The naked Jerusalem (Ezek 23:29-23:30)

“They shall deal

With you

In hatred.

They shall take away

All the fruit

Of your labor.

They shall leave you

Naked.

They shall leave you

Bare.

The nakedness

Of your prostitution activities

Shall be exposed.

Your lewdness

Has brought this

Upon you.

Your prostitution activities

Have brought this

Upon you.

Because you played

The whore

With the nations,

You polluted yourself

With their idols.”

Yahweh said that Jerusalem would be exposed. Everyone would see their nakedness. Her former angry and hateful lovers were going to take away all the fruits of her labor. She would be left naked and bare, as her sexual prostitution actions would be seen by all. Her lewd behavior would be out in the open. She had played the whore with all these different nations. She had polluted herself with all their idols.

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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.

The two daughters (Ezek 23:1-23:3)

“The word of Yahweh
Came to me.
‘Son of man!
There were two women.
They were
The daughters
Of one mother.
They played the whore
In Egypt.
They played the whore
In their youth.
Their breasts
Were caressed there.
Their virgin bosoms
Were fondled.’”
Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This oracle was about two women, the daughters of the same mother. Both of them played the whore in Egypt when they were young. In particular, their young virgin breasts or bosoms were fondled and caressed. Ezekiel and Yahweh loved the theme of the whoring woman to get a point across. Here there was a particular emphasis on the breasts of these two young women.

Prostitution with the Egyptians (Ezek 16:26-16:26)

“You also played

The whore

With the Egyptians,

Your lustful neighbors.

You multiplied

Your prostitution

To provoke me

To anger.”

Yahweh said that Jerusalem played the whore with her lustful neighbors, the Egyptians. He felt that she multiplied her prostitute ways in order to provoke Yahweh to anger.  This was an indication about the intention of the king of Judah to form a foreign alliance with Egypt against the Babylonians.