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    CHAPTER 16


    (1) Taken up by God's gratuitous favor from infancy (Eze 16:1-7); (2) and, when grown up, joined to Him in spiritual marriage (Eze 16:8-14); (3) her unfaithfulness, her sin (Eze 16:15-34); (4) the judgment (Eze 16:35-52); (5) her unlooked-for restoration (Eze 16:53 to the close).

    2. cause Jerusalem to know--Men often are so blind as not to perceive their guilt which is patent to all. "Jerusalem" represents the whole kingdom of Judah.

    3. birth . . . nativity--thy origin and birth; literally, "thy diggings" (compare Isa 51:1) "and thy bringings forth."
    - of . . . Canaan--in which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sojourned before going to Egypt, and from which thou didst derive far more of thy innate characteristics than from the virtues of those thy progenitors (Eze 21:30).
    - an Amorite . . . an Hittite--These, being the most powerful tribes, stand for the whole of the Canaanite nations (compare Jos 1:4; Am 2:9), which were so abominably corrupt as to have been doomed to utter extermination by God (Le 18:24, 25, 28; De 18:12). Translate rather, "the Amorite . . . the Canaanite," that is, these two tribes personified; their wicked characteristics, respectively, were concentrated in the parentage of Israel (Ge 15:16). "The Hittite" is made their "mother"; alluding to Esau's wives, daughters of Heth, whose ways vexed Rebekah (Ge 26:34, 35; 27:46), but pleased the degenerate descendants of Jacob, so that these are called, in respect of morals, children of the Hittite (compare Eze 16:45).

    4. Israel's helplessness in her first struggling into national existence, under the image of an infant (Ho 2:3) cast forth without receiving the commonest acts of parental regard. Its very life was a miracle (Ex 1:15-22).
    - navel . . . not cut--Without proper attention to the navel cord, the infant just born is liable to die.
    - neither . . . washed in water to supple thee--that is, to make the skin soft. Rather, "for purification"; from an Arabic root [MAURER]. GESENIUS translates as the Margin, "that thou mightest (be presented to thy parents to) be looked upon," as is customary on the birth of a child.
    - salted--Anciently they rubbed infants with salt to make the skin firm.

    5. cast . . . in . . . open field--The exposure of infants was common in ancient times.
    - to the loathing of thy person--referring to the unsightly aspect of the exposed infant. FAIRBAIRN translates, "With contempt (or disdainful indifference) of thy life."

    6. when I passed by--as if a traveller.
    - polluted in . . . blood--but PISCATOR, "ready to be trodden on."
    - I said--In contrast to Israel's helplessness stands God's omnipotent word of grace which bids the outcast little one "live."
    - in thy blood--Though thou wast foul with blood, I said, "Live" [GROTIUS]. "Live in thy blood," that is, Live, but live a life exposed to many deaths, as was the case in the beginnings of Israel's national existence, in order to magnify the grace of God [CALVIN]. The former view is preferable. Spiritually, till the sinner is made sensible of his abject helplessness, he will not appreciate the provisions of God's grace.

    7. caused . . . to multiply--literally, "I . . . made thee a myriad."
    - bud of . . . field--the produce of the field. In two hundred fifty years they increased from seventy-five persons to eight hundred thousand (Ac 7:14) [CALVIN]. But see Ex 12:37, 38.
    - excellent ornaments--literally, "ornament of ornaments."
    - naked . . . bare-- (Ho 2:3). Literally, "nakedness . . . bareness" itself; more emphatic.

    8. thy time of love--literally, "loves" (compare So 2:10-13). Thou wast of marriageable age, but none was willing to marry thee, naked as thou wast. I then regarded thee with a look of grace when the full time of thy deliverance was come (Ge 15:13, 14; Ac 7:6, 7). It is not she that makes the advance to God, but God to her; she has nothing to entitle her to such notice, yet He regards her not with mere benevolence, but with love, such as one cherishes to the person of his wife (So 1:3-6; Jer 31:3; Mal 1:2).
    - spread my skirt over thee--the mode of espousals (Ru 3:9). I betrothed thee (De 4:37; 10:15; Ho 11:1). The cloak is often used as a bed coverlet in the East. God explains what He means, "I entered into . . . covenant with thee," that is, at Sinai. So Israel became "the wife of God's covenant" (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14; Ho 2:19, 20; Mal 2:14).
    - thou . . . mine-- (Ex 19:5; Jer 2:2).

    9. washed I thee--as brides used to pass through a preparatory purification (Es 2:12). So Israel, before the giving of the law at Sinai (Ex 19:14); "Moses sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes." So believers (1Co 6:11).
    - oil--emblem of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah (Ps 45:7).

    10. Ps 45:13, 14, similarly describes the Church (Israel, the appointed mother of Christendom) adorned as a bride (so Isa 61:10). It is Messiah who provides the wedding garment (Re 3:18; 19:8).
    - badgers' skin--tahash; others translate, "seal skins." They formed the over-covering of the tabernacle, which was, as it were, the nuptial tent of God and Israel (Ex 26:14), and the material of the shoes worn by the Hebrews on festival days. (See on Ex 25:5).
    - fine linen--used by the priests (Le 6:10); emblem of purity.

