Ezekiel Chapter 16 Continued
Ezekiel 16:33 “They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.”
Generally speaking, a whore is paid for their whoredom. It appears, the sins of Israel had become so terrible, they were actually paying for the affairs themselves. This really is saying that Israel is seeking out the false gods herself even though they had nothing to offer her.
Ezekiel 16:34 “And the contrary is in thee from [other] women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.”
In the following Scripture, we see the very thing this is speaking of.
2 Kings 16:8 “And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent [it for] a present to the king of Assyria.” Ahaz was an evil king. He was not faithful to God, and caused the people to fall away from God, as well.
Ezekiel 16:35 “Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:”
This is a harsh name to call all of Israel, but they deserve the name. They are an unfaithful wife.
Ezekiel 16:36 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;”
These are specific things they have done that show their unfaithfulness to God. The lovers, in this sense, are the evil nations they signed treaties with. They were supposed to be a separate people.
God did not want them signing treaties with these heathen nations. Even worse than the treaties they signed, was the fact they started worshipping their false gods. Then they even sacrificed their children to their false gods.
Ezekiel 16:37 “Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all [them] that thou hast loved, with all [them] that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.”
These very nations they had turned to, will be the very nations God will turn against them. They will all joy in her overthrow.
Ezekiel 16:38 “And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.”
The women who broke wedlock were stoned to death. Those who shed blood were killed themselves. Their punishment would fit their crime. God will take vengeance on them, as a jealous husband would do.
Ezekiel 16:39 “And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.”
They will be back to the condition God had found them in, in the first place. All of the gifts God had given them, will be taken away. They will be naked, bare, and even unclothed, as they were when God first found them. The only difference, they are not innocent now.
Ezekiel 16:40 “They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.”
This is the very thing that does happen to them, when they are invaded. They are killed by the sword. The killing of these people is symbolic of the punishment for a harlot wife by stoning to death.
Ezekiel 16:41 “And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.”
This fire is symbolic of burning away their sins of harlotry. When God is through with this fire, the ones left will be faithful to Him. They are the remnant He saves.
Ezekiel 16:42 “So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.”
God’s forgiveness outweighs his anger. His anger lasts for just a while. When the stoning is over, or by exacting the full penalty on Israel’s sins in the destruction by Babylon, God’s wrath was to be satisfied.
Ezekiel 16:43 “Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these [things]; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon [thine] head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.”
The word “lewdness” means heinous crime. This is not just a sin, but one that brings revulsion. God wants her to remember her first love, and turn back to Him with all her heart. The punishment is just, for such behavior. The following Scripture Jesus spoke describes how God feels about this.
Revelation 2:4-5 “Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
Ezekiel 16:44 “Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use [this] proverb against thee, saying, As [is] the mother, [so is] her daughter.”
This is just saying, this will not be soon forgotten. This punishment reaches to the second generation. Judah has followed in the pagan footsteps of her beginnings.
Ezekiel 16:45 “Thou [art] thy mother’s daughter, that loatheth her husband and her children; and thou [art] the sister of thy sisters, which loathed their husbands and their children: your mother [was] an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.”
It appears from this, that the unfaithfulness had gone on for at least two generations. They had taken up the ways of their mothers.
There were many evil kings who led the people into spiritual adultery in Israel, before God finally brought captivity and death to them in punishment for their unfaithfulness.
Verses 46-59: Judah is compared to Samaria and Sodom, whose judgment for sin was great. Judah was more corrupt (verse 47), multiplied Samaria’s and Sodom’s sin (verse 51), and committed more abominable sin. (verse 52).
Ezekiel 16:46 “And thine elder sister [is] Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, [is] Sodom and her daughters.”
This is just speaking of the evil the neighbors had been involved in, as well as what Israel had been involved in. Sodom was a symbol of evil, because of the total destruction God had brought on them for their homosexual activities. This could also, be speaking of the exiled Jews who lived in these areas.
Ezekiel 16:47 “Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as [if that were] a very little [thing], thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.”
Israel was not guilty of the very same sins as her neighbors, but Israel had been unfaithful to God.
Ezekiel 16:48 “[As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.”
Sodom had not committed the same sins as Israel. They were sisters in sin, however.
Ezekiel 16:49 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
Sin, many times, springs from having too much free time (idleness). They did not have to work hard to provide for their necessities. They had plenty of bread. The idle mind comes up with new ways to sin.
Ezekiel 16:50 “And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw [good].”
This haughty attitude means they did not do things God’s way. They thought their own ideas superior to God. They left the natural, and pleased their own flesh. The following two Scriptures describe what they had done.
Romans 1:26-27 “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:” “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
God rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them all except Lot and his 2 daughters.
Ezekiel 16:51 “Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.”
The reason for Samaria not being as guilty of sin, is because they had less knowledge of the law. The temple was in Israel. The Samarians were idolaters, as well. Those to whom much knowledge is given, much is required.
Ezekiel 16:52 “Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.”
Sodom and Samaria were justified only by comparison. They were sinful too, but had not been as sinful as Israel. Israel was quick to point a finger at them and judge them, but never realized they had more sin than Samaria or Sodom. They should have repented of their own sin, before they pointed fingers at others.
