|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 53. - When I shall bring again; better, with the Revised Version, both here and in ver. 55, and I will turn again. The Authorized Version reads like a sentence of hopeless and perpetual condemnation, as per impossible. When Sodom and Samaria should be pardoned, then, and not till then, should there be hope for Judah. But all that follows in the chapter shows that what is meant is a promise of restoration, not for Judah only, but also for her less guilty sisters. Ezekiel sees a far off hope for his own nation, and he cannot limit the mercy of God in bringing them also, as she was to be brought, to repentance. For them also punishment was a means to an end beyond itself, corrective, and not merely retributive. The language of Isaiah (Isaiah 19:23-2.5) as to Egypt and Assyria presents a striking parallel, and may have been in Ezekiel's thoughts.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When I shall bring again their captivity,.... The captivity of Sodom and Samaria, as after mentioned:
the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters; which some understand as what never will be, as it never yet has been: Sodom remains to this day a dead sea, and the ten tribes are not returned:
then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them; that is, it shall never be brought again, according to the above sense; but rather this is to be understood of the calling of the Gentiles, comparable to Sodom for their wickedness, as the great city of Rome is, Revelation 11:8; and of the calling of God's elect among the ten tribes, scattered up and down among the Gentiles, by the preaching of the apostles; and when the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in then will follow the conversion of the Jews, and all Israel will be sawed, Romans 11:25; for it is certain those sisters, Sodom and Samaria, were to be restored, and received into the church, and given to her for daughters, Ezekiel 16:61; thus the conversion, of the Gentiles is signified by bringing again the captivity of Moab and Ammon, in Jeremiah 48:47.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
53. Here follows a promise of restoration. Even the sore chastisements coming on Judah would fail to reform its people; God's returning goodness alone would effect this, to show how entirely of grace was to be their restoration. The restoration of her erring sisters is mentioned before hers, even as their punishment preceded her punishment; so all self-boasting is excluded [Fairbairn]. "Ye shall, indeed, at some time or other return, but Moab and Ammon shall return with you, and some of the ten tribes" [Grotius].
bring again … captivity—that is, change the affliction into prosperity (so Job 42:10). Sodom itself was not so restored (Jer 20:16), but Ammon and Moab (her representatives, as sprung from Lot who dwelt in Sodom) were (Jer 48:47; 49:6); probably most of the ten tribes and the adjoining nations, Ammon and Moab, &c., were in part restored under Cyrus; but the full realization of the restoration is yet future; the heathen nations to be brought to Christ being typified by "Sodom," whose sins they now reproduce (De 32:32).
captivity of thy captives—literally, "of thy captivities." However, the gracious promise rather begins with the "nevertheless" (Eze 16:60), not here; for Eze 16:59 is a threat, not a promise. The sense here thus is, Thou shalt be restored when Sodom and Samaria are, but not till then (Eze 16:55), that is, never. This applies to the guilty who should be utterly destroyed (Eze 16:41, 42); but it does not contradict the subsequent promise of restoration to their posterity (Nu 14:29-33), and to the elect remnant of grace [Calvin].
Ezekiel 16:53 Parallel Commentaries
Ezekiel 16:53 NIV
Ezekiel 16:53 NLT
Ezekiel 16:53 ESV
Ezekiel 16:53 NASB
Ezekiel 16:53 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible