|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 5. - For to the loathing of thy person, read, with the Revised Version, for that thy person was abhorred.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee,.... Or, "one of these" (k); not so much as one of them: sad must be the case of an infant, when it meets with no tender heart or kind hand from midwife, nurse, or mother, to do these things for it: this is expressive of the helpless, forlorn, and unpitied state of the Israelites in Egypt; who, when their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, had no mercy shown them by Pharaoh and his taskmasters, Exodus 1:14. So the Targum,
"the eye of Pharaoh did not spare you to do one good thing for you, to give you rest from your bondage, to have mercy on you:''
but thou wast cast out in the open field; alluding to infants exposed by their unnatural parents, or unkind nurses, and left in an open field, or any desert place, to perish for want, unless some kind providence appears for them: this open field may design the land of Egypt, whither Jacob and his posterity were, being driven out of Canaan by a famine; and where, after the death of Joseph, they were exposed to the hardships and cruelties of the Egyptians; and who, commanding their male children to be slain, doubtless occasioned the exposing of many of them, as well as Moses, to which some reference may be had; and so the Targum paraphrases it,
"and he (Pharaoh) decreed a full decree to cast your male children into the river, to destroy you when you were in Egypt:''
to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born; the Israelites were loathsome to the Egyptians, as every shepherd was an abomination to them, and such were they, Genesis 46:34; and all this may be applied to the state and condition of men by nature, even of God's elect, whose extraction is from fallen man; descend immediately from unclean parents; are conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; can have no communication of grace from their parents, or others; by whom they cannot be washed from their sins, or sanctified, or clothed, or made righteous; but are in a hopeless and helpless condition; and are loathsome and abominable to God, and to themselves too, when they come to see the state they are in.
(k) "unum ex istis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus; "unum ex his", Pagninus, Montanus, Starckius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. cast … in … open field—The exposure of infants was common in ancient times.
to the loathing of thy person—referring to the unsightly aspect of the exposed infant. Fairbairn translates, "With contempt (or disdainful indifference) of thy life."
Ezekiel 16:5 Parallel Commentaries
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