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Book of Ezekiel
In this Chapter, Samaria and Israel bear the name Aholah, meaning her own tabernacle; because the places of worship those kingdoms had, were of their own planning. Jerusalem and Judah bear the name of Aholibah, my tabernacle is in her, because their Temple was the place which GOD Himself had chosen, to put His Name there. The language and figures are according to those times. Shouldn’t such humbling representations of nature keep open the continuous repentance and sorrow in the soul? Pride must be cast from our eyes, because pride leads us to self-righteousness. Wouldn’t it be better to prompt our soul to look to GOD continually for grace to sustain us, that by His Holy Spirit we may mortify the deeds of the body, and live a holy lifestyle of Godliness?
Chapter 23 is a long chapter, as is Chapters 16 and 20 . . . and is a history of the apostasies of GOD'S people from Him and the aggravations of those apostasies under the likeness of physical whoredom and adultery. Here the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the ten tribes and the two tribes, with their capital cities, Samaria and Jerusalem, are definitely considered. Here is, (1). The apostasy of Israel and Samaria from God (23:1-8) and their ruin for it (23:9-10). (2). The apostasy of Judah and Jerusalem from God (23:11-21) and sentence passed upon them, that they shall in like manner be destroyed for it (23:22-35). (3). The joint wickedness of them both together (23:36-44) and the joint ruin of them both (23:45-49). All that is written was to warn against the sins of idolatry, confidence in an arm of flesh, and sinful leagues and confederacies with wicked people, which here are meant the sins by committing whoredom; and is that others may hear and fear, and not sin like the transgressions of Israel and Judah.
The Apostasy of Israel and Samaria from God (23:1-8)
Ezekiel 23:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, (KJV)
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying. . . (17:1; 18:1; 21:1; 22:1)
Ezekiel 23:2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: (KJV)
Son of man, there were two women . . . son of man is found 94 times in Ezekiel; two women . . . the daughters of one mother: Israel and Judah, two sisters, representing Samaria and Jerusalem,. or two nations and kingdoms, the kingdom of Israel or the ten tribes, and the kingdom of Judah or the two tribes. The Targum is, son of man, prophesy concerning two provinces, which are as two women.
The daughters of one mother . . . either Sarah the wife of Abraham, from whom they sprung; or because they were originally one kingdom and nation, before they split (1 Ki.11:9-13; 12:16-20). They were one nation when they came out of Egypt, during the times of the judges, and in the reigns of David and Solomon; but became two nations in the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, from whom ten tribes revolted, and set up a separate kingdom, with Jeroboam at the head of it.
Ezekiel 23:3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. (KJV)
And they committed whoredoms in Egypt . . . (20:7-8), when they were just one nation; and while they sojourned as strangers in that land, they learned and practiced the idolatries of it (Josh.24:14). The Targum is, and they erred in Egypt, after the worship of their idols they erred, and there they corrupted their works.
They committed whoredoms in their youth . . . as soon as they came out of Egypt, and were formed into a political and religious state, had the Law of God given to them, and promised to obey Him, and were espoused by Him (16:8-14), which times are called the days of their youth and espousal (Jer.2:2), and then they were guilty of whoredom, or spiritual adultery, which is idolatry, in making and worshipping the golden calf (Ex.32:1-4), after the manner of Egypt; and in joining themselves to Baalpeor (Num.25:3), the god of the Moabites was a great aggravation of their sin. It was at that same time of their receiving amazing favors from GOD (16:9-14).
There were their breasts pressed, there they bruised the teats of their virginity . . . meaning the Egyptians, who enticed them into idolatry, and with whom they committed it. This expresses the actions of adulterous persons, indicating that before Egypt, they were chaste and pure virgins to GOD, firmly observing His worship, and serving only Him alone, and were NOT defiled with the superstition and idolatry of the heathens. There were their breasts pressed . . . this and what follows explains what was before spoken . . . all the time that they were faithful to GOD and His worship, they were as beautiful, chaste and lovely virgins . . . BUT when they were seduced to idolatry, they became as disgusting whores.
Ezekiel 23:4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. (KJV)
And the names of them were Aholah the elder . . . Aholah the elder or, the ten tribes of Israel, which were more in number than Judah, and greater in power and riches; their name, Aholah, means her tent or tabernacle, which was entirely their own, and not the LORD'S: their worship, and places of worship, were of their own appointing, specifically their calves at Dan and Bethel (2 Ki.10:29). GOD had nothing to do with them, He did NOT dwell there; His tabernacle was NOT there, but at Salem (Ps.76:2). Aholah means, His tent, or tabernacle (1 Ki.12:26-3).
And Aholibah her sister . . . this name means my tent or tabernacle is in her: this is the name of Judah or the two tribes, in which stood the Temple of the LORD, where He was worshipped, and where He dwelt: some think these were proper names of two Egyptian harlots; others think there is reference to the wife of Esau (Gen.36;2). Aholibah that is, My tabernacle in her (1 Ki.8:29; Ps.76:2; 132:13-14).
Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah . . . this is the application of them: Samaria is Aholah; or Aholah indicates Samaria, which was the main city of Ephraim, and belonged to the ten tribes, and is put for the whole (Isa.7:9), and Jerusalem is Aholibah, or Aholibah means Jerusalem, the head city of Judah, and stands for the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Ezekiel 23:5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, (KJV)
And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine . . . Aholah was the Lord GOD’S married wife, and so should have clung to Him alone. The Targum is, and Aholah erred from my worship; the ten tribes fell into idolatry, when they were God's professing people. Aholah is Samaria, the 10 tribes. Many people PROFESS to be Christians, but they do NOT POSSSESS Christ in their hearts. They are not TRUE children of GOD. They are hypocrites (Mat.23). http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
And she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbor . . . and she doted on her lovers, she was madly in love with their idols, temples, altars and idolatrous worship of the Heathens. She courted their help and support, and gave them much money for that purpose; as Menahem gave to Pul king of Assyria a thousand talents of silver, to confirm the kingdom in his hand (2 Ki.15:19). The Assyrians were now her neighbors, by the conquest of Syria.
Ezekiel 23:6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. (KJV)
Which were clothed with blue . . . (23:12-15), rich, gorgeous clothing; blue was a color the Assyrians were fond of, and clothed their soldiers in. They were beautifully arrayed, which made them more attractive to women, who are fond of those who dress well. As a lustful woman’s passions are excited by impressive dress and youthful appearance in men, so Israel was seduced by the pomp and power of Assyria (Isa.10:5-8).
Captains and rulers . . . men of power and authority in military and civil affairs, either in the camp, or in the court; officers either in the army, or in the king's palace. Captains were brave, daring men, who might defend the Jews in time of danger.
Horsemen riding upon horses . . . skilled horsemen on the best horses, on which these deceived, apostate Israelites depend on for help, as it appears in (Hos.14:1-3).
Ezekiel 23:7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. (KJV)
Thus she committed her whoredoms with them . . . (16:15), she entered into an alliance with them, and joined them in their idolatrous worship.
With all them that were the chosen men of Assyria . . . (23:3-10), formerly described by their habits, office and age.
And with all on whom she doted . . . all those she had an limitless desire and lust for.
