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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 16:8

"Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine," declares the Lord God .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bride;   Bridegroom;   God Continued...;   Marriage;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adoption;   Church;   Family;   Spiritual;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ingratitude to God;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ashtoreth, Plural Ash'taroth;   Fornication;   Harlot;   Solomon's Song;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Marriage;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ammi;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jebus;   Marriage;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ablutions;   Bride;   Covenant;   Ezekiel;   Jewels, Jewelry;   Naked;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Amorites;   Marriage;   Song of Songs;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Betrothal;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amorites ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Kedar;   Naked;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Solomon the song of;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Naked (and forms);   Skirt;  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - Adoption;   Bride;   Covenant;   Polygamy;   Wilderness, Wanderings in the;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for September 4;   Every Day Light - Devotion for June 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Ezekiel 16:8. Was the time of love — Thou wast marriageable.

I spread my skirt over thee — I espoused thee. This was one of their initiatory marriage ceremonies. See Ruth 3:9.

I-entered into a covenant with thee — Married thee. Espousing preceded marriage.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ezekiel-16.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


The unfaithfulness of Jerusalem (16:1-43)

In this chapter Ezekiel describes Judah’s relationship with Yahweh by means of a long and colourful illustration. The ancient nation Israel began life in Canaan as a hated people of mixed blood and mixed culture. It was like an unwanted baby girl thrown out at birth and left to die (16:1-5). Then a passing traveller (Yahweh) picked the baby up and gave it a chance to live. The girl survived and grew, though without training or upbringing (6-7).
Many years later, by which time the girl had reached an age when she might marry, the same traveller happened to see her again. She had not been washed or clothed since birth. The man then lovingly bathed her, clothed her, married her, and made her so beautiful that her fame spread to other nations. So likewise, after the Israelites had spent centuries away from God in Egypt, he saved them from shame and made them his own people by covenant at Mt Sinai (8-14).
But the woman was not faithful to the marriage covenant. Israel was unfaithful to the one who had done so much for her. Leaving him to serve other gods, she became a spiritual prostitute. She built shrines and altars to other gods, and offered to those gods the things that Yahweh had freely given her (15-19). To make matters worse, she participated in the pagan practice of offering her children as human sacrifices (20-22).
As a prostitute uses brothels to attract her customers, so Israel built idol shrines throughout her towns and villages (23-25). She further demonstrated her spiritual prostitution by forsaking God and making political alliances with other countries. Even those nations, Israel’s lovers, were ashamed of her immoral behaviour, but Israel kept lusting for more (26-29). In fact, her lust was so great that it was abnormal. Usually the customer pays the prostitute, but in the case of the prostitute Israel she paid the customer, so that she could multiply her immoral acts (30-34).
According to Israelite practice, the punishment for an adulteress was to be stripped naked, paraded in public and then stoned to death. Judah would therefore be punished, with its countryside stripped bare and the nation destroyed by enemy invaders. The nations who would inflict this disaster upon her would be the very nations whose favour she had tried to win by her prostitution (35-41). All this would be at the direction of God himself, whose love for Israel was the reason for his anger with her (42-43).

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ezekiel-16.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Now when I passed by thee and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee saith the Lord Jehovah, and thou becamest mine. Then I washed thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with sealskin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk. And I decked thee with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a ring upon thy nose, and ear-rings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thy head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; and thou wast exceeding beautiful; and thou didst prosper unto royal estate. And thy renown went forth among the nations for thy beauty; and it was perfect, through my majesty which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord Jehovah."

THE FOUNDLING MARRIED TO HER BENEFACTOR

"I spread my skirt over thee ..." (Ezekiel 16:8). This was a symbol of marriage. A Biblical example of this is found in Ruth 3:8. What is typified here is the marriage of God to Israel, a metaphorical representation of the Sinaitic covenant and the choice of the nation as "God's Chosen People."

"Then I washed thee with water ..." (Ezekiel 16:9). Commentators have struggled with this; but the explanation is in Ephesians 5:25ff: "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself." Thus the marriage of Christ to his Bride the Church followed the same pattern that is found here. The purpose of the "washing" in both instances was the cleansing of the bride and her consecration to the Lord. Paul further mentioned the "washing" of the first Bride, the Racial Israel, as their, "Being baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Corinthians 10:2).

