The Word of the Lord to Ezekiel

Chapter 16

Under the similitude of a wretched infant is shown the natural state of Jerusalem, 1-5. God's extraordinary love toward her, 6-14. Her monstrous lewdness, 15-34. Her grievous judgment, 35-43. Her sin, equal to her mother and exceeding her sisters, Sodom and Samaria, calls for judgments, 44-59. Mercy is promised her in the end, 60-63.

1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, 3 And say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: "Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 And as for your nativity, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to supple you. You were not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. 5 No eye pitied you to do any of these to you, to have compassion upon you. But you were cast out in the open field because you were loathed on the day that you were born.

6 "And when I passed by you and saw you polluted in your own blood, I said to you when you were in your blood, 'Live.' I even said to you when you were in your blood, 'Live.' 7 I have caused you to multiply as the bud of the field, and you have increased and become great and have come to excellent ornaments. Your breasts are fashioned and your hair is grown, whereas you were naked and bare.

8 "Now when I passed by you and looked upon you, behold, your time was the time of love. And I spread my skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I even swore to you and entered into a covenant with you," says the Lord GOD, "and you became mine. 9 Then I washed you with water. I even thoroughly washed away your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I also clothed you with embroidered work, shod you with badgers' skin, girded you with fine linen, and I covered you with silk. 11 I also decked you with ornaments. I put bracelets upon your hands and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a jewel on your forehead, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. 13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered work. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful and you prospered into a kingdom. 14 And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty, for it was perfect through my splendor, which I had put upon you," says the Lord GOD.

15 "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your renown, and poured out your fornications on everyone who passed by—it became his. 16 And you took some of your garments, decked your high places with diverse colors, and played the harlot upon them. Such things shall not come, neither shall it be so. 17 You have also taken your fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and have made for yourself images of men and committed lewdness with them. 18 And you have taken your embroidered garments and covered them, and you have set my oil and my incense before them. 19 Also my provisions which I gave you, fine flour, oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you have even set before them for a sweet savor. And thus it was," says the Lord GOD. 20 "Moreover, you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me, and these you have sacrificed to them to be devoured. Is this of your lewdness a small matter, 21 That you have slain my children and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? 22 And in all your abominations and your deeds of lewdness you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and polluted in your blood.

23 "And it came to pass after all your wickedness ('Woe, woe to you!' says the Lord GOD), 24 That you have also built for yourself an eminent place and have made yourself a high place in every street. 25 You have built your high place at every head of the way, made your beauty to be abhorred, prostituted yourself to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your lewd deeds. 26 You have also committed fornication with the Egyptians your neighbors, great of flesh, and have multiplied your lewd deeds to provoke me to anger. 27 And behold, I have stretched out my hand over you and have diminished your ordinary food and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way. 28 You have played the harlot also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable. Indeed, you have played the harlot with them, and yet could not be satisfied. 29 You have moreover multiplied your fornication in the land of Canaan to Chaldea, and yet with this you were not satisfied."'"

30 "How weak is your heart," says the Lord GOD, "seeing you do all these things, the work of an imperious lewd woman, 31 In that you build your eminent place in the head of every way and make your high place in every street. But you have not been as a harlot, in that you scorn payment. 32 You are a wife who commits adultery, who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 They give gifts to all lewd women, but you give your gifts to all your lovers and hire them, so that they may come to you on every side for your lewdness. 34 And the contrary is in you from other women in your unlawful commerce, whereas no one follows you to commit lewdness. And in that you give a reward, and no reward is given to you, therefore you are contrary."

35 Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD. 36 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness exposed through your carnal connection with your lovers, with all the idols of your abominations, and by the blood of your children, which you gave to them, 37 Behold therefore, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those whom you have loved, with all those whom you have hated. I will even gather them on every side against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, so that they may see all your nakedness. 38 And I will judge you as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged. And I will give you blood in fury and jealousy. 39 And I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your eminent place and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your fair jewels, and leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords. 41 And they shall burn your houses with fire and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. And I will cause you to cease from playing the harlot, and you shall also give no payment anymore. 42 Thus I will make my fury toward you to rest and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be quiet and will no longer be angry. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have provoked me in all these things, behold therefore, I also will recompense your way upon your head," says the Lord GOD, "and you shall not commit this lewdness above all your abominations.

