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Ezekiel 23

Talks for Growing Christians

Judah and Jerusalem, the Harlot Sisters

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Lesson Number 24

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The parable of the two sisters was scathing.
  2. The punishment of the two sisters was sure.

Practical Application

  1. Let God’s Word determine your boundaries!

Questions

  1. In the parable of this chapter, the sister Oholah is identified as Samaria, representing the northern kingdom of ___________. The younger sister, Oholibah, is identified as Jerusalem, representing the southern kingdom of __________. Both sisters are seen as daughters of one mother, ___________, who is married to the Lord.
  2. What are two of the reasons why God used this graphic imagery and language to communicate to His people?
  3. It is made clear in this chapter that Israel’s sin of idolatry did not start with the worship of the golden calf in the wilderness. It had stared earlier in _________.
  4. Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel had already fallen to the cruel Assyrians in _____ BC, and the people were literally killed or taken into captivity or lost through intermarriage. Therefore the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel were ______ to secular history.
  5. As God punished the northern kingdom of Israel (the sister Oholah) at the hands of the Assyrians, so He would punish the southern kingdom of Judah (the sister Oholibah) at the hands of the ________________.

Answers

  1. The parable sister Oholah represents the northern kingdom of Israel and the sister Oholibah represents the southern kingdom of Judah. Both sisters represent the daughters of the nation of Israel, who is married to the Lord.
  2. Two of the reasons God used the graphic imagery and language to communicate to His people were: 1.) There is no better illustration of love and fellowship than marriage and family life, and therefore no sadder situation than a broken marriage and severed relationships 2.) The pagan religions of the foreign gods all involved to one degree or another literal sexual perversion and prostitution in their pagan rites.
  3. It is made clear in verses 3, 8, 19, 21 and 27 that Israel’s practice of idolatry started in Egypt, not in the wilderness.
  4. The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen to the Assyrians in 722 BC. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom were lost to secular history, as a result of being killed, taken into captivity or through intermarriage.
  5. The southern kingdom of Judah would be punished by God at the hands of the Babylonians.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God pronounced judgment on Israel in large part because of her ungodly dealings with neighboring nations or peoples such as Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia. Discuss which nations and/or peoples of the world with whom our own country may have ungodly relations, and the questionable reasons for which we appear to have established those relationships.

Challenge

  1. Through a careful reading of this chapter, can you identify or confirm any sins of immorality in your relationships with others? Has lust for personal pleasures or lewdness in your behavior or speech while apart from other believers exposed sins of immorality which have been “hidden” in your life? Are you ready to repent and confess these sins in order to restore your relationship with your Lord? Now is the time, before God’s judgment takes place.

Key Verses

  • “Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry.” Ezekiel 23:35

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