Ezekiel 23

Before Reading.

  • Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.

Reading.

  • Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
  • Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
  • Take a note if you have question, inspiration.   

Read Ezekiel 23

Overview.

Two adulterous Sisters.

This chapter is an allegorical oracle of judgement, focusing on the deviant behavior of Samaria, Ohola, and Jerusalem, Oholibah, whose sin involved adulterous alliances with idols other than the Lord, God.

The graphic sexual imagery using two female names depicts political alliance with other nations, Assyria and Egypt with lustful promiscuity.  

Oholibah means my tent is in her. Oholah means her tent. The tent image in both women recall the journey in the wilderness when the ark was housed in a ten (‘ohel).  Two women’s tent echoes strongly a pagan shrine, allegorical explanation of adultery.

God’s punishment and charge combined with “Their detestable practices” (vv.36-39), which were added to their behavior. Far from learning from the disastrous experience of her older sister, Oholibah outdid her in unbridled lust, beginning where her sister left off with the Assyrians, adultery, bloodshed, and infant sacrifice, defiling Lord’s sanctuary and Lord’s Sabbath.

Legal judgement statement (vv36-49) indicates punishment with death, destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem. This judgement eventually will bring recognition of God (v.49). It is irony that God’s punishment leads people to know God.

1. What does this passage tell you about God?

2. What does this passage tell you about people.?

3. What does this passage tell you about yourself and God’s will for you?  

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