The Two Unfaithful Wives (Ezekiel 23)

Samaria Is Aholah, And Jerusalem Aholibah Ezekiel 23 - YouTube

In an extended parable (Ezekiel, Chapter 23), God speaks of two unfaithful wives, sisters: Aholah and Aholibah. He makes it clear to Ezekiel, and to us, that the elder sister is Samaria (capital of the northern kingdom of Israel) and the younger is Jerusalam. They have been unfaithful, and they’ll be severely punished for it.

Why didn’t God just call them by their names?

“Aholah” means “my tent,” and “Aholibah” means “My tent is in her.” “Tent”, of course, means the home: the Hebrews of Ezekiel’s time were all descended from tent-dwellers. Some, like the Rechabites, still lived in tents.

So God here is personalizing the issue, likening his relationship with the two kingdoms to that of a man who has two wives who bring their lovers into his tent while he’s out on business. That’s about as personal as it gets–and it brings on God’s wrath.

The peoples of Israel and Judah were guilty of all sorts of sins–idolatry, profaning the sabbath, and even stooped to human sacrifice (v. 37)–all of which God condemns as adultery practiced against Him by his “wives,” the two kingdoms.

And the point is–this is my opinion–that God takes sin personally: all sin is sin against Him. We moderns would rather not hear that! We are none of us as good as we think we are, and it took Jesus Christ the Son of God coming to earth as a baby, and dying on the cross as a man, to save us.

Something to keep in mind as Christmas approaches.


2 comments on “The Two Unfaithful Wives (Ezekiel 23)

  1. I recall this from earlier studies, but it’s been a long time since I read that. Ancient Israel set records for unfaithfulness. Throughout its history, Israel failed to live up to its covenant and God was patient, sending them prophets to straighten their path. The northern 10 tribes ended up dispersed, over 100 years before the Babylonian exile, but even the 2 tribe Judean kingdom failed miserably. Idolatry was a serious problem, up to the time of the Babylonian exile.

    God has never forgotten His promise to Abraham, however.

  2. Bible stories like this make us groan within when we see so much injustice going on in the world, and how communist countries like China become so dominant after killing so many of its own people, and why God doesn’t judge the corruption taking place in our own nation – the Clintons & Obamas for instance.

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