Ezekiel 23:3
And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
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(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.

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.

Ezekiel 23:3The Sisters Oholah and Oholibah

Ezekiel 23:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 23:2. Son of man, two women, daughters of one mother were they, Ezekiel 23:3. They committed whoredom in Egypt, in their youth they committed whoredom; there were their breasts pressed, and there men handled their virgin bosom. Ezekiel 23:4. Their names are Oholah, the greater, and Oholibah her sister; and they became mine, and bare sons and daughters. But their names are: Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah. - The name אהליבה is formed from אהלי בהּ, "my tent in her;" and, accordingly, אהלה is to be derived from אהלהּ, "her tent," and not to be regarded as an abbreviation of אהלהּ בהּ, "her tent in her," as Hitzig and Kliefoth maintain. There is no ground for this assumption, as "her tent," in contrast with "my tent in her," expresses the thought with sufficient clearness, that she had a tent of her own, and the place where her tent was does not come into consideration. The "tent" is the sanctuary: both tabernacle and temple. These names characterize the two kingdoms according to their attitude toward the Lord. Jerusalem had the sanctuary of Jehovah; Samaria, on the other hand, had her own sanctuary, i.e., one invented by herself. Samaria and Jerusalem, as the historical names of the two kingdoms, represent Israel of the ten tribes and Judah. Oholah and Oholibah are daughters of one mother, because they were the two halves of the one Israel; and they are called women, because Jehovah had married them (Ezekiel 23:4). Oholah is called הגּדולה, the great, i.e., the greater sister (not the elder, see the comm. on Ezekiel 16:46); because ten tribes, the greater portion of Israel, belonged to Samaria, whereas Judah had only two tribes. They committed whoredom even in Egypt in their youth, for even in Egypt the Israelites defiled themselves with Egyptian idolatry (see the comm. on Ezekiel 20:7). מיעך, to press, to crush: the Pual is used here to denote lewd handling. In a similar manner the Piel עשּׂה is used to signify tractare, contrectare mammas, in an obscene sense.

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