JPS Ezekiel 16:

3 And you shall say; So said the Lord God to Jerusalem; Your dwelling place and your birth place are from the land of the Canaanites; your father was the Amorite, and your mother a Hittite. ג וְאָמַרְתָּ֞ כֹּה־אָמַ֨ר אֲדֹנָ֚י יֱהֹוִה֙ לִיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם מְכֹֽרֹתַ֙יִךְ֙ וּמֹ֣לְדֹתַ֔יִךְ מֵאֶ֖רֶץ הַכְּנַֽעֲנִ֑י אָבִ֥יךְ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֖י וְאִמֵּ֥ךְ חִתִּֽית:

4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born, your navel was not cut, neither were you washed with water for cleansing, nor were you salted, nor swaddled at all. ד וּמֽוֹלְדוֹתַ֗יִךְ בְּי֨וֹם הוּלֶּ֚דֶת אֹתָךְ֙ לֹֽא־כָרַ֣ת שָׁרֵךְ וּבְמַ֥יִם לֹֽא־רֻחַ֖צְתְּ לְמִשְׁעִ֑י וְהָמְלֵ֙חַ֙ לֹ֣א הֻמְלַ֔חַתְּ וְהָחְתֵּ֖ל לֹ֥א חֻתָּֽלְתְּ:

5 No eye pitied you [enough] to do for you any of those, to have mercy on you, and you were cast on the open field in the loathsomeness of your body on the day you were born. ה לֹֽא־חָ֨סָה עָלַ֜יִךְ עַ֗יִן לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת לָ֛ךְ אַחַ֥ת מֵאֵ֖לֶּה לְחֻמְלָ֣ה עָלָ֑יִךְ וַתֻּשְׁלְכִ֞י אֶל־פְּנֵ֚י הַשָּׂדֶה֙ בְּגֹ֣עַל נַפְשֵׁ֔ךְ בְּי֖וֹם הֻלֶּ֥דֶת אֹתָֽךְ:

6 And I passed by you and saw you downtrodden with your blood, and I said to you, 'With your blood, live,' and I said to you, 'With your blood, live.' ו וָאֶֽעֱבֹ֚ר עָלַ֙יִךְ֙ וָֽאֶרְאֵ֔ךְ מִתְבּוֹסֶ֖סֶת בְּדָמָ֑יִךְ וָאֹ֚מַר לָךְ֙ בְּדָמַ֣יִךְ חֲיִ֔י וָאֹ֥מַר לָ֖ךְ בְּדָמַ֥יִךְ חֲיִֽי:

2 Answers 2


It would seem so - we know that historically, prior to David's conquest of the city, Yerushalayim was controlled at times by the Hittites and the Amorites.

In Yehoshua 10:5 it says:

"The five Amorite kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, with all their armies—joined forces and marched on Gibeon, and encamped against it and attacked it."

Later, the Yevusites settled there. For example:

Yehoshua 15:8:

"Then the boundary ascended into the Valley of Ben-hinnom, along the southern flank of the Jebusites—that is, Jerusalem. The boundary then ran up to the top of the hill which flanks the Valley of Hinnom on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim."

Yehoshua 15:63:

"But the Judites could not dispossess the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so the Judites dwell with the Jebusites in Jerusalem to this day."

On the Yevusites, it says in Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer ch. 36:

"Were they Jebusites? Were they not Hittites? But they were called Jebusites according to the name of the city of Jebus."

Hebrew Wikipedia also mentions some Yevusite names that can be traced to ancient Indo-European words, further connecting the Yevusites with the Hittites (whose main settlement was in Anatolia).

So we see that the Yevusites were really a sub-group of Hittites. Therefore, the two groups that had controlled Yerushalayim in the past were the Amorites and the Hittites.

Of course, the callback to Yerushalayim's ancient origins is most likely meant to be symbolic of the terrible spiritual condition its people had fallen to, effectively making them like the past denizens of the city.

  • 1
    Excellent info, thanks. I can't seem to locate it readily, but wasn't it the Jebusites that obtained a promise of their safety through deceit?
    – Ruminator
    Jun 9, 2021 at 20:21
  • @Ruminator those were the Gibeonites, who I believe were Hivites (חוים).
    – Harel13
    Jun 10, 2021 at 3:26
  • Ah, no wonder I had difficulty locating it. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 10, 2021 at 7:51

No -- the text is understood to be a reference to the Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem, as is made clear in the Targum Yonatan:

וְתֵימַר כִּדְנַן אֲמַר יְיָ אֱלֹהִים לְיָתְבֵי יְרוּשְׁלֵם

The rest of the descriptions are connected to the Jewish people (they stemmed from the lands of Canaanites, their progenitors had connections to these other nations etc).

  • So "as for your birth, on the day you were born" refers to Abram's birth? Do we know any more about to what in Abram's origin Ezekiel refers?
    – Ruminator
    Sep 16, 2019 at 20:50
  • 1
    No, it refers to the source of Israel's behavior (as the Radak says, "אמר במעשיך את דומה לתרבות ארץ כנען כאילו נולדת ושכנת שם" and the Metzudat David says much the same thing).
    – rosends
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:50

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