|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-58 In this chapter God's dealings with the Jewish nation, and their conduct towards him, are described, and their punishment through the surrounding nations, even those they most trusted in. This is done under the parable of an exposed infant rescued from death, educated, espoused, and richly provided for, but afterwards guilty of the most abandoned conduct, and punished for it; yet at last received into favour, and ashamed of her base conduct. We are not to judge of these expressions by modern ideas, but by those of the times and places in which they were used, where many of them would not sound as they do to us. The design was to raise hatred to idolatry, and such a parable was well suited for that purpose.
Verses 18, 19. - Mine oil and mine incense. This, as afterwards in Ezekiel 23:41, was the crowning aggravation of the guilt. The very gifts of God, designed for his worship, were prostituted to that of his rivals. The "oil" is that of Exodus 30:23-25, perfumed and set apart for sacred uses. The act of covering the idol was, as in ver. 8, the symbol of the marriage union. In the sweet savour we have the familiar phrase of Ezekiel 6:13. The scene brought before us is that of a sacrificial feast, in which cakes of flour, honey, and oil were eaten whilst incense was offered. So we have the "adored liba" of Virgil, 'AEneid,' 7:109, or more fully in Tibullus, 'Eleg.,' 1:7, 53, 54, the "thuria honores," the "liba ... dulcia melle." Thus it was, etc. As in ver. 16, the description seems to rouse an instinctive abhorrence in the prophet's mind, which finds utterance in this form: "Yes, it was even so." The words are, however, taken by the LXX., Vulgate, and Luther as opening the following verse: "And it came to pass that."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them,.... The images of men, the idols they worshipped; see Jeremiah 10:4; so the Papists at this day cover their idols, the images of the Virgin Mary, and other saints, with rich apparel, to draw the attention, admiration, and reverence of the people to them:
and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them; the oil which the Lord gave them for food, the land of Canaan being a land of oil olive; or which was to light the lamps in the temple with; or was used in sacrifice to the Lord, particularly in the meat offerings; and the incense, which was offered unto him on the altar of incense; these were set upon the altars of idols, and before them, the male images before mentioned; see Hosea 2:8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. tookest thy … garments … coveredst them—that is, the idols, as if an adulteress were to cover her paramours with garments which she had received from the liberality of her husband.
my oil—the holy anointing oil sacred to God (Ex 30:22-25). Also that used in sacrifices (Le 2:1, 2).
Ezekiel 16:18 Parallel Commentaries
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