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III. THE SUBSEQUENT EXECUTION OF DIVINE COMMISSIONS.—Ch. 8–24
1. The Vision (Ch. 8–11)
1. The Abominations in the Temple (Ch. 8)
1And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth [month], on the fifth of the month—I was in my house, and the elders of Judah were before me, and there 2fell upon me the hand of the Lord Jehovah. And I saw, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of His loins and downwards, fire; and from His loins and upwards, as the appearance of brightness, as the look of the 3brightness of gold. And He stretched out the form of a hand, and took hold of me by the front hair of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me to Jerusalem in visions of God, to the opening of the door of the inner [court] that points toward the north, where is the seat of the [idol-] image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. 4And, behold, there the 5glory of the God of Israel, like the vision which I saw in the valley. And He said unto me: Son of man, lift up now thine eyes toward the north. And I lifted up mine eyes toward the north, and behold on the north at [northward of] the gate of 6the altar that [idol-] image of jealousy at the entrance. And He said unto me: Son of man, seest thou what they are doing? great abominations that the house of Israel doeth here, in order to be far from My sanctuary! And yet again shalt thou see great abominations. 7And He brought me to the opening of the court, 8and I saw, and behold a hole in the wall. And He said unto me: Son of man, break now through the wall. And I broke through the wall, and behold an opening. 9And He said unto me: Come and see the wicked abominations that they 10are doing here. And I came and saw; and behold every (every kind of) form of creeping things and beasts, abomination, and of all the (all kinds of the) dung-gods of the house of Israel, portrayed (painted) upon the wall round and round. 11And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing in their midst, and every one his censer 12in his hand, and vapour of the cloud of the incense rising up. And He said unto me: Hast thou seen, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each one in his chambers of imagery? for they say, Jehovah 13seeth us not; Jehovah hath forsaken the land. And He said unto me: Yet again 14shalt thou see great abominations that they are doing. And He brought me to the opening of the gate of the house of Jehovah which was toward the north; 15and, behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. And He said unto me: Hast thou seen, son of man? Yet again shalt thou see abominations greater than these. 16And He brought me to the court of the house of Jehovah, the inner one, and, behold, at the opening of the temple of Jehovah between the porch and the altar about five-and-twenty men, their backs to the temple of Jehovah and their faces toward the east, and they bowing themselves toward the east 17before the sun. And He said unto me: Hast thou seen, son of man? Was it [viz. Ezekiel 8:16] a lighter thing for the house of Judah than to do the abominations which they [Ezekiel 8:5-15] have done here? for they filled the land with violence, and returned to provoke Me to anger, and [there], lo, they stretch out the vine-branch 18to their nose. And [but] I also will deal in fury; Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I show pity; and if they cry in Mine ears with loud voice, then I will not hear.
Ezekiel 8:1. Sept.: ... ἐν τ πεμπτω μηνι—
Ezekiel 8:2. Sept. and Arab. read: במראה־איש.—Anoth. read.: ולמטה במראה אש.
Ezekiel 8:3. ... του ζηλους του κτωμεςου (Sept. and Arab. from קנה).—Anoth. read.: במראת, in visione. Sept, Vulg., Syr., Chald., Ar.
Ezekiel 8:6. ... κ. ἐτι ὀψη ἁμαρτιας μειζονας.
Ezekiel 8:9. ... ὡδε σημερον.
Ezekiel 8:12. ... ποιουσι ὡδε, ἑκαστος—
Ezekiel 8:14. Vulg.: plangentes Adonidem.
Ezekiel 8:16. Anoth. read.: משתחוים.
Ezekiel 8:17. ... μη μικρα τω οἰκω 'Ιουδα του ποιειν τας�, διοτι ἐπλησαν... ; κ. ἰδου... ἰκτεινουσιν τ. κλημα ὡς μυκτηριζοντες.
Of the abominations which come to be represented in this vision of our prophet there are four: (1) after an introduction (Ezekiel 8:1-4), the image of jealousy, Ezekiel 8:5-6; (2) the idolatry in the secret place of the chambers of imagery, Ezekiel 8:7-13; (3) the mourning for Tammuz, Ezekiel 8:14-15; (4) the worship of the sun, with a closing threatening of God, Ezekiel 8:16-18. The common feature is the localizing of these abominations at the temple. That in this way a really existing state of things connected with the temple (Ewald) is meant to be reproduced—according to Häv. a feast of Adonis, which had been held in the 4th month (!) at Jerusalem in the temple—is just as little to be granted as it is to be denied that this or that allusion to the real state of matters may find a place here (2 Chronicles 36:14). Disobedience toward Jehovah, in common with all Israel’s idolatry, could not, at all events, find a more suitable symbolical expression. For sin is a profanation of the Holy One of Israel, and therefore since He has in the temple His palace in the midst of Israel, so much the more is it a profanation of this dwelling of Jehovah, if Israel’s sin is idolatry, since the only place of worship for Israel was to be that connected with the worship of Jehovah in His temple-palace. Hengst. lays emphasis on the circumstance that the temple is “the ideal dwelling-place of the people” (Leviticus 16:16), and thus “every sin polluted the sanctuary.” “So, then, here also all that was present in the land of an idolatrous character is united in a single comprehensive picture, and placed in the temple, to cry thence to God and call forth His vengeance.” Neteler admits also “four idolatrous symbols” as “a figurative delineation of the yet much more dangerous, more subtle idolatry: the first picture a representation of pride, from which the passions spring, which are reflected in the animal forms of the second picture.” “As pride lays waste the soul, so sensuality lays waste the body—represented by the mourning of the women for Tammuz; and this lordship of nature over the spirit is completed in materialism, which holds lifeless matter to be the Absolute, and worships it accordingly.” Hengst. thinks “not so much of idolatry springing from aberration of the religious instinct, as rather of a homage which was paid to the world-powers, for the purpose of attaining to safety through their help without God, nay, even against God.” At all events it corresponds to the symbolical character of the whole, to recognise as symbolized in the number four the realm of heathenism as that of the natural world outside the kingdom of God. (Klief.: “that Israel has brought together its religious rites from all parts of the world, and spread them throughout the whole land.”) The connection of our chapter with the two discourses of rebuke, in Ezekiel 6:7, is clear, especially from the comparison with Ezekiel 7:20 sqq.
