Ezekiel 16:35-50

 

 

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AN OUTLINE OF EZEKIEL 16
An Allegory of Unfaithful Jerusalem (NIV)
God's Unfaithful Bride (NET)
God's Grace to Unfaithful Jerusalem (NASB)
Jerusalem the Unfaithful (Good News Bible)

Ezekiel 16:1-14 The Lord's Loving kindnesses to Jerusalem
Ezekiel 16:15-34 Unfaithful Jerusalem's Harlotry
Ezekiel 16:35-50 God's Judgment on Jerusalem
Ezekiel 16:51-63 Sodom & Samaria Will be Restored (53-58) (GNB)
Jerusalem Will Be Ashamed (53-58) (CEV)
Covenant that Lasts Forever (59-63) (GNB)

 

Ezekiel 16:35  Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD  (NASB: Lockman)

Therefore, O harlot (Isa 1:21; 23:15,16; Jer 3:1,6-8; Ho 2:5; Nah 3:4; Jn 4:10,18; Rev 17:5)

hear the word of the LORD (Ezek 13:2; 20:47; 34:7; 1Ki 22:19; Isa 1:10; 28:14; Hos 4:1; Am 7:16)

And now God's prophet speaks forth the sentence on Judah's presumptuous sin and blatant unfaithfulness to her Husband, Jehovah. It is time for "accounts" to be settled and unfortunately the wages of sin is death.

 

Ezekiel 16:36 Thus says the Lord GOD, "Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols,  (NASB: Lockman)

Because your lewdness was poured out (Ezek 16:15-22; 22:15; 23:8; 24:13; 36:25; La 1:9; Zeph 3:1)

your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers (Ezek 23:10,18,29; Ge 3:7,10,11; Ps 139:11,12; Jer 13:22-26; Rev 3:18)

because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols (Ezek 16:20,21; Jer 2:34)

This represents a recapping of the previous charges against Judah

 

Ezekiel 16:37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated. So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness.  (NASB: Lockman)

NIV:  therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness.
NLT: this is what I am going to do. I will gather together all your allies—these lovers of yours with whom you have sinned, both those you loved and those you hated—and I will strip you naked in front of them so they can stare at you.
NJB: for all this, I shall assemble all the lovers to whom you have given pleasure, all the ones you liked and also all the ones you disliked; yes, I shall assemble them round you and strip you naked in front of them, and let them see you naked from head to foot.

Amplified  making you, Israel, an object of loathing and of mockery, a spectacle among the nations

(Ezek 23:9,10,22-30; Jer 4:30; 13:22,26; 22:20; La 1:8,19; Hos 2:3,10; Hos 8:10; Nah 3:5,6; Rev 17:16)

They shall see all your nakedness

The Net Bible Notes that...

Harlots suffered degradation when their nakedness was exposed (Jer 13:22, 26; Hos 2:12; Nah 3:5).

As MacArthur notes

Public exposure of profligate women and the stoning of them were well-known customs in ancient Israel, making them a shameful spectacle.

 

Ezekiel 16:38  Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.  (NASB: Lockman)
NKJV: And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy.
NJB: I shall pass on you the sentence that adulteresses and murderesses receive; I shall hand you over to their jealous fury

I shall judge you, like women who commit adultery (Ezek 16:40; 23:45-47; Ge 38:11,24; Lev 20:10; Dt 22:22-24; Mt 1:18,19; Jn 8:3-5)

How were they judged? Moses writes...

If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Lev 20:10)

If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor's wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. (Dt 22:22-24)

shed blood are judged and and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy (Ezek 16:20,21,36; Ge 9:6; Ex 21:12; Nu 35:31; Ps 79:3-5; Jer 18:21; Zeph 1:17; Nah 1:2; Rev 16:6)

Wrath (02534) (chemah/hemah from yaham = to be hot) describes that which is hot and figuratively refers to hot displeasure, indignation and wrath. Chemah is used most often to describe God's anger against His unfaithful wife Israel

Jealousy - This is a term between lovers. God had abundantly showered His love upon His chosen people. Instead of reciprocating, they rebelled, thus incurring His jealous anger.

What is God's Word of truth on capital punishment? What is the blood of wrath and jealousy? Moses records that...

Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. (Ge 9:6)
 

 

Ezekiel 16:39 I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels * and will leave you naked and bare.  (NASB: Lockman)

they will tear down your shrines ("brothel")," (Ezek 16:24,25,31; 7:22-24; Is 27:9)

strip you of your clothing (Ezek 16:10-20; 23:26,29; Is 3:16-24; Ho2:3,9-13)

God declares that He will give His faithless wife Judah (Jerusalem) over to her lovers who would take from her everything she had leaving her naked and bare, her original condition.