"I washed away thy blood from thee ..." (Ezekiel 16:9). Here again, some very powerful scholars are perplexed. "This washing is interpreted as the cleansing and purification from menstrual blood."[15] No indeed! The reference in both the Old Testament and the New Testament is to the washing that precedes union with God (or Christ) and cleanses from "all previous sin," the same being typified by the elaborate ceremonies that attended the giving of the Law at Sinai. The blood that was washed away in Ezekiel 16:9 is typical of all sins and mistakes.

Note also that "the anointing with oil" followed the washing, just as the anointing of Aaron followed his ceremonial washing, and just as the reception of the Holy Spirit followed the baptism (the washing) of Jesus Christ, and just as the reception of the Holy Spirit is always subsequent to and contingent upon Christian baptism of all the followers of Christ.

"The anointing with oil indicates the powers of the Spirit of God, which flowed to Israel from the divine covenant of grace."[16]

This custom of anointing with oil, which from the most ancient times, accompanied the making of any solemn covenant, has come down even into current times. Those who saw the coronation of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, cannot forget the solemn ceremony of the anointing of the Queen with oil.

"Badgers' skin (sealskin in ASV) ..." (Ezekiel 16:10). "This is probably a reference to the skin of the dugong, a herbivorous cetacean found in the Red Sea."[17] Greenberg thought the leather referred to here was "a specially treated and dyed sheep or goat skin";[18] but in the same breath he mentioned a certain Bodenheimer who believed that the skin of dolphins was meant. Jamieson tells us that, "Shoes made of this material were always worn by the Hebrews upon festal occasions."[19]

"Through my majesty which I had put upon thee ..." (Ezekiel 16:14). The words "my majesty," with the possessive pronoun stress the fact that all of the renowned beauty and perfection of Israel were the gifts of God and were not due to any intrinsic worth or ability of the Jews themselves. Is it not also true of every gifted mortal?

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ezekiel-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Now when ... - Or, Then I passed by thee ... and behold. The espousal of the damsel represents God’s entering into covenant with the people in the wilderness at Mt. Sinai Exodus 34:27.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ezekiel-16.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

God now reproaches the Jews with his kindness towards them, since he had clothed them in splendid ornaments, and yet they afterwards cast themselves into the vilest lusts, as we shall see. But we must remember that the Prophet is now speaking of the time of their liberation. But God says that he passed by again and saw the state of the people, — not that he had ever forgotten it. For we know that even when he dissembles and seems to shut his eyes and turn them from us or even to sleep, yet he is always anxious for our safety. And we have already said that there was need of his present power, that the people might prolong their lives, since if he had not breathed life into them, a hundred deaths would have immediately prevailed. But it is sufficiently common and customary to mark an open declaration of help by God’s aspect. When God appears so openly to deliver us that it may be comprehended by our senses, then he is said to look down upon us, to rise up, and to turn himself towards us. He passed by, then, near the people, namely, when he called Moses out of the desert and appointed him the minister of his favor, (Exodus 3:0,) he then saw his people, and proved by their trial that he had not utterly cast them away. I looked, then, and behold thy time, thy time of years. Here God speaks grossly, yet according to the people’s comprehension. For he personates a man struck with the beauty of a girl and offering her marriage. But God is not affected as men are, as we well know, so that it is not according to his nature to love as young men do. But such was the people’s stupidity, that they could not be usefully taught, unless the Prophet accommodated himself to their grossness. Add also that the people had been by no means lovely, unless God had embraced them by his kindness, so that his love depended on his good pleasure towards them. So by the time of loves, we ought to understand the complete time of their redemption, for God had determined to bring the people out of Egypt when he pleased, and that had been promised to Abraham: after four hundred years I will be their avenger. (Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6,) We see, then, that the years were previously fixed in which God would redeem the people. He now compares that union to a marriage. Hence if God would bind his people to himself by a marriage, so also he would pledge himself to conjugal fidelity. But I cannot proceed further — I must leave the rest till tomorrow.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/ezekiel-16.html. 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Shall we turn in our Bibles at this time to the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel. The prophecy of Ezekiel, chapter 16.

Ezekiel declares,

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations ( Ezekiel 16:1-2 ),

So God is speaking out against Jerusalem. But, of course, a city is always made up of inhabitants. A city as itself is not good or evil. It all depends on what the people are that live within that city. So it is against those who are inhabiting Jerusalem that God speaks.

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is in the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite ( Ezekiel 16:3 ).

Now, before the children of Israel came to dwell in the land, the first inhabitants of the land of Palestine were the Hittites and then also the Amorites. And so Jerusalem... well, first of all, rather the Amorites followed by the Hittites. But thy father was an Amorite, thy mother a Hittite, referring to the nations that inhabited the land prior to the coming in of Abraham.

