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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 23

 

 

Verses 1-49

Ezekiel 23. Fatal Alliance with Foreigners.—This is the third and last of the three great indictments (Ezekiel 16, 20) which draw their material from the past rather than (as Ezekiel 22) from the present. Its underlying imagery is the same as that of ch. 16, but it differs from that chapter in dealing with the northern and southern kingdoms separately (cf. Ezekiel 16:46) and in emphasizing political rather than religious entanglements, though of course foreign alliances did as a matter of fact involve the recognition of foreign gods, i.e. idolatry (Ezekiel 22:7).

Samaria and Jerusalem, the capitals of Israel and Judah respectively, are described as sisters married to Yahweh (cf. Jacob with his two sister wives). Their names, Oholah and Oholibah, are significantly connected with the word for "tent" (ôhel), and probably suggest the tents associated with the false worship (Ezekiel 16:16). First is described Samaria's coquetry with the brilliant and powerful Assyrians—an allusion to king Menahem's tribute to Assyria about 738 B.C. (2 Kings 15:19). This introduction of Assyrian "lovers" to Israel eventually led to her destruction in 721 B.C. (Ezekiel 22:5-10). Judah, who might have learnt the lesson, actually behaved worse, courting first the Assyrians (an allusion to Ahaz's appeal to Tiglath Pileser 735 B.C., 2 Kings 16:7), then the Babylonians (Ezekiel 23:11-21). She too will be stripped bare by the very lovers she had courted, she will have to drink the dreadful cup to the dregs (Ezekiel 23:22-31). (Pekod, etc., in Ezekiel 23:23 are on the borders of Elam, E. of Babylonia.) Again the sisters' crimes are passed in review, especially their wanton invitations to foreigners with their pernicious political and religious consequences, and just judgment is pronounced upon them in terms of the cruelties perpetrated upon prisoners of war (Ezekiel 23:25) and adulteresses (Ezekiel 23:45)—a warning to the whole world. The allusion is chiefly to the impending fall of Jerusalem (Samaria had fallen over 130 years before).

Ezekiel 23:40. paintedst thine eyes: Jeremiah 4:30*.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 23:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezekiel-23.html. 1919.

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