Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 10
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Ezekiel 22:1--24:27

Context
The Sins of Jerusalem

22:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:2 “As for you, son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment, 1  are you willing to pronounce judgment on the bloody city? 2  Then confront her with all her abominable deeds! 22:3 Then say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: O city, who spills blood within herself (which brings on her doom), 3  and who makes herself idols (which results in impurity), 22:4 you are guilty because of the blood you shed and defiled by the idols you made. You have hastened the day of your doom; 4  the end of your years has come. 5  Therefore I will make 6  you an object of scorn to the nations, an object to be mocked by all lands. 22:5 Those both near and far from you will mock you, you with your bad reputation, 7  full of turmoil.

22:6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel living within you has used his authority to shed blood. 8  22:7 They have treated father and mother with contempt 9  within you; they have oppressed the foreigner among you; they have wronged the orphan and the widow 10  within you. 22:8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths! 22:9 Slanderous men shed blood within you. 11  Those who live within you eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains; 12  they commit obscene acts among you. 13  22:10 They have sex with their father’s wife within you; 14  they violate women during their menstrual period within you. 15  22:11 One 16  commits an abominable act with his neighbor’s wife; another obscenely defiles his daughter-in-law; another violates 17  his sister – his father’s daughter 18  – within you. 22:12 They take bribes within you to shed blood. You engage in usury and charge interest; 19  you extort money from your neighbors. You have forgotten me, 20  declares the sovereign Lord. 21 

22:13 “‘See, I strike my hands together 22  at the dishonest profit you have made, and at the bloodshed 23  they have done among you. 22:14 Can your heart endure, 24  or can your hands be strong when I deal with you? 25  I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it! 22:15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you among various countries; I will remove your impurity from you. 26  22:16 You will be profaned within yourself 27  in the sight of the nations; then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

22:17 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become slag to me. All of them are like bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace; 28  they are the worthless slag of silver. 22:19 Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because all of you 29  have become slag, look out! – I am about to gather you in the middle of Jerusalem. 30  22:20 As silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin are gathered in a furnace so that the fire can melt them, so I will gather you in my anger and in my rage. I will deposit you there 31  and melt you. 22:21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my fury, and you will be melted in it. 22:22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted in it, and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my anger on you.’”

22:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that receives no rain 32  or showers in the day of my anger.’ 33  22:25 Her princes 34  within her are like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they have devoured lives. They take away riches and valuable things; they have made many women widows 35  within it. 22:26 Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane, 36  or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore 37  my Sabbaths and I am profaned in their midst. 22:27 Her officials are like wolves in her midst rending their prey – shedding blood and destroying lives – so they can get dishonest profit. 22:28 Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash. 38  They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 22:29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the foreigner who lives among them and denied them justice. 39 

22:30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. 40  22:31 So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, 41  declares the sovereign Lord.”

Two Sisters

23:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 23:2 “Son of man, there were two women who were daughters of the same mother. 23:3 They engaged in prostitution in Egypt; in their youth they engaged in prostitution. Their breasts were squeezed there; lovers 42  fondled their virgin nipples there. 23:4 Oholah was the name of the older and Oholibah 43  the name of her younger sister. They became mine, and gave birth to sons and daughters. 44  Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

23:5 “Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was mine. 45  She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians 46  – warriors 47  23:6 clothed in blue, governors and officials, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 23:7 She bestowed her sexual favors on them; all of them were the choicest young men of Assyria. She defiled herself with all whom she desired 48  – with all their idols. 23:8 She did not abandon the prostitution she had practiced in Egypt; for in her youth men had sex with her, fondled her virgin breasts, and ravished her. 49  23:9 Therefore I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians 50  for whom she lusted. 23:10 They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. She became notorious 51  among women, and they executed judgments against her.

