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Ezekiel 16:15-63

Context

16:15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and capitalized on your fame by becoming a prostitute. You offered your sexual favors to every man who passed by so that your beauty 1  became his. 16:16 You took some of your clothing and made for yourself decorated high places; you engaged in prostitution on them. You went to him to become his. 2  16:17 You also took your beautiful jewelry, made of my gold and my silver I had given to you, and made for yourself male images and engaged in prostitution 3  with them. 16:18 You took your embroidered clothing and used it to cover them; you offered my olive oil and my incense to them. 16:19 As for my food that I gave you – the fine flour, olive oil, and honey I fed you – you placed it before them as a soothing aroma. That is exactly what happened, declares the sovereign Lord.

16:20 “‘You took your sons and your daughters whom you bore to me and you sacrificed them 4  as food for the idols to eat. As if your prostitution not enough, 16:21 you slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 5  16:22 And with all your abominable practices and prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth when you were naked and bare, kicking around in your blood.

16:23 “‘After all of your evil – “Woe! Woe to you!” declares the sovereign Lord16:24 you built yourself a chamber 6  and put up a pavilion 7  in every public square. 16:25 At the head of every street you erected your pavilion and you disgraced 8  your beauty when you spread 9  your legs to every passerby and multiplied your promiscuity. 16:26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your sexually aroused neighbors, 10  multiplying your promiscuity and provoking me to anger. 16:27 So see here, I have stretched out my hand against you and cut off your rations. I have delivered you into the power of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed by your obscene conduct. 16:28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians because your sexual desires were insatiable; you prostituted yourself with them and yet you were still not satisfied. 16:29 Then you multiplied your promiscuity to the land of merchants, Babylonia, 11  but you were not satisfied there either.

16:30 “‘How sick is your heart, declares the sovereign Lord, when you perform all of these acts, the deeds of a bold prostitute. 16:31 When you built your chamber at the head of every street and put up your pavilion in every public square, you were not like a prostitute, because you scoffed at payment. 12 

16:32 “‘Adulterous wife, who prefers strangers instead of her own husband! 16:33 All prostitutes receive payment, 13  but instead you give gifts to every one of your lovers. You bribe them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors! 16:34 You were different from other prostitutes 14  because no one solicited you. When you gave payment and no payment was given to you, you became the opposite!

16:35 “‘Therefore O prostitute, hear the word of the Lord: 16:36 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Because your lust 15  was poured out and your nakedness was uncovered in your prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your children you have given to them, 16:37 therefore, take note: I am about to gather all your lovers whom you enjoyed, both all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around, and I will expose your nakedness to them, and they will see all your nakedness. 16  16:38 I will punish you as an adulteress and murderer deserves. 17  I will avenge your bloody deeds with furious rage. 18  16:39 I will give you into their hands and they will destroy your chambers and tear down your pavilions. They will strip you of your clothing and take your beautiful jewelry and leave you naked and bare. 16:40 They will summon a mob who will stone you and hack you in pieces with their swords. 16:41 They will burn down your houses and execute judgments on you in front of many women. Thus I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer give gifts to your clients. 19  16:42 I will exhaust my rage on you, and then my fury will turn from you. I will calm down and no longer be angry.

16:43 “‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth and have enraged me with all these deeds, I hereby repay you for what you have done, 20  declares the sovereign Lord. Have you not engaged in prostitution on top of all your other abominable practices?

16:44 “‘Observe – everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” 16:45 You are the daughter of your mother, who detested her husband and her sons, and you are the sister of your sisters who detested their husbands and their sons. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 16:46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived north 21  of you with her daughters, and your younger sister, who lived south 22  of you, was Sodom 23  with her daughters. 16:47 Have you not copied their behavior 24  and practiced their abominable deeds? In a short time 25  you became even more depraved in all your conduct than they were! 16:48 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never behaved as wickedly as you and your daughters have behaved.

16:49 “‘See here – this was the iniquity 26  of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease, but they did not help 27  the poor and needy. 16:50 They were haughty and practiced abominable deeds before me. Therefore when I saw it I removed them. 16:51 Samaria has not committed half the sins you have; you have done more abominable deeds than they did. 28  You have made your sisters appear righteous with all the abominable things you have done. 16:52 So now, bear your disgrace, because you have given your sisters reason to justify their behavior. 29  Because the sins you have committed were more abominable than those of your sisters; they have become more righteous than you. So now, be ashamed and bear the disgrace of making your sisters appear righteous.

