Ezekiel 8

Vision of Abominations in Jerusalem

1 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, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell on me there.
2 Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the 1appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance 2of glowing metal.
3 He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the 3Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where * the seat of the idol of jealousy, which 4provokes to jealousy, was located.
4 And behold, the 5glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.
5 Then He said to me, "Son of man, 6raise your eyes now toward the north." So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this 7idol of jealousy at the entrance.
6 And He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great 8abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations."
7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.
8 He said to me, "Son of man, now 9dig through the wall." So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance.
9 And He said to me, "Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here."
10 So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around.
11 Standing in front of them were 10seventy 11elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his 12censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising.
12 Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, '13The LORD does not see us; the LORD has 14forsaken the land.' "
13 And He said to me, "Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing."
14 Then He brought me to the entrance of the 15gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.
15 He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these."
16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five * men with their 16backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and 17they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.
17 He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have 18filled the land with violence and 19provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose.
18 "Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and 20though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to 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 20

  • 1. Ezekiel 1:27
  • 2. Ezekiel 1:4, 27
  • 3. Ezekiel 3:12; Ezekiel 11:1
  • 4. Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 32:16
  • 5. Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 3:22, 23
  • 6. Jeremiah 3:2; Zechariah 5:5
  • 7. Psalms 78:58; Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 32:34; Ezekiel 8:3
  • 8. 2 Kings 23:4, 5; Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 8:9, 17
  • 9. Isaiah 29:15
  • 10. Numbers 11:16, 25; Luke 10:1
  • 11. Jeremiah 19:1
  • 12. Numbers 16:17, 35
  • 13. Psalms 14:1; Isaiah 29:15; Ezekiel 9:9
  • 14. Psalms 10:11
  • 15. Ezekiel 44:4; Ezekiel 46:9
  • 16. 2 Chronicles 29:6; Jeremiah 2:27; Ezekiel 23:39
  • 17. Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3; Job 31:26-28; Jeremiah 44:17
  • 18. Ezekiel 7:11, 23; Ezekiel 9:9; Amos 3:10; Micah 2:2
  • 19. Jeremiah 7:18, 19; Ezekiel 16:26
  • 20. Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 8

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