23:11 “Her sister Oholibah watched this, 52  but she became more corrupt in her lust than her sister had been, and her acts of prostitution were more numerous than those of her sister. 23:12 She lusted after the Assyrians – governors and officials, warriors in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 23:13 I saw that she was defiled; both of them followed the same path. 23:14 But she increased her prostitution. She saw men carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans carved in bright red, 53  23:15 wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, the image of Babylonians 54  whose native land is Chaldea. 23:16 When she saw them, 55  she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 56  23:17 The Babylonians crawled into bed with her. 57  They defiled her with their lust; after she was defiled by them, she 58  became disgusted with them. 23:18 When she lustfully exposed her nakedness, 59  I 60  was disgusted with her, just as I 61  had been disgusted with her sister. 23:19 Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. 23:20 She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, 62  and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions. 23:21 This is how you assessed 63  the obscene conduct of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled 64  your nipples and squeezed 65  your young breasts.

23:22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 66  I am about to stir up against you the lovers with whom you were disgusted; I will bring them against you from every side: 23:23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, 67  Shoa, 68  and Koa, 69  and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, all of them governors and officials, officers and nobles, all of them riding on horses. 23:24 They will attack 70  you with weapons, 71  chariots, wagons, and with a huge army; 72  they will array themselves against you on every side with large shields, small shields, and helmets. I will assign them the task of judgment; 73  they will punish you according to their laws. 23:25 I will direct 74  my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in rage. They will cut off your nose and your ears, 75  and your survivors will die 76  by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your survivors will be consumed by fire. 23:26 They will strip your clothes off you and take away your beautiful jewelry. 23:27 So I will put an end to your obscene conduct and your prostitution which you have practiced in the land of Egypt. 77  You will not seek their help 78  or remember Egypt anymore.

23:28 “For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look here, 79  I am about to deliver you over to 80  those whom you hate, to those with whom you were disgusted. 23:29 They will treat you with hatred, take away all you have labored for, 81  and leave you naked and bare. Your nakedness will be exposed, just as when you engaged in prostitution and obscene conduct. 82  23:30 I will do these things to you 83  because you engaged in prostitution with the nations, polluting yourself with their idols. 23:31 You have followed the ways of your sister, so I will place her cup of judgment 84  in your hand. 23:32 “This is what the sovereign Lord says: “You will drink your sister’s deep and wide cup; 85  you will be scorned and derided, for it holds a great deal. 23:33 You will be overcome by 86  drunkenness and sorrow. The cup of your sister Samaria is a cup of horror and desolation. 23:34 You will drain it dry, 87  gnaw its pieces, 88  and tear out your breasts, 89  for I have spoken, declares the sovereign Lord.

23:35 “Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you have forgotten me and completely disregarded me, 90  you must bear now the punishment 91  for your obscene conduct and prostitution.”

23:36 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment 92  on Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds! 23:37 For they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and their sons, whom they bore to me, 93  they have passed through the fire as food to their idols. 94  23:38 Moreover, they have done this to me: In the very same day 95  they desecrated my sanctuary and profaned my Sabbaths. 23:39 On the same day they slaughtered their sons for their idols, they came to my sanctuary to desecrate it. This is what they have done in the middle of my house.

23:40 “They even sent for men from far away; when the messenger arrived, those men set out. 96  For them you bathed, 97  painted your eyes, and decorated yourself with jewelry. 23:41 You sat on a magnificent couch, with a table arranged in front of it where you placed my incense and my olive oil. 23:42 The sound of a carefree crowd accompanied her, 98  including all kinds of men; 99  even Sabeans 100  were brought from the desert. The sisters 101  put bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 23:43 Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will commit immoral acts with her.’ 23:44 They had sex with her 102  as one does with a prostitute. In this way they had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, promiscuous women. 23:45 But upright men will punish them appropriately for their adultery and bloodshed, 103  because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.

23:46 “For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Bring up an army 104  against them and subject them 105  to terror and plunder. 23:47 That army will pelt them with stones and slash them with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses. 106  23:48 I will put an end to the obscene conduct in the land; all the women will learn a lesson from this and not engage in obscene conduct. 23:49 They will repay you for your obscene conduct, and you will be punished for idol worship. 107  Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.”

The Boiling Pot

24:1 The word of the Lord came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month 108 : 24:2 “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege 109  to Jerusalem 110  this very day. 24:3 Recite a proverb to this rebellious house 111  and say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Set on the pot, 112  set it on,

pour water in it too;

24:4 add the pieces of meat to it,

every good piece,

the thigh and the shoulder;

fill it with choice bones.

