This long chapter (63 verses) is a parable that tells the story of Jerusalem’s HUMBLE BEGINNING, God’s GRACE in elevating her to a favored nation, Israel’s PRIDE and REBELLION against God, and God’s JUDGMENT upon her followed by GRACE being bestowed on her once again.  The chapter could be broken down into the following FOUR sections:

1) God’s GRACE toward Jerusalem….verses 1-14

2) Jerusalem’s UNFAITHFULNESS toward God….verses 15-34

3) God’s JUDGMENT upon Jerusalem announced….verses 35-59

4) God’s GRACE toward Jerusalem in establishing His covenant with her….verses 60-63

We will now go through verses 1-14 by quoting it section by section with brief comments. It should be noted that with any parable, there are certain lessons to learn but we can’t expect every detail to be explained or to fit the narrative perfectly.

Verses 1-5: “Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you, but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born’” (NKJV). In this parable of “the abandoned child” we learn that Israel was not loved or cared for (by other nations) when she was born; she was despised and rejected.

Verses 6-8: “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord GOD.” In GRACE God raised up Israel from certain death and He gave her life. In time she became a mature and beautiful nation and God formed a covenant with her and she became His earthly BRIDE (the act of a man “spreading his skirt over a single woman” symbolized BETROTHAL and MARRIAGE…see Ruth 3:9).

Verses 9-14: “Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord GOD.” All traces of Israel’s humble beginnings are removed and in their place God adorned her with a glory that brought her into favor with every nation.

If we were to examine the historical books we would see that this parable starts with Israel’s birth in the book of Genesis. Her rejection is seen in Exodus chapters 1-11 (where she was a slave in the land of Egypt), followed by God lifting her up to be His chosen people among all the nations in Exodus chapter 12. The glory that follows God’s choice of her to be His earthly bride takes us through 1st Kings 10, the time of Solomon’s reign where his fame spread throughout the world. But from that point on failure and declension set in as Israel turned to other gods which was tantamount to “spiritual adultery.” This is depicted in Ezekiel’s next parable; the “adulterous harlot” in verses 15-34. This is followed by God’s righteous judgment being pronounced and her rejection by the nations once again in verses 35-59. Yet her story ends with God’s matchless grace, where Israel is restored to Him based on His everlasting covenant (of GRACE) with her (verses 60-63).  (374.5)  (DO)