1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 they played the harlot in Egypt; they played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. 4 Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. Ezek. 23:1-4
Ezekiel who’s name means God strengthens, was taken to Babylon with other hostages in 597 B.C. He had been resettled by the river Chebar, or in Babylonian Naru Kabari, which was a large irrigation canal, in what is now southern Iraq. Ezekiel 23 was written long after the Northern Kingdom of Israel , (called here Samaria) was gone from the stage of history. (See Also: The Ten Lost Tribes)
The Southern kingdom of Judah survived, and at the time of his writing most of the upper classes have been deported to Babylon. The Temple still stood, but that was soon to change. Chapter 24 explains that the Babylonian army is about to destroy Jerusalem. At the same time God is also going to take Ezekiel’s wife, “the delight of your eyes” and he is not to mourn. This is to show the people that God Himself does not mourn as His people and city are destroyed.
Oholah means “her tent”, and Oholibah means “my tent is in her”. Calling them tents seem odd even strange. Why tent? Every synagogue service start by singing the Ma Tovu, which is a quote from the oracle of Balaam,
. . . how fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! Num. 24:5
They had been sojourners from the time of their father Abraham, they were a people of tents. But they have not kept their tents pure. As we shall see they are corrupt, unclean, and full of abominations. From Egypt they brought the false gods. As they traveled in the wilderness they picked up or married into the paganism from their contact with the people around them.
There were two tents in the wilderness, the Tabernacle of God, and the tent of Moloch. Moloch was a bull faced god, to whom child sacrifice was most acceptable. He is also know by the name Kronos, and Saturn. (Saturn being the star referred to as Rephan.)
And you took up the tent of Moloch, and the star of the god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.’ Acts 7:43
The LORD complains that from the very start his people were not faithful. That is what is meant by “Their breast were pressed and their nipples handled.” They have entertained other lovers, and have not been true to their God. God views His people as wanton whores. The first lover to show up will be quickly embraced. The inherited Churches are always quick to point out that this is about the Jews. They were unfaithful, they were wicked, they were a disgrace. Teaching that Gentile believers are somehow superior. They think that, we don’t do what the Jews did. However we are just as quick to adopt and pass on any repugnant abomination from our Gentile pagan past. But unlike the descendants of Abraham, we now conceal our guilt by disguising and renaming them. Saturnalia has become Christmas, Weeping for Tammuz has become Lent, and many more. If God punished the Jews with 70 years in Babylon, how much more severe will the punishment be for the Church, who have a greater light?
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Rom. 11:21