Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 3. Fornication. That is, idolatry. (Challoner) — Down. Virgins used the stomacher, or (Haydock) fascia pectoralis, Isaias iii. 24. This chapter resembles the 16th. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Oolla and Ooliba. God calls the kingdom of Israel Oolla, which signifies their own habitation, because they separated themselves from his temple; and the kingdom of Juda Ooliba, which signifies his habitation in her, because of his temple among them in Jerusalem. (Challoner) — The ten tribes first gave way to idolatry, and were more numerous. (Calmet) — In Egypt the people were united, yet abandoned to idolatry in their youth, when they were only beginning to increase. Afterwards the ten tribes set up altars for themselves, at Dan and Bethel. (Worthington)
Ver. 5. Assyrians. That is, the idols of the Assyrians: for all that is said in this chapter of the fornications of Israel and Juda, is to be understood in a spiritual sense of their disloyalty to the Lord, by worshipping strange gods. (Challoner) (Worthington) — The Assyrians taught the worship of Baal, the high places, &c. The Egyptians also promoted their abominations. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Blue, or purple. This was reserved for the principal nobility.
Ver. 8. Egypt. They always retained an affection for those idols, the calf, Adonis, &c.
Ver. 10. Disgrace: satisfying their passions, ver. 29. (Calmet) — Women. Having once lost all sense of decorum, they became more abandoned. (Haydock)
Ver. 11. This; not chastisement, but dissolution.
Ver. 14. Colours. She was enamoured at the account or picture of these people, without ever having seen them.
Ver. 16. Messengers. Achaz invited the Assyrians, and imitated their altars, &c., 4 Kings xvi. 2., &c. (Calmet) — The Chaldeans afterwards possessed the country. (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Love. Literally, “of breasts,” as Hebrew also signifies. Here it denotes the temples. (Haydock)
Ver. 19. Remembering, or “causing to be remembered” by God, who seemed to have forgotten those ancient scenes of wickedness, chap. xxi. 24.
Ver. 20. Asses. He means the Egyptians, (chap. xvi. 26.) in whom the kings of Juda trusted. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. About. The Philistines, Ammonites, &c., shall join the Chaldeans, (Haydock) and Egypt shall desert the Jews in their greatest need. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. Nobles. Protestants, “Pekod, and Shoah, and Roa:” (Haydock) which Junius takes to be the three great divisions of the empire. Others suppose they denote the dignities, though they occur not in Daniel. — Captains. Hebrew, “Phachat, and Saganim, (ver. 6, 12.) and Schalischim;” officers mentioned [in] Exodus xiv. 7., and 2 Kings xxiii. 8. — Renowned, called to the assemblies and councils of the prince, Numbers i. 16. (Calmet) — Horsemen. Protestants, “all of them riding upon horses.” (Haydock)
Ver. 24. Judgments, at Reblatha, 4 Kings xxv. 6.
Ver. 25. Jealousy, the most violent of passions. (Calmet) — So the Chaldeans are styled, as Assur is the rod, Isaias x. 5. (Worthington) — Ears, the punishment of adulteresses: both king and priests suffer. (St. Jerome) — Thus the captives were probably treated. (Calmet) See Seneca, Ira. iii. 20. — Fire, by Ismahel, chap. xix. 14.
Ver. 26. Glory; vanity, or of the temple, chap. xvi. 17., and Osee ii. 4.
Ver. 31. Cup. Thou shalt be punished like Samaria, dreadfully, 4 Kings xvii. 4. (Calmet)
Ver. 34. Fragments, as drunkards sometimes bite (Haydock) the cup in their rage. — Rend. What had been the occasion of thy fall: (Calmet) pectori planxi. (Ovid, ep. 5.)
Ver. 36. Deeds. He is thus admonished to condemn them; (chap. xx. 4.) as times and places tended to aggravate their crimes, ver. 39. (Worthington)
Ver. 40. Paint, with antimony. (Septuagint) See 4 Kings ix. 3.
Ver. 41. Bed: it seems at table, Amos ii. 8., and Tobias ii. 3. — Ointment; using them for thyself, or presenting them to idols, Exodus xxx. 23, 33. (Calmet)
Ver. 42. And that. Protestants, “Sabeans (marginal note and Septuagint, drunkards) from,” &c. Any were admitted (Haydock) to the priesthood and to her favours, even the most rustic and deformed, 3 Kings xii. 32.
Ver. 45. Just, compared with the Jews, whom they shall chastise. (Calmet)
Ver. 47. Stones, like adulteresses, chap. xvi. 38., and Leviticus xx. 10. (Haydock) — Let the walls be demolished. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Under the name of the two harlots, Oolla and Ooliba, are described the manifold disloyalties of Samaria and Jerusalem, with the punishment of them both.
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, *saying:
2 Son of man, there were two women, daughters of one mother:
3 And they committed fornication in Egypt, in their youth they committed fornication: there were their breasts pressed down, and the teats of their virginity were bruised.
4 And their names were Oolla, the elder, and Ooliba, her younger sister: and I took them, and they bore sons and daughters. Now for their names: Samaria is Oolla, and Jerusalem is Ooliba.
5 And Oolla committed fornication against me, and doated on her lovers, on the Assyrians that came to her.
6 Who were clothed with blue, princes, and rulers, beautiful youths, all horsemen, mounted upon horses.
7 And she committed her fornications with those chosen men, all sons of the Assyrians: and she defiled herself with the uncleanness of all them on whom she doated.
