Ezekiel 8

1One day I ˻(Ezekiel)˼ was sitting in my house, and the elders ˻(leaders)˼ of Judah were sitting there in front of me. This was on the fifth day of the sixth month ˻(September)˼ of the sixth year ˻of exile˼. Suddenly, the power of the Lord my Master came on me. 2I saw something that looked like fire. ˻It looked like a man’s body.˼ From the waist down, he was like fire. From the waist up, he was bright and shining like hot metal in a fire. 3Then I saw something that looked like an arm. The arm reached out and grabbed me by the hair on my head. Then the wind lifted me into the air. And in God’s vision, he took me to Jerusalem. He took me to the inner gate—the gate that is on the north side. The statue that makes God jealous is by that gate. 4But the Glory of the God of Israel was there. The Glory looked just like the vision I saw in the valley ˻by the Kebar Canal˼. 5˻God˼ spoke to me. He said, “Son of man, look towards the north!” So I looked towards the north. And there, north of the Altar Gate by the entrance, was that statue that made God jealous. 6Then ˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, do you see what terrible things the people of Israel are doing? They built that thing here, right next to my temple! And if you come with me, you will see even more terrible things!” 7So I went to the entrance to the courtyard, and I saw a hole in the wall. 8˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, make a hole in the wall.” So I made a hole in the wall. And there I saw a door. 9Then ˻God˼ said to me, “Go in and look at the terrible, evil things that the people are doing here.” 10So I went in and looked. I saw statues of all kinds of reptiles and animals that you hate to think about. Those statues were the filthy idols that the people of Israel worshiped. There were pictures of those animals carved all around on every wall! 11Then I noticed that Jaazaniah son of Shapham and the 70 elders ˻(leaders)˼ of Israel were there with the people worshiping in that place. There they were, right at the front of the people! And each leader had his own incense dish in his hand. The smoke from the burning incense was rising into the air. 12Then ˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of Israel do in the dark? Each man has a special room for his own false god! Those men say to themselves, 'The Lord can’t see us. The Lord left this country.’” 13Then ˻God˼ said to me, “If you come with me, you will see those men doing even more terrible things!” 14Then ˻God˼ led me to the entrance to the Lord’s temple. This gate was on the north side. And there I saw women sitting and crying. They were sad about the false god Tammuz! 15˻God˼ said to me, “Son of man, do you see these terrible things? Come with me and you will see things that are even worse than this!” 16Then he led me to the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple. At that place, I saw 25 men bowing down and worshiping. They were between the porch and the altar—but they were facing the wrong way! Their backs were to the Holy Place. They were bowing down to worship the sun! 17Then ˻God˼ said, “Son of man, do you see this? The people of Judah think my temple is so unimportant that they will do these terrible things here in my temple! This country is filled with violence. And they constantly do things to make me mad. Look, they are wearing rings in their noses to honor the moon like a false god! 18I will show them my anger! I won’t show them any mercy! I will not feel sorry for them! They will shout to me—but I refuse to listen to them!”

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