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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 16

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The Faithless Spouse. 1Thus the word of the LORD came to me: 2Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations. 3Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.* 4As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut; you were neither washed with water nor anointed, nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes. 5No one looked on you with pity or compassion to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome, the day you were born.

6Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood. I said to you: Live in your blood 7and grow like a plant in the field. You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty; your breasts were formed, your hair had grown, but you were still stark naked.8Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love. So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness;*I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you; you became mine, says the Lord GOD. 9Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. 10I clothed you with an embroidered gown, put sandals of fine leather on your feet; I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear. 11I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms, a necklace about your neck, 12a ring in your nose, pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head. 13Thus you were adorned with gold and silver; your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food. You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen. 14You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was, because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.

15But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer‐by, whose own you became.16 *You took some of your gowns and made for yourself gaudy high places, where you played the harlot.…17You took the splendid gold and silver ornaments that I had given you and made for yourself male images, with which also you played the harlot. 18You took your embroidered gowns to cover them; my oil and my incense you set before them; 19the food that I had given you, the fine flour, the oil, and the honey with which I fed you, you set before them as an appeasing odor, says the Lord GOD.20 z Ez 20, 26. 31; 23, 37ff; Lv 18, 21; 20, 2; Dt 12, 31; 18, 10; 2 Kgs 21, 6; 23, 10; 24. 4; Jer 7, 31; 19, 5; 32, 34; Mi 6, 7 . The sons and daughters you had borne me you took and offered as sacrifices*to be devoured by them! Was it not enough that you had become a harlot? 21 a 2 Kgs 16, 3; 17, 17; 21, 6; 23, 10 . You slaughtered and immolated my children to them, making them pass through fire.22And through all your abominations and harlotries you remembered nothing of when you were a girl, stark naked and weltering in your blood.

23Then after all your evildoing—woe, woe to you! says the Lord GOD— 24you raised for yourself a platform and a dais*in every public place. 25 b Ez 23, 8; Is 57, 7; Jer 2, 20; 3, 2; 5, 7; 13, 27; Hos 2, 4; 4, 13 . At every street corner you built a dais for yourself to use your beauty obscenely, spreading your legs for every passer‐by, playing the harlot countless times. 26You played the harlot with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, so many times that I was provoked to anger. 27Therefore I stretched out my hand against you, I diminished your allowance and delivered you over to the will of your enemies, the Philistines, who revolted at your lewd conduct. 28You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; and after playing the harlot with them, you were still not satisfied. 29Again and again you played the harlot, now going to Chaldea, the land of the traders; but despite this, you were still not satisfied.

30How wild your lust! says the Lord GOD, that you did all these things, acting like a shameless prostitute, 31building your platform at every street corner and erecting your dais in every public place! Yet you were unlike a prostitute, since you disdained payment.32The adulterous wife receives, instead of her husband, payment. 33All harlots receive gifts. But you rather bestowed your gifts on all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from all sides for your harlotry. 34Thus in your harlotry you were different from all other women. No one sought you out for prostitution. Since you gave payment instead of receiving it, how different you were!

35Therefore, harlot, hear the word of the LORD! 36Thus says the Lord GOD: Because you poured out your lust and revealed your nakedness in your harlotry with your lovers and abominable idols, and because you sacrificed the life‐blood of your children to them,37 c Ez 23, 10 . I will now gather together all your lovers whom you tried to please, whether you loved them or loved them not; I will gather them against you from all sides and expose you naked for them to see. 38I will inflict on you the sentence of adulteresses and murderesses; I will wreak fury and jealousy upon you. 39I will hand you over to them to tear down your platform and demolish your dais; they shall strip you of your garments and take away your splendid ornaments, leaving you stark naked. 40They shall lead an assembly against you to stone you and hack you with their swords.41 d 2 Kgs 25, 9 . They shall burn your apartments with fire and inflict punishments on you while many women look on. Thus I will put an end to your harlotry, and you shall never again give payment. 42When I have wreaked my fury upon you I will cease to be jealous of you, I will be quiet and no longer vexed. 43Because you did not remember what happened when you were a girl, but enraged me with all these things, therefore in return I am bringing down your conduct upon your head, says the Lord GOD. For did you not add lewdness to the rest of your abominable deeds?

44See, everyone who is fond of proverbs will say of you, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45Yes, you are the true daughter of the mother*who spurned her husband and children, and you are a true sister to those who spurned their husbands and children—your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46Your elder sister was Samaria*with her daughters, living to the north of you; and your younger sister, living to the south of you, was Sodom with her daughters. 47Yet not only in their ways did you walk, and act as abominably as they did; in a very short time you became more corrupt in all your ways than they.48As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear that your sister Sodom, with her daughters, has not done as you and your daughters have done!49 e Gn 19, 24 . And look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in their prosperity, and they gave no help to the poor and needy. 50Rather, they became haughty and committed abominable crimes in my presence; then, as you have seen, I removed them. 51Samaria did not commit half your sins! You have done more abominable things than they, and have even made your sisters appear just, with all the abominable deeds you have done. 52You, then, bear your shame; you are an argument in favor of your sisters! In view of your sinful deeds, more abominable than theirs, they appear just in comparison with you. Blush for shame, and bear the shame of having made your sisters appear just.

53I will restore their fortunes, the fortune of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters [and I will restore your fortune along with them], 54that you may bear your shame and be disgraced for all the comfort you brought them.55Yes, your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, Samaria and her daughters, shall return to their former state [you and your daughters shall return to your former state].56Was not your sister Sodom kept in bad repute by you while you felt proud of yourself, 57before your wickedness became evident? Now you are like her, reproached by the Edomites and all your neighbors, despised on all sides by the Philistines. 58The penalty of your lewdness and your abominations—you must bear it all, says the LORD.

59For thus speaks the Lord GOD: I will deal with you according to what you have done, you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant. 60Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you. 61Then you shall remember your conduct and be ashamed when I take your sisters, those older and younger than you, and give them to you as daughters, even though I am not bound by my covenant with you. 62For I will re‐establish my covenant with you, that you may know that I am the LORD, 63that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.


z: Ez 20, 26. 31; 23, 37ff; Lv 18, 21; 20, 2; Dt 12, 31; 18, 10; 2 Kgs 21, 6; 23, 10; 24. 4; Jer 7, 31; 19, 5; 32, 34; Mi 6, 7 .

a: 2 Kgs 16, 3; 17, 17; 21, 6; 23, 10 .

b: Ez 23, 8; Is 57, 7; Jer 2, 20; 3, 2; 5, 7; 13, 27; Hos 2, 4; 4, 13 .

c: Ez 23, 10 .

d: 2 Kgs 25, 9 .

e: Gn 19, 24 .

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