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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ezekiel 8

Verses 1-4

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 8

WHY GOD WAS JUSTIFIED IN SENDING HIS PEOPLE INTO

CAPTIVITY

Chapters 8 to 33:20

PREPARATION FOR THE THIRD VISION OF GLORY

Verses 1-4:

Verse 1 brings events of Ezekiel’s prophecies current. It was in the sixth year, sixth month (September) and on the fifth day of the month of Jehoiachin’s captivity, Ezekiel 1:3, a period of 7 days, 390 days, and 40 days, of the visions and prophecies of Ezekiel that the following things occurred. As he sat in his residence, in seclusion, as commanded, Ezekiel 3:24, the elders of Israel sat before him, evidently conferring with him regarding their degree of civil liberties among their own people in captivity. For the Jews were permitted to preserve their ancient order of elders for civil liberties among their own people in captivities. As the elders sat before Ezekiel the hand of the Lord fell with emotional impact upon him.

Verse 2 opens a third vision of the glory of the Lord to Ezekiel, even as those formerly related Ezekiel 1:1; Ezekiel 3:13; Ezekiel 3:22; Daniel 7:9-10. He beheld again, in veiled form, the appearance of a form, as related, of a man upon the throne, Ezekiel 1:26-27. In the vision the form one, from the loins upward, glowed as amber fire in Splendor of His calm, untroubled, heavenly majesty. And below his appearance­ form was like glowing fire, with judgment fire, as a judging avenger of wrong. He was the Lord of the covenant, John 1:18, with unapproachable majesty, 1 Timothy 4:16.

Verse 3 describes actions of the "glory one" from the throne, as He put forth His hand and took Ezekiel by a lock of the hair of his head. The actions were in a vision, not to be taken literally, Daniel 5:5; Daniel 10:10; Daniel 10:18. Then the spirit of the Lord lifted him up from his house and transported him in a vision of God to Jerusalem, Acts 8:39. In these visions, for revelation purposes, he was taken to the door of the inner gate, leading to the Temple from the north, a place of communication of priests from within and the common people without the court. For there was located the image of jealousy (idols) which provoked the. fiery jealousy of God, against His remnant who remained there Deuteronomy 32:16; Deuteronomy 32:21.

Verse 4 asserts that the glory of Shekinah of the Lord in the visions was yet there in the Temple, for it was there He met for approval or condemnation, the actions of His people in the land. Their abominations in the land of Israel and city of Jerusalem, were not accepted or approved by Him, to the least degree, as also described Jeremiah 7:9-10; Jeremiah 7:17; Jeremiah 10:4; Jeremiah 10:18.

Verses 5-12

FOUR ABOMINATIONS OF THE TEMPLE

Verses 5-12:

Verse 5 introduces the first abomination of the temple. At the gate of the temple, by the inner court, Ezekiel was commanded of the Lord before him. There in front of him, and all who approached the brazen altar area of the temple court, stood the "image of jealousy." Whether it was one of Baal, Moloch, Astarte, or some other idol embracing the three, and other idols of the land, is not known. But that such an appearance defied the law of Israel’s God was very clear, Exodus 20:4-5.

Verse 6 continues the message of the Lord to Ezekiel as "son of man," God’s spokesman of His word and will. He was told to behold this idolatrous image yet standing in the Holy Temple area, as an abomination to the Holy God of Israel, Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Chronicles 36:14-17; Jeremiah 26:6; Lamentations 2:6-7. It was a sin that stirred the jealous wrath of God, so that Jerusalem and all the land of idolatrous Judah and Israel were yet to be as surely judged as those already carried captive into Babylon. Ichabod (departed glory) was to come to all the land, Ezekiel 10:18; Ezekiel 11:23.

Verse 7 introduces the second abomination as Ezekiel was carried to the outer door of the court, the inner court, v. 3, where he beheld a "hole" in the wall, but too small for him to pass through. It had been put there for ulterior or degrading purposes, for the priests to peep through at the idolatrous shrines.

Verse 8 directed Ezekiel to dig in the wall, dig away the enclosure about the hole in the wall. He did; and there he found an hidden door, concealing further sins committed by priests in privacy, away from the people’s view, but not from the Lord, Ecclesiastes 12:14; Revelation 20:11-14.

