Ezekiel – Select a Chapter
1:1 In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, when I was in the community of exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened and I saw visions of Hashem.
א:א וַיְהִי בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה בָּרְבִיעִי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ וַאֲנִי בְתוֹךְ־הַגּוֹלָה עַל־נְהַר־כְּבָר נִפְתְּחוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וָאֶרְאֶה מַרְאוֹת אֱלֹהִים׃
2 On the fifth day of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Yehoyachin—
ב בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ הִיא הַשָּׁנָה הַחֲמִישִׁית לְגָלוּת הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹיָכִין׃
Yechezkel’s prophecy begins with the terrifying and esoteric vision of Hashem’s holy chariot, symbolic of the Divine Presence leaving the Beit Hamikdash and following the Jewish people into exile. The people may be temporarily bereft of their land, but are never abandoned by God. According to Jewish tradition, a prophet cannot receive prophecy outside the Land of Israel, unless he has first received it inside of the land. Therefore, the early commentators such as Rashi and Radak, note that in Hebrew, the word for the past is doubled in the words hayo haya (היה היה), translated here as “came to,” since Yechezkel’s current prophecy is a continuation of previous prophecies that visited him in Yerushalayim. Even when exiled, the people’s connection to the holiness and spirituality of Eretz Yisrael is never severed or broken.8 comments
4 I looked, and lo, a stormy wind came sweeping out of the north—a huge cloud and flashing fire, surrounded by a radiance; and in the center of it, in the center of the fire, a gleam as of amber.
ד וָאֵרֶא וְהִנֵּה רוּחַ סְעָרָה בָּאָה מִן־הַצָּפוֹן עָנָן גָּדוֹל וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת וְנֹגַהּ לוֹ סָבִיב וּמִתּוֹכָהּ כְּעֵין הַחַשְׁמַל מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ׃
5 In the center of it were also the figures of four creatures. And this was their appearance They had the figures of human beings.
ה וּמִתּוֹכָהּ דְּמוּת אַרְבַּע חַיּוֹת וְזֶה מַרְאֵיהֶן דְּמוּת אָדָם לָהֵנָּה׃
6 However, each had four faces, and each of them had four wings;
ו וְאַרְבָּעָה פָנִים לְאֶחָת וְאַרְבַּע כְּנָפַיִם לְאַחַת לָהֶם׃
7 the legs of each were [fused into] a single rigid leg, and the feet of each were like a single calf’s hoof; and their sparkle was like the luster of burnished bronze.
ז וְרַגְלֵיהֶם רֶגֶל יְשָׁרָה וְכַף רַגְלֵיהֶם כְּכַף רֶגֶל עֵגֶל וְנֹצְצִים כְּעֵין נְחֹשֶׁת קָלָל׃
8 They had human hands below their wings. The four of them had their faces and their wings on their four sides.
ח וידו [וִידֵי] אָדָם מִתַּחַת כַּנְפֵיהֶם עַל אַרְבַּעַת רִבְעֵיהֶם וּפְנֵיהֶם וְכַנְפֵיהֶם לְאַרְבַּעְתָּם׃
9 Each one’s wings touched those of the other. They did not turn when they moved; each could move in the direction of any of its faces.
ט חֹבְרֹת אִשָּׁה אֶל־אֲחוֹתָהּ כַּנְפֵיהֶם לֹא־יִסַּבּוּ בְלֶכְתָּן אִישׁ אֶל־עֵבֶר פָּנָיו יֵלֵכוּ׃
10 Each of them had a human face [at the front]; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right; each of the four had the face of an ox on the left; and each of the four had the face of an eagle [at the back].
י וּדְמוּת פְּנֵיהֶם פְּנֵי אָדָם וּפְנֵי אַרְיֵה אֶל־הַיָּמִין לְאַרְבַּעְתָּם וּפְנֵי־שׁוֹר מֵהַשְּׂמֹאול לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן וּפְנֵי־נֶשֶׁר לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן׃
11 Such were their faces. As for their wings, they were separated: above, each had two touching those of the others, while the other two covered its body.
יא וּפְנֵיהֶם וְכַנְפֵיהֶם פְּרֻדוֹת מִלְמָעְלָה לְאִישׁ שְׁתַּיִם חֹבְרוֹת אִישׁ וּשְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת אֵת גְּוִיֹתֵיהֶנָה׃
12 And each could move in the direction of any of its faces; they went wherever the spirit impelled them to go, without turning when they moved.
יב וְאִישׁ אֶל־עֵבֶר פָּנָיו יֵלֵכוּ אֶל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה־שָׁמָּה הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת יֵלֵכוּ לֹא יִסַּבּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּן׃
13 Such then was the appearance of the creatures. With them was something that looked like burning coals of fire. This fire, suggestive of torches, kept moving about among the creatures; the fire had a radiance, and lightning issued from the fire.
יג וּדְמוּת הַחַיּוֹת מַרְאֵיהֶם כְּגַחֲלֵי־אֵשׁ בֹּעֲרוֹת כְּמַרְאֵה הַלַּפִּדִים הִיא מִתְהַלֶּכֶת בֵּין הַחַיּוֹת וְנֹגַהּ לָאֵשׁ וּמִן־הָאֵשׁ יוֹצֵא בָרָק׃
14 Dashing to and fro [among] the creatures was something that looked like flares.
יד וְהַחַיּוֹת רָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב כְּמַרְאֵה הַבָּזָק׃
15 As I gazed on the creatures, I saw one wheel on the ground next to each of the four-faced creatures.
טו וָאֵרֶא הַחַיּוֹת וְהִנֵּה אוֹפַן אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ אֵצֶל הַחַיּוֹת לְאַרְבַּעַת פָּנָיו׃
16 As for the appearance and structure of the wheels, they gleamed like beryl. All four had the same form; the appearance and structure of each was as of two wheels cutting through each other.
טז מַרְאֵה הָאוֹפַנִּים וּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם כְּעֵין תַּרְשִׁישׁ וּדְמוּת אֶחָד לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן וּמַרְאֵיהֶם וּמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה הָאוֹפַן בְּתוֹךְ הָאוֹפָן׃
17 And when they moved, each could move in the direction of any of its four quarters; they did not veer when they moved.
יז עַל־אַרְבַּעַת רִבְעֵיהֶן בְּלֶכְתָּם יֵלֵכוּ לֹא יִסַּבּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּן׃
18 Their rims were tall and frightening, for the rims of all four were covered all over with eyes.
יח וְגַבֵּיהֶן וְגֹבַהּ לָהֶם וְיִרְאָה לָהֶם וְגַבֹּתָם מְלֵאֹת עֵינַיִם סָבִיב לְאַרְבַּעְתָּן׃
19 And when the creatures moved forward, the wheels moved at their sides; and when the creatures were borne above the earth, the wheels were borne too.
יט וּבְלֶכֶת הַחַיּוֹת יֵלְכוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים אֶצְלָם וּבְהִנָּשֵׂא הַחַיּוֹת מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ יִנָּשְׂאוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים׃
20 Wherever the spirit impelled them to go, they went—wherever the spirit impelled them—and the wheels were borne alongside them; for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels.
כ עַל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה־שָּׁם הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת יֵלֵכוּ שָׁמָּה הָרוּחַ לָלֶכֶת וְהָאוֹפַנִּים יִנָּשְׂאוּ לְעֻמָּתָם כִּי רוּחַ הַחַיָּה בָּאוֹפַנִּים׃
21 When those moved, these moved; and when those stood still, these stood still; and when those were borne above the earth, the wheels were borne alongside them—for the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels.
כא בְּלֶכְתָּם יֵלֵכוּ וּבְעָמְדָם יַעֲמֹדוּ וּבְהִנָּשְׂאָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ יִנָּשְׂאוּ הָאוֹפַנִּים לְעֻמָּתָם כִּי רוּחַ הַחַיָּה בָּאוֹפַנִּים׃
22 Above the heads of the creatures was a form: an expanse, with an awe-inspiring gleam as of crystal, was spread out above their heads.
כב וּדְמוּת עַל־רָאשֵׁי הַחַיָּה רָקִיעַ כְּעֵין הַקֶּרַח הַנּוֹרָא נָטוּי עַל־רָאשֵׁיהֶם מִלְמָעְלָה׃
23 Under the expanse, each had one pair of wings extended toward those of the others; and each had another pair covering its body.
כג וְתַחַת הָרָקִיעַ כַּנְפֵיהֶם יְשָׁרוֹת אִשָּׁה אֶל־אֲחוֹתָהּ לְאִישׁ שְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת לָהֵנָּה וּלְאִישׁ שְׁתַּיִם מְכַסּוֹת לָהֵנָּה אֵת גְּוִיֹּתֵיהֶם׃
24 When they moved, I could hear the sound of their wings like the sound of mighty waters, like the sound of Shaddai, a tumult like the din of an army. When they stood still, they would let their wings droop.
כד וָאֶשְׁמַע אֶת־קוֹל כַּנְפֵיהֶם כְּקוֹל מַיִם רַבִּים כְּקוֹל־שַׁדַּי בְּלֶכְתָּם קוֹל הֲמֻלָּה כְּקוֹל מַחֲנֶה בְּעָמְדָם תְּרַפֶּינָה כַנְפֵיהֶן׃
25 From above the expanse over their heads came a sound. When they stood still, they would let their wings droop.
כה וַיְהִי־קוֹל מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשָׁם בְּעָמְדָם תְּרַפֶּינָה כַנְפֵיהֶן׃
26 Above the expanse over their heads was the semblance of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and on top, upon this semblance of a throne, there was the semblance of a human form.
