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OHOLAH, OHOLIBAH (ō-hō'la, ō-hŏl'ĭ-ba, Heb. ’ohŏlâh, ’ohŏlîvâh, tent-woman, my tent is in her). A woman is mentioned in Ezek.23.1-Ezek.23.49 who represents Samaria, capital of the northern kingdom, whose worship was self-devised (John.4.9, John.4.20-John.4.22). Her sister Oholibah is a symbol of Jerusalem (Ezek.23.4), capital of Judah, whose worship was appointed by God. These “women” had been unfaithful to the Lord, their true husband (Isa.54.5). Later, Oholah (Israel) was spiritually adulterous by her coalition with Egypt and Assyria. For these whoredoms God punished her with captivity by the very agent of her sin (Ezek.23.9-Ezek.23.10). Oholibah (Judah) yielded to Babylonian culture (Ezek.23.11-Ezek.23.22), for which God promised her a similar captivity by the very agent of her sin (Ezek.23.22-Ezek.23.49).

OHOLAH ō hō’ lə (אָהֳלָ֔ה, her tent). KJV AHOLAH.

A symbolic name, employed by the prophet Ezekiel to designate harlotrous Samaria (23:1-49). She is mentioned in conjunction with her sister Oholibah who represents Jerusalem. Both of them, the daughters of one mother, played the harlot in their youth in the land of Egypt. The Lord, however, adopted them and they bore sons and daughters, but they continued their harlotries, Oholah doting on the Assyrians. As punishment the Lord delivered her into the hands of the Assyrians. They slew her and she became a byword among women. This allegory was yet another means used by God to bring His people to repentance and to warn them of impending judgment.

OHOLIBAH ō hō’ lĭ bə (אָהֳלִיבָ֣ה). KJV AHOLIBAH. A symbolical name given by Ezekiel to Jerusalem because she had allowed herself to be led into idolatry by Babylon. Ezekiel gives a similar name to Oholibah’s sister, representing Samaria, because she was led astray by Assyria. The sisters are the daughters of the same mother, and are represented as the wives of Jehovah, guilty of marital unfaithfulness to Him (Ezek 23).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The exact meaning is a matter of dispute. As written, it seems to mean a tent-woman, or the woman living in a tent. With a mappik in the last consonant it could mean "her tent." The term is used symbolically by Ezekiel to designate Samaria or the kingdom of Israel (Eze 23:4,5,36,44).

See Oholibah.

W. W. Davies

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