1The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 2Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 3And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. 4And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.
Ezekiel is given a metaphor of the northern kingdom of Israel (referred to by her capital, Samaria – 1 Kings 16) and the southern kingdom of Judah (referred to by her capital, Jerusalem). The metaphor is of two sisters named Aholah (her own tent) and Aholibah (the tent is in her). These two sisters, daughters of one mother (they came from united Israel, all descendants of Abraham and Sarah) are said to have practiced prostitution in Egypt in their youth, that is that many of the Israelites were caught up in the idolatry and witchcraft and other evil things in Egypt. God calls them His [He takes them up out of Egypt] and they bore sons and daughters to Him (the Israelite people).
5And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, 6Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 7Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. 8Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. 9Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. 10These discovered 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.
The northern kingdom is shown her to have “played the harlot” with the Assyrian nation. Shown here is not only idolatry but political and economic “whoredom” as well (2 Kings 15-17; e.g. 2 Kings 16:7-9). Israel saw the military might of Assyria and instead of trusting in God to protect her, she turns to Assyria’s military might to protect her. Assyria eventually attacked the northern kingdom (2 Kings 18), taking the people into captivity never to return as the nation of Israel.
11And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. 12She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.
When Judah saw the benefits Israel was having by the political, cultural, and economic partnerships with Assyria, Judah got involved with Assyria even moreso than Israel (2 Kings 18-19).
13Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way, 14And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion, 15Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity: 16And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. 17And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.
Judah sees the turn of events when Assyria attacks Israel and instead turns to Babylon for protection (ostensibly from Assyria – 2 Kings 20) instead of God.
18So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. 19Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.
It is very important, especially looking through the books of history in conjunction with this book of prophecy to note that the whoredom of Jerusalem is not just the idolatry. It has as much to do with the political and economic treaties.
22Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side; 23The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and 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. 24And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments. 25And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire. 26They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. 27Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. 28For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated: 29And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. 30I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols.
One of the main problems of the Israelites was always looking back (much like Lot’s wife) to Egypt as if it were somehow better there. They did this in the wilderness (e.g. Ex. 16:3; Num. 11:5). Always they were looking to other nations for prosperity, for protection, for all the things that God was already providing for them. God then shows them what such covenants with men do. His promises are the only sure promises, the only providence and protection that never fails, never betrays if the nation had but remained faithful to Him. Since they betrayed God, God then allows them to be betrayed and taken captive by the very people who they went to for protection.
31Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand. 32Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much. 33Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. 34Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 35Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
Here God promises that His vengeance will be similar to that against Isreal in many ways and that it will be so overwhelming that they would be “drunk” with His wrath (note here that God did not just give them one drop of wrath…).
36The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; 37That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. 38Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. 39For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.
Ezekiel is to declare the abominations of the two kingdoms. Here for their idolatry and pagan worship.
40And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments, 41And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. 42And 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, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.
Here for unauthorized economic and political ties.
43Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? 44Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. 45And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. 46For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. 47And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 48Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 49And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
God says that these two kingdoms would be judged as adulteresses should be judged according to the Law of Moses. They would be executed. Thus their political and economic “lewdness” and their idolatry would be recompensed and God, the wronged “husband” would have justice.
In Truth and Love,