1 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother, 3 And they committed lewd deeds in Egypt. They committed lewd deeds in their youth. Their breasts were pressed there, and they were first corrupted there. 4 And their names were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister. And they were mine, and they bore sons and daughters. Thus were their names: Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem, Aholibah.
5 "And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine, and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors. 6 They were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 7 Thus she committed her lewd deeds with them, with all those who were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted. With all their idols she defiled herself. 8 She did not leave her lewd deeds brought from Egypt. For in her youth they lay with her, and they first corrupted her and poured their impurities upon her. 9 Therefore, I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. 10 These uncovered her nakedness. They took her sons and her daughters and slew her with the sword. And she became famous among women, for they had executed judgment upon her.
11 "And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she was, and in her prostitutions more than her sister in her prostitutions. 12 She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbors, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 Then I saw that she was defiled, that they both took one way. 14 So she increased her prostitutions, for when she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, with dyed turbans upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity, 16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes she doted upon them and sent messengers to them into Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lewdness. And when she was polluted with them, her mind was alienated from them. 18 Thus she disclosed her lewd deeds and exposed her nakedness. Then my mind was alienated from her, as my mind was alienated from her sister. 19 Yet she multiplied her prostitutions, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth in which she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt, 20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus you called to remembrance the lewdness of your youth by being corrupted by the Egyptians in your youth.
22 "Therefore, O Aholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, from whom your mind is alienated, and I will bring them against you on every side: 23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, Koa, and all the Assyrians with them—all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses. 24 And they shall come against you with chariots, wagons, wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against you buckler, shield, and helmet on every side. And I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will set my jealousy against you, and they shall deal furiously with you. They shall take away your nose and your ears, and your remnant shall fall by the sword. They shall take your sons and your daughters, and your residue shall be devoured by the fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fair jewels. 27 Thus I will make your lewdness to cease from you, and your adultery brought from the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them, nor remember Egypt anymore.' 28 For thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I will deliver you into the hand of those whom you hate, into the hand of those from whom your mind is alienated. 29 And they shall treat you with hatred, take away all your labor, and leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your prostitutions shall be disclosed, both your lewdness and your prostitutions. 30 I will do these things to you, because you have gone astray after the heathen, and because you are polluted with their idols. 31 You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore, I will give her cup into your hand.'
32 "Thus says the Lord GOD: 'You shall drink of your sister's cup deep and large. You shall be treated with scorn and had in derision. It contains much.
33 You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria.
34 You shall even drink it and empty it to the dregs, and you shall break its pieces and pluck off your own breasts. For I have spoken it,' says the Lord GOD.
35 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD: 'Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore also bear your lewdness and your prostitutions.'"
36 The LORD said moreover to me, "Son of man, will you judge Aholah and Aholibah? Even declare to them their abominations, 37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. And with their idols they have committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bore to me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. 38 Moreover, they have done this to me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day and have profaned my sabbaths. 39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it. Behold, thus they have done in the midst of my house.
40 "And furthermore, you have even sent for men to come from far, to whom a messenger was sent, and behold, they came, for whom you washed yourself, painted your eyes, decked yourself with ornaments, 41 And sat upon a stately bed and a table prepared before it, upon which you have set my incense and my oil. 42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her. And with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, who put bracelets upon their hands and beautiful crowns upon their heads.
43 "Then I said to her who was old in adulteries, 'Will they now commit lewd deeds with her, and she with them?' 44 Yet they went in to her, as they go in to a woman who plays the harlot. Thus they went in to Aholah and to Aholibah, the lewd women. 45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.
46 "For thus says the Lord GOD: 'I will bring up a company upon them and will give them to be removed and plundered. 47 And the company shall stone them with stones and dispatch them with their swords. They shall slay their sons and their daughters and burn their houses with fire. 48 Thus I will cause lewdness to cease out of the land, so that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the sins of your idols. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.'"
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
In this chapter the idolatries of Israel and Judah are represented under the metaphor of two harlots and their lewdness. These harlots are described by their descent; by the place and time in which they committed their whoredoms; by their names, and which are explained (Ezekiel 23:1-4); the idolatries of Israel, or the ten tribes, under the name of Aholah, which they committed with the Assyrians, and which they continued from the Egyptians, of whom they had learned them, are exposed (Ezekiel 23:5-8); and their punishment for them is declared (Ezekiel 23:9-10); then the idolatries of Judah, or the two tribes, under the name of Aholibah, are represented as greater than those of the ten tribes (Ezekiel 23:11); which they committed with the Assyrians (Ezekiel 23:12); with the Chaldeans and Babylonians (Ezekiel 23:13-18); in imitation of the Egyptians, reviving former idolatries learned from them (Ezekiel 23:19-21); therefore they are threatened that the Chaldeans, Babylonians, and Assyrians should come against them and spoil them and carry them captive (Ezekiel 23:22-35); and the prophet is bid to declare the abominable sin of them both (Ezekiel 23:36-44); and to signify that they should be judged after the manner of adulteresses, should be stoned and dispatched with swords, their sons and their daughters and their houses burnt with fire; by which means their adulteries or idolatries should be made to cease (Ezekiel 23:45-49).