Scripture reading – Ezekiel 8; Ezekiel 9; Ezekiel 10

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Ezekiel 8

Ezekiel’s Vision: Carried to the Gates of Jerusalem (8:1-4)

Ezekiel 8 gives us again a supernatural revelation of God’s glory. Ezekiel was in his house, and with him the “elders of Judah” (8:1), when “the hand of the Lord God fell there upon [him]” (8:1). As He had when He first appeared to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:26-28), the LORD displayed the likeness of His heavenly glory (Ezekiel 8:2). In the vision, the Spirit of the LORD lifted Ezekiel, carrying him to the Temple where he beheld an idol described as “the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy” (Ezekiel 8:3).

Jealousy in the Temple (Ezekiel 8:5-6)

Ezekiel saw “the glory of the God of Israel” (Ezekiel 8:4) like that he had seen before. As he lifted his eyes, he saw the “image of jealousy” in the LORD’s sanctuary (Ezekiel 8:5-6). The LORD then revealed to Ezekiel the “great abominations” (desperate wickedness) that were practiced by the elders and religious leaders of Judah (Ezekiel 8:6).


The Sight of the Elders’ Idolatrous Worship (Ezekiel 8:7-12)

The Spirit of the LORD commanded the prophet to look through a hole in the Temple’s wall (Ezekiel 8:7). Ezekiel was told to enlarge the hole, and then he spied a door that was the entrance into a secret chamber (Ezekiel 8:8-9). He was then told to pass through the door and “behold the wicked abominations that they do” (Ezekiel 8:9).

In the secret room of the Temple, Ezekiel discovered drawings of creatures, beasts, and idols on the walls (Ezekiel 8:10). Then he saw seventy religious leaders of Jerusalem who worshipped idols and offered incense to them (Ezekiel 8:11). Those foolish men declared, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezekiel 8:12).

Ezekiel 9 - The Vision of God’s Judgment of Jerusalem

The Sight of Women Weeping and the Worship of the Sun (Ezekiel 8:13-16)

Ezekiel then observed the women of Jerusalem worshipping and weeping before a heathen idol named Tammuz, believed to be a fertility god whose worshippers practiced gross immorality. In another room of the Temple, twenty-five men worshipped the sun (Ezekiel 8:16).

The LORD did not need to justify His ways and judgments; nevertheless, He asked Ezekiel, “Hast thou seen this, O son of man?” (Ezekiel 8:17).

Closing thoughts for Ezekiel 8 –

Before we continue in today’s Scripture reading, take a moment and ponder how far Israel and Judah had departed from the LORD, His Law, and Commandments. They had defiled the Temple with idols (Ezekiel 8:1-18), and the elders who were entrusted with teaching the Law and exercising righteous judgment were guilty of idolatry in secret places. There was no hope for the nation. In His anger, the LORD declared He would not have pity on the people, and neither would He hear their cry. It was too late.

I cannot say it is too late for our nation to repent; however, I see the signs of God’s judgment in our world. Our society is filled with violence, and should our country not turn back to the LORD, the time will come when He will not “have pity” nor will He hear our cries (Ezekiel 8:17-18).

Ezekiel 9 – The Vision of God’s Judgment of Jerusalem

The Tools of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 9:1-2)

Suddenly, Ezekiel heard the LORD cry out, “Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand” (Ezekiel 9:1). Six men answered the summons, “and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side” (Ezekiel 9:2).

Who were these men? I believe they were angelic beings. Each came to Jerusalem with “a slaughter weapon in his hand” (Ezekiel 9:2a). The one that was “clothed with linen” (the garment of the priesthood) also carried the tools of a scribe (“a writer’s inkhorn,” Ezekiel 9:2-3; Leviticus 16:4). I believe that man was the pre-incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14).


The LORD Removed His Shechinah Glory from the Temple (Ezekiel 9:3)

The arrival of the six who were bearing weapons of death and slaughter was marked by “the glory of the God of Israel” ascending “from the cherub” (Ezekiel 9:3). I believe that was the moment the LORD withdrew His presence from between the cherubim on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. In essence, the LORD’s mercy was departed from the Temple (Ezekiel 9:3).


The Righteous Marked for Salvation (Ezekiel 9:3-4)

The vision continued with the LORD summoning “the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side” (Ezekiel 9:3) and commanding him to go through the city and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who grieved because of “all the abominations” that were done in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4).


The Slaying of the Wicked (Ezekiel 9:5-7)

Each of the six men carried “a slaughter weapon in his hand” (Ezekiel 9:2a). They were to slay those not marked on their forehead. No one was to be spared death, except those who were marked as grieving the wickedness of the city (Ezekiel 9:6). God’s judgment began at the Temple, when the six men executed the “ancient men” who worshipped idols in the sanctuary (Ezekiel 9:6; Ezekiel 8:11-12). The bodies of the dead were left in the Temple and its rooms, and the six executioners continued to go throughout Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:7).

The Report of the Man with the Inkhorn (Ezekiel 9:11)

Ezekiel’s Intercession for Those Marked for Judgment (Ezekiel 9:8-10)

Witnessing the deaths of so many in his vision, Ezekiel fell upon his face. He cried out, “Ah Lord God! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?” (Ezekiel 9:8) The prophet wondered, LORD, will none be spared?

The LORD answered Ezekiel’s wailful cry and asserted that the wickedness of Israel and Judah was “exceeding great” (Ezekiel 9:9). The people’s sins demanded His judgment. They broke their covenant with the LORD, and “the land [was] full of blood” (murder), “and the city full of perverseness” (idolatry and adultery, Exodus 20:3-16). Yet, the elders lied and said, “The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not” (Ezekiel 9:9). The time for pity and compassion was past, and every man would bear the burden of his sin.


The Report of the Man with the Inkhorn (Ezekiel 9:11)

Ezekiel 9 concluded with a report from the “man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side” (Ezekiel 9:11). He had faithfully discharged his work and marked every man, woman, boy, and girl who would be spared God’s judgment. Amid His judgment, the LORD remembered those who were His. What a comfort to believers whose sins are marked and covered by the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18–19 – “18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”


Ezekiel 10 – The Fire of God’s Judgment and the Removal of His Glory

The scene of death and judgment recorded in Ezekiel 9 was followed by a renewed vision of heaven. A detailed study of Ezekiel 10 is unnecessary since we considered one essentially the same in Ezekiel 1:4-28. I encourage you to read Ezekiel 10 and then review our earlier study of Ezekiel 1. There, you will find an interpretation of the four cherubim and the meaning of the wheels (Ezekiel 10:14).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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