|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.
Verse 26. - With the Egyptians. The words point to political and commercial alliances, in themselves a whoredom (Isaiah 23:17; Nahum 3:4), such as Zedekiah, like some of his predecessors, had trusted in, as well as to the adoption of Egyptian worship, such as we have seen in Ezekiel 8:10, the one leading naturally to the other. The words, great of flesh, may point, as we interpret the parable, to the supposed strength of the stout and stalwart soldiers, the chariots and horses of the Egyptians, but possibly also may be a euphemism for the mere animal vigour which stimulated passion.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians,.... By entering into leagues and alliances with them, and seeking to them for help and assistance against their enemies; from whose bondage they had formerly been delivered, and whose society they were cautioned against; and yet they forsook the Lord, and joined themselves to them by solemn covenant; and not only so, but fell into the worship of their idols, who were a people of all others the most superstitious, and given to idolatry; and many of their idolatrous rites and ceremonies were received and retained by the Jews, as the worshipping of Tammuz, and other idols:
thy neighbours, great of flesh: being their neighbours, and full of power and strength to assist them, they courted their friendship and alliance; and their idolatries being many and monstrous, were the more courted by them: the allusion is to women of shameless impudence and insatiable lust, who covet men, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and their issue as horses, Ezekiel 23:20; flesh here signifies the privy parts of men; so Ben Melech;
and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke my anger; multiplied their idolatries, which they learned of the Egyptians, a people much given thereunto; and which were abominable and highly provoking to God, 1 Peter 4:3. The Targum is,
"thou hast increased thine idols.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. fornication with … Egyptians—alliances with Egypt, cemented by sharing their idolatries.
great of flesh—of powerful virile parts; figuratively for the gross and lustful religion of Egypt (for example, Isis, &c.), which alone could satisfy the abominable lust of Israel (Eze 20:7, 8; 23:19, 20, 21).
to provoke me—wantonly and purposely.
Ezekiel 16:26 Parallel Commentaries
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