And as for thy nativity, in the day in which you were born thy naval was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all ( Ezekiel 16:4 ).

Evidently in those days when a child was born, of course, the first thing you do is you wash the child, and then evidently they salted the child. This, no doubt, would be to kill bacteria, because salt is a tremendous antiseptic as far as killing bacteria.

We were out in a group that were exploring for the lost Virgin Guadalupe mine, and we were blasting away some boulders. And one of the fellows that was with us, working with us, got hit by a piece of rock that had cut off from the boulder when we were blasting it out, and cut his hand. And the old miner that was with us reached in and got out a little pack of salt and poured it all over. Of course, the guy winced like everything. But he said, "I never go out without my bag of salt." He said, "It's the great antiseptic and it'll cause it to heal faster and it'll keep it from any infection from setting up."

And so they, no doubt, in those days salted the baby as an antiseptic to kill the bacteria that might be upon the child. So speaks about salting and the swaddling it, wrapping it up in this blanket kind of thing to swaddle the baby. But when Jerusalem was born, none of this was done. The umbilical chord was not cut. "You were not washed in water; you were not salted nor swaddled."

No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out into the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live ( Ezekiel 16:5-6 ).

So God is saying that you were an outcast and there was no one to care for you. But I came by and I saw you polluted there in your blood and I said unto you, "Live."

Now verse Ezekiel 16:6 , interestingly enough, from old times was used as a verse to stop hemorrhaging or stop the flow of blood. It is a verse that people have used for years when someone is bleeding. To stop the bleeding they would quote this verse. Now, I don't think the verse does it, but their faith to believe that God is going to do it does stop the bleeding. But people for years have used this almost as a charm kind of a thing to stop bleeding. But, of course, it's out of context. God is talking about when He first saw the nation of Israel, Jerusalem, the people of Jerusalem. Called them unto Himself.

I have caused thee then to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased [you have become great], you have become an excellent ornament: your breasts are fashioned, and your hair is grown, whereas you were naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and so I spread my blanket over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and you became mine ( Ezekiel 16:7-8 ).

So as the nation developed, the time came for love, and God came to the nation to receive the love, entered into a covenant, married them in that sense. Entering into that covenant relationship where God claimed them as His own, as His bride.

And I washed thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skins, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. And I decked thee also with ornaments, I put bracelets upon thy hands, a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. And thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord ( Ezekiel 16:9-14 ).

Now God speaks of His work for the nation Israel, and that work of God's Spirit in making them great, making them beautiful, making them desirable, perfect in beauty. Now, this is all a foreshadowing of the relationship of Jesus Christ to His church. How that when the Lord first came to us, we were polluted because of our sins. As Paul writes in Ephesians 2 , "And you hath He made alive, who were dead in your trespasses and sins. Who in times past you walked according to the course of this world."

The word walked there is meandered, which means you were walking without any purpose or direction. You were meandering through life. Your life was aimless before the Lord met you. "As you meandered according to the course of this world." The word course comes from the Greek word weathervane. Whichever way the world was flowing, that's the way you were going. Flowing in that way of the world. Just the fashions of the world. "And you were by nature," Paul said, "the children of wrath, because you were obeying the lust of your flesh, the lust of your mind." And thus we were when Christ came, but He washed us. "Now ye are clean," Jesus said, "through the words that I have spoken unto you." The washing of the regeneration of the Word of God. The washing of our lives through the blood of Jesus Christ.

"I washed you from your pollution, and then," the Lord said, "I anointed thee with oil." And so He anointed our life with the Holy Spirit. And then the Lord goes on to declare, "I clothed thee with broidered work." Not just throwing an old gunnysack at you and saying, "Dress up." Broidered work speaks of care; it speaks of skill. And so God took so much care and so much skill to clothe us with the righteousness which is of Jesus Christ through faith.

"I shod thee with badger skins." Or, "I gave you shoes of badger skins." Now the badger of the scripture, what that Hebrew word is today we don't know. The King James translators guessed badger. But it was a soft leather that was usually dyed purple and was the favorite of the young girls for their slippers. And they were, because soft leather, they were worn for parties and for luxuries. Really not for hard labor or hard work out in the fields. Sandals were more the dress for that, but these were luxurious leather slippers.

