My meat also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you have even set it before them for a sweet smell: and thus it was, said the Lord GOD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
set it before them—as a minchah or "meat offering" (Le 2:1).
a sweet savour—literally, "a savor of rest," that is, whereby they might be propitiated, and be at peace ("rest") with you; how ridiculous to seek to propitiate gods of wood!
thus it was—The fact cannot be denied, for I saw it, and say it was so, saith Jehovah.My meat also; the bread, all that was necessary and proper for thy sustentation in general, which I gave thee, thou hast fed thy paramours withal.
Fine flour, & c: here are particularly recounted the things God gave, and this adulteress misemployed, both literally and mystically; for I doubt not the Jews were lavish of the fruits of the Divine bounty, bestowing them both on adulterers and on idols.
For a sweet savour; to reconcile the idol, or to prolong the favour of the idol, or to give a pleasing entertainment to their adulterers, or to provide for the idolatrous priests and their families, which could spend all this, though the idol knew not of it.
Thus it was; all which is self-evident, plain, and needs no proof; it is undeniable.
"my good things.''
The Jews apply it to the manna, which, they say, descended the same day the molten calf was made, and they set it before it. This interpretation Jarchi and Kimchi make mention of; it includes what follows:
fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee; for the land of Canaan was a land of wheat, of which fine flour was made; and of olives, from whence was the best oil; and a land flowing with milk and honey; and which was given by the Lord, and so he might be said to feed them with them: and instead of glorifying him, and being thankful for them, and using them in the manner they ought,
thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour; that is, they made a meat offering of their fine flour, oil, and honey, and set it before their idols; to gain their favour and good will; to appease them, and render them propitious; supposing it would be acceptable unto them; all these things were used in meat offerings and sacrifices unto the Lord, excepting honey, and that was forbid; but was in use among the Gentiles; see Leviticus 2:1;
and thus it was, saith the Lord God; all this idolatry, ingratitude, and folly, have been committed; it is most notorious, there is no denying it; I, who am the Lord God omniscient, affirm it. The Targum puts it by way of question, and even of astonishment and admiration,
"are not all these things done, saith the Lord God!''My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. a sweet savour] See on ch. Ezekiel 6:13. The words “and thus it was” emphasize what was done, with a tone of reprobation.Ezekiel 16:6. Then I passed by thee, and saw thee stamping in thy blood, and said to thee, In thy blood live! and said to thee, In thy blood live! Ezekiel 16:7. I made thee into myriads as the growth of the field, and thou grewest and becamest tall, and camest to ornament of cheeks. The breasts expanded, and thy hair grew, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Ezekiel 16:8. And I passed by thee, and saw thee, and, behold, it was thy time, the time of love; and I spread my wing over thee, and covered thy nakedness; and I swore to thee, and entered into covenant with thee, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, and thou becamest mine. Ezekiel 16:9. And I bathed thee in water, and rinsed thy blood from thee, and anointed thee with oil. Ezekiel 16:10. And I clothed thee with embroidered work, and shod thee with morocco, and wrapped thee round with byssus, and covered thee with silk. Ezekiel 16:11. I adorned thee with ornaments, and put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain around thy neck. Ezekiel 16:12. And I gave thee a ring in thy nose, and earrings in thine ears, and a splendid crown upon thy head. Ezekiel 16:13. And thou didst adorn thyself with gold and silver; and thy clothing was byssus, and silk, and embroidery. Wheaten-flour, and honey, and oil thou didst eat; and thou wast very beautiful; and didst thrive to regal dignity. Ezekiel 16:14. Thy name went forth among the nations on account of thy beauty; for it was perfect through my glory, which I put upon thee, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - The description of what the Lord did for Israel in His compassionate love is divided into two sections by the repetition of the phrase "I passed by thee" (Ezekiel 16:6 and Ezekiel 16:8). The first embraces what God had done for the preservation and increase of the nation; the second, what He had done for the glorification of Israel, by adopting it as the people of His possession. When Israel was lying in the field as a neglected new-born child, the Lord passed by and adopted it, promising it life, and giving it strength to live. To bring out the magnitude of the compassion of God, the fact that the child was lying in its blood is mentioned again and again. The explanation to be given of מתבּוססת (the Hithpolel of בּוּס, to trample upon, tread under foot) is doubtful, arising from the difficulty of deciding whether the Hithpolel is to be taken in a passive or a reflective sense. The passive rendering, "trampled upon" (Umbreit), or ad conculcandum projectus, thrown down, to be trodden under foot (Gesenius, etc.), is open to the objection that the Hophal is used for this. We therefore prefer the reflective meaning, treading oneself, or stamping; as the objection offered to this, namely, that a new-born child thrown into a field would not be found stamping with the feet, has no force in an allegorical description. In the clause Ezekiel 16:6, which is written twice, the question arises whether בּדמיך is to be taken with חיי or with ואמר : I said to thee, "In thy blood live;" or, "I said to thee in thy blood, 'Live.' " We prefer the former, because it gives a more emphatic sense. בּדמיך is a concise expression; for although lying in thy blood, in which thou wouldst inevitably bleed to death, yet thou shalt live. Hitzig's proposal to connect בּדמיך in the first clause with חיי , and in the second with אמר, can hardly be entertained. A double construction of this kind is not required either by the repetition of אמר לך, or by the uniform position of בדמיך before חיי in both clauses, as compared with 1 Kings 20:18 and Isaiah 27:5.
In Ezekiel 16:7 the description of the real fact breaks through the allegory. The word of God חיי, live, was visibly fulfilled in the innumerable multiplication of Israel. But the allegory is resumed immediately. The child grew (רבה, as in Genesis 21:20; Deuteronomy 30:16), and came into ornament of cheeks (בּוא with בּ, to enter into a thing, as in Ezekiel 16:8; not to proceed in, as Hitzig supposes). עדי, not most beautiful ornament, or highest charms, for עדיים is not the plural of עדי; but according to the Chetib and most of the editions, with the tone upon the penultima, is equivalent to עדיים, a dual form; so that עדי cannot mean ornament in this case, but, as in Psalm 39:9 and Psalm 103:5, "the cheek," which is the traditional meaning (cf. Ges. Thes. p. 993). Ornament of cheeks is youthful freshness and beauty of face. The clauses which follow describe the arrival of puberty. נכון, when applied to the breasts, means to expand, lit., to raise oneself up. שׂער equals שׂער רגלים, pubes. The description given in these verses refers to the preservation and marvellous multiplication of Israel in Egypt, where the sons of Israel grew into a nation under the divine blessing. Still it was quite naked and bare (ערם and עריה are substantives in the abstract sense of nakedness and bareness, used in the place of adjective to give greater emphasis). Naked and bare are figurative expressions for still destitute of either clothing or ornaments. This implies something more than "the poverty of the people in the wilderness attached to Egypt" (Hitzig). Nakedness represents deprivation of all the blessings of salvation with which the Lord endowed Israel and made it glorious, after He had adopted it as the people of His possession. In Egypt, Israel was living in a state of nature, destitute of the gracious revelations of God.
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