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Ezekiel 16 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Lord’s Kindness to Jerusalem

16 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], tell Jerusalem about her ·hateful [detestable; abominable] actions. Say, ‘This is what the Lord God says to Jerusalem: Your ·beginnings [origin] and your ·ancestors [L birth] were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite. On the day you were born, your cord [C umbilical cord] was not cut. You were not washed with water to clean you. You were not rubbed with salt or wrapped in ·cloths [T swaddling cloths; Luke 2:7, 12; C typical care for newborns in the ancient Near East]. No ·one felt sorry enough for [L eye took pity on] you to do any of these things for you. No, you were thrown out into the open field, because you were ·hated [detested; despised] on the day you were born.

“‘When I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, I said to you ·as you lay in your blood [L in your blood], “Live!”[a] I made you ·grow [flourish] like a plant in the field. You grew up and ·became tall [or matured; developed] and ·became like a beautiful jewel [or entered puberty; reached womanhood]. Your breasts formed, and your hair grew, but you were naked and ·without clothes [bare; exposed].

“‘Later when I passed by you and looked at you, ·I saw that [T behold] you were old enough for love. So I spread ·my robe [L the corner of my garment; Deut. 22:30; Ruth 3:9] over you and covered your nakedness. I also ·made a promise [swore; made a vow] to you and entered into an ·agreement [covenant; treaty; Ex. 19:5] with you so that you became mine, says the Lord God.

“‘Then I bathed you with water, washed all the blood off of you, and ·put oil on you [anointed you with oil/ointment]. 10 I put ·beautiful clothes made with needlework [embroidered clothing] on you and put sandals of fine leather on your feet. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I put jewelry on you: bracelets on your arms, a ·necklace [chain] around your neck, 12 a ring in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful ·crown [tiara] on your head. 13 So you ·wore [were adorned with] gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen, silk, and ·beautiful needlework [embroidery]. You ate fine flour, honey, and olive oil. You were very beautiful and became ·a queen [royalty]. 14 Then ·you became famous [your fame spread] among the nations, because you were so beautiful. Your beauty was perfect, because of the ·glory [splendor] I gave you, says the Lord God.

Jerusalem Becomes a Prostitute

15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty. You used your fame to become a prostitute. You ·had sexual relations with [lavished sexual favors on] anyone who passed by. 16 You took some of your clothes and made your ·places of worship [high places; 6:3] ·colorful [decorated; gaudy]. There you carried on your prostitution. ·These things should not happen; they should never occur [or You went to him and became his; or How could such a thing ever have happened? C the Hebrew here is obscure]. 17 You also took your beautiful jewelry, made from my gold and silver I had given you, and you made for yourselves male idols so you could be a prostitute with them [2 Kin. 23:7]. 18 Then you took your ·clothes with beautiful needlework [embroidered clothing] and covered the idols. You gave my oil and incense as an offering to them. 19 Also, you took the ·bread [food] I gave you, the fine flour, oil, and honey I gave you to eat, and you offered them before the gods as a ·pleasing smell [fragrant incense]. This is what happened, says the Lord God.

20 “‘But your ·sexual sins [acts of prostitution] were not enough for you. You also took your sons and daughters who ·were my children [you bore to me], and you sacrificed them to the idols as food. 21 You ·killed [slaughtered] my children and offered them up in fire to the idols [Lev. 18:21; 20:2; Deut. 12:31; 18:10; 2 Kin. 16:3; 21:6; 23:10; Jer. 32:35]. 22 While you did all your ·hateful [detestable; abominable] acts and ·sexual sins [prostitution], you did not remember ·when you were young [L the days of your youth], when you were naked and had no clothes and were ·left [L kicking about] in your blood.

