International Children’s Bible
Ezekiel’s Vision of Jerusalem
8 It was the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month of our captivity. I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah before me. There I felt the power of the Lord God. 2 I looked and saw something that looked like a man. From his waist down he looked like fire. From his waist up he looked like bright glowing metal. 3 He stretched out the shape of a hand. And he caught me by the hair on my head. The Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the sky. He took me in the visions of God to Jerusalem. He took me to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple. The courtyard was where the idol was that caused God to be jealous. 4 The glory of the God of Israel was there. It was like what I had seen on the plain.
5 Then God said to me, “Human being, now look toward the north.” So I looked up toward the north. I saw an altar to the north of the gate. The idol that caused God to be jealous was in the entrance.
6 The Lord said to me, “Human being, do you see what they are doing? Do you see how many hated things the people of Israel are doing here? This will drive me far away from my Temple. But you will see things more hated than these.”
7 Then the Lord brought me to the entry of the courtyard. When I looked, I saw a hole in the wall. 8 The Lord said to me, “Human being, dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall and saw an entrance.
9 Then the Lord said to me, “Go in and see the terrible, evil things they are doing here.” 10 So I entered and looked. And I saw pictures of every kind of crawling thing. I saw awful beasts and all the idols of the people of Israel. They were carved on the wall all around. 11 Seventy of the elders of Israel were standing there. They were in front of these carvings and idols. Jaazaniah son of Shaphan stood with them. Each man had his pan for burning incense in his hand. A sweet-smelling cloud of incense was rising.
12 Then the Lord said to me, “Human being, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the dark? Have you seen each man in the room of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us. The Lord has left the land.’” 13 And he said to me, “You will see even more terrible things that they are doing.”
14 Then the Lord brought me to the opening of the north gate of the Temple. And I saw women sitting there crying for Tammuz.[a] 15 The Lord said to me, “Do you see, human being? You will see things even more terrible than these.”
16 Then the Lord brought me into the inner courtyard of the Temple. And I saw about 25 men. They were at the entrance to the Temple, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were turned to the Temple of the Lord. They faced east. They were worshiping the sun in the east.
17 The Lord said to me, “Do you see, human being? Is it unimportant that the people of Judah are doing the terrible things they have done here? They have filled the land with violence. They continually make me angry. Look, they are insulting me every way they can. 18 So I will act in anger. I will have no pity. I will not show mercy. Even if they shout in my ears, I won’t listen to them.”
- 8:14 Tammuz Tammuz was a false god in Babylon. Every year people thought this god died when the plants died. After they cried for him, they believed he came back to life and the plants lived again.
New International Version
Idolatry in the Temple
8 In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders(A) of Judah were sitting before(B) me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there.(C) 2 I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man.[a] From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal.(D) 3 He stretched out what looked like a hand(E) and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up(F) between earth and heaven and in visions(G) of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court,(H) where the idol that provokes to jealousy(I) stood. 4 And there before me was the glory(J) of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.(K)
5 Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol(L) of jealousy.
6 And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable(M) things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?(N) But you will see things that are even more detestable.”
7 Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.
9 And he said to me, “Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls(O) all kinds of crawling things and unclean(P) animals and all the idols of Israel.(Q) 11 In front of them stood seventy elders(R) of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer(S) in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense(T) was rising.(U)
12 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness,(V) each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see(W) us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 Again, he said, “You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.”
14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz.(X) 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.”
16 He then brought me into the inner court(Y) of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar,(Z) were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun(AA) in the east.(AB)
17 He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things(AC) they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence(AD) and continually arouse my anger?(AE) Look at them putting the branch to their nose! 18 Therefore I will deal with them in anger;(AF) I will not look on them with pity(AG) or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen(AH) to them.”
- Ezekiel 8:2 Or saw a fiery figure