Ezekiel 23

Oholah and Oholibah's Sin and Its Consequences

1 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying,
2 "Son of man, there were 1two women, the daughters of one mother;
3 and they played the harlot in Egypt. They 2played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled.
4 "Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah
5 "Oholah played the harlot while she was Mine; and she lusted after her lovers, after the 3Assyrians, her neighbors,
6 who were clothed in purple, 4governors and officials, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses.
7 "She bestowed her harlotries on them, all of whom were the choicest men of Assyria; and with all whom she lusted after, with all their idols she 5defiled herself.
8 "She did not forsake her harlotries 6from the time in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her, and they handled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.
9 "Therefore, I gave her into the hand of her 7lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted.
10 "They 8uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters, but they slew her with the sword. Thus she became a byword among women, and they executed judgments on her.
11 "Now her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was 9more corrupt in her lust than she, and her harlotries were more than the harlotries of her sister.
12 "She lusted after the 10Assyrians, governors and officials, the ones near, magnificently dressed, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.
13 "I saw that she had defiled herself; they both took the same way.
14 "So she increased her harlotries. And she saw men 11portrayed on the wall, images of the 12Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion
15 girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, like the Babylonians * in Chaldea, the land of their birth.
16 "When she saw * them she 13lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.
17 "The 14Babylonians * came to her to the bed of love and defiled her with their harlotry. And when she had been defiled by them, she became disgusted with them.
18 "She 15uncovered her harlotries and uncovered her nakedness; then I became 16disgusted with her, as I had become disgusted with her 17sister.
19 "Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt
20 "She 18lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
21 "Thus you longed for the 19lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom because of the breasts of your youth
22 "Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold I will arouse your lovers against you, from whom you were alienated, and I will bring them against you from every side:
23 the 20Babylonians * and all the 21Chaldeans, 22Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the 23Assyrians with them; desirable young men, governors and officials all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses.
24 'They will come against you with weapons, 24chariots and wagons, and with a company of peoples. They will set themselves against you on every side with buckler and shield and helmet; and I will commit the 25judgment to them, and they will judge you according to their customs.
25 'I will set My 26jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in wrath. They will remove your nose and your ears; and your survivors will fall by the sword. They will take your 27sons and your daughters; and your survivors will be consumed by the fire.
26 'They will also 28strip you of your clothes and take away your 29beautiful jewels.
27 'Thus 30I will make your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt to cease from you, so that you will not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.'
28 "For thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I will give you into the hand of those whom you 31hate, into the hand of those from whom you were alienated.
29 'They will 32deal with you in hatred, take all your property, and leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your harlotries will be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotries.
30 'These things will be done to you because you have 33played the harlot with the nations, because * you have defiled yourself with their idols.
31 'You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore I will give 34her cup into your hand.'
32 "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'You will 35drink your sister's cup, Which is deep and wide. You will be 36laughed at and held in derision; It contains much.
33 'You will be filled with 37drunkenness and sorrow, The cup of horror and desolation, The cup of your sister Samaria.
34 'You will 38drink it and drain it. Then you will gnaw its fragments And tear your breasts; for I have spoken,' declares the Lord GOD.
35 "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because you have 39forgotten Me and 40cast Me behind your back, bear now the punishment of your lewdness and your harlotries.' "
36 Moreover, the LORD said to me, "Son of man, will you 41judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then 42declare to them their abominations
37 "For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. Thus they have committed adultery with their idols and even caused their sons, 43whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire to them as food.
38 "Again, they have done this to Me: they have 44defiled My sanctuary on the same day and have 45profaned My sabbaths
39 "For when they had slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My 46sanctuary on the same day to profane it; and lo, thus they did within My house.
40 "Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came -for whom you bathed, 47painted your eyes and 48decorated yourselves with ornaments;
41 and you sat on a splendid 49couch with a 50table arranged before it on which you had set My 51incense and My 52oil.
42 "The sound of a 53carefree multitude was with her; and 54drunkards were brought from the wilderness with men of the common * sort *. And they put 55bracelets on the hands of the women and beautiful crowns on their heads.
43 "Then I said concerning her who was 56worn out by adulteries, 'Will they now commit adultery with her when she is thus?'
44 "But they went in to her as they would go in to a harlot. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women.
45 "But they, righteous men, will 57judge them with the judgment of adulteresses and with the judgment of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
46 "For thus says the Lord GOD, 'Bring up a company against them and give them over to 58terror and plunder.
47 'The company will 59stone them with stones and cut them down with their swords; they will slay their sons and their daughters and 60burn their houses with fire.
48 'Thus I will make lewdness cease from the land, that all women may be admonished and not commit lewdness as you have done.
49 'Your lewdness will be 61requited upon you, and you will bear the penalty of worshiping your idols; thus you will know that I am the Lord GOD.' "

Ezekiel 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

A history of the apostacy of God's people from him, and the aggravation thereof.

- In this parable, Samaria and Israel bear the name Aholah, "her own tabernacle;" because the places of worship those kingdoms had, were of their own devising. Jerusalem and Judah bear the name of Aholibah, "my tabernacle is in her," because their temple was the place which God himself had chosen, to put his name there. The language and figures are according to those times. Will not such humbling representations of nature keep open perpetual repentance and sorrow in the soul, hiding pride from our eyes, and taking us from self-righteousness? Will it not also prompt the soul to look to God continually for grace, that by his Holy Spirit we may mortify the deeds of the body, and live in holy conversation and godliness?

