1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me. 2 Then I beheld, and behold a likeness as the appearance of fire. From the appearance of his loins even downward, fire, and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber. 3 And he put forth the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head. And the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. 4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
5 Then he said to me, "Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north." So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, northward at the gate of the altar, in the entry, was this image of jealousy. 6 He said furthermore to me, "Son of man, do you see what they do, even the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, so that I should withdraw from my sanctuary? But turn yet again, and you shall see greater abominations."
7 And he brought me to the door of the court. And when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then he said to me, "Son of man, now dig in the wall." And when I had dug in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said to me, "Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here." 10 So I went in and saw, and behold, every form of creeping animals and abominable beasts and all the idols of the house of Israel were portrayed around upon the wall. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, each with his censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, each in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, 'The LORD does not see us. The LORD has forsaken the earth.'" 13 He also said to me, "Turn yet again, and you shall see greater abominations that they do."
14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north, and behold, women weeping for Tammuz sat there. 15 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these."
16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, and they worshiped the sun toward the east. 17 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence and have returned to provoke me to anger. And behold, they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore, I will also deal in fury. My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter contains a vision the prophet had of the idolatry of the Jews, which was the cause of their destruction. The time when, place where, and persons with whom he was when the hand of the Lord came upon him are mentioned (Ezekiel 8:1); then follows a description of the divine Person who appeared to him (Ezekiel 8:2); and an account is given how he was in a visionary way brought to Jerusalem and to the temple, where he saw the glory of the God of Israel and the idolatry of the people (Ezekiel 8:3-4); which latter was gradually represented to him, first the image of jealousy in the entry at the gate of the altar northward (Ezekiel 8:5); then greater abominations through a hole in the wall, by which he saw their idols in the form of reptiles and four footed beasts portrayed on the wall (Ezekiel 8:6-10); next seventy of the ancients of Israel, among whom were one mentioned by name, offering incense to these idols (Ezekiel 8:11-12); after this, greater abominations still are showed him at the north of the temple, women weeping for Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:13-14); and then again far greater ones, twenty five men between the porch and the altar with their backs to the temple and their face to the east worshiping the sun and putting the branch to the nose (Ezekiel 8:15-17); therefore it is reasoned to deal with them in fury, without any mercy, pity, and compassion (Ezekiel 8:18).