Ezekiel 20:29 MEANING

Ezekiel 20:29
(29) Is called Bamah.--Bamah itself means high place. Some have fancied that the word is derived from the two words "go" and "where," and therefore that it contains a play upon the question in the first part of the verse; but this etymology must be considered fanciful.

Verse 29. - What is the high place, etc.? Bamah, in the plural Bamoth, was the Hebrew for "high place." At first it was applied to the hill on which some local sanctuary stood (1 Samuel 9:12; 1 Kings 3:4), but was gradually extended, after the building of the temple as the one appointed sanctuary, to other places which were looked upon as sacred, and which became the scenes of an idolatrous and forbidden worship. Ezekiel emphasizes his scorn by a conjectural derivation of the word, as if derived from the two words ba ("go") and mah ("whither"); or, perhaps, What comes? (comp. Exodus 16:15 for a parallel derivation of the word marones). Taking the words in their ordinary sense, they seem to express only a slight degree of contempt. "What, then, is the place to which you go?" - what is the "whither" to which it leads? But I incline (with Ewald and Smend) to see in the word "go into" the meaning which it has in Genesis 16:2 and Genesis 19:31, and elsewhere, as a euphemism for sexual union. So later the word "Bamah" becomes a witness that those who worship in the high place go there (as in ver. 30) to commit whoredom literally and spiritually. Its name showed that it was what I have called "a chapel of prostitution" (ch. 16:24, 25).

20:27-32 The Jews persisted in rebellion after they settled in the land of Canaan. And these elders seem to have thought of uniting with the heathen. We make nothing by our profession if it be but a profession. There is nothing got by sinful compliances; and the carnal projects of hypocrites will stand them in no stead.Then I said unto them,.... By his prophets that he sent unto them:

what is the high place where, unto you go? what is the name of it? what is the use of it? to what end do you go there? is there not an altar built by my order and command to sacrifice upon is this high place better than that? does it answer a better end and purpose?

and the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day; or a high place. The Septuagint also leaves the word untranslated, and calls it Abama; and the Arabic version Abbana; so they called their altars after the Gentiles, by whom they are called nor were they ashamed of it, but persisted in so calling them, from the first use of them to the present time. These are often called, Bamah and Bamot in the books of Kings. Jarchi says it is a term of reproach, as if it was said, Bamah----in what is it to be accounted of?

Courtesy of Open Bible