Vision of the Glory of God
Verse 1 – And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there.
Verse 2 – Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire – from appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber.
Verse 3 – He stretched out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my hair; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy.
First, I wonder if the elders had fallen asleep while the Spirit lifted Ezekiel up, or did they see him being lifted, or did Ezekiel simply close his eyes?
This seat of the image of jealousy no doubt is an idol. Baal, which Manasseh had set up. King Josiah had destroyed it when he was king, but the succeeding king had set it up again. Our God is a jealous God and we will have no other gods before Him.
Verse 4 – And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain.
Verse 5 – Then He said to me, “Son of man, lift your eyes now toward the north. “So I lifted my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the altar gate, was the image of jealousy in the entrance.
Ahaz had removed it from the middle of the court and set it near the north gate.
Verse 6 – Furthermore He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations.”
How brazen and bold, without fear, to have set idols up in God’s temple, and exchange it for what? These people had absolutely no fear of the True God at all. They had convinced themselves that these idols would give them everything their heart desired. Some are no different today; they have convinced themselves there is no God or they simply don’t need Him.
Verse 7 – So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall.
Verse 8 – Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall” and when I dug into the wall, there was a door.
This was a private door, by which the priests entered into the chamber of their imagery, to perform idolatrous worship to their images.
Verse 9 – And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.”
Verse 10 – So I went in and saw, and there – every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls.
Look at Romans 1:23 – and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. God has never changed in what He says is an abomination.
Verse 11 – And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up.
These seventy elders were the heads of the tribes or families, who should have been examples of leading the people to the True God of Israel. Instead they were having their secret ceremony to their foreign gods. God let Ezekiel see them as they were doing it.
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 the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ”
Verse 13 – And He said to me, “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.”
Verse 14 – So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the Lord’s house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.
Tammuz was the Babylonian god of spring. He was the husband or lover of the goddess Ishtar. The followers of this cult believed that the green vegetation shriveled and died in the hot summer because Tammuz had died and descended into the underworld. So these women were mourning his death. In the spring when the vegetation would begin to grow again, they would celebrate because Tammuz had come back to life. Nimrod started this false mess and was also the one who started the kingdom of Babel. Remember the tower of Babel?
Verse 15 – Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.”
Verse 16 – So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.
Verse 17 – Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose.
This branch to the nose could mean that Judah’s sins had become a stench to God.
Verse 18 – “Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”