"And I girded thee about with fine linen." In Revelation 19 , verse Ezekiel 16:6 , He speaks about, "And the bride hath made herself ready and she was adorned in fine linen, pure and clean." And the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. That righteousness that is ours is that which God has imputed to us through our faith in Jesus Christ. I am clothed tonight not in my own righteousness; I do not dare to stand before God pleading my own goodness before Him. And I don't care how moral, how honest, how sincere, and how good a person you are. You're a fool if you seek to stand before God in your own goodness and in your own righteousness.

You know, there are so many people that are just sort of good-natured people. Like you have dogs that are good natured and dogs that are bad natured. There are some dogs that are just mean; you don't want to be around them. There are some people that are just mean; you don't want to be around them. They have peptic type of dispositions, like their stomach is constantly upset or something. They're always growling, always on edge. And that person, as far as standing before God, is no worse off than the person who has by nature a very pleasant disposition, who's easy going, and calm. We have phlegmatic, and we have different types of temperaments, and none of them really have any acceptance before God. The only way that I can be accepted before God is to be clothed in that linen, pure and clean, which He has given to me. The righteousness which is of Christ through faith.

Now, the difficulty is when a person does have more of a problem with his disposition, he is usually more conscious and aware of his need for help. And he usually is coming to the Lord more readily. He's a sinner, he knows he's a sinner, and he knows he needs help. And he comes to the Lord quite readily. Whereas that person who is morally good, he's honest, he's sincere, you know, he has all of these qualities, so often that person does not feel a need of coming to Jesus Christ. And thus, is oftentimes much further from the Lord than the person who has a naturally miserable disposition. Which, of course, is a very interesting thing. A lot of good men go to hell and a lot of bad men go to heaven. Because when you have that kind of a nature, you know, "Oh God, I need help," and you're coming to God for help. And the only way any of us could ever stand before God, surely not in our own righteousness, because our righteousness is as filthy rags in the eyes of God.

So God takes, washes, anoints with oil, clothes, and then He said in verse Ezekiel 16:11 , "I decked thee also with ornaments, put bracelets on thy hands, a chain on your neck, a jewel in your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful tiara, a crown upon your head." I see these as the fruit of the Spirit, whose adorning, Peter said, "let it not be the outward adorning by the wearing of fancy clothes and the putting on of jewelry and the fixing up of your hair, but that inward adornment of the meek and quite spirit, which in the eyes of the Lord is very, very valuable" ( 1 Peter 3:3 ). And he speaks about the true beauty is not outward, but inward. True beauty of a person is in the character of their lives and the fruit of the Spirit as God places His glorious jewels of meekness, temperance, longsuffering, goodness, love, joy, peace.

And then God said, "I've given you to eat the fine flour and honey and oil. And you were exceedingly beautiful and you prospered into a kingdom. And your fame, your renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty." Throughout the world they were talking of the beauty of the nation of the people. The queen of Sheba came from the south to see and to hear. And when she had been there with Solomon, she said, "Oh, I heard, but I did not believe. But now I have seen and it was not told to me half of the glory of your kingdom."

"I blessed you, I honored you, I prospered you. You became famous, became renown throughout among the heathen. They all heard of your beauty." For the Lord declared, "For it was perfect," that is your beauty. "Through My comeliness which I had put on thee," saith the Lord.

And so God works in us His work of the Spirit. And as God works in us by His Spirit, the purpose is to conform us into the image of Christ. And as God works in us by His Spirit, and as we are changed into the image of Christ, God looks at us and says, "Oh, you're perfectly beautiful." God sees you in Christ, and in Christ there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. God sees you complete in Christ, He sees you perfected in Christ, and He declares that you are perfect in beauty.

Now, after all of this, God now charges them,

But you did trust in your own beauty, and you played the harlot because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications on every one that passed by; his it was ( Ezekiel 16:15 ).

That is, they turned away from God and they began to worship every god of all of the people that were round about. God said, "You are Mine. I am the one that made this covenant with you. I purchased you. I'm the one that saved you. You were nothing; you were perishing. You were cast out. But I'm the one that rescued you and saved you and put My beauty on you. And now you've prostituted yourselves. And you've turned after every god, played the harlot, poured out your fornications on every one that passed by. His it was."

And of thy garments you did take, and you decked your high places with divers colors, and you played the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. For thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and my silver, which I had given thee, and you made unto yourself images of men, and you did commit whoredom with them ( Ezekiel 16:16-17 ),

I have prospered you; I gave you gold and silver. What did you do? You used it to make little images and idols, and you began to worship the gold and silver that I had blessed you with and prospered you with.

How tragic it is when a person's life has been blessed of God and then they turn away from God and they begin to worship the gold and the silver that God has given to them, the possessions that God has given to them.

