Series: Thru the Bible
Message: Ezekiel goes silent on Judah
Ezekiel goes silent on Judah
“(1) The word of the LORD came to me again:
(2) “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother, (3) who acted like prostitutes in Egypt, behaving promiscuously in their youth.
Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin nipples caressed.
(4) The older one was named Oholah[her own tent], and her sister was Oholibah [my tent is in her] .
They became Mine and gave birth to sons and daughters.
As for their names, Oholah represents Samaria and Oholibah represents Jerusalem.
(5) “Oholah acted like a prostitute even though she was Mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians: warriors (6) dressed in blue, governors and prefects, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on steeds.
(7) She offered her sexual favors to them; all of them were the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all those she lusted after and with all their idols.
(8) She didn’t give up her promiscuity that began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin nipples, and poured out their lust on her.
(9) Therefore, I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians she lusted for. (10) They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword.
Since they executed judgment against her, she became notorious among women.
(11) “Now her sister Oholibah saw this, but she was even more depraved in her lust than Oholah, and made her promiscuous acts worse than those of her sister.
(12) She lusted after the Assyrians: governors and prefects, warriors splendidly dressed, horsemen riding on steeds, all of them desirable young men. (13) And I saw that she had defiled herself; both of them had taken the same path. (14) But she increased her promiscuity when she saw male figures carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans, engraved in vermilion, (15) wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like officers, a depiction of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth.
(16) At the sight of them she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.
(17) Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and defiled her with their lust. But after she was defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust.
(18) When she flaunted her promiscuity and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust just as I turned away from her sister. (19) Yet she multiplied her acts of promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth when she acted like a prostitute in the land of Egypt (20) and lusted after their lovers, whose sexual members were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions.
(21) So you revisited the indecency of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.
(22) “Therefore Oholibah, this is what the Lord GOD says: I am going to incite your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust. I will bring them against you from every side: (23) the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans; Pekod, Shoa, and Koa; and all the Assyrians with them–desirable young men, all of them governors and prefects, officers and administrators, all of them riding on horses.
(24) They will come against you with an alliance of nations and with weapons, chariots, and wagons. They will set themselves against you on every side with shields, bucklers, and helmets. I will delegate judgment to them, and they will judge you by their own standards.
(25) When I vent My jealous rage on you, they will deal with you in wrath. They will cut off your nose and ears, and your descendants will fall by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your descendants will be consumed by fire.
(26) They will strip off your clothes and take your beautiful jewelry.
(27) So I will put an end to your indecency and sexual immorality, which began in the land of Egypt, and you will not look longingly at them or remember Egypt any more.
(28) “For this is what the Lord GOD says:
I am going to hand you over to those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust.
(29) They will treat you with hatred, take all you have worked for, and leave you stark naked, so that the shame of your debauchery will be exposed, both your indecency and promiscuity.
(30) These things will be done to you because you acted like a prostitute with the nations, defiling yourself with their idols. (31) You have followed the path of your sister, so I will put her cup in your hand.”
(32) This is what the Lord GOD says:
You will drink your sister’s cup, which is deep and wide. You will be an object of ridicule and scorn, for it holds so much. (33) You will be filled with drunkenness and grief, with a cup of devastation and desolation, the cup of your sister Samaria.
(34) You will drink it and drain it; then you will gnaw its broken pieces, and tear your breasts. For I have spoken.
This is the declaration of the Lord GOD.
(35) Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says:
“Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your indecency and promiscuity.”
(36) Then the LORD said to me:
“Son of man, will you pass judgment against Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare their abominations to them.
(37) For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands; they have committed adultery with their idols. They have even made the children they bore to Me pass through the fire as food for the idols.
(38) They also did this to Me: they defiled My sanctuary on that same day and profaned My Sabbaths. (39) On the same day they slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My sanctuary to profane it.Yes, that is what they did inside My house.
Remember Oholibah means “my tent is in her.”
(40) “In addition, they sent for men who came from far away when a messenger was dispatched to them. And look how they came!
You bathed, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with jewelry for them. (41) You sat on a luxurious couch with a table spread before it, on which you had set My incense and oil.
(42) The sound of a carefree crowd was there. Drunkards from the desert were brought in, along with common men.
They put bracelets on the women’s hands and beautiful crowns on their heads.
(43) Then I said concerning this woman worn out by adultery: Will they now have illicit sex with her, even her?
(44) Yet they had sex with her as one does with a prostitute. This is how they had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, those obscene women. (45) But righteous men will judge them the way adulteresses and those who shed blood are judged, for they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
(46) “This is what the Lord GOD says:
Summon an assembly against them and consign them to terror and plunder.
