8:16 twenty-five men. These were probably priests since access to the area between the altar and the portico of the temple was ordinarily restricted to priests. The temple faced east. Rather than face the temple to lament and mourn their sins and to intercede for the nation as they should have done (9:4; Joel 2:17), these men literally turned their backs on the house of God and worshiped the rising sun instead (2 Kin. 21:5; 23:11). Astral cults were common in the ancient Near East.