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Ezekiel 16 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jerusalem the Unfaithful

16 The Lord spoke to me again. “Mortal man,” he said, “point out to Jerusalem what disgusting things she has done. Tell Jerusalem what the Sovereign Lord is saying to her:

“You were born in the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite.[a] When you were born, no one cut your umbilical cord or washed you[b] or rubbed you with salt or wrapped you in cloths. No one took enough pity on you to do any of these things for you. When you were born, no one loved you. You were thrown out in an open field.

“Then I passed by and saw you squirming in your own blood. You were covered with blood, but I wouldn't let you die. I made you grow like a healthy plant. You grew strong and tall and became a young woman.[c] Your breasts were well-formed, and your hair had grown, but you were naked.

“As I passed by again, I saw that the time had come for you to fall in love. I covered your naked body with my coat and promised to love you. Yes, I made a marriage covenant with you, and you became mine.” This is what the Sovereign Lord says.

“Then I took water and washed the blood off you. I rubbed olive oil on your skin. 10 I dressed you in embroidered gowns and gave you shoes of the best leather, a linen headband, and a silk cloak. 11 I put jewels on you—bracelets and necklaces. 12 I gave you a nose ring and earrings and a beautiful crown to wear. 13 You had ornaments of gold and silver, and you always wore clothes of embroidered linen and silk. You ate bread made from the best flour, and had honey and olive oil to eat. Your beauty was dazzling, and you became a queen. 14 You became famous in every nation for your perfect beauty, because I was the one who made you so lovely.” This is what the Sovereign Lord says.

15 “But you took advantage of your beauty and fame to sleep with everyone who came along.[d] 16 You used some of your clothes to decorate your places of worship, and just like a prostitute,[e] you gave yourself to everyone. 17 You took the silver and gold jewelry that I had given you, used it to make male images, and committed adultery with them. 18 You took the embroidered clothes I gave you and put them on the images, and you offered to the images the olive oil and incense I had given you. 19 I gave you food—the best flour, olive oil, and honey—but you offered it as a sacrifice to win the favor of idols.” This is what the Sovereign Lord says.

20 “Then you took the sons and the daughters you had borne me and offered them as sacrifices to idols. Wasn't it bad enough to be unfaithful to me, 21 without taking my children and sacrificing them to idols? 22 During your disgusting life as a prostitute you never once remembered your childhood—when you were naked, squirming in your own blood.”

Jerusalem's Life as a Prostitute

23 The Sovereign Lord said, “You are doomed! Doomed! You did all that evil, and then 24 by the side of every road you built places to worship idols and practice prostitution. 25 You dragged your beauty through the mud. You offered yourself to everyone who came by, and you were more of a prostitute every day. 26 You let your lustful neighbors, the Egyptians, go to bed with you, and you used your prostitution to make me angry.

27 “Now I have raised my hand to punish you and to take away your share of my blessing. I have handed you over to the Philistines, who hate you and are disgusted with your immoral actions.

28 “Because you were not satisfied by the others, you went running after the Assyrians. You were their prostitute, but they didn't satisfy you either. 29 You were also a prostitute for the Babylonians, that nation of merchants, but they didn't satisfy you either.”

30 This[f] is what the Sovereign Lord is saying: “You have done all this like a shameless prostitute. 31 On every street you built places to worship idols and practice prostitution. But you are not out for money like a common prostitute. 32 You are like a woman who commits adultery with strangers instead of loving her husband. 33 A prostitute is paid, but you gave presents to all your lovers and bribed them to come from everywhere to sleep with you. 34 You are a special kind of prostitute. No one forced you to become one. You didn't get paid; you paid them! Yes, you are different.”

God's Judgment on Jerusalem

35 Now then, Jerusalem, you whore! Hear what the Lord is saying.

36 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “You stripped off your clothes, and like a prostitute, you gave yourself to your lovers and to all your disgusting idols, and you killed your children as sacrifices to idols. 37 Because of this I will bring all your former lovers together—the ones you liked and the ones you hated. I will bring them around you in a circle, and then I will strip off your clothes and let them see you naked. 38 I will condemn you for adultery and murder, and in my anger and fury I will punish you with death. 39 I will put you in their power, and they will tear down the places where you engage in prostitution and worship idols. They will take away your clothes and jewels and leave you completely naked.

