Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 6
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Ezekiel 8:1--11:25

Context
A Desecrated Temple

8:1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month, 1  as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting in front of me, the hand 2  of the sovereign Lord seized me. 3  8:2 As I watched, I noticed 4  a form that appeared to be a man. 5  From his waist downward was something like fire, 6  and from his waist upward something like a brightness, 7  like an amber glow. 8  8:3 He stretched out the form 9  of a hand and grabbed me by a lock of hair on my head. Then a wind 10  lifted me up between the earth and sky and brought me to Jerusalem 11  by means of divine visions, to the door of the inner gate which faces north where the statue 12  which provokes to jealousy was located. 8:4 Then I perceived that the glory of the God of Israel was there, as in the vision I had seen earlier in the valley.

8:5 He said to me, “Son of man, look up toward 13  the north.” So I looked up toward the north, and I noticed to the north of the altar gate was this statue of jealousy at the entrance.

8:6 He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the great abominations that the people 14  of Israel are practicing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see greater abominations than these!”

8:7 He brought me to the entrance of the court, and as I watched, I noticed a hole in the wall. 8:8 He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and discovered a doorway.

8:9 He said to me, “Go in and see the evil abominations they are practicing here.” 8:10 So I went in and looked. I noticed every figure 15  of creeping thing and beast – detestable images 16  – and every idol of the house of Israel, engraved on the wall all around. 17  8:11 Seventy men from the elders of the house of Israel 18  (with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them) were standing in front of them, each with a censer in his hand, and fragrant 19  vapors from a cloud of incense were swirling upward.

8:12 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? 20  For they think, ‘The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!’” 8:13 He said to me, “You will see them practicing even greater abominations!”

8:14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house. I noticed 21  women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 22  8:15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even greater abominations than these!”

8:16 Then he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house. Right there 23  at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, 24  were about twenty-five 25  men with their backs to the Lord’s temple, 26  facing east – they were worshiping the sun 27  toward the east!

8:17 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man? Is it a trivial thing that the house of Judah commits these abominations they are practicing here? For they have filled the land with violence and provoked me to anger still further. Look, they are putting the branch to their nose! 28  8:18 Therefore I will act with fury! My eye will not pity them nor will I spare 29  them. When they have shouted in my ears, I will not listen to them.”

The Execution of Idolaters

9:1 Then he shouted in my ears, “Approach, 30  you who are to visit destruction on the city, each with his destructive weapon in his hand!” 9:2 Next, I noticed 31  six men 32  coming from the direction of the upper gate 33  which faces north, each with his war club in his hand. Among them was a man dressed in linen with a writing kit 34  at his side. They came and stood beside the bronze altar.

9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub where it had rested to the threshold of the temple. 35  He called to the man dressed in linen who had the writing kit at his side. 9:4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem 36  and put a mark 37  on the foreheads of the people who moan and groan over all the abominations practiced in it.”

9:5 While I listened, he said to the others, 38  “Go through the city after him and strike people down; do no let your eye pity nor spare 39  anyone! 9:6 Old men, young men, young women, little children, and women – wipe them out! But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary!” So they began with the elders who were at the front of the temple.

9:7 He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courtyards with corpses. Go!” So they went out and struck people down throughout the city. 9:8 While they were striking them down, I was left alone, and I threw myself face down and cried out, “Ah, sovereign Lord! Will you destroy the entire remnant of Israel when you pour out your fury on Jerusalem?”

9:9 He said to me, “The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is extremely great; the land is full of murder, and the city is full of corruption, 40  for they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land, and the Lord does not see!’ 41  9:10 But as for me, my eye will not pity them nor will I spare 42  them; I hereby repay them for what they have done.” 43 

9:11 Next I noticed the man dressed in linen with the writing kit at his side bringing back word: “I have done just as you commanded me.”

God’s Glory Leaves the Temple

10:1 As I watched, I saw 44  on the platform 45  above the top of the cherubim something like a sapphire, resembling the shape of a throne, appearing above them. 10:2 The Lord 46  said to the man dressed in linen, “Go between the wheelwork 47  underneath the cherubim. 48  Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” He went as I watched.

10:3 (The cherubim were standing on the south side 49  of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court.) 10:4 Then the glory of the Lord arose from the cherub and moved to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud while the court was filled with the brightness of the Lord’s glory. 10:5 The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard from the outer court, like the sound of the sovereign God 50  when he speaks.

10:6 When the Lord 51  commanded the man dressed in linen, “Take fire from within the wheelwork, from among the cherubim,” the man 52  went in and stood by one of the wheels. 53  10:7 Then one of the cherubim 54  stretched out his hand 55  toward the fire which was among the cherubim. He took some and put it into the hands of the man dressed in linen, who took it and left. 10:8 (The cherubim appeared to have the form 56  of human hands under their wings.)

