From Ezekiel 16-17
Ezekiel may be describing Jerusalem as an adulterous prostitute. But the time has come when prostitutes will be welcomed into the kingdom. The sad fact is that even then, there were Jews who remained unfaithful to the LORD. Does the language of the bible shock you sometimes?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Ezekiel has some pretty graphic illustrations and language. The story below depicts Jerusalem’s relationship with the LORD. Its quite interesting.
16 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3 and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. (Eze 16.1-5)
The image is of a baby unwanted and discarded. Its obviously in a very sad state. For today’s readers if we saw something like this we would look upon it with horror. How could such a thing be done to a baby. I suspect in those times, their reaction might be disgust.
6 “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. (Eze 16.6-7)
So the LORD steps in and gives life to this discarded baby wallowing in its blood – yuck! The text is indicating there is nothing about the baby which influenced the LORD to take care of it. But the LORD gives it life and waits until she reaches maturity.
8 “When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. 9 Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God. (Eze 16.8-14)
Now the LORD binds himself to the grown up girl. He marries her and clothes her. She becomes famous and noticed by the other nations.
15 “But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his. (Eze 16.15)
And then everything went to crap. Ezekiel starts using some graphic language to describe Jerusalem.
Story of Israel
We know the rest of the story. I’ve been repeating it every day. Judah and Jerusalem are punished. They are taken into exile. When they return, Jews still have problems but hope still remains. Because the LORD keeps sending his prophets and they predict the coming of the Christ.
Story of Jesus
Jesus was criticised for associating with prostitutes. At one point Jesus compares these with the Jewish authorities;
“Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. (Mt 21.31b-32)
Ezekiel may be describing Jerusalem as an adulterous prostitute. But the time has come when prostitutes will be welcomed into the kingdom. The sad fact is that even then, there were Jews who remained unfaithful to the LORD.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights