Ezekiel 23:25
And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.
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(25) Take away thy nose and thine ears.—The barbarous custom of mutilating prisoners prevailed in the East from the earliest times; it is here mentioned with especial reference to the destruction of the attractiveness of the adulteress Aholibah, and the particulars of Ezekiel 23:26 have the same purpose. (Comp. Ezekiel 16:39.) In Egypt adultery was punished by cutting off the nose and ears.

Ezekiel 23:25-27. I will set my jealousy against thee, &c. — I will be against thee, as a jealous man is against his wife; and they shall deal furiously — And they, as the executioners of my wrath, shall act toward thee as persons provoked to great fury. And they shall take away thy nose, &c. — A punishment of adultery which rage sometimes dictated. As husbands in that case render those women deformed whose beauty hath been too pleasing to strangers, so shall the Chaldeans deface all the glories and ornaments of Jerusalem, and after they have slain and carried captive its inhabitants, shall set the city on fire, and reduce it to a heap of ashes. The mutilations mentioned in this verse were common among the Chaldeans. St. Jerome assures us, that they frequently cut off the nose and the ears of adulterers. And this was practised toward adulteresses in Egypt. They shall also strip thee, &c. — As lewd, disgraced harlots and captives were used chap. Ezekiel 16:39. And take away thy fair jewels — All thy rich, beautiful ornaments, which shall be a prey to the enemy. Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease — “These severe judgments shall effectually deter thee from idolatry, and make thee abhor the least approaches toward it. Accordingly we find that after the captivity the Jews never returned to their former idolatrous practices.” — Lowth. And thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt — Thy idolatries which thou broughtest with thee from Egypt, where thou didst first learn idolatry, and ever hast had an inclination to it.

23:1-49 A history of the apostacy of God's people from him, and the aggravation thereof. - In this parable, Samaria and Israel bear the name Aholah, her own tabernacle; because the places of worship those kingdoms had, were of their own devising. Jerusalem and Judah bear the name of Aholibah, my tabernacle is in her, because their temple was the place which God himself had chosen, to put his name there. The language and figures are according to those times. Will not such humbling representations of nature keep open perpetual repentance and sorrow in the soul, hiding pride from our eyes, and taking us from self-righteousness? Will it not also prompt the soul to look to God continually for grace, that by his Holy Spirit we may mortify the deeds of the body, and live in holy conversation and godliness?Take away thy nose and thine ears - Alluding to the barbarous custom of mutilating prisoners in the east Daniel 2:5. An Egyptian law prescribed this punishment for an adulteress.

Fire - A mode of capital punishment Jeremiah 29:22; Daniel 3.

25. take away thy nose … ears—Adulteresses were punished so among the Egyptians and Chaldeans. Oriental beauties wore ornaments in the ear and nose. How just the retribution, that the features most bejewelled should be mutilated! So, allegorically as to Judah, the spiritual adulteress. I will set my jealousy against thee; as a jealous provoked husband, I will be as much against thee as they are, their fury shall avenge my quarrel.

They shall deal furiously with thee; their disposition naturally is to furious wrath, my jealousy shall enkindle it more.

They shall take away thy nose and thine ears; as thou hast prostituted thy beauty like a harlot, so they shall use thee as such, and mar thy beauty, and brand thee for ever, as thou deservest, and that thou mayst be as loathsome in thy deformity as ever thou wast thought lovely in thy beauty. This punishment of adulteresses is known to have been used, and is yet in use.

Thy remnant shall fall by the sword; or else, at last thy latter end shall be to fall by the sword, those that do not live under such reproach shall die by the sword of the enemy.

They shall take thy sons and thy daughters for captives and slaves for work, and somewhat a thousand times worse.

Thy residue; either the people who did hide themselves in vaults and cellars, and came not out; or else what remains of that the Chaldeans cannot carry away; all this shall be devoured by fire, as when the city was burnt.

And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee,.... As a jealous husband, enraged against his adulterous wife, falls upon her in his fury, and uses her with great severity; so the Jews having committed spiritual fornication, that is, idolatry, and departed from the Lord, he threatens to stir up the fury of his jealousy, and punish them severely by the Chaldeans, as follows:

they shall take away thy nose and thine ears, and thy remnant shall fall by the sword; as gallants use their harlots when they leave them, or jealous husbands their adulterous wives, disfiguring them, that they may be marked and known what they are, and be despised by others; and as has been the custom in some countries, particularly with the Egyptians, to cut off the noses of adulterous persons; here it is to be understood figuratively: by the "nose", according to Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, is meant the king, who is higher than his people, as the nose is the highest part in a man's face; and by the "ears" the priest, who caused a noise to be heard when he entered into the temple with his bells; or rather because it was the priest's office to attend to the word of God, and teach it the people; in general, these denote everything that was excellent among the Jews, their city, temple, king, kingdom, princes, priests, and prophets, which should be demolished and removed; and by the remnant is meant the common people, that should come into the hands of the Chaldeans, and fall by their sword. So the Targum paraphrases it,

"thy princes and thy nobles shall go into captivity, and thy people shall be killed with the sword:''

they shall take thy sons and thy daughters, and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire; take and carry their sons and daughters captive, and burn with fire the city left by them. Thus the Targum,

"they shall carry thy sons and daughters captive, and the beauty of thy land shall be burnt with fire;''

that is, the city of Jerusalem, the temple, the king's palaces, the houses of the great men, and others in it, which were all burnt with fire when taken by the Chaldeans, Jeremiah 52:13.

And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy {i} nose and thy ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy remnant shall be devoured by the fire.

(i) They will destroy your princes and priests with the rest of your people.

25. “Jealousy” differs little from fury, ch. Ezekiel 16:38.

take away thy nose] Reference is either to the ancient practice (as in Egypt) of mutilating the adulteress, or to the habit of disfiguring the captives, cf. Ezekiel 12:13; Ezekiel 16:40.

Verse 25. - They shall take away thy nose and thine ears, etc. (For instances of this or like mutilation, in the case of prisoners of war, see the case of Zedekiah, Jeremiah 52:11; Herod., 3:69, 154.) Possibly it may have been known to Ezekiel as a punishment for the adulterer or adulteress in Egypt and other countries, and if so, he might have selected it as specially appropriate to his parable (Martial, 'Epigr.,' 2:83; 3:85). Thy residue shall be consumed with fire. The Hebrew word for "residue" (not that usually so translated) is the same as that previously translated "remnant." In the first clause it clearly points to the men of Jerusalem who are left after the capture. In the second its meaning is determined by the fact that it follows after the deportation of the sons and daughters. All that was left - in the parable, of the mutilated trunk of the adulteress, in the history, of the devastated city, sc. the empty houses - should be destroyed by fire. Ezekiel 23:25Punishment of the Harlot Jerusalem

Ezekiel 23:22. Therefore, Oholibah, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy soul has torn itself away, and cause them to come upon thee from every side; Ezekiel 23:23. The sons of Babel, and all the Chaldeans, rulers, lords, and nobles, all the sons of Assyria with them: chosen men of graceful deportment, governors and officers together, knights and counsellors, all riding upon horses. Ezekiel 23:24. And they will come upon thee with weapons, chariots, and wheels, and with a host of peoples; target and shield and helmet will they direct against thee round about: and I commit to them the judgment, that they may judge thee according to their rights. Ezekiel 23:25. And I direct my jealousy against thee, so that they shall deal with thee in wrath: nose and ears will they cut off from thee; and thy last one shall fall by the sword: they will take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy last one will be consumed by fire. Ezekiel 23:26. They will strip off thy clothes from thee, and take thy splendid jewellery. Ezekiel 23:27. I will abolish thy lewdness from thee, and thy whoredom from the land of Egypt: that thou mayest no more lift thine eyes to them, and no longer remember Egypt. Ezekiel 23:28. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I give thee into the hand of those whom thou hatest, into the hand of those from whom thy soul has torn itself away: Ezekiel 23:29. And they shall deal with thee in hatred, and take all thy gain, and leave thee naked and bare; that thy whorish shame may be uncovered, and thy lewdness and thy whoredom. Ezekiel 23:30. This shall happen to thee, because thou goest whoring after the nations, and on account of thy defiling thyself with their idols. Ezekiel 23:31. In the way of thy sister hast thou walked; therefore I give her cup into thy hand. Ezekiel 23:32. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The cup of thy sister thou shalt drink, the deep and broad one; it will be for laughter and for derision, because it contains so much. Ezekiel 23:33. Thou wilt become full of drunkenness and misery: a cup of desolation and devastation is the cup of thy sister Samaria. Ezekiel 23:34. Thou wilt drink it up and drain it, and gnaw its fragments, and tear thy breasts (therewith); for I have spoken it, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 23:35. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou hast forgotten me, and hast cast me behind thy back, thou shalt also bear thy lewdness and thy whoredom. - As Jerusalem has given herself up to whoredom, like her sister Samaria, she shall also share her sister's fate. The paramours, of whom she has become tired, God will bring against her as enemies. The Chaldeans will come with all their might, and execute the judgment of destruction upon her. - For the purpose of depicting their great and powerful forces, Ezekiel enumerates in Ezekiel 23:23 and Ezekiel 23:24 the peoples and their military equipment: viz., the sons of Babel, i.e., the inhabitants of Babylonia, the Chaldeans - the ruling people of the empire at that time - and all the sons of Asshur, i.e., the inhabitants of the eastern portions of the empire, the former rulers of the world. There is some obscurity in the words פּקוד ושׁוע , which the older theologians have almost unanimously taken to be the names of different tribes in the Chaldean empire. Ewald also adopts this view, but it is certainly incorrect; for the words are in apposition to וכל־כּשׂדּים, as the omission of the copula ו before פּקוד is sufficient to show. This is confirmed by the fact that שׁוע is used, in Isaiah 32:5 and Job 34:19, in the sense of the man of high rank, distinguished for his prosperity, which is quite in harmony with the passage before us. Consequently פּקוד is not to be taken in the sense of visitation or punishment, after Jeremiah 50:21; but the meaning is to be sought in the verb פּקד, to exercise supervision, or lead; and the abstract oversight is used for overseer, or ruler, as an equivalent to פּקיד. Lastly, according to Rabbins, the Vulgate, and others, קוע signifies princes, or nobles. The predicates in Ezekiel 23:23 are repeated from Ezekiel 23:6 and Ezekiel 23:12, and קרוּאים alone is added. This is a word taken from the Pentateuch, where the heads of the tribes and families, as being members of the council of the whole congregation of Israel, are called קרוּאי or קרוּאי מועד, persons called or summoned to the meeting (Numbers 1:16; Numbers 16:2). As Michaelis has aptly observed, "he describes them sarcastically in the very same way in which he had previously described those upon whom she doted."