And you took your broidered garments, and you covered them: and you have set my oil and my incense before them. And my meat also which I gave thee, the fine flour, the oil, the honey, wherewith I fed you, you have even set it before these little images as a sweet savor: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 16:18-19 ).

You've taken those things that I have given and you've profaned them.

Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom you have borne unto me, and these have you sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? And in all thy abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when you were naked and bare, and you were polluted in your own blood ( Ezekiel 16:20-22 ).

Now, of course, the people of Israel had turned to all of these pagan gods, but worst of all, they began to follow the practice of the pagans of the land in offering their own children as sacrifices unto the pagan gods. Burning them in the fire, casting them into the fire, or putting them into the arms of the little outstretched iron gods of Baal that were heated in the fire till they were red hot and then they would place their babies in those red hot arms and burn them as an offering unto the gods. And here are God's people committing this horrible sacrilege. And so God's indictment against them. No wonder God destroyed them. No wonder God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to drive them out of the land. They had forgotten the condition that they were in when God first came to them. "You haven't remembered how you were naked and had nothing."

It came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! Saith the Lord GOD,) That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and you have made a high place in every street ( Ezekiel 16:23-24 ).

The high places were the places of pagan worship where every kind of licentious practice went on in their worship of these pagan gods.

Thou hast built thy high place at the head of every way, and you have made thy beauty to be abhorred, and you have opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. Thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way ( Ezekiel 16:25-27 ).

So God said, "I've begun to turn you over to your enemies."

Because you have played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet you couldn't be satisfied. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way [or every street], and you make your high place in every street; and you have not been as the harlot, in that thou hast scornest hire ( Ezekiel 16:28-31 );

You're even worse than a prostitute. You've scorn the payment.

But as a wife that commits adultery, which takes strangers instead of her husband! They give gifts to all whores: but you have given gifts to all of your lovers, and you've hired them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom ( Ezekiel 16:32-33 ).

So Israel has so turned away from the worship of God in their worshipping of these false gods. That God is just speaking here of the horrible relationship that they would forsake God who had done so much for them. You say, "But oh, could a people really do that?" Well, I ask you to look at the United States today. A nation that in its beginning understood its dependency upon God; a nation that was framed with a Constitution guaranteeing the freedom of worship of the people, a freedom to worship; a nation that placed upon its coins, "In God we trust"; A nation that placed within its national anthem the recognition of God and in its pledge to the flag acknowledged it to be one nation under God. But look how the nation today has turned its back upon God.

On the Lord's day, it has become a day where people go out and worship their idols. As they run up and down a lined field throwing balls to the cries and the cheers of their devoted followers. A day for pleasure, a day for seeking after the flesh, a day of attempting to satiate the flesh in pleasure. How far we have fallen when Superman replaces the Word of God on television on Sunday mornings. How tragic that a nation turns from the God who made them great, the God who made them strong, the God who clothed them, fed them, made them prosperous, and they forget their beginnings. They forget it was God who made us strong. They forget how that God watched over the early colonists. And they begin to attribute the strength to such foolish things as free enterprise, the democratic system. "America, America, God shed His grace on thee," but you've turned your back on God, even as did Israel. We did not have the wisdom to learn from history, and the Christians by their inactivity have allowed these to be.

We're soon going to be electing school boards and other officials in our community. How many of you have really planned to vote? Probably not very many. Did you know that there are some outstanding Christians that are running for the school boards? That if all of the Christians got out and voted for those Christians that are running for these offices, they could be elected to these offices and we could actually perhaps help guide the curriculum of our schools. There is a Dr. Peterson, there is a George Rhoda, both of them outstanding born again Christians running for school board. Now every Christian ought to be out voting. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, that's illegal. But I'll just tell you there's a couple Christians.

So God speaks about Israel, their folly, and about the judgment that is going to come. He was first their lover. He had created them, took them when they were nothing, made them great, made them beautiful. And they turned against Him.

Verse Ezekiel 16:34 :

And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none follows thee to commit whoredoms: and in that you give a reward, and no reward is given to thee, therefore you are contrary. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. And I will judge thee, as a woman that has broken wedlock and those that have shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. And they shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. So I will make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from me, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but you have fretted me in all of these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. Behold, every one that uses proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As the mother, so is her daughter. Thou art thy mother's daughter, that loatheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which loathe their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father was an Amorite. And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell in thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwells at thy right hand, in the south is Sodom and her daughters. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou hast corrupted more than they in all of your ways ( Ezekiel 16:34-47 ).