Additional Note on Ch. 8
[A new stage of the prophetic agency of Ezekiel, and of his spirit-stirring communications to the captives on the banks of the Chebar, opens with this chapter, and proceeds onwards in an uninterrupted strain to the end of the eleventh. These four chapters form one discourse (as the preceding portion had also done, from Ezekiel 3:12 to the close of Ezekiel 7:0), and a discourse somewhat more specific in its character and bearing, than the revelations previously made. The vision of the siege, and of the iniquity-bearing, described in Ezekiel 4:0, had respect to the covenant-people generally—including, indeed, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, yet so as also to comprehend the scattered portions of Judah and Israel. This, too, was the case with the vision of the shaven hair, and its foreshadowing desolations, contained in ch, 5–7. The burden there delivered was an utterance of divine judgments against the whole covenant-people on account of sin; because, having been planted as the witnesses and heralds of God’s truth in the midst of the nations, they had themselves fallen before the heathen corruptions, which it was their special calling to have resisted to the uttermost. Therefore, in just retribution for the betrayal of God’s cause into the enemies’ hands, the heathen were become His instruments of vengeance, to inflict on the whole house of Israel the various forms of a severe and prolonged chastisement. But now, in the section of prophecy which commences with Ezekiel 8:0, the people of Jerusalem, and the small remnant of Judah, who, under Zedekiah, continued to hold a flickering existence in Canaan, form the immediate object of the prophet’s message, not only as apart from the Babylonish exiles, but even as standing in a kind of contrast to them. And it is of essential moment to a proper understanding of the purport of the vision that we rightly apprehend and estimate the circumstances which led to so partial and specific a direction in the message now delivered.—Fairbairn’s Ezekiel, pp. 81, 82.—W. F.]
Ezekiel 8:1-4. The Introduction.
The date in Ezekiel 8:1 : in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month. (August—September.) The year is that after the captivity of King Jehoiachin; comp. Ezekiel 1:2. (“By means of such a reckoning He humbles the Jews,” Calv.) The year of Israel (Winer, Realw. i. 530 sq.) is reckoned at 354⅓ days, each of the twelve months at 29–30 days. From Ezekiel 1:1 sqq. to Ezekiel 8:1 there are 14 months = 413 days, as a medium between 406 and 420. But we need according to Eze 4, 390 plus 40 days, to which, according to Ezekiel 3:15, seven days more are to be added, thus in all 437 days. As it is inconceivable (so also Hitz.) that with a date so precise Ezekiel should have been guilty of an inaccuracy so easily avoided, a fourfold solution is possible. (1) Either the symbolical actions in Ezekiel 4:5 are subjective, or a mere rhetorical turn (Häv., Hengst., Hitz., Keil): in this case every difficulty disappears. (2) Or we may include the 40 days for Judah in the 390 (comp. on Ezekiel 4:6; Ezekiel 4:9), and get in this way the necessary days. (3) Or the fifth year of Jehoiachin was an intercalary year of 13 months, as such usually occurred every 3 years, sometimes also even with the 2d year (J. D. Mich.); and then there are reckoned for it (Relandi, Ant. Sacr. 4. § 2.) 381–385 days plus 2 months (58–60 days), in all, 439–445 days. (4) Or, lastly, our vision falls into the 40 days for Judah (comp. on Ezekiel 4:12), as Kliefoth’s view is, against which Keil’s objections have no force. And not only the contents, but also the circumstances accord there-with. First of all the place: in my house; comp. on Ezekiel 3:24. יושׁב does not necessarily indicate the posture as one of sitting, in contrast with lying in Ezekiel 4:0, since ׳שב means radically: to be fixed somewhere (hence: to dwell, to tarry, to remain) and somehow; hence: to sit, also: to lie, as well as: to stand (מושב, Ezekiel 8:3). Then, farther, the representatives of the parties addressed, to whom the prophetic vision is directed (Ezekiel 8:17), correspond: the elders of Judah, of the captivity. That it took place on the Sabbath, that they had come to hear a sermon, is not said. Comp. rather on Ezekiel 3:24. According to Ewald, they were seeking comfort and advice, especially on account of the bitter contempt of the poor exiles on the part of the proud, intoxicated capital.
Additional Note on Ch. 8
[No express reason is assigned for their sitting there, though we can have little doubt that it was for the purpose of receiving from his lips some communication of the divine will. The Lord also was present, to impart suitable aid to His servant; but, lo! instead of prompting him to address his speech directly to those before him, the Spirit carried him away in the visions of God to the temple at Jerusalem, that he might obtain an insight into the state of corruption prevalent there, and might learn the mind of God respecting it. The message delivered to the elders who sat around him consisted mainly in the report of what he witnessed and heard in those divine visions; and it falls into two parts,—the account given of the reigning abominations contained in Ezekiel 8:0, and the dealings of judgment and of mercy which were to be pursued toward the respective parties in Israel, as unfolded in the three succeeding chapters.
Now, what should have led the prophet to throw his message into such a form as this, but that some connection existed between the exiles of Chebar and the remnant in Jerusalem, which made the report of what more immediately belonged to the one a seasonable and instructive communication to the other? We formerly had occasion to notice, that among the exiled portion there were some who still looked hopefully toward Jerusalem, and, so far from believing things there to be on the verge of ruin, were persuaded that ere long the way would be opened up for their own return thither in peace and comfort. Among those also who were still resident in Jerusalem and its neighbourhood, it appears, there were some who not only looked upon themselves as secure in their position, but eyed their exiled brethren with a kind of haughty indifference or contempt, as if these had no longer anything in common with them! That it was this latter state of feeling which more immediately led to the present interview between the elders and the prophet, and the revelations which ensued, we may not doubtfully gather from the allusion made to it near the close of the vision (Ezekiel 11:15)—where the inhabitants of Jerusalem are represented as saying to the exiles, “Get you far (rather, Be ye far, continue in your state of separation and distance) from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession.” As much as to say, “It may well befit you to be entertaining thoughts of evil and dark forebodings of the future; your outcast condition cuts you off from any proper interest in God, and renders such sad anticipations natural and just. Abide as you are—but as for us, we dwell near to God, and by His good hand upon us have the city and land of our fathers in sure possession. It is not improbable that this taunting declaration of their own fancied superiority and assured feeling of safety had been called forth by the tidings reaching Jerusalem of the awful judgments announced in Ezekiel’s earlier predictions; as, on the other hand, the express and pointed reference made here to that declaration leaves little room to doubt that the rumour of it had been heard on the banks of the Chebar, and had led the elders of Judah to present themselves in the house of the prophet. For, in their unhappy circumstances, the knowledge of such thoughts and feelings being entertained toward them at Jerusalem must have exercised a most depressing influence on their minds, and could not but seem an adequate occasion for their endeavouring to ascertain the mind of the Lord as between them and their countrymen in Judea.—Fairbairn’s Ezekiel, pp. 82–84.—W. F.]