With all their idols she defiled herself . . . Israel worshipped all the idols that the Assyrians did . . . all of which were polluting them, all of them were dunghill [manure-pile] gods, all totally unable to help them in any way!
Ezekiel 23:8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. (KJV)
Neither left she her idols brought from Egypt. . . whoredoms brought from Egypt (23:3, 19, 21). The calves set up in Dan and Beth-el by Jeroboam, copied the Egyptian bull-formed idol Apis. Israel’s alliances with Egypt are also politically meant (Isa.30:2-3; 31:1-2). The ten tribes most likely resumed the Egyptian rites, so they could enlist the Egyptians against Judah [the two tribes] (2 Chron.12:2-4). Although the Israelites took in the gods of the Assyrians into their worship, they still did not give up the golden calves set up at Dan and Bethel, which they made in imitation of the Egyptian bull-god (Ex.32:4, 8; 1 Ki.12:28-29).This idolatry they learned in Egypt, and brought with them from there. http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/egypt/apis-the-bull-god.html
For in her youth they lay with her . . . the Egyptians lured the Israelites to idolatry when among them, as soon as they began to be a people (23:3).
And they bruised the breasts of her virginity . . . (23:3, 21), who had before retained the pure worship of God, and was like a chaste and pure virgin.
And poured their whoredom upon her . . . expressing the many acts of idolatry committed by them.
Israel and Samaria’s ruin for it (23:9-10)
Ezekiel 23:9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. (KJV)
Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers . . . wherefore, because of this non-stop idolatry and lewdness . . . I have delivered her . . . long ago GOD had delivered the ten tribes into the hand of her lovers . . . first, Pul put them under tribute (2 Ki.15:19-20), about 200 years before Ezekiel’s time; then Tiglath-pileser (2 Ki.15:29), and finally into Shalmaneser’s hand, who destroyed the kingdom (2 Ki.17:6); destroying their persons, families, riches and the kingdom itself.
Into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted . . . the Lord GOD first put them into the hands of Pul, then Tiglathpileser, then Shalmaneser, all kings of Assyria, by whom they were ruined or carried captive.
Ezekiel 23:10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her. (KJV)
These discovered her wickedness . . . Assyria stripped them of all their substance.
They took her sons and her daughters . . . they mean the Assyrians, a proud, bitter and violent enemy, took her sons and her daughters and made them captives, and carried them away as slaves, to serve the lusts of vicious conquerors; sons and daughters mean both sexes were involved.
Aand slew her with the sword . . . put an end to the kingdom of Israel, or the ten tribes, and which has never recovered to this day.
And she became famous among women . . . or among the provinces, the Targum is; she became famous, or rather infamous, among other nations. She was talked about for her sins, her whoredoms and idolatries, and the vengeance of GOD was upon her because of her abominable sins. She became a byword and a proverb among the kingdoms of the world for her wickedness and her destruction. Her lewdness made her famous, and GOD’S judgments because of it, made her known world-wide (Zec.12:2). This too, has never been recovered to this day.
For they had executed judgment upon her . . . the Assyrians, were the instruments in GOD'S Hand in bringing justice to her, and inflicting His righteous judgments on her. It was Assyria that had performed their own malicious revenges, but it happened because of GOD’S great anger and displeasure at Israel’s wickedness.
Apostasy of Judah and Jerusalem from God (23:11-21)
Ezekiel 23:11 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. (KJV)
And when her sister Aholibah saw this . . . Aholibah is Judah, the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. When they saw the idolatries the ten tribes fell into, and the destruction which came upon them because of it . . . they did NOT learn anything from it, Judah was NOT warned by it, and because they would not be warned . . . it was a clear indication of her utter destruction.
She was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she . . . Judah, the two tribes, were more active in courting the friendship, alliance and help of their heathen neighbors than Samaria, the ten tribes, her sister was. She was more corrupt, meaning she was worse than Aholah or Israel, the ten tribes. She should have taken warning, but did not! A lesson for us today! Be warned of God’s judgment on sin!
And in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms . . . Judah was guilty of more idolatries than the ten tribes, as in the times of Manasseh (2 Ki.21:1-18; Jer.2:28).
Ezekiel 23:12 She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. (KJV)
She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours . . . as in the times of Ahaz, who sent to Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, for help (2 Ki.16:7); and from there he took the pattern of an altar, and had one built like it at Jerusalem, and offered upon it (2 Ki.16:10).
Captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously . . . (23:6, 23) or perfectly clothed, with all kind of precious garments, and of all manner of colors; not only with blue, but purple, scarlet, crimson, etc.
Horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. . . (23:6).
*****This verse is the same as Ezekiel 23:6, except the clothing of blue there is here clothing of beauty and most beautiful.
Ezekiel 23:13 Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way, (KJV)
Then I saw that she was defiled . . . then, when she refused to be warned, nor had any fear, she was defiled with idols, and the worship of them (23:7). She was defiled, her heart was already on her idols. Both Samaria (Israel) and Jerusalem (Judah) took one way; both choosing the same vain, disgusting idols and idolatry.
That they took both one way . . . both Israel and Judah took the same WRONG way of idolatry; worshipped the same idols, lived the same course of life, both were guilty of the same sin.
Ezekiel 23:14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion, (KJV)
And that she increased her whoredoms . . . and that, or and yet. (23:13) . . . this verse opens to show Judah’s relationships with Babylon. Jerusalem saw very early that Babylon was to become a great power and so she courted its support, even while it was yet a vassal of Assyria (Isaiah 39). Judah added to the number of her idols, increasing them and was guilty of having more than her sister, Aholah, Israel.
For when she saw men portrayed on the wall . . . of the Temple, as the idols were (8:10), or upon the wall of a private house, where they were worshipped as household gods.
The images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion: . . .vermilion, which as it is a very glossy and shining color, when correctly mixed with ceruse [white lead], I becomes the color of man’s flesh. Vermilion was the unusual color of the Chaldeans, as purple was of the Assyrians. The Assyrian sculptures were painted and colored in red, blue and black. The Jewish Jehoiakim (Jer.22:14) copied these (8:10). The images of their heroes, who after death were deified; and were drawn upon the wall with vermilion, which, being mixed with ceruse, made a flesh color, and these idols were worshipped, such as Bel, Nebo (Isa.46:1) and Merodach (Jer.50:2), which are names of the idols that were graven on the walls, or etched upon them with red lead; or rather were painted, as some render the word. Some say the face of the image of Jupiter used to be anointed with minium [red lead] or vermilion on festival days; and that the nobles of Ethiopia used to color themselves all over with it; this being the color of the images of their gods, which they reckoned more grand, majestic, and sacred. It is said that the Romans, in their triumphs, used to paint themselves with vermilion; above all it is said of Augustus Caesar, that he did this to make himself appear more conspicuous and respectable, after the example of the Assyrians and Medes. The red color is said to resemble the divine fire.
