou must bear. Her sins will fall upon her as a crushing punishment (14:5, 9). Their abominable iniquities were open and public; as though it was written on their foreheads, and could be seen by all. They must bear their punishment, because they had borne (committed) the lewd abominations. The punishment fit the crime! They deserved what they got (23:49).
Saith the LORD. . . the LORD always speaks what is just, right and true. This seems to be added to mean the Truth of what had been said, and the certainty of what would be.
Ezekiel 16:59 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. (KJV)
For thus saith the Lord GOD . . . whatever He says can be depended upon as Truth, and that it will certainly come to pass.
I will even deal with thee as thou hast done . . . reward them according to their works; execute the law of retaliation upon them; and reject them, as they had rejected Him; and cast them off from being His people, since they had forsaken Him as their God. Since they had transgressed the covenant, He was NOT obligated to bless and protect them. The covenant which Israel has broken is now by the Lord GOD declared annulled (16:8 and Lev.26:25; Deut.29:12). The Lord will deal with them according to their works: (Ps.62:12; Pro.24:12,29; Isa.59:18; Jer.21:14; 25:14; 32:19; Lam.3:64; Eze.7:8-9; 18:30; Hos.12:2; Zec.1:6; Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6; 2 Tim.4:14; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12).
Which hath despised the oath by breaking the covenant . . . the covenant at Mount Sinai (Deut.5); or which was made in the plains of Moab, which had an oath annexed to it (Deut.29:12); but Israel broke the covenant, by their numerous abominations, they despised the oath by which they were sworn to keep; and therefore it was just and right with God to do with them as they had done with Him and His covenant. Disobedience to God, forsaking God or arguing with God is a dead-end street! Why can’t people see this? This Chapter alone, proves this!
Here begins the Evangelical part of Chapter 16, for the comfort of the elect.
Ezekiel 16:60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. (KJV)
Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth . . . the covenant made with them at Sinai, right after they came out of Egypt, when they were both as a body, politic and religious, in their infant state. While they were in Egypt, and until they came into the land of Canaan, they were called the days of thy youth (16:22; 43; 23:3, 8, 19, 21; Jer.32:30).
And I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant . . . the covenant of grace, made with the Messiah and His spiritual seed (Rom.6:14-15); which is confirmed by God in Christ; ordered in all things and sure; whose Promises are yea and amen in Christ (2 Cor.1:20). The blessings of it are the sure mercies of David; a covenant that shall NEVER be broken, NEVER be made void, NEVER be removed; but will continue FOR EVER. This is the new covenant, or the covenant of grace, as exhibited and administered under the New Testament.
Hebrews 8:8-13 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (KJV) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_hebrews_ch8.htm
*****The LORD having sentenced a perpetual punishment to the stubborn, unrepentant body of the Jewish nation, He now promises the remnant that they shall be remembered and obtain covenanted mercy, which makes up the last part of this chapter. This covenant will include the despised nations, such as Sodom and Samaria, who in the spirit of the New Testament shall become spiritual (and political?) daughters of Israel (16:61). What a grand idea this is, which so many centuries before the breaking down of the wall of partition by the Son of David, would include the Gentile world in God’s wonderful covenant of grace (Rom.6:14-15). It is certain that the prophet to whom the LORD so long ago, revealed such a marvelous and splendid Truth, was indeed a mighty spiritual seer! Remnant: (Isa.1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12; 46:3; Jes.23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Eze.6:8-10; Joel 2;32; Mic.2:12; 5:3-8; Zep.2:7-9; 3:13; Zech.8:6-12; Rom.9:27; 11:5; Rev.2:17).
Gentiles promised salvation: (Gen.12:2-3; Ex.12:49; Ps.22:27-30; 68:29-31; 72:8-11,17; Isa.2:2-5; 11:9-10; 19:24-25; 42:1-4; 45:14; 49:22-23; 52:10; 60:3-7; 66:19; Jer.16:19; Zec.8:20-22; Mal.1:11; Lk.2:32. Acts 28:28; 1 Pet.2:9-10; Rev.11:15; 12:10; 15:4) Thank You Jesus!
