וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 23:1
Ezek. 23:1 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם שְׁתַּיִם נָשִׁים בְּנֹות אֵם־אַחַת הָיוּ׃ 23:2
Ezek. 23:2 “Human, two women were daughters of one mother,
וַתִּזְנֶינָה בְמִצְרַיִם בִּנְעוּרֵיהֶן זָנוּ שָׁמָּה מֹעֲכוּ שְׁדֵיהֶן וְשָׁם עִשּׂוּ דַּדֵּי בְּתוּלֵיהֶן׃ 23:3
Ezek. 23:3 and they were harlots in Egypt; in their youth they committed fornication. There their breasts were pressed and there the nipples of their virginity were squeezed.”
וּשְׁמֹותָן אָהֳלָה הַגְּדֹולָה וְאָהֳלִיבָה אֲחֹותָהּ וַתִּהְיֶינָה לִי וַתֵּלַדְנָה בָּנִים וּבָנֹות וּשְׁמֹותָן שֹׁמְרֹון 23:4 אָהֳלָה וִירוּשָׁלִַם אָהֳלִיבָה׃
Ezek. 23:4 “And their names were Oholah, the older, and Oholibah, her sister; but they became Mine and they bore sons and daughters; now their names: Oholah was Samaria, and Oholibah was Jerusalem.”
The name Oholah can mean her tent, indicating, I believe, that she had a tent (the Tabernacle) for worshiping the Lord. The name Oholibah can mean My tent in her, indicating that she also had a tent (the Temple) for worshiping the Lord.
וַתִּזֶן אָהֳלָה תַּחְתָּי וַתַּעְגַּב עַל־מְאַהֲבֶיהָ אֶל־אַשּׁוּר קְרֹובִים׃ 23:5
Ezek. 23:5 “And Oholah was a harlot instead of being with Me, and she doted on her lovers, on warrior Assyrians –
לְבֻשֵׁי תְכֵלֶת פַּחֹות וּסְגָנִים בַּחוּרֵי חֶמֶד כֻּלָּם פָּרָשִׁים רֹכְבֵי סוּסִים׃ 23:6
Ezek. 23:6 garments of blue -- governors and rulers, young men of aristocracy, all of them warriors, riders of horses.
Garments of blue may have been symbols of royalty, authority, or power.
וַתִּתֵּן תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ עֲלֵיהֶם מִבְחַר בְּנֵי־אַשּׁוּר כֻּלָּם וּבְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־עָגְבָה בְּכָל־גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם נִטְמָאָה׃ 23:7
Ezek. 23:7 And she bestowed her sexual favors upon them, the choicest of the sons of Assyria, all of them, and with all whom she lusted, with all their idols she defiled herself.”
וְאֶת־תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ מִמִּצְרַיִם לֹא עָזָבָה כִּי אֹותָהּ שָׁכְבוּ בִנְעוּרֶיהָ וְהֵמָּה עִשּׂוּ דַּדֵּי בְתוּלֶיהָ וַיִּשְׁפְּכוּ 23:8 תַזְנוּתָם עָלֶיהָ׃
Ezek. 23:8 “And she did not forsake her harlotries from Egypt, when they laid with her in her youth, and they squeezed the nipples of her virginity, as they poured out the product of their lust upon her.”
לָכֵן נְתַתִּיהָ בְּיַד־מְאַהֲבֶיהָ בְּיַד בְּנֵי אַשּׁוּר אֲשֶׁר עָגְבָה עֲלֵיהֶם׃ 23:9
Ezek. 23:9 “For this I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the sons of Assyria, on whom she had doted.”
הֵמָּה גִּלּוּ עֶרְוָתָהּ בָּנֶיהָ וּבְנֹותֶיהָ לָקָחוּ וְאֹותָהּ בַּחֶרֶב הָרָגוּ וַתְּהִי־שֵׁם לַנָּשִׁים וּשְׁפוּטִים עָשׂוּ בָהּ׃ 23:10
Ezek. 23:10 “They uncovered her nakedness, seized her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword; so she became a memorial for women that judgments were executed on her.”
וַתֵּרֶא אֲחֹותָהּ אָהֳלִיבָה וַתַּשְׁחֵת עַגְבָתָהּ מִמֶּנָּה וְאֶת־תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ מִזְּנוּנֵי אֲחֹותָהּ׃ 23:11
Ezek. 23:11 “And her sister, Oholibah, saw, but her doting was even more corrupt than hers, and her harlotries were more than the prostitutions of her sister.”
אֶל־בְּנֵי אַשּׁוּר עָגָבָה פַּחֹות וּסְגָנִים קְרֹבִים לְבֻשֵׁי מִכְלֹול פָּרָשִׁים רֹכְבֵי סוּסִים בַּחוּרֵי חֶמֶד כֻּלָּם׃ 23:12
Ezek. 23:12 “To the sons of Assyria she was doting, governors and warrior rulers -- garments of perfection -- warriors, riders of horses, young men of aristocracy all of them,
וָאֵרֶא כִּי נִטְמָאָה דֶּרֶךְ אֶחָד לִשְׁתֵּיהֶן׃ 23:13
Ezek. 23:13 and I saw that she was defiled. One way for both of them!”
וַתֹּוסֶף אֶל־תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ וַתֵּרֶא אַנְשֵׁי מְחֻקֶּה עַל־הַקִּיר צַלְמֵי (כַשְׂדִּיִּים) [כַשְׂדִּים] חֲקֻקִים בַּשָּׁשַׁר׃ 23:14
Ezek. 23:14 “And she added to her harlotries as she regarded males of carving upon the wall, images of Chaldeans engraved in vermilion,
The word in the parentheses, translated as Chaldeans, has an extra yad in it. The correction is in the brackets. It’s somewhat odd that Ezekiel misspelled the word here while he spells it correctly in the next verse and in v. 23:23. More carelessness on his part?
חֲגֹורֵי אֵזֹור בְּמָתְנֵיהֶם סְרוּחֵי טְבוּלִים בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶם מַרְאֵה שָׁלִשִׁים כֻּלָּם דְּמוּת בְּנֵי־בָבֶל כַּשְׂדִּים 23:15 אֶרֶץ מֹולַדְתָּם׃
Ezek. 23:15 girdings of waist cloth on their loins, hangings of turbans on their heads, of an appearance of officers all of them, like the sons of Babylon, Chaldeans, the land of their birth.”
וַתַּעְגַּב) [וַתַּעְגְּבָה] עֲלֵיהֶם לְמַרְאֵה עֵינֶיהָ וַתִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אֲלֵיהֶם כַּשְׂדִּימָה׃ 23:16
Ezek. 23:16 “And she lusted towards them in the sight of her eyes and sent messengers to them, to Chaldea.”
The word before the left parenthesis is thought to be misspelled. The alleged correction, with the addition of a heh suffix, is in the brackets. However, I can’t understand how this word is considered in error when the identical word appears in v. 23:5 and is not indicated as an error there. And once more, I ask that you ignore the missing right parenthesis.
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵלֶיהָ בְנֵי־בָבֶל לְמִשְׁכַּב דֹּדִים וַיְטַמְּאוּ אֹותָהּ בְּתַזְנוּתָם וַתִּטְמָא־בָם וַתֵּקַע נַפְשָׁהּ מֵהֶם׃ 23:17
Ezek. 23:17 “And the sons of Babylon came to her to the bed of love making and defiled her with their lust; so she was unclean by them and her passion was alienated from them.”
