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came about in the
year, on the
fifth day of the
month, as I was
sitting in my
house with the
before me, that the
hand of the
fell on me
Literal: And it cometh
to pass, in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth of the month, I
am sitting in my house, and elders of Judah are sitting before me, and fall
on me there doth a hand of the Lord Jehovah
On the fifth day of the sixth month in the sixth year, I was sitting in my
home. Judah's leaders were sitting in front of me. The power of the Almighty
LORD came over me.
WBC: In the sixth year, on the fifth of the sixtha month, I was sitting
at home with the Judean elders sitting down in front of me, when
Yahweh’s hand descendedc on me there.
Then on September 17, during the sixth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity,
while the leaders of Judah were in my home, the Sovereign LORD took hold of
In the sixth year, in the
sixth month and the fifth day, while I was sitting at home meeting with the
leaders of Judah, it happened that the hand of my Master, God, gripped me.
IT CAME ABOUT IN THE SIXTH YEAR ON
THE FIFTH DAY OF THE SIXTH MONTH, AS I WAS SITTING IN MY HOUSE WITH THE
ELDERS OF JUDAH SITTING BEFORE ME:
1:2; 20:1; 24:1; 26:1; 29:1,17; 31:1; 32:17; 40:1) (Ezek 14:1,4; 20:1;
33:31; Malachi 2:7; Acts 20:33)
"and in the sixth year [of the captivity of King
The date is approximately Sept 17, 592 B.C, 14 months after the first vision
described in the Ezekiel 1:1ff.
What is the significance of this specific dating? This date introduces the
next segment of Ezekiel's ministry which spans four chapters (Ezekiel
8-11) describing a series of visions which are all related. Thus Ezekiel
8-11 should be studied as a "unit".
Recall that in general, Ezekiel is written chronologically so that the
series of visions described in Ezekiel 8-11, follow Ezekiel's initial
call to minister as a prophet (Ezekiel
1), the empowerment by the Spirit and the Word (Ezekiel
2), the charge to be a watchman (Ezekiel
3), Ezekiel's initial prophesying to the exiles with a series
of signs (Ezekiel
Ezekiel 5), then prophesying with
spoken words beginning in (Ezekiel
5:5-17) and continuing in (Ezekiel
Ezekiel 7). Recall that in (Ezek
5:1ff) Ezekiel had shaved his head with a sharp sword and
divided it into thirds to prophesy in picture what would happen to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem. From verse 3 below, clearly enough time had passed
for his hair to have grown back.
was sitting" indicating
that the time of lying on his right and left side (430 days) had passed. Why
did the elders come to his house? Earlier Ezekiel informed us that "The
Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me
and said to me, “Go, shut yourself up in your house." (Ezek 3:24) suggesting that his ministry was limited in where he could
"prophesy"...so they came to him. Why did they come? One cannot be dogmatic
but from the signs and spoken words they had seen and heard (in
Ezekiel 4-7), they had come to recognize that a prophet was in
their midst (cf Ezek33:33), even if they would refuse to
listen to him, for God had warned him that "the house of Israel will not
be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me.
Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate." (Ezek3:7)
In it he was transported to Jerusalem to relate to the exiles in Babylon the
utter degradation of Jerusalem so that they might understand why God would
judge the city so severely.
THAT THE HAND OF THE LORD GOD FELL ON ME THERE:
(7 uses of
"hand of the LORD"
in Ezekiel, 2Ki3:15)
of the LORD" in the Old
Testament often refers to "power" (Click
here and study in context the 37 uses of this exact phrase in
NASB). When the hand of God came upon Elijah he received supernatural
strength and direction (1Ki 18:46). "Hand
of the LORD" is found 7
times in Ezekiel (Click
here to study these 7 uses).
To help one comprehend the implications of the message of
Ezekiel 8 below is a synopsis of Canaanite religion.
