Ezekiel 23:6
Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.
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(6) Horsemen.—The Assyrians, like the Egyptians, made large use of cavalry, as was necessary to a warlike nation; the multiplication of horses had on this account been forbidden to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 17:16).

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?The army of the Assyrians is described. War-horses formed an important part in the armies of Assyria and Egypt; Israel was deficient in this respect Isaiah 36:8. 6. blue—rather, "purple" [Fairbairn]. As a lustful woman's passions are fired by showy dress and youthful appearance in men, so Israel was seduced by the pomp and power of Assyria (compare Isa 10:8).


Clothed with blue; richly apparelled, and, as the humour of that nation, in rich and beautiful blue, very magnificent to the eye.

Captains; daring, valiant men, and fit for wars, who might defend the Jews in time of danger.

Rulers; worthy of authority, and fit to govern in times of peace.

Desirable young men; young and vigorous, full of beauty and strength to commend them to the desire and choice.

Horsemen riding upon horses; skilful in riding, and well furnished with choice horses, on which these deluded apostatizing Israelites relied for help, as appears, Hosea 14:3.

Which were clothed with blue,.... A colour the Assyrians were fond of, and clothed their soldiers in, and was taking to the eye; and is mentioned, because that men, finely clothed find beautifully arrayed, are more engaging to women, who are fond of dress:

captains and rulers; men of power and authority in military and civil affairs, either in the camp, or in the court; officers either in the army, or in the king's palace; and which was a recommendation of them:

desirable young men; for their youth, strength, beauty, and honourable employments and offices:

horsemen riding upon horses: of which there was a scarcity in Judea; wherefore such were the more desirable to them, as appearing more grand, and being more serviceable and helpful to them.

Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.
6. captains and rulers] Or, governors and satraps, cf. Nehemiah 4:14; Nehemiah 5:15.

Verse 6. - Clothed with blue. The same word as that used in the description of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:4; Exodus 26:31, et al.). It was probably some hue of the Tyrian purple kind which marked the official dress of the "captains" of the Assyrian armies. The words, with those that follow, bring before us the magnificent array of the Assyrian cavalry - a force in which Israel, throughout its history, was deficient (Judges 5:10; Zechariah 9:9; Isaiah 36:8.). Ezekiel 23:6Samaria's Whoredom and Punishment

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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