Ezekiel 16:34
And the contrary is in you from other women in your prostitutions, whereas none follows you to commit prostitutions: and in that you give a reward, and no reward is given to you, therefore you are contrary.
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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. That which subverts the order of nature, is contrary to the innate modesty of thy sex. Thou followest them, treatest, importunest, promisest, payest, and caressest them. Thus, as a shameless adulteress, Israel had carried it toward her God, who espoused, enriched, beautified, and delighted in her; but she hired the nations round about her to enter covenant with her; entertained and maintained all their idolatrous worship, gave the nuptial gifts to hateful idols. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms,.... Of which an instance is given before, and another is added, with the repetition of the former:

whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms; the Jews followed the examples, customs, and practices of the Gentiles, in worshipping of their idols; but the Gentiles did not follow the Jews, they kept to their own gods, and did not worship the God of Israel; which with respect to their own gods would have been fornication; and whereas it is usual for men to follow after whorish women, and solicit them by gifts and presents, or promises, and not for them to follow the men, court and solicit them; on the other hand, the Jews, who are compared to a whorish woman, followed after their lovers, and not their lovers after them: or, "after thee there was not", or "shall not be fornication" (o); like to thine; it being such as never had been, nor never would be the like again:

and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee,

therefore thou art contrary; to all other lewd women, who take, but give no reward.

(o) "et post te non fornicatio fuit", Pagninus, Montanus; "nec post te fuit sic fornicatum", so some in Vatablus; "post te non erit fornicatio", Calvin.

And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.
34. from other women] Point thus: “from other women: in that thou committest whoredom, and none goeth a whoring after thee; and in that thou givest hire, and no hire is given unto thee; therefore thou art contrary.” Hosea 8:9, Ephraim hireth lovers; Jeremiah 2:23-25; Jeremiah 3:1-2.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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