Ezekiel 16:13
Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 16:13-14. Thus wast thou decked with gold, &c. — With ornaments the most costly and splendid. And thy raiment was of fine linen, &c. — Which was of the manufacture of Egypt, and one of the principal ornaments of women, as well as of great men. Thou didst eat fine flour, honey, and oil — Thy country afforded all manner of plenty and delicacies: see Deuteronomy 32:13-14. Thou wast exceeding beautiful — This may refer to the beauty of the buildings of Jerusalem, and in particular of the temple. And thou didst prosper into a kingdom — Thou didst increase in majesty and dominion, and became superior to the nations around. Bishop Newcome renders this clause, Thou didst prosper into a queen, that is, didst become the reigning city, the mistress of many subject provinces. And thy renown went forth, &c., for thy beauty — Through thy power and riches thou wast able to procure every thing beautiful and desirable, so that thou didst soon become famous among the heathen nations around; or, perhaps, the words may refer to the excellent laws by which they were governed, and the various privileges of their church and state, which rendered their nation more perfect in beauty than any other in the world. Indeed, we can name nothing that would be to the honour of a people, but it was found in Israel in David and Solomon’s time, when that kingdom was in its zenith of prosperity, power, and glory; piety, learning, wisdom, justice, victory, peace, wealth, were found there in perfection, and all sure to continue if they had kept close to God. It was perfect, saith God, through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee — That is, through the beauty of their holiness, as they were a people devoted to God. This was it that put a lustre upon all their other honours, and was indeed the perfection of their beauty. Observe, reader, sanctified souls are truly beautiful in God’s sight, and they themselves may take the comfort of it; but God must have all the glory, for whatever comeliness they have is that which God has put upon them.

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.Fine flour, and honey, and oil - These were the choicest kinds of food.

Into a kingdom - This part of the description refers to the reigns of David and Solomon, when the kingdom of Israel (still undivided) attained its highest pitch of grandeur.

13. flour … honey … oil—These three mixed form the sweetest cakes; not dry bread and leeks as in Egypt. From raiment He passes to food (De 32:13, 14).

exceeding beautiful—Ps 48:2, the city; also, Ps 29:2, the temple.

prosper into a kingdom—exercising empire over surrounding nations.

The prophet sums up all again, partly to aver the truth thereof, partly to bring it to her remembrance, and partly to affect her with thankfulness for what she had received, and with shame for what she had done.

Thou didst eat fine flour; it was the constant course of thy diet, to be provided thus with the choicest food, which thou didst not by scanty allowance taste of, but wast filled with: these were royal dainties, as Genesis 49:20.

Thou wast exceeding beautiful; such diet, with the additional ornaments, would surely render a perfect beauty, and to such perfection did this espoused virgin grow.

Thou didst prosper; all affairs succeeded well, and events added to thy greatness.

A kingdom, not only compact in itself, but victorious over others; and so she was a mistress over kingdoms, as in David’s, Solomon’s, Jehoshaphat’s, and Hezekiah’s time.

Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver,.... The Targum interprets it of the tabernacle adorned with gold and silver, and linen curtains, of various dies and colours; but it refers to the ornaments, bracelets, chain, earrings, and crown before, mentioned; see Psalm 45:9;

and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; See Gill on Ezekiel 16:10; with this compare Revelation 19:8;

thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; which did not a little contribute to her beauty and comeliness; see Daniel 1:15; this the Targum explains of the manna with which the Lord fed the Israelites in the wilderness, and was good, like fine flour, and honey, and oil; and had, as Jarchi says, the taste of them all: but may be better applied to spiritual provisions believers are fed with; to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it, which are as nourishing and strengthening as bread of fine flour; as sweet as honey to the taste; and which make fat and plump, and cause the face to shine as oil:

and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom; the Targum is,

"and ye became rich, and were greatly strengthened, and prospered, and ruled over all kingdoms;''

and had its accomplishment, as Kimchi observes, when the time of the kingdom of the house of David came: land is true of all believers, who are a kingdom of priests, a royal priesthood, kings and priests unto God; have a kingdom of grace; now, which can never be moved, and lies in righteousness, peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost; and are heirs of a kingdom of glory hereafter.

Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Her delicate fare and beauty.

fine flour] This was used in offerings at the altar (Ezekiel 16:19), and was probably the food of persons of refinement and rank. Cf. Psalm 81:16, “I should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock should I satisfy thee;” Psalm 147:14; Deuteronomy 32:13-14.

exceeding beautiful] The beauty is less that of the mere city (Psalm 48:2) than of the personified state or people (Ezekiel 16:14).

prosper into a kingdom] Or, attain to royal estate. The reference is not to the mere historical fact that a monarchy arose in Israel under Saul or more permanently under David. It was Israel herself, personified as a woman, that attained to royalty, that is, to be an independent state among the states around, a queen among other queens. The words are wanting in LXX.

Verse 13. - Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil. From the dress of the bride we pass to her luxuries in the way of food. The things named might, of course, be only chosen as the delicacies for which the land of Israel was famous (Deuteronomy 32:13, 14), which in the prophet's own time were in demand in the markets of Tyre (Ezekiel 27:17). Cakes of flour and honey were in common use in various forms of Greek ritual, and are probably referred to in Jeremiah 44:19, but in that of the Jews (Leviticus 2:11) honey takes its place, side by side with leaven, as a thing forbidden. Thou didst grow into a kingdom. History crops out through the parable, and points to the stage which it has now reached, i.e. that of the magnificence of the kingdom under Solomon. Ezekiel 16:13The 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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