(47) The assembly will stone them and cut them down with their swords. They will kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses with fire. (48) So I will put an end to indecency in the land, and all the women will be admonished not to imitate your indecent behavior.
(49) They will repay you for your indecency, and you will bear the consequences for your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Lord GOD.”
“(1) The word of the LORD came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month:
(2) “Son of man, write down today’s date, this very day.
The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.
(3) Now speak a parable to the rebellious house. Tell them:
This is what the Lord GOD says:
Put the pot on the fire–put it on, and then pour water into it!
(4) Place the pieces of meat in it, every good piece–thigh and shoulder. Fill it with choice bones.
(5) Take the choicest of the flock and also pile up the fuel under it. Bring it to a boil and cook the bones in it.”
(6) Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed, the pot that has rust inside it, and whose rust will not come off!
Empty it piece by piece; lots should not be cast for its contents.
(7) For the blood she shed is in her midst. She put it out on the bare rock; she didn’t pour it on the ground to cover it with dust.
(8) In order to stir up wrath and take vengeance, I have put her blood on the bare rock, so that it would not be covered.
(9) Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says:
Woe to the city of bloodshed!
I Myself will make the pile of kindling large. (10) Pile on the logs and kindle the fire! Cook the meat well and mix in the spices!
Let the bones be burned!
(11) Set the empty pot on its coals so that it becomes hot and its copper glows. Then its impurity will melt inside it; its rust will be consumed. (12) It has frustrated every effort; its thick rust will not come off. Into the fire with its rust!
(13) Because of the indecency of your uncleanness–since I tried to purify you, but you would not be purified from your uncleanness–you will not be pure again until I have satisfied My wrath on you.
(14) I, the LORD, have spoken. It is coming, and I will do it! I will not refrain, I will not show pity, and I will not relent. I will judge you according to your ways and deeds.
This is the declaration of the Lord GOD.
(15) Then the word of the LORD came to me:
(16) “Son of man, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you with a fatal blow. But you must not lament or weep or let your tears flow.
(17) Groan quietly; do not observe mourning rites for the dead. Put on your turban and strap your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache or eat the bread of mourners.”
(18) I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening.
The next morning I did just as I was commanded.
(19) Then the people asked me, “Won’t you tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?”
(20) So I answered them: “The word of the LORD came to me: (21) ‘Say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord GOD says:
I am about to desecrate My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the desire of your heart. Also, the sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword.”
Their temple was a thing of beauty and unique in all the land, so they took pride in it, but not in the God who dwelt there. It was a superficial and external religion without heart devotion.
“(22) Then you will do just as I have done: You will not cover your mustache or eat the bread of mourners. (23) Your turbans will remain on your heads and your sandals on your feet. You will not lament or weep but will waste away because of your sins and will groan to one another.
(24) Now Ezekiel will be a sign for you. You will do everything that he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Lord GOD.
(25) “‘Son of man, know that on the day I take their stronghold from them, their pride and joy, the delight of their eyes and the longing of their hearts, as well as their sons and daughters, (26) on that day a fugitive will come to you and report the news.
(27) On that day your mouth will be opened to talk with him; you will speak and no longer be mute. So you will be a sign for them, and they will know that I am the LORD.'”
I think Gill helps to sum this up nicely. He says,
and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb;
for from this time to the taking of Jerusalem, which was about eighteen months, the prophet had nothing to say to the people of the Jews, and so was dumb with respect to them; but was employed in prophesying against other nations, as the following chapters show, unto chapter thirty three, in which we have an account of the messenger that escaped to him; but after that his mouth was opened, and he prophesied to them again:
and thou shalt be a sign unto them; as they will then own and acknowledge:
and they shall own that I am the Lord; who have foretold these things, and accomplished them.”
God has judged His people, now He begins to judge those related and then finally the world.
Last week I reminded you that the Ammonites and the Maobites were both the descendants of Lot, Abram’s nephew. Also Edom will be judged after them and there were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother.
After that God will deal with the Philistines and Tyre.
“(1) Then the word of the LORD came to me:
(2) “Son of man, turn your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them. (3) Say to the Ammonites:
Hear the word of the Lord GOD: This is what the Lord GOD says: Because you said: Good! about My sanctuary when it was desecrated, about the land of Israel when it was laid waste, and about the house of Judah when they went into exile, (4) therefore I am about to give you to the people of the east as a possession.
They will set up their encampments and pitch their tents among you. They will eat your fruit and drink your milk. (5) I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon a sheepfold. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”
(6) For this is what the Lord GOD says:
“Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced over the land of Israel with wholehearted contempt, (7) therefore I am about to stretch out My hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the peoples and eliminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the LORD.”
(8) This is what the Lord GOD says: “Because Moab and Seir said: Look, the house of Judah is like all the other nations, (9) therefore I am about to expose Moab’s flank beginning with its frontier cities, the pride of the land: Beth–jeshimoth, Baal–meon, and Kiriathaim. (10) I will give it along with Ammon to the people of the east as a possession, so that Ammon will not be remembered among the nations. (11) So I will execute judgments against Moab, and they will know that I am the LORD.”
(12) This is what the Lord GOD says: “Because Edom acted vengefully against the house of Judah and incurred grievous guilt by taking revenge on them, (13) therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: I will stretch out My hand against Edom and cut off both man and animal from it. I will make it a wasteland; they will fall by the sword from Teman to Dedan. (14) I will take My vengeance on Edom through My people Israel, and they will deal with Edom according to My anger and wrath. So they will know My vengeance.”
This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. (15) This is what the Lord GOD says: “Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with deep contempt, destroying because of their ancient hatred, (16) therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: I am about to stretch out My hand against the Philistines, cutting off the Cherethites and wiping out what remains of the coastal peoples. (17) I will execute great vengeance against them with furious rebukes. They will know that I am the LORD when I take My vengeance on them.”
“(1) In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
(2) “Son of man, because Tyre said about Jerusalem: Good! The gateway to the peoples is shattered. She has been turned over to me. I will be filled now that she lies in ruins, (3) therefore this is what the Lord GOD says:
See, I am against you, Tyre! I will raise up many nations against you, just as the sea raises its waves. (4) They will destroy the walls of Tyre and demolish her towers. I will scrape the soil from her and turn her into a bare rock. (5) She will become a place in the sea to spread nets, for I have spoken.”
This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. “She will become plunder for the nations, (6) and her villages on the mainland will be slaughtered by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
(7) For this is what the Lord GOD says:
“See, I am about to bring King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, against Tyre from the north with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a vast company of troops.
(8) He will slaughter your villages on the mainland with the sword. He will set up siege works against you, and will build a ramp and raise a wall of shields against you.
(9) He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and tear down your towers with his iron tools.
(10) His horses will be so numerous that their dust will cover you. When he enters your gates as an army entering a breached city, your walls will shake from the noise of cavalry, wagons, and chariots.
(11) He will trample all your streets with the hooves of his horses. He will slaughter your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground.
(12) They will take your wealth as spoil and plunder your merchandise. They will also demolish your walls and tear down your beautiful homes. Then they will throw your stones, timber, and soil into the water.
(13) I will put an end to the noise of your songs, and the sound of your lyres will no longer be heard.
(14) I will turn you into a bare rock, and you will be a place to spread nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I, the LORD, have spoken.”
This had a very interesting execution. Nearly all that God foretold here was accomplished very soon afterward by the attack of Babylon, but the state of never being rebuilt was said to follow them being turned into bare rock and a place to spread and repair nets. This did indeed happen, but not for many, many years. Within 70 years of Nebuchadnezzar’s attack the city had been rebuilt which was foretold in Isaiah 23:15. Then this new Tyre was besieged again by Alexander the Great after which is was rebuilt again only this time on top of a rocky patch in the sea, although never again would it enjoy its former political importance. It was later destroyed under Antigonus.
An article from biblereadingarcheology.com entitled, “What happened to Tyre” said,
“During the ministry of Jesus, crowds of people from Tyre and Sidon would travel to hear Jesus speak. On one occasion, Jesus personally visited the region around Tyre, on which occasion he cured the demon-possessed child of a Phoenician woman who was suffering greatly. Jesus visit to the region evidently bore fruit, because just over 20 years later toward the conclusion of the Apostle Paul’s third missionary trip, he sought out and stayed with the Christian community in Tyre for seven days.
In the 7th century AD, Tyre and what is now Lebanon and Syria fell to Muslim Arab invaders. In 1124, European Crusaders won Tyre for Christendom in the First Crusade.
In 1291, Muslim forces drove out the Crusaders and for the next many centuries, what remained of Tyre lay in ruins, inhabited by almost no one.
In 1697, an English academic and clergyman named Henry Maundrell passed through Tyre on his way to Jerusalem. He reported in Tyre only “a few poor wretches, harboring themselves in vaults and subsisting chiefly on fishing.”
This immediately brings to mind Ezekiel’s statement that Tyre,“…will become a drying yard for dragnets in the midst of the sea.” (Ezekiel 26:5)
“This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. (15) This is what the Lord GOD says to Tyre:
“Won’t the coasts and islands quake at the sound of your downfall, when the wounded groan and slaughter occurs within you? (16) All the princes of the sea will descend from their thrones, remove their robes, and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble continually, and be appalled at you. (17) Then they will lament for you and say of you: How you have perished, city of renown, you who were populated from the seas! She who was powerful on the sea, she and all of her inhabitants inflicted their terror. (18) Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your downfall; the islands in the sea are alarmed by your demise.”
(19) For this is what the Lord GOD says: “When I make you a ruined city like other deserted cities, when I raise up the deep against you so that the mighty waters cover you, (20) then I will bring you down to be with those who descend to the Pit, to the people of antiquity. I will make you dwell in the underworld like the ancient ruins, with those who descend to the Pit, so that you will no longer be inhabited or display your splendor in the land of the living. (21) I will make you an object of horror, and you will no longer exist. You will be sought but will never be found again.” This is the declaration of the Lord GOD.”
JFB say that this is an “appropriate metaphor of the Babylonian hosts, which literally, by breaking down insular Tyre’s ramparts, caused the sea to “cover” part of her.”
However, we know that waters – especially great bodies of water, are sometimes used in prophecy as a metaphor for great numbers of people, which Nebuchadnezzar most certainly had at his disposal.
“He also said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.” – Rev 17:15
“(1) The word of the LORD came to me:
(2) “Now, son of man, lament for Tyre. (3) Say to Tyre, who is located at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coasts and islands:
This is what the Lord GOD says:
Tyre, you declared: I am perfect in beauty. (4) Your realm was in the heart of the sea; your builders perfected your beauty. (5) They constructed all your planking with pine trees from Senir. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you. (6) They made your oars of oaks from Bashan. They made your deck of cypress wood from the coasts of Cyprus, inlaid with ivory.
(7) Your sail was made of fine embroidered linen from Egypt, and served as your banner. Your awning was of blue and purple fabric from the coasts of Elishah.
(8) The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your rowers.
Your wise men were within you, Tyre; they were your helmsmen.
(9) The elders of Gebal and its wise men were within you, repairing your leaks. All the ships of the sea and their sailors came to you to barter for your goods. (10) Men of Persia, Lud, and Put were in your army, serving as your warriors. They hung shields and helmets in you; they gave you splendor.
(11) Men of Arvad and Helech were stationed on your walls all around, and Gamadites were in your towers. They hung their shields all around your walls; they perfected your beauty.
(12) “Tarshish was your trading partner because of your great wealth of every kind. They exchanged silver, iron, tin, and lead for your merchandise. (13) Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your merchants. They exchanged slaves and bronze utensils for your goods.
(14) Those from Beth–togarmah exchanged horses, war horses, and mules for your merchandise.
(15) Men of Dedan were also your merchants; many coasts and islands were your regular markets. They brought back ivory tusks and ebony as your payment.
(16) Aram was your trading partner because of your numerous products. They exchanged turquoise, purple and embroidered cloth, fine linen, coral, and rubies for your merchandise.
(17) Judah and the land of Israel were your merchants. They exchanged wheat from Minnith, meal, honey, oil, and balm for your goods.
(18) Damascus was also your trading partner because of your numerous products and your great wealth of every kind, trading in wine from Helbon and white wool.
(19) Vedan and Javan from Uzal dealt in your merchandise; wrought iron, cassia, and aromatic cane were exchanged for your goods.
(20) Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding.
(21) Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your business partners, trading with you in lambs, rams, and goats.
(22) The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you. They exchanged gold, the best of all spices, and all kinds of precious stones for your merchandise.
(23) Haran, Canneh, Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad traded with you. (24) They were your merchants in choice garments, cloaks of blue and embroidered materials, and multicolored carpets, which were bound and secured with cords in your marketplace.
(25) Ships of Tarshish were the carriers for your goods. So you became full and heavily loaded in the heart of the sea. (26) Your rowers have brought you onto the high seas, but the east wind has shattered you in the heart of the sea. (27) Your wealth, merchandise, and goods, your sailors and helmsmen, those who repair your leaks, those who barter for your goods, and all the warriors within you, with all the other people on board, sink into the heart of the sea on the day of your downfall.
(28) The countryside shakes at the sound of your sailors’ cries. (29) All those who handle an oar disembark from their ships. The sailors and all the helmsmen of the sea stand on the shore. (30) They raise their voices over you and cry out bitterly. They throw dust on their heads; they roll in ashes. (31) They shave their heads because of you and wrap themselves in sackcloth. They weep over you with deep anguish and bitter mourning.
(32) In their wailing they lament for you, mourning over you:
Who was like Tyre, silenced in the middle of the sea? (33) When your merchandise was unloaded from the seas, you satisfied many peoples. You enriched the kings of the earth with your abundant wealth and goods. (34) Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters; your goods and the people within you have gone down.
(35) All the inhabitants of the coasts and islands are appalled at you. Their kings shudder with fear; their faces are contorted. (36) Those who trade among the peoples hiss at you; you have become an object of horror and will never exist again.”