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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 16

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 16:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 1. Again the word of the Lord came unto me.] For the better setting on of what had been said in the foregoing chapter, for cutting the combs of the self-conceited Jews, and convincing them of their wickedness and wretchedness thereby. The chapter consisteth of law and gospel, [Ezekiel 16:60] and is a lively type, animae peccatricis et poenitentis, of an offending and repenting soul.


Verse 2

Ezekiel 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

Ver. 2. Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.] Which as yet she taketh no knowledge of. Rebuke her therefore sharply, that she may be sound in the faith, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 16:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity [is] of the land of Canaan; thy father [was] an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

Ver. 3. Thy birth.] Heb., Thy cutting out. Compare Isaiah 51:1.

And thy nativity.] Vide insignem genealogiam, vide γενεθλοιν pudendum. Mutato heroine de te fabula narratur. Cicero (a) saith the old Britons were as barbarous as the Scythians.

Thy father was an Amorite.] (b) An Amorite thou mayest seem to be rather than an Abramite; for thou hast filled the land, as they did, [Ezra 9:11] from end to end with thine uncleanness.

And thy mother an Hittite.] Those worst of women. [Genesis 27:46]


Verse 4

Ezekiel 16:4 And [as for] thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple [thee]; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

Ver. 4. Thy navel was not cut.] None was so courteous as to do any of these necessary good offices for thee, a poor, forlorn, helpless wretch. No creature is so shiftless as a newly born babe, which, cast out and left to the wide world, must needs perish. (a)


Verse 5

Ezekiel 16:5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

Ver. 5. None eye pitied thee.] No, not thy mother, in whose heart God had planted natural affection for that purpose. Neither would thy Lucina become thy Levana (two heathen deities), to take thee up from the ground, where thou layest, alas! weltering in thy gore, and more like to a slain than a live child.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 16:6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live.

Ver. 6. And when I passed by thee.] Not by chance, {as Luke 10:31} but of free choice, and according to mine eternal purpose.

And saw thee in thy blood.] In this deplorable condition. Blood is in this verse thrice mentioned, to set forth the greatness of man’s misery in his pure, or rather impure, natural state, and the freeness of God’s grace toward him all along. [Matthew 11:26]

I said unto thee, Live,] God speaketh spiritual life to his poor people, [Isaiah 55:3] and often repeateth to them his precious promises, whereby they come to "partake of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." [2 Peter 1:4]


Verse 7

Ezekiel 16:7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: [thy] breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou [wast] naked and bare.

Ver. 7. As the bud of the field.] He prosecuteth the allegory of a miserable maiden, with whom the matter beginneth to mend. Iam enim menses patiebatur, ubera creverant et pili circa pubem; so that now she was marriageable.

And thou art come to excellent ornaments.] Heb., To ornaments of ornaments, such as virgo nobilis, cum iam est nubilis, habet, young ladies have, when grown up especially.

Whereas thou wast naked and bare.] Heb., Nakedness and rejection. God looked upon us and loved us, whenas yet we had not a rag to our backs. Cum tu nuda esses, argue nudissima.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time [was] the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

Ver. 8. Behold, thy time was the time of love.] When thou wast both fit for marriage, and desirous of it. For as the man misseth his rib, so the woman would be in her old place again, under the man’s arm or wing. See Ruth 3:1; Ruth 3:9.

And I spread my skirt over thee.] See Ruth 3:9. {See Trapp on "Ruth 3:9"} I covered thy nakedness, and took thee into my care and company as a wife. A marriage rite is imported by this expression.

Yea, I sware unto thee, &c.] So much ado God hath with us to make us believe. The apostle mentioneth "the work of faith." She hath somewhat to do before she can fasten.


Verse 9

Ezekiel 16:9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

Ver. 9. Then washed I thee with water.] I cleansed thee from all thy pollutions by the merit and Spirit of my dear Son. See 1 Corinthians 6:11.

And I anointed thee with oil.] Newly married wives were usually washed, anointed, and richly arrayed. The dead also were washed, as Dorcas; and embalmed, as Jacob; and Proverbs 31:8, they are called bene chaloph, which signifieth "change of raiment." Death strips us all, but happy are they whom Christ hath spread his skirt over. See 2 Corinthians 5:2-4.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 16:10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.

