Ezekiel 8:4
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) The glory of the God of Israel was there.—Not the glory of the Lord filling the temple as in the days of old, but the glory “according to the vision that I saw in the plain”—i.e., the same vision which had before appeared to the prophet now in his vision—a vision within a vision—appeared to him again in the temple. The identity of the vision is again particularly mentioned in Ezekiel 10:15; Ezekiel 10:22, and even without this would be plain from the description given of it in Ezekiel 10. At the same time, various particulars are mentioned (as in Ezekiel 10:12) which were omitted in Ezekiel 1, and others are mentioned there which are omitted here, as the cloud and the firmament (Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 1:22); and there are also some entirely new features introduced, as the “six men” and “the man clothed in linen” (Ezekiel 9:2), for which there was no occasion in the former vision. “The God of Israel” is emphatic, the God who had loved and chosen Israel, and Whom Israel should have served, in contrast with the idol which they had placed in His temple.

8:1-6 The glorious personage Ezekiel beheld in vision, seemed to take hold upon him, and he was conveyed in spirit to Jerusalem. There, in the inner court of the temple, was prepared a place for some base idol. The whole was presented in vision to the prophet. If it should please God to give any man a clear view of his glory and majesty, and of all the abominations committing in any one city, he would then admit the justice of the severest punishments God should inflict thereon.The glory of the Lord having departed from His seat between the cherubims in the holy of holies (see Ezekiel 9:3) rests in the threshold of the temple, to execute vengeance before it quits the house altogether Ezekiel 10:18. The "there" in the inner court, which was "full of the brightness of the Lord'S glory" Ezekiel 10:4, and at the gate of which Ezekiel stands. 4. The Shekinah cloud of Jehovah's glory, notwithstanding the provocation of the idol, still remains in the temple, like that which Ezekiel saw "in the plain" (Eze 3:22, 23); not till Eze 10:4, 18 did it leave the temple at Jerusalem, showing the long-suffering of God, which ought to move the Jews to repentance. The glory of God: see Ezekiel 1:28 3:23.

Was there; whither he carried me, and there it showed me what I saw.

According to the vision that I saw; like that; which gave further confirmation to the prophet, and encouraged him in his work and call. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there,.... In the temple, between the cherubim, where the Shechinah or the glory of the divine Majesty dwelt; for as yet he had not removed, though provoked to it, and as he afterwards did; or he was here to destroy the idols, and both city and temple, for the idolatry of the people; or this is here mentioned, to show the baseness and wickedness of the people, that they should place an idol where the Lord himself was:

according to the vision that I saw in the plain; it was the same glorious Person he saw in the temple whom he had before seen in the plain, Ezekiel 3:22; and that was the same he had seen in the vision by the river Chebar, Ezekiel 1:3.

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw {g} in the plain.

(g) Read Eze 3:22.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. The glory of the Lord was that seen by the prophet at the Chebar (ch. 1). This glory expressed the prophet’s conception of Jehovah. And this Jehovah is here, in contrast with the deities worshipped by the people, and beholding their worship.Verses 4, 5. - And, behold, etc. In appalling contrast with that "image of jealousy," Ezekiel saw what he had not seen, as he first became conscious that he was in the court of the temple - the vision of the Divine glory, such as he had seen it on the banks of Chebar (Ezekiel 1:4-28). He was to look first on this picture and then on that, and the guilt of Judah was measured by that contrast. Third strophe

Thus will they fall into irresistible destruction; even their silver and gold they will not rescue, but will cast it away as useless, and leave it for the enemy. - Ezekiel 7:15. The sword without, and pestilence and famine within: he who is in the field will die by the sword; and famine and pestilence will devour him that is in the city. Ezekiel 7:16. And if their escaped ones escape, they will be upon the mountains like the doves of the valleys, all moaning, every one for his iniquity. Ezekiel 7:17. All hands will become feeble, and all knees flow with water. Ezekiel 7:18. They will gird themselves with sackcloth, and terrors will cover them; on all faces there will be shame, and baldness on all their heads. Ezekiel 7:19. They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be as filth to them. Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them in the day of Jehovah's wrath; they will not satisfy their souls therewith, nor fill their stomachs thereby, for it was to them a stumbling-block to guilt. Ezekiel 7:20. And His beautiful ornament, they used it for pride; and their abominable images, their abominations they made thereof: therefore I make it filth to them. Ezekiel 7:21. And I shall give it into the hand of foreigners for prey, and to the wicked of the earth for spoil, that they may defile it. Ezekiel 7:22. I shall turn my face from them, that they defile my treasure; and oppressors shall come upon it and defile it. - The chastisement of God penetrates everywhere (Ezekiel 7:15 compare with Ezekiel 5:12); even flight to the mountains, that are inaccessible to the foe (compare 1 Macc. 2:28; Matthew 24:16), will only bring misery. Those who have fled to the mountains will coo - i.e., mourn, moan - like the doves of the valleys, which (as Bochart has correctly interpreted the simile in his Hieroz. II. p. 546, ed. Ros.), "when alarmed by the bird-catcher or the hawk, are obliged to forsake their natural abode, and fly elsewhere to save their lives. The mountain doves are contrasted with those of the valleys, as wild with tame." In כּלּם המות the figure and the fact are fused together. The words actually relate to the men who have fled; whereas the gender of המות is made to agree with that of כּיוני. The cooing of doves was regarded by the ancients as a moan (hâgâh), a mournful note (for proofs, see Gesen. on Isaiah 38:14); for which Ezekiel uses the still stronger expression hâmâh fremere, to howl or growl (cf. Isaiah 59:11). The low moaning has reference to their iniquity, the punishment of which they are enduring. When the judgment bursts upon them, they will all (not merely those who have escaped, but the whole nation) be overwhelmed with terror, shame, and suffering. The words, "all knees flow with water" (for hâlak in this sense, compare Joel 4:18), are a hyperbolical expression used to denote the entire loss of the strength of the knees (here, Ezekiel 7:17 and Ezekiel 21:12), like the heart melting and turning to water in Joshua 7:5. With this utter despair there are associated grief and horror at the calamity that has fallen upon them, and shame and pain at the thought of the sins that have plunged them into such distress. For כּסּתה פלּצוּת, compare Psalm 55:6; for אל־כּל־פנים בּוּשׁה, Micah 7:10; Jeremiah 51:51; and for קרחה 'בּכל־ראשׁ, Isaiah 15:2; Amos 8:10. On the custom of shaving the head bald on account of great suffering or deep sorrow, see the comm. on Micah 1:16.