24:5 Take the choice bone of the flock,

heap up bones under it;

boil rapidly,

and boil its bones in it.

24:6 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:

Woe to the city of bloodshed,

the pot whose rot 113  is in it,

whose rot has not been removed 114  from it!

Empty it piece by piece.

No lot has fallen on it. 115 

24:7 For her blood was in it;

she poured it on an exposed rock;

she did not pour it on the ground to cover it up with dust.

24:8 To arouse anger, to take vengeance,

I have placed her blood on an exposed rock so that it cannot be covered up.

24:9 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says:

Woe to the city of bloodshed!

I will also make the pile high.

24:10 Pile up the bones, kindle the fire;

cook the meat well, mix in the spices,

let the bones be charred.

24:11 Set the empty pot on the coals, 116 

until it becomes hot and its copper glows,

until its uncleanness melts within it and its rot 117  is consumed.

24:12 It has tried my patience; 118 

yet its thick rot is not removed 119  from it.

Subject its rot to the fire! 120 

24:13 You mix uncleanness with obscene conduct. 121 

I tried to cleanse you, 122  but you are not clean.

You will not be cleansed from your uncleanness 123 

until I have exhausted my anger on you.

24:14 “‘I the Lord have spoken; judgment 124  is coming and I will act! I will not relent, or show pity, or be sorry! 125  I will judge you 126  according to your conduct 127  and your deeds, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

Ezekiel’s Wife Dies

24:15 The word of Lord came to me: 24:16 “Son of man, realize that I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you with a jolt, 128  but you must not mourn or weep or shed tears. 24:17 Groan in silence for the dead, 129  but do not perform mourning rites. 130  Bind on your turban 131  and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your lip 132  and do not eat food brought by others.” 133 

24:18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. In the morning 134  I acted just as I was commanded. 24:19 Then the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?”

24:20 So I said to them: “The word of the Lord came to me: 24:21 Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the source of your confident pride, 135  the object in which your eyes delight, 136  and your life’s passion. 137  Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die 138  by the sword. 24:22 Then you will do as I have done: You will not cover your lip or eat food brought by others. 139  24:23 Your turbans will be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not mourn or weep, but you will rot 140  for your iniquities 141  and groan among yourselves. 24:24 Ezekiel will be an object lesson for you; you will do all that he has done. When it happens, then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.’

24:25 “And you, son of man, this is what will happen on the day I take 142  from them their stronghold – their beautiful source of joy, the object in which their eyes delight, and the main concern of their lives, 143  as well as their sons and daughters: 144  24:26 On that day a fugitive will come to you to report the news. 145  24:27 On that day you will be able to speak again; 146  you will talk with the fugitive and be silent no longer. You will be an object lesson for them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

1 tn Heb “will you judge.” Here the imperfect form of the verb is probably used with a desiderative nuance. Addressed to the prophet, “judge” means to warn of or pronounce God’s impending judgment upon the city. See 20:4.

2 tn The phrase “bloody city” is used of Nineveh in Nah 3:1.

3 tn Heb “her time”; this refers to the time of impending judgment (see the note on “doom” in v. 4).

4 tn Heb “you have brought near your days.” The expression “bring near your days” appears to be an adaptation of the idiom “days draw near,” which is used to indicate that an event, such as death, is imminent (see Gen 27:41; 47:29; Deut 31:14; 1 Kgs 2:1; Ezek 12:23). Here “your days” probably refers to the days of the personified city’s life, which was about to come to an end through God’s judgment.

5 tn Heb “and you have come to your years.” This appears to mean that she has arrived at the time when her years (i.e., life) would end, though it may mean that her years of punishment will begin. Because “day” and “time” are so closely associated in the immediate context (see 21:25, 29) some prefer to emend the text and read “you have brought near your time.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:31, as well as the translator’s note on verse 3.

6 tn The Hebrew verb is a prophetic perfect, emphasizing that the action is as good as done from the speaker’s perspective.

7 tn Heb “unclean of name.”

8 tn Heb “Look! The princes of Israel, each according to his arm, were in you in order to shed blood.”