You've been worse than Samaria and worse than Sodom.

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom ( Ezekiel 16:48-49 ),

What was the sin of Sodom? The Lord in looking at it looks behind it, and He said it was:

pride, [it was] fullness of bread [prosperity], the abundance of idleness was in her and her daughters, and neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy ( Ezekiel 16:49 ).

So this is God's indictment against Sodom. The reason why Sodom was judged: pride, prosperity, idleness, and no concern for the poor and the needy. Now, these conditions of pride and prosperity and idleness of time. Men began to look for things to fill in their idle time. And in looking for things to fill their idle time, they began to indulge themselves and their flesh. And having run the gamut of kinky flesh and not finding any satisfaction, only a greater lust, they began to burn in their lust for each other. And that horrible condition in which we find Sodom when the angels of the Lord came and were staying in the house of Lot and the men of the city began to knock on the door saying, "Open unto us and send out those men that came into your house that we may know them." And Lot went to the door and said, "Go away, don't do this evil unto these men. Behold, I have a couple of daughters that are virgins, I'll turn them over to you. But don't do this evil to these men." And they said, "You're a stranger. You come to live with us, and now are you gonna judge us?" And they were going to grab him, and the angels said to Lot, "Stand back." And they smote the men with blindness so that they wearied themselves of trying to find the door. And they said, "Get out of here."

But you see, behind this scene there was the pride, there was the prosperity, there was the idleness of time. Now, these are the conditions that produced this blatant demonstration of these homosexual men. It was because of this kind of an environment they felt the bravado to parade publicly. When the conditions of a nation become so corrupt and immoral that men of this character feel a forwardness in expressing themselves publicly and begin to parade in public demonstrations, you know that you are at the end of the rope. The next thing is judgment. And as I see the things that are happening in the United States, San Francisco, Hollywood, Washington, D.C., I realize that the cup of God's indignation is about to overflow, and America will be judged of God.

God said,

They were haughty, they committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away [as I saw fit] as I saw good. Neither hath Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and you have justified your sisters in all your abominations which you have done ( Ezekiel 16:50-51 ).

And that's, of course, the whole thing, the rationale, the justification, "Well, you know, every man has a freedom to express himself however he desires, and no one has the right to dictate their moral standards on other people, you know."

Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins which you have committed are more abominable than they: and they are more righteous than you: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that you have justified your sisters. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them: That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that you have done, in that you are a comfort unto them. When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride, Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about. Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant ( Ezekiel 16:52-59 ).

God made a covenant with them, "You are Mine." They broke the covenant and they gave themselves over to every god and idol and abomination. And so God speaks of them that they have despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

Now, God here, of course, speaks of the day of restoration--even of Sodom and of Samaria. That day is coming. I do not believe the day is far off. As we go further in Ezekiel, we're going to find that a new... there is an earthquake that is going to take place in Jerusalem that is going to create a new valley and is going to unlock an underground river, a spring that will begin to flow from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea with such a supply of water that when it comes into the Dead Sea, the waters of the Dead Sea will be healed and there will be all manner of fish and all there in the Dead Sea. And Engedi will be a place where they will be drying their fishing nets. And the area of the Dead Sea will no doubt become a verdant, beautiful valley again. Sodom shall be inhabited as Samaria, and of course, as Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, [the Lord said,] I will remember my covenant with you [you have broken it, but I'm going to remember it] in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant ( Ezekiel 16:60 ).

And so God is... for all that they have done, God is not utterly destroyed, utterly rejected, but He is going to take them back again and establish an everlasting covenant with them through Jesus Christ.

Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 16:61-63 ). "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/ezekiel-16.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The youth of Jerusalem 16:6-14

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ezekiel-16.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

When she was mature enough, the Lord made a commitment to take care of her forever (cf. Psalms 132:13-17). Spreading a skirt over someone was a customary way of committing to marry and to provide for someone in that culture (Ruth 3:9). [Note: See P. A. Kruger, "The Hem of the Garment in Marriage: The Meaning of the Symbolic Gesture in Ruth 3:9 and Ezekiel 16:8," Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 12 (1984):84-85.]