16:53 “‘I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters (along with your fortunes among them), 16:54 so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in consoling them. 16:55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters will be restored to their former status, Samaria and her daughters will be restored to their former status, and you and your daughters will be restored to your former status. 16:56 In your days of majesty, 30  was not Sodom your sister a byword in your mouth, 16:57 before your evil was exposed? Now you have become an object of scorn to the daughters of Aram 31  and all those around her and to the daughters of the Philistines – those all around you who despise you. 16:58 You must bear your punishment for your obscene conduct and your abominable practices, declares the Lord.

16:59 “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you according to what you have done when you despised your oath by breaking your covenant. 16:60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish a lasting 32  covenant with you. 16:61 Then you will remember your conduct, and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on account of my covenant with you. 16:62 I will establish my covenant with you, and then you will know that I am the Lord. 16:63 Then you will remember, be ashamed, and remain silent 33  when I make atonement for all you have done, 34  declares the sovereign Lord.’”

1 tn Heb “it” (so KJV, ASV); the referent (the beauty in which the prostitute trusted, see the beginning of the verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tc The text as written in the MT is incomprehensible (“not coming [plural] and he will not”). Driver has suggested a copying error of similar-sounding words, specifically לֹא (lo’) for לוֹ (lo). The feminine participle בָאוֹת (vaot) has also been read as the feminine perfect בָאת (vat). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:228, n. 15.b, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:486, n. 137.

3 tn Or perhaps “and worshiped them,” if the word “prostitution” is understood in a figurative rather than a literal sense (cf. CEV, NLT).

4 sn The sacrifice of children was prohibited in Lev 18:21; 20:2; Deut 12:31; 18:10.

5 tn Heb “and you gave them, by passing them through to them.” Some believe this alludes to the pagan practice of making children pass through the fire.

6 tn The Hebrew גֶּב (gev) may represent more than one word, each rare in the Old Testament. It may refer to a “mound” or to “rafters.” The LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate interpret this as a brothel.

7 tn Or “lofty place” (NRSV). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:229, and B. Lang, Frau Weisheit, 137.

8 tn Heb “treated as if abominable,” i.e., repudiated.

9 tn The only other occurrence of the Hebrew root is found in Prov 13:3 in reference to the talkative person who habitually “opens wide” his lips.

10 tn Heb “your neighbors, large of flesh.” The word “flesh” is used here of the genitals. It may simply refer to the size of their genitals in general, or, as the translation suggests, depicts them as sexually aroused.

11 tn Heb “Chaldea.” The name of the tribal group ruling Babylon (“Chaldeans”) and the territory from which they originated (“Chaldea”) is used as metonymy for the whole empire of Babylon.

12 tn The Hebrew term, which also occurs in vv. 34 and 41 of this chapter, always refers to the payment of a prostitute (Deut 23:19; Isa 23:17; Hos 9:1; Mic 1:7).

13 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.

14 tn Heb “With you it was opposite of women in your prostitution.”

15 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.

16 sn Harlots suffered degradation when their nakedness was exposed (Jer 13:22, 26; Hos 2:12; Nah 3:5).

17 tn Heb “and I will judge you (with) the judgments of adulteresses and of those who shed blood.”

18 tn Heb “and I will give you the blood of rage and zeal.”

19 tn The words “to your clients” are not in the Hebrew text but are implied.

20 tn Heb “your way on (your) head I have placed.”

21 tn Heb “left.”

22 tn Heb “right.”

23 sn Sodom was the epitome of evil (Deut 29:23; 32:32; Isa 1:9-10; 3:9; Jer 23:14; Lam 4:6; Matt 10:15; 11:23-24; Jude 7).

24 tn Heb “walked in their ways.”

25 tn The Hebrew expression has a temporal meaning as illustrated by the use of the phrase in 2 Chr 12:7.

26 tn Or “guilt.”

27 tn Heb “strengthen the hand of.”

28 tn Or “you have multiplied your abominable deeds beyond them.”

29 tn Heb “because you have interceded for your sisters with your sins.”

30 tn Or “pride.”

31 tc So MT, LXX, and Vulgate; many Hebrew mss and Syriac read “Edom.”

32 tn Or “eternal.”

33 tn Heb “and your mouth will not be open any longer.”

34 tn Heb “when I make atonement for you for all which you have done.”



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