כו וּמִמַּעַל לָרָקִיעַ אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשָׁם כְּמַרְאֵה אֶבֶן־סַפִּיר דְּמוּת כִּסֵּא וְעַל דְּמוּת הַכִּסֵּא דְּמוּת כְּמַרְאֵה אָדָם עָלָיו מִלְמָעְלָה׃
27 From what appeared as his loins up, I saw a gleam as of amber—what looked like a fire encased in a frame; and from what appeared as his loins down, I saw what looked like fire. There was a radiance all about him.
כז וָאֵרֶא כְּעֵין חַשְׁמַל כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵשׁ בֵּית־לָהּ סָבִיב מִמַּרְאֵה מָתְנָיו וּלְמָעְלָה וּמִמַּרְאֵה מָתְנָיו וּלְמַטָּה רָאִיתִי כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵשׁ וְנֹגַהּ לוֹ סָבִיב׃
28 Like the appearance of the bow which shines in the clouds on a day of rain, such was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. That was the appearance of the semblance of the Presence of Hashem. When I beheld it, I flung myself down on my face. And I heard the voice of someone speaking.
כח כְּמַרְאֵה הַקֶּשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בֶעָנָן בְּיוֹם הַגֶּשֶׁם כֵּן מַרְאֵה הַנֹּגַהּ סָבִיב הוּא מַרְאֵה דְּמוּת כְּבוֹד־יְהֹוָה וָאֶרְאֶה וָאֶפֹּל עַל־פָּנַי וָאֶשְׁמַע קוֹל מְדַבֵּר׃
2:1 And He said to me, “O mortal, stand up on your feet that I may speak to you.”
ב:א וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי בֶּן־אָדָם עֲמֹד עַל־רַגְלֶיךָ וַאֲדַבֵּר אֹתָךְ׃
2 As He spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard what was being spoken to me.
ב וַתָּבֹא בִי רוּחַ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלַי וַתַּעֲמִדֵנִי עַל־רַגְלָי וָאֶשְׁמַע אֵת מִדַּבֵּר אֵלָי׃
3 He said to me, “O mortal, I am sending you to the people of Yisrael, that nation of rebels, who have rebelled against Me.—They as well as their fathers have defied Me to this very day;
2:3 ‘O mortal, I am sending you to the people of Yisrael
Yechezkel is addressed with the term ben adam (בן אדם) ninety-three times in his book. This expression literally means ‘son of man,’ and is translated here as ‘mortal’. This designation alludes to both his humility and mortality, but also to all of mankind’s role at God’s side in improving the world, as alluded to in Tehillim (80:18). As such, Yechezkel’s messages are intended both for Israel and for the nations. While his message is specific to Israel, the truths it contains are meant for the betterment of all mankind.3 comments
4 for the sons are brazen of face and stubborn of heart. I send you to them, and you shall say to them: ‘Thus said Hashem‘—
ד וְהַבָּנִים קְשֵׁי פָנִים וְחִזְקֵי־לֵב אֲנִי שׁוֹלֵחַ אוֹתְךָ אֲלֵיהֶם וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃
5 whether they listen or not, for they are a rebellious breed—that they may know that there was a Navi among them.
ה וְהֵמָּה אִם־יִשְׁמְעוּ וְאִם־יֶחְדָּלוּ כִּי בֵּית מְרִי הֵמָּה וְיָדְעוּ כִּי נָבִיא הָיָה בְתוֹכָם׃
6 “And you, mortal, do not fear them and do not fear their words, though thistles and thorns press against you, and you sit upon scorpions. Do not be afraid of their words and do not be dismayed by them, though they are a rebellious breed;
7 but speak My words to them, whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.
ז וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֶת־דְּבָרַי אֲלֵיהֶם אִם־יִשְׁמְעוּ וְאִם־יֶחְדָּלוּ כִּי מְרִי הֵמָּה׃
8 “And you, mortal, heed what I say to you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious breed. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”
9 As I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me, holding a written scroll.
ט וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה־יָד שְׁלוּחָה אֵלָי וְהִנֵּה־בוֹ מְגִלַּת־סֵפֶר׃
10 He unrolled it before me, and it was inscribed on both the front and the back; on it were written lamentations, dirges, and woes.
י וַיִּפְרֹשׂ אוֹתָהּ לְפָנַי וְהִיא כְתוּבָה פָּנִים וְאָחוֹר וְכָתוּב אֵלֶיהָ קִנִים וָהֶגֶה וָהִי׃
3:1 He said to me, “Mortal, eat what is offered you; eat this scroll, and go speak to the House of Yisrael.”
2 So I opened my mouth, and He gave me this scroll to eat,
ב וָאֶפְתַּח אֶת־פִּי וַיַּאֲכִלֵנִי אֵת הַמְּגִלָּה הַזֹּאת׃
3 as He said to me, “Mortal, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll that I give you.” I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey to me.
ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם בִּטְנְךָ תַאֲכֵל וּמֵעֶיךָ תְמַלֵּא אֵת הַמְּגִלָּה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן אֵלֶיךָ וָאֹכְלָה וַתְּהִי בְּפִי כִּדְבַשׁ לְמָתוֹק׃
4 Then He said to me, “Mortal, go to the House of Yisrael and repeat My very words to them.
5 For you are sent, not to a people of unintelligible speech and difficult language, but to the House of Yisrael—
ה כִּי לֹא אֶל־עַם עִמְקֵי שָׂפָה וְכִבְדֵי לָשׁוֹן אַתָּה שָׁלוּחַ אֶל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
6 not to the many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose talk you cannot understand. If I sent you to them, they would listen to you.
ו לֹא אֶל־עַמִּים רַבִּים עִמְקֵי שָׂפָה וְכִבְדֵי לָשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תִשְׁמַע דִּבְרֵיהֶם אִם־לֹא אֲלֵיהֶם שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ הֵמָּה יִשְׁמְעוּ אֵלֶיךָ׃
8 But I will make your face as hard as theirs, and your forehead as brazen as theirs.
ח הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי אֶת־פָּנֶיךָ חֲזָקִים לְעֻמַּת פְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת־מִצְחֲךָ חָזָק לְעֻמַּת מִצְחָם׃
9 I will make your forehead like adamant, harder than flint. Do not fear them, and do not be dismayed by them, though they are a rebellious breed.”
ט כְּשָׁמִיר חָזָק מִצֹּר נָתַתִּי מִצְחֶךָ לֹא־תִירָא אוֹתָם וְלֹא־תֵחַת מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי בֵּית־מְרִי הֵמָּה׃
10 Then He said to me: “Mortal, listen with your ears and receive into your mind all the words that I speak to you.
י וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי בֶּן־אָדָם אֶת־כָּל־דְּבָרַי אֲשֶׁר אֲדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ קַח בִּלְבָבְךָ וּבְאָזְנֶיךָ שְׁמָע׃
11 Go to your people, the exile community, and speak to them. Say to them: Thus says Hashem—whether they listen or not.”
יא וְלֵךְ בֹּא אֶל־הַגּוֹלָה אֶל־בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה אִם־יִשְׁמְעוּ וְאִם־יֶחְדָּלוּ׃
12 Then a spirit carried me away, and behind me I heard a great roaring sound: “Blessed is the Presence of Hashem, in His place,”
יב וַתִּשָּׂאֵנִי רוּחַ וָאֶשְׁמַע אַחֲרַי קוֹל רַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל בָּרוּךְ כְּבוֹד־יְהֹוָה מִמְּקוֹמוֹ׃
13 with the sound of the wings of the creatures beating against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them—a great roaring sound.
יג וְקוֹל כַּנְפֵי הַחַיּוֹת מַשִּׁיקוֹת אִשָּׁה אֶל־אֲחוֹתָהּ וְקוֹל הָאוֹפַנִּים לְעֻמָּתָם וְקוֹל רַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל׃
14 A spirit seized me and carried me away. I went in bitterness, in the fury of my spirit, while the hand of Hashem was strong upon me.
