Ezekiel 16:28
You have played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; yes, you have played the harlot with them, and yet could not be satisfied.
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(28) With the Assyrians.—The Assyrians and Egyptians were for many centuries in deadly hostility against each other, and it would seem that Israel could hardly have formed alliances with and adopted the idolatries of both. Nevertheless they had done so, and in addition to their Egyptian idolatries, had gone to the extent, in the time of Ahaz, of displacing the altar in the court of the Temple, and putting in its stead an altar of the gods of Assyria (2 Kings 16.

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.Compare the marginal reference. Idolatry, spiritual adultery, invariably accompanied these unholy alliances, and brought with it disaster and ruin. 28. unsatiable—Not satisfied with whoredoms with neighbors, thou hast gone off to the distant Assyrians, that is, hast sought a league with them, and with it adopted their idolatries. Thou hast courted their friendship and alliance, and to obtain it hast entertained their religion, manners, and impieties, been all idolatress with them, and committed adulteries with them, though they were far from thee. When thou didst wickedly with thy neighbours, it might admit some little colour of excuse, but it is inexcusable to run to remotest nations.

Because thou wast unsatiable; without satisfying thyself (and so the Hebrew may be read); but our interpreters refer it to the boundless lusts of this lewd adulteress, and not to the issue and event of her practices; and in the endless lustings of a wicked heart idolaters and adulterers do agree.

Yea, thou hast played the harlot; it is repeated to shame her, and make her blush and repent.

Couldst not be satisfied; or, wast not satisfied. Assyrian gods proved, as other idols, a snare and a lie to the Jews, 2 Kings 16:9,10 Jer 2:18,36 Ho 7:11,12 14:3. Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians,.... By entering into alliances with them, and worshipping their idols; which was done in the times of Ahaz, who sent to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria for help, and to Damascus for the fashion of the altar there, and built one according to it, 2 Kings 7:10;

because thou wast unsatiable; not content with the alliance and idolatries of the Egyptians:

yea, thou hast played the harlot with them; with the Assyrians:

and yet couldest not be satisfied; with their idols, and the worship of them, but sought out for new gods, and new modes of worship; like a lewd woman, who having prostituted herself to one, and to another, yet remains insatiable, and seeks out for other lovers.

Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
28. Infidelity with Assyria.

The historical tense “didst play” is better. Already Amos 5:26 appears to mention the names of Assyrian gods, for the passage can hardly refer to any time but his own. Jeremiah 2:18; Jeremiah 2:36.Verse 28. - With the Assyrians. Here also the words include political alliances like that of Ahaz with Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings 16:7), as well as the adoption of idolatrous worship. The latter probably followed under Ahaz as a consequence of the former, and afterwards spread through the influence of the Assyrian colonists - each nation with its own deities - in Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). The culture of the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 44:17), i.e. of the Assyrian Ishtar, may have had this origin. Yet couldest not be satisfied. One is reminded once more of Juvenal ('Sat.,' 6:130). The apostasy of Israel. Its origin and nature, Ezekiel 16:15-22; its magnitude and extent, Ezekiel 16:23-34. In close connection with what precedes, this apostasy is described as whoredom and adultery. - Ezekiel 16:15. But thou didst trust in thy beauty, and didst commit fornication upon thy name, and didst pour out thy fornication over every one who passed by: his it became. Ezekiel 16:16. Thou didst take off thy clothes, and didst make to thyself spotted heights, and didst commit fornication upon them: things which should not come, and that which should not take place. Ezekiel 16:17. And thou didst take jewellery of thine ornament of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and didst make thyself male images, and didst commit fornication with them; Ezekiel 16:18. And thou didst take thy embroidered clothes, and didst cover them therewith: and my oil and my incense thou didst set before them. Ezekiel 16:19. And my bread, which I gave to thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou didst set before them for a pleasant odour: this came to pass, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 16:20. And thou didst take thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou barest to me, and didst sacrifice them to them to devour. Was thy fornication too little? Ezekiel 16:21. Thou didst slay my sons, and didst give them up, devoting them to them. Ezekiel 16:22. And in all thine abominations and thy fornication thou didst not remember the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and layest stamping in thy blood. - The beauty, i.e., the glory, of Israel led to its fall, because it made it the ground of its confidence; that is to say, it looked upon the gifts and possessions conferred upon it as its desert; and forgetting the giver, began to traffic with the heathen nations, and allowed itself to be seduced to heathen ways. For the fact, compare Deuteronomy 32:15 and Hosea 13:6. "We are inflamed with pride and arrogance, and consequently profane the gifts of God, in which His glory ought to be resplendent" (Calvin). תּזני על שׁמך does not mean either "thou didst commit fornication notwithstanding thy name" (Winer and Ges. Thes. p. 422), or "against thy name" (Hvernick); for על connected with זנה has neither of these meanings, even in Judges 19:2. It means, "thou didst commit fornication upon thy name, i.e., in reliance upon thy name" (Hitzig and Maurer); only we must not understand שׁם as referring to the name of the city of God, but must explain it, in accordance with Ezekiel 16:14, as denoting the name, i.e., the renown, which Israel had acquired among the heathen on account of its beauty. In the closing words, לו יהי, לו refers to כּל־עובר, and יהי stands for ויהי, the copula having been dropped from ויהי because לו ought to stand first, and only יהי remaining (compare יך, Hosea 6:1). The subject to יהי is יפי; the beauty became his (cf. Psalm 45:12). This fornication is depicted in concrete terms in Ezekiel 16:16-22; and with the marriage relation described in Ezekiel 16:8-13 still in view, Israel is represented as giving up to idolatry all that it had received from its God. - Ezekiel 16:16. With the clothes it made spotted heights for itself. בּמות stands for בּתּי בּמות, temples of heights, small temples erected upon heights by the side of the altars (1 Kings 13:32; 2 Kings 17:29; for the fact, see the comm. on 1 Kings 3:2), which may probably have consisted simply of tents furnished with carpets. Compare 2 Kings 23:7, where the women are described as weaving tents for Astarte, also the tent-like temples of the Slavonian tribes in Germany, which consisted of variegated carpets and curtains (see Mohne on Creuzer's Symbolik, V. p. 176). These bamoth Ezekiel calls טלאות, not variegated, but spotted or speckled (cf. Genesis 30:32), possibly with the subordinate idea of patched (מטלּא, Joshua 9:5), because they used for the carpets not merely whole garments, but pieces of cloth as well; the word being introduced here for the purpose of indicating contemptuously the worthlessness of such conduct. "Thou didst commit whoredom upon them," i.e., upon the carpets in the tent-temples. The words 'לא באות וגו are no doubt relative clauses; but the usual explanation, "which has not occurred, and will not be," after Exodus 10:14, cannot be vindicated, as it is impossible to prove either the use of בּוא in the sense of occurring or happening ( equals היה), or the use of the participle instead of the preterite in connection with the future. The participle באות in this connection can only supply one of the many senses of the imperfect (Ewald, 168c), and, like יהיה, express that which ought to be. The participial form באות is evidently chosen for the sake of obtaining a paronomasia with בּמות: the heights which should not come (i.e., should not be erected); while לא יהיה points back to ותּזני עליהם: "what should not happen."
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