There is a difficulty in explaining the ἁπ. λεγ.. הצן - for which many MSS read חצן - as regards not only its meaning, but its position in the sentence. The fact that it is associated with רכב וגלגּל would seem to indicate that הצן is also either an implement of war or some kind of weapon. At the same time, the words cannot be the subject to וּבאוּ; but as the expression וּבקהל עמּים, which follows, clearly shows, they simply contain a subordinate definition of the manner in which, or the things with which, the peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 23:23, Ezekiel 23:24 will come, while they are governed by the verb in the freest way. The attempts which Ewald and Hitzig have made to remove the difficulty, by means of conjectures, are forced and extremely improbable. נתתּי לפּניהם, I give up to them (not, I place before them); נתן, as in 1 Kings 8:46, to deliver up, or give a thing into a person's hand or power. לפני is used in this sense in Genesis 13:9 and Genesis 24:51. - In Ezekiel 23:25, Ezekiel 23:26, the execution of the judgment is depicted in detail. The words, "they take away thy nose and ears," are not to be interpreted, as the earlier expositors suppose, from the custom prevalent among the Egyptians and other nations of cutting off the nose of an adulteress; but depict, by one particular example, the mutilation of prisoners captured by their enemies. אחרית: not posterity, which by no means suits the last clause of the verse, and cannot be defended from the usage of the language (see the comm. on Amos 4:2); but the last, according to the figure employed in the first clause, the trunk; or, following the second clause, the last thing remaining in Jerusalem, after the taking away of the sons and daughters, i.e., after the slaying and the deportation of the inhabitants - viz. the empty houses. For Ezekiel 23:26, compare Ezekiel 16:39. - In Ezekiel 23:27, "from the land of Egypt" is not equivalent to "dating from Egypt;" for according to the parallel ממּך, from thee, this definition does not belong to זנוּתך, "thy whoredom," but to השׁבּתּי, "I cause thy whoredom to cease from Egypt" (Hitzig). - For Ezekiel 23:28, compare Ezekiel 16:37; for Ezekiel 23:28, vid., Ezekiel 23:17 above; and for Ezekiel 23:29, see Ezekiel 23:25 and Ezekiel 23:26, and Ezekiel 16:39. - Ezekiel 23:31 looks back to Ezekiel 23:13; and Ezekiel 23:31 is still further expanded in Ezekiel 23:32-34. Judah shall drink the cup of the wrathful judgment of God, as Samaria has done. For the figure of the cup, compare Isaiah 51:17 and Jeremiah 25:15. This cup is described in Ezekiel 23:32 as deep and wide, i.e., very capacious, so that whoever exhausts all its contents must be thoroughly intoxicated. תּהיה is the third person; but the subject is מרבּה, and not כּוס. The greatness or breadth of the cup will be a subject of laughter and ridicule. It is very arbitrary to supply "to thee," so as to read: will be for laughter and ridicule to thee, which does not even yield a suitable meaning, since it is not Judah but the nations who laugh at the cup. Others regard תּהיה as the second person, thou wilt become; but apart from the anomaly in the gender, as the masculine would stand for the feminine, Hitzig has adduced the forcible objection, that according to this view the words would not only anticipate the explanation give of the figure in the next verse, but would announce the consequences of the שׁכּרון ויגון mentioned there. Hitzig therefore proposes to erase the words from תּהיה to וּללעג as a gloss, and to alter מרבּה into מרבּה : which contains much, is very capacious. But there is not sufficient reason to warrant such critical violence as this. Although the form מרבּה is ἁπ λεγ.., it is not to be rejected as a nomen subst.; and if we take מרבּה להכיל, the magnitude to hold, as the subject of the sentence, it contains a still further description of the cup, which does not anticipate what follows, even though the cup will be an object of laughter and ridicule, not so much for its size, as because of its being destined to be drunk completely empty. In Ezekiel 23:33 the figure and the fact are combined - יגון, lamentation, misery, being added to שׁכּרון, drunkenness, and the cup being designated a cup of devastation. The figure of drinking is expanded in the boldest manner in Ezekiel 23:34 into the gnawing of the fragments of the cup, and the tearing of the breasts with the fragments. - In Ezekiel 23:35 the picture of the judgment is closed with a repetition of the description of the nation's guilt. For Ezekiel 23:35, compare Ezekiel 16:52 and Ezekiel 16:58.

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