יד וְרוּחַ נְשָׂאַתְנִי וַתִּקָּחֵנִי וָאֵלֵךְ מַר בַּחֲמַת רוּחִי וְיַד־יְהֹוָה עָלַי חָזָקָה׃
15 And I came to the exile community that dwelt in Tel Abib by the Chebar Canal, and I remained where they dwelt. And for seven days I sat there stunned among them.
va-a-VO el ha-go-LAH TAYL a-VEEV ha-yo-sh’-VEEM el n’-har k’-VAR va-ay-SHAYV HAY-mah yo-sh’-VEEM SHAM va-ay-SHAYV SHAM shiv-AT ya-MEEM mash-MEEM b’-to-KHAM
טו וָאָבוֹא אֶל־הַגּוֹלָה תֵּל אָבִיב הַיֹּשְׁבִים אֶל־נְהַר־כְּבָר ואשר [וָאֵשֵׁב] הֵמָּה יוֹשְׁבִים שָׁם וָאֵשֵׁב שָׁם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מַשְׁמִים בְּתוֹכָם׃
3:15 And I came to the exile community that dwelt in Tel Abib
Yechezkel goes to the Israelite captives at Tel Abib near the Chebar River. Before he delivers his message of doom, however, he simply sits with them for a week, empathizing with their suffering before sharing the divine message. The name Tel Abib has been linked to the Akkadian “mound of the flood,” mentioned in ancient Babylonian sources, so called because it was flooded by the Euphrates River. The great irony is that the name of the city of the exiles has become the name of modern Israel’s shining metropolis, Tel Aviv (תל אביב), which in modern Hebrew means ‘the hill of spring.’ The name for the city was borrowed from the title of Nahum Sokolow’s Hebrew translation of Theodor Herz’s Altneuland, ‘Old New Land.’ It was chosen because the word Tel, a mound covering ruins of ancient settlements, conjures up images of that which is ancient, while the word aviv, spring, implies that which is fresh and new.1 comment
16 After those seven days, the word of Hashem came to me:
טז וַיְהִי מִקְצֵה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃
17 “O mortal, I appoint you watchman for the House of Yisrael; and when you hear a word from My mouth, you must warn them for Me.
18 If I say to a wicked man, ‘You shall die,’ and you do not warn him—you do not speak to warn the wicked man of his wicked course in order to save his life—he, the wicked man, shall die for his iniquity, but I will require a reckoning for his blood from you.
יח בְּאָמְרִי לָרָשָׁע מוֹת תָּמוּת וְלֹא הִזְהַרְתּוֹ וְלֹא דִבַּרְתָּ לְהַזְהִיר רָשָׁע מִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרְשָׁעָה לְחַיֹּתוֹ הוּא רָשָׁע בַּעֲוׂנוֹ יָמוּת וְדָמוֹ מִיָּדְךָ אֲבַקֵּשׁ׃
19 But if you do warn the wicked man, and he does not turn back from his wickedness and his wicked course, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your own life.
יט וְאַתָּה כִּי־הִזְהַרְתָּ רָשָׁע וְלֹא־שָׁב מֵרִשְׁעוֹ וּמִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרְשָׁעָה הוּא בַּעֲוׂנוֹ יָמוּת וְאַתָּה אֶת־נַפְשְׁךָ הִצַּלְתָּ׃
20 Again, if a righteous man abandons his righteousness and does wrong, when I put a stumbling block before him, he shall die. He shall die for his sins; the righteous deeds that he did shall not be remembered; but because you did not warn him, I will require a reckoning for his blood from you.
כ וּבְשׁוּב צַדִּיק מִצִּדְקוֹ וְעָשָׂה עָוֶל וְנָתַתִּי מִכְשׁוֹל לְפָנָיו הוּא יָמוּת כִּי לֹא הִזְהַרְתּוֹ בְּחַטָּאתוֹ יָמוּת וְלֹא תִזָּכַרְןָ צִדְקֹתָו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְדָמוֹ מִיָּדְךָ אֲבַקֵּשׁ׃
21 If, however, you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he, the righteous, does not sin, he shall live because he took warning, and you will have saved your own life.”
כא וְאַתָּה כִּי הִזְהַרְתּוֹ צַדִּיק לְבִלְתִּי חֲטֹא צַדִּיק וְהוּא לֹא־חָטָא חָיוֹ יִחְיֶה כִּי נִזְהָר וְאַתָּה אֶת־נַפְשְׁךָ הִצַּלְתָּ׃
22 Then the hand of Hashem came upon me there, and He said to me, “Arise, go out to the valley, and there I will speak with you.”
כב וַתְּהִי עָלַי שָׁם יַד־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי קוּם צֵא אֶל־הַבִּקְעָה וְשָׁם אֲדַבֵּר אוֹתָךְ׃
23 I arose and went out to the valley, and there stood the Presence of Hashem, like the Presence that I had seen at the Chebar Canal; and I flung myself down on my face.
כג וָאָקוּם וָאֵצֵא אֶל־הַבִּקְעָה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם כְּבוֹד־יְהֹוָה עֹמֵד כַּכָּבוֹד אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי עַל־נְהַר־כְּבָר וָאֶפֹּל עַל־פָּנָי׃
24 And a spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet. And He spoke to me, and said to me: “Go, shut yourself up in your house.
כד וַתָּבֹא־בִי רוּחַ וַתַּעֲמִדֵנִי עַל־רַגְלָי וַיְדַבֵּר אֹתִי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֹּא הִסָּגֵר בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתֶךָ׃
25 As for you, O mortal, cords have been placed upon you, and you have been bound with them, and you shall not go out among them.
כה וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם הִנֵּה נָתְנוּ עָלֶיךָ עֲבוֹתִים וַאֲסָרוּךָ בָּהֶם וְלֹא תֵצֵא בְּתוֹכָם׃
26 And I will make your tongue cleave to your palate, and you shall be dumb; you shall not be a reprover to them, for they are a rebellious breed.
כו וּלְשׁוֹנְךָ אַדְבִּיק אֶל־חִכֶּךָ וְנֶאֱלַמְתָּ וְלֹא־תִהְיֶה לָהֶם לְאִישׁ מוֹכִיחַ כִּי בֵּית מְרִי הֵמָּה׃
27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says Hashem!’ He who listens will listen, and he who does not will not—for they are a rebellious breed.”
כז וּבְדַבְּרִי אוֹתְךָ אֶפְתַּח אֶת־פִּיךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הַשֹּׁמֵעַ יִשְׁמָע וְהֶחָדֵל יֶחְדָּל כִּי בֵּית מְרִי הֵמָּה׃
4:1 “And you, O mortal, take a brick and put it in front of you, and incise on it a city, Yerushalayim.
ד:א וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם קַח־לְךָ לְבֵנָה וְנָתַתָּה אוֹתָהּ לְפָנֶיךָ וְחַקּוֹתָ עָלֶיהָ עִיר אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃
2 Set up a siege against it, and build towers against it, and cast a mound against it; pitch camps against it, and bring up battering rams roundabout it.
ב וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מָצוֹר וּבָנִיתָ עָלֶיהָ דָּיֵק וְשָׁפַכְתָּ עָלֶיהָ סֹלְלָה וְנָתַתָּה עָלֶיהָ מַחֲנוֹת וְשִׂים־עָלֶיהָ כָּרִים סָבִיב׃
3 Then take an iron plate and place it as an iron wall between yourself and the city, and set your face against it. Thus it shall be under siege, you shall besiege it. This shall be an omen for the House of Yisrael.
4 “Then lie on your left side, and let it bear the punishment of the House of Yisrael; for as many days as you lie on it you shall bear their punishment.
ד וְאַתָּה שְׁכַב עַל־צִדְּךָ הַשְּׂמָאלִי וְשַׂמְתָּ אֶת־עֲוׂן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלָיו מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁכַּב עָלָיו תִּשָּׂא אֶת־עֲוׂנָם׃
5 For I impose upon you three hundred and ninety days, corresponding to the number of the years of their punishment; and so you shall bear the punishment for the House of Yisrael.
ה וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־שְׁנֵי עֲוׂנָם לְמִסְפַּר יָמִים שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת וְתִשְׁעִים יוֹם וְנָשָׂאתָ עֲוׂן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
6 When you have completed these, you shall lie another forty days on your right side, and bear the punishment of the House of Yehuda. I impose on you one day for each year.
ו וְכִלִּיתָ אֶת־אֵלֶּה וְשָׁכַבְתָּ עַל־צִדְּךָ הימוני [הַיְמָנִי] שֵׁנִית וְנָשָׂאתָ אֶת־עֲוׂן בֵּית־יְהוּדָה אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה יוֹם לַשָּׁנָה נְתַתִּיו לָךְ׃
7 “Then, with bared arm, set your face toward besieged Yerushalayim and prophesy against it.
ז וְאֶל־מְצוֹר יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם תָּכִין פָּנֶיךָ וּזְרֹעֲךָ חֲשׂוּפָה וְנִבֵּאתָ עָלֶיהָ׃
8 Now I put cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from side to side until you complete your days of siege.