According to Hengst., the “rousing political intelligence” had arrived, that Elam and Media have joined the coalition! As to the rest, comp. on Ezekiel 1:3; Ezekiel 3:22; Ezekiel 3:14. Klief.: “the hand, etc., because, again, the matter in hand was not revelation in word, but action.”
Ezekiel 8:2. The vision, going back and attaching itself to what goes before, begins, like Ezekiel 1:3, with a theophany. Comp. on Ezekiel 1:4-5. אש, from Ezekiel 1:0 onwards, characteristic, hence also the first impression which Ezekiel receives; comp. Ezekiel 1:27. The Sept. read, or gave as an explanation, איש, of course from the mention of the loins, etc. It looked for the most part like (במראה) fire, yet there was not wanting upwards זהר, the brighter splendour (Daniel 12:3). (Ezekiel 9:4.) As to the rest, comp. on Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 1:27.—החשמלה (Ewald, Gram. § 173, h, 1).
Ezekiel 8:3. From the fire-picture there is stretched the תבנית (from בנה, to build, to form) of a hand. As always, the figurative expression emphasized as contrasted with the spirituality of God. (Junius: the hand is the Spirit, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; comp. Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20.) Hence not in a corporeal sense (therefore רוח, not “wind” [Klief., Kl.]; comp. on Ezekiel 3:12); Ezekiel 11:24; as also במראות אלהים, comp. on Ezekiel 1:1. Clarius notices the difference between this passage and Ezekiel 40:1 sqq. Thus far the manner of the occurrence, now the direction taken: in general to Jerusalem, in particular to the spot where the gate of the inner court of the temple (the court of the priests, for which the “priest” Ezekiel uses merely הפנימית, viz. חצר, Ezekiel 8:7; Ezekiel 8:16; the fem. gen. would agree neither with פתח nor with שער, whereas חצר is com. gen.) opened (פתח), looking toward the north. This court of the priests was (Jeremiah 36:10) on a higher level than the great court or the court of the people. The partition-wall between the two was (in order to allow of the people looking on) of so little consequence, that in 2 Chronicles 4:9 there is no mention of the gates in it. The opening of the gate is not toward the court of the people, so that the position of the spectator, as was also suitable for the priest, is taken from the inner court. צפונה (comp. on Ezekiel 1:4), in this direction, hence northward we are to understand אשר־שם. Hengst.: “from the north the punishment was to come; this position was an actual summons to the north to send forth its avenging hosts; possibly also a reference to the sin already committed, the political adulteries of Jerusalem with the northern power Babylon, against which they alternately conspired and then again sought to gain it over, as Zedekiah, in the same year in which he had treated with Edom, Moab, etc., against Babylon, suddenly made off again to Babylon, Jeremiah 51:59.” Or the expression northwards points out the principal tendency of Jewish idolatry (Hosea 2:18 ), viz. towards Bel (Baal) of the Babylonians, who were, of course, in the north, or properly in the north-east. The image of jealousy, which, perhaps, on this very account is mentioned just here (comp. Ezekiel 8:5), is, on the one hand, particularized by means of םמל (something covered over, an idol-image of that description, Deuteronomy 4:16), and, on the other hand, explained more generally by means of המקנה. The latter expression stands for הַמַּקְנִיא (from קנא), as is usually understood. Lightfoot thought of an image of Moloch. In the reign of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:7) we meet with the image of Astarte, which Ewald conjectures here, from the circumstance that love is allied to jealousy. Although with an allusion to an existing state of things (2 Chronicles 36:14), yet, in accordance with the symbolic character of the whole vision, resting much more on the basis of Deuteronomy 32:16; Deuteronomy 32:21, Exodus 20:5 (comp. Ezekiel 5:13; Ezekiel 16:38; Ezekiel 23:25), and agreeably to the all-pervading representation of the relation of Jehovah and Israel, we may perhaps with Hengst. (Warburton) have to think of an “ideal concentration of all idolatrous practices,” and these as they were in vogue, in the first place, among the people in general; hence the image in the court of the people. With this also corresponds admirably in Ezekiel 8:4 the so characteristic antithesis of the glory, etc. Comp. Ezekiel 3:22-23; Ezekiel 1:4, as well as in our chapter Ezekiel 8:2; Ezekiel 8:5; farther, Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 9:3; Ezekiel 43:3. שם, as before אשר־שם. The God of Israel He is called, in contrast with “the gods of the nations of the earth, the work of men’s hands,” 2 Chronicles 32:19.
Ezekiel 8:5-6. The Image of Jealousy
In addition to the foregoing virtual description of the image, we have the description in so many words in Ezekiel 8:5; but so expressive is the thing of itself, that Jehovah needs only to summon the prophet to look. The direction repeatedly given is too plain to admit of there being any obscurity with respect to the gate of the altar. Because of this being named, the expression מִ׳ לְ׳ is used. For, coming from the north, as the “glory” (Ezekiel 8:4) is to be supposed to do (Ezekiel 1:4), this gate led into the court of the priests, where Ezekiel has taken up his position (Ezekiel 8:3), and where the brazen altar of burnt-offering was, in reference to which (Ezekiel 9:2) the name “gate of the altar” (perhaps with an allusion to 2 Kings 16:14) is explained; wherewith, at the same time, an antithesis of the image of jealousy might again be hinted at. Others (e.g. Kimchi) have thought of the altar of the image (2 Kings 21:4-5). At the entrance of the gate, thus in the outer court.
