Yet she multiplied her prostitutions, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Yet, Heb. And.
Multiplied; added more and greater to her former sins of idolatry and whoredoms, and persisted in them.
In calling to remembrance: this may refer either to the Jewish nation remembering their idolatries in Egypt, their alliances with and reliance upon it in days past, which she now resolves to act over again; or it may refer to God, who, by these continued courses of Judah’s lewdness is provoked to remember and punish old perfidious and idolatrous practices.
The days of her youth: see Ezekiel 23:3.
in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt; they called to mind with pleasure the idolatries of their fathers in Egypt, and committed the same themselves; they sent ambassadors to Egypt, in the times of Zedekiah, for help and assistance, and to enter into alliance with them, when they renewed among them the idolatries of that nation; see Ezekiel 17:15.Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. Judah being situated between the two great empires of Babylon and Egypt and coveted by both, was naturally a hotbed of intrigue by partizans on both sides. The influence of the Egyptian party was great even in the Assyrian age (Isaiah 30-31), and the imposing and pretentious power of the Nile valley continued to delude the politicians of Judah throughout the period of Chaldean supremacy (ch. 29–32; Jeremiah 2:18; Jeremiah 37:5 seq.; Lamentations 4:17).Verse 19. - Yet she multiplied her whoredoms. The disappointment and failure, however, did not lead to repentance. Foreign alliances, and with them foreign idolatries, were courted more eagerly than ever, though in a different direction. The lovers were changed, but the harlotry went on.
Ezekiel 23:5. And Oholibah played the harlot under me, and burned towards her lovers, even as far as Assyria, standing near; Ezekiel 23:6. Clothed in purple, governors and officers, all of them choice men of good deportment, horsemen riding upon horses. Ezekiel 23:7. And she directed her whoredom toward them, to the choice of the sons of Assyria all of them, and with all towards whom she burned, with all their idols she defiled herself. Ezekiel 23:8. Also her whoredom from Egypt she did not give up; for they had lain with her in her youth, and they had handled her virgin bosom, and had poured out their lust upon her. Ezekiel 23:9. Therefore I have given her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the sons of Assyria, towards whom she was inflamed. Ezekiel 23:10. They uncovered her nakedness, took away her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword, so that she became a legend among the women, and executed judgments upon her. - Coquetting and whoring with Assyria and Egypt denote religious and political leaning towards and connection with these nations and kingdoms, including idolatry and the formation of alliances with them, as in Ezekiel 16. תּחתּי is to be interpreted in accordance with תּחת אישׁהּ (Ezekiel 16:32). עגּב, which only occurs in Ezekiel and once in Jeremiah, denotes the eager desire kindled by passionate love towards any one. By the words אל־אשּׁוּר the lovers are more precisely defined. קרובים without an article is not an adjective, belonging to מאהביה, but in apposition, which is continued in the next verse. In these appositions the particular features, which excited the ardent passion towards the lovers, are pointed out. קרוב is not to be taken in an outward or local sense, but as signifying inward or spiritual nearness: standing near, equivalent to inwardly related, as in Psalm 38:12; Job 19:14. The description given of the Assyrians in Ezekiel 23:6 contains the thought that Israel, dazzled by Assyria's splendour, and overpowered by the might of that kingdom, had been drawn into intercourse with the Assyrians, which led her astray into idolatry. The predicate, clothed in purple, points to the splendour and glory of this imperial power; the other predicates, to the magnitude of its military force. פחות וּסגנים are rulers of higher and lower grades (cf. Jeremiah 51:57). "Here the expression is a general one, signifying the different classes of office-bearers in the kingdom" (Hvernick). With regard to פּחה, see my comm. on Haggai 1:1; and for סגן, see Delitzsch on Isaiah 41:25. "Riding upon horses" is added to פּרשׁים to denote the noblest horsemen, in contrast to riders upon asses and camels (cf. Isaiah 21:7). In Ezekiel 23:7 בּכּל־גּלּוּליהםhem is in apposition to בּכל אשׁר־עגבה, and defines more precisely the instigation to pollution: with all towards whom she burned in love, namely, with all their (the lovers') idols. The thought is as follows: it was not merely through her intercourse with the Assyrians that Israel defiled herself, but also through their idols. At the same time, Samaria did not give up the idolatry which it had derived from Egypt. It was from Egypt that the worship of God under the image of the golden calves had been imported. The words are much too strong for us to understand them as relating simply to political intercourse, as Hitzig has done. We have already observed at Ezekiel 20:7, that even in Egypt itself the Israelites had defiled themselves with Egyptian idolatry, as is also stated in Ezekiel 23:8. - Ezekiel 23:9, Ezekiel 23:10. As a punishment for this, God gave Samaria into the power of the Assyrians, so that they executed judgment upon the harlot. In Ezekiel 23:10 the prophecy passes from the figure to the fact. The uncovering of the nakedness consisted in the transportation of the sons and daughters, i.e., the population of Samaria, into exile by the Assyrians, who slew the woman herself with the sword; in other words, destroyed the kingdom of Samaria. Thus did Samaria become a name for women; that is to say, her name was circulated among the nations, her fate became an object of conversation and ridicule to the nations, not "a nickname for the nations," as Hvernick supposes (vid., Ezekiel 36:3). שׁפוּטים, a later form for שׁפטים (cf. Ezekiel 16:41).
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