Ezekiel 16:1–14

Read the passage.

This whole chapter has the tone of a judicial hearing, but is an analogy of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. He presents His case by describing the origins of Jerusalem, their relationship, and her betrayal. The analogy used is that of an abandoned child that the Lord finds and provides for and eventually marrying when she is of age.

Before Israel invaded the land of Canaan, Jerusalem was a pagan city of the Amorites, Hittites, and other groups. Similarly, Abraham and his family were pagans worshipping false gods before he was called by the Lord to journey to the land promised to him and his descendants. The Lord describes an infant abandoned in the field, not even washed off or cared for in any way. He takes pity on her and causes her to live and flourish. I’ve had trouble interpreting this bit, but I think I’ve come up with something that makes sense. The girl represents the people of Israel, but the very beginning of their history, where they cannot survive on their own may just be Abraham and Sarah, who could not have children on their own. The Lord takes this family and causes it to grow with Isaac and then Jacob and his sons. Twice the Lord says, “Live!” which could be a number of specific events, but may be Isaac’s birth and the flourishing of the people when they lived in Egypt in spite of Pharaoh’s intent.

The girl grows up into a woman, and the Lord sees her again and makes a marriage vow and covenant with her. He washes and clothes her, giving her very fine raiment and feeding her delicacies. She becomes a queen, famed for her beauty. This is absolutely referring to the time of Moses when the covenant is made with Israel, through the time of Solomon’s reign, in which he amasses great wealth through the Lord’s blessing. The queen of Sheba remarked on how well his servants looked when she visited to hear his wisdom. (2 Kings 10:8)

Next time, we will see what comes after the “but” that starts verse 15.

Your compassion is great for those who have done nothing to deserve it.

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