10:9 As I watched, I noticed 57  four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; 58  the wheels gleamed like jasper. 59  10:10 As for their appearance, all four of them looked the same, something like a wheel within a wheel. 60  10:11 When they 61  moved, they would go in any of the four directions they faced without turning as they moved; in the direction the head would turn they would follow 62  without turning as they moved, 10:12 along with their entire bodies, 63  their backs, their hands, and their wings. The wheels of the four of them were full of eyes all around. 10:13 As for their wheels, they were called “the wheelwork” 64  as I listened. 10:14 Each of the cherubim 65  had four faces: The first was the face of a cherub, 66  the second that of a man, the third that of a lion, and the fourth that of an eagle.

10:15 The cherubim rose up; these were the living beings 67  I saw at the Kebar River. 10:16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them; when the cherubim spread 68  their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not move from their side. 10:17 When the cherubim 69  stood still, the wheels 70  stood still, and when they rose up, the wheels 71  rose up with them, for the spirit 72  of the living beings 73  was in the wheels. 74 

10:18 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 10:19 The cherubim spread 75  their wings, and they rose up from the earth 76  while I watched (when they went the wheels went alongside them). They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s temple as the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them.

10:20 These were the living creatures 77  which I saw at the Kebar River underneath the God of Israel; I knew that they were cherubim. 10:21 Each had four faces; each had four wings and the form of human hands under the wings. 10:22 As for the form of their faces, they were the faces whose appearance I had seen at the Kebar River. Each one moved straight ahead.

The Fall of Jerusalem

11:1 A wind 78  lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s temple that faces the east. There, at the entrance of the gate, I noticed twenty-five men. Among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, officials of the people. 79  11:2 The Lord 80  said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plot evil and give wicked advice in this city. 11:3 They say, 81  ‘The time is not near to build houses; 82  the city 83  is a cooking pot 84  and we are the meat in it.’ 11:4 Therefore, prophesy against them! Prophesy, son of man!”

11:5 Then the Spirit of the Lord came 85  upon me and said to me, “Say: This is what the Lord says: ‘This is what you are thinking, 86  O house of Israel; I know what goes through your minds. 87  11:6 You have killed many people in this city; you have filled its streets with corpses.’ 11:7 Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘The corpses you have dumped 88  in the midst of the city 89  are the meat, and this city 90  is the cooking pot, but I will take you out of it. 91  11:8 You fear the sword, so the sword I will bring against you,’ declares the sovereign Lord. 11:9 ‘But I will take you out of the city. 92  And I will hand you over to foreigners. I will execute judgments on you. 11:10 You will die by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 11:11 This city will not be a cooking pot for you, and you will not 93  be meat within it; I will judge you at the border of Israel. 11:12 Then you will know that I am the Lord, whose statutes you have not followed and whose regulations you have not carried out. Instead you have behaved according to the regulations of the nations around you!’”

11:13 Now, while I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I threw myself face down and cried out with a loud voice, “Alas, sovereign Lord! You are completely wiping out the remnant of Israel!” 94 

11:14 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 11:15 “Son of man, your brothers, 95  your relatives, 96  and the whole house of Israel, all of them are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem 97  have said, ‘They have gone 98  far away from the Lord; to us this land has been given as a possession.’

11:16 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Although I have removed them far away among the nations and have dispersed them among the countries, I have been a little 99  sanctuary for them among the lands where they have gone.’

11:17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When I regather you from the peoples and assemble you from the lands where you have been dispersed, I will give you back the country of Israel.’

11:18 “When they return to it, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 11:19 I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within them; 100  I will remove the hearts of stone from their bodies 101  and I will give them tender hearts, 102  11:20 so that they may follow my statutes and observe my regulations and carry them out. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God. 103  11:21 But those whose hearts are devoted to detestable things and abominations, I hereby repay them for what they have done, 104  says the sovereign Lord.”

11:22 Then the cherubim spread 105  their wings with their wheels alongside them while the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. 11:23 The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stopped 106  over the mountain east of it. 11:24 Then a wind 107  lifted me up and carried me to the exiles in Babylonia, 108  in the vision given to me by the Spirit of God.

Then the vision I had seen went up from me. 11:25 So I told the exiles everything 109  the Lord had shown me.

1 tc The LXX reads “In the sixth year, in the fifth month, on the fifth of the month.”

sn In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month would be September 17, 592 b.c., about fourteen months after the initial vision.

2 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

3 tn Heb “fell upon me there,” that is, God’s influence came over him.

4 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb (so also throughout the chapter).

