Bible Question:

Are swaddling clothes a sign? How do you relate them to Ezekiel 16:4? How is this a sign?

Bible Answer:

Ezekiel 16:4 is talking about the nation of Israel. In verses 1-2, we find that God is talking to Ezekiel. Ezekiel is told to speak to the people of Jerusalem.

Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.”‘” (NASB) Ezekiel 16:1-5

God describes Jerusalem as a baby someone wanted to kill. It was the custom of the day to cut the navel cord of a baby at birth, wash it, rub it with salt as an antiseptic, and then wrap it in cloths or swaddling clothes. But God describes Jerusalem as a baby who was ignored at birth, a baby someone wanted to kill. He goes on to say she was thrown into the open field – exposed to the weather and animals of the field to die. What is God’s point? The Israelites did not care for the city of Jerusalem as they should have, but God cared for her. Jerusalem is God’s city. Later in Revelation we read,

. . . and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. (NASB) Revelation 3:12

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (NASB) Revelation 21:1-2

God claims Jerusalem as His city and after the old heavens and old earth are destroyed, a new Jerusalem comes down from heaven. This is where God and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, will dwell (Rev. 21:3-5). Jerusalem has a special place in God’s heart.


Ezekiel 16:4 is not about a sign. The reference to swaddling clothes is not the main point. It is only a passing comment to make a greater point about God’s loving attitude toward Israel and Israel’s indifference to God. Scripture again and again tells us that God is the One seeking a loving relationship with us and it is always men and women who do not care. God pursues and men and women run from Him. God seeks us! Are you seeking Him each day? Are you seeking to know His thoughts, ways, and heart? Seek Him in the morning, afternoon or evening. Seek Him in scripture and through prayer. He wants us to be seeking Him!

Reference Links:

Peace With God
Was Jesus born on December 25?