ח וְהִנֵּה נָתַתִּי עָלֶיךָ עֲבוֹתִים וְלֹא־תֵהָפֵךְ מִצִּדְּךָ אֶל־צִדֶּךָ עַד־כַּלּוֹתְךָ יְמֵי מְצוּרֶךָ׃
9 “Further, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and emmer. Put them into one vessel and bake them into bread. Eat it as many days as you lie on your side: three hundred and ninety.
v’-a-TAH kakh l’-KHA khi-TEEN us-o-REEM u-FOL va-a-da-SHEEM v’-DO-khan v’-khu-s’-MEEM v’-na-ta-TAH o-TAM bikh-LEE e-KHAD v’-a-SEE-ta o-TAM l’-KHA l’-LA-khem mis-PAR ha-ya-MEEM a-sher a-TAH sho-KHAYV al tzi-d’-KHA sh’-losh may-OT v’-tish-EEM YOM to-kh’-LE-nu
ט וְאַתָּה קַח־לְךָ חִטִּין וּשְׂעֹרִים וּפוֹל וַעֲדָשִׁים וְדֹחַן וְכֻסְּמִים וְנָתַתָּה אוֹתָם בִּכְלִי אֶחָד וְעָשִׂיתָ אוֹתָם לְךָ לְלָחֶם מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה שׁוֹכֵב עַל־צִדְּךָ שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת וְתִשְׁעִים יוֹם תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃
4:9 And bake them into bread
Yechezkel demonstrates to his listeners the dire straits the people from Yerushalayim are in during the final Babylonian siege against the city. According to the Talmud (Eruvin 81a), Yechezkel rations to himself inedible flour and inferior grains and limits his water in order to portray the austere conditions under which the people of Yerushalayim are suffering. As a final blow, these foods are prepared in an impure manner (verse 13), something repulsive to the sensitive prophet-priest. Indeed, bread and water were very scarce during the Babylonian siege of Yerushalayim, as the Bible indicates elsewhere: “The tongue of the suckling cleaves to its palate for thirst. Little children beg for bread; none gives them a morsel.” (Lamentations 4:4).2 comments
10 The food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekalim a day; this you shall eat in the space of a day.
י וּמַאֲכָלְךָ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ בְּמִשְׁקוֹל עֶשְׂרִים שֶׁקֶל לַיּוֹם מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ׃
11 And you shall drink water by measure; drink a sixth of a hin in the space of a day.
יא וּמַיִם בִּמְשׂוּרָה תִשְׁתֶּה שִׁשִּׁית הַהִין מֵעֵת עַד־עֵת תִּשְׁתֶּה׃
12 “Eat it as a barley cake; you shall bake it on human excrement before their eyes.
13 So,” said Hashem, “shall the people of Yisrael eat their bread, unclean, among the nations to which I will banish them.”
יג וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה כָּכָה יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־לַחְמָם טָמֵא בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַדִּיחֵם שָׁם׃
14 Then I said, “Ah, Hashem, my person was never defiled; nor have I eaten anything that died of itself or was torn by beasts from my youth until now, nor has foul flesh entered my mouth.”
יד וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנֵּה נַפְשִׁי לֹא מְטֻמָּאָה וּנְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה לֹא־אָכַלְתִּי מִנְּעוּרַי וְעַד־עַתָּה וְלֹא־בָא בְּפִי בְּשַׂר פִּגּוּל׃
15 He answered me, “See, I allow you cow’s dung instead of human excrement; prepare your bread on that.”
טו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת־צפועי [צְפִיעֵי] הַבָּקָר תַּחַת גֶּלְלֵי הָאָדָם וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־לַחְמְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם׃
16 And He said to me, “O mortal, I am going to break the staff of bread in Yerushalayim, and they shall eat bread by weight, in anxiety, and drink water by measure, in horror,
טז וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר מַטֵּה־לֶחֶם בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם וְאָכְלוּ־לֶחֶם בְּמִשְׁקָל וּבִדְאָגָה וּמַיִם בִּמְשׂוּרָה וּבְשִׁמָּמוֹן יִשְׁתּוּ׃
17 so that, lacking bread and water, they shall stare at each other, heartsick over their iniquity.
יז לְמַעַן יַחְסְרוּ לֶחֶם וָמָיִם וְנָשַׁמּוּ אִישׁ וְאָחִיו וְנָמַקּוּ בַּעֲוׂנָם׃
5:1 And you, O mortal, take a sharp knife; use it as a barber’s razor and pass it over your head and beard. Then take scales and divide the hair.
ה:א וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם קַח־לְךָ חֶרֶב חַדָּה תַּעַר הַגַּלָּבִים תִּקָּחֶנָּה לָּךְ וְהַעֲבַרְתָּ עַל־רֹאשְׁךָ וְעַל־זְקָנֶךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ לְךָ מֹאזְנֵי מִשְׁקָל וְחִלַּקְתָּם׃
2 When the days of siege are completed, destroy a third part in fire in the city, take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and scatter a third to the wind and unsheathe a sword after them.
ב שְׁלִשִׁית בָּאוּר תַּבְעִיר בְּתוֹךְ הָעִיר כִּמְלֹאת יְמֵי הַמָּצוֹר וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַשְּׁלִשִׁית תַּכֶּה בַחֶרֶב סְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁית תִּזְרֶה לָרוּחַ וְחֶרֶב אָרִיק אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃
3 “Take also a few [hairs] from there and tie them up in your skirts.
ג וְלָקַחְתָּ מִשָּׁם מְעַט בְּמִסְפָּר וְצַרְתָּ אוֹתָם בִּכְנָפֶיךָ׃
4 And take some more of them and cast them into the fire, and burn them in the fire. From this a fire shall go out upon the whole House of Yisrael.”
ד וּמֵהֶם עוֹד תִּקָּח וְהִשְׁלַכְתָּ אוֹתָם אֶל־תּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ וְשָׂרַפְתָּ אֹתָם בָּאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ תֵצֵא־אֵשׁ אֶל־כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
5 Thus said Hashem: I set this Yerushalayim in the midst of nations, with countries round about her.
KOH a-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM ZOT y’-ru-sha-LA-im b’-TOKH ha-go-YIM sam-TEE-ha us-vee-vo-TE-ha a-ra-TZOT
ה כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה זֹאת יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם בְּתוֹךְ הַגּוֹיִם שַׂמְתִּיהָ וּסְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ אֲרָצוֹת׃
5:5 I set this Yerushalayim in the midst of nations
God tells Yechezkel that He has set Yerushalayim as the center of the world, the rest of the countries around it. In medieval times, Yerushalayim was literally thought of as the center of the world, and maps were drawn to reflect that understanding. Yerushalayim remains the religious and spiritual center of the world, as it says (Isaiah 2:3) “For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim” Indeed, all the major monotheistic religions of the Western world consider Yerushalayim to be their holy city, and it contains their most sacred places. As Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel analogizes, “the heart is to the rest of the body as Yerushalayim is to the world.”Comment
6 But she rebelled against My rules and My laws, acting more wickedly than the nations and the countries round about her; she rejected My rules and disobeyed My laws.
ו וַתֶּמֶר אֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַי לְרִשְׁעָה מִן־הַגּוֹיִם וְאֶת־חֻקּוֹתַי מִן־הָאֲרָצוֹת אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתֶיהָ כִּי בְמִשְׁפָּטַי מָאָסוּ וְחֻקּוֹתַי לֹא־הָלְכוּ בָהֶם׃
7 Assuredly, thus said Hashem: Because you have outdone the nations that are round about you—you have not obeyed My laws or followed My rules, nor have you observed the rules of the nations round about you—
ז לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעַן הֲמָנְכֶם מִן־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּחֻקּוֹתַי לֹא הֲלַכְתֶּם וְאֶת־מִשְׁפָּטַי לֹא עֲשִׂיתֶם וּכְמִשְׁפְּטֵי הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתֵיכֶם לֹא עֲשִׂיתֶם׃
8 assuredly, thus said Hashem: I, in turn, am going to deal with you, and I will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations.
ח לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי עָלַיִךְ גַּם־אָנִי וְעָשִׂיתִי בְתוֹכֵךְ מִשְׁפָּטִים לְעֵינֵי הַגּוֹיִם׃
9 On account of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again.
ט וְעָשִׂיתִי בָךְ אֵת אֲשֶׁר לֹא־עָשִׂיתִי וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־לֹא־אֶעֱשֶׂה כָמֹהוּ עוֹד יַעַן כָּל־תּוֹעֲבֹתָיִךְ׃
10 Assuredly, parents shall eat their children in your midst, and children shall eat their parents. I will execute judgments against you, and I will scatter all your survivors in every direction.
י לָכֵן אָבוֹת יֹאכְלוּ בָנִים בְּתוֹכֵךְ וּבָנִים יֹאכְלוּ אֲבוֹתָם וְעָשִׂיתִי בָךְ שְׁפָטִים וְזֵרִיתִי אֶת־כָּל־שְׁאֵרִיתֵךְ לְכָל־רוּחַ׃
11 Assuredly, as I live—said Hashem—because you defiled My Sanctuary with all your detestable things and all your abominations, I in turn will shear [you] away and show no pity. I in turn will show no compassion:
יא לָכֵן חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אִם־לֹא יַעַן אֶת־מִקְדָּשִׁי טִמֵּאת בְּכָל־שִׁקּוּצַיִךְ וּבְכָל־תּוֹעֲבֹתָיִךְ וְגַם־אֲנִי אֶגְרַע וְלֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי וְגַם־אֲנִי לֹא אֶחְמוֹל׃
12 One-third of you shall die of pestilence or perish in your midst by famine, one-third shall fall by the sword around you, and I will scatter one-third in every direction and will unsheathe the sword after them.
יב שְׁלִשִׁתֵיךְ בַּדֶּבֶר יָמוּתוּ וּבָרָעָב יִכְלוּ בְתוֹכֵךְ וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁית בַּחֶרֶב יִפְּלוּ סְבִיבוֹתָיִךְ וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית לְכָל־רוּחַ אֱזָרֶה וְחֶרֶב אָרִיק אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃
13 I will vent all My anger and satisfy My fury upon them; and when I vent all My fury upon them, they shall know that I Hashem have spoken in My passion.
14 I will make you a ruin and a mockery among the nations roundabout you, in the sight of every passerby.
יד וְאֶתְּנֵךְ לְחָרְבָּה וּלְחֶרְפָּה בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתָיִךְ לְעֵינֵי כָּל־עוֹבֵר׃
15 And when I execute judgment upon you in anger and rage and furious chastisement, you shall be a mockery and a derision, a warning and a horror, to the nations roundabout you: I Hashem have spoken.
