|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-49 A history of the apostacy of God's people from him, and the aggravation thereof. - In this parable, Samaria and Israel bear the name Aholah, her own tabernacle; because the places of worship those kingdoms had, were of their own devising. Jerusalem and Judah bear the name of Aholibah, my tabernacle is in her, because their temple was the place which God himself had chosen, to put his name there. The language and figures are according to those times. Will not such humbling representations of nature keep open perpetual repentance and sorrow in the soul, hiding pride from our eyes, and taking us from self-righteousness? Will it not also prompt the soul to look to God continually for grace, that by his Holy Spirit we may mortify the deeds of the body, and live in holy conversation and godliness?
Verse 42. - A voice of a multitude, etc. The word for "multitude" is strictly tumult, and Keil and Currey render, The voice of tumult became still," sc. the threats of the alien powers whom Judah courted were for a time hushed by the tributes thus paid to them. With the men of the common sort; literally, as in the margin, of the multitude of men. Sabeans from the wilderness. The Revised Version, with Keil and almost all recent commentators, follows the margin, drunkards (LXX., οἰνώμενοι). "Sabeans" rests on a Jewish rendering of the text, but, as a people, the Sabeans, who dwelt south of Meroe, though named in Isaiah 45:14, were too remote to come within the horizon of the parable. What Ezekiel dwells on is the ever-growing degradation of the harlot city. Not only the officers of the Chaldeans, but the mixed multitude, the very drunkards from the wilderness of Babylon, were admitted to her embraces. Possibly the word may point to the false gods to whom libations of wine were offered, but I incline to refer it rather to those who got drunk at their idol-festivals even in Jerusalem. Drunkenness was one of the vices of the Babylonians, and the prophets, who admired the Rechabites and the Nazarites (Jeremiah 35; Amos 2:11), must have looked on Judah's participation in that sin as a measureless degradation. The bracelets and crowns symbolize the wealth and prestige which the Chaldean alliance was supposed to bring with it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her,.... With Aholibah, with the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin: or, "in her", in Jerusalem; or "in it", or "about it" (h); the bed, or table, or both: these were either the people of the many nations that came in great numbers with the ambassadors, as their retinue, and for the greater splendour of them; and who came, not to make war, but in a peaceable way, being invited to come; or these were a confluence of the Jewish people, who came from all parts to see the public entry of these ambassadors; who were quite easy with it, since they came as the ambassadors of their allies and friends, in whose alliance they thought themselves safe and happy; and therefore welcomed them with their loud huzzas:
and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness; or, "and with men because of a multitude of men" (i); that is, with those men that came from several parts on this occasion, for the sake of a greater number, and of making a greater appearance, the Sabeans that dwelt in the desert of Arabia were fetched from thence; or their neighbours round about Moab and Ammon, that dwelt in the wilderness, were sent for, and brought to make the solemnity the greater; so Jarchi; and to this sense the Targum renders it,
"because of the multitude of men that came round about on every side from the wilderness,''
Some render it, "drunkards from the wilderness" (k); a parcel of drunken fellows that lived in the wilderness, rustic, brutish, people; these were brought as fit persons to drink healths, and roar on this occasion:
which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads; that is, the Jews put these ornaments upon the hands and heads of these men of the common sort, and the Sabeans with them, and these poor country drunken fellows too, that they might make the better appearance when they met and huzzaed the ambassadors at their entry; or which Sabeans and other foreigners put these ornaments on Aholah and Aholibah, and enticed them to the worship of their idols, and taught them idolatry.
(h) "in ea", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "in illa", Cocceius, Starckius, "in illo", Piscator; "circa eam", a Lapide. (i) "et cum viris ut multiplicarent homines" Pagninus; "ut adessent multi homines", Munster; "prae multitudine hominum", Tigurine version, Cocceius, Starckius; "propter multiplicare homines", Vatablus. (k) "ebrosi ex deserto", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus; so R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 99. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
42. Sabeans—Not content with the princely, handsome Assyrians, the sisters brought to themselves the rude robber hordes of Sabeans (Job 1:15). The Keri, or Margin, reads "drunkards."
upon their hands—upon the hands of the sisters, that is, they allured Samaria and Judah to worship their gods.
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