Ezekiel 8
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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.

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.

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם שָׂא־נָא עֵינֶיךָ דֶּרֶךְ צָפוֹנָה וָאֶשָּׂא עֵינַי דֶּרֶךְ צָפוֹנָה וְהִנֵּה מִצָּפוֹן לְשַׁעַר הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סֵמֶל הַקִּנְאָה הַזֶּה בַּבִּאָה׃

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!”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הֲרֹאֶה אַתָּה מהם [מָה] [הֵם] עֹשִׂים תּוֹעֵבוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת אֲשֶׁר בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹשִׂים פֹּה לְרָחֳקָה מֵעַל מִקְדָּשִׁי וְעוֹד תָּשׁוּב תִּרְאֶה תּוֹעֵבוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת׃

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׃

11  Before them stood seventy men, elders of the House of Yisrael, with Jaazaniah son of Shafan standing in their midst. Everyone had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense smoke ascended.

יא  וְשִׁבְעִים אִישׁ מִזִּקְנֵי בֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיַאֲזַנְיָהוּ בֶן־שָׁפָן עֹמֵד בְּתוֹכָם עֹמְדִים לִפְנֵיהֶם וְאִישׁ מִקְטַרְתּוֹ בְּיָדוֹ וַעֲתַר עֲנַן־הַקְּטֹרֶת עֹלֶה׃

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.’”

va-YO-mer ay-LAI ha-ra-EE-ta ven a-DAM a-SHER zik-NAY vayt yis-ra-AYL o-SEEM ba-KHO-shekh EESH b’-khad-RAY mas-kee-TO KEE o-m’-REEM AYN a-do-NAI ro-EH o-TA-nu a-ZAV a-do-NAI et ha-A-retz

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲרָאִיתָ בֶן־אָדָם אֲשֶׁר זִקְנֵי בֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹשִׂים בַּחֹשֶׁךְ אִישׁ בְּחַדְרֵי מַשְׂכִּיתוֹ כִּי אֹמְרִים אֵין יְהֹוָה רֹאֶה אֹתָנוּ עָזַב יְהֹוָה אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

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.1 comment

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?

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲרָאִיתָ בֶן־אָדָם הֲנָקֵל לְבֵית יְהוּדָה מֵעֲשׂוֹת אֶת־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ־פֹה כִּי־מָלְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ חָמָס וַיָּשֻׁבוּ לְהַכְעִיסֵנִי וְהִנָּם שֹׁלְחִים אֶת־הַזְּמוֹרָה אֶל־אַפָּם׃

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׃

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Ezekiel 8

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