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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 8

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Eze 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, [as] I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.

Ver. 1. In the sixth year. ] Of Jeconiah’s captivity.

In the sixth month. ] Elul, answerable to our August.

In the fifth day. ] Which was Sabbath day, saith Junius.

As I sat in mine house. ] In Mesopotamia, among the captives.

And the elders of Judah sat before me. ] a As their wont was, upon the Sabbath day. 2Ki 4:23 These Jews were ever learning, but never came to the knowledge of the truth. Yet God still bore with them, and taught them better. b

That the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me, ] i.e., The Spirit (the spirit of prophecy, saith the Chaldee), to whom the absolving and perfecting of God’s work is congruously attributed. He is fitly said to brood the waters, Gen 1:2 to overshadow the Virgin Mary, Luk 1:35 to seal the elect, Eph 4:30 to add ultimam manum; for God the Father doth all by the Son, through the Holy Ghost. Ezekiel had here a mighty impulse of the Spirit, which fell upon him quasi fulgur efficax et penetrans, as lightning.

a Sedentes et quiescentes apti sunt ad percipiendam S. S. gratiam.

b Hinc apparet μακροθυμια Dei. - Lavat.

Verse 2

Eze 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.

Ver. 2. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness. ] Of a man, likely. This was the Lord Christ, whose eyes are like a flaming fire, Rev 1:14 and even our God (as well as the Jews’ God) is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29 Here, in the fire, was set forth his vengeance against the wicked; in his brightness upwards, his majesty, say some; his clemency, say others.

As the colour of amber. ] Or, Of a coal intensely hot, as Eze 1:27

Verse 3

Eze 8:3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where [was] the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

Ver. 3. And he put forth his hand. ] As to me, it seemed; for all was visional, not real.

And took me by a lock of mine head. ] Tanquam herus inofficiosum servum. The prophet seemeth to have had no great mind to the matter, but there was no remedy. Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt.

Where was the seat of the image of jealousy. ] Of Baal, likely, for whom wicked Ahaz had been so zealous 2Ki 16:14 and against whom God was ever so jealous, as to devour whole lands by the fire of his jealousy. Zep 3:8

Verse 4

Eze 8:4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel [was] there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.

Ver. 4. And behold the glory of the God of Israel, ] i.e., The glorious God of Israel. Act 7:2 See Trapp on " Act 7:2 "

Was there, ] scil., At the inner gate, where that image of jealousy stood. The Jews were great idolaters before the captivity, not so afterwards. Rom 2:22

According to the vision. ] See Ezekiel 3:23 . This befell for his further confirmation, ne remum abjiceret, ut aiunt: this was now the third time, and all was but enough.

Verse 5

Eze 8:5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.

Ver. 5. The way toward the north. ] Where was the greatest concourse of idolaters.

At the gate of the altar. ] Why so called, see 2 Kings 16:14 .

This image of jealousy in the entry. ] Idolatry committed in God’s own temple was most abominable, as when an adulteress hath her gallants under her husband’s nose, Messalina-like.

Verse 6

Eze 8:6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? [even] the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations.

Ver. 6. That I should go far from my sanctuary. ] Which is now become omnium turpitudinum arx (as was once said of Pompey’s great theatre at Rome), a receptacle of all roguery, et impiae gentis arcanum, as afterward Florus unworthily called it.

And thou shalt see greater abominations. ] All sins are not equally sinful then, as the Stoics affirmed, but there are degrees of abominations. See Deuteronomy 32:5 . See Trapp on " Deu 32:5 "

Verse 7

Eze 8:7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

Ver. 7. And he brought me. ] Mystagogus ille angelus. that angel who showed the sacred places.

To the door of the court. ] Of the priests’ court.

A hole in the wall. ] Which should have been kept in better repair.

Verse 8

Eze 8:8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.

Ver. 8. Behold a door. ] A secret door, by which they entered into their idol chapel. Such privy passages there are in the Popish monasteries, and in the whole Romish religion not a few. Ante paucos annos suaviter convivebant monachi et nonnae, a &c. The Council of Trent was carried by the Pope with such infinite guile and craft as that themselves will even smile at the triumphs of their own wits, when they hear it but mentioned, as at a master stratagem. But the author of the history of that Council hath found a hole in the walls of Rome, and many of our worthy champions have digged and discovered their detestable practices.

a Oecolamp.

Verse 9

Eze 8:9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

Ver. 9. Go in, and behold the wicked abominations. ] No words are bad enough for sin. Solomon calleth it "wickedness of folly, even foolishness of madness"; Ecc 7:25 "mischievous madness"; Eze 10:13 so Luke 16:11 , "mammon of unrighteousness," and "abominable idolatries." 1Pe 4:3

Verse 10

Eze 8:10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

Ver. 10. And behold every form of creeping things. ] These, belike, were their dii minorum gentium, their petty deities, their common idols, whereof as there was great number, so not so great respect given unto them. This piece of idolatry the Jews had learned of the Egyptians, who madly worshipped oxen, asses, goats, dogs, cats, serpents, crocodiles, the bird ibis, &c. Procter impietatem ingens stultitiae exuperantia ostenditur, saith Theodoret on this text; Besides their impiety, were these men in their wits, think we? And what shall we say of Popish superstition? Do not they religiously worship Agnus Dei’s, relics of saints, painted doves resembling the Holy Ghost, the ass whereon Christ rode, they say, on Palm Sunday? The tail of that ass they show still at Genoa, and require low obeisance to be done thereunto. a

a Wolph. Mem. Lect.

