King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Ezekiel 23

A history of the apostacy of God’s people from him, and the aggravation thereof.

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A history of the apostacy of God’s people from him, and the aggravation thereof

1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:

3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.

4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.

5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,

6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.

7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.

8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.

9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.

10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her.

11 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms.

12 She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.

13 Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way,

14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,

15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity:

16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.

17 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.

18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.

19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.

22 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;

23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses.

24 And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.

25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.

26 They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.

27 Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more.

28 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated:

29 And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.

30 I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols.

31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.

32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister’s cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much.

33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria.

34 Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

35 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.

36 The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations;

37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them.

38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.

39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.

40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,

41 And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil.

42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.

43 Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them?

44 Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women.

45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.

46 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled.

47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.

48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.

49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 3. Fornication. That is, idolatry. Ch. — Down. Virgins used the stomacher, or (H.) fascia pectoralis. Is. iii. 24. This chapter resembles the 16th. C.

Ver. 4. Oolla and Ooliba. God calls the kingdom of Israel Oolla, which signifies their own habitation, because they separated themselves from his temple; and the kingdom of Juda Ooliba, which signifies his habitation in her, because of his temple among them in Jerusalem. Ch. — The ten tribes first gave way to idolatry, and were more numerous. C. — In Egypt the people were united, yet abandoned to idolatry in their youth, when they were only beginning to increase. Afterwards the ten tribes set up altars for themselves, at Dan and Bethel. W.

Ver. 5. Assyrians. That is, the idols of the Assyrians: for all that is said in this chapter of the fornications of Israel and Juda, is to be understood in a spiritual sense of their disloyalty to the Lord, by worshipping strange gods. Ch. W. — The Assyrians taught the worship of Baal, the high places, &c. The Egyptians also promoted their abominations. C.

Ver. 6. Blue, or purple. This was reserved for the principal nobility.

Ver. 8. Egypt. They always retained an affection for those idols, the calf, Adonis, &c.

Ver. 10. Disgrace: satisfying their passions. v. 29. C. — Women. Having once lost all sense of decorum, they became more abandoned. H.

Ver. 11. This; not chastisement, but dissolution.

Ver. 14. Colours. She was enamoured at the account or picture of these people, without ever having seen them.

Ver. 16. Messengers. Achaz invited the Assyrians, and imitated their altars, &c. 4 K. xvi. 2. &c. C. — The Chaldeans afterwards possessed the country. H.

Ver. 17. Love. Lit. “of breasts,” as Heb. also signifies. Here it denotes the temples. M.

Ver. 19. Remembering, or “causing to be remembered” by God, who seemed to have forgotten those ancient scenes of wickedness. C. xxi. 24.

Ver. 20. Asses. He means the Egyptians, (C. xvi. 26.) in whom the kings of Juda trusted. C.

Ver. 22. About. The Philistines, Ammonites, &c. shall join the Chaldees, (H.) and Egypt shall desert the Jews in their greatest need. C.

Ver. 23. Nobles. Prot. “Pekod, and Shoah, and Roa:” (H.) which Junius takes to be the three great divisions of the empire. Others suppose they denote the dignities, though they occur not in Daniel. — Captains. Heb. “Phachat, and Saganim, (v. 6, 12.) and Schalischim:” officers mentioned Ex. xiv. 7. and 2 K. xxiii. 8. — Renowned, called to the assemblies and councils of the princes. Num. i. 16. C. — Horsemen. Prot. “all of them riding upon horses.” H.

Ver. 24. Judgments, at Reblatha. 4 K. xxv. 6.

Ver. 25. Jealousy, the most violent of passions. C. — So the Chaldees are styled, as Assur is the rod. Is. x. 5. W. — Ears, the punishment of adulteresses: both king and priests suffer. S. Jer. — Thus the captives were probably treated. C. See Sen. Ira. iii. 20. — Fire, by Ismahel. C. xix. 14.

Ver. 26. Glory; vanity, or of the temple. C. xvi. 17. Osee ii. 4.

Ver. 31. Cup. Thou shalt be punished like Samaria, dreadfully. 4 K. xvii. 4. C.

Ver. 34. Fragments, as drunkards sometimes bite (H.) the cup in their rage. — Rend. What had been the occasion of thy fall: (C.) pectori planxi. Ovid ep. 5.

Ver. 36. Deeds. He is thus admonished to condemn them; (C. xx. 4.) as times and places tended to aggravate their crimes, v. 39. W.

Ver. 40. Paint, with antimony. Sept. See 4 K. ix. 3.

Ver. 41. Bed: it seems at table. Amos ii. 8. Tob. ii. 3. — Ointment; using them for thyself, or presenting them to idols. Ex. xxx. 23. and 33. C.

Ver. 42. And that. Prot. “Sabeans (marg. and Sept. drunkards) from,” &c. Any were admitted (H.) to the priesthood and to her favours, even the most rustic and deformed. 3 K. xii. 32.

Ver. 45. Just, compared with the Jews, whom they shall chastise. C.

Ver. 47. Stones, like adulteresses. C. xvi. 38. Lev. xx. 10. H. — Let the walls be demolished. C.