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a birth: Heb. cutting out, or, habitation
b to supple…: or, when I looked upon thee
c polluted: or, trodden under foot
d caused…: Heb. made thee a million
e excellent…: Heb. ornament of ornaments
f blood: Heb. bloods
g forehead: Heb. nose
h of men: Heb. of a male
i a sweet…: Heb. a savour of rest
j to be…: Heb. to devour
k eminent…: or, brothel house
l daughters: or, cities
m In that thou buildest…: or, In thy daughters is thine, etc
n hirest: Heb. bribest
o as: Heb. with judgments of
p thy fair…: Heb. instruments of thine ornament
q thy younger: Heb. lesser than thou
r as if…: or, that was lothed as a small thing
s mentioned: Heb. for a report, or, hearing
t pride: Heb. prides, or, excellencies
u Syria: Heb. Aram
v despise: or, spoil
w borne: Heb. borne them


1 耶和华的话又临到我说:
1Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

In this chapter the mercy of God to Jerusalem, (or the Jewish

Church and nation,) is set forth by the emblem of a person that

should take up an exposed infant, bring her up with great

tenderness, and afterwards marry her, 1-14.

She is then upbraided with her monstrous ingratitude in

departing from the worship of God, and polluting herself with

the idolatries of the nations around her, under the figure of

a woman that proves false to a tender and indulgent husband,


But, notwithstanding these her heinous provocations, God

promises, after she should suffer due correction, to restore

her again to his favour, 53-63.

The mode of describing apostasy from the true religion to the

worship of idols under the emblem of adultery, (a figure very

frequent in the sacred canon,) is pursued unth great force, and

at considerable length, both in this and the twenty-third

chapter; and is excellently calculated to excite in the Church

of God the highest detestation of all false worship.


2Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
2 Verse 2. Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations] And such a

revelation of impurity never was seen before or since. Surely the

state of the Jews, before the Babylonish captivity, was the most

profligate and corrupt of all the nations of the earth. This

chapter contains God's manifesto against this most abominable

people; and although there are many metaphors here, yet all is not

metaphorical. Where there was so much idolatry, there must have

been adulteries, fornications, prostitutions, and lewdness of

every description. The description of the prophet is sufficiently

clear, except where there is a reference to ancient and obsolete

customs. What a description of crimes! The sixth satire of

Juvenal is its counterpart. General remarks are all that a

commentator is justified in bestowing on this very long, very

circumstantial, and caustic invective. For its key, see on the

thirteenth and sixty-third verses.

; "Eze 16:63".

3And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.a
3 Verse 3. Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan] It

would dishonour Abraham to say that you sprung from him: ye are

rather Canaanites than Israelites. The Canaanites were accursed;

so are ye.

Thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite.] These

tribes were the most famous, and probably the most corrupt, of all

the Canaanites. So Isaiah calls the princes of Judah rulers of

Sodom, ; and John the Baptist calls the Pharisees

a generation or brood of vipers, . There is a fine

specimen of this kind of catachresis in Dido's invective against


Nec tibi Diva parens, generis nec Dardanus auctor,

Perflde; sed duris genuit te cautibus horrens

Caucasus, Hyrcanaeque admorunt ubera tigres.

AEn. lib. iv. 365.

"False as thou art, and more than false, forsworn;

Not sprung from noble blood, nor goddess born:

But hewn from hardened entrails of a rock,--

And rough Hyrcanian tigers gave thee suck."


This is strong: but the invective of the prophet exceeds it far.