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These files are public domain.
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ezekiel-16.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee,.... Which the Targum refers to the Lord's appearance to Moses in the bush;

:-;

behold, thy time [was] the time of love; which the Targum explains of the time of redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt, which was an instance of the great love of God unto that people; and which time was fixed by him; and when it was come, at the exact and precise time, the redemption was wrought; see Genesis 15:13; and so there is a set time for the calling and conversion of God's elect, who are therefore said to be called according to purpose; and, when that time comes, all means are made to concur to bring it about: and this is a time of love; for though the love of God to his people is before all time, yet it is manifested in time; and there are particular times in which it is expressed unto them; and the time of conversion is one of them; and indeed it is the first time that there is a manifestation and application of the love of God made to the souls of his people: and this is a "time of loves" o; as it is in the original text; denoting the large abundance of it which is now shown forth; and the various acts of it now done; as bringing of them out of a most miserable condition, out of a horrible pit; plucking them as brands out of the burning; quickening them when dead in sin; speaking comfortably to them, and applying pardoning grace and mercy to their souls: and it may include both the love of God to his people, and their love to him; for now is the love of their espousals, and the kindness of their youth, Jeremiah 2:2; the grace of love is now implanted, to God and Christ, to his people, word, worship, and ordinances, which before had no place in them:

and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; the Lord espoused the people of Israel to himself in the wilderness, after he had brought them out of Egypt, and took them under the wings of his protection; both which this phrase may be expressive of; see Ruth 3:9. Some understand this of his giving them the spoils of the Egyptians, and also the law: it may very well be applied to the righteousness of Christ, which is often compared to a garment, for which the skirt, a part, is put; and this is put on as a garment, and answers all the purposes of one; and particularly covers the nakedness of men, which their own righteousness will not do; this the Lord spreads over his people, and covers them with; and being clothed with this, they shall not be found naked:

yea, I sware unto thee; to his love expressed to his people, and to his covenant he entered into with them, neither of which shall ever be removed; and this makes to their abundant comfort; see Psalms 89:3;

and entered into covenant with thee, saith the Lord God; as he did with the people of Israel at Horeb, and which was a sort of a marriage contract with them; see Deuteronomy 29:1; the covenant of grace was made from everlasting with Christ, and the elect in him; but is made manifest at conversion, when the Lord makes himself known unto them as their covenant God; leads them to Christ the Mediator of it; sends his Spirit down into their hearts, to make them partakers of the grace of it; and shows them their interest in the blessings and promises of it; all which may be meant by the phrase here used:

and thou becamest mine; as Israel did at the time before mentioned, became the Lord's peculiar people, and were avouched as such by him,

Exodus 19:5; so, in conversion, those who before were secretly the Lord's by electing and redeeming grace, become openly his by calling and sanctifying grace.

o עת דודים "tempus amorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Piscator, Cocceius, Starckius.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ezekiel-16.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

God's Kindness to Israel. B. C. 593.

      6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.   7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.   8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.   9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.   10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.   11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.   12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.   13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.   14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