וַתְּגַל תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ וַתְּגַל אֶת־עֶרְוָתָהּ וַתֵּקַע נַפְשִׁי מֵעָלֶיהָ כַּאֲשֶׁר נָקְעָה נַפְשִׁי מֵעַל אֲחֹותָהּ׃ 23:18
Ezek. 23:18 “And she withdrew her harlotries and exposed her indecency, but My soul was alienated from her, as alienated as My soul was from her sister.”
וַתַּרְבֶּה אֶת־תַּזְנוּתֶיהָ לִזְכֹּר אֶת־יְמֵי נְעוּרֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר זָנְתָה בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃ 23:19
Ezek. 23:19 “But she multiplied her harlotries, calling to mind the days of her youth when she was a harlot in the land of Egypt,
וַתַּעְגְּבָה עַל פִּלַגְשֵׁיהֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׂר־חֲמֹורִים בְּשָׂרָם וְזִרְמַת סוּסִים זִרְמָתָם׃ 23:20
Ezek. 23:20 when she lusted beyond their concubines, when their flesh was the flesh of asses and their issue was the issue of horses.”
I suppose this verse could mean that, more than concubines, Jerusalem lusted so much for the abominations of the pagans, that she acted like animals, asses and horses.
וַתִּפְקְדִי אֵת זִמַּת נְעוּרָיִךְ בַּעְשֹׂות מִמִּצְרַיִם דַּדַּיִךְ לְמַעַן שְׁדֵי נְעוּרָיִךְ׃ 23:21
Ezek. 23:21 “Thus you emphasized the lewdness of your youth by the squeezing of your nipples more than Egypt for the breasts of your youth.”
לָכֵן אָהֳלִיבָה כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי מֵעִיר אֶת־מְאַהֲבַיִךְ עָלַיִךְ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־נָקְעָה נַפְשֵׁךְ מֵהֶם 23:22 וַהֲבֵאתִים עָלַיִךְ מִסָּבִיב׃
Ezek. 23:22 “Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Master, the Lord: Behold, I am stirring up your lovers against you, those from whom your soul was alienated, and I will bring them against you from every side:
בְּנֵי בָבֶל וְכָל־כַּשְׂדִּים פְּקֹוד וְשֹׁועַ וְקֹועַ כָּל־בְּנֵי אַשּׁוּר אֹותָם בַּחוּרֵי חֶמֶד פַּחֹות וּסְגָנִים כֻּלָּם 23:23 שָׁלִשִׁים וּקְרוּאִים רֹכְבֵי סוּסִים כֻּלָּם׃
Ezek. 23:23 The sons of Babylon, and all of the Chaldeans, of Pekod and Shoa and Koa, all the sons of Assyria with them, young men of aristocracy, governors and rulers all of them, warriors and supporters, riders of horses all of them.”
וּבָאוּ עָלַיִךְ הֹצֶן רֶכֶב וְגַלְגַּל וּבִקְהַל עַמִּים צִנָּה וּמָגֵן וְקֹובַע יָשִׂימוּ עָלַיִךְ סָבִיב וְנָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיהֶם 23:24 מִשְׁפָּט וּשְׁפָטוּךְ בְּמִשְׁפְּטֵיהֶם׃
Ezek. 23:24 “And the weaponry of chariot and wheel shall come against you, together with a horde of peoples; barb and shield and helmet they shall place against you all around, and I shall grant judgment to them and they shall judge you by their procedures.”
וְנָתַתִּי קִנְאָתִי בָּךְ וְעָשׂוּ אֹותָךְ בְּחֵמָה אַפֵּךְ וְאָזְנַיִךְ יָסִירוּ וְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ בַּחֶרֶב תִּפֹּול הֵמָּה בָּנַיִךְ 23:25 וּבְנֹותַיִךְ יִקָּחוּ וְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ תֵּאָכֵל בָּאֵשׁ׃
Ezek. 23:25 “Now I will extend My passion toward you, so they shall deal with you in rage; they shall remove your nose and your ears, and what is left of you shall fall by the sword; they shall take away your sons and your daughters, and the last of you shall be consumed by fire.”
