8 “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord GOD, and you became mine. 9 Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with leather, I swathed you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 And I decked you with ornaments, and put bracelets on your arms, and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. 13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered cloth; you ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful, and came to regal estate. 14 And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed upon you, says the Lord GOD. Ezek. 16:8-14
God has waited patiently for his beloved to grow to the age of love. He has been down right indulgent in His forbearance. But now she is a grown woman.
Covering her with His “skirt” is an interesting word “kenaf”. The word has three uses;
- The edge of a garment, as in where one would tie on Tzitzi. [Deut 22:12; 1 Sam. 24:5 ]
- A euphemism for sexual relation, [Deut 22:30; 27:20] but that seems out of order here. It is placed before He even plights His troth.
- It is far more commonly used for wings of birds, cherubim, and seraphim.
Prophetically it is used for things flying quickly either for to bring war or protection from war. I have no idea why the English translations prefer “skirt”, especially when the Septuagint translates “wing”. Maybe the kilt wearing Scots had something to do with it. So even though this could be a sexual reference it is more likely that it is a sign of protection and sanctuary. She is safe now. Nothing can harm her. (See Also: Of Kings, Cloaks and Sex)
He pledges His troth, (a troth is all a persons worldly possessions) which for the creator of the Universe is quite a lot, any bride would be impressed with absolutely everything that there is or can be. His most impressive attribute is Himself. He is so many things the bride can scarcely understand Him. He fills all creation, He controls all elements, there is nothing beyond Him. His only weakness is His love and devotion to His beloved bride.
He gave it all to acquire Her, even His own life. Nothing else would have been enough. The vatar covenant was first made with the blood of animals [Gen 15], resealed with a lamb [Ex 12] and finally He stepped up and presented the ultimate gift, His own blood. A life for a life, there is no higher price that can be paid.
But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. John 19:34
Now he goes about washing and clothing her in all the finest things, silks, linens, baubles, bangles, bright shiny things that all women just love. The nose ring seems a little strange, we tend to think of wild tattooed teenagers, but it was part of the normal wedding adornments of the time, and are still worn in some parts of India.
Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Gen. 24:47
God’s people build the most beautiful and productive nations on this earth. The more of God’s Laws and precepts a nations codifies, the more blessed with wealth and security they are. Ancient Israel went from a band of nomads at the crossing of the Jordan, to David and Solomon in less than 400 years. The USA went from a party of religious riff raff landing on Plymouth Rock in 1621, in just 300 years, leading the world in WW2. And like Rehoboam we are about to loose it all. It will be our choice. Will we continue to follow God’s Law, or go the way of Jeroboam into lawlessness?[1Kings 11 f.f.]