Verse 9 charged Ezekiel to go through and behind that secret door and get an eyeful of the abominations hidden and done behind the peephole and hidden door in the wall in that area of the temple. Behind that wall elders of Israel held secret worship, where the figures of various animals, representing gods of nature were scrolled upon the walls, in abomination of God’s house and all the land of Judah and Israel, John 3:20; Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 32:34.

Verse 10 continues to report that Ezekiel entered the room in visions and was shocked to behold "every form of creeping things, and abominable (unclean) beasts, as worshipped in Egypt, and all the idols of the house of Israel, "across the land," upon the wall round about. "Thus the former people of God had come to worship the creatures of the earth, rather than the creator, much as the Greeks did in Paul’s day, near Mars Hill, Acts 17:24-34; Romans 1:22-23. Those two were incentives to superstitions.

Verse 11 describes Ezekiel’s vision of the seventy elders of the aged of Israel. He saw them with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, standing in their midst, increasing the guilt, 2 Kings 22:10-14. Each of the seventy elders held a censer in his hand, with a thick cloud of incense smoke ascending from them, before the idol figures of the creatures upon the walls, v. 10. These men of unpriestly lineage stood in the holy temple, imposing themselves into the ministry of the priesthood, without excuse, Psalms 25:14; Genesis 49:6.

Verse 12 inquires of Ezekiel whether or not he had seen, or really comprehended, what the elders of Israel did in secret chambers, Isaiah 29:15. For they were saying, by their actions, that God was dead, blind, no longer omniscient. And had abandoned the earth. They tried to blame God for their own failures, their evil choices and deeds, their willful breach of His law and their positional trusts, Exodus 20:4-5. Israel had degraded their worship by compromise and union with heathen gods, corrupted the moral attitude and behavior of their land, so that God responded by forsaking their land for a time of judgment purging.

Verses 13-18

THE THIRD AND FOURTH ABOMINATIONS, v. 13-18

Verse 13 introduces an abomination that Ezekiel was called to turn and behold, at the entrance of the temple, as in v. 3. All these accumulating abominations of Israel were to be told to Israel in captivity, to assure them that God was a God of just judgment upon His people for their sins against His temple, His land, and His people, whom He had chosen in Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 20:1-17.

Verse 14 describes what Ezekiel beheld at the gate of the Lord’s house to the north. There he beheld women sitting and weeping, as mourners, either within or just without the gate for Tammuz, the Greek god Adnois to help them, Isaiah 3:26, as further described by Jeremiah 7:11; Jeremiah 44:17. Their praying and mourning before this god that was lifeless, blind, deaf, and dumb was recounted to show legal Mosaic law justification for God’s abandoning their land, temple, and people to heathen punishment, Exodus 20:4-5; Psalms 115:4-9.

Verse 15 inquires of Ezekiel whether or not he has had time to see and really comprehend the gravity of the sin of his people. Then he is called to turn again to behold a fourth and greater source of abominations against God and His Holy laws. In vain he had beheld: 1) idol worship, 2) then secret idolatrous worship by the elders, 3) then debasement of women mourning before Tammuz.

Verse 16 describes the fourth abomination of Israel’s worship. Ezekiel was brought in the vision into the inner court, (holy of holies) to the door of the temple to the east, Joel 2:17, between the porch and the altar. There he beheld 25 men standing with their backs turned to the temple, their faces to the east, worshipping the sun, as their god of the day and hour, in spite of God’s warning against their doing such, Deuteronomy 4:19; 1 Kings 2:44; 2 Kings 23:5; 2 Kings 23:11; Job 31:26; Jeremiah 44:17. Such had once been put down in the reforming reign of Josiah, 2 Kings 23:5; 2 Kings 23:11.

Verse 17 inquires of Ezekiel whether or not he has seen and realized what had happened to the house of Judah and Israel, or what they had stooped to practice, as abominations against the Lord in their land and the temple at Jerusalem. He was to let the captive Jews know specifically why they and their people yet in the land were suffering. These visions enabled him to "tell it like it was." They "put the branch to their nose," worshipped gods made from branches of trees, with utter contempt or scorn toward the laws of their God, Exodus 20:4-5.

Verse 18 certifies that the Lord will therefore send just punishment upon them in His fury, neither sparing, nor showing pity, nor answering their carnal selfish cries and prayers when they cried to Him too late, even as the rich man in hell did. Luke 16:19-31; See also Proverbs 1:26-28; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11; Jeremiah 14:11-12; Micah 3:4, Zechariah 7:13.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-8.html. 1985.