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Ezekiel 8-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

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, and there the hand of the Lord God came down on me. I looked, and there was a form that had the appearance of a man.[a] From what seemed to be His waist down was fire, and from His waist up was something that looked bright, like the gleam of amber. 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 to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner gate that faces north, where the offensive statue that provokes jealousy was located. I saw the glory of the God of Israel there, like the vision I had seen in the plain.

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 things that the house of Israel is committing, so that I must depart from My sanctuary? You will see even more detestable things.”

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 there was a doorway. He said to me, “Go in and see the terrible and detestable things they are committing here.” 10 I went in and looked, and there engraved all around the wall was every form of detestable thing, crawling creatures and beasts, as well as all the idols of the house of Israel.

11 Seventy elders from the house of Israel were standing before them, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had a firepan in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising up. 12 Then 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.’” 13 Again He said to me, “You will see even more detestable things, which they are committing.”

14 So 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 things than these.”

16 So He brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house, and there were about 25 men at the entrance of the Lord’s temple, between the portico and the altar, with their backs to the Lord’s temple and their faces turned to the east. They were bowing to the east in worship of the sun. 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 things they are practicing here, that they must also fill the land with violence and repeatedly provoke Me to anger, even putting the branch to their nose?[b][c] 18 Therefore I will respond with wrath. I will not show pity or spare them. Though they cry out in My ears with a loud voice, I will not listen to them.”

Vision of Slaughter in Jerusalem

Then He called to me directly with a loud voice, “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, which faces north, each with a war club in his hand. There was another man among them, clothed in linen, with writing equipment at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

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

He spoke as I listened to the others, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them! Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the older women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” 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. 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! 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, and the city full of perversity. For they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land; He does not see.’ 10 But as for Me, I will not show pity or spare them. I will bring their actions down on their own heads.” 11 Then the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side reported back, “I have done as You commanded me.”

God’s Glory Leaves the Temple

10 Then I looked, and there above the expanse over the heads of the cherubim was something like sapphire[d] stone resembling the shape of a throne that appeared above them. The Lord spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Go inside the wheelwork beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with hot coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” So he went in as I watched.

Now the cherubim were standing to the south of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherub to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory. The sound of the cherubim’s wings could be heard as far as the outer court; it was like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.

After the Lord commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from inside the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then the cherub reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took some, and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of human hands under their wings.

I looked, and there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub. The luster of the wheels was like the gleam of beryl. 10 In appearance, all four had the same form, like a wheel within a wheel. 11 When they moved, they would go in any of the four directions, without pivoting as they moved. But wherever the head faced, they would go in that direction,[e] without pivoting as they went. 12 Their entire bodies, including their backs, hands, wings, and the wheels that the four of them had, were full of eyes all around. 13 As I listened the wheels were called “the wheelwork.” 14 Each one had four faces: the first face was that of a cherub, the second that of a man, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.

15 The cherubim ascended; these were the living creatures I had seen by the Chebar Canal. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when they lifted their wings to rise from the earth, even then the wheels did not veer away from them. 17 When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when they ascended, the wheels ascended with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

18 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. 19 The cherubim lifted their wings and ascended from the earth right before my eyes; the wheels were beside them as they went. The glory of the God of Israel was above them, and it stood at the entrance to the eastern gate of the Lord’s house.

20 These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Chebar Canal, and I recognized that they were cherubim. 21 Each had four faces and each had four wings, with the form of human hands under their wings. 22 Their faces looked like the same faces I had seen by the Chebar Canal. Each creature went straight ahead.

Vision of Israel’s Corrupt Leaders

11 The Spirit then lifted me up and brought me to the eastern gate of the Lord’s house, which faces east, and at the gate’s entrance were 25 men. Among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur, and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plan evil and give wicked advice in this city. They are saying, ‘Isn’t the time near to build houses?[f] The city is the pot, and we are the meat.’ Therefore, prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man!”

Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and He told me, “You are to say: This is what the Lord says: That is what you are thinking, house of Israel; and I know the thoughts that arise in your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city, filling its streets with the dead.

“Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: The slain you have put within it are the meat, and the city is the pot, but I[g] will remove you from it. You fear the sword, so I will bring the sword against you.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “I will bring you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners; I will execute judgments against you. 10 You will fall by the sword, and I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 11 The city will not be a pot for you, and you will not be the meat within it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, 12 so you will know that I am Yahweh, whose statutes you have not followed and whose ordinances you have not practiced. Instead, you have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.”

13 Now while I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out with a loud voice: “Oh, Lord God! Will You bring to an end the remnant of Israel?”

Promise of Israel’s Restoration

14 The word of the Lord came to me again: 15 “Son of man, your own relatives, those who have the right to redeem you,[h][i] and the entire house of Israel, all of them, are those that the residents of Jerusalem have said this to, ‘Stay away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’

16 “Therefore say: This is what the Lord God says: Though I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.

17 “Therefore say: This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

18 “When they arrive there, they will remove all its detestable things and practices from it. 19 And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies[j] and give them a heart of flesh, 20 so they may follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts pursue their desire for detestable things and practices, I will bring their actions down on their own heads.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

God’s Glory Leaves Jerusalem

22 Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, lifted their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23 The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stood on the mountain east of the city.[k] 24 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to Chaldea and to the exiles in a vision from the Spirit of God. After the vision I had seen left me, 25 I spoke to the exiles about all the things the Lord had shown me.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 8:2 LXX; MT, Vg read of fire
  2. Ezekiel 8:17 Ancient Jewish tradition reads My nose
  3. Ezekiel 8:17 Possibly a pagan ritual or a euphemism for offensive behavior
  4. Ezekiel 10:1 Or lapis lazuli
  5. Ezekiel 10:11 Lit go after it
  6. Ezekiel 11:3 Or The time is not near to build houses.
  7. Ezekiel 11:7 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; other Hb mss read He
  8. Ezekiel 11:15 LXX, Syr read your relatives, your fellow exiles
  9. Ezekiel 11:15 Or own brothers, your relatives
  10. Ezekiel 11:19 Lit flesh
  11. Ezekiel 11:23 = the Mount of Olives

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