Ver. 10. I clothed thee also with broidered work.] Phrygionica veste variegata. With variety of precious graces, whereby thou didst outshine Solomon in all his bravery; for one grain of faith is of better worth than all the gold of Ophir, and one remnant of hope beyond all the gay clothing in the world.

And girded thee about with fine linen.] The Church hath a rich wardrobe for woollens and linens; God’s plenty of both.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 16:11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

Ver. 11. I decked thee also with ornaments.] See Ezekiel 16:7; such as render thee amiable and admirable. Christ himself, who was not moved at all with the offer of all the world’s good, [Matthew 4:9-10] confesseth himself ravished with them. [Song of Solomon 4:9]


Verse 12

Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

Ver. 12. And I put a jewel on thy forehead.] Heb., On thy nose. See on Genesis 24:47.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment [was of] fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

Ver. 13. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver.] Yea, with far better habiliments; for what is gold and silver but the guts and garbage of the earth? It was observed of Queen Elizabeth (as of her father before her), that she loved to go very richly arrayed. Her sister Queen Mary had, at her coronation, her head so laden with jewels, that she could hardly hold it up. King Richard II had one coat of gold and jewels valued at 30,000 marks. This was much, but nothing to the Church’s beauty and bravery, which yet was all but borrowed, as is said in the next verse.

Thou didst eat fine flour and honey,] i.e., The very best of the best. Thou didst eat of the fat, and drink of the sweet of my holy ordinances.


Verse 14

Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it [was] perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 14. And thy renown went forth.] Pliny saith of Jerusalem that it was the most famous of all the cities of the East; of the world he might have said, all things considered.

Through the comeliness which I had put upon thee.] As Abraham’s servant put the jewels upon Rebekah. See on Ezekiel 16:13. That is a famous canon (a) of the second Arausican council, Tales nos amat Deus, quales futuri sumus ipsius dono, non quales sumus nostro merito: God loveth us such as we shall be by his free gift, and not such as we are by our own merit.


Verse 15

Ezekiel 16:15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

Ver. 15. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty.] Thou grewest proud of it, and thoughtest there was none such; whenas thou mightest well have said of it, as he in the holy history did of his hatchet, "Alas, master, it was but borrowed."

And playedst the harlot.] Being fair and foolish.

Lis est cum forma magna pudicitiae.

Because of thy renown.] Being puffed up with the greatness of thy name and fame, which should have made thee more morigerous. [Proverbs 27:21] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 27:21"}

And pouredst out thy fornications.] Indifferently and impudently, like a filthy strumpet.

His it was.] Quicunque vult; come as come would: so detestably insatiated wast thou. The Papists boast of their Church that she is a pious mother, that shutteth her bosom to no man. Meretricis scilicet hoc est meretricissimae.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 16:16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: [the like things] shall not come, neither shall it be [so].

Ver. 16. And of thy garments thou didst take.] Thou sparedst for no cost to trick up thy mawmets and monuments of idolatry. No more do Papists: witness their churches, yea, their cloisters and churchyards (for want of room within), stuffed with their vowed presents and rich vestments. Besides that they do garnish and furnish out their heretical doctrines with testimonies of Holy Scripture, which they wrest, and with authority of ancient fathers, whom they wrong, Quaerit diabolus a te ornari, said Augustine to a scholar of his, who was learned and lewd; that is, The devil would fain be dressed up by thee.

The like things shall not come.] Such a desperate idolomany as thine can hardly be matched or met with anywhere. So an Englishman Italienate [ltalianised] is even a devil incarnate. Julian the apostate was by some called Idolian.


Verse 17

Ezekiel 16:17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

Ver. 17. Images of men.] To be thy gallants, with whom thou mightest adulterise and idolise. Vah scelus! Surely he is a rare man that hath not some or other idol whereon he bestows pains and cost, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." [1 John 5:21]


Verse 18

Ezekiel 16:18 And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.

