Ezekiel 8

Disgusting things in God's temple

1 On the fifth day of the sixth month of the sixth year, I was sitting in my house. The leaders of Judah were sitting in front of me. While I sat there, the Almighty Lord took hold of me with great power.

8:1Ezekiel records the exact date. It was during September in the year 592 BC.
8:1God gave Ezekiel a vision which continues from chapter 8 to chapter 11.

2 I looked up and I saw something that looked like a man. The lower part of his body looked like fire. Above that, his body looked like bright metal. 3 He put out something in the shape of a hand. He took hold of the hair on my head. Then the Spirit lifted me up, high in the sky, and took me to Jerusalem. This happened in the vision which God gave to me. I came to the north gate of the temple's inside yard. In that place there was a disgusting idol that made God very angry. 4 Then I saw that the bright glory of Israel's God was there. It was like the glory that I had seen beside the River Kebar.

8:3‘The Spirit’ or ‘a wind’.

5 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Son of man, look up towards the north.’ When I looked, I saw the disgusting idol. It stood at the entrance, on the north side of the altar gate.

6 He said to me, ‘Son of man, look at what they are doing! Israel's people are doing very disgusting things here. They are chasing me far away from my holy temple. But you will see even worse things than these.’

7 Then the Lord took me to the entrance of the temple's yard. As I looked, I saw a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, ‘Son of man, make a hole through the wall here.’ So I dug into the wall. I found a door in it.

9 He said to me, ‘Go in there. Look at the wicked things that they are doing in this place.’ 10 So I went in and I looked. I saw pictures of many things on the walls all around. There were pictures of snakes and other disgusting animals. There were also images of the things that Israel's people were worshipping. 11 70 of Israel's leaders were there. Shaphan's son Jaazaniah, was also among them. Each of them held a pot to burn incense. The smell of the incense rose up above them.

12 The Lord said, ‘Son of man, look at the wicked things that Israel's leaders are doing! They are doing them secretly in the dark. Each of them has a room where they worship their images of idols. They say, “The Lord does not see us! The Lord has gone away from our land!” ’

13 The Lord said to me, ‘You will see even worse things that they are doing.’

14 Then he took me to entrance at the north gate of the temple. I saw some women who were sitting there. They were weeping because the god Tammuz was dead. 15 He said to me, ‘Son of man, look at that! But you will see even worse things than these.’

8:14Tammuz was a false god that the Babylonian people worshipped. Every year, Babylonian women would remember his death and they would weep. Now Ezekiel could see that Israelite women were also doing this in the Lord's temple.

16 Then the Lord took me to the inside yard of his temple. I could see about 25 men who were standing between the altar and the front of the temple. Their backs were turned towards the Lord's temple. Their faces looked towards the east. They were bending down low to worship the sun that was rising in the east!

8:16The inside yard of the temple was a holy place for Israelites to worship the Lord. But these men were worshipping the sun god of Babylon.

17 The Lord said to me, ‘Son of man, look at that! The people of Judah are doing these disgusting things here in my temple! That is a terrible thing! And they are also doing violent things everywhere in their land. They continue to make me angry all the time. Look at them! They insult me as much as they can! 18 So now I will punish them in my great anger. I will not be sorry for them. I will not be kind to them. They may shout at me for help, but I will not listen to them.’