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Ezekiel 16:7

7. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

7. Et magnam te feci quasi germen agri: 6969     Others translate, “ten thousand,” and, רבבה, rebbeh, means this, but the other sense is simpler: I made thee fruitful as the bud of the field. — Calvin. et crevisti, et adolevisti, 7070     “You became great.” — Calvin. et venisti in ornamentum ornamentorum: 7171     Or rather, “to beauty of beauties; that is, the greatest beauty.” — Calvin. ubera tua aptata sunt, 7272     Others translate, “swelled or were prominent.” — Calvin. et pilus tuus germinavit: tu autem nuda et discooperta eras.


Here what I lately touched upon is now clearly expressed, that the people in their extreme distress were not only safe, but increased by God’s singular favor. For if the infant after exposure retains its life, it will still be a weak abortion. Hence God here by this circumstance magnifies his favor, since the people increased as if it had been properly and attentively cared for, and as if no kind office had been omitted. This is the meaning of the words they were increased; for though he looks to the propagation of Abraham’s family, yet the simile is to be observed, for the people is compared to a girl exposed in a field from its birth, and their growth took place when God increased them so incredibly, as we know. And surely God’s blessing was great when they entered Egypt, 75 in number, and were many thousands when they left it. (Acts 7:14; Exodus 12:37.) For within 250 years, the family of Abraham was so multiplied, that they amounted to 800,000 when God freed them. But since the Prophet speaks metaphorically, when he says the people were increased, and, under the image of a tender girl, until they grew up to a proper age; meanwhile he shows that this was done only by the wonderful counsel and power of God. I placed thee, says he. God claims to himself the praise for this great multiplication, and then strengthens what I have said, namely, that the people’s safety was included in that phrase live in bloods: then he says, she came into ornament of ornaments. Here עדי, gnedi, cannot mean any occasional ornament, since it is added directly, thou wast naked and bare. It follows then that it refers to personal comeliness. It means not only that the girl grew in loftiness of stature but in beauty of person. Hence elegance and loveliness are here marked, as the context shows us. Thou camest then to excellent or exquisite beauty, for we know this to be the meaning of the genitive, signifying excellence. He adds at the same time, thy breasts were made ready, for כון, kon, means to prepare, to strengthen: but as he is speaking of breasts, I have no doubt that he means them to have swelled as they ought to do. Thy breasts then were fashioned, that is, of the right size, as in marriageable girls. Thy hair also grew long. Finally, the Prophet expresses thus grossly what he could have said more concisely, in consequence of the people’s rudeness. Thy hair grew long, whilst thou wast naked and bare; that is, as yet you had no outward ornament, you was like a marriageable girl — you had great beauty of person, a noble stature, and all parts of thy body mutually accordant, but you had cause to be ashamed of thy nakedness. And such was the condition of the people since the Egyptians devised everything against them, and conspired by all means for their destruction: we see then how God stretched forth his hand not only for the people’s defense, but to carry them forth against the tyranny of Pharaoh and of all Egypt. He points out the time of their redemption as near, because the people had increased and multiplied, just like a girl who had reached her twentieth year. Now it follows —

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