Ver. 18. And tookest thy broidered, &c.] See Ezekiel 16:16.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 16:19 My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, [wherewith] I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and [thus] it was, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 19. My meat also … thou hast even set it before them.] Either as consecrated to them, or otherwise to be consecrated by them, which made Daniel so scrupulous of meddling with the king’s meat. [Ezekiel 1:8]

Thus it was.] Just so, and no otherwise, however thou would palliate the business, and art ready to put me to my proofs. {as Jeremiah 2:35}


Verse 20

Ezekiel 16:20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. [Is this] of thy whoredoms a small matter,

Ver. 20. Whom thou hast born unto me.] Who at their birth were mine by virtue of my covenant, and who should therefore have been consecrated unto me. (a) Polanus here giveth this good note: A Church, though it be idolatrous, may bring forth children to God, by bestowing upon them the sacrament of initiation or regeneration; and God will acknowledge them for his children, till such time as he hath given a bill of divorce to that Church. (b) This is done whereas she openly betaketh herself to the bed of another husband, by disowning Christ for her God, Lord, Bridegroom, and Mediator; as the Asiatic Church hath done, by defecting first to Nestorianism, and now to Mohammedanism. Let this be well noted against the Anabaptists of these times.


Verse 21

Ezekiel 16:21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through [the fire] for them?

Ver. 21. That thou hast slain my children.] Note that he yet calleth them his children, though so born, and so murdered. See on Ezekiel 16:20.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 16:22 And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, [and] wast polluted in thy blood.

Ver. 22. Thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth.] Hence all thy haughtiness and hauntiness. We should often say, as that noble Iphicrates the Athenian once did, Eξ οιων εις ο ια, From how small to how great matters hath the Lord raised me!


Verse 23

Ezekiel 16:23 And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD)

Ver. 23. Woe, woe unto thee, saith the Lord God.] A double woe will fall very heavy here and hereafter; woe and alas for evermore.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 16:24 [That] thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.

Ver. 24. That thou hast also built unto thee.] How stintless is sin, and how like is this to Jeremiah’s preaching! [Jeremiah 2:3-8]

An eminent place.] Or brothel house, that thy madness may appear to all men.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 16:25 Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.

Ver. 25. And hast made thy beauty to be abhorred.] By being made so cheap and common. Sin is a reproach to any people, [Proverbs 14:34] idolatry especially. [1 Peter 4:3]

And hast opened thy feet.] See on Ezekiel 16:15.


Verse 26

Ezekiel 16:26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.

Ver. 26. Great of flesh.] Torosi, scil., propter potentiam et petulantiam. The prophet persisteth in the metaphor, from the manner of shamelessly lascivious women: such as was Messalina, the wife of Claudius the emperor; and she in Apuleius that entertained the ass. See Ezekiel 23:20. Flesh is here and elsewhere taken for the privities, quod est membrum prorsus carneum.


Verse 27

Ezekiel 16:27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary [food], and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.

Ver. 27. I have stretched out my hand over thee.] To cut thee short. {as Hosea 2:9}

And have diminished thine ordinary food.] Diminui demensum tuum. What should a father do but snatch away the meat from his child that marreth it? or a husband, but hold his wanton wife to straiter allowance?

The daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.] It must needs be most lewd that Philistines were ashamed of. Zimmah signifieth wickedness with a witness. Jerome interpreteth it an execrable and villanous filthiness. So is Popish idolatry in the eyes of modern Jews; and the hellish blasphemies darted out against God and Christ so ordinarily and openly by pseudo Christians, abominable to the Turks, who do punish them for it with great severity.


Verse 28

Ezekiel 16:28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.

Ver. 28. Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians.] By making sinful leagues, and gadding so much about to change thy way. [Jeremiah 2:36]

And yet couldest not be satisfied.] It is as easy to quench the fire of Etna as the thoughts set on fire by lust.


Verse 29

Ezekiel 16:29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.

Ver. 29. In the land of Canaan.] Thou hast lived in my good land, but not by my good laws.

And yet thou wast not satisfied.] See on Ezekiel 16:28.


Verse 30

Ezekiel 16:30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these [things], the work of an imperious whorish woman;

Ver. 30. How weak is thine heart.] Weak as water, melted in spiritual lust, putrefying alive, and perishing daily, as Tiberius said he perceived himself to do at Capreae. (a) This is here uttered by way of admiration; and the word rendered heart, being otherwhere of the masculine gender, is here made feminine, to show how idolaters are effeminated to a base and sensual esteem of God and his service. {Hebrew Text Note}

The work of an imperious whorish woman.] (b) Of a strong whore; (c) weak to do good, but strong to do evil; so are all idolaters with their hippomanes et cacoethes. The word rendered imperious signifieth a sultaness or queen; who, if with a queen, what will she not dare to do? See it in that whore of Babylon, who sitteth as a queen, &c. The unbridled boisterousness of idolaters, see Jeremiah 44:16-17.


