The elders of Judah came to visit Ezekiel in his house. The hand of the Sovereign LORD came upon him, and he is given a vision of wickedness in the temple.
VERSE 1. In the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, the Lord GOD’s hand fell on me there.
sixth year … sixth month … fifth day. The date was September 17, 592 BC.
I sat in my house. Ezekiel is in a seated position.
the elders of Judah sat before me. The LORD God had called Ezekiel to sequester himself inside his hours. So the elders had come to his house. Presumably they wanted to ask for advice.
Ezekiel 3:24. Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet. He spoke with me, and said to me, “Go, shut yourself inside your house.
the Lord GOD’s hand fell on me. The hand of the LORD God is unpredictable. It falls upon his servants on his own timetable. We cannot force it to happen.
VERSE 2. Then I saw, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of fire; from the appearance of his waist and downward, fire; and from his waist and upward, as the appearance of brightness, as it were glowing metal.
fire … brightness … glowing metal. This would be awesome to behold!
VERSE 3. He 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 the sky, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the inner court that looks toward the north; where there was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
the form of a hand. Ezekiel does not say the LORD God has a human hand. Rather, Ezekiel says the LORD God stretched out what looked like a hand.
the Spirit lifted me up between earth and the sky. Ezekiel’s body remained where it was. But his spirit was taken to a remote location. The mystics call this “transport.”
the visions. Ezekiel did not see things happening in the physical world. Rather, what he saw took place in mystical visions.
VERSE 4. Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the appearance that I saw in the plain.
VERSE 5. Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now the way toward the north.” So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and saw, northward of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
this image of jealousy. Ezekiel refers to the idol that way, probably because he viewed it as an affront to the LORD God. It violated the Ten Commandments:
Exodus 20:4. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
VERSE 6. He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel commit here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But you will again see yet other great abominations.”
that I should go far off from my sanctuary. The detestable things they did drove the LORD God far from them.
In our day, is it possible for us to drive away the LORD God by sinning?
VERSE 7. He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.
VERSE 8. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig now in the wall.” When I had dug in the wall, I saw a door.
dig now in the wall. Ezekiel is still in mystical state.
VERSE 9. He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations that they do here.”
VERSE 10. So I went in and looked, and saw every form of creeping things, abominable animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed around on the wall.
creeping things. That is, “crawling things.”
all the idols of the house of Israel. These might have been idols they adapted from Egypt, or Canaan, or Babylon.
VERSE 11. Seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel stood before them. In the middle of them Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan stood, every man with his censer in his hand; and the smell of the cloud of incense went up.
VERSE 12. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his rooms of imagery? For they say, ‘The LORD doesn’t see us. The LORD has forsaken the land.’ ”
NAB translation. Do you see, son of man, what each of these of the house of Israel is doing in his idol room? They think: “The LORD cannot see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.”
They think: “The LORD cannot see us.” At the heart of the apostasy of the priests is a theological error. They have way too small of a concept of God. “God cannot see me here,” they believe in their heart of hearts. Bad theology arises from bad teaching.
Theology is like medicine. Good medicine makes us healthy. Bad medicine makes us ill. And so we read the Bible, and thereby open ourselves to its good medicine. We open ourselves to God curing any manner of spiritual or physical ills that have been troubling us for years or decades.
VERSE 13. He said also to me, “You will again see more of the great abominations which they do.”
VERSE 14. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and I saw the women sit there weeping for Tammuz.
the women sit there weeping for Tammuz. What does the Book of Ezekiel say about women? Here are all the verses we found in the Book of Ezekiel that mention a woman.
weeping for Tammuz. “Tammuz” is the Hebrew form of the name of the Sumerian god Dumuzi, the deity of spring vegetation.
VERSE 15. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? You will again see yet greater abominations than these.”
VERSE 16. He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house; and I saw at the door of the LORD’s temple, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty-five men, with their backs toward the LORD’s temple, and their faces toward the east. They were worshiping the sun toward the east.
worshiping the sun. They were not permitted to worship the sun. Instead, they were to worship the LORD God only.
VERSE 17. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke me to anger. Behold, they put the branch to their nose.
VERSE 18. Therefore I will also deal in wrath. My eye won’t spare, neither will I have pity. Though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.