Ezekiel 16:61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. (KJV)
Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed . . . then . . . after the new covenant, made and confirmed, shall take effect. Shalt remember . . . seriously consider, hate and detest, repent of, mourn for, and turn away from all their wicked ways. It is God who first remembers her before she remembers Him and her own ways before Him (16:60; 20:43; 36:31).
And be ashamed . . . even though while they were an adulteress, and unfaithful to their Husband, they did not blush, now they shall with a deep shame remember and loathe their vile lewdness. Shame is the fruit of repentance (Lk.15:10; 18:13; 2 Cor.7:10-11). NO one can please God unless they first dis-please themselves (Lk.18:9-14). When the grace of GOD is applied, people SEE their sins, and acknowledge them with great shame, remembering their evil ways in which they have walked, and cringe at the thought of what they have been guilty of; and how they had sinned against such a Good GOD of love, grace and mercy, knowing what vile ungrateful creatures they have been.
When thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger . . . Samaria and Sodom (16:46); the ten tribes, or Benjamin and Simeon, whose part was in Judah . . . also the Gentiles, all nations, ancient and modern, great and small, where the Gospel of Jesus Christ would come, and those of them that are called and converted by it.
This Passage respects the calling of the Gentiles, and the incorporating of them into the Gospel church state. And I will give them unto thee for daughters . . . to be nursed up by the church, through the ministry of the word and ordinances, where they have a place, and become members of the church, and so daughters of Jerusalem, the mother of us all (Gal.4:26); to be built up on their, most holy faith.
But not by thy covenant . . . made with the Israelites at Sinai, which genders (led) to bondage (Gal.4:24), but by virtue of the covenant of grace made with Christ. And the Lord GOD will be their Father (1 Jn.3:1), and they shall be my sons and daughters (2 Cor.6:18), not on condition of observing the rites and ceremonies of the law, under which the former covenant was administered, the Gentiles being freed from that, the ceremonial law being repealed by Christ. The new covenant writes the law in the heart, and puts the fear of God into the inward parts.
Ezekiel 16:62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: (KJV)
And I will establish my covenant with thee . . . (16:60); which is repeated for the comfort of the LORD'S people, being ashamed when remembering their evil ways; and to show the certainty of it, as well as because it is of great importance. My covenant, is called thy covenant in verse 61. With thee, Israel first (Rom.1:16), and then then the Gentiles, as His children, with all the genuine children of Abraham (Gal.3:26-29), father of the faithful.
And thou shalt know that I am the LORD . . . a covenant keeping God; true and faithful to His Promises, and well able to make them good; this is a main blessing of the covenant of grace, to know the LORD (Jer.31:34).
Thou shalt know that I am the Lord . . . this brief sentence contains the entirety of all our duty and privileges! It is a Promise of grace and glory; it is a blessed knowledge fitting us for obedience, and knowledge to deliver us from punishment. It is intense knowledge and wisdom of God, which leads us to eternal life.
Ezekiel 16:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
That thou mayest remember, and be confounded . . . may remember, and be confounded (16:61). The more souls that are led into the covenant of grace, means the more they know about the Lord GOD in Christ, for He is their Covenant God and Father . . . and the more they remember of their former evil ways, and reflect upon them with shame and confusion.
And never open thy mouth any more . . . against God, and the privileges of His providence; against His Gospel, His Truths and ordinances; against His people, the followers of Jesus Christ, and particularly the Gentiles; for they will now see themselves as worse than they ever were. This seems to have a special regard to the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, when they shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn (Zec.12:10); and remember the evil ways of their ancestors, and their absolute stubbornness and infidelity, and be ashamed. They should not say one word of complaint of the judgments of God that have been upon them as a nation so long.
Because of thy shame . . . because they will now be ashamed of their opposition to Christ and His Gospel; of their rejection and treatment of Him; and of the evil things they have been guilty of.
When I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD . . . God may be said to be pacified, or favorable, when He is at peace with men, for His anger is turned away, His law and justice are satisfied, reconciliation (Rom.5:1) and atonement are made for sin, and He indicates that for Christ's sake; and especially when His pardoning love and grace is manifested and applied. This peace is made, NOT by men themselves, NOT by their obedience, nor repentance . . . but by faith in the Blood and Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross of Calvary!
