Ezekiel 16:29
You have moreover multiplied your fornication in the land of Canaan to Chaldea; and yet you were not satisfied therewith.
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(29) In the land of Canaan unto Chaldæa.—Canaan was originally the name of only that strip of land between the hills and the sea occupied by the Phœnicians, in other words, the lowlands. Thence it became extended over the whole land. It is thought by some writers to revert here to its original meaning, and be equivalent to the low, flat land. The expression will become clearer if translated, “the Canaan land Chaldaea.” The word, however, bears also the meaning of traffic, commerce (Isaiah 23:8; Hosea 12:7; Zephaniah 1:11), and in this sense is applied to Babylon in Ezekiel 17:4, and this is the better meaning here. The idea will then be that Israel, beginning its idolatries in the actual Canaan, had extended them along with her commercial intercourse on every side, until at last she had carried them even to Chaldæa, the great commercial emporium of the time.

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.In the land ... - Probably used in the restricted sense of the low lands on the coast of the western sea; occupied by Phoenician colonies. The children of Israel were brought into contact at first with pagans residing within their own borders. Then they extended their contact to foreign nations, trading and forming alliances with Chaldaea, and in so doing were attracted by the idolatries of those with whom they carried on commerce. Some render it: "with the merchants' land, even with Chaldaea." Compare Ezekiel 17:4. 29. multiplied … fornication in … Canaan unto Chaldea—Thou hast multiplied thy idolatries "in Canaan" by sending "unto Chaldea" to borrow from thence the Chaldean rites, to add to the abominations already practised "in Canaan," before the carrying away of Jehoiachin to Chaldea. The name "Canaan" is used to imply that they had made Judea as much the scene of abominations as it was in the days of the corrupt Canaanites. The land had become utterly Canaanitish (Eze 23:14, &c.). Multiplied; both increased the number of thy idolatries, and made them greater, in that thou hast adopted the idols of Canaan, and all that between them and the Chaldeans are owned or worshipped.

In the land; the Hebrew may be read

towards as well as

in. The idolatry of the Jews worshipping Canaan’s idols was most intolerable, because God had so fully declared the vileness of it, and his abhorrence thereof, and so strictly charged the Jews to keep themselves from it. How monstrously wicked is it, that in prosperity, and possessing the houses and wealth which thy God gave thee out of the hands of the Canaanites and their idols, thou forgettest God, and worshippest their idols; and in adversity and captivity doest the like, and detest on the idols of thine enemies! Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan,.... Or, "with the land of Canaan" (l); with the inhabitants of it, doing the same evils, committing the same idolatries, as the old inhabitants of Canaan did; and so the Targum,

"and thou hast multiplied thine idols, that thou mightest be joined to the people of Canaan:''

or, "to the land of Canaan" (m); like to the land of Canaan; according to the abominations of the Canaanites, doing as they did. Jarchi takes the word Canaan to signify a "merchant", as it does in Hosea 12:7; and the land of Canaan to be the same with the land of Chaldea, called a land of traffic, and Babylon the city of merchants, Ezekiel 17:4; since it follows,

unto Chaldea: but the sense is, that the Jews were not content with the idolatries in the land of Canaan, but sent even to Chaldea, a remote country, to fetch new idols from thence; see Ezekiel 23:14. The Targum is,

"to walk in the laws of the Chaldeans;''

their religious ones, their rites and ceremonies respecting idolatrous worship:

and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith; but still wanted other idols and modes of worship; not being content with the gods of the Egyptians, nor of the Assyrians, nor of the Canaanites, nor of the Chaldeans.

(l) "cum terra Canaan", Munster, so some in Vatablus, Tigurine version, Noldius, p. 39. No. 288. (m) "ad terram Canaan", so some in Vatablus. Approved by Kimchi and Ben Melech.

Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied therewith.
29. Infidelities with the Chaldeans. Past tense is better: didst multiply.

in the land of Canaan] Rather: with (lit. unto) the merchants’ land, even Chaldea. Again ch. Ezekiel 17:4, the land of traffic. With similar contempt Hosea (Ezekiel 12:7) uses the term of Israel. Cf. Proverbs 31:24; Isaiah 47:15.Verse 29. - In the land of Canaan, etc. The words at first seem to give the nearest and furthest points of the intercourse of Israel with foreign nations. I incline, however, with Smend and the margin of the Revised Version, to take Canaan in its secondary sense as "the land of traffick," Chaldea being in apposition with it (comp. Isaiah 23:8; Hosea 12:7; Zephaniah 1:11, for a like use of the Hebrew word). Chaldea thus comes in its right place as closing the list of the nations with whom the harlot city had been unfaithful. 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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