Verse 31

Ezekiel 16:31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;

Ver. 31. And hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornsst hire.] Whore should be written hore, as coming from the word hire; as the Latin meretrix a merendo. Harlot is said to come of Arlet, mother to our William the Conqueror; in spite to whom, and disgrace to his mother, the English called all whores harlots, adding an aspiration to her name, according to their manner of pronouncing.


Verse 32

Ezekiel 16:32 [But as] a wife that committeth adultery, [which] taketh strangers instead of her husband!

Ver. 32. Which taketh strangers instead of her husband.] This is a foul mistake; wedlock should be chaste. The window of the ark shut, that the waters of the flood enter not into it.


Verse 33

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.

Ver. 33. They give gifts to all whores.] See Ezekiel 16:31. Harlots are cruces and crumenimulgae, saith the comedian, crosses and suck purses. See Luke 15:14.

Nuda Venus picta est, nndi pinguntur amores:

Nam quos nuda capit, nudos dimittat oportet. ”


Verse 34

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.

Ver. 34. And the contrary is in thee, &c.] The Jews, before the Babylonish captivity, were madly and above measure set upon the sin of idolatry, say their own Rabbis; so that if one clothed never so richly had seen an idol on the further side of a broad pool, he would have gone through thick and thin, etiam in cloacalem foetulentam, end even in foul smelling sewers to have worshipped it. (a)


Verse 35

Ezekiel 16:35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:

Ver. 35. Wherefore, O harlot.] A name good enough for such an odious housewife, the shame of her sex. He is not worthy of an honest name whose deeds are not honest.

Hear the word of the Lord.] Hear thy doom, thy sentence: stoned thou shalt be as an adulteress, slain with the sword as a murderess, burned with fire as an incendiary, because thou hast burned thy children in honour of Moloch. (a)


Verse 36

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;

Ver. 36. Because thy filthiness.] Heb., Thy poison, aerugo tua. your ill will, Thy filthiness issuing from thee by reason of thine overly frequent and excessive adulteries. He meaneth the infamous fluxes of whores, saith Diodat.

And by the blood.] Heb., Bloods, because scattered about in several drops.


Verse 37

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.

Ver. 37. With whom thou hast taken pleasure.] Or, With whom thou hast been commingled. Iocundata es.

And will discover thy nakedness unto them.] This is by modest women taken for a very great punishment. Polyxena, when she was sacrificed, took great care to fall handsomely. The Milesian maids would not be kept from killing themselves till there was a law made that such as so did should be drawn naked through the market. Till the days of Theodosius senior, if a woman were taken in adultery, they shut her up in a stews, and compelled her beastly, and without all shame, to play the harlot, ringing a bell while the deed was doing, that all the neighbours might be made privy to it. This evil custom that good emperor took away, making other laws for the punishment of adultery.


Verse 38

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.

Ver. 38. And I will judge thee as women that break wedlock.] See Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22. The Egyptians cut off the harlot’s nose, and the adulterer’s privy members; the Romans beheaded them; the old Germans whipped them through the streets; Canutus, the Danish king in this land, banished them; Tenedius, a king in another land, did cut them in sunder with an axe; by our laws they are to be hanged, as by the Jews’ laws to be stoned. [Ezekiel 16:40]

And shed blood.] See Ezekiel 16:35.

I will give thee blood.] God loveth to retaliate.


Verse 39

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.

Ver. 39. They shall throw down thine eminent place.] So did the Turks throw down many both images and churches in Christendom, when people would not be persuaded to cast images out of their churches.

They shall strip thee also of thy clothes.] So the Spaniards did the Dutch, when once they grew fond of the Spanish fashions, as Lavater here notes.


Verse 40

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.

Ver. 40. They shall also bring up a company against thee.] The Chaldeans, that "hasty and bitter nation." [Habakkuk 1:6]

And they shall stone thee.] See on Ezekiel 16:35.


Verse 41

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.

