Ezekiel 23
Oholah and Oholibah as Symbols of God’s Corrupt People
1And the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to me, saying,#Literally “to say” 2“Son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” there were two women, the daughters of one mother, 3and they prostituted themselves in Egypt in their childhood; they were prostituting themselves there, and their breasts were fondled, and there they caressed the bosoms of their virginity. 4Now as for their names, the older was Oholah, and Oholibah was her sister. And they became mine,#Literally “they were for me” and they bore sons and daughters, and their names#Hebrew “name” are Samaria for Oholah, and Jerusalem for Oholibah. 5And Oholah prostituted herself while she was still mine,#Literally “under me” and she lusted for her lovers, for Assyria who was nearby, 6clothed in blue cloth, governors and prefects, handsome young men#Literally “young men of handsomeness/beauty” and all of them horsemen, experts on horseback.#Literally “riders of horsemen” 7And she bestowed her fornication on them, on the choice ones of the Assyrians,#Literally “sons of Assyria” all of them, and with every one after which she lusted; with all of their idols she defiled herself. 8And her whorings from the time of Egypt she did not abandon, for they slept with her in her childhood, and they caressed the bosoms of her virginity, and they poured out their fornication on her. 9Therefore I gave her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians#Literally “sons of Assyria” after whom she lusted.#Literally “which she lusted for them” 10They uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters, and they killed her with the sword. And she became a name for the women, and they executed judgments against her.
11“And though Oholibah her sister saw, yet in her lust she behaved more corruptly than her,#Literally “she behaved corruptly in lust from her” and her whoring was more than the prostitution of her sister. 12She lusted after the Assyrians,#Literally “sons of Assyria” governors and prefects, warriors#Hebrew uncertain clothed in#Or “to” perfection,#Or “in full armor” or “wonderfully dressed” expert horsemen,#Literally “horsemen, riders of horses” all of them handsome young men.#Literally “young men of handsomeness” 13And I saw that she was defiled; they had both taken the same path!#Literally “way one was for the two of them” 14And she increased her whorings, and she saw men carved#Or “portrayed” on the wall, images of Chaldeans#According to the reading tradition (Qere) carved in red, 15belted with a belt at#Or “around” their waist with turbans on their heads, all of them giving the appearance of adjutants,#Or “officers” the image#Or “likeness” of the Babylonians;#Literally “sons of Babylon” Chaldea was the land of their birth. 16And she lusted for them when her eyes saw them,#Literally “at the sight of her eyes” and she sent messengers to them at Chaldea. 17And so the Babylonians#Literally “sons of Babylon” came to her for the bed of lovemaking; and they defiled her with their fornication, and she was defiled by them, and she turned from them. 18And she revealed her whorings, and she revealed her nakedness, and so I turned from her just as#Literally “as that” I turned from her sister. 19Yet#Or “And” she increased her whorings, recalling#Or “remembering” the days of her childhood when she was prostituted#Or “prostituted herself” in the land of Egypt. 20And she lusted after her male lovers whose genitalia were the genitalia of male donkeys and their seminal emission was the seminal emission of horses. 21And you longed after the obscene conduct of your youth when your bosom was caressed by Egypt, fondling your young breasts.
22“Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Look! I am stirring up your lovers against you concerning whom you turned away, and I will bring them against you from all around: 23the Babylonians#Literally “sons of Babylon” and all of the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, all of the Assyrians#Literally “sons of Assyria” along with them, handsome young men,#Literally “young men of beauty/handsomeness” governors and prefects, all of them adjutants#Or “officers” and excellent horsemen.#Literally “ones called riders of horses” 24And they will come against you with an army chariot and wagon and with a crowd#Or “horde” or “host of” of peoples; they will set themselves against you from all around with large shield and small shield and helmet. And I will give before them#Literally “to the face of them” judgment, and they will judge you with their judgments. 25And I will direct my zeal against you, and they will deal with you in anger; your nose and your ears they will remove, and those who are left,#Literally “and remainder your” they will fall by the sword, and they will take your sons and your daughters, and your remnant#Literally “and remainder your” will be consumed by fire. 26And they will strip you of your clothes, and they will take your splendid jewelry.#Literally “the jewelry of splendor your”; or “your beautiful jewelry” 27And I will put an end to your obscene conduct coming from you and your fornication from the land of Egypt, and you will not lift your eyes to them; and you will not remember Egypt again.’ 28For thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Look! I am giving you into the hand of those you hated, into the hand of those from whom#Literally “them” you turned away. 29And they will deal with you in hatred, and they will take all of your acquisitions, and they will leave you naked and in bareness; and the nakedness of your fornication and your obscene conduct and your whorings will be exposed. 30These things are accomplished#Or “done” against#Hebrew “in” you since you prostituted yourself after the nations, and on account of that, you defiled yourself by their idols. 31You went in the same way of your sister, and I will give her cup into your hand.” ’
32Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “You will drink the deep and wide#Or place “drink deep and wide the cup” cup of your sister; you will be as laughter and as scorn; the cup holds so much!#Literally “a large among to hold” 33You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, for a cup of horror and desolation is the cup of your sister, Samaria. 34And you will drink it, and you will drain it, and its potsherds you will gnaw, and you will tear out your breasts, for I myself#Literally “I, I” spoke,” declares#Literally “declaration of” the Lord Yahweh. 35Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because you have forgotten me, and you threw me behind your back, now in turn#Or “also” you bear your obscene conduct and your whorings.”
36And Yahweh said to me, “Son of man,#Or “mortal,” or “son of humankind” will you judge Oholah and Oholibah and declare their abominable deeds to#Or “for” them? 37For they committed adultery, and blood is on their hands, and they committed adultery with their idols, and even their children that they had borne for me—they sacrificed them as food! 38Also they did this to me: they defiled my sanctuary on that day, and they profaned my Sabbaths, 39and when they slaughtered their children for their idols, they came to my sanctuary on that day to profane it. And look, this is what they did in my house!#Literally “thus they did in the midst of house my” 40What is worse,#Literally “and also for/indeed” they sent for men who come#Literally “coming” from a distant place, to whom a messenger was sent to them, and look! They came! Men for whom you bathed and painted your eyes, and you adorned yourself with an ornament. 41And you sat on a magnificent couch and a table prepared before her,#Literally “to the face of her” and my incense and my olive oil you put on her.#Or “it” 42And a sound of a carefree crowd was with it,#Or “her” and in addition to these men, a crowd of drunken men#A problematic verse; reading according to the reading tradition (Qere) was brought in#Literally “from an abundance of men being brought in drunken” from the desert,#Or “wilderness” and they put bracelets on their arms and a crown of splendor on their heads. 43And I said to#Or “about” the one worn out with adulteries, ‘Now they will prostitute her concerning her fornication, even her.’#Or “that she did” 44And so they went to her like going to a female#Or “a woman” prostitute; and thus they went to Oholah and to Oholibah, the women of obscene conduct. 45But righteous men, they will judge them with the judgment of committing adultery, and with the judgment of shedding blood; for they were committing adultery, and blood was on their hands.”
46For thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Bring up against them an assembly, and make them as a thing of horror and as plunder. 47And an assembly must stone them with stones,#Hebrew “stone” and they must cut them down. With their swords they shall kill their sons and their daughters, and with fire they shall burn their houses. 48And I will cause obscene conduct to cease from the land,#Or “I will put an end to obscene conduct from the land” and all of the women will be warned, and they will not do according to your wickedness. 49And they will repay your obscene conduct upon you, and the guilt of your idols you will bear, and you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
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