*****Pourtrayed upon the wall . . . the monuments of Nineveh show how the walls of its palaces were adorned with figures exactly like this description. There is evidence that these sculptures were highly colored with vermilion, or rather, red ochre. Such drawings, with evidence that they were once executed in brilliant colors, are characteristic both of Egypt and Assyria, where stone for sculpture abounded. From the close connection in race and customs between the Assyrians and Babylonians, there can be no doubt that the same drawings or paintings were also common upon the more perishable brick of Assyria, of whom the prophet is now speaking. The monuments fully agree in representing the warriors of Assyria and Babylon as delighting in the extreme splendor of apparel, but it is difficult to put into English words with accuracy each specific detail of their dress. The exiles, whom Ezekiel immediately addressed, were quite familiar with these pictures, and the way he spoke of them was important for them in checking out things so as not to fall into idolatry.
Ezekiel 23:15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity: (KJV)
Girded with girdles upon their loins . . . girdles were a sign of dignity and authority (Isa.11:5), which was the strange custom of Babylon, and having turbans of many colors upon their heads, the same as the Persians. Girded with girdles . . . Rich clothing is so often simply beautiful covers of the most lewd shame.
Exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads. . . . large, beautiful, striking turbans of various colors, those of the highest quality that art or money could prepare. The Assyrians seemed to have loved ample, flowing, richly colored tunics, scarfs, girdles and head-dresses or turbans, differing in ornaments according to their rank.
All of them princes to look to . . . princes of princely aspect and majesty were literally, a first-rate military class that fought by threes in the chariots, one guiding the horses, the other two fighting. They were famous for military exploits, or something outstanding that they did, either real or pretended, and after death were counted among the gods, and worshipped.
After the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity . . . either where these heroes were born or where Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was born, and so called from there the land of their nativity; putting them in mind of their original, and of the idolatries of their ancestors, which they were now returning to. Chaldea, land of their nativity is between the Black and Caspian Seas (Isa.23:13). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldea
Ezekiel 23:16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. (KJV)
And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them . . . as shameful, lusting women, on seeing the pictures of men, fell in love with them. Judah had an intense desire for the idols of the Chaldeans. She doted upon them . . . like an insatiable and brazen adulteress, she had an excessive affection for the men pictured on the wall (23:14).
And sent messengers unto them in Chaldea . . . Judah courted the love of those strangers, and wooed their embraces, sent to make alliances with them, prostituted herself to them, and craved their idols to worship them. Chaldeawas a long, troublesome and costly journey, but this did not hinder this excessive, lewd woman; for she sends to these remote parts, and forgets her GOD. Alliances: (Isa 30:2; 31:1; Jer. 37:1-8; Eze.17:15-17).
Ezekiel 23:17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. (KJV)
And the Babylonians came to her in the bed of love . . . Babylon entered into a union with the Jews, and worshipped together in the same idol temple. Some think this refers to the messengers of Babylon’s king to Hezekiah; who were gladly received by him, and to whom he showed all the treasures of his house (2 Ki.20:13; Isa.39:2). Into the bed of love . . . Babylon came to her into her bed of love, and they defiled her (Pro.7:17-19). And they defiled her with their whoredom . . . they defiled her with their idols, as the Targum. Babylon allured them into their idolatrous practices, which defiled them. Because of this, Judah was corrupted from the simplicity of the true worship of GOD. Defiled her . . . made her unclean and disgusting in the eyes of GOD.
And she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them . . . the Chaldeans broke the union and covenant with them, hating them as much as before they doted upon them. This was done in the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, who rebelled against the king of Babylon (2 Ki.24), as is often the case with lewd women, when they have satisfied their lust with their gallants, loath and despise them, and cast them off.
Polluted means greatly corrupted and degraded. Judah’s mind was alienated from them; like a wayward adulteress, wearied and not satisfied with her adulterers. She changes her mind and friendships, and seeklng new ones. So too did Judah, weary of the Chaldeans, now she was seeking new partners.
*****Aholibah, Judah, was even more corrupt than Aholah, her sister Samaria . . . thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. Even though Judah had greater privileges, she was even worse than her sister Samaria (16:47, 51; Jer.3:8, 11). She also disgustingly lusted after the young Assyrian cavalrymen (23:12) and defiled herself with them (23:13). As soon as she saw the wall pictures representing the Babylonian military officers, she became so obsessed that she could not even wait for them to come and offer their illicit affection, but she quickly sent messengers to them calling them to her bed of love (23:14-17).
The wall decorations mentioned are very common in the ruins of Chaldean palaces and temples. The pictures are often carved in brick and then enameled in bright colors, and the description is very realistic is in these verses (23:14-16). The Assyrians and Babylonians much resembled each other in the magnificence of their dress and other decorations. The robes of the king were richly embroidered, often covered with beautiful designs of symbolic animals set with precious stones. Among the spoils and tribute inscribed on the monuments, colored garments of blue and purple are often mentioned
Ezekiel 23:18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. (KJV)
So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness . . . the Jews did NOT cease from their idolatries when they broke the alliance with Babylon; but were instead more brazen and frequent in them, and also courting the friendship and alliance of other heathen nations, acting as a lewd, immoral woman, When she had cast off her former lovers, she did not leave her profession, but sought others immediately, and by her boldness, and by all the signs of a prostitute, drew in others to commit sin with her.
Then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister . . . as a good husband is was alienated from an adulterous wife, and cannot admit her to his bed and board, so too was the Mind of the LORD alienated and withdrawn from the Jews at Judah. Because of their idolatries, He could not favor them with His Holy Presence and the blessings of His providence and His goodness, as He had done before . . . exactly as His Mind had been alienated, for the same reason, from the ten tribes of Israel, and which He showed by allowing them to be carried captive.
Ezekiel 23:19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. (KJV)
Yet she multiplied her whoredoms . . . yet, and . . . although the LORD frowned upon the Jews in the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah (2 Ki.24), yet still they went on, and increased their alliances and idolatries with the heathen nations.
In calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt . . . the days of her youth (23:3), they called to mind with pleasure the idolatries of their fathers in Egypt, and committed the same ones themselves. They sent ambassadors to Egypt, in the times of Zedekiah, for help and assistance, and to enter into alliance with them, when they renewed among them the idolatries of that nation (17:15).
Ezekiel 23:20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. (KJV)
For she doted upon their paramours . . . doted (23:5), upon their paramours . . . the Egyptians, and the nations that were in union with the Egyptians; looking on them as able to defend by their power, enrich by their trade, and make prosperous by their friendship.
Whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses . . . flesh seems to mean the genitals, which in asses is very large, and the immense amount of seed in the issue by horses, to which the flesh and issue of the Egyptian lovers are compared; meaning they had a large sex drive, and were therefore desirable to insatiable women . . . this simply points to the eagerness of the Jews after idolatry. One of the new versions is: She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey and discharges like those of a horse. It is in n these terms the prophet expresses the intense desire of the Jews to Egyptian idolatry, comparing it to prostitution (15:26), or spiritual adultery.
Ezekiel 23:21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth. (KJV)
Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth,.... calledst to remembrance (23:19), the lewdness of thy youth (23:3), by committing the same idolatries their fathers committed in Egypt, being now in alliance with the same people.
