Ezekiel 16:10 MEANING

Ezekiel 16:10
(10) Badgers' skin.--See Exodus 25:5. The thing intended is a fine kind of leather prepared from the skin of some sea animal; but the critics differ as to the particular animal intended, whether the dolphin or the dugong. "Fine linen" was a luxury much valued by the ancients, while "silk" is a word used only here and in Ezekiel 16:13, and its meaning is much questioned. By its etymology it is thought to express fineness of texture; and our translators have followed the rabbinical tradition in understanding it to mean silk.

Verse 10. - Broidered work; the "raiment of needlework" of Psalm 45:14; Judges 5:30; Exodus 35:35; Exodus 38:23. The word meets us again in Ezekiel 27:24, as among the imports of Tyre from Egypt. Curiously enough, the Hebrew verb (rakam) has passed through Arabic into tide languages of Western Europe, and we have the Italian ricamare, the Spanish recamare, the French recamer, for" embroidering." Badgers' skin. Elsewhere in the Old Testament the word is found only in the Pentateuch (Exodus 28:5; Exodus 26:14; Numbers 4:6, 8, 10, et al.). It has been commonly taken as meaning the skin of some animal - badger, dolphin, or porpoise, or, as in the Revised Version, seal, which was used for sandals. All the older versions, however, take it as a word of colour, the LXX. giving ὑακίνθον ("dark red"); Aquila, Symmachus, and Vulgate, ianthino ("violet"). Possibly the two meanings may coalesce, one giving the material, the other the tint which met the eye. Fine linen. The byssus of Egyptian manufacture (Exodus 25:4; Exodus 26:1; Exodus 39:3, et al.). Silk. The Hebrew word (here and in ver. 13) does not occur elsewhere. The word so translated in Proverbs 31:22 is that which we find here and elsewhere for "fine linen." Silk, in the strict sense of the term, had its birthplace in China, and there is no evidence that even the commerce of Tyre extended so far; but the context points to some fine texture of the lawn or muslin kind, like the Coan vestments of the Greeks. So the LXX. gives τριχαπτόν, as though it were made of fine hair; the Vulgate, subtilia. It is significant that three out of the four articles specified are prominent (as the references show) in the description of the tabernacle and the priestly dress, in Exodus 28, 39. The dress of the bride symbolized the ritual and cultus of Judaism.

16:1-58 In this chapter God's dealings with the Jewish nation, and their conduct towards him, are described, and their punishment through the surrounding nations, even those they most trusted in. This is done under the parable of an exposed infant rescued from death, educated, espoused, and richly provided for, but afterwards guilty of the most abandoned conduct, and punished for it; yet at last received into favour, and ashamed of her base conduct. We are not to judge of these expressions by modern ideas, but by those of the times and places in which they were used, where many of them would not sound as they do to us. The design was to raise hatred to idolatry, and such a parable was well suited for that purpose.I clothed thee also, with broidered work,.... Or, "with needle work" (q); with garments of divers colours, like Joseph's coat; perhaps it may refer to the rich raiment borrowed of the Egyptians, when they came out from thence. So the Targum,

"and I clothed you with various garments, the desirable things of your enemies;''

and which, with their other clothes, waxed not old all the while they were in the wilderness; see Exodus 12:35; this may be expressive, either of the various graces of the Spirit of God, with which the saints are clothed and adorned; and, when exercised by them, are said to be put on as a garment, Colossians 3:12; or rather of the righteousness of Christ, called "raiment of needle work", Psalm 45:14;

and shod thee with badgers' skin; the same the covering of the tabernacle was made of, Exodus 26:14; and though the word here used may not design the creature we so call, yet may intend one whose skin was fit for shoe leather, and was very beautiful, and perhaps durable; reference may be had to the shoes of the Israelites in the wilderness, which waxed not old, Deuteronomy 29:5. Some think only the hyacinth or purple colour is here meant; and so the Septuagint version renders the word; agreeably to which Bochart (r) gives this version of the words, "I shod thee with the purple"; that is, with shoes of a purple colour; and it is very probable that of this colour were the shoes wore by the Jewish women of the first rank; since, as the same writer has not only shown from Procopius that great personages in other nations used to wear such, as the Persian and Roman emperors; who, in their own countries only, might wear them; but this was the custom of neighbouring provinces, particularly the Tyrian women, as Virgil (s) plainly suggests. Bynaeus (t) is of opinion that they were of a red or scarlet colour; and that the words should be rendered, "I shod thee with scarlet"; that is, with scarlet coloured shoes; which he observes have been in great esteem and use among persons of figure and quality; and, be they of what colour they will, they were, no doubt, made of skins of value, fine, soft, and pliable; as the Targum paraphrases it,

"I put precious shoes (or shoes of value) upon your feet:''

and therefore cannot be well thought to be made of badgers' skins, of which it was never known that shoes were made; with those indeed quivers and shields have been covered, and of those the harness of horses and collars of dogs have been made; but not men's shoes, and much less the shoes of delicate women. This may denote the agreeable walk of the saints, having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; or a conversation agreeable to the Gospel of Christ; which is very beautiful, and in which they are enabled to continue by the power and grace of God; see Luke 15:22;

and I girded thee about with fine linen; as the high priest was with the linen girdle of the ephod, Exodus 28:8. So the Targum,

"and I separated from you the priests, that they might minister before me with linen mitres, and the high priest in garments of divers colours;''

all the saints are made priests to God, and art girt about with the girdle of love, which constrains them to fear and serve the Lord with all readiness and cheerfulness: and with the girdle of truth, which they cause to cleave and keep close unto them; see Ephesians 6:14;

and I covered thee with silk. The Targum interprets this of the clothing of the high priest; but, if respect is had to that, silk cannot be intended; for, as the Jews themselves say (u), the priests were not clothed for service, in the house of the sanctuary, but with wool and linen; and indeed, though the Jewish commentators in general, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, and others (w), as well as our version, take the word here used to signify silk; yet, as Braunius (x) observes, it does not appear that this was known among the Jews in the times of Ezekiel, nor even before the times of Christ; nor was it known among the Romans before the times of Augustus. The word seems to be derived from an Arabic word (y), which signifies to colour or paint clothes; and may be rendered painted or coloured cloth, or garments; and so the Targum renders it died or coloured garments; and so Aquila translates it by a "flowered garment", either painted or wrought with flowers; and so Jerom, and the Vulgate Latin, by "polymitium", a garment of divers colours; and may signify; as before, the rich apparel of the Jews, and the plenty of good things enjoyed by them; see Luke 16:19; and, in a mystical sense, the beautiful clothing of the church, with the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the graces of the Spirit.

(q) "veste acupicta", Vatablus, Grotius; "acupicto", Montanus, Cocceius, Starckius. (r) Hierozoicon, par. 2. l. 3. c. 31. col. 992. (s) "Virginibus Tyriis mos est gestare pharetram, Purpureoque alte suras vincire cothurno". Aeneid l. 1.((t) De Calceis Hebr. l. 1. c. 5. sect. 16. (u) Misn. Celaim, c. 9. sect. 1.((w) "serico", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Starckius. So Buxtorf, Stockius, &c. (x) De Vestitu Sacerdot. Hebr. l. 1. c. 8. p. 168, 169. (y) "coloravit, pinxitque pannum. Hinc" "coloratus, pinctusque, pannus", Golius, col. 2678, 2679. Castel. col. 996.

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