Ver. 41. In the sight of many women.] Those matrons whom thou hast misused; and many others who may well be warned, by thy just punishment, to keep their faith to God and man.


Verse 42

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.

Ver. 42. So I will make my fury toward thee to rest.] Sept., I will dismiss mine anger upon thee. Like as when Haman was hanged, Ahasuerus’s wrath was pacified; [Esther 7:10] and as when Jonah was cast overboard, the sea was calmed.


Verse 43

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.

Ver. 43. Because thou hast not remembered, &c.] Thou hast not cared to converse with thyself, nor to recogitate my goodness, and thine own badness.

But hast fretted me.] Or, Hast kept a stir with me; or rather, Stirred up thyself against me; and all through want of reflection and self-examination. See Jeremiah 8:6.

I also will recompense thy way upon thy head.] As the arrows of those Thracians, thrown up against Jupiter, for raining upon them unseasonably, came down again upon their own heads, (a) so here.


Verse 44

Ezekiel 16:44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use [this] proverb against thee, saying, As [is] the mother, [so is] her daughter.

Ver. 44. Behold, every one that useth proverbs.] Omnis paraemiator paraemiabit. That is skilful at, and exercised in gibing and jeering; as was Socrates - called therefore ο Sκωπτων, the Scoffer - Democritus, Lucian, Sir Thomas Moore, Erasmus, &c.

Shall use this proverb.] This taunting proverb.

As is the mother, so is her daughter.] The birth followeth the belly. Kακου κορακος κακον ωον. Ill birds lay ill eggs. Qualis hera, talis ancilla, &c.


Verse 45

Ezekiel 16:45 Thou [art] thy mother’s daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou [art] the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother [was] an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.

Ver. 45. Thou art thy mother’s daughter.] As like her as if spat out of her mouth; so like her, that thou art the worse again.

Your mother was an Hittite.] And doth therefore seek her daughter in the oven, because she had first been there herself. See Ezekiel 16:3.


Verse 46

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.

Ver. 46. She and her daughters,] i.e., Her cities and villages.

That dwell at thy left hand.] Thou art well set up therewhile, well neighboured.

That dwelleth at thy right hand.] That did do so, but new dwelleth with devils; being "thrown out for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." [ 1:7]


Verse 47

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.

Ver. 47. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways.] But hast out sinned them. Nolunt solita peccare, Do not make a habit of sinning, saith Seneca of some, They will not sin in an ordinary way. Et pudet non esse impudentes, saith Augustine of others; i.e., they are ashamed not to be past shame.

But as if that were a very little thing.] Paululum pauxillumque; A peccadillo.


Verse 48

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.

Ver. 48. As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done.] Heb., If Sodom thy sister hath done, &c.; q.d., Then let me never be trusted more. Here, then, is a double oath taken by God, to assure this people that they had outsinned Sodom - a truth that they would not easily assent to. To this day we cannot get men to believe that their natures are so naught, their lives so lewd, their state so dangerous, as the preachers make them. Their hearts are good, their penny good silver, &c. The prophet Isaiah lost his life, say the Rabbis, for calling the rulers of Jerusalem rulers of Sodom, and the people of Judah people of Gomorrah. [Isaiah 1:10]


Verse 49

Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Ver. 49. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride,] i.e., Haughty mindedness and high conceitedness of their own surpassing excellence and stable felicity. This was the first firebrand that set Sodom on fire.

Fulness of bread.] Gourmandise and surquedry. This fulness bred forgetfulness, and this saturity security.

Luxuriant animi rebus plerumque secundis:

Nec facile est aequa commoda mente pati. ”

And abundance of idleness.] Tranquillitas tranquillitatis, rest of rest; and this abused to idleness, deep idleness, which is the devil’s pillow, and the mother of many mischiefs; for he shall not but do naughtily that does nothing.

Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor.] Inhospitable they were, and unmerciful. The two angels might have lain in the streets for them; neither would they let them rest when Lot had lodged them.


Verse 50

Ezekiel 16:50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw [good].

Ver. 50. And they were haughty.] This sin of theirs is once more instanced as the root of the rest, the hate of heaven, and gate to hell.

And committed abomination before me.] That unnatural filthiness which taketh its name from them. This in the Levant is not held a vice, and in Mexico it is one of the Spanish virtues.

