Ezekiel 16:44-63

44 “ ‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”
45 You are a true daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and her children; and you are a true sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom.
47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they.
48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.
49 “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done.
52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
53 “ ‘However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them,
54 so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in giving them comfort.
55 And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to what they were before; and you and your daughters will return to what you were before.
56 You would not even mention your sister Sodom in the day of your pride,
57 before your wickedness was uncovered. Even so, you are now scorned by the daughters of Edom[a] and all her neighbors and the daughters of the Philistines—all those around you who despise you.
58 You will bear the consequences of your lewdness and your detestable practices, declares the LORD.
59 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.
60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both those who are older than you and those who are younger. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on the basis of my covenant with you.
62 So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD.
63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

Ezekiel 16:44-63 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 16:44-63 In-Context

42 Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.
43 “ ‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign LORD. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?
44 “ ‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”
45 You are a true daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and her children; and you are a true sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom.
47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they.
48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.
49 “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done.
52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
53 “ ‘However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them,
54 so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in giving them comfort.
55 And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to what they were before; and you and your daughters will return to what you were before.
56 You would not even mention your sister Sodom in the day of your pride,
57 before your wickedness was uncovered. Even so, you are now scorned by the daughters of Edom and all her neighbors and the daughters of the Philistines—all those around you who despise you.
58 You will bear the consequences of your lewdness and your detestable practices, declares the LORD.
59 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.
60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both those who are older than you and those who are younger. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on the basis of my covenant with you.
62 So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD.
63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

Cross References 38

  • 1. S Psalms 49:4
  • 2. S Ezekiel 14:5
  • 3. Jeremiah 44:19
  • 4. ver 3; Ezekiel 23:2
  • 5. S Jeremiah 3:7
  • 6. Genesis 13:10-13; S Genesis 18:20; Jeremiah 3:8-11; Ezekiel 23:4; Revelation 11:8
  • 7. 2 Kings 21:9; S Ezekiel 5:7
  • 8. S Genesis 15:2
  • 9. S Genesis 19:25
  • 10. Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23-24
  • 11. Genesis 13:13; S Isaiah 1:10
  • 12. Psalms 138:6; Ezekiel 28:2
  • 13. Isaiah 22:13
  • 14. S Genesis 13:13; Genesis 19:9; S Jeremiah 5:28; Eze 18:7,12,16; Amos 6:4-6; Luke 12:16-20; Luke 16:19; James 5:5
  • 15. Psalms 18:27
  • 16. Genesis 18:20-21; S Genesis 19:5
  • 17. Jeremiah 3:8-11; Ezekiel 5:6-7; Ezekiel 23:11
  • 18. S Jeremiah 3:11
  • 19. Ezekiel 23:35
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 19:24-25; S Jeremiah 48:47
  • 21. Ezekiel 39:25
  • 22. S Jeremiah 2:26; Ezekiel 14:22
  • 23. Ezekiel 36:11; Malachi 3:4
  • 24. S Psalms 137:3
  • 25. 2 Kings 16:6
  • 26. Ezekiel 23:49
  • 27. S ver 8; Ezekiel 17:19
  • 28. S Genesis 6:18; S Genesis 9:15
  • 29. S Psalms 25:7; S Jeremiah 2:2
  • 30. S Genesis 9:16; Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 37:26
  • 31. ver 63; Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 43:10; Ezekiel 44:13
  • 32. S Isaiah 43:6
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 29:14
  • 34. S Jeremiah 24:7; Eze 20:37,43-44; Ezekiel 34:25; Ezekiel 37:26; Hosea 2:19-20
  • 35. Psalms 65:3; Psalms 78:38; Psalms 79:9
  • 36. Ezekiel 36:31-32
  • 37. Romans 3:19
  • 38. Psalms 39:9; Daniel 9:7-8

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Many Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate "Aram"
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