Ezekiel 23 essentially takes up where Ezekiel 16 left off. The latter chapter is perhaps the most sexual explicit in the entire Bible, as its theme is to present Jerusalem and Judah as a whore to telegraph her spiritual betrayal of Yahweh. In this chapter both the defunct Norther kingdom (Israel/Samaria) and the remaining Southern kingdom (Judah/Jerusalem) are portrayed as sister prostitutes (Oholah and Oholibah), soliciting every man they can find. The names of the sisters convey the focus well: Israel went into apostasy, and her sister followed her path. And that means the remaining sister, Jerusalem, will come to the same end as Samaria did.

Sign up for the newsletter and get access in Issue #11 to two scholarly articles about explicit language in the Bible:

* Marvin, Pope, “Euphemism and Dysphemism in the Bible” (Anchor Bible Dictionary)
* Ullendorff, “The Bawdy Bible,” Bulletin of the School of African and Oriental Studies 42:3 (1979): 425-456

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