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They uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters, but they killed her with the sword, and she became notorious among women because they executed judgments against her. Bible

“They uncovered her nakedness.” This phrase is often used for having sexual intercourse (Lev. 20:17, 18, 21), and it has that meaning here, but this verse has a couple different layers of meaning. We cannot forget the idolatry that has been interwoven through the whole chapter, and although Israel started by giving herself freely to the Assyrian idols and men, eventually things changed and the Assyrian gods and men became aggressive adversaries (Ezek. 23:9-10). The Assyrian gods showed up more powerfully than Israel’s, and Israel was defeated in battle and carried away captive to Assyria. In that situation, many of the women would have been raped and their “nakedness” forcibly “uncovered,” but beyond that, in this context of the people being carried as captives to Assyria, in many cases their nakedness being “uncovered” would have also included it being “displayed.” Some captives were carried away naked, sometimes even with their hair and/or pubic hair shaved to humiliate them (Isa. 7:20 and 20:4).

“they killed her with the sword.” The Assyrians “killed” Israel. They came in and destroyed the cities and carried the people away captive and scattered them, thus putting an end to the northern kingdom of Israel. So “Israel” was “killed” by Assyria, but they “seized her sons and her daughters,” the people of Israel, and carried them captive to cities in the Assyrian empire (cp. 2 Kings 17:6, 23).


Commentary for: Ezekiel 23:10