Ezekiel's vision of idolatry in the Temple

Ezek 8:1-18   Ezekiel has a second vision. He is taken by God ‘in the Spirit’ to Jerusalem and is shown the idolatry being practised in the LORD’s Temple.

“The Spirit lifted me up... He took me... to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple.  In the courtyard was the idol that caused God to be jealous." (Ezekiel 8:3) 

"Then he brought me to the entry of the courtyard. When I looked I saw a hole in the wall... Then he said to me, 'Go in and see the hateful, evil things they are doing here.' So I entered... and I saw every kind of crawling thing and hateful beast and all the idols of the people of Israel, carved on the wall all around." (Ezekiel 8:7-10)

 

The Queen of the Night -the Babylonian goddess Ishtar (Hispalois)

The 'Queen of the Night' - the Babylonian sun goddess Ishtar  (Hispalois)

 

"Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Temple. There I saw about 25 men…between the porch and the altar. With their backs turned to the Temple of the LORD, they faced east and were worshipping the sun in the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16)

Ezek 9-11   As a result of this idolatry, God’s glory – the ‘Shekinah’ or dazzling light of the LORD’s presence above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tent of Meeting (see Exodus 24:16 and 25:22)  – leaves the Temple in Jerusalem and moves to "the mountain on the east side of the city” (Ezekiel 11:23) (a reference, perhaps, to Mount Nebo – the mountain from which Moses looked out over the ‘promised land’ shortly before his death (see 2 Maccabees 2:4-8 & the feature on Mt Nebo).

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