Thou causest to be visited the lewdness of thy youth . . . (23:3), by the LORD, who remembered their sins, and punished them for them. NO one can run away from their sin, then or now! GOD remembers and punishes sin . . . IF that sin is not cleansed by the precious Blood of Jesus! (1 Pet.1:19-19).
In bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth . . . (23:3, 8), by committing spiritual fornication, which is idolatry with them; indicating the pressing and bruising the breasts and paps of virgins, by physical fornication with them. The paps of thy youth; the beauty of the Jews, when God had formed them, allured the Egyptians . . . this may be understood both politically, of the growing state of the Jewish commonwealth, or of the beauty of their young women.
Judah and Jerusalem shall in the same way be destroyed (23:22-35)
This section (23:23-35) consists of four prophecies, each of them beginning with the words, Thus saith the Lord (23:22, 28, 32, 35). The first, second and fourth of these prophesies have much language in common; but the third (23:32-34) is in a class all by itself.
Ezekiel 23:22 Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side; (KJV)
Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD . . . or, ye two tribes of Benjamin and Judah, hear what the LORD says unto you:
Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee . . . the Chaldeans, whom they had before loved, and in whose alliance they were, and whose idols they worshipped.
From whom thy mind is alienated . . . the Lord GOD broke covenant with them, and cast off their yoke (Mat.11:29-30), and rebelled against them.
And I will bring them against thee on every side . . . GOD would send the Chaldeans to besiege and encompass Jerusalem on every side with their army, so that there was no way to escape.
Ezekiel 23:23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses. (KJV)
The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans . . . both the inhabitants of the city of Babylon (21:19-27; 2 Ki.20:14-17; 25:1-3), and all the inhabitants of the several parts of the country of Chaldea (Job 1:17; 2 Ki.24:2; Isa.23:13; Acts 7:4), of which Babylon was the main city.
Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa . . . Pekod (Jer.50:21), some take these words to be names, and think them to be noblemen, tyrants and princes (Jer.39:3), while others think they are the proper names of persons or places: and so the Targum calls them, Pekodaites, Shoaites, and Koaites; that is, the inhabitants of places so called; and certain it is that Pekod was a province of Babylon (Jer.50:21), which supposedly lay between the two rivers Tigris and Lycus, and in which was the famous city of Nineveh . . . but, whoever they were, they were such people that were to come with the Chaldean army against the Jews.
And all the Assyrians with them . . . the Assyrians (Gen.2:14; 25:18; Ezra 6:22), which were now one people with the Chaldeans and Babylonians, by whom the ten tribes were carried captive (2 Ki.18:9-12; 24:11-16).
All of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses . . . desirable (23:6,12), persons of high rank and dignity, in the foremost offices at court or in the camp, all young and strong; men of name and renowned for their honor and valor; and all well mounted on sturdy horses, who before were attractive on these accounts, when they were their gallant lovers, their confederates and allies, but now were challenging and terrible being their enemies (23:5).
Ezekiel 23:24 And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments. (KJV)
And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels . . . they (23:23), shall come against thee or upon thee, surprising you with a speedy march, for they were swift in their course. With chariots, wagons, and wheels . . . the Hebrew more properly speaks of all kind of arms for war, a full equipment. Chariots is often meant for ease of their commanders on their march, and for strength against the enemy in the battle. Wheels, the unusual height of these increased their threatening appearance (1:15-20). The whole is paraphrased by the Targum, and they shall come against thee with instruments of war, with chariots and wheels; all which means how well prepared they would be, and with what speed they would come.
And with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler, and shield, and helmet, round about . . . a multitude of people, a vast army gathered out of all the provinces of Babylon, having bucklers [a shield worn on the left arm] and shields about their bodies, and helmets on their heads to protect and defend them; and this army would surround the city of Jerusalem. So the Targum, an army of people, armed with shields and helmets, shall set themselves against thee round about.
And I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments . . . this means that GOD will deliver the Jews into their hands, and they shall judge and condemn them; not according to God’s Laws and theirs, but according to their own laws, they shall deal with them as rebels and covenant breakers, such as Zedekiah, who broke covenant with the king of Babylon and rebelled against him: and this was fulfilled when he fell into his hands, and when he slew his children before his face, and then put out his eyes (2 Ki.25:7).
Their judgments were barbarously severe punishments (Jer. 29:22; 52:9-11).
Ezekiel 23:25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire. (KJV)
And I will set my jealousy against thee . . . as a jealous husband is enraged against his adulterous wife, his fury falls upon her, and he uses her with great severity . . . so the Jews having committed spiritual fornication [idolatry], they had departed from the LORD, and He threatens to stir up the fury of His jealousy and punish them severely by the Chaldeans.
And they shall deal furiously with thee . . . the Chaldeans’ character was furious wrath, and the LORD’S jealousy shall kindle it all the more.
They shall take away thy nose and thine ears . . . this seems to refer to the custom of the Egyptians, when the nose and ears are cut off an adulteress. This explains what had just been said, that GOD would commit the judgment of Judah to her enemies, allowing them to judge Judah by their laws, not the laws of GOD. This horrible punishment was not allowed under GOD'S Law, but in Mesopotamia it was often the punishment of unfaithful wives. The balance of the horrible Oriental law was that the children of those thus humiliated were sold as slaves; all their property was burnt, and their clothes and their jewels became the property of the executioners. The mutilated woman was left to lie naked, for anyone who wished to satisfy his lust upon her. It seems that an Egyptian law prescribed exactly this same punishment for an adulteress.
And thy remnant shall fall by the sword . . . or else, at last their latter end shall be to fall by the sword, those that do not live under such reproach shall die by the sword of the enemy.
They shall take thy sons and thy daughters . . . for captives and slaves for work, and sometimes much worse.
And thy residue shall be devoured by the fire . . . thy residue is either the people who hid themselves in cellars, and did not come out; or else what remained after what the Chaldeans could not carry away . . . all this residue would be devoured by fire, when the city was burnt.
Ezekiel 23:26 They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. (KJV)
They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes . . . beautiful clothing (23:12, 15), they had so much prided themselves. Strip thee out of thy clothes both as lewd, disgraced harlots and captives (16:39), as such who are taken captives are usually served.
And take away, thy fair jewels . . . their ornaments of every kind, the instruments of their decking (Isa.3:18-24). Thy fair jewels are all their rich, beautiful jewelry and ornaments (16:17).
Ezekiel 23:27 Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. (KJV)
Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee . . . thy lewdness istheir idolatry; because after this captivity, the Jews were never guilty of idolatry again. Idolatry did cease!
And thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt . . . whoredom is spiritual adultery which is idolatry. The Targum is, the worship of thine idols, which was with thee when thou wast in the land of Egypt.
So that thou shall not lift up thine eyes unto them . . . to the idols of Egypt, to pray unto them, to worship them.
Nor remember Egypt any more . . . they would not remember with any delight and pleasure anything about Egypt, nor desire an alliance with them, nor want help from them, nor to join with them in their idolatries: so the Targum, and the idols of the Egyptians thou shalt remember no more. But instead, all their remembrance of Egypt shall be with deep shame and disgust.
*****By these destroying, righteous judgments from Almighty GOD, it shall make the Jews cease to be a people, because GOD would put an end to their lewd filthiness, for they would never have put end to their idolatry. GOD always does what is best!
