Ezekiel 23

Two prostitute sisters, Oholah and Oholibah 1
Older sister, Samaria 5
Delivered to her lovers 9
Younger sister, Jerusalem 11
Prostitution multiplied 19
Judgment on Jerusalem 22
Delivered to those she hates 28
Sisters judged 36
To be stoned 46
Text Comments
.1 ¶ The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
 2  Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
 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.
.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.
  4 - Oholah The literal meaning of the name is, "her own tabernacle (tent)."
  4 - Elder Samaria, the northern kingdom, was the first to apostatize.
  4 - Oholibah means "my tabernacle is in her." Perhaps the two can be seen in the story of the woman at the well jn0419ff.
  4 - Samaria This was the capital city of the Northern Kingdom established on a hill purchased by King Omri 1ki1624. It fell to Assyria in 722-721 BC.
.5  And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,
 6  Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.
 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.
 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.
  5 - When she was mine The Lord is speaking. We picture Him as also married to the sister v25. This is not an endorsement of polygamy. See on ge1601. The situation is a little more complex than the metaphor of Christ and the church as husband and wife.
.9  Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.
 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.
  10 - Slew her ... judgment The Assyrians conquered the area of the Northern Kingdom. See on v4.
.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.
 12  She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.
 13  Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way,
.14  And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,
.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:
  11 - When her sister .. saw this Twisted logic. Judah/Jerusalem should have learned from the example.
  14 - Increased her whoredoms For images on the walls, compare ez0810.
  15 - Exceeding in dyed attire "rather, 'in ample dyed turbans'; literally, 'redundant with dyed turbans.' The Assyrians delighted in ample, flowing, and richly colored tunics, scarfs, girdles, and head-dresses or turbans, varying in ornaments according to the rank." (JFB).
 16  And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.
.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.
.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.
  16 - Sent messengers Manasseh could have sent them. Babylon had been hoping that Judah would help. See 2ch3311, is39.
  17 - Babylonians ... love Following the metaphor, they made her impure.
  18 - My mind Ezekiel was disgusted.
.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.
 20  For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
 21  Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.
  20 - Paramours From pilagshim often meaning concubines ge2224, 2sa0307. Here the Egyptian princes are described as having unpleasant characteristics.
.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;
 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.
  22 - Raise lovers against A sober prediction. The Lord wanted His people to be faithful and ready to be blessed de2802. Here to withdraw physical blessings (protection) would cut off the possibility of their learning to walk in His way of happiness.
  23 - Pekod An Armenian tribe situated east near the mouth of of the Tigris River je5021.
 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.
.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.
 26  They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.
 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.
  24 - Chariots From hosen, meaning unknown. The Septuagint reads "from the north."
  24 - Wheels Compare ez2610.
  25 - Take away thy nose Prisoners were mutilated by Assyria and Babylon.
.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:
 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.
.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.
 31  Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.
 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.
 33  Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria.
 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.
 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.
  28 - Whom thou hatest See v17. Jerusalem was to be punished as a rebellious daughter.
  32 - Sister's cup The divine wrath is5117, je2515. The sister was the Northern Kingdom or Samaria.
  34 - Break ... sherds "So greedily shalt thou suck out every drop like one drinking to madness (the effect invariably ascribed to drinking God's cup of wrath, Jer 51:7; Hab 2:16) that thou shalt crunch the very shreds of it; that is, there shall be no evil left which thou shalt not taste." (JFB)
  34 - Pluck ... breasts The people of Jerusalem would be desperate for food. Compare 2ki0628,29. Or, better, the expression may reveal disgust with the breasts that had drawn the wicked nations into a corrupt union with those who were to be the people of God. Compare re1701-6.
In this new section, the sins of Aholah and Aholibah are seen from a different perspective
.36 ¶ The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations;
 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.
  36 - Wilt thou Judge? Compare ez2004, ez2202. A new section begins here.
  37 - Sons ... through the fire to devour them Likely a reference to child sacrifice to the god Molech east of Jerusalem. 2ki2313, le2004.
 38  Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.
  38 - Defiled ... sanctuary They had set up pagan idols in the temple. See chapter 8 , especially verse 14.
.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.
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 39 - On the same day "On the very day that they had burned their children to Molech in the valley of Gehenna, they shamelessly and hypocritically presented themselves as worshippers in Jehovah's temple ...)." (JFB). je0708-10.
  While living in Haiti, my wife and I noticed that people could spend the night in pagan Voodo ceremonies with beating drums then stop at the church for Mass on their way home in the morning. The two were compatible. The worship of the church of the Dark Ages when noncomformists were tortured and killed the horrible picture was similar. I cannot condemn those who sincerely prayed in the church. The Lord understands hearts.
 41  And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil.
 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.
 43  Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them?
 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.
 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.
  41 - Bed Rather a couch as for reclining at a meal. so0307, mr0215.
  41 - Sabeans From sawba'im. Meaning uncertain.
  42 - Men ... which put bracelets (BBE) The word is omitted in the Septuagint and is probably best ignored here.
  43 - Now commit? The Hebrew text makes no sense. The Septuagint reads "Therefore I said, Do they not commit adultery with these? and has she gone a whoring [after] the manner of a prostitute?
  45 - Righteous men "the Chaldeans; the executioners of God's righteous vengeance (Eze 16:38), not that they were "righteous" in themselves (Hab 1:3,12,13)." (JFB).
.46  For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled.
 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.
.48  Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.
 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.
  47 - Stone them A rather sad picture.
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