9 tn Heb “treated lightly, cursed.”

10 tn Widows and orphans are often coupled together in the OT (Deut 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:19-21; 26:12-13; Jer 7:6; 22:3). They represented all who were poor and vulnerable to economic exploitation.

11 tn Heb “men of slander are in you in order to shed blood.”

12 tn Heb “and on the mountains they eat within you.” The mountains mentioned here were the site of pagan sacrifices. See 18:6.

13 sn This statement introduces vv. 10-11 and refers in general terms to the sexual sins described there. For the legal background of vv. 10-11, see Lev 18:7-20; 20:10-21; Deut 22:22-23, 30; 27:22.

14 tn Heb “the nakedness of a father one uncovers within you.” The ancient versions read the verb as plural (“they uncover”). If the singular is retained, it must be taken as indefinite and representative of the entire group. The idiomatic expression “uncover the nakedness” refers here to sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 18:6). To uncover a father’s nakedness could include sexual relations with one’s own mother (Lev 18:7), but more likely it refers to having intercourse with another wife of one’s father, such as a stepmother (Lev 18:8; cf. Gen 35:22; 49:4).

15 tn Heb “(one who is) unclean due to the impurity they humble within you.” The use of the verb “to humble” suggests that these men forced themselves upon women during menstruation. Having sexual relations with a woman during her period was forbidden by the Law (Lev 18:19; 20:18).

16 tn Heb “a man.”

17 tn The verb is the same one used in verse 10b and suggests forcible sexual violation of the woman.

18 sn Sexual relations with one’s half-sister may be primarily in view here. See Lev 18:9; 20:17.

19 tn Heb “usury and interest you take.” See 18:13, 17. This kind of economic exploitation violated the law given in Lev 25:36.

20 sn Forgetting the Lord is also addressed in Deut 6:12; 8:11, 14; Jer 3:21; 13:25; Ezek 23:35; Hos 2:15; 8:14; 13:6.

21 tn The second person verb forms are feminine singular in Hebrew, indicating that the personified city is addressed here as representing its citizens.

22 sn This gesture apparently expresses mourning and/or anger (see 6:11; 21:14, 17).

23 tn Heb “the blood which was in you.”

24 tn Heb “stand.” The heart here stands for the emotions; Jerusalem would panic in the face of God’s judgment.

25 tn Heb “in the days when I act against you.”

26 sn The ultimate purpose of divine judgment is to purify the covenant community of its sins.

27 tc Several ancient versions read the verb as first person, in which case the Lord refers to how his people’s sin brings disgrace upon him. For a defense of the Hebrew text, see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:712, n. 68, and M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:457-58.

tn The phrase “within yourself” is the same as the several previous occurrences of “within you” but adjusted to fit this clause which is the culmination of the series of indictments.

28 tn For similar imagery, see Isa 1:21-26; Jer 6:27-30.

29 tn The Hebrew second person pronoun is masculine plural here and in vv. 19b-21, indicating that the people are being addressed.

30 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

31 tn Heb “I will put.” No object is supplied in the Hebrew, prompting many to emend the text to “I will blow.” See BHS and verse 21.

32 tc The MT reads “that is not cleansed”; the LXX reads “that is not drenched,” which assumes a different vowel pointing as well as the loss of a מ (mem) due to haplography. In light of the following reference to showers, the reading of the LXX certainly fits the context well. For a defense of the emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32. Yet the MT is not an unreasonable reading since uncleanness in the land also fits the context, and a poetic connection between rain and the land being uncleansed may be feasible since washing with water is elsewhere associated with cleansing (Num 8:7; 31:23; Ps 51:7).

33 tn Heb “in a day of anger.”

34 tn Heb “a conspiracy of her prophets is in her midst.” The LXX reads “whose princes” rather than “a conspiracy of prophets.” The prophets are mentioned later in the paragraph (v. 28). If one follows the LXX in verse 25, then five distinct groups are mentioned in vv. 25-29: princes, priests, officials, prophets, and the people of the land. For a defense of the Septuagintal reading, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:720, n. 4.