40 “They will stir up a crowd to stone you, and they will cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn your houses down and let crowds of women see your punishment. I will make you stop being a prostitute and make you stop giving gifts to your lovers. 42 Then my anger will be over, and I will be calm. I will not be angry or jealous any more. 43 You have forgotten how I treated you when you were young, and you have made me angry by all the things you did. That is why I have made you pay for them all. Why did you add sexual immorality to all the other disgusting things you did?” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

44 The Lord said, “People will use this proverb about you, Jerusalem: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 You really are your mother's daughter. She detested her husband and her children. You are like your sisters, who hated their husbands and their children. You and your sister cities had a Hittite mother and an Amorite[g] father.

46 “Your older sister, with her villages, is Samaria, in the north. Your younger sister, with her villages, is Sodom, in the south. 47 Were you satisfied to follow in their footsteps and copy their disgusting actions? No, in only a little while you were acting worse than they were in everything you did.

48 “As surely as I am the living God,” the Sovereign Lord says, “your sister Sodom and her villages never did the evil that you and your villages have done. 49 She and her daughters were proud because they had plenty to eat and lived in peace and quiet, but they did not take care of the poor and the underprivileged. 50 They were proud and stubborn and did the things that I hate, so I destroyed them, as you well know.

51 “Samaria did not sin half as much as you have. You have acted more disgustingly than she ever did. Your corruption makes your sisters look innocent by comparison. 52 And now you will have to endure your disgrace. Your sins are so much worse than those of your sisters that they look innocent beside you. Now blush and bear your shame, because you make your sisters look pure.”

Sodom and Samaria Will Be Restored

53 The Lord said to Jerusalem, “I will make them prosperous again—Sodom and her villages and Samaria and her villages. Yes, I will make you prosperous too. 54 You will be ashamed of yourself, and your disgrace will show your sisters how well-off they are. 55 They will become prosperous again, and you and your villages will also be restored. 56 Didn't you joke about Sodom in those days when you were proud 57 and before the evil you did had been exposed? Now you are just like her—a joke to the Edomites, the Philistines, and your other neighbors who hate you. 58 You must suffer for the obscene, disgusting things you have done.” The Lord has spoken.

A Covenant That Lasts Forever

59 The Sovereign Lord says, “I will treat you the way you deserve, because you ignored your promises and broke the covenant. 60 But I will honor the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will make a covenant with you that will last forever. 61 You will remember how you have acted, and be ashamed of it when you get your older sister and your younger sister back. I will let them be like daughters to you, even though this was not part of my covenant with you. 62 I will renew my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 I will forgive all the wrongs you have done, but you will remember them and be too ashamed to open your mouth.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 16:3 The Israelites regarded these people as immoral and idolatrous.
  2. Ezekiel 16:4 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear.
  3. Ezekiel 16:7 Probable text young woman; Hebrew unclear.
  4. Ezekiel 16:15 Hebrew has two additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  5. Ezekiel 16:16 Hebrew has four additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  6. Ezekiel 16:30 Verse 30 in Hebrew begins with three words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  7. Ezekiel 16:45 See 16.3.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Ezekiel 16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God’s Faithless Bride

16 The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite. As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you out of compassion for you; but you were thrown out in the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.

I passed by you, and saw you flailing about in your blood. As you lay in your blood, I said to you, “Live! and grow up[a] like a plant of the field.” You grew up and became tall and arrived at full womanhood;[b] your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

I passed by you again and looked on you; you were at the age for love. I spread the edge of my cloak over you, and covered your nakedness: I pledged myself to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off the blood from you, and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you with embroidered cloth and with sandals of fine leather; I bound you in fine linen and covered you with rich fabric.[c] 11 I adorned you with ornaments: I put bracelets on your arms, a chain on your neck, 12 a ring on your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. 13 You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, rich fabric,[d] and embroidered cloth. You had choice flour and honey and oil for food. You grew exceedingly beautiful, fit to be a queen. 14 Your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendor that I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.