 

Ezekiel 16:40  They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.  (NASB: Lockman)

They will incite a crowd against you (Hab 1:6-10; Jn 8:5-7)

Crowd - in context pictures Judah's lovers inciting other nations to wage war against her.

cut you to pieces with their swords (Ezek 23:10,47; 24:21; Jer 25:9)

 

Ezekiel 16:41  They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers.  (NASB: Lockman)

they will burn your houses with fire (Dt 13:16; 2Ki 25:9; Jer 39:8; 52:13; Micah 3:12)

execute judgments on you in the sight of many women (Amp "the nations")" (Ezek 5:8; 23:10,48; Dt 13:11; 22:21,24; Job 34:26)

I shall stop you from playing the harlot (Ezek 23:27; 37:23; Isa 1:25,26; 2:18; 27:9; Hos 2:6-17; Mic 5:10-14; Zech 13:2; 1Ti 5:20)

 

Ezekiel 16:42  So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more.  (NASB: Lockman)

I shall calm (rest) My fury against you (Ezek 5:13; 21:17; 2Sa21:14; Is1:24; Zech 6:8)

I shall be pacified and angry no more  (Ezek 39:29; Is 40:1,2; 54:9,10)

Although one might say this was in a sense fulfilled by the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and 70 years of captivity, there is another sense in which God's anger against Israel will not fully rest until the end of "time of Jacob's distress." (Jer 30:7) which occurs in the last 3.5 years of Daniel's 70th year.

 

Ezekiel 16:43   Because * you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head," declares the Lord GOD, "so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations   (NASB: Lockman)

you have not remembered the days of your youth (Ezek 16:22; Ps 78:42; 106:13; Jer 2:32)

have enraged Me by all these things (Ezek 6:9; Dt 32:21; Ps 8:40; 95:10; Isa 63:10; Am 2:13; Acts 7:51; Eph 4:30)

I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head (Ezek 7:3,4,8,9; 9:10; 11:21; 22:31; Ro 2:8,9)

 

Ezekiel 16:44  Behold, everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb concerning you, saying, 'Like mother, like daughter.'  (NASB: Lockman)

Behold, everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb concerning you, saying, 'Like mother, like daughter.' (Ezekiel 18:2,3; 1 Samuel 24:13) (Ezek 16:3,45; 1Ki 21:16; 2Ki17:11,15; 21:9; Ezra 9:1; Ps 106:35-38)

Like mother like daughter - In this context mother  refers to the Hittites (Ezek. 16:3 says to Judah/Jerusalem - your mother a Hittite). The point of the proverb is that Israel was as lewd and immoral as the original inhabitants of Canaan who were unspeakably debauched as discerned from archeological findings related to this time period. By way of practical application every mother should contemplate the far-reaching influence of her lips and her life before her children (fathers, this applies to your influence as well for generally "like father, like sons"! Be careful how you conduct yourself, not as unwise fathers but as wise fathers who are seeking to redeem the few short years of your life on earth for the days are evil.

Cooper writes that...

The next stage in the judgment of the orphan who became a queen, a harlot, and finally a convicted criminal was the revelation that her story would become a proverb (cf. Ezekiel 14:8). The proverb was, Like mother, like daughter. The point was that if Jerusalem wanted a shocking look at her disgraceful character and her dismal future, she could look at her cultural ancestors the Hittites and Amorites, who had transmitted their heritage of wickedness to Sodom, Samaria, and Jerusalem. In depravity and idolatry Israel had followed the bad example of the Canaanites and thus would be judged like them (Cooper, L. E.  Vol. 17: Ezekiel: The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)

The Disciple's Study Bible writes that...

Sin is not inherited. I am not guilty because mother was guilty. I do inherit a nature prone to sin from Adam (see notes Romans 5:12; 5:17). I am sinful like my parents because all influences on my life give me the tendency to sin and I choose to let their influence outweigh God's on my life. I increase my guilt by condemning my neighbors for their sins when mine are worse than theirs.... Ezekiel described Jerusalem as more corrupt than Israel's favorite example of wicked people: Sodom (Ge 13:13; Genesis 18-19) and Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom exiled and inhabited by a mixed race with a mixed religion (2 Ki 17:24-41; Ezra; Nehemiah). Such corruption came because the people of Jerusalem chose to act more corruptly than the other nations ever imagined (see note Ezekiel 16:48). Their "depravity'' represented one generation's choices, not their inheritance from their ancestors. (Disciple's Study Bible)

 

Ezekiel 16:45  You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and children. You are also the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.  (NASB: Lockman)

loathed her husband and children (Ezek 16:8,15,20,21; 23:37-39; Dt 5:9; 12:31; Isa 1:4; Zech 11:8; Ro 1:30,31)

 

Ezekiel 16:46 Now your older sister is Samaria, who lives north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lives south of you, is Sodom with her daughters.  (NASB: Lockman)
Young's Literal: And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters, Who is dwelling at thy left hand, And thy younger sister, who is dwelling on thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

Now your older sister is Samaria who lives north of you with her daughters (Ezek 16:51; 23:4,11,31-33; Jer 3:8-11; Mic 1:5)

Samaria who lives north - North is literally "at thy left hand". This is clearly a reference to the northern 10 tribes who had their capital in Samaria. The Northern Kingdom was not older chronologically but was larger and the first to be judged by God in 722BC when she was defeated and taken into exile by the Assyrians.