    11. The marriage gifts to Rebekah (Ge 24:22, 47).

    12. jewel on thy forehead--rather, "a ring in thy nose" (Isa 3:21).
    - a crown--at once the badge of a bride, and of her being made a queen, as being consort of the King; the very name Israel meaning "a prince of God." So they are called "a kingdom of priests" (Ex 19:6; compare Re 1:6). Though the external blessings bestowed on Israel were great, yet not these, but the internal and spiritual, form the main reference in the kingly marriage to which Israel was advanced.

    13. flour . . . honey . . . oil--These three mixed form the sweetest cakes; not dry bread and leeks as in Egypt. From raiment He passes to food (De 32:13, 14).
    - exceeding beautiful-- Ps 48:2, the city; also, Ps 29:2, the temple.
    - prosper into a kingdom--exercising empire over surrounding nations.

    14. thy renown . . . among . . . heathen--The theocracy reached its highest point under Solomon, when distant potentates heard of his "fame" (1Ki 10:1, &c.), for example, the queen of Sheba, Hiram, &c. (La 2:15).
    - my comeliness--It was not thine own, but imparted by Me.

    15. Instead of attributing the glory of her privileges and gifts to God, Israel prided herself on them as her own (De 32:15; Jer 7:4; Mic 3:11), and then wantonly devoted them to her idols (Ho 2:8; compare Lu 15:12, 13).
    - playedst . . . harlot because of thy renown--"didst play the wanton upon thy name" [FAIRBAIRN], namely, by allowing thy renown to lead thee into idolatry and leagues with idolaters (Isa 1:21; 57:8; Jer 3:2, 6). English Version is better, "because of thy renown," that is, relying on it; answering to "thou didst trust in thine own beauty."
    - his it was--Thy beauty was yielded up to every passer-by. Israel's zest for the worship of foul idols was but an anxiety to have the approbation of heaven for their carnal lusts, of which the idols were the personification; hence, too, their tendency to wander from Jehovah, who was a restraint on corrupt nature.

    16. deckedst . . . with divers colours--or, "didst make . . . of divers colors" [FAIRBAIRN]; the metaphor and the literal are here mixed. The high places whereon they sacrificed to Astarte are here compared to tents of divers colors, which an impudent harlot would spread to show her house was open to all [CALVIN]. Compare as to "woven hangings for Astarte" (the right translation for "grove") 2Ki 23:7.
    - the like . . . shall not come, neither shall . . . be--rather, "have not come, nor shall be." These thy doings are unparalleled in the past, and shall be so in the future.

    17. my gold . . . my silver-- (Hag 2:8).
    - images of men--rather, "of the phallus," the Hindu lingam, or membrum virile [HAVERNICK], deified as the emblem of fecundity; man making his lust his god. English Version, however, is appropriate; Israel being represented as a woman playing the harlot with "male images," that is, images of male gods, as distinguished from female deities.

    18. tookest thy . . . garments . . . coveredst them--that is, the idols, as if an adulteress were to cover her paramours with garments which she had received from the liberality of her husband.
    - my oil--the holy anointing oil sacred to God (Ex 30:22-25). Also that used in sacrifices (Le 2:1, 2).

    19. My meat . . . I gave-- (Ho 2:8).
    - set it before them--as a minchah or "meat offering" (Le 2:1).
    - a sweet savour--literally, "a savor of rest," that is, whereby they might be propitiated, and be at peace ("rest") with you; how ridiculous to seek to propitiate gods of wood!
    - thus it was--The fact cannot be denied, for I saw it, and say it was so, saith Jehovah.

    20, 21. sons and . . . daughters borne unto me--Though "thy children," yet they belong "unto Me," rather than to thee, for they were born under the immutable covenant with Israel, which even Israel's sin could not set aside, and they have received the sign of adoption as Mine, namely, circumcision. This aggravates the guilt of sacrificing them to Molech.
    - to be devoured--not merely to pass through the fire, as sometimes children were made to do (Le 18:21) without hurt, but to pass through so as to be made the food of the flame in honor of idols (see on Isa 57:5; Jer 7:31; Jer 19:5; Jer 32:35).
    - Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children--rather, "Were thy whoredoms a small matter (that is, not enough, but) that thou hast slain (that is, must also slay)," &c. As if thy unchastity was not enough, thou hast added this unnatural and sacrilegious cruelty (Mic 6:7).

    22. not remembered . . . youth--Forgetfulness of God's love is the source of all sins. Israel forgot her deliverance by God in the infancy of her national life. See Eze 16:43, to which Eze 16:60 forms a lovely contrast (Jer 2:2; Ho 11:1).

    23. woe, woe unto thee, &c.--This parenthetical exclamation has an awful effect coming like a lightning flash of judgment amidst the black clouds of Israel's guilt.

    24. eminent place--rather, "a fornication-chamber," often connected with the impure rites of idolatry; spiritual fornication, on "an eminent place," answering to "fornication-chamber," is mainly meant, with an allusion also to the literal fornication associated with it (Jer 2:20; 3:2).

    25. at every head of the way--in the most frequ


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