15 But you trusted in your beauty, and played the whore because of your fame, and lavished your whorings on any passer-by.[e] 16 You took some of your garments, and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore; nothing like this has ever been or ever shall be.[f] 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and my silver that I had given you, and made for yourself male images, and with them played the whore; 18 and you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19 Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with choice flour and oil and honey—you set it before them as a pleasing odor; and so it was, says the Lord God. 20 You took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. As if your whorings were not enough! 21 You slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering to them. 22 And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, flailing about in your blood.

23 After all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! says the Lord God), 24 you built yourself a platform and made yourself a lofty place in every square; 25 at the head of every street you built your lofty place and prostituted your beauty, offering yourself to every passer-by, and multiplying your whoring. 26 You played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger. 27 Therefore I stretched out my hand against you, reduced your rations, and gave you up to the will of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. 28 You played the whore with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied. 29 You multiplied your whoring with Chaldea, the land of merchants; and even with this you were not satisfied.

30 How sick is your heart, says the Lord God, that you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen whore; 31 building your platform at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square! Yet you were not like a whore, because you scorned payment. 32 Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! 33 Gifts are given to all whores; but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from all around for your whorings. 34 So you were different from other women in your whorings: no one solicited you to play the whore; and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; you were different.

35 Therefore, O whore, hear the word of the Lord: 36 Thus says the Lord God, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whoring with your lovers, and because of all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, 37 therefore, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated; I will gather them against you from all around, and will uncover your nakedness to them, so that they may see all your nakedness. 38 I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring blood upon you in wrath and jealousy. 39 I will deliver you into their hands, and they shall throw down your platform and break down your lofty places; they shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful objects and leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall bring up a mob against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; I will stop you from playing the whore, and you shall also make no more payments. 42 So I will satisfy my fury on you, and my jealousy shall turn away from you; I will be calm, and will be angry no longer. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things; therefore, I have returned your deeds upon your head, says the Lord God.

Have you not committed lewdness beyond all your abominations? 44 See, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you, “Like mother, like daughter.” 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 You not only followed their ways, and acted according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, says the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it. 51 Samaria has not committed half your sins; you have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. 52 Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have brought about for your sisters a more favorable judgment; because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.

53 I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes along with theirs, 54 in order that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them. 55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state. 56 Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you are a mockery to the daughters of Aram[g] and all her neighbors, and to the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you. 58 You must bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, says the Lord.

An Everlasting Covenant

59 Yes, thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath, breaking the covenant; 60 yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you will remember your ways, and be ashamed when I[h] take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and give them to you as daughters, but not on account of my[i] covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 in order that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, says the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 16:7 Gk Syr: Heb Live! I made you a myriad
  2. Ezekiel 16:7 Cn: Heb ornament of ornaments
  3. Ezekiel 16:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Ezekiel 16:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Ezekiel 16:15 Heb adds let it be his
  6. Ezekiel 16:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. Ezekiel 16:57 Another reading is Edom
  8. Ezekiel 16:61 Syr: Heb you
  9. Ezekiel 16:61 Heb lacks my
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

16 The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, make Yerushalayim realize how disgusting her practices are. Say that Adonai Elohim is telling Yerushalayim, ‘By origin and birth you are of the land of the Kena‘ani — your father was an Emori, and your mother was a Hitti. As for your birth — on the day you were born nobody cut your umbilical cord, washed you in water to clean you off, rubbed salt on you or wrapped you in cloth. No one seeing you had enough pity on you to do any of these things for you — no one had any compassion on you. Instead, you were thrown into an open field in your own filth on the day you were born.

“‘I passed by and saw you there, wallowing in your own blood; and as you lay in your blood I said to you, “Live!” Yes, I said to you, as you lay in your blood, “Live! I will increase your numbers just like plants growing in the field.” And you did increase, you developed, you reached puberty, your breasts appeared, and your hair grew long; but you were naked and exposed.

“‘Again I passed by you, looked at you and saw that your time had come, the time for love. So I spread my cloak over you to cover your private parts and entered into a covenant with you,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘and you became mine. Then I bathed you in water, washed the blood off you, and anointed you with oil. 10 I also clothed you with an embroidered gown, gave you fine leather sandals to wear, put a fine linen headband on your head and covered you with silk. 11 I gave you jewelry to wear, bracelets for your hands, a necklace for your neck, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears and a beautiful crown for your head. 13 Thus you were decked out in gold and silver; your clothing was of fine linen, silk and richly embroidered cloth; you ate the finest flour, honey and olive oil. You grew increasingly beautiful — you were fit to be queen. 14 Your fame spread among the nations because of your beauty, because it was perfect, due to my having bestowed my own splendor on you’ says Adonai Elohim.

