The longing for the youth wasted in Egypt (Ezek 23:19-23:21)

“Yet Oholibah increased
Her prostitution activities.
She remembered
The days of her youth,
When she played
The whore
In the land of Egypt.
She lusted
After her lovers there.
Their sexual organs were
Like those of donkeys.
Their sexual emissions were
Like those of stallions.
Thus you longed
For the lewdness
Of your youth.
The Egyptians fondled
Your bosom.
They caressed
Your young breasts.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, portrayed Oholibah, Jerusalem, as a sex starved female teenager. However, now she had become a full fledged prostitute. She remembered the good old days when she was a young whore in Egypt. There she lusted after all her lovers, who seem to have been well endowed. Yahweh compared their sexual prowess with donkeys and stallions. Thus Jerusalem longed for the days of her youth when her Egyptians lovers fondled and caressed her breasts.

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The lust after the Babylonians (Ezek 23:16-23:17)

“When Oholibah saw them,
She lusted after them.
She sent messengers
To them
In Chaldea.
The Babylonians
Came to her
Into her bed of love.
They defiled her
With their lust.
After she defiled herself
With them,
She turned
From them
In disgust.”
When Oholibah saw these pictures, she lusted after the Babylonians. Thus she sent messengers to them in Chaldea, inviting them to come to Jerusalem. They came to her in her bed of love. Thus they defiled her with their sexual lust. She had, in fact, defiled herself with them. Finally, she turned away from them in disgust.

The Assyrian conquerors (Ezek 23:8-23:10)

“She did not give up
Her prostitution activities.
She had practiced them
Since her days
In Egypt.
In her youth,
Men had lain
With her.
They had fondled
Her virgin bosom.
They had poured out
Their lust
Upon her.
Therefore I delivered her
Into the hands
Of her lovers,
Into the hands
Of the Assyrians.
She had lusted
After them.
These Assyrians
Uncovered her nakedness.
They seized her sons.
They seized her daughters.
They killed her
With the sword.
Judgment was executed
Upon her.
She became a byword
Among women.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told the story of Samaria, Oholah. She had practiced prostitution since her youth, when she had played the whore with Egypt. She slept and had sex with the Egyptians. She let them fondle her virgin breasts, so that they poured out their lust on her. Thus Yahweh decided to deliver Oholah into the hand of her Assyrian lovers, since she had lusted after them. Thus Assyria uncovered her nakedness. Then they seized her sons and daughters. Finally, they killed her with the sword, as judgment was executed upon her. She became a byword among women. This is obviously an allusion to the end of the northern kingdom of Israel at Samaria in 724, when the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V conquered and took over northern Israel. Thus the kingdom of Israel at Samaria came to an end.

Oholah and the Assyrian lovers (Ezek 23:5-23:7)

“Oholah played the whore,
While she was mine.
She lusted
After her lovers,
The Assyrians,
The warriors,
Clothed in blue.
They were
Governors
As well as commanders.
All of them were
Handsome young men.
They were
Mounted horsemen.
She bestowed
Her favors
Upon them.
They were
The choicest men
Of Assyria,
All of them.
She defiled herself
With all the idols
Of everyone
For whom she lusted.”
Oholah, which was Samaria, had the Assyrians as lovers. Even though Oholah was still united with Yahweh, she played the whore with the Assyrians to the north. She lusted after her lovers, these Assyrian warriors, dressed in blue colors. They were all handsome young governors and commanders mounted on horses. She bestowed her favors on them, the best men of Assyria. She defiled herself with all the idols of the men that she lusted after. Clearly Samaria was lusting after her northern neighbors in Assyria, since they were disloyal to Yahweh.

Against fertility cults (Isa 57:5-57:6)

“You burn with lust

Among the oak trees,

Under every green tree.

You slaughter your children

In the valleys

Under the clefts of the rocks.

Among the smooth stones of the valley

Is your portion.

They are your lot.

You have poured out a drink offering

To them.

You have brought a cereal offering

To them.

Shall I be appeased for these things?”

Third Isaiah strongly speaks out against the persistent fertility cults among the Israelites. They lusted among the green oak trees that were considered fertility oak trees. They killed their children among the valley gods under the caves in the rocks. They brought drink offerings and cereal offerings to the altar of these gods of the hills and the valleys. What was Yahweh to do with them? How would he be appeased?