In this state of anguish they will throw all their treasures away as sinful trash (Ezekiel 7:19.). By the silver and gold which they will throw away (Ezekiel 7:19), we are not to understand idolatrous images particularly - these are first spoken of in Ezekiel 7:20 - but the treasures of precious metals on which they had hitherto set their hearts. They will not merely throw these away as worthless, but look upon them as niddâh, filth, an object of disgust, inasmuch as they have been the servants of their evil lust. The next clause, "silver and gold cannot rescue them," are a reminiscence from Zephaniah 1:18. But Ezekiel gives greater force to the thought by adding, "they will not appease their hunger therewith," - that is to say, they will not be able to protect their lives thereby, either from the sword of the enemy (see the comm. on Zephaniah 1:18) or from death by starvation, because there will be no more food to purchase within the besieged city. The clause 'כּי assigns the reason for that which forms the leading thought of the verse, namely, the throwing away of the silver and gold as filth; מכשׁול עונם, a stumbling-block through which one falls into guilt and punishment; צבי עדיו, the beauty of his ornament, i.e., his beautiful ornament. The allusion is to the silver and gold; and the singular suffix is to be explained from the fact that the prophet fixed his mind upon the people as a whole, and used the singular in a general and indefinite sense. The words are written absolutely at the commencement of the sentence; hence the suffix attached to שׂמהוּ, Jerome has given the true meaning of the words: "what I((God) gave for an ornament of the possessors and for their wealth, they turned into pride." And not merely to ostentatious show (in the manner depicted in Isaiah 3:16.), but to abominable images, i.e., idols, did they apply the costly gifts of God (cf. Hosea 8:4; Hosea 13:2). עשׂה, to make of (gold and silver); ב denoting the material with which one works and of which anything is made (as in Exodus 31:4; Exodus 38:8). God punishes this abuse by making it (gold and silver) into niddâh to them, i.e., according to v. 19, by placing them in such circumstances that they cast it away as filth, and (v. 21) by giving it as booty to the foe. The enemy is described as "the wicked of the earth" (cf. Psalm 75:9), i.e., godless men, who not only seize upon the possession of Israel, but in the most wicked manner lay hands upon all that is holy, and defile it. The Chetib חלּלוּה is to be retained, notwithstanding the fact that it was preceded by a masculine suffix. What is threatened will take place, because the Lord will turn away His face from His people (מהם, from the Israelites), i.e., will withdraw His gracious protection from them, so that the enemy will be able to defile His treasure. Tsâphuun, that which is hidden, the treasure (Job 20:26; Obadiah 1:6). Tsephuunii is generally supposed to refer to the temple, or the Most Holy Place in the temple. Jerome renders it arcanum meum, and gives this explanation: "signifying the Holy of Holies, which no one except the priests and the high priest dared to enter." This interpretation was so commonly adopted by the Fathers, that even Theodoret explains the rendering given in the Septuagint, τὴν ἐπισκοπήν μου, as signifying the Most Holy Place in the temple. On the other hand, the Chaldee has ארעא בּית שׁכינתי, "the land of the house of my majesty;" and Calvin understands it as signifying "the land which was safe under His (i.e., God's) protection." But it is difficult to reconcile either explanation with the use of the word tsâphuun. The verb tsâphan signifies to hide, shelter, lay up in safety. These meanings do not befit either the Holy of Holies in the temple or the land of Israel. It is true that the Holy of Holies was unapproachable by the laity, and even by the ordinary priests, but it was not a secret, a hidden place; and still less was this the case with the land of Canaan.We therefore adhere to the meaning, which is so thoroughly sustained by Job 20:26 and Obadiah 1:6 - namely, "treasure," by which, no doubt, the temple-treasure is primarily intended. This rendering suits the context, as only treasures have been referred to before; and it may be made to harmonize with בּאוּ בהּ which follows. בּוא ב signifies not merely intrare in locum, but also venire in (e.g., 2 Kings 6:23; possibly Ezekiel 30:4), and may therefore be very properly rendered, "to get possession of," since it is only possible to obtain possession of a treasure by penetrating into the place where it is laid up or concealed. There is nothing at variance with this in the word חלּל, profanare, since it has already occurred in Ezekiel 7:21 in connection with the defiling of treasures and jewels. Moreover, as Calvin has correctly observed, the word is employed here to denote "an indiscriminate abuse, when, instead of considering to what purpose things have been entrusted to us, we squander them rashly and without selection, in contempt and even in scorn."

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