It is the essence of degradation to its subject; and shows the

Jews to be as base and contemptible as they were abominable and


4And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.b
4 Verse 4. As for thy nativity, &c.] This verse refers to what is

ordinarily done for every infant on its birth. The umbilical cord,

by which it received all its nourishment while in the womb, being

no longer necessary, is cut at a certain distance from the

abdomen: on this part a knot is tied, which firmly uniting the

sides of the tubes, they coalesce, and incarnate together. The

extra part of the cord on the outside of the ligature, being cut

off from the circulation by which it was originally fed, soon

drops off, and the part where the ligature was is called the

navel. In many places, when this was done, the infant was plunged

into cold water; in all cases washed, and sometimes with a mixture

of salt and water, in order to give a greater firmness to the

skin, and constringe the pores. The last process was swathing the

body, to support mechanically the tender muscles till they should

acquire sufficient strength to support the body. But among savages

this latter process is either wholly neglected, or done very

slightly: and the less it is done, the better for the infant; as

this kind of unnatural compression greatly impedes the circulation

of the blood, the pulsation of the heart, and the due inflation of

the lungs; respiration, in many cases, being rendered oppressive

by the tightness of these bandages.

5None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
5 Verse 5. Thou wast cast out in the open field] This is an

allusion to the custom of some heathen and barbarous nations, who

exposed those children in the open fields to be devoured by wild

beasts who had any kind of deformity, or whom they could not




6 ¶ And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.c
6 Verse 6. I said-Live] I received the exposed child from the

death that awaited it, while in such a state as rendered it at

once an object of horror, and also of compassion.

_________________Modo primos

Edere vagitus, et adhuc a matre rubentem.

7I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.d, e
8Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
8 Verse 8. Was the time of love] Thou wast marriageable.

I spread my skirt over thee] I espoused thee. This was one of

their initiatory marriage ceremonies. See .

I-entered into a covenant with thee] Married thee. Espousing

preceded marriage.

9Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.f
10I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
10 Verse 10. I clothed thee also with broidered work] Cloth on

which various figures, in various colours, were wrought by the


With badgers' skin] See . The same kind of skin with

which the tabernacle was covered.

Fine linen] beshesh, with cotton. I have seen cloth of

this kind enveloping the finest mummies.

I covered thee with silk.] meshi. Very probably the

produce of the silk-worm.

11I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
12And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.g
12 Verse 12. I put a jewel on thy forehead] al appech,

upon thy nose. This is one of the most common ornaments among

ladies in the east. European translators, not knowing what to make

of a ring in the nose, have rendered it, a jewel on thy forehead

or mouth, (though they have sometimes a piece of gold or jewel

fastened to the centre of their forehead.) I have already spoken

of this Asiatic custom, so often referred to in the sacred

writings: see ; ; ; ;

; .

13Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
13 Verse 13. Thus wast thou decked, &c.] The Targum understands all

this of the tabernacle service, the book of the law, the

sacerdotal vestments, &c.

Thou didst prosper into a kingdom.] Here the figure explains

itself: by this wretched infant, the low estate of the Jewish

nation in its origin is pointed out; by the growing up of this

child into woman's estate, the increase and multiplication of the

people; by her being decked out and ornamented, her tabernacle

service, and religious ordinances; by her betrothing and

consequent marriage, the covenant which God made with the Jews; by

her fornication and adulteries, their apostasy from God, and the

establishment of idolatrous worship, with all its abominable

rites; by her fornication and whoredoms with the Egyptians and

Assyrians, the sinful alliances which the Jews made with those

nations, and the incorporation of their idolatrous worship with

that of Jehovah; by her lovers being brought against her, and

stripping her naked, the delivery of the Jews into the hands of

the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans, who stripped them of all

their excellencies, and at last carried them into captivity.

This is the key to the whole of this long chapter of metaphors;

and the reader will do well to forget the figures, and look at the

facts. The language and figures may in many places appear to us

exceptionable: but these are quite in conformity to those times

and places, and to every reader and hearer would appear perfectly

appropriate, nor would engender either a thought or passion of an

irregular or improper kind. Custom sanctions the mode, and

prevents the abuse. Among naked savages irregular passions and

propensities are not known to predominate above those in civilized

life. And why? Because such sights are customary, and therefore in

themselves innocent. And the same may be said of the language by

which such states and circumstances of life are described. Had

Ezekiel spoken in such language as would have been called chaste

and unexceptionable among us, it would have appeared to his

auditors as a strange dialect, and would have lost at least one

half of its power and effect. Let this be the prophet's apology

for the apparent indelicacy of his metaphors; and mine, for not

entering into any particular discussion concerning them. See also

on .

