Ezekiel 23:3
And they committed prostitutions in Egypt; they committed prostitutions in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) In Egypt.—The idolatries of Israel in Egypt have already been spoken of in the Note to Ezekiel 20:8. (See also Ezekiel 23:19 below.)

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?Of one mother - Israel and Judah were branches of the same stock. 3. Even so early in their history as their Egyptian sojourn, they committed idolatries (see on [1060]Eze 20:6-8; [1061]Joshua 24. 14).

in their youth—an aggravation of their sin. It was at the very time of their receiving extraordinary favors from God (Eze 16:6, 22).

they bruised—namely, the Egyptians.

They committed whoredoms in Egypt; when they came down into Egypt, and sojourned there: possibly they might commit bodily whoredoms, but spiritual whoredoms, i.e. idolatry, they did certainly commit, as appears Joshua 24:14 Ezekiel 20:7,8, which see; in a low condition, by converse with the idolatrous Egyptians they fell in with their idolatry.

In their youth; early; though it is no where said when they began, yet by this it appears that it was not long after their coming down into Egypt.

There were their breasts pressed: this and what follows is an allusion, which illustrates what was before spoken; while they were constant to God and his worship, they were as beautiful, chaste, and lovely virgins; when seduced to idolatry, they became as loathsome harlots or strumpets. And they committed whoredoms in Egypt,.... When they were but one body, one nation; and while they sojourned as strangers in that land they learned and practised the idolatries of it, Joshua 24:14, and so the Targum,

"and they erred in Egypt, after the worship of their idols they erred, and there they corrupted their works:''

they committed whoredoms in their youth; as soon as they were come out of Egypt, and were formed into a political and ecclesiastical state, had the law of God given them, and promised obedience to him, and were espoused by him, which times are called the days of their youth and espousal, Jeremiah 2:2, and then were they guilty of whoredom, or spiritual adultery, which idolatry, in making and worshipping the golden calf, after the manner of Egypt; and in joining themselves to Baalpeor, the god of the Moabites, Exodus 32:1;

there were their breasts pressed, there they bruised the teats of their virginity; that is, the Egyptians, who drew them into idolatry, and with whom they committed it; which is expressed by the actions of adulterous persons, suggesting that, before this, they were as chaste and pure virgins to God, adhered to his worship, and served him only, and were not defiled with the superstition and idolatry of the Heathens: or, "they made (l) the teats or paps of their virginity"; that is, made them swell and increase, being impregnated by them, and their idolatry completed; or to move and heave being pressed.

(l) "fecerant mammas", Starckius; "fecerent ut earam mammae agrerent", Gussetius; "sese commovendo scilicet, in contentione libidinis aestuantes, et pectoris anheli reciprocationem sequentes", ib. p. 652. "ibi subagitarunt ubera virginum", Coeccius.

And they committed harlotries in {b} Egypt; they committed harlotries in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.

(b) They became idolaters after the manner of the Egyptians.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. The two kingdoms are represented ideally as already existing in Egypt. This is not so far from the truth. The great tribes of Judah and Ephraim from the first stood apart, and in their attitude there lay already the germs of the two kingdoms, as appears in the song of Deborah. On the idea of the prophet that idolatry was practised in Egypt, cf. ch. Ezekiel 20:8, Ezekiel 16:26.Refining of Israel in the Furnace of Besieged Jerusalem

Ezekiel 22:17. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 22:18. Son of man, the house of Israel has become to me as dross; they are all brass, and tin, and iron, and lead in the furnace; dross of silver have they become. Ezekiel 22:19. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because ye have all become dross, therefore, behold, I gather you together in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 22:20. As men gather together silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin into the furnace, to blow the fire upon it for melting, so will I gather (you) together in my anger and my wrath, and put you in and melt you. Ezekiel 22:21. And I will collect you together, and blow the fire of my wrath upon you, that ye may be melted therein. Ezekiel 22:22. As silver is melted in the furnace, so shall ye be melted therein (viz., in Jerusalem), and shall learn that I Jehovah have poured out my wrath upon you. - This second word of God rests no doubt upon the figure in Ezekiel 22:15, of the uncleanness or dirt of sin; but it is not an exposition of the removal of the dirt, as predicted there. For that was to be effected through the dispersion of Israel among the nations, whereas the word of God, from Ezekiel 22:17 onwards, represents the siege awaiting Jerusalem as a melting process, through which God will separate the silver ore contained in Israel from the baser metals mingled with it. In Ezekiel 22:18 it commences with a description of the existing condition of Israel. It has turned to dross. היוּ is clearly a perfect, and is not to be taken as a prophetical future, as Kliefoth proposes. Such a rendering is not only precluded by the clause 'יען היות in Ezekiel 22:19, cut could only be made to yield an admissible sense by taking the middle clause of the verse, "all of them brass and tin," etc., as a statement of what Israel had become, or as a preterite in opposition to all the rules of Hebrew syntax, inasmuch as this clause merely furnishes an explanation of היוּ־לסוּג. סוּג, which only occurs here, for סיג signifies dross, not smelting-ore (Kliefoth), literally, recedanea, the baser ingredients which are mixed with the silver, and separated from it by smelting. This is the meaning here, where it is directly afterwards interpreted as consisting of brass, tin, iron, and lead, and then still further defined as סגּים כּסף, dross of silver, i.e., brass, tin, iron, and lead, with a mixture of silver. Because Israel had turned into silver-dross of this kind, the Lord would gather it together in Jerusalem, to smelt it there as in a smelting furnace; just as men gather together brass, iron, lead, and tin in a furnace to smelt them, or rather to separate the silver contained thereon. קבצת כּסף, literally, a collection of silver, etc., for "like a collection." The כ simil. is probably omitted for the sake of euphony, to avoid the discord occasioned by prefixing it to קבצת. Ezekiel mentions the silver as well, because there is some silver contained in the brass, iron, etc., or the dross is silver-dross. התּוּך, nomen verbale, from נתך in the Hiphil, smelting; literally, as the smelting of silver takes place in the furnace. The smelting is treated here simply as a figurative representation of punishment, and consequently the result of the smelting, namely, the refining of the silver by the removal of the baser ingredients, is not referred to any further, as in the case in Isaiah 1:22, Isaiah 1:25; Jeremiah 6:27-30; Malachi 3:2-3. This smelting process was experienced by Israel in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans.

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