Canaanite worship first became a problem for the Hebrews after the
Egyptian bondage and years of wilderness wandering just prior to the
conquest. As the Hebrews approached the land after the forty years in
the wilderness, they advanced toward Canaan on the east side of the
Dead Sea. As they neared the land of Moab, Balak the king became
concerned. He heard how God miraculously had protected and cared for
the Hebrews in the wilderness. He also heard the stories of how God
had driven out their enemies before them, and he wanted to avert a
similar fate (Num 22:1ff). Balak sent representatives to employ the
services of a young man named Balaam, noted as a seer and well known
for his ability to pronounce imprecations or curses (Nu 22:5ff). Balak
employed the young man to ascend high places of Baal worship that
overlooked the camp of the Israelites. From that vantage point he was
to pronounce a curse on the Hebrews. But each time Balaam opened his
mouth to curse Israel, he blessed them instead. He made several such
attempts, and each time the results were the same. Numbers 24 contains
a lengthy blessing that angered Balak (Nu 24:10). But Balaam explained he
could not go beyond the will of the Lord in this matter (Nu 24:13). So
after finishing the blessing, he returned home (Nu 24:25).
Numbers 25 reports Balak's ultimate success. Having failed in his
attempt to curse the Hebrews, Balak invited them to dwell among his
people. Not until later do we learn the complete details. Numbers
31:16 says that Balaam advised the women to seduce the Hebrews and
bring the judgment of God upon them. What Balaam failed to accomplish
directly he almost succeeded at indirectly. The judgment of God fell
upon Israel, and Balak was spared. The real tragedy of this story is
that Israel took this tendency toward Baal worship with them when they
entered the land of Canaan.
God originally intended that there be no Canaanites left in the land
after the conquest (see Ex 23:31, 32, 33; Ex 34:12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ; Nu 32:20,
21, 22, 23; 33:51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56
; Deut 1:30, 31, 32 ; Dt 6:16, 17, 18, 19; Dt 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ; Dt 8:11-20 ;
Dt 11:29-12:3). His motive
was to preserve the spiritual integrity of the Hebrews. When the
Hebrews entered the land, they were deceived into believing that the
Canaanites were no threat. So rather than ridding the land of them as
the Lord had instructed, Israel found ways to coexist with the
Canaanites (Jdg 1:27-36), for which they were punished.
Furthermore, the Canaanites would trouble them throughout their
history (Jdg 2:1, 2, 3, 20, 21, 22, 23). The combination of sexual immorality and
the supposed benefits of worshiping an agricultural god like Baal
proved a constant temptation once introduced to the people of Israel.
From these early days in the history of Israel onward, Baal worship
continued to plague the nation until after the exile in Babylon.
Baal is a Semitic word that literally means "lord,"
"ownership,", "husband", "authority," or "control." Local deities were
called Baal and were associated with portions of land as the gods of
the earth. The attraction of Baal worship for the Hebrews went beyond
immorality. It also included the promise of agricultural, animal, and
human fertility. These fertility cults used sacred prostitutes, sexual
activity, and imitative magic to insure fertility in every area of
Three basic elements of the theology of Baal worship enhanced its
Relation to Cycles of Nature.
Canaanite worship was closely linked with the cycle of the seasons.
The people had observed that the seasons of the year followed a
predictable pattern. In the fall vegetation became dormant and
withered, then died in the winter months. Each spring vegetation
revived, and in the summer it flourished. Also during the dormant
winter months rains came and watered the earth. The rain was
associated with the fertility of the land and the resurrection of
vegetation in the spring. Rituals were performed to entreat Baal to
send rain and restore the fertility of the land. These involved the
dying and rising of their god with appropriate laments and rejoicing
(cf. Ezek 8:14). Thus the fertility cult, with its sacred
prostitutes, was employed to insure the fertility of the land for
another year. Such foreign practices in the name of religion and
worship appealed to the young Hebrew men when the Moabite girls first
introduced them to it, and it continued when they entered Canaan.
Baal worship not only approved of but also encouraged immorality. The
rituals of Baal worship included sexual intercourse, considered an
imitative act that invited the rain to fertilize the ground. The Book
of Hosea is an example of the evils and tragedy of Baal worship.
Hosea, a devout man, married Gomer, a woman from a background of Baal
worship (Hos 1:1-11 ). Soon Gomer returned to her old ways and left
Hosea and their children for a life of prostitution ( Hos 3:1ff .).
