Ezekiel Chapter 16  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Ezekiel 16
Eze 16:1(top)
Eze 16:2(top)
Eze 16:3(top)
Eze 16:4

“you were not salted at all.” This refers to the ancient custom of putting a little salt on the baby, either in water or even just touching the baby with salt. It was one way that the baby was dedicated to God. This custom still exists in some parts of the East, but the reasons for it have been forgotten. [For more on the salt covenant, see commentary on 2 Chron. 13:5].

Eze 16:5(top)
Eze 16:6(top)
Eze 16:7

“hair was grown.” Referring to the pubic hair, which grows on children as they begin to reach sexual maturity.

Eze 16:8

“your time was the time for love.” Israel had matured to the point she could marry and have sexual relations.

“I spread the corner.” More literally, “I spread my corner” (or my “wing;” the corner, or border, of the garment was called the “wing” of the garment, cp. Malachi 4:2, where the Messiah, the “sun of righteousness” has healing in his “wings,” i.e., the corners of his garment.” “Spread the corner of my garment over you” is not quite literal since the “corner” or “border” of the garment would not cover the couple; the phrase was an idiom for taking a woman under one’s protection and care, and also implied the sexual relations that went with that.

Eze 16:9(top)
Eze 16:10

“dugong.” A mammal quite like a manatee that lives in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba. The skin was excellent for sandals. See commentary on Exodus 25:5.

Eze 16:11(top)
Eze 16:12

“ring in your nose.” It was the custom in biblical times for women to wear nose-rings rather than earrings because the women not only had long hair, but they often wore head coverings, and those things covered any earrings such that they could not be seen. So, women customarily wore nose-rings for personal decoration (Gen. 24:47; Isa. 3:21; cp. Prov. 11:22).

Eze 16:13(top)
Eze 16:14(top)
Eze 16:15(top)
Eze 16:16

“shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. Many of the towns had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).

Eze 16:17

“male images.” The text is unclear as to exactly what these images were. There was no known phallic worship in Israel, so that is almost certainly not what this text is about. The reference is most likely at least in part to idols, which may have specifically been male, such as a bull-god or an image of Baal (in keeping with Israel generally being referred to as a woman who commits adultery with her lovers). However, there was all kinds of illicit sex in ancient Israel, and it is quite possible that the Israelites made dildos out of silver and gold and engaged in sexual activity with them. The use of dildos for sexual pleasure is very ancient, and was certainly part of the Mediterranean world by this time, for example, in ancient Greece.

Eze 16:18(top)
Eze 16:19(top)
Eze 16:20

“to idols.” In this instance we replaced the pronoun “them” with “idols” so the reader would better understand the verse.

“to be devoured.” Children were sometimes sacrificed to pagan gods, and God speaks of that here as if the gods were eating the children as food. The sacrifices that were regularly burned to both God and pagan gods was food and would have otherwise been eaten by the priests and the people, and meat, grain, and oil were burned to God and the gods. In many cases, people presented food they had baked as a gift offering to the gods. So the image in this verse is very cultural, but horrific: people are offering their children as food to the gods, and murdering their children in the name of religion. That anyone, pagan or not, could do that is beyond understanding, but that the people of Israel could stray so far from God, His commandments, and family love boggles the mind. Because child sacrifice was common among the pagans, God specifically forbid it for Israel (Lev. 18:21; 20:2; Deut. 12:31; 18:10).

Eze 16:21(top)
Eze 16:22(top)
Eze 16:23(top)
Eze 16:24(top)
Eze 16:25(top)
Eze 16:26

“great of flesh.” The word “flesh” is being used euphemistically for the penis. This is done in other places in the Bible as well (cp. Ezek. 23:20;

Eze 16:27(top)
Eze 16:28(top)
Eze 16:29(top)
Eze 16:30(top)
Eze 16:31(top)
Eze 16:32(top)
Eze 16:33(top)
Eze 16:34(top)
Eze 16:35(top)
Eze 16:36(top)
Eze 16:37(top)
Eze 16:38(top)
Eze 16:39(top)
Eze 16:40(top)
Eze 16:41(top)
Eze 16:42(top)
Eze 16:43(top)
Eze 16:44(top)
Eze 16:45(top)
Eze 16:46(top)
Eze 16:47(top)
Eze 16:48(top)
Eze 16:49(top)
Eze 16:50(top)
Eze 16:51(top)
Eze 16:52(top)
Eze 16:53(top)
Eze 16:54(top)
Eze 16:55(top)
Eze 16:56(top)
Eze 16:57

“Aram.” Often called “Syria.”

Eze 16:58(top)
Eze 16:59(top)
Eze 16:60

“Nevertheless, I myself will remember.” There is now a distinct shift in the emphasis and tone of the text. God now promises the restoration of Israel. Whereas Israel and Judah had sinned egregiously and deserved (and received) punishment, now God promises He will remember His earlier covenant with Israel (the “Old Covenant”) and so will establish a new covenant, an everlasting covenant, with Israel.

In the Old Covenant, God promised that Israel would be God’s own possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exod. 19:5-6). Although Israel failed to keep their part of the covenant, God remembered His original intention and planned to put a new covenant in place that would be an everlasting covenant. Salvation is always individual and personal, never corporate. No one is given everlasting life just because they are part of a group, even if that group is the Jews, God’s chosen people. From the scope of Scripture, we learn that it is the people who obey God and are saved that get to be part of the New Covenant and live forever on a restored earth.

“an everlasting covenant.” This refers to the New Covenant that God will establish with Israel.

“in the days of your youth.” The covenant God made with Israel in the days of her youth was the “Old Covenant,” made at Sinai just after Israel had left Egypt and as it was forming as a nation, not just related tribes (Exod. 24:1-8).

Eze 16:61(top)
Eze 16:62

“my covenant.” The context show that this is the New Covenant.

Eze 16:63

“and be ashamed.” Many people who are saved and have everlasting life never make the effort to live a truly godly life on earth. In the future kingdom of Christ there will be a distinct difference between those people who made the effort to live truly godly lives and those people who got saved but continued living selfishly and in sin. The people who have little or no rewards in the Millennial Kingdom will realize why that is, and will be ashamed of their selfish lives.

[For more on shame in the future life, see commentary on 1 John 2:28 and 2 Cor. 5:10, “good or evil.” For more on the future Millennial Kingdom, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].


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