Ezekiel 16:33
They give gifts to all whores: but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and hire them, that they may come to you on every side for your prostitution.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) Thou givest thy gifts.2Kings 16:8-9, may be referred to as an instance in illustration. Ahaz “took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord,” as well as “the treasures of the king’s house,” and used it to secure the alliance of the king of Assyria.

The prophet, having up to this point described the sin, now turns to pronounce the punishment upon Israel (Ezekiel 16:35-52). The same allegory is still preserved, and the punishment is depicted in the same figurative language as the sin. This portion of the prophecy may be subdivided into two parts, in the first of which (Ezekiel 16:35-43) the punishment itself is described in terms taken from the legal punishment of the adulteress and murderess; while in the second (Ezekiel 16:44-52) the justice of this doom is vindicated, especially by a comparison with Samaria on the one side, and with Sodom on the other.

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.The picture is heightened by the contrast between one who as a prostitute receives hire for her shame, and one who as a wife is so utterly abandoned as to bestow her husband's goods to purchase her own dishonor. Compare 2 Kings 16:8. 33, 34. Israel hired her paramours, instead of being, like other harlots, hired by them; she also followed them without their following her. They, unclean fornicators and adulterers,

give gifts; the word is of a restrictive sense, speaks not any kind of gifts in general, but peculiarly such gifts as are presented by a wooer, or espouser of a woman, with which she is enriched and adorned; and may perhaps imply the arts, pretences, and arguments which are used by loose men to seduce and corrupt virgins; they pretend marriage designed, make presents, and deceive.

To all whores, i.e. to the most of them, it is usually so.

Thy gifts; thy nuptial gifts, which thy generous and bountiful Husband gave thee at the espousals, or on the wedding day. Those gifts which are most highly valued, most carefully preserved, and most unwillingly parted with by all virtuous women, thou most unparalleled adulteress hast given to thy Husband’s greatest enemies, to thy beastly adulterers.

To all thy lovers; thou makest little difference, but, as it happens, any one of thy lewd companions may easily have these gifts of thy hand.

Hirest them, by large gifts, as bribes usually are; and the word used here signifieth, they slight thee, and have no desire after thee. Like despised adulteresses, they would hate thee, but thy bribes change their behaviour, thought not their minds and thoughts of thee.

On every side; women have somewhat of modesty remaining amidst their lewdness for the most part, and if adulteresses, yet have their lovers in some corner or other; but thou, as unsatiable, hast them every where round about thee. They give gifts to all whores,.... Gifts are usually given to whores, by those who commit whoredom with them; it is for the sake of these they prostitute their bodies, nor will they do this without gain; see Genesis 38:16;

but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers; the Jews gave the Egyptians and Assyrians money, to gain their friendship, and procure alliances with them; see 2 Kings 16:8; and were at great expenses with their idols, and in support of their idolatrous worship:

and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom; they courted the nations all around them for their favour and friendship, and bribed them into it, as the word (n) signifies.

(n) "munerans eos", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "et muneratis eos", Piscator; "et largita es ipsis", Cocceius; "donasti illis", Starckius.

They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
The jewellery of gold and silver was used by Israel for צלמי זכר, idols of the male sex, to commit fornication with them. Ewald thinks that the allusion is to Penates (teraphim), which were set up in the house, with ornaments suspended upon them, and worshipped with lectisternia. But there is no more allusion to lectisternia here than in Ezekiel 23:41. And there is still less ground for thinking, as Vatke, Movers, and Hvernick do, of Lingam-or Phallus-worship, of which it is impossible to find the slightest trace among the Israelites. The arguments used by Hvernick have been already proved by Hitzig to have no force whatever. The context does not point to idols of any particular kind, but to the many varieties of Baal-worship; whilst the worship of Moloch is specially mentioned in Ezekiel 16:20. as being the greatest abomination of the whole. The fact that נתן לפּניהם, to set before them (the idols), does not refer to lectisternia, but to sacrifices offered as food for the gods, is indisputably evident from the words לריח ניחח, the technical expression for the sacrificial odour ascending to God (cf. Leviticus 1:9, Leviticus 1:13, etc.). ויּהי (Ezekiel 16:19), and it came to pass (sc., this abomination), merely serves to give emphatic expression to the disgust which it occasioned (Hitzig). - Ezekiel 16:20, Ezekiel 16:21. And not even content with this, the adulteress sacrificed the children which God had given her to idols. The revulsion of feeling produced by the abominations of the Moloch-worship is shown in the expression לאכול, thou didst sacrifice thy children to idols, that they might devour them; and still more in the reproachful question 'המעט, "was there too little in thy whoredom?" מן before תּזנוּתיך is used in a comparative sense, though not to signify "was this a smaller thing than thy whoredom?" which would mean far too little in this connection. The מן is rather used, as in Ezekiel 8:17 and Isaiah 49:6, in the sense of too: was thy whoredom, already described in Ezekiel 16:16-19, too little, that thou didst also slaughter thy children to idols? The Chetib תזנותך (Ezekiel 16:20 and Ezekiel 16:25) is a singular, as in Ezekiel 16:25 and Ezekiel 16:29; whereas the Keri has treated it as a plural, as in Ezekiel 16:15, Ezekiel 16:22, and Ezekiel 16:33, but without any satisfactory ground. The indignation comes out still more strongly in the description given of these abominations in Ezekiel 16:21 : "thou didst slay my sons" (whereas in Ezekiel 16:20 we have simply "thy sons, whom thou hast born to me"), "and didst give them up to them, בּהעביר, by making them pass through," sc. the fire. העביר is used here not merely or lustration or februation by fire, but for the actual burning of the children slain as sacrifices, so that it is equivalent to העביר בּאשׁ למּלך (2 Kings 23:10). By the process of burning, the sacrifices were given to Moloch to devour. Ezekiel has the Moloch-worship in his eye in the form which it had assumed from the times of Ahaz downwards, when the people began to burn their children to Moloch (cf. 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Kings 23:10), whereas all that can be proved to have been practised in earlier times by the Israelites was the passing of children through fire without either slaying or burning; a februation by fire (compare the remarks on this subject in the comm. on Leviticus 18:21). - Amidst all these abominations Israel did not remember its youth, or how the Lord had adopted it out of the deepest wretchedness to be His people, and had made it glorious through the abundance of His gifts. This base ingratitude shows the depth of its fall, and magnifies its guilt. For Ezekiel 16:22 compare Ezekiel 16:7 and Ezekiel 16:6.
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