Your younger sister - Judah whose capital was Jerusalem. Notice they are all referred to in feminine terms. They all fell into spiritual adultery or harlotry. Anyone reading this description who has a daughter has to be gripped by the tragic description. How it must have grieved the Father's heart! We need to recall this to mind the next time we contemplate making provision to commit a sin (see note Romans 13:14). Peter speaks to this point in his first letter writing...

And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (See notes 1 Peter 1:17; 1:18; 1:19) (Comment: The point is that believers need to be reading and meditating on truths such as found in Ezekiel 16, that they might maintain a healthy, reverential fear of the Lord and of the certainty of reaping the consequences of sinning. This healthy fear is set in the background of recalling the high cost to the Father to provide us with so great a salvation -- His Son's precious blood. Next time you are tempted to get angry, to lash out in hostility at your mate or child, to commit egregious sin, to overtly rebel against Truth, etc -- before you react...Think...Remember...Recall what if cost the Father. Without that provision, that sin you would commit would otherwise be your death sentence [see James 2:10]. Then, instead of reacting in anger, etc, act with an attitude of gratitude and contrition and humility, thankful that you now have the strength of His indwelling Spirit to walk in a manner that pleases your Father rather than grieves Him! Amen.)

Pray Psalm 119:38...

Establish Thy word to Thy servant, As that which produces reverence for Thee.

In his comments on Psalm 119:38 Charles Spurgeon wrote

Make me sure of Thy sure word: make it sure to me and make me sure of it. If we possess the spirit of service, and yet are troubled with sceptical thoughts we cannot do better than pray to be established in the truth. Times will arise when every doctrine and promise seems to be shaken, and our mind gets no rest: then we must appeal to God for establishment in the faith, for he would have all his servants to be well instructed and confirmed in his word. But we must mind that we are the Lord's servants, for else we shall not long be sound in his truth. Practical holiness is a great help towards doctrinal certainty: if we are God's servants he will confirm his word in our experience. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine"; and so know it as to be fully assured of it. Atheism in the heart is a horrible plague to a God fearing man, it brings more torment with it than can well be described; and nothing but a visitation of grace can settle the soul after it has been violently assailed thereby. Vanity or falsehood is bad for the eyes, but it is even worse when it defiles the understanding and casts a doubt upon the word of the living God.

Who is devoted to Thy fear, or simply -- "to thy fear." That is, make good Thy word to godly fear: wherever it exists; strengthen the whole body of reverent men. Stablish Thy word, not only to me, but to all the godly ones under the sun. Or, again, it may mean -- "Stablish Thy word to Thy fear," namely, that men may be led to fear thee; since a sure faith in the divine promise is the fountain and foundation of godly fear.

Men will never worship a God in Whom they do not believe. More faith will lead to more godly fear. We cannot look for the fulfilment of promises in our experience unless we live under the influence of the fear of the Lord: establishment in grace is the result of holy watchfulness and prayerful energy. We shall never be rooted and grounded in our belief unless we daily practise what we profess to believe. Full assurance is the reward of obedience. Answers to prayer are given to those whose hearts answer to the Lord's command.

If we are devoted to God's fear we shall be delivered from all other fear. He has no fear as to the truth of the word who is filled with fear of the Author of the word.

Scepticism is both the parent and the child of impiety; but strong faith both begets piety and is begotten of it. We commend this whole verse to any devout man whose tendency is to scepticism: it will be an admirable prayer for use in seasons of unusually strong misgivings. Spurgeon's Note)

your younger sister, who lives south of you, is Sodom (Ezek 16:48,49,53-56,61; Ge 13:11-13; 18:20-33; 19:24,25; Dt 29:23; 32:32; Isa 1:9,10; Jer 23:14; Lam 4:6; Lu 17:28-30; 2Pe 2:6; Jude 1:7; Rev 11:8)

Lives south - literally "dwelling on thy right hand"

Sodom - Used here to symbolize the southern kingdom and Jerusalem. This is the first of the 6 uses of the term Sodom by Ezekiel, all of them in Ezekiel 16.

In the book of the Revelation Jerusalem is again referred to as Sodom ...