Ezekiel 8:6. מהם, an emphatic contraction in running interrogatory speech: מָה־הֵם (Qeri), sufficiently explained by what immediately follows (the house of Israel, etc.), so that there is no necessity for maintaining that some were actually engaged in worship.—Great abominations, Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 6:9, is the motto, the ever-recurring refrain of the chapter, Ezekiel 8:9; Ezekiel 8:13; Ezekiel 8:15; Ezekiel 8:17.—לרחקה, Ewald, Häv., like most of the ancients, supply the Speaker Jehovah: “in order that I may go far off from My sanctuary,” may turn away from disgust (Ezekiel 11:23). Hengst.: “that they (those formerly mentioned) may be removed, as unworthy of dwelling with the Lord, may be driven out, as Adam once was from Paradise.” Hitzig: “what ought to be far away.” As רחק means “to be far off,” why not render it by the bare infinitive: merely in order to be far off from My sanctuary? The construction with מֵעַל (Ezekiel 11:15; Jeremiah 2:5) makes them appear as former members of the family, who in going away elevate themselves above Him who is enthroned in the sanctuary.
Ezekiel 8:7-13. The Idolatry in the Secrecy of the Chambers of Imagery
Although at תתע׳ נד׳ in the preceding verse we cannot exactly carry out the comparison by supplying a מֵאֵלֵּה (as in Ezekiel 8:15), yet there lies in the ועוד תשוב תר׳ the preparation for, the intention, the beginning of a climax in the thought. In the preceding section: the house of Israel, in this: its elders; this would be a climax. Comp., however, on Ezekiel 8:11. Here: in secret, there: openly; this, at all events, is no climax.
Ezekiel 8:7. Where the court opens, the inner one into the outer, for אל־פתח החצר is manifestly the same as אל־פתח שער הפנימית׳ in Ezekiel 8:3; thus neither the eastern principal door (Lightf., Ewald, Hengst.) of the court of the priests, nor the northern exit of the court of the people (Häv., Hitz., Klief., Kl.), in which case mention is made by some holding the latter view of porches with cells (2 Kings 23:11; 1 Chronicles 28:12; Jeremiah 35:4). In favour of the former view, the absence of any farther definition cannot be used as an argument; for while, after enough had been said in Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 8:5, there was no need of any farther definition for the well-known פתח, there would certainly have been need of it, if all at once the intention was to speak of the eastern door, as is also expressly done in Ezekiel 10:19; Ezekiel 11:1. But as regards the other view, the and He brought me is no support, as the prophet certainly, who is in the inner court, is brought also farther (of course in vision) when he now gets to see the hole (Neteler translates: “a hole for one”) in the wall, viz. the gate portion of the wall which divided the courts. As he is to go still farther, he is commanded in Ezekiel 8:8 to break through, to enlarge the hole which shows him the way (is not “as it were a model,” Hengst.), so that his own person may get through. When this has been done, an opening shows itself, a door or window, or what opens up to him the glimpse which follows. When
Ezekiel 8:9—he has approached at the divine summons, idolatry once more reveals itself, and that the so peculiar animal-worship of the Egyptians, a fact which Klief. disputes without cause. According to him, the hole was in the wall of the outer court, and he makes the prophet break through and discover the pictures, etc., on the outside. In that case what was secret about it, as it is certainly represented to be? Hitzig maintains that the worship was in the interior of the gate-building, which contained chambers, but Ezekiel 40:36 is no proof for this temple. The entrance, Hitzig supposes, was built up during Josiah’s reformation in worship.
Ezekiel 8:10. Comp. Genesis 1:24; Genesis 9:3; Deuteronomy 4:17-18; Romans 1:23. שקץ (Ezekiel 5:11) is construed by Ewald, Hitz., Hengst. in apposition with ובהמה: “beasts of abomination,” “abominable beasts,” since to them was paid the honour due to the Creator—according to Hitz., e.g. dogs, cats, etc.; Kl. takes it as in apposition with רמש also (according to Hitzig, beetles especially), inasmuch as the representation of both was made for the purpose of paying religious honours to the pictures. Best of all Bunsen: “every form of abominable creeping things and beasts.” What follows might stand by way of explanation: and, in fact, of all, etc., or all idols of this sort are meant, as also birds, etc. (Hitz.: calves [Apis and Mnevis] and he-goats.) Klief., Kl. maintain that in this way all other possible varieties of idol-worship which had spread in Israel are subjoined co-ordinately with נל תב׳. But the delineation or painting (מחקה, neut. sing.) of all upon the wall of the apartment into which Ezekiel looks through the opening is so characteristically Egyptian, that for one who is unprejudiced anything else is inconceivable. Ezekiel 23:14 is not to be brought into comparison as against this view. As to the גל׳, so common with our prophet, see on Ezekiel 6:4; in Leviticus 26:30 first, in Deuteronomy 29:17 expressly of the idols of Egypt. The seventy in Ezekiel 8:11, according to Ewald, “a round number to express the great strength of the Egyptian party among the nobles, which according to Jeremiah then existed”; according to others: the Great Sanhedrim, an institution, however, which first arose after the exile. According to our text, they figure either as a representation of the collective body of the elders, a committee (council of elders) drawn from (מ) these official persons, or they represent the house of Israel, are a representation of the people. [By mentioning precisely this number of elders, the prophet sets before us a representation of the whole people,—an ideal representation, and of such a kind as to indicate the strong contrast that existed between former and present times—the original seventy (Exodus 24:0) being employed in immediate connection with God’s glory and covenant, while these here were engaged in an act which bespoke the dishonouring of God’s name, and the virtual dissolution of His covenant.—Fairbairn’s Ezekiel.—W. F.] The number 70 is chosen for symbolical reasons, 10 times 7 (Bähr, Mos. Kult. 2. p. 660) resting on Exodus 24:0, Numbers 11:0, in reference to the covenant between God and Israel. In favour of the symbolical character of this number there is also the circumstance that Jaazaniah, the 71st, is not counted among them. The individual named as son of Shaphan is a different person from יאזניהו in Ezekiel 11:1. The name Shaphan we read also in 2 Kings 22:0; Jeremiah 29, 36, 39. He appears to have had a good reputation, so that for the symbolical meaning by the mention of him the contrast in conduct on the part of his son here might be rendered the more emphatic. Similarly Bunsen, Hengst.: “who probably filled the same post as his father (as chancellor), was perhaps the soul of the negotiations with Egypt; partly on this account, partly because of his ominous name: the Lord hears, which involved the judgment on this procedure, introduced as a historical personality into this ideal company.” Is the expression: standing in their midst, meant to indicate an official superiority as president, or his social consequence among them, or the circumstance that even the son of such a father, with whose name the memory of the pious destroyer of idolatry, Josiah, was united, could be found in the midst of such a company (Psalms 1:1)? לפניהם, i.e. the idol-pictures on the wall round about. עתר, according to Hengst.: “the prayer of the cloud of incense, because it was an embodied prayer, Psalms 141:2; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3-4.” “They say by the offering of incense before those miserable figures: Deliver me, for thou art my god (Isaiah 44:17).” The Hebrew word means certainly: to press on any one with requests, but also: to press together so that there is a large quantity, to heap up, so that that which swells up, the vapour, may be indicated here. So richly that there was a cloud; comp. besides, Leviticus 16:13. After Ezekiel has seen it, the interpretation is given him in Ezekiel 8:12. In the dark, every one in his chambers of imagery, contains everything necessary for understanding it. First of all, the darkness may certainly be regarded as a symbol of the darkened knowledge of God, but means still more that the procedure of the nobles of the people shuns the light, has its being in secret. In this way we have a complete explanation of the hole in the gate portion of the wall, in the wall of the court (Ezekiel 8:7), of the clandestine manner in which the prophet gets access (Ezekiel 8:8), etc. (“They had in Egypt, in the rocks on the banks of the Nile, deep underground passages, sometimes labyrinths, which led to underground vaults, whose walls were covered over and over with hieroglyphs, and, in fact, the entrance to them is, just as here, only a hole, at which no one imagines there is anything of consequence behind,” etc.