טו וְהָיְתָה חֶרְפָּה וּגְדוּפָה מוּסָר וּמְשַׁמָּה לַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתָיִךְ בַּעֲשׂוֹתִי בָךְ שְׁפָטִים בְּאַף וּבְחֵמָה וּבְתֹכְחוֹת חֵמָה אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי׃
16 When I loose the deadly arrows of famine against those doomed to destruction, when I loose them against you to destroy you, I will heap more famine upon you and break your staff of bread.
טז בְּשַׁלְּחִי אֶת־חִצֵּי הָרָעָב הָרָעִים בָּהֶם אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ לְמַשְׁחִית אֲשֶׁר־אֲשַׁלַּח אוֹתָם לְשַׁחֶתְכֶם וְרָעָב אֹסֵף עֲלֵיכֶם וְשָׁבַרְתִּי לָכֶם מַטֵּה־לָחֶם׃
17 I will let loose against you famine and wild beasts and they shall bereave you; pestilence and bloodshed shall sweep through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I Hashem have spoken.
יז וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם רָעָב וְחַיָּה רָעָה וְשִׁכְּלֻךְ וְדֶבֶר וָדָם יַעֲבָר־בָּךְ וְחֶרֶב אָבִיא עָלַיִךְ אֲנִי יְהֹוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי׃
6:1 The word of Hashem came to me:
ו:א וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃
2 O mortal, turn your face toward the mountains of Yisrael and prophesy to them
6:2 O mortal
Throughout the book of Yechezkel, God consistently refers to Yechezkel as ben adam (בן אדם), meaning ‘son of man’ or ‘mortal.’ Adam (אדם) is the Hebrew word for ‘man.’ According to Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, this word is reflective of the three partners who participate in the creation of a human being: the father, the mother and the Holy One, blessed is He. The letter alef (א), whose numerical value is one, represents, the Holy One who provides the spiritual component, the soul. The remaining two letters, dalet (ד) and mem (מ), spell dam (דם), meaning ‘blood,’ which symbolizes the physical aspect contributed by the father and mother.1 comment
3 and say: O mountains of Yisrael, hear the word of Hashem. Thus said Hashem to the mountains and the hills, to the streams and the valleys: See, I will bring a sword against you and destroy your shrines.
4 Your altars shall be wrecked and your incense stands smashed, and I will hurl down your slain in front of your fetishes.
ד וְנָשַׁמּוּ מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיכֶם וְנִשְׁבְּרוּ חַמָּנֵיכֶם וְהִפַּלְתִּי חַלְלֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם׃
5 I will cast the corpses of the people of Yisrael in front of their fetishes, and scatter your bones around your altars
ה וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־פִּגְרֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם וְזֵרִיתִי אֶת־עַצְמוֹתֵיכֶם סְבִיבוֹת מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיכֶם׃
6 in all your settlements. The towns shall be laid waste and the shrines shall be devastated. Thus your altars shall be laid waste and bear their punishment; your fetishes shall be smashed and annihilated, your incense stands cut down, and your handiwork wiped out;
7 and the slain shall fall in your midst. Then you shall know that I am Hashem.
ז וְנָפַל חָלָל בְּתוֹכְכֶם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃
8 Yet I will leave a remnant, in that some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the lands.
ח וְהוֹתַרְתִּי בִּהְיוֹת לָכֶם פְּלִיטֵי חֶרֶב בַּגּוֹיִם בְּהִזָּרוֹתֵיכֶם בָּאֲרָצוֹת׃
9 And those of you that escape will remember Me among the nations where they have been taken captive, how I was brokenhearted through their faithless hearts which turned away from Me, and through their eyes which lusted after their fetishes. And they shall loathe themselves for all the evil they committed and for all their abominable deeds.
ט וְזָכְרוּ פְלִיטֵיכֶם אוֹתִי בַּגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבּוּ־שָׁם אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּרְתִּי אֶת־לִבָּם הַזּוֹנֶה אֲשֶׁר־סָר מֵעָלַי וְאֵת עֵינֵיהֶם הַזֹּנוֹת אַחֲרֵי גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם וְנָקֹטּוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם אֶל־הָרָעוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ לְכֹל תּוֹעֲבֹתֵיהֶם׃
10 Then they shall realize it was not without cause that I Hashem resolved to bring this evil upon them.
י וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה לֹא אֶל־חִנָּם דִּבַּרְתִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת׃
11 Thus said Hashem: Strike your hands together and stamp your feet and cry: Aha! over all the vile abominations of the House of Yisrael who shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.
יא כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הַכֵּה בְכַפְּךָ וּרְקַע בְּרַגְלְךָ וֶאֱמָר־אָח אֶל כָּל־תּוֹעֲבוֹת רָעוֹת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדֶּבֶר יִפֹּלוּ׃
12 He who is far away shall die of pestilence, and he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who survives and is protected shall die of famine. Thus I will spend My fury upon them.
יב הָרָחוֹק בַּדֶּבֶר יָמוּת וְהַקָּרוֹב בַּחֶרֶב יִפּוֹל וְהַנִּשְׁאָר וְהַנָּצוּר בָּרָעָב יָמוּת וְכִלֵּיתִי חֲמָתִי בָּם׃
13 And you shall know that I am Hashem, when your slain lie among the fetishes round about their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak—wherever they presented pleasing odors to all their fetishes.
14 I will stretch out My hand against them, and lay the land waste and desolate in all their settlements, from the wilderness as far as Diblah; then they shall know that I am Hashem.
יד וְנָטִיתִי אֶת־יָדִי עֲלֵיהֶם וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ שְׁמָמָה וּמְשַׁמָּה מִמִּדְבַּר דִּבְלָתָה בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבוֹתֵיהֶם וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃
7:1 The word of Hashem came to me:
ז:א וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃
2 You, O mortal, [say:] Thus said Hashem to the land of Yisrael: Doom! Doom is coming upon the four corners of the land.
3 Now doom is upon you! I will let loose My anger against you and judge you according to your ways; I will requite you for all your abominations.
ג עַתָּה הַקֵּץ עָלַיִךְ וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי אַפִּי בָּךְ וּשְׁפַטְתִּיךְ כִּדְרָכָיִךְ וְנָתַתִּי עָלַיִךְ אֵת כָּל־תּוֹעֲבֹתָיִךְ׃
4 I will show you no pity and no compassion; but I will requite you for your ways and for the abominations in your midst. And you shall know that I am Hashem.
ד וְלֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי עָלַיִךְ וְלֹא אֶחְמוֹל כִּי דְרָכַיִךְ עָלַיִךְ אֶתֵּן וְתוֹעֲבוֹתַיִךְ בְּתוֹכֵךְ תִּהְיֶיןָ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃
5 Thus said Hashem: A singular disaster; a disaster is coming.
ה כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה רָעָה אַחַת רָעָה הִנֵּה בָאָה׃
6 Doom is coming! The hour of doom is coming! It stirs against you; there it comes!
ו קֵץ בָּא בָּא הַקֵּץ הֵקִיץ אֵלָיִךְ הִנֵּה בָּאָה׃
7 The cycle has come around for you, O inhabitants of the land; the time has come; the day is near. There is panic on the mountains, not joy.
ז בָּאָה הַצְּפִירָה אֵלֶיךָ יוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ בָּא הָעֵת קָרוֹב הַיּוֹם מְהוּמָה וְלֹא־הֵד הָרִים׃
8 Very soon I will pour out My wrath upon you and spend My anger on you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will requite you for all your abominations.
ח עַתָּה מִקָּרוֹב אֶשְׁפּוֹךְ חֲמָתִי עָלַיִךְ וְכִלֵּיתִי אַפִּי בָּךְ וּשְׁפַטְתִּיךְ כִּדְרָכָיִךְ וְנָתַתִּי עָלַיִךְ אֵת כָּל־תּוֹעֲבוֹתָיִךְ׃
9 I will show you no pity and no compassion; but I will requite you for your ways, and for the abominations in your midst. And you shall know it was I Hashem who punished.
ט וְלֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי וְלֹא אֶחְמוֹל כִּדְרָכַיִךְ עָלַיִךְ אֶתֵּן וְתוֹעֲבוֹתַיִךְ בְּתוֹכֵךְ תִּהְיֶיןָ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה מַכֶּה׃
10 Here is the day! See, the cycle has come round; it has appeared. The rod has blossomed; arrogance has budded,
י הִנֵּה הַיּוֹם הִנֵּה בָאָה יָצְאָה הַצְּפִרָה צָץ הַמַּטֶּה פָּרַח הַזָּדוֹן׃
11 lawlessness has grown into a rod of wickedness. Nothing comes of them, nor of their abundance, nor of their wealth; nor is there preeminence among them.
יא הֶחָמָס קָם לְמַטֵּה־רֶשַׁע לֹא־מֵהֶם וְלֹא מֵהֲמוֹנָם וְלֹא מֶהֱמֵהֶם וְלֹא־נֹהַּ בָּהֶם׃
12 The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn—for divine wrath shall overtake all her multitude.
יב בָּא הָעֵת הִגִּיעַ הַיּוֹם הַקּוֹנֶה אַל־יִשְׂמָח וְהַמּוֹכֵר אַל־יִתְאַבָּל כִּי חָרוֹן אֶל־כָּל־הֲמוֹנָהּ׃
13 For the seller shall not return to what he sold so long as they remain among the living. For the vision concerns all her multitude, it shall not be revoked. And because of his guilt, no man shall hold fast to his life.
