15:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 15:2 “Son of man, of all the woody branches among the trees of the forest, what happens to the wood of the vine? 1 15:3 Can wood be taken from it to make anything useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang things on? 15:4 No! 2 It is thrown in the fire for fuel; when the fire has burned up both ends of it and it is charred in the middle, will it be useful for anything? 15:5 Indeed! If it was not made into anything useful when it was whole, how much less can it be made into anything when the fire has burned it up and it is charred?
15:6 “Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Like the wood of the vine is among the trees of the forest which I have provided as fuel for the fire – so I will provide the residents of Jerusalem 3 as fuel. 4 15:7 I will set 5 my face against them – although they have escaped from the fire, 6 the fire will still consume them! Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 15:8 I will make 7 the land desolate because they have acted unfaithfully, declares the sovereign Lord.”
16:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 16:2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem 8 with her abominable practices 16:3 and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 16:4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; 9 you were certainly not rubbed down with salt, nor wrapped with blankets. 10 16:5 No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; 11 you were thrown out into the open field 12 because you were detested on the day you were born.
16:6 “‘I passed by you and saw you kicking around helplessly in your blood. I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” 13 16:7 I made you plentiful like sprouts in a field; you grew tall and came of age so that you could wear jewelry. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, but you were still naked and bare.
16:8 “‘Then I passed by you and watched you, noticing 14 that you had reached the age for love. 15 I spread my cloak 16 over you and covered your nakedness. I swore a solemn oath to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you, declares the sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
16:9 “‘Then I bathed you in water, washed the blood off you, and anointed you with fragrant oil. 16:10 I dressed you in embroidered clothing and put fine leather sandals on your feet. I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 16:11 I adorned you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. 16:12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 16:13 You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery. You ate the finest flour, honey, and olive oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained the position of royalty. 16:14 Your fame 17 spread among the nations because of your beauty; your beauty was perfect because of the splendor which I bestowed on you, declares the sovereign Lord. 18
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 19 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. 20 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 21 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 22 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. 23 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 Lord – 16:24 you built yourself a chamber 24 and put up a pavilion 25 in every public square. 16:25 At the head of every street you erected your pavilion and you disgraced 26 your beauty when you spread 27 your legs to every passerby and multiplied your promiscuity. 16:26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your sexually aroused neighbors, 28 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, 29 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. 30
16:32 “‘Adulterous wife, who prefers strangers instead of her own husband! 16:33 All prostitutes receive payment, 31 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 32 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 33 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. 34 16:38 I will punish you as an adulteress and murderer deserves. 35 I will avenge your bloody deeds with furious rage. 36 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. 37 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, 38 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 39 of you with her daughters, and your younger sister, who lived south 40 of you, was Sodom 41 with her daughters. 16:47 Have you not copied their behavior 42 and practiced their abominable deeds? In a short time 43 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 44 of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease, but they did not help 45 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. 46 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. 47 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, 48 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 49 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 50 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 51 when I make atonement for all you have done, 52 declares the sovereign Lord.’”
with full plumage which was multi-hued, 57
came to Lebanon 58 and took the top of the cedar.
17:4 He plucked off its topmost shoot;
he brought it to a land of merchants
and planted it in a city of traders.
placed it in a cultivated plot; 60
a shoot by abundant water,
like a willow he planted it.
17:6 It sprouted and became a vine,
spreading low to the ground; 61
So it became a vine; it produced shoots and sent out branches.
with broad wings and thick plumage.
Now this vine twisted its roots toward him
and sent its branches toward him
to be watered from the soil where it was planted.
17:8 In a good field, by abundant waters, it was planted
to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a beautiful vine.
17:9 “‘Say to them: This is what the sovereign Lord says:
“‘Will it prosper?
Will he not rip out its roots
and cause its fruit to rot 65 and wither?
All its foliage 66 will wither.
No strong arm or large army
will be needed to pull it out by its roots. 67
17:10 Consider! It is planted, but will it prosper?
Will it not wither completely when the east wind blows on it?
Will it not wither in the soil where it sprouted?’”
17:11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 17:12 “Say to the rebellious house of Israel: 68 ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’ 69 Say: ‘See here, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem 70 and took her king and her officials prisoner and brought them to himself in Babylon. 17:13 He took one from the royal family, 71 made a treaty with him, and put him under oath. 72 He then took the leaders of the land 17:14 so it would be a lowly kingdom which could not rise on its own but must keep its treaty with him in order to stand. 17:15 But this one from Israel’s royal family 73 rebelled against the king of Babylon 74 by sending his emissaries to Egypt to obtain horses and a large army. Will he prosper? Will the one doing these things escape? Can he break the covenant and escape?
17:16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, surely in the city 75 of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke – in the middle of Babylon he will die! 17:17 Pharaoh with his great army and mighty horde will not help 76 him in battle, when siege ramps are erected and siege-walls are built to kill many people. 17:18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Take note 77 – he gave his promise 78 and did all these things – he will not escape!
17:19 “‘Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will certainly repay him 79 for despising my oath and breaking my covenant! 17:20 I will throw my net over him and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylon and judge him there because of the unfaithfulness he committed against me. 17:21 All the choice men 80 among his troops will die 81 by the sword and the survivors will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken!