Cross References 61

  • 1. Ezekiel 16:46
  • 2. Leviticus 17:7; Jeremiah 3:9
  • 3. 2 Kings 15:19; 2 Kings 16:7; 2 Kings 17:3; Ezekiel 16:28; Hosea 5:13; Hosea 8:9, 10
  • 4. Ezekiel 23:12, 13
  • 5. Ezekiel 20:7; Ezekiel 22:3, 4; Hosea 5:3; Hosea 6:10
  • 6. Exodus 32:4; 1 Kings 12:28; 2 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 17:16; Ezekiel 23:3, 19
  • 7. Ezekiel 16:37; Ezekiel 23:22
  • 8. Ezekiel 16:37, 41
  • 9. Jeremiah 3:8-11; Ezekiel 16:51
  • 10. 2 Kings 16:7
  • 11. Ezekiel 8:10
  • 12. Ezekiel 16:29
  • 13. Ezekiel 23:20; Matthew 5:28
  • 14. 2 Kings 24:17
  • 15. Jeremiah 8:12; Ezekiel 21:24; Ezekiel 23:10
  • 16. Psalms 78:59; Psalms 106:40; Jeremiah 12:8
  • 17. Ezekiel 23:9; Amos 5:21
  • 18. Ezekiel 16:26; Ezekiel 17:15
  • 19. Jeremiah 3:9; Ezekiel 23:3
  • 20. 2 Kings 20:14-17; Ezekiel 21:19; Ezekiel 23:14-17
  • 21. 2 Kings 24:2; Job 1:17; Isaiah 23:13
  • 22. Jeremiah 50:21
  • 23. Genesis 2:14; Genesis 25:18; Ezra 6:22
  • 24. Jeremiah 47:3; Ezekiel 26:10; Nahum 2:3, 4
  • 25. Jeremiah 39:5, 6; Ezekiel 16:38; Ezekiel 23:45
  • 26. Exodus 34:14; Ezekiel 5:13; Ezekiel 8:17, 18; Zephaniah 1:18
  • 27. Ezekiel 23:47; Hosea 2:4
  • 28. Jeremiah 13:22; Ezekiel 16:39; Ezekiel 23:29
  • 29. Isaiah 3:18-23
  • 30. Ezekiel 16:41
  • 31. Jeremiah 21:7-10; Jeremiah 34:20; Ezekiel 16:37; Ezekiel 23:17, 22
  • 32. Deuteronomy 28:48; Ezek 23:25, 26, 45-47
  • 33. Ezekiel 6:9
  • 34. 2 Kings 21:13; Jeremiah 7:14, 15; Ezekiel 23:33
  • 35. Psalms 60:3; Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15
  • 36. Ezekiel 5:14, 15; Ezekiel 16:57; Ezekiel 22:4, 5
  • 37. Jer 25:15, 16, 27; Habakkuk 2:16
  • 38. Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17
  • 39. Isaiah 17:10; Jeremiah 3:21; Ezekiel 22:12; Hosea 8:14; Hosea 13:6
  • 40. 1 Kings 14:9; Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 32:33
  • 41. Jeremiah 1:10; Ezekiel 20:4; Ezekiel 22:2
  • 42. Isaiah 58:1; Ezekiel 16:2; Micah 3:8
  • 43. Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 20:26
  • 44. 2 Kings 21:4, 7; Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 7:20
  • 45. Jeremiah 17:27; Ezekiel 20:13, 24
  • 46. Jeremiah 7:9-11
  • 47. 2 Kings 9:30; Jeremiah 4:30
  • 48. Isaiah 3:18-23; Ezekiel 16:13-16
  • 49. Esther 1:6; Isaiah 57:7; Amos 6:4
  • 50. Isaiah 65:11; Ezekiel 44:16
  • 51. Jeremiah 44:17; Hosea 2:8
  • 52. Jeremiah 44:17; Hosea 2:8
  • 53. Ezekiel 16:49; Amos 6:3-6
  • 54. Jeremiah 51:7
  • 55. Genesis 24:30; Ezekiel 16:11, 12
  • 56. Ezekiel 23:3
  • 57. Ezekiel 16:38
  • 58. Jeremiah 15:4; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18
  • 59. Leviticus 20:10; Ezekiel 16:40
  • 60. Jeremiah 39:8
  • 61. Isaiah 59:18; Ezekiel 7:4, 9; Ezekiel 9:10; Ezekiel 23:35

Footnotes 35

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the idolatries of Israel and Judah are represented under the metaphor of two harlots, and their lewdness. These harlots are described by their descent; by the place and time in which they committed their whoredoms; by their names, and which are explained, Eze 23:1-4, the idolatries of Israel, or the ten tribes, under the name of Aholah, which they committed with the Assyrians, and which they continued from the Egyptians, of whom they had learned them, are exposed, Eze 23:5-8, and their punishment for them is declared, Eze 23:9,10 then the idolatries of Judah, or the two tribes, under the name of Aholibah, are represented as greater than those of the ten tribes, Eze 23:11, which they committed with the Assyrians, Eze 23:12, with the Chaldeans and Babylonians, Eze 23:13-18 in imitation of the Egyptians, reviving former idolatries learnt of them, Eze 23:19-21, wherefore they are threatened, that the Chaldeans, Babylonians, and Assyrians, should come against them, and spoil them, and carry them captive, Eze 23:22-35, and the prophet is bid to declare the abominable sin of them both, Eze 23:36-44, and to signify that they should be judged after the manner of adulteresses, should be stoned, and dispatched with swords, their sons and their daughters, and their houses burnt with fire; by which means their adulteries or idolatries should be made to cease, Eze 23:45-49.

as the Targum; another prophecy, one upon the same subject, as in Eze 16:1,

\\saying\\; as follows:


Ezekiel 23 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.