KEE ha-mo-KHAYR el ha-mim-KAR LO ya-SHUV v’-OD ba-kha-YEEM kha-ya-TAM kee kha-ZON el kol ha-mo-NAH LO ya-SHUV v’-EESH ba-a-vo-NO kha-ya-TO lo yit-kha-ZA-ku
יג כִּי הַמּוֹכֵר אֶל־הַמִּמְכָּר לֹא יָשׁוּב וְעוֹד בַּחַיִּים חַיָּתָם כִּי־חָזוֹן אֶל־כָּל־הֲמוֹנָהּ לֹא יָשׁוּב וְאִישׁ בַּעֲוׂנוֹ חַיָּתוֹ לֹא יִתְחַזָּקוּ׃
7:13 For the seller shall not return to what he sold
The Land of Israel is a sacred trust from Hashem, and in biblical times familial properties could be sold only in times of dire necessity. These sales were always considered temporary, and the family would make extreme efforts to redeem their property, their physical connection to the Holy Land (Leviticus 25). During the yovel, the Jubilee year, even lands which had not been redeemed would be returned to the original owners. In this bitter prophecy, Yechezkel warns that the upcoming exile will prevent both buyer and seller from enjoying the land, since they will be exiled from Eretz Yisrael.1 comment
14 They have sounded the horn, and all is prepared; but no one goes to battle, for My wrath is directed against all her multitude.
יד תָּקְעוּ בַתָּקוֹעַ וְהָכִין הַכֹּל וְאֵין הֹלֵךְ לַמִּלְחָמָה כִּי חֲרוֹנִי אֶל־כָּל־הֲמוֹנָהּ׃
15 The sword is outside and pestilence and famine are inside; he who is in the open shall die by the sword, he who is in the town shall be devoured by famine and pestilence.
טו הַחֶרֶב בַּחוּץ וְהַדֶּבֶר וְהָרָעָב מִבָּיִת אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה בַּחֶרֶב יָמוּת וַאֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר רָעָב וָדֶבֶר יֹאכֲלֶנּוּ׃
16 And if any survive, they shall take to the mountains; they shall be like doves of the valley, moaning together—every one for his iniquity.
טז וּפָלְטוּ פְּלִיטֵיהֶם וְהָיוּ אֶל־הֶהָרִים כְּיוֹנֵי הַגֵּאָיוֹת כֻּלָּם הֹמוֹת אִישׁ בַּעֲוׂנוֹ׃
17 All hands shall grow weak, and all knees shall turn to water.
יז כָּל־הַיָּדַיִם תִּרְפֶּינָה וְכָל־בִּרְכַּיִם תֵּלַכְנָה מָּיִם׃
18 They shall gird on sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; every face shall betray shame, and every head shall be made bald.
יח וְחָגְרוּ שַׂקִּים וְכִסְּתָה אוֹתָם פַּלָּצוּת וְאֶל כָּל־פָּנִים בּוּשָׁה וּבְכָל־רָאשֵׁיהֶם קָרְחָה׃
19 They shall throw their silver into the streets, and their gold shall be treated as something unclean. Their silver and gold shall not avail to save them in the day of Hashem‘s wrath—to satisfy their hunger or to fill their stomachs. Because they made them stumble into guilt—
יט כַּסְפָּם בַּחוּצוֹת יַשְׁלִיכוּ וּזְהָבָם לְנִדָּה יִהְיֶה כַּסְפָּם וּזְהָבָם לֹא־יוּכַל לְהַצִּילָם בְּיוֹם עֶבְרַת יְהֹוָה נַפְשָׁם לֹא יְשַׂבֵּעוּ וּמֵעֵיהֶם לֹא יְמַלֵּאוּ כִּי־מִכְשׁוֹל עֲוׂנָם הָיָה׃
20 for out of their beautiful adornments, in which they took pride, they made their images and their detestable abominations—therefore I will make them an unclean thing to them.
כ וּצְבִי עֶדְיוֹ לְגָאוֹן שָׂמָהוּ וְצַלְמֵי תוֹעֲבֹתָם שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם עָשׂוּ בוֹ עַל־כֵּן נְתַתִּיו לָהֶם לְנִדָּה׃
21 I will give them as spoil to strangers, and as plunder to the wicked of the earth; and they shall defile them.
כא וּנְתַתִּיו בְּיַד־הַזָּרִים לָבַז וּלְרִשְׁעֵי הָאָרֶץ לְשָׁלָל וחללה [וְחִלְּלוּהוּ׃]
22 I will turn My face from them, and My treasures shall be defiled; ruffians shall invade it and defile it.
כב וַהֲסִבּוֹתִי פָנַי מֵהֶם וְחִלְּלוּ אֶת־צְפוּנִי וּבָאוּ־בָהּ פָּרִיצִים וְחִלְּלוּהָ׃
23 Forge the chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of lawlessness.
כג עֲשֵׂה הָרַתּוֹק כִּי הָאָרֶץ מָלְאָה מִשְׁפַּט דָּמִים וְהָעִיר מָלְאָה חָמָס׃
24 I will bring in the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses; so shall I turn to naught the pride of the powerful, and their sanctuaries shall be defiled.
כד וְהֵבֵאתִי רָעֵי גוֹיִם וְיָרְשׁוּ אֶת־בָּתֵּיהֶם וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי גְּאוֹן עַזִּים וְנִחֲלוּ מְקַדְשֵׁיהֶם׃
25 Horror comes, and they shall seek safety, but there shall be none.
כה קְפָדָה־בָא וּבִקְשׁוּ שָׁלוֹם וָאָיִן׃
כו הֹוָה עַל־הֹוָה תָּבוֹא וּשְׁמֻעָה אֶל־שְׁמוּעָה תִּהְיֶה וּבִקְשׁוּ חָזוֹן מִנָּבִיא וְתוֹרָה תֹּאבַד מִכֹּהֵן וְעֵצָה מִזְּקֵנִים׃
27 The king shall mourn, the prince shall clothe himself with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall tremble. I will treat them in accordance with their own ways and judge them according to their deserts. And they shall know that I am Hashem.
כז הַמֶּלֶךְ יִתְאַבָּל וְנָשִׂיא יִלְבַּשׁ שְׁמָמָה וִידֵי עַם־הָאָרֶץ תִּבָּהַלְנָה מִדַּרְכָּם אֶעֱשֶׂה אוֹתָם וּבְמִשְׁפְּטֵיהֶם אֶשְׁפְּטֵם וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃
8:1 In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, I was sitting at home, and the elders of Yehuda were sitting before me, and there the hand of Hashem fell upon me.
ח:א וַיְהִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשִּׁשִּׁית בַּשִּׁשִּׁי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ אֲנִי יוֹשֵׁב בְּבֵיתִי וְזִקְנֵי יְהוּדָה יוֹשְׁבִים לְפָנָי וַתִּפֹּל עָלַי שָׁם יַד אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃
2 As I looked, there was a figure that had the appearance of fire: from what appeared as his loins down, [he was] fire; and from his loins up, his appearance was resplendent and had the color of amber.
ב וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה דְמוּת כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵשׁ מִמַּרְאֵה מָתְנָיו וּלְמַטָּה אֵשׁ וּמִמָּתְנָיו וּלְמַעְלָה כְּמַרְאֵה־זֹהַר כְּעֵין הַחַשְׁמַלָה׃
3 He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by the hair of my head. A spirit lifted me up between heaven and earth and brought me in visions of Hashem to Yerushalayim, to the entrance of the Penimith Gate that faces north; that was the site of the infuriating image that provokes fury.
ג וַיִּשְׁלַח תַּבְנִית יָד וַיִּקָּחֵנִי בְּצִיצִת רֹאשִׁי וַתִּשָּׂא אֹתִי רוּחַ בֵּין־הָאָרֶץ וּבֵין הַשָּׁמַיִם וַתָּבֵא אֹתִי יְרוּשָׁלְַמָה בְּמַרְאוֹת אֱלֹהִים אֶל־פֶּתַח שַׁעַר הַפְּנִימִית הַפּוֹנֶה צָפוֹנָה אֲשֶׁר־שָׁם מוֹשַׁב סֵמֶל הַקִּנְאָה הַמַּקְנֶה׃
4 And the Presence of the God of Yisrael appeared there, like the vision that I had seen in the valley.
ד וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם כְּבוֹד אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּמַּרְאֶה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי בַּבִּקְעָה׃
5 And He said to me, “O mortal, turn your eyes northward.” I turned my eyes northward, and there, north of the gate of the mizbayach, was that infuriating image on the approach.
6 And He said to me, “Mortal, do you see what they are doing, the terrible abominations that the House of Yisrael is practicing here, to drive Me far from My Sanctuary? You shall yet see even greater abominations!”
7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court; and I looked, and there was a hole in the wall.
