Eze 16: This whole chapter is a sad indictment on the whole of
mankind, but especially on the nation of Israel, who were to be the ones that
would crucify the Lord when he came (Mic 7:10; Mat 5:13; Heb 10:29.
"One of the most disturbing passages in the whole of
Scripture. An horrible, graphic, description of an harlot which is Israel.
However the way the harlot is described draws on language which Yahweh uses
elsewhere to speak of the way that He has cared for Israel. Israel had taken
that which Yahweh had given them and prostituted it with false gods: (a) cp Eze
16:10 (badgers' skins) with Exo 25:4; the badger skin mentioned here is only
found elsewhere in Scripture in the coverings of the tabernacle; (b) cp Eze
16:11 (chain on thy neck) with Song 1:10; (c) cp Eze 16:13 (beautiful) with Song
6:4; (d) cp Eze 16:14 (comeliness) with Song 1:5.
"The bride of the Song of Songs provides a description of a
beautiful woman, beautiful because of the provision that Yahweh has made for His
bride. However, the use of the same language in Eze 16 shows that those
wonderful gifts that Yahweh had given to Israel were taken and prostituted,
being given to others. The blessings of Yahweh were used to 'finance' false
worship so that Israel developed the way of thinking which presumed that the
false gods had actually provided the blessings" (PF).
ANCESTRY AND BIRTH: Jerusalem was of course "born" in
Canaan, but the nation of Israel was "born" in Egypt.
AMORITE... HITTITE: These two nations repr all the
Canaanites: Gen 15:16; Amo 2:9; Jos 1:4. The children of Israel were doing the
works of the Canaanites: cp Joh 8:44 ('your father... devil'). See other
prophets: Hos 12:7; Isa 1:10.
HITTITE: Esau's wives, daughters of Heth: Gen
CORD: Umbilical cord. Jerusalem maintained contact with
and gained nourishment from her heathen "mother".
NOR WERE YOU RUBBED WITH SALT OR WRAPPED IN CLOTHS: The
commonest acts of parental regard. Salting and swaddling were customary
practices for the care of newborns. Salting was to firm the skin and contract
the pores. By "swaddling" was meant the tight binding of arms and legs to the
body for up to forty days, to insure their future straightness.
V 5: True of literal city in its beginnings, but not
true of Jewish nation.
Vv 6,8: Two "passings by": 1st, to preserve and increase, in
Egypt, and 2nd, to choose and "marry" at Sinai.
AND SAW YOU: Cp Exo 3:7.
See Gen 22:17; Deu 1:9,10.
BEAUTIFUL... NAKED AND BARE: Naturally beautiful, but
poor and destitute, with no means of support.
I SPREAD THE CORNER OF MY GARMENT OVER YOU: As Boaz
with Ruth: Rth 3:9; Deu 22:30; 27:20.
AND ENTERED INTO A COVENANT WITH YOU: Israel is wife of
covenant (Mal 2:14), being purified (Est 2:12; Isa 54:1; Hos 2:2).
"This sets out a clear and irrevocable picture of just what
God has done for mankind. He has, regardless of the great rift which is between
Him and us because of sin, nevertheless come so close to us, through the work of
Jesus (which applies in all generations...); here He describes his closeness to
His people by language of the closest type of relationship we as human beings
understand. Let us remember this close bond we have -- entirely the Father's
doing -- and behave in such a way as to respect it, even as Israel didn't"
The coverings of the tabernacle: Exo 25:5. The "badgers'
skins" -- which were a covering in the tabernacle -- demonstrates that God's
care for Israel was to be seen not only in the provision of material things but
also in the provision of a place for worship -- and, by implication, a system of
worship. Do we view the provision of God only in material things? Or do we ever
thank God for His provision of the "house of God", the ecclesia?
LEATHER: Heb "tachashim"; elsewhere translated "sea
cows" (NIV), but may perhaps ref porpoises or dolphins (see Exo
Esp ref Israel in time of Solomon: 2Ch 9:22-23. Also ref
wealth brought out of Egypt: Psa 105:37.
The fame of your beauty and wealth brought suitors from
MALE IDOLS: AV mg: "images of a male". Phallic symbols;
idols of Baal-worship.
// 2Ki 21:3-6.
A LOFTY SHRINE: A vaulted chamber, or "lofty place"
(RV). The Latin is "fornix", from whence is derived the word
In whom did Judah trust? In the Egyptians, who could not save
her from Babylon!
ALL YOUR LOVERS: Many lovers: Judah could not be
faithful, even to one Gentile "lover".
Under LM, a harlot in a priest's house was burned (Lev 21:9).
An adulteress was stoned (Lev 20:10). Likewise, a child-murderer (Lev
STONES: The punishment of individuals for such sins as
idolatry, adultery, and the sacrifice of children.
SWORDS: The punishment for the entire apostate city
God, as the Father, will not encourage the harlotry of His
daughter (Lev 19:29).
Vv 44-59: Sodom and Samaria: this "family relationship"
pertains to cities, not to peoples. The sinfulness of Sodom (Deu 32:32; Isa
1:10; 3:9; Jer 23:14). Its sudden destruction (Deu 29:23; Isa 1:9; 13:19; Jer
49:18; 50:14; Amo 4:11; Zep 2:9).
AV has "left hand" and "right hand", whereas NIV has "north"
and "south": Jerusalem is pictured as facing eastward, with Samaria to the
north, and Sodom to the south.
YOUNGER SISTER: This phrase is borrowed from Song 8:8
(cp Eze 16:1n). There was no instruction from the one to the other, no learning
passed along. Instead of providing a good example, Samaria had gone into
captivity to Assyria; Judah had not even learned from seeing the Northern
kingdom being taken into captivity.
SODOM: Jerusalem is compared to Sodom in Isa
"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and
drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom,
fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:28,29).
The sins of Sodom are plainly written in the scriptural record: they include
sexual sins and perversions, it is true. But also -- as may be seen here -- they
included pride and patriotism; unimaginable luxuries; leisure time for
frivolities; and "disobedience to parents" (cp 2Ti 3:2).
THEY DID NOT HELP THE POOR AND NEEDY: Finally, there
was malnutrition and starvation in a land of plenty -- where many possessed the
means to alleviate the sufferings.
If any of this sounds a bit familiar to western ears, then
surely it is no accident!
God speaking to Jerusalem: Samaria and Sodom had less
advantage than you, and yet you sinned much more greatly!
The people of Sodom suffered the vengeance of eternal fire
(Jud 1:7; cp Lam 4:6). But the land and the site of Sodom will be reborn and
repopulated in the Kingdom Age -- when the Dead Sea will be healed (Eze 47:8-10;
cp Zec 14:8). Cp Mat 11:24: "But I tell you that it will be more bearable for
Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." [Xdn 29:64; 40:498; 64:263; Ber
A happy conclusion: God is married again to His "wife": Jer
3:14; Hos 2:14-16. "No more the Canaanite" (Zec 14:21).
The "sisters" Sodom and Samaria are now made "daughters".
Jerusalem is elevated to a "mother" (Isa 54:1; Gal 4:26,27). Ref to cities, not