11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt than she in her doting and in her harlotry, which was worse than that of her sister. 12 She doted upon the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14 But she carried her harlotry further; she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, 15 girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, a picture of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. 16 When she saw them she doted upon them, and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lust; and after she was polluted by them, she turned from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her harlotry so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned from her sister. 19 Yet she increased her harlotry, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt 20 and doted upon her paramours there, whose members were like those of asses, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21 Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.” Ezek. 23:11-21
This is directed to the Southern Tribes of Judah. Just like her sister Samaria, Judah has prostituted herself to the god’s of the Assyrians and Chaldeans.
What made her betray her lover, in such an abased way? Looking at a world map, the land that God gave to the children of Israel is probably the most strategic point in all of the ancient world. To move goods, or armies between Europe, Asia, and Africa, everyone had to go through this ancient land. So there is little Judah caught between the super powers of the day, Assyrians and Babylonians to the north and Egyptians to the south. She saw their great warriors of the Northern powers.
FYI: While David and Solomon were on the throne Assyrian and Egypt were in states of anarchy. World trade shifted to move through the Promised Land and avoid the trouble spots. David built fortified cities all along these routes, ending in the port cities of Sidon and Tyre, making Hiram king of Tyre extremely friendly. However by the time the kingdom divides between Samaria and Judah the Great powers of Assyria and Egypt have stabilized their respective empires.
Like all men of little faith, Judah thought that an alliance with these empires could provide some safety and security. They saw all the pomp and circumstance of all the shiny clanging armor, the flashy horses of their massive armies. These were the largest armies in the known world. The Judean’s felt insignificant and small by comparison. From this time on the Promised land was a battle field between the ebb and flow of the Empires. However now that the “Times of the Gentiles” has ended, things are changing. [Luke 21:24]
The Jews faith was shaken, they no longer believed that their God was the strongest. They turned to the gods of the Babylonians (the source of all things pagan). They went on pilgrimages to Babylon, to the land of Chaldea, the land between the rivers, Mesopotamia, to get better gods. In Ezekiel 8 there is an explanation of what they had brought back, and installed in the temple itself. These are all the abominations that they were told repeatedly not to permit, condone, or allow.
The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. Deut. 7:25
Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now in the direction of the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. Ezek. 8:5
So I went in and saw; and there, portrayed upon the wall round about, were all kinds of creeping things, and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. Ezek. 8:10
Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, every man in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’” Ezek. 8:12
Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Ezek. 8:14
And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD; and behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Ezek. 8:16
Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too slight a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence, and provoke me further to anger? Lo, they put the branch to their nose. Ezek. 8:17
Unfortunately the inherited churches are guilty of these same sins. The second commandment “You shall not make for yourself a graven image,” except at Christmas time, then even the Protestants can have them, has been a staple in the church since the second century when Tertullian complained of Saturnalia and all things pagan that many Christians were continuing to participate in, in his De Idolatria.
Weeping for Tammuz has been renamed by the church as Lent, and the list goes on.
Worshiping the sun is now only a vague memory as Christmas has masked that it is just a winter solstice celebration. We have managed to get rid of the summer solstice. Easter now masked spring equinox, and fall equinox is vaguely left to Halloween. And we no longer put a branch to our noses, no we bring in the whole tree in, then decorate it too [ c.f. Jer 10]. Judah got 70 years in Babylon for this infidelity. Yet the inherited churches somehow thinks that they will not be judged for the same idolatrous practices. The teachers teach that we will be rewarded, while the parables teach we will be punished.
In the Hebrew the word translated as paramours, is normally translated concubine. Which implies a legal contract between lovers. There are three kinds of marriages in the Bible. A wife, who comes with a dowry, a concubine, where the husband provides the dowry (or buys a wife), and a captive war wife, who must be a virgin and can never be divorced.
So Judah, is doting on her concubines. They are her legal lovers. It is also odd to see a feminine noun “concubine”, to have an attached masculine personal pronoun, “them”, So the concubines are male. They are described as having exceptionally large and potent sex organs. So outrages that it may seem that they would provide great satisfaction, but in reality would tear the partners insides, causing death. Which is what idolatry does, it brings spiritual death.
Yet the Jews then and the inherited churches now have increased their harlotries. God remembering the days of Judah’s youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt and doted upon her paramours there, whose members were like those of asses, and whose issue was like that of horses. He reminds them that they longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts. As the inherited churches long for the pre-Christian days of their paganism.
And again God says that the paganism of Egypt is the same as the paganism of Babylon. As it is the same today. There is nothing new under the sun. We must be constantly vigilant, in our walk with God, making sure that nothing that is pagan has corrupted our walk. We must in this last hour come out of all things pagan. (See Also: Paganism 101)
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18:4-5