22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will rouse against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and warriors, all of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples; they shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet, and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will direct my indignation against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt; so that you shall not lift up your eyes to the Egyptians or remember them any more. 28 For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust; 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labor, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your harlotry 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the harlot with the nations, and polluted yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord GOD: “You shall drink your sister’s cup which is deep and large; you shall be laughed at and held in derision, for it contains much; 33 you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. A cup of horror and desolation, is the cup of your sister Samaria; 34 you shall drink it and drain it out, and pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore bear the consequences of your lewdness and harlotry.” Ezek. 23:22-35
Remember from our first post on this chapter that Oholah means “her tent”, and Oholibah means “my tent is in her”. This is because ancient Israel always had two opinions. They built the Tabernacle in the wilderness, but they also had a tent for Moloch. [Acts 7:43 ] After all the years God now condemns His people’s for this unfaithfulness. While the Northern Kingdom had under the leadership of her kings, adopted full out paganism, the Southern kingdom has instead created a compromise religion, where everything goes. They had merged ideas from paganism with their worship of the one true God.
As punishment for these hybrid religious activities, God is sending the Babylonian Empire to judge them. How strange it must have seemed to the people, that the source of all paganism was coming to judge them. The passage uses the oldest way of referencing the Chaldeans (the ancient name for the peoples who live between the two rivers the Tigris and Euphrates) now modern day Iraq. Pekod, Shoa, and Koa, are not tribal or geographical names. Pekod means “visitation” Shoa means “rich” and Koa means “noble”. So the rich, noble, people are about to visit judgment on Judah. They are coming up to take the people of Jerusalem captive for seventy years. During which the city will lay desolate. Even thought the false prophets are telling the people that nothing will happen to them, because they are God’s people [Lam. 2:14; Ezek. 13].
The Babylonian armies were coming with war horses and chariots. The word translated here as “wagons”, is actually “gilgal”, which means “to go around”. So the idea is more like a whirlwind is coming, or that they will be surrounded. These armies of the empire are well protected with buckler, shield, and helmet, none of these are offensive, they are all of these are defensive, meaning that Judah will not be able to strike a blow. No matter what they do, they will end up under the judicial system of the Babylonians. A judicial system that is still used in most of the Arab world, The Code of Hammurabi.
24 . . . and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.
God continues with His allegory of their adultery to Him. He states that their noses and ears’ will be cut off. This was the punishment for adultery among both the Egyptians and the Chaldeans. As the we have mentioned in other posts, the ornaments of the Orientals were often worn in their ears and noses. This punishment would mean that they would not be able to wear any of their precious ornaments. Such jewels were to be taken away leaving them humiliated.
All of this God is doing, so they will understand that they must put aside everything that they brought from the land of Egypt. They have continued to worship a bovine god, that the Bible purposely misnames Moloch. (Moloch being a combination of the Hebrew consonants for “king” with the vowels for “shame”.) The worship of this god required the sacrifice of human children, by being thrown into the fires of Moloch. Scholars argue as to whether these victims were killed first or thrown in still alive. (See Also: the Pagan Origins of Christmas)
So to Babylon they are sent. There they will see where all that is pagan started.
FYI: The tower of Babel still stood and was in active use. Later Alexander the Great had it torn down in order to rebuild it to its past glory. But he died before the reconstruction was started, and so it remains a ruin to this day.
After their time in Babylon there was no longer a question as to what is pagan and what is required by God. The paganism was fully revealed. They learned what not to do. After they returned from Babylon we no longer hear of anything pagan, Molech is never mentioned, Baal is gone, Ashtaroth is never mentioned. God’s people learned never to hybridize their faith.
The Babylonians were forever changed as well. The God of Daniel confronted Nebuchadnezzar with his arrogance. [Dan 4] Belshazzar learned to late that he did no measure up. [Dan 5] When the empire falls to the Persian, Cyrus the Great find in the book of Jeremiah orders that he is return the Jews to their homeland. [Ezra 1]. He must also have been shown the book of Isaiah written long before Cyrus was born. [Is. 44:28] That calls him by name. Cyrus was so changed, that we know from history that he evicted the Chaldean mystics from his empire.
FYI: After this eviction, the Chaldean mystics relocated to a Greek city in Asia Minor known as Pergamos, where they continued keeping the ancient religion. They renamed it all the Mystery Religions, so the seat of Satan moved from Babylon to Pergamos, later it moved to Rome[Rev. 2:13].
The consequences of their unfaithful whoredom, was to drink the cup of their sister. Drinking the cup of God’s wrath is a symbol of judgment though out the Bible.
Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine, therefore the nations went mad. Jer. 51:7
You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and stagger! The cup in the LORD’s right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory! Hab. 2:16
And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird; for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness.” 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; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18:2-5
In the passage from The Revelation, is clearly a call to the church to come out of the same paganism that had infected the Hebrew nations. Jeremiah told them to stop bringing in the green tree [Jer 10] which the church does at Christmas. Ezekiel reported that they are weeping for Tammuz [Ezek. 8], which which the church has renamed as Lent. God is even angry with hot cross buns of Easter. [Jer. 7:18]
Just about everything in church tradition is pagan in origin. If God did not put up with this from the Hebrews, why does the church think He is going to tolerate it in our hearts? When the Jews came back from Babylon, they never again adopted the pagan ways of those around them. They never reintroduced these abominations.
I here over and over from Christians who tell me the Christmas tree doesn’t mean anything it is just a pretty tradition. Well, if that is the case, why can’t they do without it? Why do they not even consider not having one? Why must they have it? Why are they, of all the silly things to do, dragging a tree into their houses? And they don’t think anything spiritual is going on? Its a TREE! The tree came from paganism, it is pagan, it is like all other things pagan to be sent back to Babylon from whence it came. [Zech 5:5-11]
Our Messiah was not born at Christmas, He was born at Tabernacles. He was not crucified on Good Friday, but rather on Passover, because He is our Passover Lamb. He did not raise from the dead on Easter, but on First Fruits, because He is the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep [1Cor. 15:20]. To teach otherwise, is to be preaching another Jesus [2 Cor. 11:4]. It is pass time to give up the churches traditions. It is time to return to a Biblical faith. Pick up your Bible and start reading it for yourself.
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32