15 “‘But you put your trust in your own beauty and began prostituting yourself because of your fame, soliciting everyone passing by and accepting all comers. 16 You took your clothes and used them to decorate with bright colors the high places you made for yourself, and there you continued prostituting yourself. Such things shouldn’t happen, and in the future they won’t. 17 You also took your beautiful jewels made of my gold and my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images, with which you continued to prostitute yourself. 18 You took your embroidered clothing and covered them; you set my olive oil and my incense in front of them; 19 and you took my food, which I had given you — my fine flour, olive oil and honey, that I had given you to eat — and set it in front of them to give a pleasant aroma. That is how it was,’ says Adonai Elohim.

20 “‘Moreover, your sons and daughters, whom you bore me, you took and sacrificed for them to devour. Were these fornications of yours a casual matter? — 21 killing my children, handing them over and setting them apart for [these idols]? 22 In all your disgusting practices and fornications you never remembered the condition you were in when you were young — naked, exposed and wallowing in your own blood.

23 “‘So, after all this wickedness of yours — woe, woe to you!’ says Adonai Elohim 24 ‘you built platforms and made yourself high places in every open space. 25 You built your high places at every streetcorner, turning your beauty into an abomination, spreading your legs for every passer-by, and multiplying your acts of fornication. 26 You had sex with your big-membered Egyptian neighbors and engaged in fornication over and over, just to provoke me. 27 So now I have stretched out my hand over you, diminished your ration of food and put you at the mercy of those who hate you, the daughters of the P’lishtim, who find your lewd behavior revolting.

28 “‘Still unsatisfied, you acted like a whore also with the people of Ashur; yes, you fornicated with them and were still not satisfied. 29 You multiplied your acts of fornication with the land of traders, the Kasdim, and still weren’t satisfied.

30 “‘You are so weak-willed!’ says Adonai Elohim. ‘You do all these things, behaving like a shameless whore, 31 building your platforms on every streetcorner, making your high places in every open space — and yet you aren’t like a whore, because you scorn getting paid. 32 Here is a wife who commits adultery, who goes to bed with strangers instead of her husband; 33 but also instead of receiving gifts like every other prostitute, you give gifts to all your lovers, you bribe them to come to you from all over the place and have sex with you! 34 You are the opposite of other women — you solicit the fornication, you aren’t solicited; and you pay them, they don’t pay you — you’re the opposite!

35 “‘All right, you whore, listen to the word of Adonai!’ 36 Adonai Elohim says: ‘Because your filth has been poured out and your privates exposed through your acts of fornication with your lovers, and because of all the idols of your disgusting practices, and because of the blood of your children, which you gave them, 37 therefore, look! I am going to gather all your lovers, to whom you have been so very nice, all the ones you hate right along with all the ones you love — I will gather them against you from all over the place and expose your private parts to them, so that they will see you completely naked. 38 I will pronounce on you the sentence that applies to women who commit adultery and murder; I will bring on you the death [decreed for] furious jealousy. 39 Yes, I will hand you over to them; and they will make a ruin of your platforms, tear down your high places, strip you of your clothes, take away your jewels, and leave you naked and exposed. 40 They will also bring up a mob against you, who will stone you to death and hack you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn your houses to the ground and execute judgments against you in the presence of many women. I will make you stop fornicating, and you will never again pay for a lover.

42 “‘Yes, I will satisfy my fury against you. But after that, my jealousy will leave you; and I will calm down and no longer be angry.

43 “‘Because you didn’t remember the condition you were in when you were young, but enraged me with all these things, therefore I will bring [the consequences of] your ways on your own head’ says Adonai Elohim.

“‘You committed these obscenities in addition to all your other disgusting practices! 44 Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb against you, “Like mother, like daughter.” 45 Yes, you are your mother’s daughter, who despises her husband and children; you are the sister of your sisters, who despise their husbands and children; your mother was a Hitti and your father an Emori. 46 Moreover, your older sister is Shomron, who lives at your left, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, living at your right, is S’dom with her daughters. 47 You didn’t merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways.

