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 in front of me. There I felt the power of the Lord God. 2 I looked and saw something that looked like a human. From the waist down it looked like fire, and from the waist up it looked like bright glowing metal. 3 It stretched out the shape of a hand and caught me by the hair on my head. The Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the sky. He took me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple. In the courtyard was the idol that caused God to be jealous. 4 I saw the glory of the God of Israel there, as I had seen on the plain.
5 Then he said to me, “Human, now look toward the north.” So I looked up toward the north, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar was the idol that caused God to be jealous.
6 He said to me, “Human, do you see what they are doing? Do you see how many hateful things the people of Israel are doing here that drive me far away from my Temple? But you will see things more hateful than these.”
7 Then he brought me to the entry of the courtyard. When I looked, I saw a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Human, dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall and saw an entrance.
9 Then he said to me, “Go in and see the hateful, evil things they are doing here.” 10 So I entered and looked, and I saw every kind of crawling thing and hateful beast and all the idols of the people of Israel, carved on the wall all around. 11 Standing in front of these carvings and idols were seventy of the elders of Israel and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan. Each man had his pan for burning incense in his hand, and a sweet-smelling cloud of incense was rising.
12 Then he said to me, “Human, 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 He also said to me, “You will see even more hateful things that they are doing.”
14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Temple of the Lord, where I saw women sitting and crying for Tammuz.[a]15 He said to me, “Do you see, human? You will see things even more hateful than these.”
16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Temple. There I saw about twenty-five men at the entrance to the Temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar. With their backs turned to the Temple of the Lord, they faced east and were worshiping the sun in the east.
17 He said to me, “Do you see, human? Is it unimportant that the people of Judah are doing the hateful things they have done here? They have filled the land with violence and made me continually angry. Look, they are insulting me every way they can. 18 So I will act in anger. I will have no pity, nor will I show mercy. Even if they shout in my ears, I won’t listen to them.”
8:14Tammuz Tammuz was a 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.
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