*****When this atonement, propitiation, pacification and peace is received by faith; there is a wonderful sense of pardon that is felt, because of the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), because all sins and transgressions that have been committed in the heart and life are forgiven (Ps.103:12; Jer.31:34; Mic.7:18-19; Heb.8:12; 10:17); has had such an effect on us, causing us to remember and call to mind our former evil ways, filling us with shame. http://www.godcannotlie.org/micah_ch7.htm
We must never open our mouths to excuse our sins; nor to praise ourselves and our righteousness; never murmur against the Lord GOD, nor criticize others. This is the nature of pardoning grace and mercy.
The Canaanites were forced to recognize that the TRUE and Living God was behind the Israelites, and that these miracles were done by His power. Sixteen times in the Pentateuch alone it is clear that the purpose of miracles was for people to know that God is the only true and living God (Ex.6:7; 7:5,17; 8:10,22; 9:14,29; 10:2; 11:7; 14:4,18; 16:6,12; 29:46; 31:13; Deut.29:6). No less than 75 times in Ezekiel are like statements found as they shall know that I am the Lord.
Six Commands for the Conquest of Canaan:
<><><>1. Smite the nations and utterly destroy them.
<><><>2. Make no covenant with them.
<><><>3. Show them no mercy.
<><><>4. Do not marry them (Deut.7:3).
<><><>5. Do not give your daughters to them, or take their daughters for your sons (Deut.7:4).
<><><>6. Destroy their altars, break down their images, burn them, and cut down their groves (Deut.7:5).
WHY was Israel to utterly destroy the corrupt nations of Canaan?
<><><>1. They will turn away your children from following the Lord GOD.
<><><>2. They will cause them to become idol worshipers, so that GOD would have to destroy them.
<><><>3. They were a holy people unto the Lord GOD (Deut.7:6).
<><><>4. God had chosen them to be a special people above all others on the face of the earth (Deut.7:6).
God gave SO many warnings to Israel BEFORE their backslidings to assure them (Lev.18). He was a God of justice and judgment as well as one of mercy and forgiveness. He promised rewards for obedience (Lev.26:3-45), and precise curses for disobedience (Deut.27:15-26). God’s amazing grace covers sin ONLY if it is properly confessed and cast away.
Reasons for Israel's punishment:
<><><>They grew proud (16:15).
<><><>They refused to remember (16:22).
<><><>They were weak in heart (16:30).
Facts about their sins:
<><><>1. They worshipped every idol they ever heard of (16:15).
<><><>2. They lavished their God-given wealth on their idols (16:16, 18).
<><><>3. They made idols from gold God had given them (16:17).
<><><>4. They served idols with the wealth God gave them (16:18).
<><><>5. They sacrificed their children to Molech (16:20).
<><><>6. They even built shrines for their idols (16:23-25).
What worsened their Guilt:
<><><>1. They worshipped the idols of those nations which were their enemies (16:28).
<><><>2. God rebuked them, but still they continued in the same sins (16:27).
<><><>3. They spent much money on their idols (16:31-34).
Sixteen Sins of Sodomites:
(1). They commit homosexual sins (2 Pet.2:10; Rom.1).
(2). They despise government and law (2 Pet.2:10).
(3). They are arrogant, bold, daring, headstrong and reckless (2 Pet.2:10).
(4). They are self-willed and self-sufficient in their own eyes (2 Pet.2:10).
(5). They speak evil of lawful authority (2 Pet.2:10).
(6). They live like brute beasts (2 Pet.2:12).
(7). They speak evil and blasphemy (2 Pet.2:12).
(8). They commit sins in daylight without s sense of shame (2 Pet.2:13).
(9). They make sport of their deceptions (2 Pet.2:13).
(10). They have eyes full of adultery (2 Pet.2:14).
(11). They entice innocent and unstable souls leading them into perversion (2 Pet.2:14).
(12). They have forsaken the right way (2 Pet.2:15-22).
(13). They live in covetousness (2 Pet.2:14-15).
(14). They brag and boast (2 Pet.2:18).
(15). They seduce and allure others to surrender their chastity and live in lusts (2 Pet.2:18).
(16). They promise liberty from sin but they themselves are most sinful (2 Pet.2:19).
Such are the chief ones reserved for punishment in eternal hell (2 Pet.2:10).
This is without doubt the homosexual sin: Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (KJV)
Book of Ezekiel
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