—J. D. Mich.) That every one does so proves the representative character of the 71 in Ezekiel 8:11. חדר is that which is shut up, the interior of a tent, of a house; hence, a chamber. The chambers of imagery have idolatrous pictures painted on the walls. As it is represented (Ezekiel 8:9-10) in the wall of the court between the higher and the lower court, so it is done within the walls of their own dwellings by the elders of the people, who approached the priests in virtue of their official character. The domestic heathenism, as distinguished from the public in Ezekiel 8:5-6. Hengst. makes the direct participation in Egyptian idolatry step into the background. (“The people relied at that time on the help of the Egyptians, and looked to them as their saviours.”—Cocc.) Ewald maintains that Egyptian animal-worship was at the time really practised in deeply concealed apartments of the temple area, inasmuch as every idolater of that sort offered incense as his own priest, and prayed in a separate apartment (and hence so many of them are found in Egypt), comp. Amm. Marc. Ezekiel 17:7, Ezekiel 22:15. He points in proof of this to the Egyptian vassalage of King Jehoiachim. The pressure of the Chaldean party at the time upon the Egyptian explains, according to him, the expression, repeated in Ezekiel 9:9, of their deep despair of the affairs of the fatherland. Hengst. speaks in a predominantly political sense of the Egyptian fancies wherewith they occupied themselves in their inner man; the revolt from Babylon, undertaken in concert with Egypt, was still, he alleges, “a public secret.” For they say: אין י׳. This is their so-called right to do it, not meant as an excuse, perhaps. Jehovah shall have the blame. That He seeth not can hardly imply (Isaiah 29:15) a dogmatic denial of His omniscient (Psalms 139:0; Psalms 94:7) Godhead (Psalms 14:1), just as little as His having forsaken the land is meant to deny in so many words His omnipresent omnipotence; but their speech is practical ungodliness: when He has turned away His eye and presence from us and from the land, when we are no longer anything to Him, then nothing is left for us but to look out for the gods of other nations and lands, that they may dwell with us.
Ezekiel 8:13. Comp. Ezekiel 8:6.
Ezekiel 8:14-15. The Mourning for Tammuz
In Ezekiel 8:7 Ezekiel was between the inner and outer court; in Ezekiel 8:14 he is brought to the opening of the gate of the house of Jehovah. Comp. to the opening of the gate of the house of Jehovah which is toward the north with Ezekiel 8:3 : to the opening of the gate of the inner [court] that looketh toward the north; thus the gate of the house and the gate of the inner [court] correspond with each other, the one as applying to the whole, the other as referring only to a part of the same. The house of Jehovah is the whole of the temple, consequently the opening of the gate of it can hardly be anything else than the place where the outer court of the temple opens to the outside altogether. The northerly direction of the gate also corresponds best with the movement of the prophet hitherto. There, then, are the women, viz. those who are weeping for Tammuz, for this reason sitting on the ground, as was the custom of mourners (Matthew 27:61). [According to Hitzig: the female population represented in the individuals, who are exactly at the place assigned to the women.] First, the people in general; then, the elders of the people; now, the female sex. This is like a climax. The publicity also of the proceedings of the women (as distinguished from the elders) makes the occurrence in so far parallel with the first in Ezekiel 8:5-6. Meier: the name probably signifies: possessor of power, mighty one, ruler; Tammuz = dominus, properly: tamer, lord. יהוה and תמוז, a contrast! According to Häv., a contraction from תַּמְזוּז (מזז=מםם to melt away), or from תַּנְמוּז (נָפז), of persons or things in reference to the “disappearance” (dying, the ἀφανισμός in contrast with the εὕρεσις) of the Greek “Adonis,” who (אָדוֹן, i.e. “lord” with the Phœnicians) is the Syrian Tammuz (Θαμμούζ. Θαμμούς). According to the fable, the beautiful favourite of Venus, killed by a boar in the chase, but afterwards rising to life again, in whose honour the fourth month (June—July) was called “Tammuz.” At his feast the kinnor (a sort of lyre) was played; hence Cinyras, the father of Adonis, just as Myrrha, from the incense (מֹר) usual thereat, was his mother among the Greeks. It was a funeral-feast in the East, for it celebrated the death of the beautiful life of nature about the time of the greatest summer-heat (תקופת תמוז). Byblos in Syria, where the swollen waters of the river Adonis assumed a red colour about this time, when the snow melted on Lebanon, was the principal seat of the god. (Comp. Häv. against Movers, who makes the oriental celebration of the festival approach nearly to the Greek, in autumn. But comp. also Hitz. on the passage, and Winer, ii. 601 sqq.; Herzog, Realencycl. xv. 667 sqq.) According to Preller (Griech. Mythol. 1. p. 219), the disappearance of Adonis was at first expressed allegorically (ἀφανισμός), after which they sought him (ζήτησις), until at length they found him (εὕρεσις), and now bewailed him as dead, by means of the exhibition of his picture, with gloomy elegies and the usages of a funeral. The solemnity ended with the cry: Adonis lives and has risen; hence with the comfort of his return. Pain for the lost beauty of the year, dread of winter, the ray of hope connected with spring. Sappho already sang of the death of Adonis and of the lamentation for him. Bunsen: “seven days long the women gave themselves up to their lamentations, and were obliged to shave their hair or to sacrifice their chastity” (J. D. Mich.). Hävernick, as no trace of the worship of Adonis can be found in earlier times among the Hebrews, brings forward the view: that under Josiah’s successors such idolatrous worship obtained a footing, especially through Zedekiah’s political alliance with the Phœnicians against Babylon; that the seductive charm of this worship, which is attested by its wide diffusion, is to be taken into account; and that the gloomy direction of the popular consciousness at the time (Ezekiel 8:12, Ezekiel 9:9) was in sympathy with nature’s mournful mood. “The Adonis myth was thus a picture of the history of the people, as the natural consciousness arranged it for itself and arbitrarily interpreted it (Ezekiel 11:2-3).” Hengst. lays emphasis on the northern origin (between Tripolis and Berytus) of the worship, the characteristic wailing women, and finds the real import in the seeking of political aid among the Phœnicians. (Others have thought of a kindred Egyptian worship. Hitzig makes the worship of Adonis come from Egypt; Adonis = Osiris.)
