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15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even greater abominations than these!”

16 Then he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house. Right there[a] at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar,[b] were about twenty-five[c] men with their backs to the Lord’s temple,[d] facing east—they were worshiping the sun[e] toward the east!

17 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man? Is it a trivial thing that the house of Judah commits these abominations they are practicing here? For they have filled the land with violence and provoked me to anger still further. Look, they are putting the branch to their nose![f]

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  1. Ezekiel 8:16 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something.
  2. Ezekiel 8:16 sn The priests prayed to God between the porch and the altar on fast days (Joel 2:17). This is the location where Zechariah was murdered (Matt 23:35).
  3. Ezekiel 8:16 tc The LXX reads “twenty” instead of “twenty-five,” perhaps because of the association of the number twenty with the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash. tn Or “exactly twenty-five.”
  4. Ezekiel 8:16 sn The temple faced east.
  5. Ezekiel 8:16 tn Or “the sun god.” sn The worship of astral entities may have begun during the reign of Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:5).
  6. Ezekiel 8:17 tn It is not clear what the practice of “holding a branch to the nose” indicates. A possible parallel is the Syrian relief of a king holding a flower to his nose as he worships the stars (ANEP 281). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:145-46. The LXX glosses the expression as “Behold, they are like mockers.”

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