Q&A: What is Ezekiel 16:44 trying to say?
“Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’” Ezekiel 16:44 (ESV)
Answer: I have to confess when I first read your question I wondered if you gave me the right passage. But assuming it’s correct, the context of the passage (in verse 1 of the chapter) tells us this is a message from the Lord to the city of Jerusalem. During the chapter the Lord likens Jerusalem to a woman and other corrupt cities (Samaria and Sodom) as her “sisters.” Then, in verse 44 the Lord speaks of the evil and pagan-corrupted Canaanite cities that had taught Jerusalem how to abandon God and sacrifice her own children — likening those cities to Jerusalem’s “mother.” This “proverb” of “Like mother, like daughter” is a way of accusing Jerusalem for being just as guilty of pagan idolatry as her non-Jewish neighbors.
This passage is NOT stating that a daughter is going to be exactly like her mother, or is destined to repeat her mother’s mistakes in life. If you have heard such a thing, you have been exposed to a very unfortunate interpretation of God’s Word and I would personally steer clear of anyone who took such liberties with God’s Word.