Ezekiel 16-17

Well, this is the last of the “long” chapters.  The top 10 longest chapters in the Bible are officially behind us.

  • Leviticus 14 – 1713 words
  • 1 Samuel 17 – 1719 words
  • Genesis 24 – 1816 words
  • Ezekiel 16 – 1820 words
  • Jeremiah 51 – 1853 words
  • Leviticus 13 – 1857 words
  • Numbers 7 – 1939 words
  • Deuteronomy 28 – 2075 words
  • 1 Kings 8 – 2139 words
  • Psalm 119 – 2445 words

Both chapters are not easy reads and I needed multiple commentaries to get through them.  Here are some notes:

  • The child represents Israel before the Exodus.  He rescues, raises, and eventually marries her.
  • Then he spoils her with abundance.
  • Instead of loving him back, she makes allies with foreign nations.  The word “prostitute” (in various forms) is used 29 times!  The description of how the nation looks from God’s perspective is eye-opening.  His view of our sins and idolatry should not be taken lightly (talking to myself here).  He found her naked and will return her naked.  This was also a customary act to embarrass and humiliate someone.  The reading was graphic!!
  • However, one part stood out to me:  I live in a world where I know some self-righteous people who LOVE  to pick one or two sins out of the Bible that they don’t struggle with and throw stones at it.  I guess in their eyes, they are “better” since their sins are not “these” sins??  (By the way, if you notice I do it too…remember me throwing a stone at the woman who left her husband for no reason-just to check out what the world has to offer…see throwing a stone at something I don’t struggle with.  Should we put me under a microscope??)
  • Well, let’s look at how God might view some of us….me

 46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom. 47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they. 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.

Stop and think about that for a minute.  The sisters: Samaria the idol-worshiping capital that brought nothing but 20 horrible Kings and Sodom combined appeared to be righteous compared to the prostitution of the Hebrews. I am sure you have heard “The lost act lost for a reason”.  What is our excuse?

HOWEVER, once again I am reminded of God’s love for us.

59 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. ❤️

62 So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Chapter 17  Here we are told an allegory and a parable.  Unless you are an English teacher that might not mean anything to you.  Lucky for you I teach it (you wouldn’t know by my typos and poor use of commas).   Most of you don’t know me and I should have probably told you a long time ago what I do for a living: I am a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention teacher for self-contained students that lost their privilege of being mainstreamed in a Gen Ed class due to behaviors.  In short, you can say I am a Behavior Teacher for teens.  😉  OK, a parable is like a fable but without the animals.  Think of the parables coming up soon in the NT, a parable can then be summed up “and the moral of the story is….”  An Allegory is very similar: every character represents a different moral or political concept or viewpoint, and the true meaning of the story is left for the reader to interpret, and different readers interpret the true meaning differently.  I really think we need to start seeing the world as an allegory so that we can “walk in other people’s shoes” at times.  Every see the movie Breakfast Club or The Outsiders?   Anyway, as if the Bible wasn’t hard enough to read at times, God throws us a parable allegory combo meal.  Arg!!  Yes I said it:  Arg!!

  • Eagle #1: Babylon/Nebuchadnezzar who planted king Zedekiah in Jerusalem
  • Eagle #2:  Egypt- Zedekiah rebelled against Nebu and allied with them.
  • The East wind: Babylonian armies

Episode 3: Babylonians and Medes – The History of Persia

This is a difficult read and it is clear as mud (to me) when it is explained in verse 11 forward BUT jump to verse 22 for the moral of the story…The Tender Sprig is Jesus the Messiah:

22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.

“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”

I know we sat and thought about how we look compared to Sodom at times. Now take a moment in a prayer of thankfulness that regardless of our sin He promised us a Tender Sprig that will shelter us and make even the dry tree flourish.