She Lusted after Her Lovers - Ezekiel 23:20 Meaning
Ezekiel 23:20, a frequently misinterpreted verse in the Old Testament, is examined in this article to provide an in-depth analysis of its meaning, historical context, and the allegory of Oholah and Oholibah.
By investigating the meaning of "She Lusted after Her Lovers", we aim to offer a comprehensive understanding of this intricate passage and its implications to our spiritual life while addressing its significance in the Bible and the lessons it imparts about lust, betrayal, and consequences.
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"There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."Ezekiel 23:20
- The Context of Ezekiel 23
- The Meaning of "She Lusted after Her Lovers - Ezekiel 23:20"
- Interpretation of the Passage
- Lessons Learned From Ezekiel 23:20
- Ezekiel 23:20 Bible Verse Translations
- 10 Key Bible Verses About Lust
- Matthew 5:27-28
- 1 Corinthians 6:18
- Pray This Prayer
- FAQs On Ezekiel 23:20
The Context of Ezekiel 23
To properly understand Ezekiel 23:20, it's crucial to grasp the historical context in which it was written. Ezekiel was a prophet who lived during the Babylonian exile around the 6th century BCE. His prophecies were primarily directed at the Israelites who had been taken captive by the Babylonians.
The Allegory of Oholah and Oholibah
When you read the entire book of Ezekiel 23, you could see that God was displeased with two nations; Samari (Israel) and Jerusalem (Judah) because of their adulterous behavior depicted by the story of two promiscuous sisters; one was Oholah which references Samaria, and the other was Oholibah as Jerusalem.
In God's eyes, both nations betrayed Him through idolatry which He had warned them not to practice. They claimed to love God but yet they lusted after other nations, worshiped their idols and false gods.
The Meaning of "She Lusted after Her Lovers - Ezekiel 23:20"
In this context, Ezekiel 23:20 specifically refers to Oholibah (Jerusalem) lusting after her lovers, meaning her infatuation with the idolatrous practices and alliances of foreign nations. The graphic language in this verse emphasizes the spiritual adultery committed by the people of Judah, as they turned away from their covenant with God and pursued other gods.
Interpretation of the Passage
Idolatry and Spiritual Adultery
The main theme of Ezekiel 23:20 is the idea of spiritual adultery. Throughout the Old Testament, God's relationship with Israel is often likened to a marriage. When the Israelites turned to worship other gods, they were committing spiritual adultery against their divine husband, God. The passage serves as a strong condemnation of the Israelites' unfaithfulness and their pursuit of foreign gods.
Consequences of Turning Away from God
Another important aspect of this passage is the consequences of turning away from God. The unfaithfulness of Oholah and Oholibah ultimately leads to their downfall, as God allows foreign nations to conquer and destroy them. This serves as a warning to all nations that turning away from God has severe consequences.
God's Judgment and Restoration
Despite the harsh judgment against the Israelites, Ezekiel's prophecies also contain a message of hope and restoration. Though they have been unfaithful, God promises to restore them if they repent and return to Him. This theme of God's mercy and forgiveness is crucial to the passage's overall message.
Lessons Learned From Ezekiel 23:20
- The consequences of idolatry and spiritual unfaithfulness: The allegory of Oholah and Oholibah is primarily about the spiritual unfaithfulness of the Israelite people. They turned away from their covenant with God and pursued other gods, ultimately leading to their captivity. Ezekiel 23:20 serves as a reminder of the severe consequences of turning away from God and pursuing other gods.
- The importance of maintaining a faithful relationship with God: The graphic nature of the verse is intended to convey the seriousness of the Israelites' spiritual infidelity. It highlights the importance of staying faithful to God and maintaining a close relationship with Him.
- The role of the prophet in calling out sin: Ezekiel, as a prophet, was tasked with calling out the sinful behavior of the Israelite people and warning them of the consequences of their actions. Spiritual leaders must confront sin and hold their communities accountable.
Ezekiel 23:20 Bible Verse Translations
- King James Version (KJV): "For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."
- New International Version (NIV): "There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."
- English Standard Version (ESV): "And she lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses."
- New American Standard Bible (NASB): "She lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses."
- New Living Translation (NLT): "She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey's and emissions like those of a horse."
10 Key Bible Verses About Lust
- Matthew 5:28: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
- Job 31:1: "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman."
- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
- Galatians 5:16: "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
- James 1:14-15: "But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5: "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God."
- Romans 13:13-14: "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."
- 2 Timothy 2:22: "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
- Proverbs 6:25-28: "Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man's wife preys on your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?"
- Colossians 3:5: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."
See also: Jeremiah 11 11 Commentary
Jesus says "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
1 Corinthians 6:18
"Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body."
Pray This Prayer
Dear Lord, there are times when our mind drifts away from your presence and we are trapped in an endless desires for fleshly things. We allow our desires for lustful things to cloud us till it comes to fruition.
Please Lord, help me to guide my heart and mind from worldly desires. Do not let the devil take control of my mind. Your words in Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) says "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
Father, I have come to you today so you may take full control of my heart, and may out of it flow the springs of life, holy desires, good counsels etc. I know that whoever controls my mind controls my life. Please Lord, I hand over my mind and heart to you that you may control it.
Any traces of lustful desires and thoughts in my mind, I ask that you destroy them and cleanse my mind so it becomes as white as snow.
All these I ask in Jesus' name - Amen.
FAQs On Ezekiel 23:20
How to overcome lust of the eyes?
There are several ways that you can overcome the lust of the eyes. One way is to pray for help. You can also try to fill your mind with good thoughts instead of focusing on the things that you lust after.
You can also try to keep busy and focus on other things. Finally, you can also try to distance yourself from anything that might cause you to lust after it.
What are signs of lust?
There are many signs of lust, but some of the most common ones include intense physical attraction, preoccupation with sexual thoughts, and engaging in risky or impulsive behaviours.
Other signs can include feeling a strong need for approval from others, difficulty forming close attachments, and using sex as a way to manipulate or control others.
What Is Love vs Lust?
Love and lust are two emotions that often get confused. While they both involve strong feelings towards someone, there are some key differences between the two.
Love is usually based on a deep emotional connection, while lust is more physical in nature. Love is also more long-lasting than lust, which often fades over time.
What verse is do not lust?
Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelids. For the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman brings disaster to her husband. (Proverbs 6:25-26)
How can I stop lusting?
If you're struggling with lust, there are a few things you can do to help curb your desires. First, try to fill your time with healthy activities that you enjoy. This can help take your mind off of sexual thoughts.
Additionally, be honest with yourself about your triggers and temptations. If you know that being around a certain person or seeing a certain type of clothing is likely to cause you to lust, try to avoid those situations.
Finally, make a commitment to yourself to abstain from sexual activity until you're married. This can be a difficult task, but it can be very rewarding in the long run.
By taking these steps, you can work towards overcoming your lustful thoughts and desires.
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