35 tn Heb “her widows they have multiplied.” The statement alludes to their murderous acts.

36 tn Or “between the consecrated and the common.”

37 tn Heb “hide their eyes from.” The idiom means to disregard or ignore something or someone (see Lev 20:4; 1 Sam 12:3; Prov 28:27; Isa 1:15).

38 tn Heb “her prophets coat for themselves with whitewash.” The expression may be based on Ezek 13:10-15.

39 tn Heb “and the foreigner they have oppressed without justice.”

40 tn Heb “I did not find.”

41 tn Heb “their way on their head I have placed.”

42 tn In the Hebrew text the subject is left unstated and must be supplied from the context.

43 tn The names Oholah and Oholibah are both derived from the word meaning “tent.” The meaning of Oholah is “her tent,” while Oholibah means “my tent is in her.”

44 sn In this allegory the Lord is depicted as being the husband of two wives. The OT law prohibited a man from marrying sisters (Lev 18:18), but the practice is attested in the OT (cf. Jacob). The metaphor is utilized here for illustrative purposes and does not mean that the Lord condoned such a practice or bigamy in general.

45 tn Heb “while she was under me.” The expression indicates that Oholah is viewed as the Lord’s wife. See Num 5:19-20, 29.

sn Played the harlot refers to alliances with pagan nations in this context. In Ezek 16 harlotry described the sin of idolatry.

46 tn Heb “Assyria.”

47 tn The term apparently refers to Assyrian military officers; it is better construed with the description that follows. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:738.

48 tn Heb “lusted after.”

49 tn Heb “and poured out their harlotry on her.”

50 tn Heb “I gave her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the sons of Assyria.”

51 tn Heb “name.”

52 tn The word “this” is not in the original text.

53 tn The only other occurrence of the Hebrew term is in Jer 22:14.

54 tn Heb “the sons of Babel.”

55 tn Heb “at the appearance of her eyes.”

56 sn The Chaldeans were prominent tribal groups of Babylonia. The imagery is reminiscent of events in the reigns of Hezekiah (2 Kgs 20:12-15) and Jehoiakim (2 Kgs 23:34-24:1).

57 tn Heb “The sons of Babel came to her on a bed of love.”

58 tn Heb “her soul.”

59 tn Heb “She exposed her harlotry and she exposed her nakedness.”

60 tn Heb “my soul.”

61 tn Heb “my soul.”

62 tn Heb “She lusted after their concubines (?) whose flesh was the flesh of donkeys.” The phrase “their concubines” is extremely problematic here. The pronoun is masculine plural, suggesting that the Egyptian men are in view, but how concubines would fit into the picture envisioned here is not clear. Some suggest that Ezekiel uses the term in an idiomatic sense of “paramour,” but this still fails to explain how the pronoun relates to the noun. It is more likely that the term refers here to the Egyptians’ genitals. The relative pronoun that follows introduces a more specific description of their genitals.

63 tn Or “you took note of.” The Hebrew verb פָּקַד (paqad) in the Qal implies evaluating something and then acting in light of that judgment; here the prophet depicts Judah as approving of her youthful unfaithfulness and then magnifying it at the present time. Some translations assume the verb should be repointed as a Niphal, rendering “you missed” or by extension “you longed for,” but such an extension of the Niphal “to be missing” is otherwise unattested.

64 tn Heb “when (they) did,” but the verb makes no sense here and is better emended to “when (they) fondled,” a verb used in vv. 3 and 8. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:43.

65 tn Heb “for the sake of,” but the expression is awkward and is better emended to read “to squeeze.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:43.

66 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

67 sn Pekod was the name of an Aramean tribe (known as Puqudu in Mesopotamian texts) that lived in the region of the Tigris River.

68 sn Shoa was the name of a nomadic people (the Sutu) that lived in Mesopotamia.

69 sn Koa was the name of another Mesopotamian people group (the Qutu).

70 tn Heb “come against.”

71 tn This is the only occurrence of this term in the OT. The precise meaning is uncertain.

72 tn Heb “an assembly of peoples.”

73 tn Heb “I will place before them judgment.”

74 tn Heb “give.”

