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Ezekiel 23:4-13

Context
23:4 Oholah was the name of the older and Oholibah 1  the name of her younger sister. They became mine, and gave birth to sons and daughters. 2  Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

23:5 “Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was mine. 3  She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians 4  – warriors 5  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 6  – 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. 7  23:9 Therefore I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians 8  for whom she lusted. 23:10 They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. She became notorious 9  among women, and they executed judgments against her.

23:11 “Her sister Oholibah watched this, 10  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.

1 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.”

2 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.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “Assyria.”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “lusted after.”

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

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

9 tn Heb “name.”

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



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