Ezekiel 16:53 “When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then [will I bring again] the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:”
God is saying, that after He has forgiven Sodom and Samaria, then He will forgive Israel and restore her. This is really a promise that God will restore them in the future. This, again, may not be speaking specifically of the city of Sodom, but of Jews who are living the life style of Sodom. It would be unlikely that they deserved to be brought back from captivity, but God will bring them back.
Ezekiel 16:54 “That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.”
Israel must bear her own shame. They are a comfort unto Sodom and Samaria, because God had not spared them. God is no respecter of persons, when it comes to punishment. He did not overlook Israel’s sin, just because she was His wife.
Ezekiel 16:55 “When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.”
In the natural, it would have been highly unlikely that God would have forgiven such great sin as that Israel had committed. God’s great love and forgiveness go far beyond the natural. Israel does not deserve to be forgiven, any more than Samaria, or Sodom. Possibly, Sodom and Samaria, here, could have been not literal, but a way of life that exiled Jews had been involved in.
Ezekiel 16:56 “For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,”
Israel had shown no compassion at all for Sodom. The only time they mentioned Sodom, was to tell how evil she was. They felt they were better than Sodom. The Israelites thought they were better than everyone else. They, especially, did not want to be thought of as Sodom, or Samaria.
Ezekiel 16:57 “Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of [thy] reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all [that are] round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.”
Israel was quick to judge their neighbors as being heathen people. At that time, God had not exposed the wickedness of Israel. It is so much easier to see other’s sins than it is our own. We must be extremely careful about pointing accusing fingers at others. God will judge us as we judge others. This is what has happened to Israel here.
This is probably, speaking of disasters that fell on the Philistines and the Syrians.
Ezekiel 16:58 “Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.”
Israel cannot pass their sins to others. Each one bears their own sin. Many times, when we are criticizing others, we are trying to cover up problems in our own lives. Israel must bear their own sins.
Ezekiel 16:59 “For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.”
When Israel made covenant with God, they promised to keep His commandments. They have not kept His commandments, and therefore, they broke covenant with God. There were blessings abundant to come to them, when they kept God’s commandments. The other side was, if they did not keep the commandments of God, there would be curses. They brought all of this on themselves, when they broke covenant with God. They made an oath to God, and did not keep it.
Ezekiel 16:60 “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”
God is gracious and He always finds a covenant basis on which He can exercise His grace. The Lord will remember the Abrahamic Covenant made with Israel in her youth. Restoration will be by grace, not merit.
“An everlasting covenant”: This is the New Covenant, which is unconditional, saving, and everlasting. The basis of God’s grace will not be the Mosaic Covenant, which the Jews could never fulfill, even with the best intentions. When God establishes His eternal covenant, Israel will know that God is the Lord because of His grace.
God had never broken covenant with His people. They had broken covenant with Him. This is that extension of the covenant God had made with Abraham. The covenant of grace gives forgiveness, while they are yet in sin. The covenant of grace is not like the law, in that it is a covenant of obligation. The covenant of grace is not by obligation, but by love. The covenant of grace could also, be called a covenant of love so great man cannot comprehend that love.
According to (Jeremiah 31 verses 31-34), that will be ratified for Israel at the time when they will “know that I am the lord”, which can take place only during the Millennium.
Ezekiel 16:61 “Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.”
The shame that Israel feels, is because they do not deserve God’s forgiveness. They are suddenly aware of their sins. The first thing Israel must do, to receive their forgiveness, is to forgive their sisters. This covenant of grace extends to all who are willing to receive it.
Ezekiel 16:62 “And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD:”
This covenant is different, in that it is a free gift to man from God. This is amazing grace that God bestows on mankind. God loves, not because we are worthy, but in spite of our sins.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Ezekiel 16:63 “That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.”
This looks to the cross of Christ, by which God’s just wrath on sin was satisfied so that He could grant grace to all who believe.
The wife of God (Israel), has nothing more to say. She is pardoned. Her husband has taken her back. He is not angry with her any more. She feels humbled by His forgiveness. “Pacified” means that He feels no more desire to punish her for unfaithfulness.
The message for Christians in this is that we do not deserve to be forgiven. God, through His great mercy and love, has forgiven us. He has put our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, and He will remember them no more. We must love Him enough to live faithful before Him. Jesus is coming back for His bride.
2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Ezekiel Chapter 16 Continued Questions
1. In these lessons Israel is shown as the ______ wife of God.
2. How terrible had Israel’s sins gotten at this point?
3. What harsh name is Israel called in verse 35?
4. Who are the lovers in verse 36?
5. What was even worse than their signing treaties with the heathen?
6. How would God judge Israel?
7. What was the punishment for a woman who was unfaithful?
8. What happened to all the gifts God had given them?
9. They shall _______ thy houses.
10. God’s ___________ outweighs His anger.
11. What does “lewdness” mean?
12. Describe the mother’s feelings toward her husband.
13. Thy eldest sister is __________.
14. Thy younger sister is _________.
15. Israel was sisters with Sodom in _______.
16. What were some of the sins of Sodom?
17. How was the way Sodom and Samaria were justified?
18. What is verse 53 really?
19. Israel had shown no compassion for __________.
20. Why must we be extremely careful about how we judge others?
21. What had Israel promised, when they made covenant with God?
22. Who broke the covenant?
23. What is the new covenant God makes?
24. What message is in this lesson for Christians?