75 tn Heb “they will remove.”

sn This method of punishment is attested among ancient Egyptian and Hittite civilizations. See W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel (Hermeneia), 1:489.

76 tn Heb “fall.”

77 tn Heb “I will cause your obscene conduct to cease from you and your harlotry from the land of Egypt.”

78 tn Heb “lift your eyes to them.”

79 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

80 tn Heb “I am giving you into the hand of.”

81 tn The Hebrew term means “labor,” but by extension it can also refer to that for which one works.

82 tn Heb “The nakedness of your prostitution will be exposed, and your obscene conduct and your harlotry.”

83 tn The infinitive absolute continues the sequence begun in v. 28: “Look here, I am about to deliver you.” See Joüon 2:430 §123.w.

84 tn Heb “her cup.” A cup of intoxicating strong drink is used, here and elsewhere, as a metaphor for judgment because both leave one confused and reeling. (See Jer 25:15, 17, 28; Hab 2:16.) The cup of wrath is a theme also found in the NT (Mark 14:36).

85 sn The image of a deep and wide cup suggests the degree of punishment; it will be extensive and leave the victim helpless.

86 tn Heb “filled with.”

87 tn Heb “You will drink it and drain (it).”

88 tn D. I. Block compares this to the idiom of “licking the plate” (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:754, n. 137). The text is difficult as the word translated “gnaw” is rare. The noun is used of the shattered pieces of pottery and so could envision a broken cup. But the Piel verb form is used in only one other place (Num 24:8), where it is a denominative from the noun “bone” and seems to mean to “break (bones).” Why it would be collocated with “sherds” is not clear. For this reason some emend the phrase to read “consume its dregs” (see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 2:44) or emend the verb to read “swallow,” as if the intoxicated Oholibah breaks the cup and then eats the very sherds in an effort to get every last drop of the beverage that dampens them.

89 sn The severe action is more extreme than beating the breasts in anguish (Isa 32:12; Nah 2:7). It is also ironic for these are the very breasts she so blatantly offered to her lovers (vv. 3, 21).

90 tn Heb “and you cast me behind your back.” The expression pictures her rejection of the Lord (see 1 Kgs 14:9).

91 tn The word “punishment” is not in the Hebrew text but is demanded by the context.

92 tn Heb “will you judge.” Here the imperfect form of the verb is probably used with a desiderative nuance. Addressed to the prophet, “judge” means to warn of or pronounce God’s impending judgment. See 20:4; 22:2.

93 sn The Lord speaks here in the role of the husband of the sisters.

94 tn Heb “they have passed to them for food.” The verb is commonly taken to refer to passing children through fire, especially as an offering to the pagan god Molech. See Jer 32:35.

95 tn Heb “in that day.”

96 tn Heb “to whom a messenger was sent, and look, they came.” Foreign alliances are in view here.

97 tn The Hebrew verb form is feminine singular, indicating that Oholibah (Judah) is specifically addressed here. This address continues through verse 42a (note “her”), but then both sisters are described in verse 42b, where the feminine pronouns are again plural.

98 tn Heb “(was) in her.”

99 tn Heb “and men from the multitude of mankind.”

100 tn An alternate reading is “drunkards.” Sheba is located in the area of modern day Yemen.

101 tn Heb “they”; the referents (the sisters) have been specified in the translation for the sake of clarity.

102 tn Heb “and they came to her.”

103 tn Heb “and upright men will judge them (with) the judgment of adulteresses and the judgment of those who shed blood.”

104 tn Heb “assembly.”

105 tn Heb “give them to.”

106 tn The Hebrew text adds “with fire.”

107 tn Heb “and the sins of your idols you will bear.” By extension it can mean the punishment for the sins.

108 tn The date of this oracle was January 15, 588 b.c.

109 tn Heb “lean on, put pressure on.”

110 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

111 sn The book of Ezekiel frequently refers to the Israelites as a rebellious house (Ezek 2:5, 6, 8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3).

112 sn See Ezek 11:3-12.

113 tn Or “rust.”

114 tn Heb “has not gone out.”

115 tn Here “lot” may refer to the decision made by casting lots; it is not chosen at all.

