Idolatry in the Temple

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) 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) 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. And there before me was the glory(J) of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.(K)

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.

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.”

Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.

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.”

Judgment on the Idolaters

Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, “Bring near those who are appointed to execute judgment on the city, each with a weapon in his hand.” And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen(AI) who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory(AJ) of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim,(AK) where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem(AL) and put a mark(AM) on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament(AN) over all the detestable things that are done in it.(AO)

As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity(AP) or compassion.(AQ) Slaughter(AR) the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children,(AS) but do not touch anyone who has the mark.(AT) Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men(AU) who were in front of the temple.(AV)

Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain.(AW) Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city. While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown,(AX) crying out, “Alas, Sovereign Lord!(AY) Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath(AZ) on Jerusalem?(BA)

He answered me, “The sin of the people of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice.(BB) They say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.’(BC) 10 So I will not look on them with pity(BD) or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.(BE)

11 Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded.”


  1. Ezekiel 8:2 Or saw a fiery figure

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