Verse 11

Eze 8:11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

Ver. 11. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients. ] The whole Sanhedrim, or great council, haply. Councils may err, and have done often. The ill example of these ancients was very attractive. Magnates magnetes.

Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. ] A chieftain among them, and haply president of the council, whom they called Nasi, or prince. His father Shaphan was scribe in Josiah’s days, as some think. 2Ki 22:12

And a thick cloud of incense went up. ] Abundantia nubis. Papists to this day cense their images; Semel singulis thuributum ducat sacerdos, saith the Roman mass book. The primitive Christians were pressed by their persecutors to throw at least a little frankincense into the fire; which, when Origen and Marcellinus did, through infirmity of the flesh, they were cast out of the hearts of good people, and branded with the name of Thurificati i.e., Incensed persons.

Verse 12

Eze 8:12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

Ver. 12. What the ancients of Israel do in the dark? ] Idolatry is a deed of darkness. The Athenians had their Eleusinia, the Romans the rites of their Bona Dea, and the Egyptians their Osiridis Pamylia, all done in the dark. The Popish temples are many of them dark, and some so stuffed with presents and memories that they are thereby made much the darker.

For they say, The Lord seeth us not. ] Atheism is the source of all sinfulness. These fools, being in the dark, thought that God could not see what they did there.

The Lord hath forsaken the earth. ] Hath cast off all care of us, and therefore we must see to ourselves, look us out some other deities. See Jeremiah 18:15 . What a base speech is that of Pliny, a Irridendum vero curam agere rerum humanarum, illud quicquid est, Summum! It is no way likely that God taketh care what becometh of man’s matters. Os durum! Harsh mouth!

a Lib. ii. cap. 7.

Verse 13

Eze 8:13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.

Ver. 13. Turn thee yet again, ] q.d., Little didst thou think, Ezekiel, that thy countrymen of Jewry were so prodigiously abominable as now thou seest! and what more sure than sight?

Verse 14

Eze 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which [was] toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

Ver. 14. And, behold, there sat women. ] These were priests of Isis, whose impious and most impudent kind of worship is largely described by Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, and Eusebius, as celebrated with very unseemly ceremonies, worse, if it might be, than those of Priapus. But who would ever have looked for such immodest doings among God’s professed people? See 1 Corinthians 5:1 .

Weeping for Tammuz, ] i.e., For Osiris, king of Egypt, and idolatrously adoring his image, which his wife Isis had advanced.

Verse 15

Eze 8:15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen [this], O son of man? turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

Ver. 15. Hast thou seen this? ] q.d., And canst thou easily believe thine own eyes? Nevertheless, these flagitious persons have the face to say, "In all my doings they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin." Hos 13:8 Say not Popish idolaters still as much?

Thou shalt see greater abominations. ] Idolatry is stintless.

Verse 16

Eze 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, [were] about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

Ver. 16. Were about five and twenty men. ] These, say some, were the king and his council See Ezekiel 11:1 .

With their backs toward the temple. ] And yet in a part of it. Hoc fuit signum nimiae improbitatis. Veluti Dominum in certamen provocantes. Here to turn their posteriors upon God’s house and ark, which they were commanded to look towards as a type of Christ, was to bid open defiance to him, and to renounce his service, cum ingenti contumelia sanctitatis Domini! Oh, the unspeakable patience of God!

And they worshipped the sun. ] So did the Persians, under the name of Mithra; the Assyrians, of Osiris; the Egyptians, of Orus son of Isis, &c. Heathens thought that Christians did so too, because anciently they prayed with their faces eastward. a

a Tertul. Apol.

Verse 17

Eze 8:17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen [this], O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

Ver. 17. And, lo, they put the branch to their nose. ] In honour th the sun, whose heat produceth the mot redolent wines; or they might be branches of laurel dedicated to the sun. R. Solomon rendereth it, They put a stink to my nose, even ventris crepitum pro suffitu. Vah, vah, vah! a

a ιδου, αντοι, ως μυκτηριζοντες . - Septuag.

Verse 18

Eze 8:18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, [yet] will I not hear them.

Ver. 18. Mine eye shall not spare. ] Ezekiel 5:11 ; Ezekiel 7:4 .

And though they cry in mine ears, &c. ] Because it is the cry of the flesh for ease, and not of the spirit for grace.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 8". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/ezekiel-8.html. 1865-1868.
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