116 tn Heb “set it upon its coals, empty.”

117 tn Or “rust” (so also in v. 12).

118 tn Heb “(with) toil she has wearied.” The meaning of the statement is unclear in the Hebrew text; some follow the LXX and delete it. The first word in the statement (rendered “toil” in the literal translation above) occurs only here in the OT, and the verb “she has wearied” lacks a stated object. Elsewhere the Hiphil of the verb refers to wearying someone or trying someone’s patience. The feminine subject is apparently the symbolic pot.

119 tn Heb “does not go out.”

120 tn Heb “in fire its rust.” The meaning of the expression is unclear. The translation understands the statement as a command to burn the rust away. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:768.

121 tn Heb “in your uncleanness (is) obscene conduct.”

122 tn Heb “because I cleansed you.” In this context (see especially the very next statement), the statement must refer to divine intention and purpose. Despite God’s efforts to cleanse his people, they resisted him and remained morally impure.

123 tn The Hebrew text adds the word “again.”

124 tn Heb “it”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

125 tn Or perhaps, “change my mind.”

126 tc Some medieval Hebrew mss and the major ancient versions read a first person verb here. Most Hebrew mss read have an indefinite subject, “they will judge you,” which could be translated, “you will be judged.”

127 tn Heb “ways.”

128 tn Heb “a strike.”

129 tn Or “Groan silently. As to the dead….” Cf. M. Greenberg’s suggestion that דֹּם מֵתִים (dom metim) be taken together and דֹּם be derived from ָדּמַם (damam, “to moan, murmur”). See M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:508.

130 tn Heb “(For) the dead mourning you shall not conduct.” In the Hebrew text the word translated “dead” is plural, indicating that mourning rites are in view. Such rites would involve outward demonstrations of one’s sorrow, including wailing and weeping.

131 sn The turban would normally be removed for mourning (Josh 7:6; 1 Sam 4:12).

132 sn Mourning rites included covering the lower part of the face. See Lev 13:45.

133 tn Heb “the bread of men.” The translation follows the suggestion accepted by M. Greenberg (Ezekiel [AB], 2:509) that this refers to a meal brought by comforters to the one mourning. Some repoint the consonantal text to read “the bread of despair” (see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 2:56), while others, with support from the Targum and Vulgate, emend the consonantal text to read “the bread of mourners” (see D. I. Block, Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:784).

134 tn This may refer to the following morning. For a discussion of various interpretive options in understanding the chronology reflected in verse 18, see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:790.

135 tn Heb “the pride of your strength” means “your strong pride.”

136 sn Heb “the delight of your eyes.” Just as Ezekiel was deprived of his beloved wife (v. 16, the “desire” of his “eyes”) so the Lord would be forced to remove the object of his devotion, the temple, which symbolized his close relationship to his covenant people.

137 tn Heb “the object of compassion of your soul.” The accentuation in the traditional Hebrew text indicates that the descriptive phrases (“the source of your confident pride, the object in which your eyes delight, and your life’s passion”) modify the preceding “my sanctuary.”

138 tn Heb “fall.”

139 tn See v. 17.

140 tn The same verb appears in 4:17 and 33:10.

141 tn Or “in your punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity/punishment” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here; 3:18, 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18:17, 18, 19, 20; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment” for iniquity or “guilt” of iniquity.

142 tn Heb “(Will) it not (be) in the day I take?”

143 tn Heb “the uplifting of their soul.” According to BDB 672 s.v. מַשָּׂא 2, the term “uplifting” refers to “that to which they lift up their soul, their heart’s desire.” However, this text is the only one listed for this use. It seems more likely that the term has its well-attested nuance of “burden, load,” here and refers to that which weighs them down emotionally and is a constant source of concern or worry.

144 tn In the Hebrew text there is no conjunction before “their sons and daughters.” For this reason one might assume that the preceding descriptive phrases refer to the sons and daughters, but verse 21 suggests otherwise. The descriptive phrases appear to refer to the “stronghold,” which parallels “my sanctuary” in verse 21. The children constitute a separate category.

145 tn Heb “to make the ears hear.”

146 tn Heb “your mouth will open.”



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