ז וַיָּבֵא אֹתִי אֶל־פֶּתַח הֶחָצֵר וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה חֹר־אֶחָד בַּקִּיר׃
8 He said to me, “Mortal, break through the wall”; so I broke through the wall and found an entrance.
ח וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם חֲתָר־נָא בַקִּיר וָאֶחְתֹּר בַּקִּיר וְהִנֵּה פֶּתַח אֶחָד׃
9 And He said to me, “Enter and see the vile abominations that they are practicing here.”
ט וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי בֹּא וּרְאֵה אֶת־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הָרָעוֹת אֲשֶׁר הֵם עֹשִׂים פֹּה׃
10 I entered and looked, and there all detestable forms of creeping things and beasts and all the fetishes of the House of Yisrael were depicted over the entire wall.
י וָאָבוֹא וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה כָל־תַּבְנִית רֶמֶשׂ וּבְהֵמָה שֶׁקֶץ וְכָל־גִּלּוּלֵי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל מְחֻקֶּה עַל־הַקִּיר סָבִיב סָבִיב׃
12 Again He spoke to me, “O mortal, have you seen what the elders of the House of Yisrael are doing in the darkness, everyone in his image-covered chamber? For they say, ‘Hashem does not see us; Hashem has abandoned the country.’”
8:12 Have you seen what the elders of the House of Yisrael are doing
To explain the upcoming destruction of Yerushalayim, Yechezkel is shown a scene of the city’s elders secretly practicing idolatry within the confines of the Temple. Though they hide their abominations from the public, they do not hesitate to engage in this repugnant behavior. They see the upcoming downfall of Yehuda and Yerushalayim, but instead of concluding that repentance is needed, the corrupt elders choose to believe that God has rejected His people and “abandoned the country,” which leads them to forsake Hashem and engage in idolatry.2 comments
13 And He said to me, “You shall see even more terrible abominations which they practice.”
יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי עוֹד תָּשׁוּב תִּרְאֶה תּוֹעֵבוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת אֲשֶׁר־הֵמָּה עֹשִׂים׃
14 Next He brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the House of Hashem; and there sat the women bewailing Tammuz.
יד וַיָּבֵא אֹתִי אֶל־פֶּתַח שַׁעַר בֵּית־יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר אֶל־הַצָּפוֹנָה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם הַנָּשִׁים יֹשְׁבוֹת מְבַכּוֹת אֶת־הַתַּמּוּז׃
15 He said to me, “Have you seen, O mortal? You shall see even more terrible abominations than these.”
טו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲרָאִיתָ בֶן־אָדָם עוֹד תָּשׁוּב תִּרְאֶה תּוֹעֵבוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת מֵאֵלֶּה׃
16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the House of Hashem, and there, at the entrance to the Temple of Hashem, between the portico and the mizbayach, were about twenty-five men, their backs to the Temple of Hashem and their faces to the east; they were bowing low to the sun in the east.
טז וַיָּבֵא אֹתִי אֶל־חֲצַר בֵּית־יְהֹוָה הַפְּנִימִית וְהִנֵּה־פֶתַח הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה בֵּין הָאוּלָם וּבֵין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כְּעֶשְׂרִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה אִישׁ אֲחֹרֵיהֶם אֶל־הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה וּפְנֵיהֶם קֵדְמָה וְהֵמָּה מִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתֶם קֵדְמָה לַשָּׁמֶשׁ׃
17 And He said to me, “Do you see, O mortal? Is it not enough for the House of Yehuda to practice the abominations that they have committed here, that they must fill the country with lawlessness and provoke Me still further and thrust the branch to their nostrils?
18 I in turn will act with fury, I will show no pity or compassion; though they cry aloud to Me, I will not listen to them.”
יח וְגַם־אֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה בְחֵמָה לֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי וְלֹא אֶחְמֹל וְקָרְאוּ בְאָזְנַי קוֹל גָּדוֹל וְלֹא אֶשְׁמַע אוֹתָם׃
9:1 Then He called loudly in my hearing, saying, “Approach, you men in charge of the city, each bearing his weapons of destruction!”
ט:א וַיִּקְרָא בְאָזְנַי קוֹל גָּדוֹל לֵאמֹר קָרְבוּ פְּקֻדּוֹת הָעִיר וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַשְׁחֵתוֹ בְּיָדוֹ׃
2 And six men entered by way of the upper gate that faces north, each with his club in his hand; and among them was another, clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. They came forward and stopped at the bronze mizbayach.
ב וְהִנֵּה שִׁשָּׁה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאִים מִדֶּרֶךְ־שַׁעַר הָעֶלְיוֹן אֲשֶׁר מָפְנֶה צָפוֹנָה וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַפָּצוֹ בְּיָדוֹ וְאִישׁ־אֶחָד בְּתוֹכָם לָבֻשׁ בַּדִּים וְקֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ אֵצֶל מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת׃
3 Now the Presence of the God of Yisrael had moved from the cherub on which it had rested to the platform of the House. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist;
ג וּכְבוֹד אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נַעֲלָה מֵעַל הַכְּרוּב אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עָלָיו אֶל מִפְתַּן הַבָּיִת וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־הָאִישׁ הַלָּבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר קֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו׃
4 and Hashem said to him, “Pass through the city, through Yerushalayim, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan because of all the abominations that are committed in it.”
va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAV a-VOR b’-TOKH ha-EER b’-TOKH y’-ru-sha-LA-im v’-hit-VEE-ta TAV al mitz-KHOT ha-a-na-SHEEM ha-ne-e-na-KHEEM v’-ha-ne-e-na-KEEM AL kol ha-TO-ay-VOT ha-na-a-SOT b’-to-KHAH
ד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אלו [אֵלָיו] עֲבֹר בְּתוֹךְ הָעִיר בְּתוֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וְהִתְוִיתָ תָּו עַל־מִצְחוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים הַנֶּאֱנָחִים וְהַנֶּאֱנָקִים עַל כָּל־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הַנַּעֲשׂוֹת בְּתוֹכָהּ׃
9:4 And put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan
Yechezkel is shown a vision of the death of the guilty in Yerushalayim. Before the executions commence, he sees a messenger in white linen mark the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over the destruction, ensuring that a righteous remnant remains. ‘To set a mark’ in Hebrew is vihitveeta tav (והתוית תו), based on which the sages explain that the mark that was made was the Hebrew letter tav (ת). Like the mark of Cain, which, according to Rashi was also a Hebrew letter, this mark is intended to save its bearers from harm.3 comments
5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Follow him through the city and strike; show no pity or compassion.
ה וּלְאֵלֶּה אָמַר בְּאָזְנַי עִבְרוּ בָעִיר אַחֲרָיו וְהַכּוּ על־[אַל־] תָּחֹס עיניכם [עֵינְכֶם] וְאַל־תַּחְמֹלוּ׃
6 Kill off graybeard, youth and maiden, women and children; but do not touch any person who bears the mark. Begin here at My Sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the House.
7 And He said to them, “Defile the House and fill the courts with the slain. Then go forth.” So they went forth and began to kill in the city.
ז וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם טַמְּאוּ אֶת־הַבַּיִת וּמַלְאוּ אֶת־הַחֲצֵרוֹת חֲלָלִים צֵאוּ וְיָצְאוּ וְהִכּוּ בָעִיר׃
8 When they were out killing, and I remained alone, I flung myself on my face and cried out, “Ah, Hashem! Are you going to annihilate all that is left of Yisrael, pouring out Your fury upon Yerushalayim?”
9 He answered me, “The iniquity of the Houses of Yehuda and Yisrael is very very great, the land is full of crime and the city is full of corruption. For they say, ‘Hashem has forsaken the land, and Hashem does not see.’
10 I, in turn, will show no pity or compassion; I will give them their deserts.”
י וְגַם־אֲנִי לֹא־תָחוֹס עֵינִי וְלֹא אֶחְמֹל דַּרְכָּם בְּרֹאשָׁם נָתָתִּי׃
11 And then the man clothed in linen with the writing case at his waist brought back word, saying, “I have done as You commanded me.”
יא וְהִנֵּה הָאִישׁ לְבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר הַקֶּסֶת בְּמָתְנָיו מֵשִׁיב דָּבָר לֵאמֹר עָשִׂיתִי כאשר [כְּכֹל] [אֲשֶׁר] צִוִּיתָנִי׃
10:1 I looked, and on the expanse over the heads of the cherubs, there was something like a sapphire stone; an appearance resembling a throne could be seen over them.
va-er-EH v’-hi-NAY el ha-ra-KEE-a a-SHER al ROSH ha-k’-ru-VEEM k’-E-ven sa-PEER k’-mar-AY d’-MUT ki-SAY nir-AH a-lay-HEM
י:א וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה אֶל־הָרָקִיעַ אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשׁ הַכְּרֻבִים כְּאֶבֶן סַפִּיר כְּמַרְאֵה דְּמוּת כִּסֵּא נִרְאָה עֲלֵיהֶם׃
10:1 On the expanse over the heads of the cherubs
Chapter 10 contains the second description of God’s throne departing from Yerushalayim. The man in white linen, mentioned in chapter 9, takes coals from between the cherubim to set the city ablaze, and the glory of Hashem then moves away while fire purges the city. In the Bible, cherubim appear as dividers between Hashem and humanity. The first time they appear, they block the entrance to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). They are also found on the veil that separates the holy places in the Mishkan and the Beit Hamikdash from the Holy of Holies (Exodus 36:35, 1 Kings 6:23). Here, the cherubim appear again, as Hashem separates Himself from the sinful city.1 comment
2 He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Step inside the wheelwork, under the cherubs, and fill your hands with glowing coals from among the cherubs, and scatter them over the city.” And he went in as I looked on.
