Abominations in the Temple
1In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. 2I looked, and there was a figure that looked like a human being;8.2 Gk: Heb like fire below what appeared to be its loins it was fire, and above the loins it was like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming amber. 3It stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, to the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. 4And the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I had seen in the valley.
5Then God8.5 Heb he said to me, ‘O mortal, lift up your eyes now in the direction of the north.’ So I lifted up my eyes towards the north, and there, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. 6He said to me, ‘Mortal, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? Yet you will see still greater abominations.’
7And he brought me to the entrance of the court; I looked, and there was a hole in the wall. 8Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, dig through the wall’; and when I dug through the wall, there was an entrance. 9He said to me, ‘Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.’ 10So I went in and looked; there, portrayed on the wall all round, were all kinds of creeping things, and loathsome animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel. 11Before them stood seventy of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the fragrant cloud of incense was ascending. 12Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of images? For they say, “The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.” ’ 13He said also to me, ‘You will see still greater abominations that they are committing.’
14Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O mortal? You will see still greater abominations than these.’
16And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD; there, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces towards the east, prostrating themselves to the sun towards the east. 17Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O mortal? Is it not bad enough that the house of Judah commits the abominations done here? Must they fill the land with violence, and provoke my anger still further? See, they are putting the branch to their nose! 18Therefore I will act in wrath; my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; and though they cry in my hearing with a loud voice, I will not listen to them.’
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.