Ezekiel 23:28 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated: (KJV)
For thus saith the Lord God, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest . . . the Chaldeans and Babylonians, whom before was loved by her, and doted upon, but now are hated and rebelled against . . . they shall fall into such hands because GOD must bring a sore judgment on them . . . this the LORD threatens to bring upon the Jews for their sins; and He having said it, it can be depended upon that He shall perform it.
Into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated . . . (23:17), into the hand, of power and will, of them whom thou hatest.
Ezekiel 23:29 And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. (KJV)
And they shall deal with thee hatefully . . . they, the Chaldeans and Babylonians, shall deal with them, use them, disgrace them. Hatefully in disgust; whatever drudgery hardship, base and vile employment, their spite and hatred can invent, they shall cast upon them. The Chaldeans would hate the Jews as much as they loved them before, when they came into the bed of love to them (23:17) and as much as the Jews hated them; which they showed by their severe and rigorous usage of them, putting some to the sword, carrying the rest captive, and putting them in hard labor; and still worse, the humiliating aggravation of it all.
And shall take away all thy labour . . . because they hate you, they will take away everything you have worked for and enjoyed.
And shall leave thee naked and bare . . . stripped of all the necessaries and conveniences of life.
And the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms . . . it shall then be clear to all that they had been guilty of idolatry, and had departed from the Lord their GOD, which caused Him to bring these judgments upon them for their sins. The Targum paraphrases the latter part of the clause this way: the sins of thy wicked counsels, and thy pride. These are is a lot of words which simply express the filthiness of their idolatries, which now would be exposed to all.
Ezekiel 23:30 I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols. (KJV)
And I will do these things unto thee . . . what the Chaldeans did, is what GOD said HE would do, because He allowed them to do those things as a punishment for Judah’s sins . . . all was done according to His will, and by His orders. The Targum is, thy sins are the cause of these things unto thee; meaning their idolatry and other iniquities.
Because thou hast gone a whoring after the Heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols . . . Judah copied the heathen in their idolatries; worshipped the same worthless dunghill gods as they did, which was no wonder they why they were polluted, and abominable to God. Thou art polluted with their idols . . . theythought to have purged away their sins, as Catholics supposedly do; but this proves otherwise. Only belief in JESUS’ once for all Sacrifice on the cross can ever purge away your sins! (1 Pet.1:18-21; 1 Jn.5:10-13).
*****This verse gives the same reason which has often been given, as to why the LORD proceeds in His severe judgment . . . it is because an adamant, lewd, stubborn adulteress was unfaithful to the Best Husband . . . so had the Jews dealt with GOD . . . so His fury took hold, and He would deal with them accordingly.
Ezekiel 23:31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand. (KJV)
Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister . . . thy sister is Samaria, Aholah or the ten tribes of Israel; Judah or Jerusalem isAholibah . . . followed her sister in their idolatrous practices, BOTH were guilty of the same sin.
Therefore will I give her cup into thine hand . . . the cup of her vengeance, as the Targum; inflict the same punishment on the two tribes as on the ten, and allow them to be carried captive as they had been. Cup, to drink was to experience fully, to drink until they were full up (Isa.51:17; Rev.14:9-10). The picture of hard human experience as the drinking of a cup is a common one in Scripture (Ps.11:6; 60:3; 75:8; Isa.51:17, 22; Jer.25:15-17; 49:12-13; 51;17; Lam.4:21; Hab.2:16; Zec.12:2; Jn.18:11).
Ezekiel 23:32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord GOD, thou shall drink of thy sister's cup deep and large . . . they shall partake of the same punishment, which was very great, indicated by a deep and large cup, which holds much.
Thou shall be laughed to scorn, and had in derision . . . by the nations round about, who instead of pitying them in their troubles, will express joy because of their trouble, just as drunken men are laughed at when intoxicated and reeling.
It containeth much . . . the cup is large and contains what will last many years, until the seventy years are expired . . . and of this cup thou shalt still drink, and be mocked and ridiculed. The Targum connects this with the preceding clause, and thou shalt be for derision and for laughter, because of the greatness of the tribulation that shall come upon thee.
Ezekiel 23:33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. (KJV)
Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow . . . sorrow is often the result of drunkenness; these two usually go together; when a man is filled with the one, he is with the other; this expresses how great the sorrow and distress of the Jews was in their captivity.
With the cup of astonishment and desolation . . . their punishment would be so great, and their condition so desolate, that it would overwhelm them, and bereave them of their senses; and they would be like mad men, as their actions in the following verse show.
With the cup of thy sister Samaria . . . Jerusalem would get the same punishment as inflicted on the ten tribes.
*****Their afflictions shall be more than they can hold, as a container filled with liquor. They will stagger with sorrows that would make them as drunk. In the verse each part explains the other, sorrow explains drunkenness, astonishment explains sorrow, desolation explains astonishment . . . and the cup of Samaria, explains it all. Samaria was made a heap (Mic.1:6); and so shall Jerusalem also be.
Ezekiel 23:34 Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
Thou shalt even drink it, and suck it out . . . they shall drink it, nothing shall turn away the punishment. And suck it out . . . the dregs shalt thou drink, and multiply thine own sorrows. The very dregs of it, the residue that lies at the bottom, which is the most nauseous and the most hateful; not through love of it, but be forcedto it (Ps.75:8).
And thou shall break the sherds thereof . . . sherds is broken fragments of pottery, they would drink and drain the cup dry. This may be a reference to drunkards, who, having drunk up their liquor, and become so drunk, they break their glasses, pots and cups, and to which the next clause seems to agree.
And pluck off thine own breasts . . . they were like men in drunken fits, being like mad men, tearing their own flesh; and so the Targum is, thou shall tear thy flesh; so the Jews, under punishment for sin, and pressed with the guilt of it, through outrage at themselves would tear their flesh, and above all pluck off their breasts. The reference is to fornication, to which idolatry is compared, in which those parts are mainly affected (23:21).
For I have spoken it, saith the LORD . . . any time that GOD makes a Promise . . . be it a blessing or a judgment of His Holy and righteous wrath, He shall fulfill it to the letter! The Lord GOD never ever lies! (Tit.1:2).
Ezekiel 23:35 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, because thou hast. . . forgotten me (22:12); forgetting GOD is the root of all sin (Jer.2:13, 19; 32; 3:21; 13:25; 17:13; 18:15). BEWARE! Forgetting GOD is just the beginning of your trouble. Judah forgot His Word, His worship and His laws; Judah abandoned GOD and all His goodness (apostasy), and turned to worship strange gods; the Targum says, because thou hast left my worship: and cast me behind thy back. What is apostasy? What is an apostate? . . . See Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
And cast me behind thy back . . . (1 Ki.14:9; Neh.9:26; Ps.50:17), she cast the fear of GOD and His Word and His laws and statutes out of their heart and sight, (Neh.9:26), as men cast behind their backs that which they consider worthless and hate, and that which they want to forget.
Therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms . . . meaning the guilt of their sins, the punishment of their idolatries with great shame and confusion. Judah would indeed bear the guilt of their sin, for GOD will fully charge their sin and the punishment to them, He would NOT pardon them. He would pour out shame and condemnation upon them; and they would brutally bear both sorrow, shame and rebuke for their lewd sins, and its severe results (Pro.1:31; Gal.6:7-8). Dear one, there is indeed a message here for us today! We must NOT forget GOD: (Eze.22:12; Isa.17:10; Jer.2:32; 3:21; 13:25; 23:27; 32:33; Hos.8:14; 13:6; Rom.1:28). Again, I tell you that all people are given enough ‘light’ to know right from wrong. BEWARE! Do NOT forget GOD! Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (KJV)
***** Samaria, Aholah is the ten tribes of Israel; Jerusalem, Aholibah is the two tribes of Judah. Jerusalem, Judah, would indeed bear the LORD’S punishment for her lewd and immoral behavior because she had abandoned Him. This short message identifies the root problem in Israel’s apostasy: she had forsaken the Lord GOD! Any time that a nation (or an individual) discards, forsakes or acts like there is no GOD, great and possibly eternal trouble looms! Forgetting GOD puts you on the devil’s road, which leads to perversion, shame, sorrow, utter degradation and most likely the fires of Hell! (Rev.20:10-15). Following the devil on his road will bring yo to the same place where he will spend eternity. BEWARE!!! Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV) . . . You do NOT want to go there! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm
Judah and Jerusalem, joint wickedness of them both (23:36-44)
Ezekiel 23:36 The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; (KJV)
The LORD said moreover unto me, son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? . . . (22:2), wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? Will you plead the cause of Israel and Judah? Will you say anything in their defense, and intercede and pray for them, so that threatened judgments may not come upon them? NO! Ezekiel was NOT to do anything of the kind! He was instead to lay their sins on the line for them!
Yea, declare unto them their abominations . . . their abominable, detestable sins, their murders, adulteries and idolatries. Ezekiel was to set a bright light on their sins, make them SEE just how serious their sins were.
Eight sins of Samaria and Jerusalem: Adultery; Murder; Idolatry; Sacrificing children to idols; Defiling His Sanctuary; Profaned His Sabbaths; Made alliances with other nations; Committed idolatry and adultery in worship to idols with other nations.
*****After the ten tribes were carried into captivity, the kingdom was made quite desolate, and what remained of it, little by little united with the Kingdom of Judah, and many of them settled in Jerusalem; so that the two sisters had as a result become one again; and so in these verses, the prophet’s job is to speak jointly to those who were thus connected. Wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah together? Or actuality, Ezekiel was now commanded to go in GOD'S Holy Name, to judge them (20:4). The problem is rather much worse than better since the union.
Ezekiel was to let them be made to SEE the sins of which they are guilty . . . and he was to clearly state to them openly and boldly what they must expect as a result for all their abominations. We would be wise if we paid attention to Ezekiel, for he spoke for GOD!
Ezekiel 23:37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. (KJV)
That they have committed adultery . . . either literally, adultery with their neighbors’ wives [physical uncleanness], which was a widespread sin with this people; or symbolically, spiritual adultery, meaning idolatry.
And blood is in their hands . . . blood; innocent blood of the murdered prophets and just men. The Targum is, they have shed the blood of innocents with their hands. The innocent blood of prophets and righteous men, sent to them by the Lord GOD, and the blood of their infants in sacrificing them to idols, as after mentioned.
And with their idols have they committed adultery . . . by worshipping them, which is spiritual adultery; and this being especially mentioned, to be distinguished from physical adultery in the first clause, which may be only there intended.
And have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them . . . their children, who were the LORD'S by national adoption, and who should have been taught to worship and serve GOD, were in a most barbarous and brutal way, caused to pass through the fire, to the idols Molech and Baal. Sometimes passing between two fires was a way of ceremonial washing and dedication, but not so here, the children would be devoured and destroyed by the fire . . . killed!
Ezekiel 23:38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. (KJV)
Moreover this they have done unto me . . . this; which is declared in the following words, meaning a great injury or insult done to the Lord GOD, which was very provoking to Him.
They have defiled my sanctuary in the same day . . . after they caused their children to pass through the fire to their idols, they then entered into the Temple when they had so done, and were defiled because of it, and by offering sacrifices to their idols in GOD’S Temple; or under the pretense of serving the LORD, when they had just been guilty of murder and idolatry. Defiled my sanctuary . . . GOD’S Holy things, His house, His altar, His sacrifices and offerings; one part of the Temple is put for all parts of the holy things of GOD.
In the same day . . . when they had newly polluted themselves with most horrid crimes, idolatry and murder, they would then go into the Temple; whereas by the Law, they were as unclean as if they touched a dead body (Num.19:11, 13, 16).
And have profaned my Sabbaths . . . not only by doing their own worldly and civil business, but by killing their infants on those days, and sacrificing them to idols.
Ezekiel 23:39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house. (KJV)
For when they had slain their children to their idols . . . slain their children (16:20-21; 20:26, 31; 23:4, 37).
This more clearly explains what was said before, that by causing their children to pass through the fire was killing them; and that their passing through it for them was done for their idols. It is sad to see just how they had been guilty of such dreadful wickedness.
Then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it . . . not that they came into the Temple deliberately to profane it; but they came into it, right after they defiled themselves with the murder of their infants, and offering sacrifices to idols, and/or performing a deceitful service to the LORD.
And, lo, thus they have done in the midst of mine house . . . they set up idols in the Holy Temple of GOD, and worshipped them; as they did in the days of Ahaz and Manasseh (Jer.7:30).
Ezekiel 23:40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments, (KJV)
And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far . . . sent for men (23:16), from far, from Egypt, Assyria and Chaldea, to have pleasure with them, and enter into alliances and unions with them, and to join them in their filthy idolatrous practices . . . these heathen nations did not send to the Jews . . . the Jews sent to them; the heathens did not court their friendship and alliance . . . the Jews courted theirs.
Unto whom a messenger was sent . . . to court their favor, and request a union, and to desire that ambassadors might be sent to reside among them.
And, lo, they came . . . these heathen courts listened to the proposal, and as a result sent their representatives and ambassadors to them, who came with their credentials; and for the reception of them great preparations were made, as follows:
For whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments . . . (16:13-14), exactly as harlots do to make themselves enjoyable to their lovers. They used washes and paint, as did Jezebel (2 Ki.9:30), and dressed themselves in their most beautiful clothes, adorning themselves in the best way possible. Harlots had their particular outfits, by which they were known (Pro.7:10), and they not only used baths, but washes for their face, to make them look beautiful; and above all painted their eyes, to make them look larger; for large eyes in women, in some nations, were considered very beautiful.
Ezekiel 23:41 And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. (KJV)
And satest upon a stately bed . . . satest, sat, this is a table gesture and seems she was prepared to give a feast for them. Upon a stately bed, she sat on a magnificent, rich bed, on which women sat to feast, when men rested on their sides, which would not have been a right position for a woman. The reference is to a harlot sitting on a bed decked out by her to allure men to lie with her (Pro.7:16-17).