ב וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִישׁ לְבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּא אֶל־בֵּינוֹת לַגַּלְגַּל אֶל־תַּחַת לַכְּרוּב וּמַלֵּא חָפְנֶיךָ גַחֲלֵי־אֵשׁ מִבֵּינוֹת לַכְּרֻבִים וּזְרֹק עַל־הָעִיר וַיָּבֹא לְעֵינָי׃
3 Now the cherubs were standing on the south side of the House when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court.
ג וְהַכְּרֻבִים עֹמְדִים מִימִין לַבַּיִת בְּבֹאוֹ הָאִישׁ וְהֶעָנָן מָלֵא אֶת־הֶחָצֵר הַפְּנִימִית׃
4 But when the Presence of Hashem moved from the cherubs to the platform of the House, the House was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the radiance of the Presence of Hashem.
5 The sound of the cherubs’ wings could be heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of ElShaddai when He speaks.
6 When He commanded the man dressed in linen: “Take fire from among the cherubs within the wheelwork,” he went in and stood beside a wheel.
ו וַיְהִי בְּצַוּׂתוֹ אֶת־הָאִישׁ לְבֻשׁ־הַבַּדִּים לֵאמֹר קַח אֵשׁ מִבֵּינוֹת לַגַּלְגַּל מִבֵּינוֹת לַכְּרוּבִים וַיָּבֹא וַיַּעֲמֹד אֵצֶל הָאוֹפָן׃
7 And a cherub stretched out his hand among the cherubs to the fire that was among the cherubs; he took some and put it into the hands of him who was clothed in linen, who took it and went out.
ז וַיִּשְׁלַח הַכְּרוּב אֶת־יָדוֹ מִבֵּינוֹת לַכְּרוּבִים אֶל־הָאֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר בֵּינוֹת הַכְּרֻבִים וַיִּשָּׂא וַיִּתֵּן אֶל־חָפְנֵי לְבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים וַיִּקַּח וַיֵּצֵא׃
8 The cherubs appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.
ח וַיֵּרָא לַכְּרֻבִים תַּבְנִית יַד־אָדָם תַּחַת כַּנְפֵיהֶם׃
9 I could see that there were four wheels beside the cherubs, one wheel beside each of the cherubs; as for the appearance of the wheels, they gleamed like the beryl stone.
ט וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה אַרְבָּעָה אוֹפַנִּים אֵצֶל הַכְּרוּבִים אוֹפַן אֶחָד אֵצֶל הַכְּרוּב אֶחָד וְאוֹפַן אֶחָד אֵצֶל הַכְּרוּב אֶחָד וּמַרְאֵה הָאוֹפַנִּים כְּעֵין אֶבֶן תַּרְשִׁישׁ׃
10 In appearance, the four had the same form, as if there were two wheels cutting through each other.
י וּמַרְאֵיהֶם דְּמוּת אֶחָד לְאַרְבַּעְתָּם כַּאֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה הָאוֹפַן בְּתוֹךְ הָאוֹפָן׃
11 And when they moved, each could move in the direction of any of its four quarters; they did not veer as they moved. The [cherubs] moved in the direction in which one of the heads faced, without turning as they moved.
יא בְּלֶכְתָּם אֶל־אַרְבַּעַת רִבְעֵיהֶם יֵלֵכוּ לֹא יִסַּבּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּם כִּי הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִפְנֶה הָרֹאשׁ אַחֲרָיו יֵלֵכוּ לֹא יִסַּבּוּ בְּלֶכְתָּם׃
12 Their entire bodies—backs, hands, and wings—and the wheels, the wheels of the four of them, were covered all over with eyes.
13 It was these wheels that I had heard called “the wheelwork.”
יג לָאוֹפַנִּים לָהֶם קוֹרָא הַגַּלְגַּל בְּאָזְנָי׃
14 Each one had four faces: One was a cherub’s face, the second a human face, the third a lion’s face, and the fourth an eagle’s face.
יד וְאַרְבָּעָה פָנִים לְאֶחָד פְּנֵי הָאֶחָד פְּנֵי הַכְּרוּב וּפְנֵי הַשֵּׁנִי פְּנֵי אָדָם וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי פְּנֵי אַרְיֵה וְהָרְבִיעִי פְּנֵי־נָשֶׁר׃
15 The cherubs ascended; those were the creatures that I had seen by the Chebar Canal.
טו וַיֵּרֹמּוּ הַכְּרוּבִים הִיא הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי בִּנְהַר־כְּבָר׃
16 Whenever the cherubs went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubs lifted their wings to ascend from the earth, the wheels did not roll away from their side.
17 When those stood still, these stood still; and when those ascended, these ascended with them, for the spirit of the creature was in them.
יז בְּעָמְדָם יַעֲמֹדוּ וּבְרוֹמָם יֵרוֹמּוּ אוֹתָם כִּי רוּחַ הַחַיָּה בָּהֶם׃
18 Then the Presence of Hashem left the platform of the House and stopped above the cherubs.
יח וַיֵּצֵא כְּבוֹד יְהֹוָה מֵעַל מִפְתַּן הַבָּיִת וַיַּעֲמֹד עַל־הַכְּרוּבִים׃
19 And I saw the cherubs lift their wings and rise from the earth, with the wheels beside them as they departed; and they stopped at the entrance of the eastern gate of the House of Hashem, with the Presence of the God of Yisrael above them.
20 They were the same creatures that I had seen below the God of Yisrael at the Chebar Canal; so now I knew that they were cherubs.
כ הִיא הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי תַּחַת אֱלֹהֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּנְהַר־כְּבָר וָאֵדַע כִּי כְרוּבִים הֵמָּה׃
21 Each one had four faces and each had four wings, with the form of human hands under the wings.
כא אַרְבָּעָה אַרְבָּעָה פָנִים לְאֶחָד וְאַרְבַּע כְּנָפַיִם לְאֶחָד וּדְמוּת יְדֵי אָדָם תַּחַת כַּנְפֵיהֶם׃
22 As for the form of their faces, they were the very faces that I had seen by the Chebar Canal—their appearance and their features—and each could move in the direction of any of its faces.1
כב וּדְמוּת פְּנֵיהֶם הֵמָּה הַפָּנִים אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי עַל־נְהַר־כְּבָר מַרְאֵיהֶם וְאוֹתָם אִישׁ אֶל־עֵבֶר פָּנָיו יֵלֵכוּ׃
11:1 Then a spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the House of Hashem, which faces eastward; and there, at the entrance of the gate, were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
יא:א וַתִּשָּׂא אֹתִי רוּחַ וַתָּבֵא אֹתִי אֶל־שַׁעַר בֵּית־יְהֹוָה הַקַּדְמוֹנִי הַפּוֹנֶה קָדִימָה וְהִנֵּה בְּפֶתַח הַשַּׁעַר עֶשְׂרִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה אִישׁ וָאֶרְאֶה בְתוֹכָם אֶת־יַאֲזַנְיָה בֶן־עַזֻּר וְאֶת־פְּלַטְיָהוּ בֶן־בְּנָיָהוּ שָׂרֵי הָעָם׃
2 [Hashem] said to me, “O mortal, these are the men who plan iniquity and plot wickedness in this city,
3 who say: ‘There is no need now to build houses; this [city] is the pot, and we are the meat.’
ג הָאֹמְרִים לֹא בְקָרוֹב בְּנוֹת בָּתִּים הִיא הַסִּיר וַאֲנַחְנוּ הַבָּשָׂר׃
4 I adjure you, prophesy against them; prophesy, O mortal!”
ד לָכֵן הִנָּבֵא עֲלֵיהֶם הִנָּבֵא בֶּן־אָדָם׃
5 Thereupon the spirit of Hashem fell upon me, and He said to me, “Speak: Thus said Hashem: Such are your thoughts, O House of Yisrael; I know what comes into your mind.
ה וַתִּפֹּל עָלַי רוּחַ יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי אֱמֹר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה כֵּן אֲמַרְתֶּם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמַעֲלוֹת רוּחֲכֶם אֲנִי יְדַעְתִּיהָ׃
6 Many have you slain in this city; you have filled its streets with corpses.
ו הִרְבֵּיתֶם חַלְלֵיכֶם בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת וּמִלֵּאתֶם חוּצֹתֶיהָ חָלָל׃
7 Assuredly, thus says Hashem: The corpses that you have piled up in it are the meat for which it is the pot; but you shall be taken out of it.
ז לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה חַלְלֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתֶּם בְּתוֹכָהּ הֵמָּה הַבָּשָׂר וְהִיא הַסִּיר וְאֶתְכֶם הוֹצִיא מִתּוֹכָהּ׃
8 You feared the sword, and the sword I will bring upon you—declares Hashem.
ח חֶרֶב יְרֵאתֶם וְחֶרֶב אָבִיא עֲלֵיכֶם נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃
9 I will take you out of it and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and I will execute judgments upon you.
ט וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מִתּוֹכָהּ וְנָתַתִּי אֶתְכֶם בְּיַד־זָרִים וְעָשִׂיתִי בָכֶם שְׁפָטִים׃