5 tc The MT reads “fire” rather than “man,” the reading of the LXX. The nouns are very similar in Hebrew.

6 tc The MT reads “what appeared to be his waist and downwards was fire.” The LXX omits “what appeared to be,” reading “from his waist to below was fire.” Suggesting that “like what appeared to be” belongs before “fire,” D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:277) points out the resulting poetic symmetry of form with the next line as followed in the translation here.

7 tc The LXX omits “like a brightness.”

8 tn See Ezek 1:4.

9 tn The Hebrew term is normally used as an architectural term in describing the pattern of the tabernacle or temple or a representation of it (see Exod 25:8; 1 Chr 28:11).

10 tn Or “spirit.” See note on “wind” in 2:2.

11 map For the location of Jerusalem see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

12 tn Or “image.”

13 tn Heb “lift your eyes (to) the way of.”

14 tn Heb “house.”

15 tn Or “pattern.”

16 tn Heb “detestable.” The word is often used to describe the figures of foreign gods.

17 sn These engravings were prohibited in the Mosaic law (Deut 4:16-18).

18 sn Note the contrast between these seventy men who represented Israel and the seventy elders who ate the covenant meal before God, inaugurating the covenant relationship (Exod 24:1, 9).

19 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.

20 tn Heb “the room of his images.” The adjective “idolatrous” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn This type of image is explicitly prohibited in the Mosaic law (Lev 26:1).

21 tn Given the context this could be understood as a shock, e.g., idiomatically “Good grief! I saw….”

22 sn The worship of Tammuz included the observation of the annual death and descent into the netherworld of the god Dumuzi. The practice was observed by women in the ancient Near East over a period of centuries.

23 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something.

24 sn The priests prayed to God between the porch and the altar on fast days (Joel 2:17). This is the location where Zechariah was murdered (Matt 23:35).

25 tc The LXX reads “twenty” instead of twenty-five, perhaps because of the association of the number twenty with the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash.

tn Or “exactly twenty-five.”

26 sn The temple faced east.

27 tn Or “the sun god.”

sn The worship of astral entities may have begun during the reign of Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:5).

28 tn It is not clear what the practice of “holding a branch to the nose” indicates. A possible parallel is the Syrian relief of a king holding a flower to his nose as he worships the stars (ANEP 281). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:145-46. The LXX glosses the expression as “Behold, they are like mockers.”

29 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term is primarily emotional: “to pity,” which in context implies an action, as in being moved by pity in order to spare them from the horror of their punishment.

30 tc Heb “they approached.” Reading the imperative assumes the same consonantal text but different vowels.

31 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

32 sn The six men plus the scribe would equal seven, which was believed by the Babylonians to be the number of planetary deities.

33 sn The upper gate was built by Jotham (2 Kgs 15:35).

34 tn Or “a scribe’s inkhorn.” The Hebrew term occurs in the OT only in Ezek 9 and is believed to be an Egyptian loanword.

35 tn Heb “house.”

36 tn Heb “through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

37 tn The word translated “mark” is in Hebrew the letter ת (tav). Outside this context the only other occurrence of the word is in Job 31:35. In ancient Hebrew script this letter was written like the letter X.

sn For a similar concept in the Bible, see Rev 7:2-4; 13:16; 14:9, 11; 20:4; 22:4.

38 tn Heb “to these he said in my ears.”

39 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term is primarily emotional: “to pity,” which in context implies an action, as in being moved by pity in order to spare them from the horror of their punishment.

40 tn Or “lawlessness” (NAB); “perversity” (NRSV). The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT, and its meaning is uncertain. The similar phrase in 7:23 has a common word for “violence.”

41 sn The saying is virtually identical to that of the elders in Ezek 8:12.

42 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term is primarily emotional: “to pity,” which in context implies an action, as in being moved by pity in order to spare them from the horror of their punishment.

43 tn Heb “their way on their head I have placed.” The same expression occurs in 1 Kgs 8:32; Ezek 11:21; 16:43; 22:31.

44 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

45 tn Or “like a dome.” See 1:22-26.

46 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

47 tn The Hebrew term often refers to chariot wheels (Isa 28:28; Ezek 23:24; 26:10).

48 tc The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, and Targum mss read plural “cherubim” while the MT is singular here, “cherub.” The plural ending was probably omitted in copying the MT due to the similar beginning of the next word.

49 tn Heb “right side.”

50 tn The name (“El Shaddai”) has often been translated “God Almighty,” primarily because Jerome translated it omnipotens (“all powerful”) in the Latin Vulgate. There has been much debate over the meaning of the name. For discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names Shaddai and Abram,” JBL 54 (1935): 173-210; R. Gordis, “The Biblical Root sdy-sd,” JTS 41 (1940): 34-43; and especially T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 69-72.

