This message came to me from the LORD:
"Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother.
They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed themselves to be fondled and caressed.
The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
"Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of me, and she gave her love to the Assyrians, her neighbors.
They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, dashing about on their horses.
And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols and defiling herself.
For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind. She was still as lewd as in her youth, when the Egyptians satisfied their lusts with her and robbed her of her virginity.
And so I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers, whom she desired so much.
They stripped her and killed her and took away her children as their slaves. Her name was known to every woman in the land as a sinner who had received what she deserved.
"Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution.
She fawned over her Assyrian neighbors, those handsome young men on fine horses, those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms -- all of them desirable.
I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister.
"Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall -- pictures of Babylonian a military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms.
Handsome belts encircled their waists, and flowing turbans crowned their heads. They were dressed like chariot officers from the land of Babylonia. b16
When she saw these paintings, she longed to give herself to them, so she sent messengers to Babylonia to invite them to come to her.
So they came and committed adultery with her, defiling her in the bed of love. But later, she became disgusted with them and broke off their relationship.
"So I became disgusted with Oholibah, just as I was with her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts.
But that didn't bother her. She turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt.
She lusted after lovers whose attentions were gross and bestial.
And so, Oholibah, you celebrated your former days as a young girl in Egypt, when you first allowed yourself to be fondled and caressed.
"Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will send your lovers against you -- those very nations from which you turned away in disgust.
For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them -- handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, riding their horses.
They will all come against you from the north with chariots, wagons, and a great army fully prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed for battle. And I will hand you over to them so they can do with you as they please.
I will turn my jealous anger against you, and they will deal furiously with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned.
They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels.
In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt.
"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe.
They will deal with you in hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you naked and bare. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world.
You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols.
Because you have followed in your sister's footsteps, I will punish you with the same terrors that destroyed her.
"Yes, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: You will drink from the same cup of terror as your sister -- a cup that is large and deep. And all the world will mock and scorn you in your desolation.
You will reel like a drunkard beneath the awful blows of sorrow and distress, just as your sister Samaria did.
In deep anguish you will drain that cup of terror to the very bottom. Then you will smash it to pieces and beat your breast in anguish. For I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!
And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, says the Sovereign LORD, you must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution."
The LORD said to me, "Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their awful deeds.
They have committed both adultery and murder -- adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning their children as sacrifices on their altars.
Then after doing these terrible things, they defiled my Temple and violated my Sabbath day!
On the very day that they murdered their children in front of their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house!
"You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them.
You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my oil on a table that was spread before you.
From your room came the sound of many men carousing. They were lustful men and drunkards from the wilderness, who put bracelets on your wrists and beautiful crowns on your heads.
Then I said, 'If they really want to sleep with worn-out, old prostitutes like these, let them!'
And that is what they did. They slept with Oholah and Oholibah, these shameless prostitutes, with all the zest of lustful young men.
But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are -- adulteresses and murderers. They will sentence them to all the punishment they deserve.
"Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered.
For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes.
In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to others not to follow their wicked example.
You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution -- your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty! Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)