1 On the fifth day of the sixth month of the sixth year, I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah and the power of the Lord God came over me there.
2 I looked around and saw a being that looked like a man.* “Man”: Septuagint reading. Hebrew “fire.” From what seemed to be his waist downwards, he looked like fire. From what seemed to his waist upwards, he looked like brightly glowing metal. 3 He reached out what seemed to be a hand and picked me up by my hair. The Spirit took me up into the sky, and in the vision God was giving me he carried me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the Temple's inner courtyard, where the offensive idol that made God angry had been placed.
4 I saw the glory of the God of Israel there, just like I had in the vision I'd seen in the valley. 5 “Son of man,” he told me, “now look to the north.”
So I looked to the north, and in the entrance to the north of the Altar Gate I saw this idol that angered God.
6 “Son of man,” he said to me, “can you see what they are doing? Look at the disgusting sins the people of Israel are committing that are driving me far away from my sanctuary? But you're going to see even more disgusting sins than these!”
7 He took me to the entrance to the Temple courtyard. As I looked around, I saw a hole in the wall.
8 “Son of man,” he told me, “pull the wall apart.”
So I pulled the wall apart and found a doorway.
9 He told me, “Go through the wall and see the evil and disgusting things they are doing in here.”
10 So I went through the wall and saw carved images covering the walls, representing all kinds of reptiles and disgusting animals, as well as all the idols worshiped by the people of Israel. 11 Seventy elders of the house of Israel were standing in front of them, including Jaazaniah son of Shaphan. They all were holding censers, producing a sweet-smelling cloud of incense that rose above them.† This indicates that they all were officiating as priests of these pagan gods.
12 “Son of man,” he said to me, “can you see what the elders of the people of Israel are doing here in the dark, with each one worshiping in the shrine room of his own idol? This is what they're saying: ‘The Lord can't see what we're doing; besides the Lord has abandoned our country!’ ”
13 The Lord went on to tell me, “You're going to see them doing even more disgusting things than these!”
14 Then he took me to the north entrance of the Lord's Temple. I saw women sitting there, weeping for the god Tammuz.
15 “Son of man,” he said to me, “have you seen this? But you're going to see even more disgusting things than these!”
16 He took me to the inner courtyard of the Lord's Temple and right there at the entrance to the Temple, between the porch and the altar, were around twenty-five men. They had their backs to the Temple, and were facing towards the east. They were bowing in worship of the sun rising in the east.
17 “Son of man,” he said to me, “have you seen this? The people of Judah aren't content just to do these disgusting things. They also commit violent crimes across the country and keep on making me angry. Look at how they're deliberately insulting me!‡ Literally, “they put the branch to their nose.” 18 As a result I will respond in anger. I won't treat them kindly; I won't be merciful to them. Even though they shout loudly for my help, I won't listen to them.”
*8:2 “Man”: Septuagint reading. Hebrew “fire.”
†8:11 This indicates that they all were officiating as priests of these pagan gods.
‡8:17 Literally, “they put the branch to their nose.”