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.