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Ezekiel 23

1 - The LORD's word came again to me, saying,

2 - "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother.

3 - They played the prostitute in Egypt. They played the prostitute in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their youthful nipples were caressed there.

4 - Their names were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah.

5 - "Oholah played the prostitute when she was mine. She doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors,

6 - who were clothed with blue, governors and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses.

7 - She gave herself as a prostitute to them, all of them the choicest men of Assyria. She defiled herself with the idols of whoever she lusted after.

8 - She hasn't left her prostitution since leaving Egypt; for in her youth they lay with her. They carressed her youthful nipples; and they poured out their prostitution on her.

9 - "Therefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted.

10 - These uncovered her nakedness. They took her sons and her daughters; and they killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women; for they executed judgments on her.

11 - "Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her lusting than she, and in her prostitution which was more depraved than the prostitution of her sister.

12 - She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and rulers, her neighbors, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.

13 - I saw that she was defiled. They both went the same way.

14 - "She increased her prostitution; for she saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with red,

15 - dressed with belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like princes, after the likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth.

16 - As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them into Chaldea.

17 - The Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their prostitution. She was polluted with them, and her soul was alienated from them.

18 - So she uncovered her prostitution and uncovered her nakedness. Then my soul was alienated from her, just like my soul was alienated from her sister.

19 - Yet she multiplied her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth, in which she had played the prostitute in the land of Egypt.

20 - She lusted after their lovers, whose flesh is as the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

21 - Thus you called to memory the lewdness of your youth, in the caressing of your nipples by the Egyptians because of your youthful breasts.

22 - "Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord God: 'Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, from whom your soul 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, governors and rulers, princes and men of renown, all of them riding on horses.

24 - They will come against you with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of peoples. They will set themselves against you with buckler, shield, and helmet all around. I will commit the judgment to them, and they will judge you according to their judgments.

25 - I will set my jealousy against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will take away your nose and your ears. Your remnant will fall by the sword. They will take your sons and your daughters; and the rest of you will be devoured by the fire.

26 - They will also strip you of your clothes, and take away your beautiful jewels.

27 - Thus I will make your lewdness to cease from you, and remove your prostitution from the land of Egypt; so that you will not lift up your eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more.'

28 - "For thus says the Lord God: 'Behold, I will deliver you into the hand of them whom you hate, into the hand of them from whom your soul is alienated.

29 - They will deal with you in hatred, and will take away all your labor, and will leave you naked and bare. The nakedness of your prostitution will be uncovered, both your lewdness and your prostitution.

30 - These things will be done to you, because you have played the prostitute after the nations, and because you are polluted with their idols.

31 - You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore will I give her cup into your hand.'

32 - "Thus says the Lord God:'You will drink of your sister's cup,which is deep and large.You will be ridiculed and held in derision.It contains much.

33 - You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,with the cup of astonishment and desolation,with the cup of your sister Samaria.

34 - You will even drink it and drain it out.You will gnaw the broken pieces of it,and will tear your 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 you also bear your lewdness and your prostitution.'"

36 - The LORD said moreover to me: "Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations.

37 - For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols. They have also caused their sons, whom they bore to me, to pass through the fire to them to be devoured.

38 - Moreover this they have done 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; and behold, they have done this in the middle of my house.

40 - "Furthermore you sisters have sent for men who come from far away, to whom a messenger was sent, and behold, they came; for whom you washed yourself, painted your eyes, decorated yourself with ornaments,

41 - and sat on a stately bed, with a table prepared before it, whereupon you set my incense and my oil.

42 - "The voice of a multitude being at ease was with her. With men of the common sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on their hands, and beautiful crowns on their heads.

43 - Then I said of her who was old in adulteries, 'Now they will play the prostitute with her, and she with them.'

44 - They went in to her, as they go in to a prostitute. So they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women.

45 - Righteous men will judge them with the judgment of adulteresses and with the judgment of women who shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.

46 - "For thus says the Lord God: 'I will bring up a mob against them, and will give them to be tossed back and forth and robbed.

47 - The company will stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords. They will kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.

48 - "'Thus I will cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to be lewd like you.

49 - They will recompense your lewdness on you, and you will bear the sins of your idols. Then you will know that I am the Lord God.'"

Ezekiel Images and Notes

The Book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel 3:17-19 - Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel 28:6-10 - Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of [them that are] slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I [am] God? but thou [shalt be] a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 43:1-4- Afterward he brought me to the gate, [even] the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice [was] like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And [it was] according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, [even] according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions [were] like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Ezekiel
Hebrew Name - Yehezqel "God is strength"
Greek Name - Iezekiel (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Ezekiel (According to Tradition)
Date - 595 BC Approximately
Theme - The final restoration of Israel
Types and Shadows - In Ezekiel Jesus is the son of man

The First Day. Light.

