|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 9. - The "washing" and "anointing" were part of the customary preparations for the marriage union (Ruth 3:3; Esther 2:12; Judith 10:3). The mention of blood receives its explanation, not in the facts of ver. 6, but in the ceremonial rules of Leviticus 15:19-24
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then washed I thee with water,.... Brought the Israelites out of the mean, abject, servile, and sordid state in which they were, when among the mortar, bricks, and pots, into a state of liberty; so the Targum,
"and I redeemed you from the servitude of the Egyptians; and I removed the strength of dominion from you, and brought you into liberty;''
perhaps some reference may be had to the ceremonial ablutions enjoined them; they were washed before the covenant was made with them at Mount Sinai, just referred to; their priests, sacrifices, vessels, and all unclean persons, were to be washed, and purifications were prescribed them:
yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee: as with an inundation overflowing; so the word (p) signifies; very fitly is this mentioned, since in Ezekiel 16:6; they are said to be "polluted in their blood", and now washed from it: all men are defiled with sin, originally, naturally, internally, and universally; nor can they cleanse themselves by anything they can do, God only can; and this he promises to do; and this he does, not with water baptism, which does not take away sin, original or actual; nor with the washing of regeneration, or by regenerating grace; though that is sometimes compared to water; which, among other things, is of a cleansing nature; and of which men are born again, and by it sanctified; and which is done by the Spirit, who is a spirit of judgment and burning, by whom the faith of the daughter of Zion is washed away; and because this is done by the word and ordinances as means, hence these are called waters; see Ezekiel 36:25; yet hereby men are not "thoroughly" washed; though a clean heart is created in them, a new man is formed in righteousness and true holiness; yet the filthiness of the old man remains, which appears in thoughts, words, and actions; but the thorough washing is by the blood of Christ; that is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; with this men are washed by Christ from their sins; this has a purgative and cleansing nature; and it cleanses from all sin, and justifies from everyone; so that hereby a man thoroughly washed is clear of all sin, none to be found or seen in him; he is without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and has solid peace in his soul; his heart being sprinkled with this blood from an evil conscience, and, being purged, has no more conscience of sin; so that this is expressive of the fulness of justifying and pardoning grace:
and I anointed thee with oil; alluding to the anointing oil, with which the priests, tabernacle, and vessels, were anointed; or to the land of Canaan, a land of oil olive, into which the Israelites were brought; or to the custom of washing and anointing women before marriage; see Ruth 3:3; and to the use of oil in baths, which was frequent: this may spiritually design the grace of the Spirit, which, like the oil on Aaron's head, is exceeding "precious", as are faith, hope, and love; and, like the "pure" oil for the candlestick, productive of purity of heart, lip, and life; of a delightful smell, as are the church's ointments she has from Christ, Sol 1:3; and very cheering and refreshing, and therefore called oil of gladness, Psalm 45:7; and ornamental and beautifying, as all grace is; and oil will not mix with another liquor, as grace will not with sin and corruption, and is of an abiding nature: now it is God that anoints with this; this oil comes from the God of all grace; is fro, in Christ the Holy One, and out of his fulness; from him the head it descends to all his members, and is applied by the blessed Spirit; see 2 Corinthians 1:21.
(p) "ut inundans eluerem sanguinem tuum", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "inundavi sanguines tuos", Montanus; "affundendo ablui", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. washed I thee—as brides used to pass through a preparatory purification (Es 2:12). So Israel, before the giving of the law at Sinai (Ex 19:14); "Moses sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes." So believers (1Co 6:11).
oil—emblem of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah (Ps 45:7).
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