And a table prepared before it . . . in front of the bed, was a table furnished with the richest provisions to treat the ambassadors with; or this may possible refer to an altar built for them to offer on it sacrifices to their idols, according to the customs of their countries.
Whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil . . . incense and mine oil were the gifts of GOD to this people, and which they should have used in HIS service ALONE . . . but with these Holy things of GOD, they set before the ministers of heathen princes; scenting the room where they were entertained with incense, and anointing their heads and feet with oil, for their pleasure and refreshment; or maybe they offered the incense and oil on the altars of the idols to them. Whatever they did . . . it was wrong in GOD’S eyes!
Ezekiel 23:42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. (KJV)
And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her . . . with Aholibah, with the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin: or, in her, in Jerusalem. A voice of a multitude . . . a shout for joy, that there was a treaty of peace between the Jews and the Chaldeans, there were songs of gladness for the peace made and confirmed . . . but NOT done in GOD’S Name, but in the name of their vain, worthless idols.
And with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness . . . the voice of a carefree crowd could be heard, and people of the common sort were brought, Sabeans from the wilderness.
The Targum renders it, because of the multitude of men that came round about on every side from the wilderness. Some render it, drunkards from the wilderness. Sabeans were drunkards that lived in the wilderness, rustic, brutish, people. . . . . . . . . . . https://www.gotquestions.org/Sabeans.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabaeans
The wilderness . . . is the desert tract which the Chalaeans had to pass from the north of Mesopotamia to the holy land. This verse describes the temporary effects of the alliance of Israel and Judah with the Assyrians and Babylonians. All became quiet, the allies received gifts [incense and oil] from Israel and Judah, and these in turn brought riches to Palestine.
Which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads . . . that is, the Jews put these ornaments upon the hands and heads of these men of the common sort, and the Sabeans with them, and these poor country drunks too, that they might make the better appearance when they met and cheered the ambassadors at their entry,
Ezekiel 23:43 Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? (KJV)
Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries . . . that had been an old adulterer or idolater; meaning either Aholah the ten tribes, who from Jeroboam's time had been guilty of idolatry; or Aholibah the two tribes, who had remained longer in their own country, and had been long given to idolatry; or both of them, as some think. All the people of Israel had been addicted to idolatry ever since they came out of Egypt, and so she was like an old harlot indeed. Old in adulteries, Samaria AND Jerusalem had been long spiritual adulteresses, and one would think her lovers would be weary of her, if she were not weary of them.
Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? . . . will they commit adultery with such an old harlot? Are they not weary of her? Wouldn’t they not instead loath and despise her? What pleasure can this old prostitute have in such impurities?
*****GOD by His prophets warned them over and over again, against making these hazardous unions with foreigners, but from the first they were old in adulteries. They were fond of alliances with the heathen, of joining with their families (Judg.3:6), and of making alliances with their kingdoms, and even though often disappointed, they would not be discouraged from it. This was the adultery she was old in . . . she did what GOD forbid them to do. (Ex.34:16; Deut.7:3-4; 1 Ki.11:1-5; Ezra 9:11-12; Neh.13:23-27).
Ezekiel 23:44 Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. (KJV)
Yet they went in unto her. . . they committed idolatry without measure, making them sadly hardened. Aholah and Aholibah made a league with one another, and joined together in idolatrous worship.
As they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot . . . with the same heat of lust, with the same eager desire and yearning as young men do when they go into a house pf prostitution where a beautiful whore lives.
So went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah; the lewd women . . . Aholah, the ten tribes of Israel, and Aholibah, the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which apostatized from GOD [forgot GOD; left Him], and committed spiritual adultery [idolatry]; with these the Sabeans before mentioned, and other nations, joined in idolatrous worship.
*****They were not satisfied with the embraces of GOD'S laws and care, and the assurances of protection He gave them . . . they did not think His covenant with them was good enough security, so they chased after treaties and leagues, and threw themselves into the arms of foreign princes, and put themselves under their protection. Any hearts that go whoring after idols and away from GOD, that take satisfaction in the splendor of the world and put their confidence in its wealth, and in an arm of flesh (Jer.17:5), are FOOLS, headed for a verdict on Judgment Day that shall condemn them to a place they do NOT want to go! BEWARE!!! http://judgmentcoming.org/j_c_apostasy.htm
What is apostasy? What is an apostate? . . . See Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Ezekiel 23:45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. (KJV)
And the righteous men . . . righteous men, some understand this of the prophets, who were truly righteous men; and predicted the righteous judgments of God that would come upon the idolatrous Jews; others think it is righteous men in general, who will one and all agree that persons guilty of such crimes should suffer the punishment due to them . . . but could it be the Babylonians are here meant, who, although not righteous in themselves, nor really so, yet were considered righteous when compared to the wicked Jews. Some think the righteous men are the Chaldeans; the executioners of God’s righteous vengeance (16:38), NOT because they were righteous in themselves (Hab.1:3, 12-13). They were righteous because they executed the righteous sentence of GOD upon the apostate Jews.
They shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood . . . meaning according to the law concerning such persons; and shall condemn them to suffer the punishment pronounced on such, which was to be put to death by stoning (Deut.22:22-24); and murder was punished with death (Lev.20:10).
Because they are adulteresses, the blood is in their hands . . . they are guilty not only of physical uncleanness, but also of spiritual adultery, which is idolatry; and of the murder of their prophets and righteous men (Neh.9:26; Mat.23:29-37; Acts 7:52; 1 Thes.2:15), and even of the murder of their own children sacrificed to idols. Passing through the fire; killing their children: (Lev.18:21; Deut.18:10; 2 Ki.16:3; 17:17; 21:6; 23:10; 2 Chron.33:6; Jer.32:35; Eze.16:21; 20:26; 23:37). There is nothing which is more unnatural and barbarous for women to do.
***** Passing through the fire is no longer done in today’s world as it was in Ezekiel’s day . . . but . . . people are still killing their children, by abortion! Abortion IS murder in God’s eyes, no matter what you or anyone else thinks! http://www.hisservants.org/abortion_h_s.htm http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_day_IS_coming.htm
Judah and Jerusalem, the joint ruin of them both (23:45-49)
Ezekiel 23:46 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. (KJV)
For thus saith the Lord GOD, I will bring up a company upon them . . . a company, the Chaldean army. Upon them . . . against the Jews, the children of Aholibah. The Targum says: prophesy that armies shall come up against them. By this company is to be understood the Chaldean army, whom God in His providence, and in righteous judgment, would bring up against the Jews.
And will give them to be removed and spoiled . . . GOD would give the Jews into the hands of the Chaldean army, and they would be carried captive into other lands, and their substance would be spoiled and plundered.
And spoiled by the rapine of the soldiers in their own land, and by the cruelty of their masters to whom they shall be slaves in a strange land. This verse is the same as verse 23.
Ezekiel 23:47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. (KJV)
And the company shall stone them with stones . . . which was the punishment of adulterers and idolaters (Deut.13:10), this seems to refer to the Chaldean army casting out stones from their slings and engines into the city of Jerusalem, when they besieged it, by which they killed some, and beat down the houses, which fell upon others, and destroyed them. So the Targum, and the army shall stone them with the stones of a sling.
And dispatch them with their swords . . . cut them in pieces with their swords, those who tried to leave the city, or were found without.
They shall slay their sons and their daughters . . . when the army broke into the city and took it; or when they found them trying to escape, and hid themselves in secret places.
And burn up their houses with fire . . . (23:25) which they did; they burned the Temple, the king's palace, the houses of noblemen and all the houses in Jerusalem (Jer.52:13).
Ezekiel 23:48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. (KJV)
Thus will I cause to cease lewdness out of the land . . . (23:27), since there would be no opportunity for lewdness, nor any people there to commit it; for those who were not destroyed by famine, sword and pestilence (5:12, 17; 6:11-12), during the siege, were carried captive; and, when they returned, never went back to idolatry.
That all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness . . . women here means countries, kingdoms and cities, may be warned by their examples of sorrows and destruction, to fear GOD, do justly, love mercy and hate violence. The Targum is, all kingdoms; states, churches, and people, hearing and reading the judgments of GOD on this people for their idolatry, may learn to shun it. This should also be a warning to us today . . . we should NOT commit idolatry, as they did (1 Cor.10:7). The Catholic Church should by all means consider this.
Ezekiel 23:49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. (KJV)
And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you . . . they; the Chaldeans and their confederates, shall recompense; shall reward your lewdness as GOD’S ministers of just vengeance, shall judge you guilty of all the idolatry that made you desolate, a derision and scorn.
And ye shall bear the sins of your idols . . . the shame, guilt and punishment of their sins committed in their worshipping vain, worthless idols.
And ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD . . . only the Lord GOD should be worshipped, not idols! GOD is extremely jealous of His honor and glory, and He is ALWAYS true to His Word. He can and will accomplish all that He has ever said! This the Jews knew and admitted when in captivity, but then, when freed, they sadly, in apostasy, turned away from the amazing goodness of the Lord GOD. They will more fully know that I am the Lord GOD when they shall be converted in the latter day. What is apostasy? What is an apostate? . . . See Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
CONSIDER: What are your views of human nature, as you read the sad account of sin and rebellion in this Chapter? What do you really think of Israel, when you see the wickedness here shown by a professing people to the God of Israel? What do you think of someone who says they do not need GOD? Those with brazen, self-confidence, really have a fallen nature, just like Israel. BEWARE!! You DO need GOD, no matter what YOU think!
Thou hast forgotten me . . . (23:35). Add this to the other reasons God outlined as the foundation of Jerusalem's destruction. (1). They made forbidden political alliances with the nations; (2). They were polluted morally through the idols of the nations with their shameless worship; and (3). They had forgotten GOD! They had violated the great imperative of the Law of Moses, pounded in the ears of Israel no less than four times, See that thou forget not the Lord thy GOD (Deut.4:31; 8:11; 9:7; 25:19). This was the ultimate disaster and the reason for ALL of Israel's other sins . . . and OUR sins as well!
They have caused their sons to pass through the fire . . . (23:37). This unspeakable worship of Molech was a result of shameless unfaithfulness of GOD'S people, who, in this dreadful action, fell as far into paganism as was possible. What's more, they had the daring boldness to enter into GOD'S Temple on the very same day, thus worsening their guilt. God's House, His ordinances, and His statutes, including the Sabbath, were totally ignored, despised, and profaned.
With men of the common sort were brought drunkards of the wilderness . . . (23:42). These men refer to Israel's new neighbors, Arabs, Moabites, Tyre, Sidon, etc. The extent of Judah's whoredom is emphasized in this reference of her courting with all the passion of an insatiable prostitute, these were fairly insignificant nations when compared with the Assyrians, Egypt and the Babylonians. This speaks of Judah's seeking an alliance with these very peoples (Jer. 27:3). It seems that Judah would have made an alliance with anyone.
What is apostasy? What is an apostate?
There are so many words that describe this circumstance that describes an apostate. Take your pick: deserter of one’s faith; one of little faith; continual backslider; defector; traitor to one’s faith; heretic; skeptic; dissident; dissembler; nonconformist; rebel; insurgent; mutinous; defiant; opposing; separatist; radical; agnostic; freethinker; unbeliever; atheist; hypocrites; idolaters; etc. Apostasy is when people turn away from God’s Truth and accept and embrace false teachings. Backsliding is to draw back or apostatize (relapse) in matters of religion. This may be either in part or complete; and may be both in doctrine and in moral matters.
Oh! How miserable to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a person, I think “backsliding” is the worst. It’s like a stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins . . . all these are sad, but a backslider is worse. I believe “once saved, always saved” and that TRUE union with Christ can never be broken. But I do think that a person may fall so far away that he shall lose sight of his own grace, and wonder about his salvation. If this is not Hell, it must be the next thing to it! A conscience that won’t let you rest, a mind that can’t stand itself, a heart that seems to be breaking from all the sin, a memory that keeps blaming, a heart pierced with the Lord’s Words, a spirit that keeps accusing. Isn’t this is Hell on Earth?
Apostate Christianity absolutely ignores the Bible’s teaching about discipline. Many of today’s churches are welcoming homosexuals with open arms. Some churches even accept homosexual pastors. This is an abomination to God! (Lev.18:22; 20:13).
Apostate Christianity is like the Laodicean church in Revelation; lukewarm, indifferent, not concerned with right and wrong or good and evil. They take a neutral position, live and let live, they don’t want to rock the boat, don’t want to cause waves. They sit on the fence, not being able to make up their minds which side they are on. They try to serve two masters (Mat.6:24), God and self (the world, mammon). It won’t work! TRUE Christianity is NOT a gray area. You are either for Christ OR you are against Him (Mat.12:30). You are either God’s child OR you are the devils’ child (1 John 3:8,10; Acts 13:10; Eph.2:1-5). Which are you?
Hypocrites are those who put on a mask and imagines himself to be what he is not; a deceiving imposter in religion. Our Lord severely rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Mat.6:2, 5, 16, and chapter 23). The hypocrite's hope shall perish (Job 8:13). The Hebrew word for hypocrite means godless or profane, as found in Jer.23:11; polluted with evil. All disciples are believers, but not all believers are disciples.
Idolatry is image-worship or any divine honor paid to any created object or person other than the Creator God of the Bible. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Rom.1:21-25: men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (Rom.1:28). In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin. The first and second commandments to Israel are directed against idolatry of all forms.
Jude’s little Book reminds his readers of God’s sure to come judgment on those who had left the faith in the past. It is a warning against false teachers; especially on two of the basic beliefs of Christianity: the incarnation of Christ and Christian conduct. Jude wrote to combat these false teachings and to encourage true doctrine and right conduct. Heb. 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (KJV)
Apostate Christianity ignores what the Bible states about Jesus being the only way to salvation. Two thirds of professing evangelicals doubt Jesus’ Words.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV)
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (KJV)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . A recent Newsweek poll shows a shocking number of people who say they are “born again” reject the above words. 68% believe that “good” people of other faiths can also go to Heaven (without Jesus).
Apostasy shall abound in the last days.
Mat.24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (KJV) . . . The last days are from the resurrection of Christ to the Second Coming of Christ. We are living in the “last days.”
Book of Ezekiel
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