Visionary Journey to Jerusalem

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting in front of me,(A) and there the hand of the Lord God came down on me.(B) I looked, and there was someone who looked like a man.[a] From what seemed to be his waist down was fire, and from his waist up was something that looked bright,(C) like the gleam of amber.(D) He stretched out what appeared to be a hand and took me by the hair of my head. Then the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and carried me in visions of God(E) to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner gate that faces north, where the offensive statue that provokes jealousy(F) was located. I saw the glory of the God of Israel(G) there, like the vision I had seen in the plain.(H)

Pagan Practices in the Temple

The Lord said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” I looked to the north, and there was this offensive statue north of the Altar Gate, at the entrance. He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing here—more detestable acts that the house of Israel is committing(I)—so that I must depart from my sanctuary? You will see even more detestable acts.”

Then he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked there was a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall and discovered a doorway. He said to me, “Go in and see the detestable, wicked acts they are committing here.”

10 I went in and looked, and there engraved all around the wall was every kind of abhorrent thing—crawling creatures and beasts—as well as all the idols of the house of Israel.(J) 11 Seventy elders from the house of Israel were standing before them, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan(K) standing among them. Each had a firepan in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising up. 12 He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his idol? For they are saying, ‘The Lord does not see us. The Lord has abandoned the land.’”(L) 13 Again he said to me, “You will see even more detestable acts that they are committing.”

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house, and I saw women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 And he said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even more detestable acts than these.”

16 So he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house, and there were about twenty-five men at the entrance of the Lord’s temple, between the portico and the altar,(M) with their backs to the Lord’s temple and their faces turned to the east.(N) They were bowing to the east in worship of the sun.(O) 17 And he said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it not enough for the house of Judah to commit the detestable acts they are doing here, that they must also fill the land with violence(P) and repeatedly anger me,(Q) even putting the branch to their nose?[b] 18 Therefore I will respond with wrath.(R) I will not show pity or spare them.(S) Though they call loudly in my hearing,(T) I will not listen to them.”

Vision of Slaughter in Jerusalem

Then he called loudly in my hearing, “Come near, executioners of the city, each of you with a destructive weapon in his hand.” And I saw six men coming from the direction of the Upper Gate,(U) which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen,(V) carrying writing equipment. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

Then the glory of the God of Israel(W) rose from above the cherub where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen and carrying writing equipment. “Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem,” the Lord said to him, “and put a mark on the foreheads(X) of the men who sigh and groan(Y) over all the detestable practices committed in it.”

He spoke to the others in my hearing: “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them!(Z) Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the children and older women,(AA) but do not come near anyone who has the mark.(AB) Begin at my sanctuary.”(AC) So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain.(AD) Go!” So they went out killing people in the city.

While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, “Oh, Lord God!(AE) Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel when you pour out your wrath on Jerusalem?”

He answered me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of bloodshed,(AF) and the city full of perversity. For they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land;(AG) he does not see.’(AH) 10 But as for me, I will not show pity or spare them.(AI) I will bring their conduct down on their own heads.”(AJ)

11 Then the man clothed in linen and carrying writing equipment reported back, “I have done all that you commanded me.”

Footnotes

  1. 8:2 LXX; MT, Vg read like fire
  2. 8:17 Alt Hb tradition reads my nose

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