Like Gomer, the people of Israel exhibited only a token commitment to
Yahweh ( Hos 4-7 ). They worshiped Baal, believing that sexual acts
with sacred prostitutes would insure fruitfulness and productivity.
Israel, like Gomer, had forsaken its true lover and faithful husband.
As a consequence of Israel's adultery, God promised judgment (Hos
Ezekiel soundly condemned the physical and spiritual adultery of his
day (see Ezek 8:1-9:11; Ezek 22:1-31 ).
Israel's neighbors were polytheistic. This was a constant
encouragement for the Hebrews to adopt a more syncretistic approach to
religious faith and practice.
Hosea stressed God's demand for exclusive worship: "I am the Lord your
God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but
me, no Savior except me" ( Hos 13:4 ). Ezekiel's emphasis on the
exclusiveness of worshiping Yahweh and no other gods came in a
constantly recurring phrase, "Then you shall know the LORD your God."
27 This phrase was used in association with judgment passages to warn
that God would make himself known through the chastening and judgment
of the exile.
Baal worship was popular and difficult to eradicate from Israel
because it fed on the people's lust, fear, and the desire to conform
to their neighbors. It was encouraged by natural concerns for food,
farms, families, and flocks, believing that Baal could help them
insure the best in each of these areas. By embracing polytheistic
forms of worship, the Hebrews conformed to the standards and
life-style of their neighbors and thus created the social, moral, and
spiritual problems that brought about their judgment.
8:2 Then I
likeness as the
appearance of a
man; from His
downward there was
fire, and from His
brightness, like the
Literal: and I look,
and lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire, from the appearance of His
loins and downward—fire, and from His loins and upward, as the appearance of
brightness, as the colour of copper.
As I looked, I saw something that looked like a human. From the waist down
its body looked like fire, and from the waist up its body looked like
I had a visionary sighting of a figure that looked human. From his
waist downb there was fire, while from the waist up there was a sort of
shining glow, like gleaming amber.
I saw a figure that appeared to be a man. From the waist down he looked like
a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber.
When I looked, I was
astonished. What I saw looked like a man—from the waist down like fire and
from the waist up like highly burnished bronze.
THEN I LOOKED, AND BEHOLD, A LIKENESS AS THE APPEARANCE OF A MAN FROM HIS
LOINS AND DOWNWARD THERE WAS THE APPEARANCE OF FIRE, AND FROM HIS LOINS AND
UPWARD THE APPEARANCE OF BRIGHTNESS, LIKE THE APPEARANCE OF GLOWING METAL:
(Ezek 1:4,26,27; Da7:9,10; Rev1:14,15)
The vision opens with a theophany similar to Ezekiel 1:4 (especially Ezekiel
1:26, 27) but here, as there, Ezekiel is careful
in his choice of words writing that he saw "the appearance of a man",
which emphasizes the fact that what he had saw was but a “likeness” of the
ineffable glory, an image of the Unseen.
Ezekiel's description in his first vision was similar but had additional
details "Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward
something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and
from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and
there was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in
the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding
radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking." (Ezek
In the Revelation John describes the Risen Lord in somewhat similar terms "His
head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were
like a flame of fire and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has
been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many
stretched out the
form of a
caught me by a
lock of my
head and the
lifted me up
brought me in the
Jerusalem, to the
entrance of the
gate of the
seat of the
Literal: And He
putteth forth a form of a hand, and taketh me by a lock of my head, and lift
me up doth a spirit between the earth and the heavens, and it bringeth me in
to Jerusalem in visions of God, unto the opening of the inner gate that is
facing the north, where is the seat of the figure of jealousy that is making
It stretched out what looked like a hand and grabbed me by the hair on my
head. In these visions from God, the Spirit carried me between heaven and
earth. He took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the
inner courtyard of the temple. That was where an idol that stirs up <God's>
anger was located.
He stretched out what looked like a hand and grasped my hair by the
forelock. Then the spirit lifted me up into the air and brought me in a
divine vision to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north-facing
gateway, where there was situated the outrageous image, which invokes
He put out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit
lifted me up into the sky and transported me in a vision of God to
Jerusalem. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the
Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the LORD very angry.
