Therefore, O Aholibah, thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, from whom your mind is alienated, and I will bring them against you on every side;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)will bring them against thee.—Here, as everywhere, the fitness of the punishment to the sin, the correlation between them, is strongly brought out. Israel had chosen the idolatries of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon, and these had drawn down upon her the vengeance of Him in whom alone was her refuge; she had sought strength in their political alliance, and they overwhelmed her with desolation.Ezekiel 23:22-24. I will raise up thy lovers against thee, &c. — I will execute my judgments upon thee, by those very Babylonians whose alliance and idolatries thou hast been so fond of, but since hast broken the league thou madest with them, contracting a new one with Egypt, and thereby hast provoked them to revenge thy perfidiousness. Pekod, and Koa, and Shoa, and all the Assyrians with them — The inhabitants of the several provinces of the Babylonish monarchy; for most of the ancients understand these words as names of places. Pekod is mentioned as a province of Babylon, Jeremiah 50:21. St. Jerome, however, upon the place, understands these three words, Pekod, Shoa, and Koa, in an appellative sense, to denote so many titles, or degrees of honour; as much as to say, governors, princes, and great men. In which sense the two former words, Pekod (or Pakud) and Shoa, are confessedly taken in Scripture. All of them desirable young men, &c. — As their riches and bravery made them appear amiable in your eyes when you first courted their alliance, so they shall appear in the same splendid equipage when they come to invade your country and to besiege your city; but then their gallant appearance shall strike a terror and a consternation into you. And they shall come against thee with chariots, &c. — Chariots are mentioned, both by sacred and profane writers, as of principal use in the ancient way of fighting. And I will set judgment before them, &c. — I will deliver thee into their power, as the ministers of my justice, who shall make thy punishments bear a correspondence with thy guilt.Thy lovers; thy confederates.
From whom thy mind is alienated; whom thou hast first loathed and forsaken, and thereby enraged them against thee.
Bring them against thee; be not only an exciter to stir them up against thee, but I will be a guide and conducter of them.
On every side; so no way left for thy escape.
behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee; the Chaldeans, whom they had formerly loved, and in whose alliance they were, and whose idols they worshipped:
from whom thy mind is alienated; having broke covenant with them, and cast off their yoke, and rebelled against them:Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22–35. Chastisement of the adulteress
22. thy lovers] the nations once in alliance with her, Ezekiel 23:9; ch. Ezekiel 16:37; Jeremiah 30:14; Lamentations 1:19. In Hosea 2 the “lovers” are the Baals.Verses 22, 23. - The lovers from whom the mind of Judah was alienated were, as in Ver. 17, the Chaldeans. With these are joined Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa. The Authorized and Revised Versions, following the LXX. take these as proper names, and Ewald Smend, and Furst find in them those of Chaldean tribes. The Vulgate, followed by Luther, gives nobiles, tyrannosque, et principes, and Keil and Hengstenberg substantially adopt this rendering, giving "rulers, lords, and nobles." "Pekod" appears as a place in Jeremiah I. 20 (compare Schrader's 'Cuneiform Inscriptions,' 2. pp. 32, 117,120, where Shoa and Koa are identified with Medo-Elamite tribes east of the Tigris), but the ether names are unknown to history. On the whole, the balance seems in favor of the rendering in the text. With these are joined all the Assyrians, who, under Nebuchadnezzar, fought, of course, in his armies." Now she should see her desirable young men... riding upon horses (the prophet repeats with sarcasm the phrase of Ver. 12) in another guise than she had expected.
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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