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Abominations in the Temple

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there.(A) I looked, and there was a figure that looked like a man;[a] below what appeared to be its loins the figure was fire, and above the loins it was like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming amber.(B) It stretched out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, to the seat of the image of jealousy that provokes to jealousy.(C) And the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I had seen in the valley.(D)

Then God[b] said to me, “O mortal, lift up your eyes now in the direction of the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy.(E) He said to me, “Mortal, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? Yet you will see still greater abominations.”(F)

And he brought me to the entrance of the court; I looked, and there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Mortal, dig through the wall,” and when I dug through the wall, there was an entrance. He said to me, “Go in and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” 10 So I went in and looked; there, portrayed on the wall all around, were all kinds of creeping things and loathsome animals and all the idols of the house of Israel.(G) 11 Before them stood seventy of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the fragrant cloud of incense was ascending.(H) 12 Then he said to me, “Mortal, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of images? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ” 13 He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they are committing.”(I)

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.(J) 15 Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O mortal? You will see still greater abominations than these.”

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord; there, at the entrance of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, prostrating themselves to the sun toward the east.(K) 17 Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O mortal? Is it not bad enough that the house of Judah commits the abominations done here? Must they fill the land with violence and provoke my anger still further? See, they are putting the branch to their nose!(L) 18 Therefore I will act in wrath; my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, and though they cry in my hearing with a loud voice, I will not listen to them.”(M)

The Slaughter of the Idolaters

Then he cried in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand; among them was a man clothed in linen with a writing case at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.(N)

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the entryway of the temple. The Lord[c] called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing case at his side(O) and said to him, “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”(P) To the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity.(Q) Cut down old men, young men and young women, little children and women, but touch no one who has the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the house.(R) Then he said to them, “Defile the house and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and killed in the city.(S) While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell prostrate on my face and cried out, “Ah Lord God! Will you destroy all who remain of Israel as you pour out your wrath upon Jerusalem?”(T) He said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city full of perversity, for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’(U) 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will bring down their deeds upon their heads.”(V)

11 Then the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his side brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”

God’s Glory Leaves Jerusalem

10 Then I looked, and above the dome that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire,[d] in form resembling a throne.(W) He said to the man clothed in linen, “Go within the wheelwork underneath the cherubim; fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.” He went in as I looked on.(X) Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.(Y) Then the glory of the Lord rose up from the cherub to the entryway of the temple; the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the glory of the Lord.(Z) The sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty[e] when he speaks.(AA)

When he commanded the man clothed in linen, “Take fire from within the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” he went in and stood beside a wheel. And a cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, took some of it, 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 a human hand under their wings.

I looked, and there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like gleaming beryl.(AB) 10 And as for their appearance, the four looked alike, something like a wheel within a wheel. 11 When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without veering as they moved. 12 Their entire bodies—backs, hands, and wings—were covered with eyes all around, as were the wheels of the four of them.(AC) 13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the wheelwork.” 14 Each one had four faces: the first face was that of the cherub, the second face was that of a human, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.(AD)

15 The cherubim rose up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the River Chebar. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise up from the earth, the wheels at their side did not veer.(AE) 17 When they stopped, the others stopped, and when they rose up, the others rose up with them, for a living spirit was in them.(AF)

18 Then the glory of the Lord went out from the entryway of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 The cherubim lifted up their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight as they went out with the wheels beside them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.(AG)

20 These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew that they were cherubim.(AH) 21 Each had four faces, each four wings, and underneath their wings something like human hands.(AI) 22 As for what their faces were like, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the River Chebar. Each one moved straight ahead.(AJ)


  1. 8.2 Gk: Heb like fire
  2. 8.5 Heb he
  3. 9.3 Heb he
  4. 10.1 Or lapis lazuli
  5. 10.5 Traditional rendering of Heb El Shaddai

Service Well-Pleasing to God

13 Let mutual affection continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.(A) Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them, those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.[a] Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.(B) Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”(C) So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food,[b] which have not benefited those who observe them.(D) 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent[c] have no right to eat.(E) 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.(F) 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.(G) 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.(H) 15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.(I) 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing, for that would be harmful to you.(J)

18 Pray for us; we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.(K) 19 I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.


20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,(L) 21 make you complete in everything good[d] so that you may do his will, as he works among us[e] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever.[f] Amen.(M)

Final Exhortation and Greetings

22 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been set free, and if he comes in time he will be with me when I see you.(N) 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.[g](O)


  1. 13.3 Gk were in the body
  2. 13.9 Gk not by foods
  3. 13.10 Or tabernacle
  4. 13.21 Other ancient authorities read for every good work
  5. 13.21 Other ancient authorities read you
  6. 13.21 Other ancient authorities add and ever
  7. 13.25 Other ancient authorities add Amen