Therefore I took them away as I saw good,] sc., By raining down hell from heaven upon them. Hereby also God gave men an example of that rule, that heinous sins bring hideous plagues, as Herodotus also saith of the fall of Troy.


Verse 51

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.

Ver. 51. Neither hath Samaria committed half thy sins.] And yet thou lookest aloof upon her as a far greater sinner than thyself, because already carried captive, whenas thou hast done and spoken evil things as thou couldst, [Jeremiah 3:5] outdone her a fair deal.

And hast justified thy sisters.] Who may well seem saints in comparison of thee, and yet are as naught as need to be.


Verse 52

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.

Ver. 52. Thou also which hast judged thy sisters.] Passed many harsh and rash censures upon them, not looking at all to the hinder part of the wallet.

Bear thine own shame.] Thou shalt do it sure enough; for where sin is in the saddle, there shame is on the crupper. Accept therefore the punishment of thine iniquity; [Leviticus 26:43] give glory to God, take shame to thyself.


Verse 53

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:

Ver. 53. When I shall bring again.] Or, If I bring again, which I shall never do. The Jewish doctors indeed would from this verse gather that Sodom and all shall one day be restored again; but that is like to be a long day. The Jews, as they had taken up the opinion of Pythagoras about transanimation, so they had that other of Plato about the great revolution or restitution of all things after certain years.

Then will I bring again the captivity.] The Jews were never perfectly restored, in respect to the glory of the temple, and the state of the kingdom, &c.


Verse 54

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.

Ver. 54. In that thou art a comfort unto them.] Ezekiel 14:22. Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris; to have companions in misery is some kind of comfort.


Verse 55

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.

Ver. 55. When thy sister Sodom and her daughters.] See on Ezekiel 16:53. The Jews still dream that all this shall be done at the coming of their long looked for Messiah, and in his reign on earth for a thousand years. (a) That then also Jerusalem shall be rebuilt and made up of gold, silver, and precious stones, &c. So apt are they to work themselves into the fool’s paradise of a sublime dotage.


Verse 56

Ezekiel 16:56 For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,

Ver. 56. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned.] Thou thoughtest her not worthy to be named in the same day with thee, and little dreamedst that thou shouldst be matched with her in misery. Or thus, Thou wouldst neither hear nor speak of her, though I had thrown her forth for an example of divine vengeance. [ 1:7]

In the day of thy pride.] Heb., Prides; for pride buddeth, [Ezekiel 7:10] and, like a great swelling in the body which breaks and runs with loathsome and foul matter, it breaks forth into odious practices.


Verse 57

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.

Ver. 57. Before thy wickedness was discovered,] sc., By my punishments, by my sending the Syrians and Philistines upon thee, in the days of Ahaz, to despoil and despise thee. Compare Isaiah 9:12.


Verse 58

Ezekiel 16:58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.

Ver. 58. Thou hast borne thy lewdness,] i.e., The punishment of it, and yet art little the better. See Isaiah 9:13.


Verse 59

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.

Ver. 59. I will even deal with thee.] I will avenge upon thee the quarrel of my covenant. [Leviticus 26:25]


Verse 60

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.

Ver. 60. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant.] Here beginneth the evangelical part of the chapter, which is for the comfort of the elect, who would be frightened to hear those direful threats; like as in a house we cannot beat the dogs but the children will fall to crying.


Verse 61

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.

Ver. 61. And be ashamed.] With a saving and savoury shame, such as was that of Ezra and of the penitent publican, proceeding from true compunction, and producing repentance never to be repented of.

When thou shalt receive thy sisters.] Not Sodom only and Samaria, but all the Gentiles whom thou hast imitated; but now shalt become a worthy example of better things.

But not by thy covenant.] Made with thee in Mount Sinai, but by a covenant of grace made in Mount Zion.


Verse 62

Ezekiel 16:62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD:

Ver. 62. And I will establish my covenant.] My new spiritual and eternal covenant, grounded upon the Messias, and made with the whole Israel according to faith. [Jeremiah 31:31-34 2 Corinthians 3:3 Hebrews 8:8]


Verse 63

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.

Ver. 63. That thou mayest remember.] Thy many strayings.

And never open thy mouth.] To extenuate thy sins, or to murmur at thy sufferings; but be silent and submissive.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 16:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-16.html. 1865-1868.

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