23 “‘·How terrible [L Woe]! ·How terrible it will be for you [L Woe to you], says the Lord God. After you did all these evil things, 24 you built yourself a ·place to worship gods [pagan shrine; or chamber; or mound]. You made for yourself a ·place of worship [lofty shrine; pavilion] in every city square. 25 You built a place of worship at the ·beginning [head; corner] of every street. You made your beauty ·hateful [defiled; disgraced; detestable; an abomination], ·offering your body for sex [L spreading your legs] to anyone who passed by, ·so your sexual sins became worse and worse [multiplying your promiscuity/prostitution]. 26 You also ·had sexual relations [engaged in prostitution] with the ·Egyptians [L sons of Egypt], who were your ·neighbors and partners in sexual sin [or well-endowed neighbors; or lusty neighbors]. Your ·sexual sins [prostitution; promiscuity] became even worse, and ·they caused me to be angry [provoked me to anger]. 27 So then, [L look; T behold] I ·used my power [L stretched out my hand] against you and ·took away some of your land [reduced your boundaries; or cut off your rations]. I ·let you be defeated by [L delivered you to the greed/desire of] ·those who hate you [your enemies], the Philistine ·women [L daughters], who were ashamed of your ·evil ways [obscene/lewd behavior; C even the pagan Philistines were shocked at Israel’s outrageous sins]. 28 Also, you ·had sexual relations [engaged in prostitution] with the Assyrians, because you could not be satisfied. Even though you ·had sexual relations [prostituted yourself] with them, you still were not satisfied. 29 You ·did many more sexual sins [multiplied your prostitution/promiscuity] in ·Babylonia [L Chaldea], the land of ·traders [merchants], but even this did not satisfy you.

30 “‘·Truly your will is weak [or How sick/feverish is your heart; or I am filled with anger against you], says the Lord God. You do all the things a ·stubborn [bold; brazen; shameless] prostitute does. 31 You built your ·place to worship gods [pagan shrines; or chambers; or mounds] at the ·beginning [head; corner] of every street, and you made ·places of worship [lofty shrines; pavilions; v. 24] in every city square. But you were not like a prostitute when you ·refused to accept [scorned; scoffed at] payment.

32 “‘You adulterous wife! You ·desire [prefer; receive] strangers instead of your husband. 33 Men ·pay [or give gifts to] prostitutes, but you ·pay all [give gifts to] your lovers, bribing them to come to you. And they come from all around for ·sexual relations [your prostitution]. 34 So you are ·different from [the opposite of] other prostitutes. No man ·asks [solicited] you to be a prostitute, and you pay money instead of having money paid to you. Yes, you are ·different [the opposite].

The Prostitute Is Judged

35 “‘So, prostitute, hear the word of the Lord. 36 This is what the Lord God says: You ·showed your nakedness [L poured out your lust] and ·uncovered your body [L exposed your nakedness] in your ·sexual sins [prostitution; promiscuity] with your lovers and with all your ·hateful [detestable; abominable] idols. You killed your children and offered their blood to your idols. 37 So [L look; T behold] I will gather all your lovers with whom you found pleasure. Yes, I will gather all those you loved and those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around, and I will strip you naked in front of them so they can see your nakedness [C an act of humiliation and shame; Jer. 13:22, 26; Nah. 3:5]. 38 I will punish you as women guilty of adultery or as ·murderers [L those who shed blood] are punished. I will ·put you to death [L bring blood upon you; or avenge your bloody deeds] because I am angry and jealous. 39 I will also ·hand you over to your lovers [L give you into their hands]. They will tear down your ·places of worship [pagan shrines; chambers; mounds] and destroy ·other places where you worship gods [your lofty shrines; or pavilions; v. 24]. They will ·tear [strip] off your clothes and take away your beautiful jewelry, leaving you naked and bare. 40 They will bring a crowd against you to throw stones at you and to cut you into pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn down your houses and will ·punish you [execute judgments] in ·front [the sight of] of many women. I will put an end to your ·sexual sins [prostitution], and you will no longer ·pay [give gifts to] your lovers. 42 Then I will ·rest from [exhaust; satisfy] my ·anger [wrath] against you, and ·I will stop being jealous [L my jealousy will turn away from you]. I will be ·quiet [calm] and not angry anymore.

