Ezekiel 16:20-21

20 "Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to 1Me and 2sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter?
21 "You slaughtered 3My children and offered them up to idols by 4causing them to pass through the fire.

Ezekiel 16:20-21 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 16:20-21 In-Context

18 "Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them.
19 "Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened," declares the Lord GOD.
20 "Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter?
21 "You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire.
22 "Besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood.
23 "Then it came about after all your wickedness ('Woe, woe to you!' declares the Lord GOD ),

Cross References 4

  • 1. Exodus 13:2, 12; Deuteronomy 29:11, 12
  • 2. Psalms 106:37, 38; Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 20:31; Ezekiel 23:37
  • 3. Exodus 13:2
  • 4. 2 Kings 17:17; Jeremiah 19:5

Footnotes 2

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