23 1THE WORD of the Lord came again to me, saying, 2Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3And they played the harlot in Egypt. There they played the harlot in their youth; there their bosoms were pressed and there their virgin breasts were handled. 4And the names of them were Aholah the elder and Aholibah her sister, and they became Mine and they bore sons and daughters. As for the identity of their names, Aholah is Samaria and Aholibah is Jerusalem. 5And Aholah played the harlot when she was Mine, and she was foolishly fond of her lovers and doted on the Assyrians her neighbors, 6Who were clothed with blue, governors and deputies, all of them attractive young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 7And she bestowed her harlotries upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and on whomever she doted, with all their idols she defiled herself. 8Neither has she left her harlotries since the days of Egypt [from where she brought them], for in her youth men there lay with her and handled her girlish bosom, and they poured out their sinful desire upon her. 9Wherefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians upon whom she doted. 10These uncovered her nakedness and shame; they took her sons and her daughters and they slew her with the sword, and her name became notorious and a byword among women when judgments were executed upon her. 11And her sister Aholibah saw this; yet she was more corrupt in her foolish fondness than she, and in her harlotries she was more wanton than her sister in her harlotries. 12She doted upon the Assyrians--governors and deputies, her neighbors, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. 13And I saw that she was defiled, that both [of the sisters] took one way. 14But [Aholibah] carried her harlotries further, for she saw men pictured upon the wall, the pictures of the Chaldeans sketched in bright red pigment, 15Girded with girdles on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, a picture of Babylonian men whose native land was Chaldea, 16Then as soon as she saw [the sketches of] them, she doted on them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their evil desire; and when she was polluted by them, she [Jerusalem] broke the relationship and pushed them away from her in disgust. 18So she flaunted her harlotries and exposed her nakedness, and I was disgusted and turned from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. 19Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth in which she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20For she doted upon her paramours there, whose lust was sensuous and vulgar like that of asses or stallions. 21Thus you yearned for the lewdness of your youth, when those of Egypt handled your bosom on account of your girlish breasts. 22Therefore, O Aholibah, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will rouse up your lovers against you, from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you on every side: 23The Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and officers all of them, princes, men of renown and counselors, all of them riding on horses. 24And they shall come against you with weapons, chariots, wagons and wheels, and with a host of infantry which shall array themselves against you with buckler and shield and helmet round about; and I will commit the judgment and punishment to them, and they shall judge and punish you according to their [heathen] customs in such matters. 25And I will set My jealous indignation against you, and they shall deal with you in fury; they shall take away your nose and your ears, and those who are left of you shall fall by the sword; they shall take your sons and your daughters, and the remainder shall be devoured by the fire. 26They shall also strip you [Judah] of your clothes and take away your fine jewels. 27Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt, so that you will not lift up your eyes to them nor [earnestly] remember Egypt any more. 28For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned away in disgust. 29They shall deal with you in hatred and shall take away all [the earnings of] your labor and shall leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your wanton ways. 30These things shall be done to you, because you have played the harlot after the nations and because you have defiled yourself with their idols. 31You have walked in the way of your sister [Samaria, Israel’s capital]; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32Thus says the Lord God: You shall drink of your sister’s cup which is deep and wide and brimful; you shall be laughed to scorn and held in derision, for it contains much [too much to endure]. 33You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of wasting astonishment and horror and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria. 34You shall drink it and drain it out, and then gnaw the pieces of it [which in your drunkenness you have broken] and shall tear your [own] breasts; for I have spoken it, says the Lord God. 35Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have forgotten Me [your divine Husband] and cast Me behind your back, therefore bear also [the consequences of] your lewdness and your harlotry. 36The Lord said, moreover, to me: Son of man, will you judge Aholah and Aholibah? Then declare and show to them their abominations (the detestable, loathsome, and shamefully vile things they do), 37For they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands, even with their idols have they committed adultery [against Me]. And they have also caused their sons, whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire to their images [as an offering of food] to be devoured [by them]. 38Moreover, this they have done to Me: they have defiled My sanctuary on the same day [of their idolatries] and have profaned My Sabbaths. 39For when they had slain their children [as offerings] to their idols, then they came the same day into My sanctuary to profane it [by daring to offer sacrifice there also]! And behold, thus have they done in the midst of My house! 40And furthermore, you have sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came--those for whom you washed yourself, painted your eyelids, and decked yourself with ornaments; 41And you sat upon a stately couch with a table spread before it upon which you set My incense and My oil. 42And the sound of a careless crowd was with her, and with men of the common sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness, who put bracelets upon the hands of both sisters and beautiful crowns upon their heads. 43Then I said of the one [Aholah] worn out with adulteries, Will they now play the harlot with her [now that she is old] and she with them? 44Yet they went in to her as they go in to a woman who plays the harlot; so they went in to Aholah and to Aholibah [Israel and Judah], the lewd women. 45And the righteous men, they shall judge and condemn them to the punishment due to adulteresses, to women who shed blood, for they are adulteresses and blood is upon their hands. 46For thus says the Lord God: I will bring up a host upon them and will give them over to be tossed to and fro and robbed. 47And the host shall stone them with stones and cut them down with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters and burn up their houses with fire. 48Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 49Thus your lewdness shall be recompensed upon you and you shall suffer the penalty for your sinful idolatry; and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord God.
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