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (From his note on Revelation 11:8 Tony Garland writes "Both Sodom and Egypt typify cities which were opposed and judged by God. Sodom was an exceedingly wicked city which was overthrown for her sins by God’s judgment (Ge 13:13; 19:24). Egypt was the nation which held Israel in bondage and was judged by plagues prior to the Exodus (Ex. 1:13-14; 3:7; 20:2). Jerusalem, in her godless state, is likened to both the wicked city and the wicked nation. Even though the two witnesses exhibit a Jewish ministry located in Jerusalem, they are rejected by the majority of the inhabitants—their fellow Jews.

When Moses sang a song predicting the apostasy of Israel upon entering the Promised Land after his death, he referred to the Jewish nation as a nation void of counsel whose vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah (Dt. 32:28-32). Isaiah used a similar analogy when describing God’s rejection of Israel’s insincere sacrifices:

Hear the word of the LORD you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah: ‘To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?’ (Isa. 1:10).

The sin of Jerusalem is said to be as the sin of Sodom in that it was flaunted openly (Isa 3:8).6 Even the apostate prophets are likened to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jer 23:14). When rejected by the cities of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Jesus indicated that the cities which did not receive the apostles or their words would be considered worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment (Mt 10:14-15; Luke 10:12). Although Jerusalem is here referred to as Sodom, Isaiah also indicated that Babylon’s eventual overthrow would be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa. 13:19). Elsewhere, Ezekiel describes the Northern Kingdom (Samaria) and the Southern Kingdom (Jerusalem) as idolatrous sisters, both of which committed harlotry in their youth while in Egypt (Ezekiel 23:2-4, 19, 27). Comparison with Egypt recalls the idolatrous golden calf which Israel made upon departure from Egypt (Ex. 32:4, 24).

with her daughters (Ezek 16:27; 26:6; Ge 14:8; 19:29; Hos 11:8)

Daughters - In context this term appears to be a figurative description of other cities in the Northern and Southern Kingdom who also went "whoring" after other gods that are really no gods at all.

 

Ezekiel 16:47  Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they.  (NASB: Lockman)

Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they.

Amplified - for your sin, as those taught of God, is far blacker than theirs

Jesus taught that there would be different "degrees" of punishment. Matthew records for example that Jesus

began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."  (Mt 11:20-24)

as if that were too little (Ezek 8:17; 1Ki 16:31)

you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they (Ezek 16:48,51; 5:6,7; 2Ki 21:9,16; Jn 15:21,22; 1 Cor 5:1)

Amplified: for your sin, as those taught of God, is far blacker than theirs

 

Ezekiel 16:48  As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done  (NASB: Lockman)

As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "Sodom, your sister, and her daughters, have not done as you and your daughters have done. (Mt 10:15; 11:24; Mk 6:11; Lu 10:12; Acts 7:52)

As I live - Is the formula for introduction of an oath.

 

Ezekiel 16:49  Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help * the poor and needy  (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters’; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance (Ezek 28:2,9,17; 29:3; Ge 19:9; Ps 138:6; Pr 16:5,18; 18:12; 21:4; Isa 3:9; Isa 16:6; Da 4:30,37; 5:23; Ob 1:3; 1Pe 5:5)

Ryrie explains that...

Sodom's sin did not end with its sensuality and unnatural acts, but reached to the "pride" which had come with material prosperity. This "pride" had lifted them above moral law in their own eyes. Like Sodom, Israel in her wealth and pride forgot and neglected the poor. For Israel this crime was more serious because she had received specific commands concerning the poor (cf. Deut. 15:7, 11). This concern for the poor and needy is echoed in the N.T. (cf. Matt. 26:11; 1 John 3:17)

abundant (overabundance of) food and careless (prosperous) ease (and idleness)" (Ge 13:10; 18:20; Dt 32:15; Isa 22:13,14; Am 6:3-6; Lu 12:16-20; Lu 16:19; 17:28; 21:34)

she did not help (strengthen the hand of) the poor and needy." (Ezek 18:12; Pr 21:13; Isa 3:14,15; Amos 5:11,12; 8:4-6; Micah 3:2-4; Lu 16:20,21)

 

Ezekiel 16:50  Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.  (NASB: Lockman)

Thus they were haughty and committed abominations (abominable offenses) before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

they were haughty and committed abominations (abominable offenses) before Me (Ge 13:13; 18:20; 19:5; Lev 18:22; Dt 23:17; 2Ki 23:7; Pr 16:18; Pr 18:12; Ro 1:26,27; Jude 1:7)

"Therefore I removed them when I saw it." (Ge 19:24; Dt 29:23; Job 18:15; Isa 13:19; Jer 20:16; 49:18; 50:40; Lam 4:6; Amos 4:11; Zeph 2:9; 2Pe 2:6; Rev 18:9)

 

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