Summary of The Book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel prophesied to the the Jewish captives in Babylon. The Babylonians had invaded Judah three times and each time they took prisoners back to Babylon. The first invasion was in 607 BC and Daniel was taken as a captive to Babylon. The second invasion was in 597 BC and Ezekiel was taken as a captive to Babylon, and in 586 BC Jerusalem was destroyed and all the survivors were taken as captives to Babylon. Ezekiel was married to a beautiful woman who was "the desire of his eyes" and God told him but his beloved wife was going to die on the very same day that Jerusalem was to be destroyed. As a sign to the Jews is a cure was commanded not to mourn his wife's death. He was to prepare himself as God had prepared himself for the death of his beloved city (Ezekiel 24:15-22). God spoke many prophecies through Ezekiel using words, parables, visions, and similitudes (strange things to point to something greater). Ezekiel also prophesied about the false shepherds in Jerusalem and God said that he will be the true Shepherd Messiah and there will be a future outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a re-gathering of Israel in the land. Ezekiel also predicted the downfall of those nations that were hostile to Judah. Ezekiel 16 is probably the most remarkable chapter concerning the love of God for his people in spite of their continuing idolatry.

"Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD. "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it." Ezekiel 16:14-15

The prophet Ezekiel taken captive during the time when the Babylonians began their captivity of Judah during the time of the reign of king Jehoichin, which was about 11 years before Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem. Ezekiel was one of the Jewish captives who was brought to the land of Babylon and settled on the banks of the river Chebar. While he was by this river and the "land of the Chaldeans" he had a prophetic vision and received his call to be a prophet to the people in exile. This all happened in the fourth month of the "fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity" (595 BC). There is one interesting note that Ezekiel makes when he mentions that he married a woman in the land of Babylon and had a house, and that he lost his wife on the very day that the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem took place. Something else that is interesting is that the prophecies of Ezekiel address the Jews in Jerusalem and the events taking place over there, as though he was in Jerusalem, but he was actually in Babylon.

According to Jewish tradition Ezekiel was murdered in Babylon by a Jewish prince whom Ezekiel accused of idolatry, Ezekiel was supposedly buried on the banks of the Euphrates River.

The major divisions within the book of Ezekiel reveal the purpose of this ministry. In the first half of the book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1-33) Judah is accused of breaking all of God's commandments, and they are warned by God that they will be destroyed if they persist in their sins. After Ezekiel's announcement of Jerusalem's destruction the book of Ezekiel focuses on an entirely different subject, which is one of comfort and encouragement to the heartbroken Jews.

The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :

Outline of the Book of Ezekiel

I. Israel's sin and impending judgment, uttered before the final captivity (Ezekiel 1-24).

1) Biographical information concerning Ezekiel, including a note as to his personal situation and a description of his call to the prophetic ministry (Ezekiel 1-3 ).
2 ) The siege of Jerusalem portrayed in four symbolical acts (Ezekiel 4-7 ). In the first of these, Ezekiel evidently drew a picture of a city under siege, indicating that this was soon to be the condition of Jerusalem. After this, Ezekiel lay on his side for a great number of days, announcing that the nation was to be punished for its sins. By eating an inferior type of food which had been cooked on animal dung, Ezekiel predicted the famine which would accompany the siege. In the final act, Ezekiel shaved his head, burning his hair, striking it with a sword and scattering it to the winds, indicating the fate of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 6 and 7 contain additional oracles concerning Israel's sin and imminent doom.
3 ) Visions of idolatry in Jerusalem and the resultant judgment and destruction of that city (Ezekiel 8-11).
4 ) Further prophecies against Jerusalem (Ezekiel 12-24). This section contains a rebuke of false prophets and hypocrites (Ezekiel 12-14), a repeated emphasis on the certainty and necessity of punishment (Ezekiel 15-17), a discussion of retribution and responsibility and a reassertion of God's love toward sinners (Ezekiel 18), a lamentation or dirge over the rulers of Judah (Ezekiel 19) and final warnings before the complete destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 20-24).

II. Prophecies against the nations of Am-mon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon and Egypt (Ezekiel 25-32).

III. Prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel, uttered after the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

1 ) A discussion of the responsibility of the people to respond to the call of the prophet (Ezekiel 33: 1-20).
2 ) The announcement of the fall of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 33:21-33).
3 ) A contrast between the leadership of the faithless shepherds ( kings) of Judah and Israel and the true shepherd who was to come (Ezekiel 34).
4 ) The doom of Edom (Ezekiel 35).
5 ) The vision of the valley of dry bones, symbolizing the resurrection of the remnant of Israel (Ezekiel 36-37).
6 ) The prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39 ).
7 ) The rebuilt Temple (Ezekiel 40-48).

The First Day. Light.

Ezekiel Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Ezekiel

More About the Book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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