51 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

52 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man dressed in linen) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

53 tn Heb “the wheel.”

54 tn Heb “the cherub.”

55 tn The Hebrew text adds, “from among the cherubim.”

56 tn The Hebrew term is normally used as an architectural term in describing the plan or pattern of the tabernacle or temple or a representation of it (see Exod 25:8; 1 Chr 28:11).

57 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb.

58 tn The MT repeats this phrase, a clear case of dittography.

59 tn Heb “Tarshish stone.” The meaning is uncertain. The term has also been translated “topaz” (NEB), “beryl” (KJV, NASB, NRSV), and “chrysolite” (RSV, NIV).

60 tn Or “like a wheel at right angles to another wheel.” Some envision concentric wheels here, while others propose “a globe-like structure in which two wheels stand at right angles” (L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:33-34). See also 1:16.

61 sn That is, the cherubim.

62 tn Many interpreters assume that the human face of each cherub was the one that looked forward.

63 tc The phrase “along with their entire bodies” is absent from the LXX and may be a gloss explaining the following words.

64 tn Or “the whirling wheels.”

65 tn Heb “each one”; the referent (the cherubim) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

66 sn The living creature described here is thus slightly different from the one described in Ezek 1:10, where a bull’s face appeared instead of a cherub’s. Note that some English versions harmonize the two descriptions and read the same here as in 1:10 (cf. NAB, NLT “an ox”; TEV, CEV “a bull”). This may be justified based on v. 22, which states the creatures’ appearance was the same.

67 tn Heb “it was the living creature.”

68 tn Heb “lifted.”

69 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the cherubim) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

70 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

71 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

72 tn Or “wind.”

73 tn Heb “living creature.”

74 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the wheels) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

75 tn Heb “lifted.”

76 tn Or “the ground” (NIV, NCV).

77 tn Heb “That was the living creature.”

78 tn Or “spirit.” See note on “wind” in 2:2.

79 sn The phrase officials of the people occurs in Neh 11:1; 1 Chr 21:2; 2 Chr 24:23.

80 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

81 tn The Hebrew verb may mean “think” in this context. This content of what they say (or think) represents their point of view.

82 sn The expression build houses may mean “establish families” (Deut 25:9; Ruth 4:11; Prov 24:27).

83 tn Heb “she” or “it”; the feminine pronoun refers here to Jerusalem.

84 sn Jerusalem is also compared to a pot in Ezek 24:3-8. The siege of the city is pictured as heating up the pot.

85 tn Heb “fell.”

86 tn The Hebrew verb commonly means “to say,” but may also mean “to think” (see also v. 3).

87 tn Heb “I know the steps of your spirits.”

88 tn Heb “placed.”

89 tn Heb “in its midst.”

90 tn Heb “she/it.” See v. 3.

91 tc Many of the versions read “I will bring you out” (active) rather than “he brought out” (the reading of MT).

92 tn Heb “its midst.”

93 tn The Hebrew text does not have the negative particle, but it is implied. The negative particle in the previous line does double duty here.

94 tc The LXX reads this statement as a question. Compare this to the question in 9:8. It is possible that the interrogative particle has been omitted by haplography. However, an exclamatory statement as in the MT also makes sense and the LXX may have simply tried to harmonize this passage with 9:8.

95 tc The MT reads “your brothers, your brothers” either for empahsis (D. I. Block, Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:341, n. 1; 346) or as a result of dittography.

96 tc The MT reads גְאֻלָּתֶךָ (gÿullatekha, “your redemption-men”), referring to the relatives responsible for deliverance in times of hardship (see Lev 25:25-55). The LXX and Syriac read “your fellow exiles,” assuming an underlying Hebrew text of גָלוּתֶךָ (galutekha) or having read the א (aleph) as an internal mater lectionis for holem.

97 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

98 tc The MT has an imperative form (“go far!”), but it may be read with different vowels as a perfect verb (“they have gone far”).

99 tn Or “have been partially a sanctuary”; others take this as temporal (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV “a little while”).

100 tc The MT reads “you”; many Hebrew mss along with the LXX and other ancient versions read “within them.”

101 tn Heb “their flesh.”

102 tn Heb “heart of flesh.”

103 sn The expression They will be my people, and I will be their God occurs as a promise to Abraham (Gen 17:8), Moses (Exod 6:7), and the nation (Exod 29:45).

104 tn Heb “their way on their head I have placed.”

105 tn Heb “lifted.”

106 tn Heb “stood.”

107 tn Or “spirit.” See note on “wind” in 2:2.

108 tn Heb “to Chaldea.”

109 tn Heb “all the words of.”



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