8 Six years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, the leaders of Judah were meeting with me in my house. On the fifth day of the sixth month,[a] the Lord God suddenly took control of me, 2 and I saw something in the shape of a human.[b] This figure was like fire from the waist down, and it was bright as polished metal from the waist up. 3 It reached out what seemed to be a hand and grabbed my hair. Then in my vision the Lord’s Spirit lifted me into the sky and carried me to Jerusalem.
The Spirit took me to the north gate of the temple’s inner courtyard, where there was an idol that disgusted the Lord and made him furious. 4 Then I saw the brightness of the glory of the God of Israel, just as I had seen it near the Chebar River.
5 God said to me, “Ezekiel, son of man, look north.” And when I did, I saw that disgusting idol by the altar near the gate.
6 God then said, “Do you see the terrible sins of the people of Israel? Their sins are making my holy temple unfit as a place to worship me. Yet you will see even worse things than this.”
7 Next, I was taken to the entrance of the courtyard, where I saw a hole in the wall.
8 God said, “Make this hole bigger.” And when I did, I realized it was a doorway. 9 “Go in,” God said, “and see what horrible and evil things the people are doing.”
10 Inside, I saw that the walls were covered with pictures of reptiles and disgusting, unclean animals,[c] as well as with idols that the Israelites were worshiping. 11 Seventy Israelite leaders were standing there, including Jaazaniah son of Shaphan. Each of these leaders was holding an incense burner, and the smell of incense filled the room.
12 God said, “Ezekiel, do you see what horrible things Israel’s leaders are doing in secret? They have filled their rooms with idols. And they say I can’t see them, because they think I have already deserted Israel. 13 But I will show you something even worse than this.”
14 He took me to the north gate of the temple, where I saw women mourning for the god Tammuz.[d]15 God asked me, “Can you believe what these women are doing? But now I want to show you something worse.”
16 I was then led into the temple’s inner courtyard, where I saw about twenty-five men standing near the entrance, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were to the Lord’s temple, and they were bowing down to the rising sun.
17 God said, “Ezekiel, it’s bad enough that the people of Judah are doing these disgusting things. But they have also spread violence and injustice everywhere in Israel and have made me very angry. They have disgraced and insulted me in the worst possible way.[e]18 So in my fierce anger, I will punish them without mercy and refuse to help them when they cry out to me.”
8.1Six years. . . sixth month: Probably September of 592 B.C.
8.2a human: One ancient translation; Hebrew “a fiery figure.”
8.10disgusting, unclean animals: See, for example, Leviticus 11.9-19.
8.14the god Tammuz: A god of vegetation who was thought to die in the dry season. During the Hebrew month of Tammuz (from about mid-June to mid-July), women mourned the death of this god, hoping to bring him back to life.
8.17disgraced and insulted me. . . way: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!