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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Ezekiel Chapter 23

Ezekiel 23:1

eze 23:1

The seventh word of judgment. The allegory of Aholah and Aholibah.

Ezekiel 23:2

eze 23:2

Of one mother - Israel and Judah were branches of the same stock.

Ezekiel 23:4

eze 23:4

Aholah ... and Aholibah - More correctly "Oholah" ("her own tent or tabernacle") and "Oholibah" ("My tent or tabernacle is in her"): names chosen to express that after the division Israel set up her own tabernacle in the place of the temple in which God dwelt Kg1 12:32, while with Judah the Temple of God still remained. The presence of God aggravated Judah's sins. In the times of the captivity it was customary among the Jews to give their children names connected with the temple or tabernacle.

Ezekiel 23:6

eze 23:6

The army of the Assyrians is described. War-horses formed an important part in the armies of Assyria and Egypt; Israel was deficient in this respect Isa 36:8.

Ezekiel 23:9

eze 23:9

For the cause which at last brought destruction on Israel, see marginal reference.

Ezekiel 23:10

eze 23:10

Famous - Or, "infamous among women;" literally as in the margin, i. e., a byword among women.

Ezekiel 23:11

eze 23:11

The idolatries of Manasseh's reign exceeded all that had gone before either in Israel or in Judah 2 Kings 21:1-16; Ch2 33:1-10.

Ezekiel 23:14

eze 23:14

After Israel's captivity Judah intrigued first with Assyria, then with Babylon, courting their monarchs, imitating their customs, and learning their idolatries.

Pourtrayed upon the wall - The monuments of Nineveh show how the walls of its palaces were adorned with figures precisely answering to this description. There is evidence that these sculptures were highly colored with vermilion, or rather, red ochre.

Ezekiel 23:16

eze 23:16

The sending of "messengers" refers to the act of Ahaz Kg2 16:7.

Ezekiel 23:17

eze 23:17

After Josiah's death and the usurpation of dominion by the Egyptians, the Babylonians were no doubt welcomed as friends Kg2 24:1. But the Jews were soon tired of their alliance and disgusted with their friends, and this led to the rebellion of Jehoiakim and the first captivity.

Ezekiel 23:19

eze 23:19

Egypt - The kings of Judah played alternately Egypt against Babylon, and Babylon against Egypt. Jehoahaz was displaced by Necho for Jehoiakim, who then turned to the Chaldaeans, and afterward rebelling sought aid from Egypt. So Zedekiah was continually meditating help from Egypt, against which Jeremiah and Ezekiel were continually protesting.

Ezekiel 23:23

eze 23:23

Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa - Possibly words expressive of rank, or names of small Chaldaean tribes, selected for their resemblance to expressive Hebrew words.

Ezekiel 23:24

eze 23:24

With chariots ... - Better "with armor, horsemen, and chariot."

Ezekiel 23:25

eze 23:25

Take away thy nose and thine ears - Alluding to the barbarous custom of mutilating prisoners in the east Dan 2:5. An Egyptian law prescribed this punishment for an adulteress.

Fire - A mode of capital punishment Jer 29:22; Dan. 3.

Ezekiel 23:37

eze 23:37

Blood - One of the chief sins of Manasseh was that he shed innocent blood Kg2 21:16; Kg2 24:4.

Ezekiel 23:38

eze 23:38

The same day - The day when they made their offerings. See Eze 23:39.

Ezekiel 23:39

eze 23:39

Yahweh was placed as it were in the list of deities, not acknowledged as the One God. Idols and idol-temples were erected close to the House of God, and yet the temple-service went on Jer 32:34.

Ezekiel 23:40

eze 23:40

The figure is that of a woman decked in all her beauty, sitting on a couch (not bed) at a banquet prepared for those whom she has invited. This further offence is not one of idolatry, but that of courting alliances with other powers which were not less readily made than broken.

Eze 23:40

That ye have sent - Better, "they (i. e., Israel and Judah) sent."

Ezekiel 23:42

eze 23:42

A voice ... - Or, The voice of the tumult was stilled thereby. The tumultuous cries of the invading army were stilled by these gifts. Others render being at ease, "living carelessly."

Of the common sort - See the margin - a multitudinous crowd.

Sabeans - Better as in the margin. The Chaldaeans were noted for their intemperance and revellings.

The wilderness - The desert tract which the Chalaeans had to pass from the north of Mesopotamia to the holy land. This verse describes the temporary effects of the alliance of Israel and Judah with the Assyrians and Babylonians. All became quiet, the allies received gifts (incense and oil) from Israel and Judah, and these in turn brought riches to Palestine, "bracelets upon their" (i. e., Aholah's and Aholibah's) "hands," and crowns "upon their heads."

Ezekiel 23:43

eze 23:43

Will they now commit ... - Rather, Now shall there be committed her whoredom, even this; i. e., when Israel and Judah had courted these alliances God said in wrath, "This sin too shall be committed, and so (not "yet) they went in;" the alliances were made according to their desires, and then followed the consequent punishment.

Ezekiel 23:45

eze 23:45

The judgment to be executed by the hands of their allies.

Eze 23:45

The righteous men - Or, righteous men. The allies are so called as the instruments of God's righteous judgments.

Eze 23:48

To cease - Because they are stricken and consumed. Compare marginal reference.

All women - i. e., all countries.

Next: Ezekiel Chapter 24