Ezekiel 16:15-29

15 “ ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.
16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. You went to him, and he possessed your beauty.[a]
17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them.
18 And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them.
19 Also the food I provided for you—the flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign LORD.
20 “ ‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough?
21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.
22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood.
23 “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign LORD. In addition to all your other wickedness,
24 you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square.
25 At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.
26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your neighbors with large genitals, and aroused my anger with your increasing promiscuity.
27 So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.
28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied.
29 Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia,[b] a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.

Ezekiel 16:15-29 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 16

In this chapter the Jewish nation is represented under the simile of a female infant, whose birth, breeding, marriage, grandeur, and conduct, are described, in order to show the wickedness and ingratitude of, his people; who, on account thereof, are threatened with judgments; though mercy is promised to a remnant that should repent. The prophet is directed to make known to Jerusalem her abominable sins, Eze 16:1,2; and, in order to this, is bid to take up the following parable of a female infant; whose descent, birth, and wretched condition, at the time of it, are pointed at, Eze 16:3-5; which are expressive of the low and forlorn estate of the Jews originally; and then follow the benefits and blessings of God bestowed upon them, both in their infant and adult state; the preserving them alive in Egypt, and their multiplication there; and afterwards the covenant made with them, when brought out from thence; and the Lord's espousal of them to himself, as his own people, having a strong affection for them, Eze 16:6-8; the large provision of good things he made for them, both in the wilderness, and especially in the land of Canaan; the riches he bestowed upon them, and the flourishing and prosperous kingdom he raised them to, which made them famous among all the nations round about them, Eze 16:9-14; and yet, after all this, such was the ingratitude of this people, as to commit spiritual whoredom, that is, idolatry, to a very great degree, Eze 16:15; which is aggravated by their converting and applying the good things which the Lord gave them to idolatrous uses, Eze 16:16-19; by sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols, which were the Lord's, Eze 16:20,21; by not calling to mind the former wretched estate out of which they were brought, Eze 16:22; by building high places in every street and way, and there committing idolatries, Eze 16:23-25; by the various nations, whose examples they followed, and with whom they joined, as the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans, Eze 16:26-29; and by the great difference between them and all other harlots, whom they exceeded, Eze 16:30-34; wherefore, on account of all this, they are threatened to be dealt with as an adulterous woman; made a spectacle of; condemned to die, to be stripped, stoned, and burned, Eze 16:35-43; and, that the Lord might appear to be just in executing such judgments on them, they are declared to be as bad as the Hittites and Amorites their parents; and worse than their sisters Samaria and Sodom; and therefore could expect to fare no better than they; and should become proverb and a byword, and bear their sins, shame, and punishment, in the sight of their neighbours, and be despised by them, Eze 16:44-59; nevertheless, the covenant of grace made with his chosen people among them should stand firm; which being manifested to them, would be a means of bringing them to a sense of sin, shame for it, and an acknowledgment of the Lord's grace and goodness to them Eze 16:60-63.

Ezekiel 16:15-29 In-Context

13 So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.
14 And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.
15 “ ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.
16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. You went to him, and he possessed your beauty.
17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them.
18 And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them.
19 Also the food I provided for you—the flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign LORD.
20 “ ‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough?
21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.
22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood.
23 “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign LORD. In addition to all your other wickedness,
24 you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square.
25 At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.
26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your neighbors with large genitals, and aroused my anger with your increasing promiscuity.
27 So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.
28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied.
29 Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia, a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.
30 “ ‘I am filled with fury against you, declares the Sovereign LORD, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute!
31 When you built your mounds at every street corner and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.

Cross References 30

  • 1. ver 25
  • 2. S Isaiah 57:8; S Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 23:3; Ezekiel 27:3
  • 3. S Isaiah 57:7
  • 4. S 2 Kings 23:7
  • 5. S Ezekiel 7:20; Hosea 2:13
  • 6. S Jeremiah 44:5
  • 7. Hosea 2:8
  • 8. S Jeremiah 7:31
  • 9. Exodus 13:2
  • 10. Psalms 106:37-38; S Isaiah 57:5; Ezekiel 23:37
  • 11. S 2 Kings 17:17; S Jeremiah 19:5
  • 12. S Psalms 25:7; S Psalms 88:15; Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:15; Hosea 11:1
  • 13. Hosea 2:3
  • 14. ver 6
  • 15. Ezekiel 24:6
  • 16. ver 31; Isaiah 57:7
  • 17. Psalms 78:58; S Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:2; S Jeremiah 44:21; Ezekiel 20:28
  • 18. S Jeremiah 3:2
  • 19. ver 15; S Proverbs 9:14
  • 20. S Isaiah 23:17
  • 21. S Jeremiah 3:1
  • 22. S 1 Kings 14:9; S Ezekiel 8:17
  • 23. S Isaiah 57:8; Jeremiah 11:15; Ezekiel 20:8; Ezekiel 23:19-21
  • 24. Ezekiel 20:33; Ezekiel 25:13
  • 25. S Jeremiah 34:20
  • 26. S 2 Chronicles 28:18
  • 27. S 2 Kings 16:7
  • 28. Isaiah 57:8
  • 29. S Jeremiah 3:1; Ezekiel 23:14-17
  • 30. Nahum 3:4

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  • [b]. Or "Chaldea"
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