Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 23

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-49

Chapter 23

Now in chapter 23:

The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, Son of man there were two women, who were the daughters of one mother: Now they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed ( Ezekiel 23:1-3 ),

And he goes on to speak of these two daughters. The one's name is Aholah; she is the older one. And her younger sister is Aholibah. Now Aholah means her tent. Aholibah means her tent is in her. And in the interpreting of this little parable of these two sisters who were prostitutes, the one sister, the older sister is Samaria, the Northern Kingdom which first went into idolatry. Turned against God when Jeroboam became king over the Northern Kingdom. He set up the calf in Bethel and in Dan and he said, "Now these are the gods that brought you out of Egypt. These are the gods that you worship." And he installed calf worship; later on Baal worship and Molech. And they introduced all of these gods of the Assyrians and the gods of the nations round about and they turned from the true and the living God and they began to worship idols. And thus, prostituted themselves, giving themselves unto idolatry in love and all for these false religions instead of giving themselves in their love for the Lord.

Now, as the result of Aholah and her lewd acts that is against God, God's judgment, He used the Syrians, the Assyrians to destroy the Northern Kingdom. And thus, Samaria was destroyed by Assyria. Now, when Samaria was destroyed, you would think that that would have been a lesson to Judah, the younger sister. "Her tent is in her," referring to the fact that the tabernacle, the place of worship was established in Jerusalem, in the Southern Kingdom, Aholibah. But rather than learning from the idolatry of the north that perpetrated its fall, they started doing the very same things. In fact, king Ahaz went up to Assyria, and he makes mention of this here, how they went to Assyria. And her sister Aholibah saw this and she was more corrupt in her inordinate love that she in her whoredoms more than her sister. She doted upon the Assyrians.

So king Ahaz in Second Kings about chapter 16 or so tells about this. He went up to Assyria and there he saw the altar of the gods of the Assyrians. And he sent a design and all back to the priest in Jerusalem and ordered that an altar be built in Jerusalem like this altar of the false gods in Assyria so that when he returned to Jerusalem the priest had made this altar that was fashioned after the altar of the Assyrian gods. And Ahaz, of course, began to worship at this altar fashioned like unto the altar of the Assyrian gods. And he speaks about that here. But not only did they embrace the gods of the Assyrians, but they saw pictures of the Babylonians and this vermilion color and all that was endemic to the Babylonians and they desired.

Also, they sent for some of the Babylonians, "Come and share with us." And then they began to pollute themselves with the Babylonian religion. And so even became worse than her wicked sister Samaria in that she multiplied her whoredoms. And God said, "My mind was alienated from her like as My mind was alienated from her sister." They had turned away from their love for God from their serving God, and they began to worship at these false idols, false altars, and God said, naturally, "My mind was alienated from them." And so God then speaks of His jealousy that is against them and how the Babylonians will come and they will deal furiously with you and you'll fall by the sword and the residue that remains will be devoured by the fire.

They will strip thee of thy clothes, they'll take away your fair jewels. Thus will I make your lewdness to cease from thee, thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. 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: And they shall deal with thee hatefully, they shall take away all thy labor, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. I will do these things unto thee, because you have gone a whoring after the heathen, and because you are polluted with their idols. And you have walked in the way of your sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand. 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. Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. 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 ( Ezekiel 23:26-34 ).

And God said, verse Ezekiel 23:36 ,

Moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; 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 ( Ezekiel 23:36-37 ).

They were destroying their own children in the fires to the god Molech and to the god Baal. Throwing them into the fire, their little baby boys.

Moreover this have they done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and they have profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to the idols, then ( Ezekiel 23:38-39 )

They would go out and they would throw their children into these fires or place them into the arms of these little molten hot gods until they burned to death. And then they would go to the temple and worship God. And God said, "I can't stand it. I can't understand it. It's too much. I don't want it. I won't have it." And so God speaks of the judgment that must come upon Jerusalem for this. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 23". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-23.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile