Ezekiel 16:9
Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9-14) These verses describe the purifications and preparations for marriage to one of high rank (comp. Esther 2:9; Esther 2:12). The reality corresponding to the figure is, of course, the Divine care over Israel at Sinai, in the wilderness, and in the conquest of Canaan.

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 usual purifications for marriage. 9. washed I thee—as brides used to pass through a preparatory purification (Es 2:12). So Israel, before the giving of the law at Sinai (Ex 19:14); "Moses sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes." So believers (1Co 6:11).

oil—emblem of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah (Ps 45:7).

Then, Heb. And: this continueth the allegory, and declareth what more was done to prepare this virgin for advancement by this marriage covenant.

Washed I thee: it was a very ancient custom among those Eastern people, as appears Ruth 3:3 Es 2 12, to purify virgins who were to be espoused ere long; and it is likely the prophet alludes to that, Exodus 19:10.

I throughly washed away: the same thing, by a very usual figure, repeated to confirm and illustrate what is spoken; the word in Hebrew notes an abundant washing, a rinsing of what was washed to make it cleaner; it includes a bathing, as Leviticus 15:10.

Thy blood; thy original and birth pollution, which rendered thee displeasing to the eye, and unfit for the familiar and loving entertainment of a husband.

I anointed thee; not to royal sovereign dignity, this is expressed by another word in the Hebrew; but anointed as they that were to be married, as Ruth 3:3 Esther 2:12; or as those who were to come into the presence of great and noble personages, as Daniel 10:3; or as such who would look with cheerfuller countenances, and change their sad and mournful deportment, as 2 Samuel 12:20: it is not improbable it may allude to the bounty of God toward the Jews in a land flowing with oil. Spiritually these refer to our cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Then washed I thee with water,.... Brought the Israelites out of the mean, abject, servile, and sordid state in which they were, when among the mortar, bricks, and pots, into a state of liberty; so the Targum,

"and I redeemed you from the servitude of the Egyptians; and I removed the strength of dominion from you, and brought you into liberty;''

perhaps some reference may be had to the ceremonial ablutions enjoined them; they were washed before the covenant was made with them at Mount Sinai, just referred to; their priests, sacrifices, vessels, and all unclean persons, were to be washed, and purifications were prescribed them:

yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee: as with an inundation overflowing; so the word (p) signifies; very fitly is this mentioned, since in Ezekiel 16:6; they are said to be "polluted in their blood", and now washed from it: all men are defiled with sin, originally, naturally, internally, and universally; nor can they cleanse themselves by anything they can do, God only can; and this he promises to do; and this he does, not with water baptism, which does not take away sin, original or actual; nor with the washing of regeneration, or by regenerating grace; though that is sometimes compared to water; which, among other things, is of a cleansing nature; and of which men are born again, and by it sanctified; and which is done by the Spirit, who is a spirit of judgment and burning, by whom the faith of the daughter of Zion is washed away; and because this is done by the word and ordinances as means, hence these are called waters; see Ezekiel 36:25; yet hereby men are not "thoroughly" washed; though a clean heart is created in them, a new man is formed in righteousness and true holiness; yet the filthiness of the old man remains, which appears in thoughts, words, and actions; but the thorough washing is by the blood of Christ; that is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; with this men are washed by Christ from their sins; this has a purgative and cleansing nature; and it cleanses from all sin, and justifies from everyone; so that hereby a man thoroughly washed is clear of all sin, none to be found or seen in him; he is without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and has solid peace in his soul; his heart being sprinkled with this blood from an evil conscience, and, being purged, has no more conscience of sin; so that this is expressive of the fulness of justifying and pardoning grace:

and I anointed thee with oil; alluding to the anointing oil, with which the priests, tabernacle, and vessels, were anointed; or to the land of Canaan, a land of oil olive, into which the Israelites were brought; or to the custom of washing and anointing women before marriage; see Ruth 3:3; and to the use of oil in baths, which was frequent: this may spiritually design the grace of the Spirit, which, like the oil on Aaron's head, is exceeding "precious", as are faith, hope, and love; and, like the "pure" oil for the candlestick, productive of purity of heart, lip, and life; of a delightful smell, as are the church's ointments she has from Christ, Sol 1:3; and very cheering and refreshing, and therefore called oil of gladness, Psalm 45:7; and ornamental and beautifying, as all grace is; and oil will not mix with another liquor, as grace will not with sin and corruption, and is of an abiding nature: now it is God that anoints with this; this oil comes from the God of all grace; is fro, in Christ the Holy One, and out of his fulness; from him the head it descends to all his members, and is applied by the blessed Spirit; see 2 Corinthians 1:21.

(p) "ut inundans eluerem sanguinem tuum", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "inundavi sanguines tuos", Montanus; "affundendo ablui", Cocceius.

Then I washed thee with {f} water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I {g} anointed thee with oil.

(f) I washed away your sins.

(g) I sanctified you with my Holy Spirit.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Purifications before marriage. Whether “blood” be used somewhat generally to indicate the uncleanness of her infancy still cleaving to her, or in a more specific sense, may be uncertain (Ezekiel 16:7). Ruth 3:3; Esther 2:12.Verse 9. - The "washing" and "anointing" were part of the customary preparations for the marriage union (Ruth 3:3; Esther 2:12; Judith 10:3). The mention of blood receives its explanation, not in the facts of ver. 6, but in the ceremonial rules of Leviticus 15:19-24 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 15:2. Son of man, what advantage has the wood of the vine over every wood, the vine-branch, which was among the trees of the forest? Ezekiel 15:3. Is wood taken from it to use for any work? or do men take a peg from it to hang all kinds of vessels upon? Ezekiel 15:4. Behold, it is given to the fire to consume. If the fire has consumed its two ends, and the middle of it is scorched, will it then be fit for any work? Ezekiel 15:5. Behold, when it is uninjured, it is not used for any work: how much less when the fire has consumed it and scorched it can it be still used for work? Ezekiel 15:6. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, As the wood of the vine among the wood of the forest, which I give to the fire to consume, so do I give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 15:7. And direct my face against them. They have gone out of the fire, and the fire will consume them; that ye may learn that I am Jehovah, when I set my face against them. Ezekiel 15:8. And I make the land a desert, because they committed treachery, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Israel is like the wood of the wild vine, which is put into the fire to burn, because it is good for nothing. From Deuteronomy 32:32-33 onwards, Israel is frequently compared to a vine or a vineyard (cf. Psalm 80:9.; Isaiah 5; Hosea 10:1; Jeremiah 2:21), and always, with the exception of Psalm 80, to point out its degeneracy. This comparison lies at the foundation of the figure employed, in Ezekiel 15:2-5, of the wood of the wild vine. This wood has no superiority over any other kind of wood. It cannot be used, like other timber, for any useful purposes; but is only fit to be burned, so that it is really inferior to all other wood (Ezekiel 15:2 and Ezekiel 15:3). And if, in its perfect state, it cannot be used for anything, how much less when it is partially scorched and consumed (Ezekiel 15:4 and Ezekiel 15:5)! מה־יּהיה, followed by מן, means, what is it above (מן, comparative)? - i.e., what superiority has it to כּל־עץ, all kinds of wood? i.e., any other wood. 'הזמורה אשׁר וגו is in apposition to עץ הנּפן, and is not to be connected with מכּל־עץ, as it has been by the lxx and Vulgate, - notwithstanding the Masoretic accentuation, - so as to mean every kind of fagot; for זמורה does not mean a fagot, but the tendril or branch of the vine (cf. Ezekiel 8:17), which is still further defined by the following relative clause: to be a wood-vine, i.e., a wild vine, which bears only sour, uneatable grapes. The preterite היה (which was; not, "is") may be explained from the idea that the vine had been fetched from the forest in order that its wood might be used. The answer given in Ezekiel 15:3 is, that this vine-wood cannot be used for any purpose whatever, not even as a peg for hanging any kind of domestic utensils upon (see comm. on Zechariah 10:4). It is too weak even for this. The object has to be supplied to לעשׂות למלאכה: to make, or apply it, for any work. Because it cannot be used as timber, it is burned. A fresh thought is introduced in Ezekiel 15:4 by the words 'את שׁני ק. The two clauses in Ezekiel 15:4 are to be connected together. The first supposes a case, from which the second is deduced as a conclusion. The question, "Is it fit for any work?" is determined in Ezekiel 15:5 in the negative. אף כּי: as in Ezekiel 14:21. נחר: perfect; and יחר: imperfect, Niphal, of חרר, in the sense of, to be burned or scorched. The subject to waויּחר is no doubt the wood, to which the suffix in אכלתהוּ refers. At the same time, the two clauses are to be understood, in accordance with Ezekiel 15:4, as relating to the burning of the ends and the scorching of the middle. - Ezekiel 15:6-8. In the application of the parable, the only thing to which prominence is given, is the fact that God will deal with the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the same manner as with the vine-wood, which cannot be used for any kind of work. This implies that Israel resembles the wood of a forest-vine. As this possesses no superiority to other wood, but, on the contrary, is utterly useless, so Israel has no superiority to other nations, but is even worse than they, and therefore is given up to the fire. This is accounted for in Ezekiel 15:7 : "They have come out of the fire, and the fire will consume them" (the inhabitants of Jerusalem). These words are not to be interpreted proverbially, as meaning, "he who escapes one judgment falls into another" (Hvernick), but show the application of Ezekiel 15:4 and Ezekiel 15:5 to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Out of a fire one must come either burned or scorched. Israel has been in the fire already. It resembles a wild vine which has been consumed at both ends by the fire, while the middle has been scorched, and which is now about to be given up altogether to the fire. We must not restrict the fire, however, out of which it has come half consumed, to the capture of Jerusalem in the time of Jehoiachin, as Hitzig does, but must extend it to all the judgments which fell upon the covenant nation, from the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes to the catastrophe in the reign of Jehoiachin, and in consequence of which Israel now resembled a vine burned at both ends and scorched in the middle. The threat closes in the same manner as the previous one. Compare Ezekiel 15:7 with Ezekiel 14:8, and Ezekiel 15:8 with Ezekiel 14:15 and Ezekiel 14:13.
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