Ezekiel 8:15. Comp. Ezekiel 8:12-13. The climax, up till now merely hinted at, is plainly expressed with respect to what follows. Ezekiel 8:6; Ezekiel 8:13 keep what goes before in a co-ordinate relation.
Ezekiel 8:16-18. The Sun-Worship (Ezekiel 8:16-17); the Closing Threatening of God (Ezekiel 8:18)
Now comes in conclusion the culminating point of the abominations, introduced by the locality, viz. the court of the priests. It takes place in the inner part of Jehovah’s house,—thereby placed in contrast with the publicity going before, and parallel with the actings of the elders in Ezekiel 8:7 sqq.,—and in fact (והנה) where the temple (the holy place) opens into the inner court, indicated still more minutely because of the significance of the locality. The porch, 1 Kings 6:3. The altar, the brazen altar of burnt-offering. Comp. Joel 2:17. (Matthew 23:35; 2 Chronicles 24:20-21.) Accordingly there can be no doubt that the persons, the 25 men,—as most expositors along with Lightfoot believe, the presidents of the 24 orders of priests (1 Chronicles 24:0.) with the high priest at their head,—represent the priesthood. ´בְּ “asserts the fact expressly, but only in a subjective way” (Hitz.), as what appeared to be the case, the prophet, as it were, not trusting his own eyes. In this way the abomination to be described is greater than what has hitherto been related of the kind. But then, farther, the description of the posture assumed (comp. 1Ki 7:25; 1 Kings 14:9; 2 Chronicles 29:6; the antithesis of their backs and their faces, the contrast of אל־חיכל י׳ with קדמה, “toward sunrise”) sets forth what is abominable in the highest degree. The sanctuary of the Eternal is a thing going down behind them; they turn to the new light. For מִשְׁתַּחְַוִיתֶם, which is probably an error in transcription, almost all read מִשְׁתַחְַוִים (partic. from שחה, Ges. Gram. § 74, 18), as an abbreviation of אַתֶּם, “ye,” could not tally with הֵמָּה. According to Häv. an ironical alteration of the usual form, with an allusion to שָׁחַת in the Hiphil (to destroy, to do evil). Hengst.: an anomalous form, just as the abnormal certainly cannot surprise us in Ezekiel; the form a quid pro quo, like the conduct indicated by it; by inserting ת, the prophet gives a criticism after the manner of a quotation from Exodus 24:1; Deuteronomy 11:16; as much as to say: they worship, whereas it is said in the law of God: Ye shall not worship. If Tammuz is the sun-god, then an easy transition from what goes before is accomplished, without our being obliged here also on that account to look with favour on Hävernick’s worship of Adonis. It is the primitive Sabœism; comp. Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3. (2Ki 23:5; 2 Kings 23:11.) Ewald: sun-worship in accordance with Zoroastrian superstition (Job 31:26). Hengst. takes the 25 as princes of the people (Ezekiel 11:1), an ideal representation of the ruling class,—2 from each of the 12 tribes, besides a president (!). Because of the absence of the definite basis in the Mosaic books, which in contradistinction the LXX in Ezekiel 8:11 had, בְּ stands here, “nearly,” “about” (!). The gradation in Ezekiel 8:15 points to the sin, at present just in full bloom (?). The project of a league with Medo-Persia (already mentioned in Isaiah as the destroyer of the Chaldean universal monarchy, Ezekiel 13:17; Ezekiel 21:2) had perhaps called forth the inquiry of the elders in Ezekiel 8:1, especially as the Diaspora was the appropriate instrument for such a coalition, etc.