Removal of their nose and ears may mean their most prominent, colorful, and expensive jewelry, figuratively speaking, will be removed.
וְהִפְשִׁיטוּךְ אֶת־בְּגָדָיִךְ וְלָקְחוּ כְּלֵי תִפְאַרְתֵּךְ׃ 23:26
Ezek. 23:26 “Then they shall strip off your clothes and take away the articles of your glory.”
וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי זִמָּתֵךְ מִמֵּךְ וְאֶת־זְנוּתֵךְ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְלֹא־תִשְׂאִי עֵינַיִךְ אֲלֵיהֶם וּמִצְרַיִם לֹא תִזְכְּרִי־עֹוד׃ 23:27
Ezek. 23:27 “So I will make your lewdness disappear from you, with your harlotry from the land of Egypt, and you will not lift your eyes to them or be reminded of Egypt any more.”
כִּי כֹה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי נֹתְנָךְ בְּיַד אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵאת בְּיַד אֲשֶׁר־נָקְעָה נַפְשֵׁךְ מֵהֶם׃ 23:28
Ezek. 23:28 “For thus says the Master, the Lord: Behold, I am delivering you into the hand of whom you hate, into the hand of from whom your soul is alienated.”
וְעָשׂוּ אֹותָךְ בְּשִׂנְאָה וְלָקְחוּ כָּל־יְגִיעֵךְ וַעֲזָבוּךְ עֵירֹם וְעֶרְיָה וְנִגְלָה עֶרְוַת זְנוּנַיִךְ וְזִמָּתֵךְ וְתַזְנוּתָיִךְ׃ 23:29
Ezek. 23:29 “And they shall deal with you in hatred and seize all the product of your work and leave you naked and bare, and the indecency of your prostitutions shall be exposed, and your lewdness and your harlotries.”
עָשֹׂה אֵלֶּה לָךְ בִּזְנֹותֵךְ אַחֲרֵי גֹויִם עַל אֲשֶׁר־נִטְמֵאת בְּגִלּוּלֵיהֶם׃ 23:30
Ezek. 23:30 “I am doing these things to you because of your harlotry after the nations, for the reason that you defiled yourself with their idols.”
בְּדֶרֶךְ אֲחֹותֵךְ הָלָכְתְּ וְנָתַתִּי כֹוסָהּ בְּיָדֵךְ׃ 23:31
Ezek. 23:31 “You have gone by the way of your sister, so I will put her cup in your hand.”
כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה כֹּוס אֲחֹותֵךְ תִּשְׁתִּי הָעֲמֻקָּה וְהָרְחָבָה תִּהְיֶה לִצְחֹק וּלְלַעַג מִרְבָּה לְהָכִיל׃ 23:32
Ezek. 23:32 “Thus says the Master, the Lord:
You shall drink of the cup of your sister;
it shall be deep and large,
to make laughter and mockery;
it will be containing much.”
שִׁכָּרֹון וְיָגֹון תִּמָּלֵאִי כֹּוס שַׁמָּה וּשְׁמָמָה כֹּוס אֲחֹותֵךְ שֹׁמְרֹון׃ 23:33
Ezek. 23:33 “You shall be full of drunkenness and grief,
of the cup of horror and devastation,
the cup of your sister, Samaria.”
וְשָׁתִית אֹותָהּ וּמָצִית וְאֶת־חֲרָשֶׂיהָ תְּגָרֵמִי וְשָׁדַיִךְ תְּנַתֵּקִי כִּי אֲנִי דִבַּרְתִּי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃ 23:34
Ezek. 23:34 “You shall drink and drain it
and you shall chew its shards,
and you shall tear your breasts.
For I have spoken,
declares the Master, the Lord.”
לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעַן שָׁכַחַתְּ אֹותִי וַתַּשְׁלִיכִי אֹותִי אַחֲרֵי גַוֵּךְ וְגַם־אַתְּ שְׂאִי זִמָּתֵךְ 23:35
Ezek. 23:35 “Therefore, thus says the Master, the Lord: Because you have forgotten Me and have thrust Me behind your back, then you also, bear your own lewdness and your harlotries!”
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הֲתִשְׁפֹּוט אֶת־אָהֳלָה וְאֶת־אָהֳלִיבָה וְהַגֵּד לָהֶן אֵת תֹועֲבֹותֵיהֶן׃ 23:36
Ezek. 23:36 And the Lord said to me, “Human, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations!”
כִּי נִאֵפוּ וְדָם בִּידֵיהֶן וְאֶת־גִּלּוּלֵיהֶן נִאֵפוּ וְגַם אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶן אֲשֶׁר יָלְדוּ־לִי הֶעֱבִירוּ לָהֶם לְאָכְלָה׃ 23:37
Ezek. 23:37 “That they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands, that they have committed adultery with their idols, that also their sons whom they bore for Me have been dedicated to them to be devoured!”
עֹוד זֹאת עָשׂוּ לִי טִמְּאוּ אֶת־מִקְדָּשִׁי בַּיֹּום הַהוּא וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹותַי חִלֵּלוּ׃ 23:38
Ezek. 23:38 “They have done this to Me as well: They have defiled My sanctuary at the same time, and profaned My Sabbaths.
בְשַׁחֲטָם אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם לְגִלּוּלֵיהֶם וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־מִקְדָּשִׁי בַּיֹּום הַהוּא לְחַלְּלֹו וְהִנֵּה־כֹה עָשׂוּ בְּתֹוךְ בֵּיתִי׃ 23:39
Ezek. 23:39 “And on their slaughtering their sons for their idols, then they came in to My sanctuary in that day, profaning it. And lo, in this manner they have acted in the midst of My house.”
וְאַף כִּי תִשְׁלַחְנָה לַאֲנָשִׁים בָּאִים מִמֶּרְחָק אֲשֶׁר מַלְאָךְ שָׁלוּחַ אֲלֵיהֶם וְהִנֵּה־בָאוּ לַאֲשֶׁר רָחַצְתְּ 23:40 כָּחַלְתְּ עֵינַיִךְ וְעָדִית עֶדִי׃
Ezek. 23:40 “And furthermore, that you would reach out for men coming from afar to whom a messenger had been sent, and lo, they came, for whom you washed, painted your eyes, and put on ornaments!”
וְיָשַׁבְתְּ עַל־מִטָּה כְבוּדָּה וְשֻׁלְחָן עָרוּךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּקְטָרְתִּי וְשַׁמְנִי שַׂמְתְּ עָלֶיהָ׃ 23:41
Ezek. 23:41 “That you sat upon a plush bed with a table prepared before it and you placed My incense and My oil on it!”
וְקֹול הָמֹון שָׁלֵו בָהּ וְאֶל־אֲנָשִׁים מֵרֹב אָדָם מוּבָאִים (סֹובָאִים) [סָבָאִים] מִמִּדְבָּר וַיִּתְּנוּ צְמִידִים 23:42 אֶל־יְדֵיהֶן וַעֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת עַל־רָאשֵׁיהֶן׃
Ezek. 23:42 “And the sound of a satisfied multitude had been in it, and on the men, so many of mankind, drunkards, coming in from the wilderness, as they placed bracelets on their wrists and crowns of splendor upon their heads.”
There is an error indicated in the parentheses which I believe may not be an error. The word is translatable as drunkards and seems correct to me. The word in the brackets can mean drunk or drinking. I see no reason to presume the original word is in error.
וָאֹמַר לַבָּלָה נִאוּפִים (עַתָּ) [עַתָּה] (יִזְנֻה) [יִזְנוּ] תַזְנוּתֶהָ וָהִיא׃ 23:43
Ezek. 23:43 Then I said about the most worn out of adulteresses, “Soon He will consider her harlotries and her.”
There are two words indicated as errors in the sets of parentheses, but again I am going out on my usual limb by claiming they are not errors. As I’ve interpreted the Hebrew of the four words that I translate in the quotation marks, both words are correct. However, I have to take the two consecutive words whose common root means fornication, harlotry, to be a cult prostitute, etc., to mean something rather unusual. But my translation fits the context. Literally, they say “Soon he will fornicate her harlotries and her,” which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Thus my liberal translation. Others translate that part of this verse something like this: “Still they commit harlotries with her, even her,” which is not faithful to the original Hebrew words or their corrections. As shown by my translation and interpretation, I believe Ezekiel is interjecting this verse (and the next two) and commenting on what God will be doing.
וַיָּבֹוא אֵלֶיהָ כְּבֹוא אֶל־אִשָּׁה זֹונָה כֵּן בָּאוּ אֶל־אָהֳלָה וְאֶל־אָהֳלִיבָה אִשֹּׁת הַזִּמָּה׃ 23:44
Ezek. 23:44 And He will come in to her as one comes in to an unfaithful wife, just as they came in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the wives of lewdness.
The interesting part of this verse is that it implies that Jerusalem has not yet been entered in reality, unless this chapter is out of time sequence. But if it is, then who is the worn out of adulteress? I suspect Ezekiel was too enthusiastic here by including Oholibah. I think the worn out of adulteress is Jerusalem, the younger daughter. Who or what else would it be?
וַאֲנָשִׁים צַדִּיקִם הֵמָּה יִשְׁפְּטוּ אֹותְהֶם מִשְׁפַּט נֹאֲפֹות וּמִשְׁפַּט שֹׁפְכֹות דָּם כִּי נֹאֲפֹת הֵנָּה וְדָם 23:45 בִּידֵיהֶן׃
Ezek. 23:45 Yet they are righteous men; they could provide themselves the justice of adultery and the justice of shedding of blood, but they are adultresses and blood is on their hands.
There are four third-person plural pronouns in this verse. The first two are masculine, referring to the men who will carry out the Lord’s justice, and the last two are feminine, referring to the two symbolic daughters.
כִּי כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הַעֲלֵה עֲלֵיהֶם קָהָל וְנָתֹן אֶתְהֶן לְזַעֲוָה וְלָבַז׃ 23:46
Ezek. 23:46 For thus says the Master, the Lord: “An assembly is being brought up against them, and it shall make them for a horror and a spoil.”
וְרָגְמוּ עֲלֵיהֶן אֶבֶן קָהָל וּבָרֵא אֹותְהֶן בְּחַרְבֹותָם בְּנֵיהֶם וּבְנֹותֵיהֶם יַהֲרֹגוּ וּבָתֵּיהֶן בָּאֵשׁ יִשְׂרֹפוּ׃ 23:47
Ezek. 23:47 “And the assembly shall throw stones at them, and cut them down with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn their houses with fire.”
This verse is so Ezekiel. Let me explain all the pronouns here. The first them and the second them are the adulteresses. The next their and the they following it are the attacking men. The next two instances of their are the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The final their refers to the adulteresses again.
וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי זִמָּה מִן־הָאָרֶץ וְנִוַּסְּרוּ כָּל־הַנָּשִׁים וְלֹא תַעֲשֶׂינָה כְּזִמַּתְכֶנָה׃ 23:48
Ezek. 23:48 “So I will make lewdness disappear from the land, that all wives may be taught to not pattern their behavior after your lewdness.”
וְנָתְנוּ זִמַּתְכֶנָה עֲלֵיכֶן וַחֲטָאֵי גִלּוּלֵיכֶן תִּשֶּׂאינָה וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃ 23:49
Ezek. 23:49 “And your devices will be employed against you so you will bear the sins of your idols, and you might know that I am the Master, the Lord.”
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