8 Moreover also, she did not forsake her fornications which she had committed in Egypt: for they also lay with her in her youth, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured out their fornication upon her.
9 Therefore have I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the sons of the Assyrians, upon whose lust she doated.
10 *They discovered her disgrace, took away her sons and daughters, and slew her with the sword: and they became infamous women, and they executed judgments in her.
11 And when her sister, Ooliba, saw this, she was mad with lust more than she: and she carried her fornication beyond the fornication of her sister.
12 Impudently prostituting herself to the children of the Assyrians, the princes, and rulers that came to her, clothed with divers colours, to the horsemen that rode upon horses, and to young men, all of great beauty.
13 And I saw that she was defiled, and that they both took one way.
14 And she increased her fornications: and when she had seen men painted on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans set forth in colours,
15 And girded with girdles about their reins, and with dyed turbans on their heads, the resemblance of all the captains, the likeness of the sons of Babylon, and of the land of the Chaldeans, wherein they were born.
16 She doated upon them with the lust of her eyes, and she sent messengers to them into Chaldea.
17 And when the sons of Babylon were come to her to the bed of love, they defiled her with their fornications, and she was polluted by them, and her soul was glutted with them.
18 And she discovered her fornications, and discovered her disgrace: and my soul was alienated from her as my soul was alienated from her sister.
19 For she multiplied her fornications, remembering the days of her youth, in which she played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
20 And she was mad with lust after lying with them, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses: and whose issue as the issue of horses.
21 And thou hast renewed the wickedness of thy youth, when thy breasts were pressed in Egypt, and the paps of thy virginity broken.
22 Therefore, Ooliba, thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will raise up against thee all thy lovers, with whom thy soul hath been glutted: and I will gather them together against thee round about.
23 The children of Babylon, and all the Chaldeans, the nobles, and the kings, and princes, all the sons of the Assyrians, beautiful young men, all the captains, and rulers, the princes of princes, and the renowned horsemen.
24 And they shall come upon thee well appointed with chariot and wheel, a multitude of people: they shall be armed against thee on every side with breastplate, and buckler, and helmet: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee by their judgments.
25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, which they shall execute upon thee, with fury: they shall cut off thy nose and thy ears: and what remains shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons, and thy daughters, and thy residue shall be devoured by fire.
26 And they shall strip thee of thy garments, and take away the instruments of thy glory.
27 And I will put an end to thy wickedness in thee, and thy fornication brought out of the land of Egypt: neither shalt thou lift up thy eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more.
28 For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will deliver thee into the hands of them whom thou hatest, into their hands with whom thy soul hath been glutted.
29 And they shall deal with thee in hatred, and they shall take away all thy labours, and shall let thee go naked, and full of disgrace, and the disgrace of thy fornication shall be discovered, thy wickedness, and thy fornications.
30 They have done these things to thee, because thou hast played the harlot with the nations among which thou wast defiled with their idols.
31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister, and I will give her cup into thy hand.
32 Thus saith the Lord God: Thou shalt drink thy sister’s cup, deep, and wide: thou shalt be had in derision and scorn, which containeth very much.
33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness, and sorrow: with the cup of grief, and sadness, with the cup of thy sister, Samaria.
34 And thou shalt drink it, and shalt drink it up even to the dregs, and thou shalt devour the fragments thereof, thou shalt rend thy breasts: because I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
35 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast forgotten me, and hast cast me off behind thy back, bear thou also thy wickedness, and thy fornications.
36 And the Lord spoke to me, saying: Son of man, dost thou judge Oolla, and Ooliba, and dost thou declare to them their wicked deeds?
37 Because they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and they have committed fornication with their idols: moreover also their children, whom they bore to me, they have offered to them to be devoured.
38 Yea, and they have done this to me. They polluted my sanctuary on the same day, and profaned my sabbaths.
39 And when they sacrificed their children to their idols, and went into my sanctuary the same day, to profane it: they did these things even in the midst of my house.
40 They sent for men coming from afar, to whom they had sent a messenger: and behold they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, and didst paint thy eyes, and wast adorned with women’s ornaments.
41 Thou sattest on a very fine bed, and a table was decked before thee: whereupon thou didst set my incense and my ointment.
42 And there was in her the voice of a multitude rejoicing: and to some that were brought of the multitude of men, and that came from the desert, they put bracelets on their hands, and beautiful crowns on their heads.
43 And I said to her that was worn out in her adulteries: Now will this woman still continue in her fornication.
44 And they went in to her, as to a harlot: so went they in unto Oolla, and Ooliba, wicked women.
45 They, therefore, are just men: these shall judge them as adulteresses are judged, and as shedders of blood are judged: because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.
46 For thus saith the Lord God: Bring a multitude upon them, and deliver them over to tumult and rapine:
47 And let the people stone them with stones, and let them be stabbed with their swords: they shall kill their sons and daughters, and their houses they shall burn with fire.
48 And I will take away wickedness out of the land: and all women shall learn, not to do according to the wickedness of them.
49 And they shall render your wickedness upon you, and you shall bear the sins of your idols: and you shall know that I am the Lord God.
1: Year of the World 3411.
10: Ezechiel xvi. 38.