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CHAPTER 8 Sep. 12 
Temple Idolatry
In the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house and the elders of Judah sat before me, the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell there on me. 2Then I saw, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of fire; from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, as the appearance of brightness, as it were glowing metal. 3He 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 sky and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the inner court that looks toward the north; where there was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. 4The glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the appearance that I saw in the plain. 5Then He said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now to the road that leads toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes toward the northern road, and behold, northward of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy was in the entry. 6He said to me, Son of man, do you see what they do, even the great abominations that the house of Israel do commit here, so that I should go far away from My sanctuary? But you shall again see other, greater abominations. 7He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall. 8Then He said to me, Son of man, dig now through the wall; and when I had dug through the wall, behold, a door. 9He said to me, Go in, and see the wicked abominations that they do here. 10So I went in and saw; and behold, every form of creeping thing and abominable animals and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed around on the wall. 11There stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel; and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and the odour of the cloud of incense went up. 12Then He said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, every man in his rooms of images? They say, ‘Yahweh doesn’t see us; Yahweh has forsaken the land’. 13He said also to me, You shall again see more, greater abominations which they do. 14Then He brought me to the door of the gate of Yahweh’s house which was toward the north; and see, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. 15Then He said to me, Have you seen this, son of man? You shall again see greater abominations than these. 16He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house; and there, at the door of Yahweh’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs toward Yahweh’s temple, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east. 17Then He said to me, Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial 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 turned again to provoke Me to anger; and behold, they put the branch to their nose. 18Therefore will I also deal with them in anger; My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.


8:3 Which provokes to jealousy- Any form of idolatry provokes God to jealousy. The vast extent of His love for us means that any unfaithfulness provokes His feelings of jealousy; love and jealousy are in this sense part of the same thing.
8:12- see on 2:4-6. It seems that righteousness goes unrewarded and sin goes unpunished. This is a very strong impression to the surface level view of things as they currently are. Those who thought in their hearts that “Yahweh doesn’t see” likely never said that in so many words. But their persistence in sin, like ours today, arose from a disbelief in practice that God does in fact see and know all things. They thought that “the Lord will not do good, nor will He do ill” (Zeph. 1:12); “my way is hidden from the Lord” (Is. 29:15; 40:27). This of course is the attitude with which we daily live. The question is, will we perceive it as the prophets did, and live with the belief that God is in fact intently watching us, 24/7?
8:13 Amongst God’s people, some sins are “greater abomination” than others . Even amongst the Gentiles, God sees some as sinning more than others (7:24). This doesn’t mean that the ‘smaller’ ones don’t count. But it reflects God’s great sensitivity to human behaviour. The varying scale of sacrifices for various sins reflects this too. The Lord Jesus spoke of the man with “greater sin” (Jn. 19:11), and of other men who owed varying amounts to the Father. God's eye did not spare or pity Israel, because they thought that sin was a light thing to Him (:17,18). They thus insulted His essential nature.