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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Ezekiel

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8.1–11.25 : The Temple visions.

8.1–18 : The vision of idolatry

(September 17, 592 BCE). In his vision of wickedness in Jerusalem's Temple, Ezekiel saw beyond the observable offenses of his time into the ingrained, polluted essence of the shrine.

1 :

Elders, in exile with the prophet, also his audience in 14.1;20.1 . The hand of the LORD, see 1.3n.

2 :

The figure is described in terms similar to those in 1.26–27 .

3 :

By a lock of my head, cf. Bel 36 . The gateway led north from the palace complex into the Temple precincts. The image of jealousy is probably the carved image of the goddess Asherah that King Manasseh set up in the Temple (2 Kings 21.7 ). Though removed in Josiah's reform (2 Kings 23.6 ), it stood out starkly in Ezekiel's transhistorical perception.

4 :

See 3.22–23 . On the glory of the God of Israel, see 10.1–22n.

7–13 :

The elders of Judah with censers inside the secret gatehouse chamber perform the same sort of improper act as that described in the story of the rebellion in the wilderness in Num 16.2,17,35 . Ezekiel views this scriptural story about ritual rebellion as prototypical, and it informs his assessment of the preexilic Temple's wickedness (see also 44.6–14n. ).

10 :

Cf. 23.14; Deut 4.17–18 .

11 :

The seventy elders here are in Jerusalem, and are not the same as those in v. 1 . Jaazaniah's father Shaphan was active in King Josiah's reform movement (2 Kings 22 ), and other members of the family protected Jeremiah against his enemies (Jer 26.24; 39.14 ).

14–15 :

Tammuz, the Mesopotamian vegetation god; the weeping was for his descent into the underworld, coinciding with the annual decline of vegetation. Transtemporal perception is again suggested here, since Ezekiel sees the weeping rite in the sixth month (v. 1 ) and not in the fourth month (June–July), when it was normally practiced.

16–18 :

The climactic abomination seen by Ezekiel was sun worship. Its practice in Israel is evidenced by texts such as 2 Kings 23.5,11 and by artifacts. The branch gesture may be an obscene expression.

18 :

The judgment is irrevocable (see 14.12–23n. ).

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