Yechezkel 8

1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine bais, and the zekenim of Yehudah sat before me, that the yad Adonoi Hashem fell there upon me.
2 Then I beheld, and hinei a demut (likeness) as of the appearance of eish; from the appearance of His waist and downward, eish; and from His waist and upward, as the appearance of zohar (brightness), as of gleaming amber.
3 And He put forth the form of a yad, and took me by a lock of mine rosh; and the Ruach lifted me up between Ha’Aretz and Shomayim, and brought me in mar’ot Elohim ([divinely granted] visions) to Yerushalayim, to the Petach Sha’ar Hapenimit (entrance of the inner gate), the one facing north; where was the moshav (seat) of the semel hakinah (statue of jealousy), which provoketh [Hashem’s] jealousy.
4 And, hinei, the Kavod Elohei Yisroel was there, according to the mareh (vision) that I saw in the plain.
5 Then said He unto me, Ben adam, lift up thine eynayim now the derech (toward) north. So I lifted up mine eynayim the derech (toward) north, and hinei northward at the Sha’ar HaMizbe’ach was this semel hakinah in the entrance.
6 He said furthermore unto me, Ben adam, seest thou what they do? Even the to’evot gedolot (great abominations) that Bais Yisroel committeth here, causing that I go far off from My Mikdash? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see to’evot gedolot (greater abominations).
7 And He brought me to the petach (entrance) of the khatzer (court); and when I looked, hinei, a hole in the kir (wall)!
8 Then said He unto me, Ben adam, dig now in the kir (wall); and when I had dug in the kir (wall), hinei, a petach (entrance).
9 And He said unto me, Go in, and behold the to’evot hara’ot (wicked abominations) that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and, hinei, every form of remes (creeping things), and behemah sheketz (abominable beasts), and all the gillulim (idols) of the Bais Yisroel, portrayed upon the kir (wall) all around.
11 And there stood before them seventy ish of the zekenim of the Bais Yisroel, and in the midst of them stood Ya’azanyahu Ben Shaphan, with every ish his mikteret (censer, incense burner) in his yad; and a thick anan (cloud) of ketoret (incense) went up.
12 Then said He unto me, Ben adam, hast thou seen what the zekenim of Bais Yisroel do in the choshech (dark), every ish in the cheder (room) of his maskit (image)? For they say, Hashem seeth us not; Hashem hath forsaken ha’aretz.
13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see to’evot gedolot (greater abominations) that they do.
14 Then He brought me to the petach sha’ar Beis Hashem toward the north; and, hinei, there sat nashim weeping for Tammuz.
15 Then said He unto me, Hast thou seen this, O ben adam? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see to’evot gedolot (greater abominations) than these.
16 And He brought me into the khatzer Beis Hashem hapenimit [i.e., the Court of the Kohanim], and, hinei, at the petach (entrance) of the Heikhal Hashem, between the Ulam and the Mizbe’ach, were about five and twenty ish, with their backs toward the Heikhal Hashem, and their faces toward the east; and they bowing down toward the east worshiping the sun.
17 Then He said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O ben adam? Is it a trivial thing to Bais Yehudah that they commit the to’evot (abominations) which they commit here? For they have filled ha’aretz with chamas, and yet have returned to provoke Me to anger; and, behold, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in chemah (fury); Mine eye shall not pity, neither will I spare; and though they cry in Mine oznayim with a kol gadol, yet will I not hear them.

Yechezkel 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.

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.

Yechezkel 8 Commentaries