Ezekiel 8:17 : Ezekiel 8:15; Ezekiel 8:12; Ezekiel 8:6. Hitherto the question was followed by something else of a different kind, i.e. of a worse kind. This time a new question winds up: was it a light thing (a small thing—Niph. of קלל, comp. 1 Kings 16:31) for Judah more than (מעֲשׂ׳) = was that which thou hast seen a lighter (smaller) thing than the committing of the abominations? i.e. embracing in one Ezekiel 8:5-15. A negative answer is supposed, since, according to Ezekiel 8:15, what is seen in Ezekiel 8:16 is to be the culminating point of all, more burdensome than all else. And as in Ezekiel 8:12 a בִּי introduced the alleged justification (in a parallel case) of the elders of the people in their acting by God’s mode of procedure, so God furnishes the reason (בִּי) of the negative answer expected to His question, so that Judah can have nothing more heinous to be put in the opposite scale from what they have done: for they, etc.; comp. Ezekiel 7:23. (It looks quite like a parallel to the “for they,” etc. of Ezekiel 8:12.) And instead of turning to the Eternal, they have returned merely for the purpose of provoking Him to anger. The thought taken in connection with Ezekiel 8:12 would accordingly be: the land of which they say that Jehovah has forsaken it, they have filled with violence, so that there remained no room in it for the Holy One; but their acting in the temple shows (a climax) that, as regards the Eternal, they are seeking not the expiation for their guilt, but His wrath. He seeth not, say they,—and, lo, they, etc. (the highest point of the climax), so that שלחים את׳ is either to be understood of a specially provoking gesture in idolatrous worship, or must be interpreted from the context as a proverbial mode of speaking. [Ewald translates: “is it too small a thing for the house of Judah to practise the abominations which they practised here, that they filled the land with injustice and exasperated Me repeatedly, and that now they even put the twig to their nose?” having in view the twig of the sacred tree held before the mouth during prayer (so already J. D. Mich, and many expositors), “as if there were not yet enough in the more ancient revolting idolatries as well as in the already depicted (Ezekiel 7:23) roughness of their everyday life, and as if, besides, this most recent superstition must now be added.”] The climax in the thought and the reference to Parseeism lies in the context, but the “Barsom” (a bundle of different kinds of twigs) does not correspond with הזמורה (a vine branch, Ezekiel 15:2; Isaiah 17:10), neither does the solemn holding before the mouth with the left hand correspond much with שלח אל־אפם. Hengst. assigns as a reason for “the vine-branch” its being “a quite pre-eminent product of the sun”; and, according to him, the nose is mentioned ironically instead of the mouth. A gesture in worship is demanded by the expression והנם. Klief. confesses himself unable to explain the idolatrous custom. The thyrsus-staff of the worshippers of Bacchus has also been suggested. Keil finds the climax in the acts of violence as compared with the abominations,—the moral corruption shows the full measure of their guilt; but the proverbial mode of speaking has not yet been sufficiently cleared up. Israel himself has been suggested here as the vine-stock (Jeremiah 2:21), אף, translated by “anger” (their anger, viz. which they have provoked on God’s part, or which they cherish towards God and His prophets), and the interpretation given as if the meaning were: to pour oil into the fire, to bring brushwood to the flames. Häv.: “and, lo! they send forth the mournful ditty (about Adonis, זמורה for זִמְרָה ,זְמִיר) to their anger” (that which falls upon them). Hitzig renders זמורה: pruning-knife (“they put the pruning-bill to their nose”), wishing to provoke Me, they provoke themselves (Jeremiah 7:19; Habakkuk 2:10; Proverbs 23:2), in connection with which he quotes the scene in Auerbach’s cellar from Faust, etc.
Ezekiel 8:18. Comp. Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 7:4; Ezekiel 7:9; Ezekiel 9:5; Ezekiel 9:10, threatening with corresponding retribution on the part of God. (Ezekiel 11:13; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11).
1. As the idea of salvation is especially dominant in the history of Israel, and draws from it the most manifold types, so in a pre-eminent degree prophecy is ruled by the idea. In verbal prophecy the idea, and especially the Christian idea, of the future, clothes itself at one time in accordance with what is peculiar to the prophets as individuals, at another by making use of allusion to the form of the present, and of the forces, persons, occurrences, etc. moving it, but in general entirely within the sphere of the Old Testament mode of representation; so that what is meant to be just the most striking expression for the idea shows itself, through the later realization of the idea exactly in this form, to be at the same time a prediction, apart from the express predictions of the prophets. (Comp. on this subject Tholuck, die Propheten, ff. p. 105 sqq.) Now what the figurative word accomplishes as regards the object aimed at, that, as regards deepening our views of the truth, appears to be the task of symbol in prophetic action, in dramatic vision. The vision of the abominations in the temple here in Ezekiel is a theologizing one of the apostasy of Israel, now ripe for judgment.
2. The living God of revelation is the measure of the dead idols of the heathen, alike as regards the pantheistic slumping of them in the world, and as regards their polytheistic separation according to the different lands and peoples. He is, and whatever wanders to those others and is falsely attributed to them belongs to Him. On the same deep basis of truth theologically, our vision brings the idolatry of Israel into view in the temple of Jehovah, and therewith into condemnation. The temple becomes the standard for judgment of every heathen worship.
3. It was condescension in the sphere of history on the part of the idea of revelation, that for so long a period a fixed nation, like Israel, was to be the bearer of it, and that, after the general analogy of heathen nations, church and state covered each other. Only with the expansion of the church into its ideal, i.e. into the kingdom of God among mankind as a whole (Revelation 21:3), have: “state religion” and “state church” as ideas become effete. They are merely existing realities of a wretched kind; their ideas, if one chooses to speak of them, are antiquated; they are reproductions of the past, Judaism, if not heathenisms. Progress, and by no means “radical” progress merely, but much more still religious, i.e. Christian progress, points away beyond them.
4. The distinction made between “abominations” and “violence” recalls the difference between the two tables of the law,—sins against God and sins against men. Over against violence in the latter respect, there makes its appearance what God must abhor. As the former fills the land and becomes the fashion, so the latter provokes the anger of God. Ungodliness and immorality in their connection here bear witness to the connection between faith and morals.
5. Superstition and unbelief—the one acting, the other speaking—present themselves together in Ezekiel 8:12 in one sentence, just as these forms of the self-originated theology of the sensuous self-consciousness touch each other from opposite sides. Unbelief, which Holy Scripture never knows absolutely, since to it faith is the original godliness in the nature of man, appears here also as one that “speaks” (Psalms 14, 53) and has gods. Superstition draws its reason from unbelief. As Nitzsch describes the process: “in the depraved working of passive piety man attempts first of all to deny the facts of the religious conscience, wholly or in part; but yet, in so far as the consciousness of God compels him, he leaps over from unbelief into superstition, i.e. he defines for himself the divine as a thing that is human, sensuous, worldly, analyzes for himself the feeling of God into the sensuous, out of which, in the next place, arise fanatical imaginations, sometimes slavish, sometimes audacious, Romans 1:21-25.” When Plutarch, in his well-known treatise περὶ δεισιδαιμονίας, gives the preference to unbelief, he underestimated it as a source of superstition; he winds up, moreover, with the converse, viz. that many fall from superstition into unbelief. Jean Paul, on the contrary, who calls superstition “faith with a but,” would “rather live in the densest malarious atmosphere of superstition than under the air-pump of unbelief,” where in the former case one breathes with difficulty, in the latter he is suffocated.
