Ezekiel 16:1-7 A Foundling’s Tale

Prosopopaspia – Judah is personified as a young woman.

newborn baby girl  wiki commons  5001   Again the word of the LORD came to me:  2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations,  3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.  4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel string was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor swathed with bands.  5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you; but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. 

6   “And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live,  7 and grow up like a plant of the field.’ And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full maidenhood; your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. Ezek. 16:1-7


FYI: Our passage starts with a familiar scene in the ancient world, an abandoned baby. There was an appalling how be it common practice in the ancient world of abandoning newborn babies, especially girls. The early church was persecuted by Rome for going out at night into the open spaces and fields around the city and collecting these unwanted, rescuing and adopting them. The pagan’s considered this interfering with their gods. It was believed that if they were worthy that a god or goddess would see them and take care of them. The story of Hercules is just this, His mother Alcmene abandoned him in an open field, where Hera queen of the gods saw him and suckled him. This went well until she found out that he was the son of her own philandering husband Zeus.

The true God is Almighty in the Hebrew El-Shaddai, this is not strength of arms, rather strength of breast, a nurturing strength. He speaks “Live” and His people grow like plants of the field. His word is just and true, and will always comes to pass. Unlike the pagan gods who manipulated exploited, and engineered to get what they wanted, the true God needs only speak, and a thing is so. The One True God is jealous of the pagan gods. They are not real. They did not/cannot do the thing He did and does. They are just the personifications of men, they have desires and cravings, that they scheme and plot to acquire. They are easily understood, unlike the God of creation, who is so far beyond our comprehension that we are at a lost to explain why He allows or disallows things. Where did Satan come from? Why do good people suffer? Why do bad people prosper?  Zeus can be explained, the one true God, not so much. We must simply clutch our mohar and trust.

So there we were the people of God, discarded and rejected, left for some animal to tear apart. Left in our own blood, we were not cleaned or cared for, but rather abandoned, unwanted, and unloved. That about sums up how the world feels about us. We are not worth acknowledging that we were worthy of anything but disgust.  But the creator of the Universe, said “live”, and so we have.

(The Hebrew word blood is plural here which is put for the defiling guilt of bloodshed. Ezekiel will later make this blood guilt connection quite clear in 22:2; 24:6.)

Girl Veiling HerselfOur hair grew, which sounds kind of sweet in English, however what is meant is the pubic hair of maidenhood. God compares His attentiveness to that of a man watching the young girls in His community. Waiting and watching for the one that He wants, to be ready for love. There is a warning in Songs of Solomon that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please. [S of S 3:5] But He has been watching. He knows that His people are ready. It is not too soon. He knows that our hair has grown for we are naked. [not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Rev 3:17b] It is time, to give ourselves wholly to our God. Hold nothing back. He knows that we are ready for love. He is ready to fulfill that hunger, and gratify our desires.


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