Right before me was the Glory
of the God of Israel, exactly like the vision I had seen out on the plain.
AND HE STRETCHED OUT THE FORM OF A HAND AND CAUGHT ME BY A LOCK OF MY HEAD
(Ezek 2:9; Da 5:5; 10:10,18)
Note once again Ezekiel’s description is deliberately vague, lest he be
accused of picturing God as just a glorified man and God did not extend an
actual human hand down to Ezekiel but "the
form of a hand".
THE SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN
2Ki2:16; Ac 8:39; 2Cor 12:2-4; Rev 1:10-20; 4:2-11)
Spirit lifted me up"
Ezek3:14; 11:1 11:24; 40:2)
BROUGHT ME IN THE VISIONS OF GOD:
(Ezek 11:24; Ge15:1; 46:2; Nu 12:6;
Isa1:1; Da 8:1 8:2; Ho 12:10; Joel 2:28; Mt 17:9; Acts 9:10, 11, 12; 10:3;
"Brought me" describes a supernatural "flight" which touched down not in Tel
Aviv Airport like El Al arrivals do today, but in the Temple Mount itself! I
would call this a "first class" ticket! The details of Ezekiel's visions
recorded in chapters 8-11 were seen only by the prophet, not the elders (cf
Ezek 11:24-25). Note also that
Ezekiel's visions are not a description of Judah's past
sins but are representative of her spiritual condition that existed at that
Visions of God
here includes visions given by God and visions in which God was seen and is
always in the plural and always with the word "God"
(not "LORD"). This exact phrase "Visions
of God" occurs only three
times in the NASB, all in Ezekiel,` (click
here for all three), this verse, 1:1 and 40:2 and its occurrence
is a marker in a sense, as it divides Ezekiel's prophecy into three
TO JERUSALEM, TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE NORTH
GATE OF THE INNER COURT, WHERE THE SEAT OF THE IDOL OF JEALOUSY, WHICH
PROVOKES TO JEALOUSY, WAS LOCATED.
(Ezek 8:5; 2Ki16:14) (Ezek 5:11; 7:20; 2Ki21:7; Jer 7:30; 32:34) (Ex 20:5;
34:14; Dt 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; 32:16,21; Josh 24:19; Ps 78:58; 1Co10:21,22)
for schematic diagram of Solomon's Temple below)
"Entrance of the North Gate"
describes one of three gates that opened from the outer court to the inner
court (the gates are not shown in the Temple schematic below),
the other two being located on the east and south sides.
This visionary experience continues throughout Ezekiel 8-11 terminating in
Ezekiel 11 with Ezekiel's return from Jerusalem to Babylon. In chapter 11,
Ezekiel records that "the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision
by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen
left me. Then I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me."
"Idol of jealousy which
provokes to jealously"
Although many commentaries speculate as to the identity of the idol, the
important principle is the effect of the idol irregardless of its identity.
It makes the omnipotent God jealous! Matthew Henry adds that "the
prophet, instead of telling us what image it was, which might gratify our
curiosity, tells us that it was the image of jealousy, to convince our
consciences that, whatever image it was, it was in the highest degree
offensive to God and provoked him to jealousy. he resented it as a husband
would resent the whoredoms of his wife, and would certainly revenge it; for
God is jealous, and the Lord revenges"
About 100 years earlier the Manasseh, the most evil king in Judah's history
had "set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of
which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in
Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My
name forever." (2Ki 21:7)
Many commentators feel this event may be related to the
"idol of jealousy" but we cannot be dogmatic. This image was subsequently
destroyed by Josiah (circa 622BC) as recorded in 2 Kings "And he brought
out the Asherah from the house of the LORD outside Jerusalem to the
brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and ground it to dust, and
threw its dust on the graves of the common people." (2Ki 23:6)
God commanded Israel "You shall not worship them or serve them (an
idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or
in the water under the earth) for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous
(qanna - all 6 uses in OT refer to God) God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of
those who hate Me" (Ex 20:5)
Israel was instructed "you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD,
whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-- lest you make a
covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they play the harlot with
their gods, and sacrifice to their gods..." (Ex 34:14, 15)
His name Jehovah Qanna does not refer to a somewhat shallow and childish
human emotion but is intended to emphasize that God will not tolerate a
divided loyalty in those who claim to be "His possession." We must honor Him
with our lives (our behavior and conduct) as the one true God and not just
give Him lip service! Does your life belie your lips? Are you really who you
say your are...His possession?
