Study of the Prophets: Ezekiel Chapter 7

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Ezekiel # 7

1 Moreover the word of the L-RD came unto me, saying, 2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the L-rd G-D unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 3 Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. 4 And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the L-RD. 5 Thus saith the L-rd G-D; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. 6 An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. 7 The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. 8 Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. 9 And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the L-RD that. 10 Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. 11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them. 12 The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. 13 For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life. 14 They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. 15 The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
16 But they that escape of them shall escape and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, everyone for his iniquity. 17 All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water. 18 They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. 19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the L-RD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.

7:19 During the horrible siege, with its inflated prices (2 Kin. 6:25) and scarcity of goods, money would not relieve hunger and famine, nor bring deliverance from the oppression of their enemies. Thus, the trust of the people in their wealth and prosperity, instead of in G-d, brought their downfall

20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore, have I set it far from them. 21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. 22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it and defile it.

7:22 “My secret place” refers to the temple.

23 Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

7:23 The phrase “make a chain” describes the method used for marching away the captives, chained together, to their place of exile (cf. Judg. 16:21).

24 Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. 25 Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. 26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.

7:26 Prophets, priests, and elders were the normal channels through whom G-d’s guidance came. The blocking of these channels prohibited receiving a message from G-d (cf. Hos. 4:6; Amos 8:11–14)
27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the L-RD.

8:1. Chapters 8–11 are a unit, though the subject matter may be divided. These chapters constitute a vision that the prophet had while transported by the Spirit of G-d from Babylon to Jerusalem (v. 3). The first thing Ezekiel witnessed was the presence of loathsome, idolatrous figures and detestable pagan practices within the temple confines itself, “the wicked abominations” (v. 9).
8:14. Tammuz is the Semitic equivalent of the Sumerian Dumuzi whose ill-fated love of Inanna (Semitic Ishtar) the G-ddess of love is recounted in the Sumerian myths of Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld and The Death of Dumuzi. Betrayed by Inanna and consigned to the underworld, his demise was limited in the fourth month, which was named after him. Evidently the women of Judah lamented Tammuz on the fifth day of the sixth month. The worship of Tammuz was one of the many fertility cults of the ancient Near East that had several local variations. Weeping for Tammuz was an act of worship intended to bring him back from the netherworld. Thus, these women were worshiping this Assyrian deity.

1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the L-rd G-D fell there upon me.

8:1 “The sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day” would be September 17, 592 BCE. After at least 14 months of preaching by means of various symbolic acts, Ezekiel was confronted by the elders.

2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.

8:2 There is a play on the words for man (ish, Heb.), and fire. Ezekiel saw a fire and it was a Man.

3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of G-d to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

8:3 Ezekiel was transported in a vision to Jerusalem. He was taken to the “inner court.” Though the nature of this “image of jealousy” is uncertain, it was a direct violation of the second commandment (Ex. 20:4–6). Manasseh had set up such an image, the Syrian mother-G-ddess Asherah, within the temple area in defiance of G-d (2 Kin. 21:1–7; 2 Chr. 33:7). This idol, worshiped as the wife of YAHWEH, was a rival to the L-rd, who tolerates no rivals. “Jealousy has the connotation of defending one’s rights. G-d’s jealousy seeks to protect His people from the sin of idolatry and its accompanying immorality.

4 And, behold, the glory of the G-d of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. 5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So, I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. 6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.
8:10 Ezekiel saw the abominations of Egyptian and Canaanite animal worship, called here the “idols of the house of Israel,” portrayed on a wall

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

8:11 Jaazaniah, a member of a prominent family, is “the son of Shaphan,” a leader in the administration of Josiah (cf. 2 Kin. 22:3–5). This Jaazaniah is not to be confused with “Jaazaniah the son of Azzur” in 11:1.

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The L-RD seeth us not; the L-RD hath forsaken the earth.
13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. 14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the L-RD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

8:14 “Tammuz,” the Babylonian G-d of nature, was depicted as dying in the scorching heat of summer and lying dormant through the cold winter months. In late fall, festivals of mourning were held, and in the spring a celebration of resurrection was held as the nature-G-d came back to life. Ezekiel saw the Israelite women joining in the rites of mourning for Tammuz. This was more evidence of the extent of the spiritual decay. In the Oriental culture the women were the most conservative, and usually the last to abandon their former loyalties.

15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 16 And he brought me into the inner court of the L-RD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the L-RD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the L-RD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

8:16 Worship of the stars and planets was highly developed in Babylon. Ezekiel saw 25 men (probably priests or Levites) who were worshiping Shamash, the Babylonian sun-G-d, at the very “door of the temple.”

17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O 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 returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
8:17 The expression “they put the branch to their nose” is an obscure Hebrew idiom, but it evidently was an insult or obscenity directed to the L-rd.

18Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.