17:22 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
I will pluck from the top one of its tender twigs;
I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
17:23 I will plant it on a high mountain of Israel,
and it will raise branches and produce fruit and become a beautiful cedar.
Every bird will live under it;
Every winged creature will live in the shade of its branches.
17:24 All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord.
I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree.
I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout.
I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”
1 tn Most modern translations take the statement as a comparison (“how is vine wood better than any forest wood?”) based on the preposition מִן (min). But a comparison should have a word as an adjective or stative verb designating a quality, i.e., a word for “good/better” is lacking. The preposition is translated above in its partitive sense.
sn Comparing Israel to the wood of the vine may focus on Israel’s inferiority to the other nations. For the vine imagery in relation to Israel and the people of God, see Ps 80:8-13; John 15:1-7; Rom 11:17-22.
2 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws one’s attention to something. Sometimes it may be translated as a verb of perception; here it is treated as a particle that fits the context (so also in v. 5, but with a different English word).
4 tn The words “as fuel” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
5 tn The word translated “set” is the same Hebrew word translated as “provide” in the previous verse.
9 tn Heb “in water you were not washed for cleansing” or “with water you were not washed smooth” (see D. I. Block, Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:473, n. 57, for a discussion of possible meanings of this hapax legomenon).
10 sn Arab midwives still cut the umbilical cords of infants and then proceed to apply salt and oil to their bodies.
13 tc The translation reflects the Hebrew text, which repeats the statement, perhaps for emphasis. However, a few medieval Hebrew manuscripts, the Old Greek, and the Syriac do not include the repetition. The statement could have been accidentally repeated or the second occurrence could have been accidentally omitted. Based on the available evidence it is difficult to know which is more likely.
14 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a participle.
17 tn Heb “name.”
19 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.
20 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 (va’ot) has also been read as the feminine perfect בָאת (va’t). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:228, n. 15.b, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:486, n. 137.
21 tn Or perhaps “and worshiped them,” if the word “prostitution” is understood in a figurative rather than a literal sense (cf. CEV, NLT).
23 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.
24 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.
25 tn Or “lofty place” (NRSV). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:229, and B. Lang, Frau Weisheit, 137.
26 tn Heb “treated as if abominable,” i.e., repudiated.
28 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.
29 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.
31 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.
32 tn Heb “With you it was opposite of women in your prostitution.”
33 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.
35 tn Heb “and I will judge you (with) the judgments of adulteresses and of those who shed blood.”
36 tn Heb “and I will give you the blood of rage and zeal.”
37 tn The words “to your clients” are not in the Hebrew text but are implied.
38 tn Heb “your way on (your) head I have placed.”
39 tn Heb “left.”
40 tn Heb “right.”
42 tn Heb “walked in their ways.”
44 tn Or “guilt.”
45 tn Heb “strengthen the hand of.”
46 tn Or “you have multiplied your abominable deeds beyond them.”
47 tn Heb “because you have interceded for your sisters with your sins.”
48 tn Or “pride.”
49 tc So MT, LXX, and Vulgate; many Hebrew
50 tn Or “eternal.”
51 tn Heb “and your mouth will not be open any longer.”
52 tn Heb “when I make atonement for you for all which you have done.”
54 tn The parable assumes the defection of Zedekiah to Egypt and his rejection of Babylonian lordship.
56 tn Hebrew has two words for wings; it is unknown whether they are fully synonymous or whether one term distinguishes a particular part of the wing such as the wing coverts (nearest the shoulder), secondaries (mid-feathers of the wing) or primaries (last and longest section of the wing).
59 tn Heb “took of the seed of the land.” For the vine imagery, “seedling” is a better translation, though in its subsequent interpretation the “seed” refers to Zedekiah through its common application to offspring.
60 tn Heb “a field for seed.”
61 tn Heb “short of stature.”
62 tn That is, the eagle.
63 tn Or “him,” i.e., the eagle.
64 sn The phrase another great eagle refers to Pharaoh Hophra.
65 tn The Hebrew root occurs only here in the OT and appears to have the meaning of “strip off.” In application to fruit the meaning may be “cause to rot.”
66 tn Heb “all the טַרְפֵּי (tarpey) of branches.” The word טַרְפֵּי occurs only here in the Bible; its precise meaning is uncertain.
67 tn Or “there will be no strong arm or large army when it is pulled up by the roots.”
68 tn The words “of Israel” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation as a clarification of the referent.
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).
72 tn Heb “caused him to enter into an oath.”
74 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the king of Babylon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
75 tn Heb “place.”
76 tn Heb “deal with” or “work with.”
77 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates being aware of or taking notice of something.
79 tn Heb “place it on his head.”
80 tc Some manuscripts and versions read “choice men,” while most manuscripts read “fugitives”; the difference arises from the reversal, or metathesis, of two letters, מִבְרָחָיו (mivrakhyv) for מִבְחָריו (mivkharyv).
81 tn Heb “fall.”
83 tc The LXX lacks “and plant it.”