Ezekiel 8

Listen to Ezekiel 8

Abominations in the Temple

1 1In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, 2as I sat in my house, with 3the elders of Judah sitting before me, 4the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there.
2 Then I looked, and behold, 5a form that had the appearance of a man.[a]6Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like 7gleaming metal.[b]
3 He 8put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up 9between earth and heaven and 10brought me in 11visions of God to Jerusalem, 12to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, 13where was the seat of the 14image of jealousy, 15which provokes to jealousy.
4 And behold, 16the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw 17in the valley.
5 Then he said to me, 18"Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north." So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of 19the altar gate, in the entrance, was this 20image of jealousy.
6 And he said to me, "Son of man, 21do you see what they are doing, 22the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, 23to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations."
7 And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall.
8 Then he said to me, "Son of man, 24dig in the wall." So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance.
9 And he said to me, "Go in, and see 25the vile abominations that they are committing here."
10 So I went in and saw. And there, 26engraved on the wall all around, was 27every form of 28creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel.
11 And before them stood 29seventy men of 30the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of 31Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and 32the smoke of the cloud of incense went up.
12 Then he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing 33in the dark, each 34in his room of pictures? For they say, 35'The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'"
13 He said also to me, 36"You will see still greater abominations that they commit."
14 Then he brought me to 37the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
15 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O 38son of man? 39You will see still greater abominations than these."
16 And he brought me into 40the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, 41between the 42porch and 43the altar, were about twenty-five men, 44with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping 45the sun toward the east.
17 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O 46son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit 47the abominations that they commit here, that 48they should fill the land with violence and 49provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their[c] nose.
18 Therefore 50I will act in wrath. 51My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. 52And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them."

Ezekiel 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

The idolatries committed by the Jewish rulers. (1-6) The superstitions to which the Jews were then devoted, the Egyptian. (7-12) The Phoenician. (13,14) The Persian. (15,16) The heinousness of their sin. (17,18)

Verses 1-6 The glorious personage Ezekiel beheld in vision, seemed to take hold upon him, and he was conveyed in spirit to Jerusalem. There, in the inner court of the temple, was prepared a place for some base idol. The whole was presented in vision to the prophet. If it should please God to give any man a clear view of his glory and majesty, and of all the abominations committing in any one city, he would then admit the justice of the severest punishments God should inflict thereon.

Verses 7-12 A secret place was, as it were, opened, where the prophet saw creatures painted on the walls, and a number of the elders of Israel worshipped before them. No superiority in worldly matters will preserve men from lust, or idolatries, when they are left to their own deceitful hearts; and those who are soon wearied in the service of God, often grudge no toil nor expense when following their superstitions. When hypocrites screen themselves behind the wall of an outward profession, there is some hole or other left in the wall, something that betrays them to those who look diligently. There is a great deal of secret wickedness in the world. They think themselves out of God's sight. But those are ripe indeed for ruin, who lay the blame of their sins upon the Lord.

Verses 13-18 The yearly lamenting for Tammuz was attended with infamous practices; and the worshippers of the sun here described, are supposed to have been priests. The Lord appeals to the prophet concerning the heinousness of the crime; "and lo, they put the branch to their nose," denoting some custom used by idolaters in honour of the idols they served. The more we examine human nature and our own hearts, the more abominations we shall discover; and the longer the believer searches himself, the more he will humble himself before God, and the more will he value the fountain open for sin, and seek to wash therein.

Cross References 52

  • 1. [Ezekiel 1:2]; See Ezekiel 20:1
  • 2. [2 Kings 6:32]
  • 3. ver. 11, 12; Ezekiel 14:1; Ezekiel 20:1, 3
  • 4. See Ezekiel 1:3
  • 5. Ezekiel 1:27
  • 6. Ezekiel 1:27
  • 7. Ezekiel 1:4, 27
  • 8. [Daniel 5:5]; See Ezekiel 2:9
  • 9. [2 Corinthians 12:2, 4]
  • 10. Ezekiel 11:1, 24; Ezekiel 40:2
  • 11. See Ezekiel 1:1
  • 12. ver. 14
  • 13. [Ezekiel 5:11]
  • 14. [Deuteronomy 4:16]
  • 15. Deuteronomy 32:16, 21
  • 16. See Ezekiel 1:28
  • 17. See Ezekiel 3:22
  • 18. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 19. See ver. 16
  • 20. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 21. [Ezekiel 47:6]
  • 22. See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 23. [Ezekiel 10:18, 19]
  • 24. [Ezekiel 12:5]
  • 25. See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 26. Ezekiel 23:14
  • 27. See Exodus 20:4
  • 28. Leviticus 11:20; Romans 1:23
  • 29. [Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16]
  • 30. See ver. 1
  • 31. 2 Chronicles 34:8
  • 32. [Ezekiel 6:13]
  • 33. [ver. 7]
  • 34. [ver. 10]
  • 35. Ezekiel 9:9; Psalms 10:11; Isaiah 29:15
  • 36. ver. 6
  • 37. ver. 3
  • 38. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 39. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 40. Ezekiel 10:3; Ezekiel 40:28; Ezekiel 43:5; Ezekiel 45:19; Ezekiel 46:1; 1 Kings 6:36
  • 41. Joel 2:17
  • 42. 1 Kings 6:3
  • 43. ver. 5; Ezekiel 40:47; Exodus 40:6, 29; [Ezekiel 9:2]
  • 44. [Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 32:33]
  • 45. See Jeremiah 8:2
  • 46. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 47. See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 48. [Ezekiel 7:11, 23]
  • 49. Jeremiah 7:18, 19; [Ezekiel 20:28]
  • 50. Ezekiel 5:13
  • 51. See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 52. Proverbs 1:28; Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a vision the prophet had of the idolatry of the Jews, which was the cause of their destruction. The time when, place, where, and persons with whom he was, when the hand of the Lord came upon him, are mentioned, Eze 8:1; then follows a description of the divine Person that appeared to him, Eze 8:2; and an account is given how he was in a visionary way brought to Jerusalem, and to the temple, where he saw the glory of the God of Israel, and the idolatry of the people, Eze 8:3,4; which latter was gradually represented to him; first the image of jealousy in the entry at the gate of the altar northward, Eze 8:5; then greater abominations through a hole in the wall, by which he saw their idols, in the form of reptiles and four footed beasts, portrayed on the wall, Eze 8:6-10; next seventy of the ancients of Israel, among whom were one mentioned by name, offering incense to these idols, Eze 8:11,12; after this, greater abominations still are showed him, at the north of the temple, women weeping for Tammuz, Eze 8:13,14; and then again far greater ones, twenty five men, between the porch and the altar, with their backs to the temple, and their face to the east, worshipping the sun, and putting the branch to the nose, Eze 8:15-17; wherefore it is reasoned to deal with them in fury, without any mercy, pity, and compassion, Eze 8:18.

Ezekiel 8 Commentaries