Ezekiel 16:11
I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
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(11-14) In these verses the Divinely-given prosperity and glory of Israel is set forth under the sustained figure of the ornaments and food of a royal eastern bride. The various particulars mentioned are familiar to all readers of the Scripture histories. The latter part of Ezekiel 16:13 and Ezekiel 16:14 evidently refer to the times of David and Solomon, when the kingdom of Israel extended from the Euphrates to the “river of Egypt,” and very many of the surrounding kingdoms were made tributary. Israel then was renowned among the heathen, but its glory was pre-eminently as the nation of Jehovah, “through my comeliness which I had put upon thee.”

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.Badgers' skin - Probably the skin of the dolphin or dugong (Exodus 25:5 note).

Silk - For a robe, a turban, or (as gauze) for a transparent veil; the derivation of the word in the original is much disputed.

11. The marriage gifts to Rebekah (Ge 24:22, 47). If the inventory of this virgin’s goods given to her were hitherto of such things as were needful for her comfort, now follows a particular of what served for state and magnificence, as the phrase Job 40:10: it also expresseth the bravery of a bridegroom, Isaiah 61:10; the curiosity and exactness wherewith such do dress themselves.

I put, Heb. I gave, i.e. freely.

Bracelets; which usually were of gold, as appears, Genesis 24:22, and presents made of these bespeak greatest respects.

A chain of gold, in token of honour and authority, Genesis 41:42 Daniel 5:16.

And I decked thee also with ornaments,.... The Targum interprets this of the ornament of the words of the law; see Proverbs 1:8; but may be as well understood of good works done in obedience to them, from a right principle, and to right ends; which adorn professors of religion, their profession, and the doctrines of Christ, which they profess, 1 Timothy 2:9; or rather the graces of the Spirit, which are all of them very ornamental to the saints, as faith, hope, love, humility, &c. and are in the sight of God of great price, 1 Peter 3:3;

and I put bracelets upon thine hands; which the Targum also explains of the law, written on two tables of stone, and given by the hands of Moses; the words of which, as Jarchi says, were put one against another, five against five; "hands" being the instruments of action may denote good works, which the Lord enables his people to perform; and which appear beautiful, as hands with bracelets on them, when they spring from love, are done in faith, and with a view to the glory of God:

and a chain on thy neck; this the Targum understands of sanctification, paraphrasing it,

"and with the holiness of my great name I sanctified you;''

and may be applied to the graces of the Spirit, which are as a chain, whose links are inseparably joined together; for, where one grace is, there are all the rest, faith, hope, charity, &c. see Sol 1:10; or else to the blessings of grace, which also are linked together, and cannot be parted; where the one is, the other are likewise, Ephesians 1:3, Romans 8:30; and both graces and blessings make the saint very beautiful.

I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
11. On bracelets, cf. Genesis 24:22; Genesis 24:47. On chain or necklace, Genesis 41:42; Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 3:3.

Verse 11. - Ornaments. Same word as in ver. 7, but here taken in its more usual sense. (For bracelets, see Ezekiel 23:42; Genesis 24:22, 30; Numbers 31:50. For chain, Genesis 41:42). Ezekiel 16:11The Lord then went past again, and chose for His bride the virgin, who had already grown up to womanhood, and with whom He contracted marriage by the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai. עתּך, thy time, is more precisely defined as עת דּדים, the time of conjugal love. I spread my wing over thee, i.e., the lappet of my garment, which also served as a counterpane; in other words, I married thee (cf. Ruth. EZechariah 3:9), and thereby covered thy nakedness. "I swore to thee," sc. love and fidelity (cf. Hosea 2:21-22), and entered into a covenant with thee, i.e., into that gracious connection formed by the adoption of Israel as the possession of Jehovah, which is represented as a marriage covenant (compare Exodus 24:8 and Exodus 19:5-6, and Deuteronomy 5:2 : - אתך for אתּך). Ezekiel 16:9. describe how Jehovah provided for the purification, clothing, adorning, and maintenance of His wife. As the bride prepares herself for the wedding by washing and anointing, so did the Lord cleanse Israel from the blemishes and impurities which adhered to it from its birth. The rinsing from the blood must not be understood as specially referring either to the laws of purification given to the nation (Hitzig), or as relating solely to the purification effected by the covenant sacrifice (Hvernick). It embraces all that the Lord did for the purifying of the people from the pollution of sin, i.e., for its sanctification. The anointing with oil indicates the powers of the Spirit of God, which flowed to Israel from the divine covenant of grace. The clothing with costly garments, and adorning with all the jewellery of a wealthy lady or princess, points to the equipment of Israel with all the gifts that promote the beauty and glory of life. The clothing is described as made of the costliest materials with which queens were accustomed to clothe themselves. רקמה, embroidered cloth (Psalm 45:15). תּחשׁ, probably the sea-cow, Manati (see the comm. on Exodus 25:5). The word is used here for a fine description of leather of which ornamental sandals were made; a kind of morocco. "I bound thee round with byssus:" this refers to the headband; for חבשׁ is the technical expression for the binding or winding round of the turban-like headdress (cf. Ezekiel 24:17; Exodus 29:9; Leviticus 8:13), and is applied by the Targum to the headdress of the priests. Consequently covering with משׁי, as distinguished from clothing, can only refer to covering with the veil, one of the principal articles of a woman's toilet. The ἁπ. λεγ. משׁי (Ezekiel 16:10 and Ezekiel 16:13) is explained by the Rabbins as signifying silk. The lxx render it τρίχαπτον. According to Jerome, this is a word formed by the lxx: quod tantae subtilitatis fuerit vestimentum, ut pilorum et capillorum tenuitatem habere credatur. The jewellery included not only armlets, nose-rings, and ear-rings, which the daughters of Israel were generally accustomed to wear, but also necklaces and a crown, as ornaments worn by princesses and queens. For רביד, see comm. on Genesis 41:42. Ezekiel 16:13 sums up the contents of Ezekiel 16:9-12. Sheeshiy שׁשׁי is made to conform to משׁי; the food is referred to once more; and the result of the whole is said to have been, that Jerusalem became exceedingly beautiful, and flourished even to royal dignity. The latter cannot be taken as referring simply to the establishment of the monarchy under David, any more than merely to the spiritual sovereignty for which Israel was chosen from the very beginning (Exodus 19:5-6). The expression includes both, viz., the call of Israel to be a kingdom of priests, and the historical realization of this call through the Davidic sovereignty. The beauty, i.e., glory, of Israel became so great, that the name of fame of Israel sounded abroad in consequence among the nations. It was perfect, because the Lord had put His glory upon His Church. This, too, we must not restrict (as Hvernick does) to the far-sounding fame of Israel on its departure from Egypt (Exodus 15:14.); it refers pre-eminently to the glory of the theocracy under David and Solomon, the fame of which spread into all lands. - Thus had Israel been glorified by its God above all the nations, but it did not continue in fellowship with its God.
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