Again Moses warned Israel "So watch yourselves, lest you forget the
covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make for
yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD
your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a
jealous God." (Dt 4:23-24)
And again warning Israel of the danger of idolatry, Moses says "You shall
not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or
on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship
them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and
the fourth generations of those who hate Me." (Dt5:8-9)
And again "You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the
peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a
jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled
against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth." (Dt6:14-15)
Moses declares before all heaven and earth that Israel made God "jealous
with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They
sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New
gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. You neglected the
Rock who begot you, and forgot the God Who gave you birth."
time in Deuteronomy God says that the children of Israel "have made Me
jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their
idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I
will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, for a fire is kindled in
My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with
its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." (Dt32:21)
Ezekiel is describing the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Joshua also made a prophesy to Israel just prior to his death (just prior to
the beginning of the 300 year period of Judges when every man did that which
was right in his own eyes) declaring "to the people, "You will not be
able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He
will not forgive your transgression or your sins. If you forsake the LORD
and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you
after He has done good to you.." (Josh 24:19, 20)
Indeed the psalmist records that Israel "provoked Him with their high
places, And aroused His jealousy with their graven images." (Ps78:58)
Earlier in Ezekiel (Ezek 5:13)
God had declared
"Thus shall my anger spend
itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall
know that I am the LORD--that I have spoken in my jealousy--when I
spend my fury upon them." (Eng Std Version)
Just before entering the land of Canaan (filled with a plethora of
abominable gods and associated licentious rites) Moses warned the children
of Israel about "images" and "idols" declaring
"So watch yourselves
carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you
at Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make a
graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the
likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on
the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the
likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness
of any fish that is in the water below the earth. "And beware, lest you lift
up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars,
all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them,
those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the
whole heaven." And why was God so adamant about this requirement? Moses
goes on to remind Israel "But the LORD has taken you and brought you out
of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession,
as today." (Deut 4:15-20)
As indicated by her subsequent actions, Israel and her Kings paid little
heed to Moses' warnings. For example, King Ahaz (king of Judah after the
nation was divided) traveled to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser III, saw a
large altar and sent a sketch of the altar to Uriah the High-Priest in
Jerusalem, and the High-Priest in turn built an altar just like it. The
serious iniquity was like building an idol in the temple, and it would make
Jehovah jealous. (read this account in 2Ki16:10ff)
All of this Old Testament truth is reflected in Paul's warning to the
Corinthians "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons;
you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do
we provoke the Lord to jealousy (the root word in Greek is
zeo = to boil or be hot)? We are not stronger than He, are we?"
glory of the
there, like the
saw in the
Literal: and lo, there
the honour of the God of Israel, as the appearance that I saw in the valley.
There I saw the glory of Israel's God as I did in the vision that I saw in
There too was to be found the manifestation of the presence of the God of
Israel, just as it had been revealed to me in the plain.
Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it
before in the valley.|
Right before me was the Glory of the God of Israel, exactly like the vision
I had seen out on the plain.
AND BEHOLD, THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WAS THERE, LIKE THE APPEARANCE
WHICH I SAW IN THE PLAIN: (Ezek 1:26, 27, 28; 3:22,23; 9:3; 10:1, 2, 3, 4; 11:22,23; 43:2, 3, 4; Ex 25:22;
40:34,35; 2Co3:18; 4:4, 5, 6; Heb1:3)
Glory of the LORD: Past, Present, Future
The picture in this verse is almost
impossible to imagine! Out of one eye a Jewish worshipper could see this "idol
of jealously" and out of
the other eye, the glory of God, undoubtedly manifest as the Shekinah cloud.