14And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.



15 ¶ But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.
15 Verse 15. Thou didst trust in thine own beauty] Riches,

strength, alliances, &c.; never considering that all they

possessed came from God; therefore it was his comeliness which he

had put upon them. Witness their original abject state, and the

degree of eminence to which they had arrived afterwards through

the protecting power of God.

16And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.
17Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,h
17 Verse 17. And madest to thyself images of men] tsalmey

zachar, male images. Priapi are here meant, which were carried

about in the ceremonies of Osiris, Bacchus, and Adonis; and were

something like the lingam among the Hindoos. Herodotus, lib. ii,

c. 48, 49, gives us an account of these male images: πηχυαια


νευοντοαιδοιονουπολλωτεωελασσονεοντουαλλουσωματος. This

was done at the worship of Bacchus in Egypt: and they who wish to

see more may consult Herodotus as above. In this phallic worship

the women were principally concerned.

18And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.
18 Verse 18. Hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.] It

appears that they had made use of the holy vestments, and the

different kinds of offerings which belonged to the Lord, to honour

their idols.

19My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.i
20Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,j
21That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?
21 Verse 21. To cause them to pass through the fire] Bp. Newcome

quotes a very apposite passage from Dionysius Halicarnass. Ant.

Rom. lib. i., s. 88, p. 72, and marg. p. 75, Edit. Hudson: μεταδε


ταςφλογαςυπερθρωσκοντατηςοσιωσεωςτωνμιασματωνενεκα. "And

after this, having ordered that fires should be made before the

tents, he brings out the people to leap over the flames, for the

purifying of their pollutions." This example shows that we are not

always to take passing through the fire for being entirely

consumed by it. Among the Israelites this appears to have been

used as a rite of consecration.

22And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.
23And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;)
24That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.k
24 Verse 24. Thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place]

gab, a stew or brothel; Vulg. lupanar; Septuag. οικημα

πορνικον. So my old MS. Bible, a bordel house. "Thou hast builded

thy stewes and bordell houses in every place."-Coverdale's Bible,

1535. Bordel is an Italian word: how it got so early into our

language I know not. Our modern word brothel is a corruption of

it. Diodati translates, Tu hai edificato un bordello, "Thou hast

built a brothel." Houses of this kind were of a very ancient date.

25Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.
26Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.
26 Verse 26. Great of flesh] The most extensive idolaters. Bene

vasatis-longa mensura incognita nervy-Juv. Sat. ix. 34. This is

the allusion.

27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.l
27 Verse 27. Have diminished thine ordinary] chukkech means

here the household provision made for a wife-food, clothing, and


28Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
29Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.
30How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;
31In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;m
32But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!
33They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.n
34And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.



35 ¶ Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:
36Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;
36 Verse 36. Thy filthiness was poured out] nechushtech. As

this word signifies a sort of metal, (brass,) it is generally

supposed to mean money. They had given money literally to these

heathen nations to procure their friendship and assistance; but

the word also means verdigris, the poisonous rust of copper or

brass. It is properly translated in our version filthiness,

poisonous filth. Does it not refer to that venereal virus which is

engendered by promiscuous connexions?

37Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.
38And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.o
39And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.p
39 Verse 39. They shall strip thee also of thy clothes-thy fair

jewels] Alluding to a lot common enough to prostitutes, their

maintainers in the end stripping them of all they had given them.

40They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.
41And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.
42So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
42 Verse 42. I will be quiet and will be no more angry.] I will

completely abandon thee; have nothing more to do with thee; think

no more of thee. When God in judgment ceases to reprehend, this is

the severest judgment.

43Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.
43 Verse 43. Thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth] Thy

former low beginning, when God made thee a people, who wast no

people. He who maintains not a proper recollection of past mercies

is not likely to abide steadfast in the faith. Ingratitude to God

is the commencement, if not the parent, of many crimes.



44 ¶ Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.
44 Verse 44. As is the mother, so is her daughter.]

keimmah bittah, "As the mother, her daughter." As is the cause,

so is the effect. As is the breeding, so is the practice. A

silken purse cannot be made out of a swine's ear. What is bred

in the bone seldom comes out of the flesh. All such proverbs show

the necessity of early holy precepts, supported by suitable


45Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.
46And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.q
46 Verse 46. Thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters

that dwell at thy left] It is supposed that the prophet by Sodom

in this place means the Israelites that dwelt beyond Jordan, in

the land of the Moabites and Ammonites; or rather of the Moabites

and Ammonites themselves. Literally, Sodom could not be called the

younger sister of Jerusalem, as it existed before Jerusalem had a

name. In looking east from Jerusalem, Samaria was on the left, and

Sodom on the right hand; that is, the first was on the north,

the second on the south of Jerusalem.

47Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.r
48As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.
49Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
49 Verse 49. This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom] If we are

to take this place literally, Sodom was guilty of other crimes

besides that for which she appears to have been especially

punished; in addition to her unnatural crime, She is charged with

pride, luxury, idleness, and uncharitableness; and these were

sufficient to sink any city to the bottomless pit.

50And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
51Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
52Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.
52 Verse 52. They are more righteous than thou]

tetsuddaknah mimmech, "They shall be justified more than thou."

They are less guilty in the sight of God, for their crimes were

not accompanied with so many aggravations. This phrase casts light

on : "This man went down to his house justified rather

than the other." Less blame in the sight of God was attached to

him. He always had fewer advantages, and now he was a true

penitent; while the other was boasting of what he had done, and

what he had not done.


53When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:
54That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.
55When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.
56For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,s, t
57Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.u, v
58Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.w
59For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60 ¶ Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
60 Verse 60. I will remember my covenant] That is, the covenant I

made with Abraham in the day of thy youth, when in him thou didst

begin to be a nation.

61Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.
61 Verse 61. Thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger] The

Gentiles, who were before the Jews were called, and after the

Jews were cast off, are here termed the elder and younger sister.

These were to be given to Jerusalem for daughters; the latter

should be converted to God by the ministry of men who should

spring out of the Jewish Church. The former, who were patriarchs,

&c., profited by the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the

world. Among the latter the Gospel was preached, first by Christ

and his apostles, and since by persons raised up from among


But not by thy covenant.] This was the ancient covenant, the

conditions of which they broke, and the blessings of which they

forfeited; but by that new covenant, or the renewal to the

Gentiles of that covenant that was made originally with Abraham

while he was a Gentile, promising that in his seed all the nations

of the earth should be blessed; that covenant which respected the

incarnation of Christ, and was ratified by the blood of his cross.

62And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:
63That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.
63 Verse 63. When I am pacified toward thee] This intimates that

the Jews shall certainly share in the blessings of the Gospel

covenant, and that they shall be restored to the favour and image

of God. And when shall this be? Whenever they please. They might

have enjoyed them eighteen hundred years ago; but they would not

come, though all things were then ready. They may enjoy them now;

but they still choose to shut their eyes against the light, and

contradict and blaspheme. As they do not turn to the Lord, the

veil still continues on their hearts. Let their elder brethren

pray for them.

For a key to the principal metaphors in this chapter, the reader

is referred to the note on the thirteenth verse, which, if he

regard not, he will neither do justice to himself nor to the

prophet. The whole chapter is a tissue of invective; sharp,

cutting, and confounding; every where well sustained, in every

respect richly merited; and in no case leaving any room to the

delinquent for justification or response.