44 "Behold, everyone who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, 'As is the mother, so is her daughter.' 45 You are your mother's daughter, who loathes her husband and her children, and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 And your elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters who dwell at your left hand. And your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 Yet you have not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations. But as if that were a very little thing, you were corrupted more than they were in all your ways. 48 As I live," says the Lord GOD, "Sodom your sister has not done—she nor her daughters—as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before me; therefore, I took them away as I saw good. 51 Samaria has not committed half of your sins, but you have multiplied your abominations more than they have and have justified your sisters in all your abominations which you have done. 52 You also, who have judged your sisters, bear your own shame for your sins that you have committed which are more abominable than theirs. They are more righteous than you. Indeed, be also confounded and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters.

53 "When I bring back their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, I will bring back the captivity of your captives in the midst of them, 54 So that you may bear your own shame and be confounded in all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them. 55 When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters shall return to your former state. 56 For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 Before your wickedness was disclosed, as at the time of your reproach of the daughters of Syria and all who are around her, the daughters of the Philistines, who despise you on every side. 58 You have borne your lewdness and your abominations," says the LORD. 59 For thus says the Lord GOD: "I will even deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60 "Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you shall remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, your elder and your younger. And I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. 62 And I will establish my covenant with you. And you shall know that I am the LORD, 63 So that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I am pacified toward you for all that you have done," says the Lord GOD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezekiel, Chapter 16[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter the Jewish nation is represented under the simile of a female infant, whose birth, breeding, marriage, grandeur, and conduct are described in order to show the wickedness and ingratitude of his people, who, on account thereof, are threatened with judgments, though mercy is promised to a remnant who should repent. The prophet is directed to make known to Jerusalem her abominable sins (Ezekiel 16:1-2); and, in order to this, is bid to take up the following parable of a female infant, whose descent, birth, and wretched condition, at the time of it, are pointed at (Ezekiel 16:3-5); which are expressive of the low and forlorn estate of the Jews originally; and then follow the benefits and blessings of God bestowed upon them, both in their infant and adult state; the preserving them alive in Egypt and their multiplication there; and afterward the covenant made with them, when brought out from there; and the Lord's espousal of them to himself, as his own people, having a strong affection for them (Ezekiel 16:6-8); the large provision of good things he made for them, both in the wilderness and especially in the land of Canaan; the riches he bestowed upon them and the flourishing and prosperous kingdom he raised them to, which made them famous among all the nations round about them (Ezekiel 16:9-14); and yet, after all this, such was the ingratitude of this people as to commit spiritual whoredom, that is, idolatry, to a very great degree (Ezekiel 16:15); which is aggravated by their converting and applying the good things which the Lord gave them to idolatrous uses (Ezekiel 16:16-19); by sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols, which were the Lord's (Ezekiel 16:20-21); by not calling to mind the former wretched estate out of which they were brought (Ezekiel 16:22); by building high places in every street and way and there committing idolatries (Ezekiel 16:23-25); by the various nations, whose examples they followed and with whom they joined, as the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans (Ezekiel 16:26-29); and by the great difference between them and all other harlots, whom they exceeded (Ezekiel 16:30-34); therefore, on account of all this, they are threatened to be dealt with as an adulterous woman, made a spectacle of, condemned to die, to be stripped, stoned, and burned (Ezekiel 16:35-43); and so that the Lord might appear to be just in executing such judgments on them, they are declared to be as bad as the Hittites and Amorites their parents and worse than their sisters Samaria and Sodom, and therefore could expect to fare no better than they did; and they should become proverb and a byword and bear their sins, shame, and punishment in the sight of their neighbors and be despised by them (Ezekiel 16:44-59); nevertheless, the covenant of grace made with his chosen people among them should stand firm, which being manifested to them, would be a means of bringing them to a sense of sin, shame for it, and an acknowledgment of the Lord's grace and goodness to them (Ezekiel 16:60-63).