48 “‘As I live’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘your sister S’dom has not done, neither she nor her daughters, [as much evil] as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 The crimes of your sister S’dom were pride and gluttony; she and her daughters were careless and complacent, so that they did nothing to help the poor and needy. 50 They were arrogant and committed disgusting acts before me; so that when I saw it, I swept them away. 51 Shomron did not commit even half as many sins as you did. You committed many more disgusting acts than your sisters; in fact, in comparison with all the disgusting acts you have committed, they seem innocent! 52 But you too must bear your disgrace; for by your passing judgment that your sisters were innocent, through your having committed sins worse than theirs, they are shown to be more righteous than you. So be ashamed, and bear the disgrace you deserve for making your [guilty] sisters seem innocent!

53 “‘I will end their exile — the exile of S’dom and her daughters, the exile of Shomron and her daughters, and the exile of your captives there among them; 54 so that you can bear your own shame and experience the disgrace you deserve for all you have done to shield them from feeling their own guilt. 55 Your sisters, S’dom with her daughters and Shomron with her daughters, will return to their previous condition; and you with your daughters will return to your previous condition. 56 When you were so proud, you spoke with contempt about your sister S’dom, 57 before your own wickedness was exposed. But now the daughters of Aram mock you, as do her neighbors; and the daughters of the P’lishtim on every side are repulsed by you. 58 You have brought it all on yourself with your depravities and disgusting practices,’ says Adonai.

59 “For here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will do to you as you have done — you treated the oath with contempt by breaking the covenant. 60 Nevertheless, I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl and will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your behavior and be ashamed of it as you receive your older and younger sisters and make them your daughters, even though the covenant with you does not cover that; 62 and I will re-establish my covenant with you. Then you will know that I am Adonai; 63 so that you will remember and be so ashamed that you will never open your mouth again, so ashamed will you be when I have forgiven you all that you have done,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Ezekiel 16 The Message (MSG)

Your Beauty Went to Your Head

16 1-3 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her outrageous violations. Say this: ‘The Message of God, the Master, to Jerusalem: You were born and bred among Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.

4-5 “‘On the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, you weren’t bathed and cleaned up, you weren’t rubbed with salt, you weren’t wrapped in a baby blanket. No one cared a fig for you. No one did one thing to care for you tenderly in these ways. You were thrown out into a vacant lot and left there, dirty and unwashed—a newborn nobody wanted.

6-7 “‘And then I came by. I saw you all miserable and bloody. Yes, I said to you, lying there helpless and filthy, “Live! Grow up like a plant in the field!” And you did. You grew up. You grew tall and matured as a woman, full-breasted, with flowing hair. But you were naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed.

8-14 “‘I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils. I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet. I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing. I adorned you with jewelry: I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara. You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil. You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.

15-16 “‘But your beauty went to your head and you became a common whore, grabbing anyone coming down the street and taking him into your bed. You took your fine dresses and made “tents” of them, using them as brothels in which you practiced your trade. This kind of thing should never happen, never.

What a Sick Soul!

17-19 “‘And then you took all that fine jewelry I gave you, my gold and my silver, and made pornographic images of them for your brothels. You decorated your beds with fashionable silks and cottons, and perfumed them with my aromatic oils and incense. And then you set out the wonderful foods I provided—the fresh breads and fruits, with fine herbs and spices, which were my gifts to you—and you served them as delicacies in your whorehouses. That’s what happened, says God, the Master.

20-21 “‘And then you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had given birth to as my children, and you killed them, sacrificing them to idols. Wasn’t it bad enough that you had become a whore? And now you’re a murderer, killing my children and sacrificing them to idols.

22 “‘Not once during these years of outrageous obscenities and whorings did you remember your infancy, when you were naked and exposed, a blood-smeared newborn.

23-24 “‘And then to top off all your evil acts, you built your bold brothels in every town square. Doom! Doom to you, says God, the Master! At every major intersection you built your bold brothels and exposed your sluttish sex, spreading your legs for everyone who passed by.

25-27 “‘And then you went international with your whoring. You fornicated with the Egyptians, seeking them out in their sex orgies. The more promiscuous you became, the angrier I got. Finally, I intervened, reduced your borders and turned you over to the rapacity of your enemies. Even the Philistine women—can you believe it?—were shocked at your sluttish life.