43 “‘Because you didn’t remember ·when you were young [L the days of your youth], but have ·made me angry [enraged me] in all these ways, I will ·repay you for what you have done [L bring these ways upon your head], says the Lord God. Didn’t you add ·sexual sins [lewd acts; obscenities] to all your ·other acts which I hate [detestable practices; abominations]?

44 “‘Everyone who uses ·wise sayings [proverbs] will say this about you: “·The daughter is like her mother [L Like mother, like daughter].” 45 You are ·like your mother [L the daughter of your mother], who ·hated [detested; loathed] her husband and ·children [sons]. You are ·also like your sisters [L the sister of your sisters], who ·hated [detested; loathed] their husbands and ·children [sons]. Your mother was a Hittite, and your father was an Amorite [v. 3]. 46 Your older sister is Samaria, who lived north of you with her daughters; your younger sister is Sodom, who lived south of you with her daughters [Gen. 19; C Sodom is a symbol of evil in Scripture; Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Is. 1:9–10; 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Lam. 4:6; Matt. 10:15; 11:23–24; Jude 7]. 47 You not only ·followed [walked in] their ways and did the ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things they did, but you were ·soon worse [more corrupt/depraved] than they were in all your ways. 48 As surely as I live, says the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

49 “‘This was the ·sin [iniquity; guilt] of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud and had plenty of food and lived in ·great comfort [secure ease], but she did not ·help [L strengthen the hand of] the poor and needy. 50 So Sodom and her daughters were ·proud [haughty] and did ·things I hate [detestable/abominable things] in front of me. So I ·got rid of [removed] them when I saw what they did. 51 Also, Samaria [C the northern kingdom] did not do half the sins you do; you have done more ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things than they did. So you make your sisters ·look good [appear righteous] because of all the ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things you have done. 52 You will ·suffer [bear your] disgrace, because you have ·provided an excuse [L interceded with your sins] for your sisters. They ·are better [appear more righteous] than you are. Your sins were even more ·terrible [vile; abominable] than theirs. Feel ashamed and suffer disgrace, because you made your sisters ·look good [appear righteous].

53 “‘But I will ·give back [restore] to Sodom and her daughters ·the good things they once had [their fortunes]. I will give back to Samaria and her daughters ·the good things they once had [their fortunes]. And with them I will also give back ·the good things you once had [your fortunes] 54 so you may ·suffer [bear your] disgrace and feel ashamed for all the things you have done. You even gave comfort to your sisters in their sins. 55 Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to ·what they were before [their former status]. You and your daughters will also return to ·what you were before [their former status]. 56 You ·humiliated [spoke contemptuously about; L made a byword in your mouth] your sister Sodom ·when you were proud [L in the day of your pride/majesty], 57 before your ·evil [wickedness] was uncovered [exposed]. And now the Edomite ·women[b] [L daughters] and their neighbors ·humiliate [scorn] you. Even the Philistine women ·humiliate [scorn] you. Those around you ·hate [despise] you. 58 ·This is your punishment [L You bear the penalty] for your ·terrible sins [lewdness] and for ·actions that I hate [your detestable practices/abominations], says the Lord.

God Keeps His Promises

59 “‘This is what the Lord God says: I will ·do to you what you have done [give you what you deserve]. You ·hated [despised] and broke the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] you ·promised [swore; made an oath] to keep. 60 But I will remember my ·agreement [covenant; treaty] I made with you ·when you were young [L in the days of your youth], and I will make an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] that will continue forever with you [Jer. 31:31–34]. 61 Then you will remember ·what you have done [your ways] and feel ashamed when you receive your sisters—both your older and your younger sisters. I will give them to you like daughters, but not because they share in my ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with you. 62 I will ·set up my agreement [establish my covenant/treaty] with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 You will remember what you did and feel ashamed. You will not open your mouth again because of your shame, when I ·forgive [make atonement for] you for all the things you have done, says the Lord God.’”


  1. Ezekiel 16:6 Live Some Hebrew, Greek and Syriac copies repeat the phrase, “I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’”
  2. Ezekiel 16:57 Edomite women Hebrew copies read “daughters of Edom.” Some Hebrew copies read “daughters of Aram.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

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