The dead false god next to the living and true God. And they chose the false
over the true (that is why He was jealous). There is another play on words
here that is fascinating. "God...was there" but would soon
depart only to return in Ezekiel 40-48 as "LORD...is there" (Ezek
This juxtaposition of no god and
God was unacceptable to the Most High God Who declares “I am the Lord,
that is My name. I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to
graven images." (Is 42:8)
Reiterating the earlier thought of God's jealousy God Moses
declares that "you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose
name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Ex34:14)
There was not room for both
and if the idol was to stay, God's glory would depart which is a major theme
of Ezekiel 8-11.
8:5 Then He
said to me,
north." So I
behold, to the
north of the
jealousy at the
Literal: And He saith
unto me, ‘Son of man, lift up, I pray thee, thine eyes the way of the
north.’ And I lift up mine eyes the way of the north, and lo, on the north
of the gate of the altar this figure of jealousy, at the entrance.
God said to me, "Son of man, look toward the north." So I looked toward the
north, and there in the entrance to the north gate beside the altar, I saw
the idol that stirs up <God's> anger.
Human one,” he told me, “look north.” When I did so, I noticed on the
north side of the gate the altar of that outrageous image, at the point
Then the LORD said to me, "Son of man, look toward the north." So I looked,
and there to the north, beside the entrance to the gate of the altar, stood
the idol that had made the LORD so angry.
He said to me, “Son of
man, look north.” I looked north and saw it: Just north of the entrance
loomed the altar of the sex goddess, Asherah, that makes God so angry.
THEN HE SAID TO ME, "SON OF MAN, RAISE YOUR EYES, NOW, TOWARD THE NORTH
(Jer3:2; Zech 5:5-11)
I RAISED MY EYES TOWARD THE NORTH, AND BEHOLD, TO THE
NORTH OF THE ALTAR
GATE WAS THIS IDOL OF JEALOUSY AT THE ENTRANCE:
(For orientation see schematic diagram of Solomon's Temple from
The Bible knowledge commentary, Vol 1, Page
Toward Mt of Olives
& the Rising Sun
8:6 And He
said to me,
what they are
here, so that I would
far from My
yet you will
Literal: And He saith
unto me, ‘Son of man, art thou seeing what they are doing? the great
abominations that the house of Israel are doing here, to keep far off from
My sanctuary; and again thou dost turn, thou dost see great abominations.’
asked me, "Son of man, do you see what the people of Israel are doing? The
people of Israel are doing very disgusting things here, things that will
force me to go far away from my holy place. But you will see even more
“Human one,” he told me, “just look at what people are doing! They are
engaging here in extremely shocking rites, by functioning as they are
away from my sanctuary. But you will go on to observe rites even mored
Son of man," he said, "do you see what they are doing? Do you see the great
sins the people of Israel are doing to drive me from my Temple? But come,
and you will see even greater sins than these!"
Then he said, “Son of
man, do you see what they’re doing? Outrageous obscenities! And doing them
right here! It’s enough to drive me right out of my own Temple. But you’re
going to see worse yet.”
AND HE SAID TO ME, "SON OF MAN, DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING THE
GREAT ABOMINATIONS WHICH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL ARE COMMITTING HERE:
8:12,17; Jer3:6; 7:17) (Ezek 8:9,17; 5:11; 7:20, 21, 22; 23:38,39; 2Ki23:4,
5, 6; Pr5:14; Jer7:30; 23:11; Jer32:34),
In a parallel passage the LORD spoke to Jeremiah in the days of Josiah the
king saying "Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up
on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there."
Later in a similar passage God says to Jeremiah "Do you not see what they
are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The
children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead
dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out libations to
other gods in order to spite Me. Do they spite Me?" declares the LORD..."
adding that "the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,"
declares the LORD, "they have set their detestable things (like the "idol
in the house which is called by My name, to defile it." (Jer7:30)
in the Word" draws the following interesting analogy "Imagine
walking into a church, ahead of you is a cross, to one side is a piano, and
to the other side, a small organ. It looks pretty much like any other church
you’ve been in. Suddenly you notice small voodoo dolls along window
ledges--above them, crystals hang. Instead of hymnals, you find Tarot cards
in the pew racks. A cold chill runs down your spine. Sadly, if people from
Ezekiel’s day could have traveled in time and space, they probably would
have felt right at home in this “church.” They go on to make this
application "Idolatry is a problem of every human heart--sophisticated
idols are still idols. One way to detect an idol is to ask, “What do I
think I must have in order for life to be good?” For example, a successful
career, a stable family, or a nice home. Or consider a specific element of
your life, and ask, “If this item were taken away would I still believe that
abundant life was possible?” Now take your answers to the only One who can
release us from idols–Jesus Christ!"
THAT I SHOULD BE FAR FROM MY SANCTUARY?
10:19; 11:22; Dt 31:16, 17, 18; 2Chr 36:14, 15, 16, 17; Ps 78:60; Jer 26:6;
The NLT paraphrases this as "Do you see the great sins the people of
Israel are doing to drive me from my Temple?"
In 2 Chronicles we read a summary of Judah's spiritual declension,
"all the officials
of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the
abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of the LORD which He
had sanctified in Jerusalem. And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent
word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on
His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the
messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the
wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.
Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew
their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no
compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into
his hand." (2Chr 36:14-17)
God had no choice but to "be far from His sanctuary" and to destroy
Jeremiah records that the LORD kept His word writing that "He has violently
treated His tabernacle like a garden booth; He has destroyed His appointed
meeting place. The LORD has caused to be forgotten The appointed feast and
sabbath in Zion, and He has despised king and priest In the indignation of
His anger. The Lord has rejected His altar. He has abandoned His sanctuary.
He has delivered into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces. They
have made a noise in the house of the LORD as in the day of an appointed
feast." (La 2:6,7)
MacArthur comments that "Sin would expel the people from their
land and God from His sanctuary."
BUT YET YOU WILL SEE STILL GREATER ABOMINATIONS:
Unfortunately this is a key phrase in this chapter (Ezek 8:6, 13, 15) indicating
a progressive deterioration of their spiritual condition.
notes that "Where there is one abomination it will be found that there
are many more. Sins do not go alone."
brought me to the
entrance of the
court, and when I
hole in the
Literal: And He
bringeth me in unto an opening of the court, and I look, and lo, a hole in
he took me to the entrance of the courtyard. As I looked, I saw a hole in
He brought me to the entrance to the court, where I saw aa hole in
Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see an
opening in the wall.
He brought me to the door of
the Temple court. I looked and saw a gaping hole in the wall.
THEN HE BROUGHT ME TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE COURT, AND WHEN I LOOKED, BEHOLD,
A HOLE IN THE WALL
: (1Ki7:12; 2Kings 21:5)
said to me,
dig through the
wall." So I
dug through the
Literal: and He saith
unto me, ‘Son of man, dig, I pray thee, through the wall;’ and I dig through
the wall, and lo, an opening.
He said to me, "Son of man, dig through the wall." So I dug through the
wall, and I saw a door.
“Human one,” he told me, “break through the wall.” When I had done
so, there was a means of entry.
He said to me, "Now, son of man, dig into the wall." So I dug into the wall
and uncovered a door to a hidden room.
He said, “Son of man, dig
through the wall.” I dug through the wall and came upon a door.
HE SAID TO ME, "SON OF MAN, NOW DIG THROUGH THE WALL." SO I DUG THROUGH THE
WALL, AND BEHOLD, AN ENTRANCE:
(Job 34:22; Isa 29:15; Jer 2:34; Jer 23:24; Am 9:2,3)
This suggests that they were practicing their sin in secret!
Ezekiel 8:9 And He
said to me,
"Go in and
And He said to me,
"Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here."
He said to me, "Go in, and see the wicked, disgusting things that the people
of Israel are doing here."
“Go through,” he told me, “and observe the shocking rites in which
people are engaging here.”
"Go in," he said, "and see the unspeakable wickedness going on in there!"
He said, “Now walk through
the door and take a look at the obscenities they’re engaging in.”
HE SAID TO ME, "GO IN AND SEE THE WICKED ABOMINATIONS THAT THEY ARE