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! 1 8:18 Therefore I will act with fury! My eye will not pity them nor will I spare 2 them. When they have shouted in my ears, I will not listen to them.”
1 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.”
2 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.