28-29 “‘You went on to fornicate with the Assyrians. Your appetite was insatiable. But still you weren’t satisfied. You took on the Babylonians, a country of businessmen, and still you weren’t satisfied.

30-31 “‘What a sick soul! Doing all this stuff—the champion whore! You built your bold brothels at every major intersection, opened up your whorehouses in every neighborhood, but you were different from regular whores in that you wouldn’t accept a fee.

32-34 “‘Wives who are unfaithful to their husbands accept gifts from their lovers. And men commonly pay their whores. But you pay your lovers! You bribe men from all over to come to bed with you! You’re just the opposite of the regular whores who get paid for sex. Instead, you pay men for their favors! You even pervert whoredom!

35-38 “‘Therefore, whore, listen to God’s Message: I, God, the Master, say, Because you’ve been unrestrained in your promiscuity, stripped down for every lover, flaunting your sex, and because of your pornographic idols and all the slaughtered children you offered to them, therefore, because of all this, I’m going to get all your lovers together, all those you’ve used for your own pleasure, the ones you loved and the ones you loathed. I’ll assemble them as a courtroom of spectators around you. In broad daylight I’ll strip you naked before them—they’ll see what you really look like. Then I’ll sentence you to the punishment for an adulterous woman and a murderous woman. I’ll give you a taste of my wrath!

39-41 “‘I’ll gather all your lovers around you and turn you over to them. They’ll tear down your bold brothels and sex shrines. They’ll rip off your clothes, take your jewels, and leave you naked and exposed. Then they’ll call for a mass meeting. The mob will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. They’ll burn down your houses. A massive judgment—with all the women watching!

41-42 “‘I’ll have put a full stop to your whoring life—no more paying lovers to come to your bed! By then my anger will be played out. My jealousy will subside.

43 “‘Because you didn’t remember what happened when you were young but made me angry with all this behavior, I’ll make you pay for your waywardness. Didn’t you just exponentially compound your outrageous obscenities with all your sluttish ways?

44-45 “‘Everyone who likes to use proverbs will use this one: “Like mother, like daughter.” You’re the daughter of your mother, who couldn’t stand her husband and children. And you’re a true sister of your sisters, who couldn’t stand their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.

46-48 “‘Your older sister is Samaria. She lived to the north of you with her daughters. Your younger sister is Sodom, who lived to the south of you with her daughters. Haven’t you lived just like they did? Haven’t you engaged in outrageous obscenities just like they did? In fact, it didn’t take you long to catch up and pass them! As sure as I am the living God!—Decree of God, the Master—your sister Sodom and her daughters never even came close to what you and your daughters have done.

49-50 “‘The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.

51-52 “‘And Samaria. Samaria didn’t sin half as much as you. You’ve committed far more obscenities than she ever did. Why, you make your two sisters look good in comparison with what you’ve done! Face it, your sisters look mighty good compared with you. Because you’ve outsinned them so completely, you’ve actually made them look righteous. Aren’t you ashamed? But you’re going to have to live with it. What a reputation to carry into history: outsinning your two sisters!

53-58 “‘But I’m going to reverse their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters. And—get this—your fortunes right along with them! Still, you’re going to have to live with your shame. And by facing and accepting your shame, you’re going to provide some comfort to your two sisters. Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will become what they were before, and you will become what you were before. Remember the days when you were putting on airs, acting so high and mighty, looking down on sister Sodom? That was before your evil ways were exposed. And now you’re the butt of contempt, despised by the Edomite women, the Philistine women, and everybody else around. But you have to face it, to accept the shame of your obscene and vile life. Decree of God, the Master.

59-63 “‘God, the Master, says, I’ll do to you just as you have already done, you who have treated my oath with contempt and broken the covenant. All the same, I’ll remember the covenant I made with you when you were young and I’ll make a new covenant with you that will last forever. You’ll remember your sorry past and be properly contrite when you receive back your sisters, both the older and the younger. I’ll give them to you as daughters, but not as participants in your covenant. I’ll firmly establish my covenant with you and you’ll know that I am God. You’ll remember your past life and face the shame of it, but when I make atonement for you, make everything right after all you’ve done, it will leave you speechless.’” Decree of God, the Master.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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