      In there verses we have an account of the great things which God did for the Jewish nation in raising them up by degrees to be very considerable. 1. God saved them from the ruin they were upon the brink of in Egypt (Ezekiel 16:6; Ezekiel 16:6): "When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thy own blood, loathed and abandoned, and appointed to die, as sheep for the slaughter, then I said unto thee, Live. I designed thee for life when thou wast doomed to destruction, and resolved to save thee from death." Those shall live to whom God commands life. God looked upon the world of mankind as thus cast off, thus cast out, thus polluted, thus weltering in blood, and his thoughts towards it were thoughts of good, designing it life, and that more abundantly. By converting grace, he says to the soul, Live. 2. He looked upon them with kindness and a tender affection, not only pitied them, but set his love upon them, which was unaccountable, for there was nothing lovely in them; but I looked upon thee, and, behold, thy time was the time of love,Ezekiel 16:8; Ezekiel 16:8. It was the kindness and love of God our Saviour that sent Christ to redeem us, that sends the Spirit to sanctify us, that brought us out of a state of nature into a state of grace. That was a time of love indeed, distinguishing love, when God manifested his love to us, and courted our love to him. Then was I in his eyes as one that found favour,Song of Solomon 8:10. 3. He took them under his protection: "I spread my skirt over thee, to shelter thee from wind and weather, and to cover thy nakedness, that the shame of it might not appear." Boaz spread his skirt over Ruth, in token of the special favour he designed her, Ruth 3:9. God took them into his care, as an eagle bears her young ones upon her wings,Deuteronomy 32:11; Deuteronomy 32:12. When God owned them for his people, and sent Moses to Egypt to deliver them, which was an expression of the good-will of him that dwelt in the bush, then he spread his skirt over them. 4. He cleared them from the reproachful character which their bondage in Egypt laid them under (Ezekiel 16:9; Ezekiel 16:9): "Then washed I thee with water, to make thee clean, and anointed thee with oil, to make thee sweet and supple thee." All the disgrace of their slavery was rolled away when they were brought, with a high hand and a stretched-out arm, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. When God said, Israel is my son, my first-born--Let my people go, that they may serve me, that word, backed as it was with so many works of wonder, thoroughly washed away their blood; and when God led them under the convoy of the pillar of cloud and fire he spread his skirt over them. 5. He multiplied them and built them up into a people. This is here mentioned (Ezekiel 16:7; Ezekiel 16:7) before his spreading his skirt over them, because their numbers increased exceedingly while they were yet bond-slaves in Egypt. They multiplied as the bud of the field in spring time; they waxed great, exceedingly mighty,Exodus 1:7; Exodus 1:20. Their breasts were fashioned when they were formed into distinct tribes and had officers of their own (Exodus 5:19); their hair grew when they grew numerous, whereas they had been naked and bare, very few and therefore contemptible. 6. He admitted them into covenant with himself. See what glorious nuptials this poor forlorn infant is preferred to at last. How she is dignified who at first had scarcely her life given her for a prey: I swore unto thee and entered into covenant with thee. This was done at Mount Sinai: "when the covenant between God and Israel was sealed and ratified then thou becamest mine." God called them his people, and himself the God of Israel. Note, Those to whom God gives spiritual life he takes into covenant with himself; by that covenant they become his subjects and servants, which intimates their duty--his portion, his treasure, which intimates their privilege; and it is confirmed with an oath, that we might have strong consolation. 7. He beautified and adorned them. This maid cannot forget her ornaments, and she is gratified with abundance of them, Ezekiel 16:10-13; Ezekiel 16:10-13. We need not be particular in the application of these. Her wardrobe was well furnished with rich apparel; they had embroidered work to wear, shoes of fine badgers' skins, linen girdles, and silk veils, bracelets and necklaces, jewels and ear-rings, and even a beautiful crown, or coronet. Perhaps this may refer to the jewels and other rich goods which they took from the Egyptians, which might well be spoken of thus long after as a merciful circumstance of their deliverance, when it was spoken of long before, Genesis 15:14. They shall come out with great substance. Or it may be taken figuratively for all those blessings of heaven which adorned both their church and state. In a little time they came to excellent ornaments,Ezekiel 16:7; Ezekiel 16:7. The laws and ordinances which God gave them were to them as ornaments of grace to the head and chains about the neck,Proverbs 1:9. God's sanctuary, which he set up among them, was a beautiful crown upon their head; it was the beauty of holiness. 8. He fed them with abundance, with plenty, with dainty: Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil--manna, angels' food--honey out of the rock, oil out of the flinty rock. In Canaan they did eat bread to the full, the finest of the wheat, Deuteronomy 32:13; Deuteronomy 32:14. Those whom God takes into covenant with himself are fed with the bread of life, clothed with the robe of righteousness, adorned with the graces and comforts of the spirit. The hidden man of the heart is that which is incorruptible. 9. He gave them great reputation among their neighbours, and made them considerable, acceptable to their friends and allies and formidable to their adversaries: Thou didst prosper into a kingdom (Ezekiel 16:13; Ezekiel 16:13), which speaks both dignity and dominion; and, They renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty,Ezekiel 16:14; Ezekiel 16:14. The nations about had their eye upon them, and admired them for the excellent laws by which they were governed, the privilege they had of access to God, Deuteronomy 4:7; Deuteronomy 4:8. Solomon's wisdom, and Solomon's temple, were very much the renown of that nation; and, if we put all the privileges of the Jewish church and kingdom together, we must own that it was the most accomplished beauty of all the nations of the earth. The beauty of it was perfect; you could not name the thing that would be the honour of a people but it was to be found in Israel, in David's and Solomon's time, when that kingdom was in its zenith-piety, learning, wisdom, justice, victory, peace, wealth, and all sure to continue if they had kept close to God. It was perfect, saith God, through my comeliness which I had put upon thee, through the beauty of their holiness, as they were a people set apart for God, and devoted to him, to be to him for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory. It was this that put a lustre upon all their other honours and was indeed the perfection of their beauty. We may apply this spiritually. Sanctified souls are truly beautiful; they are so in God's sight, and they themselves may take the comfort of it. But God must have all the glory, for they were by nature deformed and polluted, and, whatever comeliness they have, it is that which God has put upon them and beautified them with, and he will be well pleased with the work of his own hands.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Ezekiel 16:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/ezekiel-16.html. 1706.