6. Augustine raises the question: why should the Romans, who paid divine honour to all the gods of all nations, as they showed by having a Pantheon, yet have continually refused to honour the God of Israel? and found the reason in the exclusiveness wherewith Jehovah claims to be honoured alone, as being the true God in contrast with the false gods.
7. The mourning for Tammuz reminds us of the sorrow “of the world” in 2 Corinthians 7:0. Is it unintentional that only this side of this idolatry is indicated in Ezekiel? It worketh death, says the apostle of the sorrow of the world. Over against the pleasure of life in the rites of Tammuz on its mere natural basis, the prophet has to take his stand on the divine sentence of death of the spirit; as there is no repentance on the part of any one, the other side in the worship of Tammuz cannot possibly prophesy of salvation. (As against Bauer, Rel. d. A: T. ii. p. 234 sq.)
8. The front of the temple looked to the east, the back, therefore, to the west. And such is the case, moreover, with most of the ancient nations; and so it meets us again also, for the most part, in Catholic church architecture. But a universal rule it is not (according to Vitruvius, the opposite is the rule for heathen temple-architecture), just as little as the turning of the face toward the east in Christian prayer is a universal rule; sometimes the front, sometimes the apsis, is turned to the east. Some have wished to find the reason for the holy of holies being turned toward the west in the antithesis to heathenism. Maimonides, More Neb. iii. Ezekiel 45 : “Superstition generally at that time worshipped the sun; therefore Abraham turns to the west on Moriah, so that he turned his back to the sun.” Comp. on the other hand, Bähr, Symb. i. 212. “When the Catholic church architecture built the choir towards the east, the alleged anti-heathenish design of the opposite course was set aside, inasmuch as Christ, as the Sun of Righteousness, now determines the direction; it was imagined also that paradise was there, etc. etc.
9. There is a gradation in wickedness, for there is a development towards ripeness for judgment. And as the greatness of the sin is determined according to the person and circumstances, so the corresponding greatness of the punishment is determined according to the knowledge of and opportunity for what is good. But the Judge and Avenger is God.
Ezekiel 8:1. “We may be assured everywhere, whether at home or from home, of the presence of God; hence also we have to fear God everywhere” (Stck.).—The pulpit for the exiles in the house of the prophet.—“Elders also ought to hear and learn God’s word” (Stck.).
Ezekiel 8:2. Comp. on Ezekiel 1:27 sq.
Ezekiel 8:3. “The saints in mortal flesh are between heaven and earth, for they are not yet indeed completely above, but still they have already forsaken what is below” (Gregory).—“As here by the hair, so by the smallest thing the pious are lifted upwards by God” (Jun.).—“God’s children and servants are led and guided not by the spirit of the world, but by the Spirit of God” (St.).—“Yea, if this body could follow the spirit, it would lead it into heaven with itself.”—“God was Master of the house at Jerusalem, and they brought in to Him another idol: that displeased Him justly” (Randgl.).—See how jealous love can be! the jealousy of Israel’s Husband.—“So God is provoked also by all who admit into their heart passion, pride, arrogance, debauchery, avarice, and other idols” (B. B.).
Ezekiel 8:4. Christ and Belial.—God in His jealousy is likewise God in His glory.—“In another way also God lets His glory be seen, when He causes a peculiarly powerful testimony to be borne in His Church, by means of which He unveils the abominations in all ranks, and causes them to be punished through His witnesses, since there also, as here, public worship especially is wont to be assailed.”—To perceive God’s glory in spite of all abominations is the privilege of His faithful servants, of His children, who do not cast away their confidence. Our faith is the victory which hath overcome the world.—“Such a strengthening was needed by the prophet, in order that he might fearlessly withstand the raging audacity and stubbornness of the people; God equipped him in this way with a suit of armour” (C).
Ezekiel 8:5. “God places our sins before His eyes, and in like manner also before ours” (Stck.).—“So sits the envious Pharisee also, who has merely an outward righteousness, like an image of jealousy in the doorway, and will not let the simple people enter through the fear of the Lord into the faith and love of Christ, and thus takes away the key of knowledge (Matthew 23:13)” (B. B.).
Ezekiel 8:6. “Whoever opens door and gate to sin, falls from sin to sin” (St.).—“Whatever man does, he does it before God’s face, although the blinded sinner thinks God blind” (Stck.).—“God’s people also may fall into great darkness and blindness” (St.).
Ezekiel 8:7 sqq. God’s eye sees also through the wall, and He can give His servants a hole in the wall as well as eyes, so as to see what is between the walls.—“Guilty consciences love what is concealed” (Stck.).—Occasionally an Ezekiel comes across those concealed ones.—“Thy heart is to be God’s temple. But how does the Lord find this temple? Just as here. Only dig through the white-washed wall of thy self-love and hypocrisy, then shalt thou perceive in the light of God all sorts of monsters and abominations, which the enemy has gathered together in thee, to the disgust of the Master of the house. Enough of unclean reptiles shalt thou find behind the wall of thy flesh, only dig through!” (B. B.)—“Assuredly, as soon as the true worship of God is forsaken, men have no longer any limit; from one they pass to a myriad” (C).—Idolatry is not merely of the gross kind; nor is that which Christians practise merely of the refined kind.—Yea, everything which is on earth may become an idol to man.—I count everything but dung, Paul testifies in Philippians 3:0.
Ezekiel 8:11. “Those who ought in this way to take the lead of others in showing a good example, are often the worst” (St.).—“The elders before the idols, men before beasts, the living before mere pictures!” (B. B.)—May all assemblies of church-wardens take an example by them!
Ezekiel 8:12. God is to blame for our guilt!—Thus many make for themselves a blind God, like Fortune.
Ezekiel 8:13 sqq. What a corruption must be among a, people where the old and the female sex are infected!—On ordinary days, the lust of the flesh; on fast-days, repentance and sorrow.
Ezekiel 8:15 sq. “Nothing is so absurd as that a man might hot be brought to it, Romans 1:0.” (St.)—“Daniel turned in his prayer toward Jerusalem” (B. B.).—“All the ungodly turn their back on God” (St.).—“But who will count those who in our time turn their back on God?” (B. B.)
Ezekiel 8:18. They turned their back on God, and so He turns His back on them.—The eye and ear of God shut, what a picture!
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Ezekiel 8". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany