Ezekiel 23:17
And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their prostitution, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.
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(17) Her mind was alienated.—The original implies the disgust of satiety. Josiah had been the devoted friend of Babylon, and perished in his zeal on its behalf. Judah was then made a dependency of Egypt, and turned for aid to Babylon. Then receiving in turn the yoke of Babylon, she became impatient, and sought the aid of Egypt. This vacillating policy is described in Ezekiel 23:17-19, and at either, turn was so entirely wanting in sole reliance upon God as to produce the effect of Ezekiel 23:18 : “My mind was alienated from her.”

Ezekiel 23:17-20. And the Babylonians came to her, &c. — The metaphor of representing idolatry by the inordinate lust of adultery is still carried on. And her mind was alienated from them — She quickly grew weary of these also, as lewd women are of their former gallants, and look out for new ones. She broke her league and covenant with them, as St. Jerome very well expresses the sense; meaning that covenant which Jehoiakim made with Nebuchadnezzar to be his tributary, and which was afterward renewed by Zedekiah. So she discovered, or, after she discovered, her whoredoms — The sense being still continued with the foregoing verse. The meaning is, She was open and notorious in her lewd practices, and in the highest degree shameless. Then my mind was alienated from her — As she, by her idolatries, had broken all the bonds of duty and allegiance whereby she was engaged to me, a sin often compared to a wife’s disloyalty toward her husband, so I withdrew my love and affection from her, and resolved to give her a bill of divorce, as the Prophet Jeremiah expresses it, and not own her any more as mine, as I had cast off her sister Samaria. Yet she multiplied, &c. — Though she was fond of new idolatries, she did not forget her old ones, even those which she had learned in Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours — Upon the idols of Egypt, and the impure rites which accompanied their idolatrous worship. This may relate to the time when Zedekiah entered into a new confederacy with Egypt, which made the people fond of admitting the Egyptian idolatries. Whose flesh, &c. — These expressions seem to be made use of, to signify the excess of the Egyptian idolatry. They may likewise metaphorically express the great power and riches of the Egyptians, which made the Jewish people fond of courting their friendship and alliance.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?After Josiah's death and the usurpation of dominion by the Egyptians, the Babylonians were no doubt welcomed as friends 2 Kings 24:1. But the Jews were soon tired of their alliance and disgusted with their friends, and this led to the rebellion of Jehoiakim and the first captivity. 17. alienated from them—namely, from the Chaldeans: turning again to the Egyptians (Eze 23:19), trying by their help to throw off her solemn engagements to Babylon (compare Jer 37:5, 7; 2Ki 24:7). The Babylonians came: the prophet prosecuteth the allegory; the adulteress sent, and invited, and here the Chaldeans comply with it, they came, ambassadors no doubt first to make a confederacy, and then free intercourse in trade, and religion too.

The bed of love; so the impudently lascivious call the polluted, forbidden bed, as the harlot, Proverbs 7:18. It is like with this commerce and confederacy the lustful Babylonians did spread that disease, the Jewish nation were too much inclined to corporal adulteries and fornications; but metaphorically it is a delightful communicating with them in their idolatry in their idol temples and feasts.

Defiled her; made her unclean and loathsome.

Whoredom; spiritual and corporal.

Polluted; greatly defiled, as the doubling the expression imports. Her mind was alienated from them; like an arrant adulteress, wearied, but not satisfied with her adulterers, she changeth mind and friendships, and seeks new ones. So did this people, weary of the Chaldeans, seek new confederates. And the Babylonians came to her in the bed of love,.... Entered into alliance with the Jews, and worshipped together in the same idols' temple. Jarchi thinks this refers to the messengers of the king of Babylon to Hezekiah; who were gladly received by him, and to whom he showed all the treasures of his house:

and they defiled her with their whoredom; or with their idols, as the Targum; they drew them into their idolatrous practices; which were defiling them, and by which they were corrupted from the simplicity of the true worship of God:

and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them: or "plucked", or "disjoined from them" (y); the Chaldeans, broke league and covenant with them, hating them as much as before they doted upon them; this was done in the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, who rebelled against the king of Babylon, 2 Kings 24:1 as it often is the case with lewd women, when they have satisfied their lust with their gallants, loath and despise them, and cast them off.

(y) "avulsa est", Munster; "et luxata est anima ipsius ab eis", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus.

And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.
17. alienated from them] The figure lies in the revulsion of sated passion; the thing in the weariness of the Babylonian alliance and yoke, cf. ch. 17.Verse 17. - The words paint the intimate alliance, the political prostitution, as it were, involved in the alliance with Babylon. Her mind was alienated from them. Interpreted by the history, the words point to the fact that Judah soon found out how hollow was the help gained by the alliance with Babylon, and turned, after Josiah's death, to Egypt as a counterpoise. As in the history of Amnon (2 Samuel 13:15), lust, when it had wrought its will, passed into loathing and disgust. Jehoiakim and Zedekiah were examples of what we may well call this distracted policy. But, as it was, this alienation did but increase her guilt. As things were, it would have been better, as Jeremiah all along counseled, to accept the rule of the Chaldeans. The mind of Jehovah was alienated from Jerusalem as hers had been from the Chaldeans. The 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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