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Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 8

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

1It came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth [month], on the fifth of the month, that I was sitting in my house, and the elders of Judea were sitting before me, and the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there.   אוַיְהִ֣י | בַּשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשִּׁשִּׁ֗ית בַּשִּׁשִּׁי֙ בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁ֣ה לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ אֲנִי֙ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בְּבֵיתִ֔י וְזִקְנֵ֥י יְהוּדָ֖ה יֽוֹשְׁבִ֣ים לְפָנָ֑י וַתִּפֹּ֚ל עָלַי֙ שָׁ֔ם יַ֖ד אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִֽה:
in the sixth year: of the exile of Jeconiah.  
2And I saw, and behold, a likeness like the appearance of fire; from the appearance of its loins and below-fire, and from its loins and above-like an appearance of splendor, like the color of chashmal.   בוָֽאֶרְאֶ֗ה וְהִנֵּ֚ה דְמוּת֙ כְּמַרְאֵה־אֵ֔שׁ מִמַּרְאֵ֥ה מָתְנָ֛יו וּלְמַ֖טָּה אֵ֑שׁ וּמִמָּתְנָ֣יו וּלְמַ֔עְלָה כְּמַרְאֵה־זֹ֖הַר כְּעֵ֥ין הַֽחַשְׁמַֽלָה:
from the appearance of its loins, etc.: It is forbidden to reflect on this verse.  
3And it stretched out a form of a hand, and it took me by a lock of my hair, and a wind picked me up between the earth and between the heaven, and it brought me to Jerusalem in the visions of God, to the entrance of the inner gate that faces north, whereat was the seat of the image of jealousy that provokes jealousy   גוַיִּשְׁלַח֙ תַּבְנִ֣ית יָ֔ד וַיִּקָּחֵ֖נִי בְּצִיצִ֣ת רֹאשִׁ֑י וַתִּשָּׂ֣א אֹתִ֣י ר֣וּחַ | בֵּֽין־הָאָ֣רֶץ וּבֵֽין־הַשָּׁמַ֡יִם וַתָּבֵא֩ אֹתִ֨י יְרֽוּשָׁלְַ֜מָה בְּמַרְא֣וֹת אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֶל־פֶּ֜תַח שַׁ֚עַר הַפְּנִימִית֙ הַפּוֹנֶ֣ה צָפ֔וֹנָה אֲשֶֽׁר־שָׁ֣ם מוֹשַׁ֔ב סֵ֖מֶל הַקִּנְאָ֥ה הַמַּקְנֶֽה:
by a lock of my hair: Heb. צִיצִיתרֹאשִּׁי [lit. fringes of my head.] By the hair of my head, flozel in Old French, a lock of hair.  
in the visions of God: He showed me [a vision looking] as if He were carrying me and bringing me to Jerusalem.  
the inner gate that faces north: The gate to the court, which is within the Temple Mount, [and] which had gates to all its sides.  
the image of jealousy: The image of jealousy would make the Holy One, blessed be He, jealous and provoke Him, for they put it there to make the Holy One, blessed be He, jealous; to anger Him, and so did Jonathan render: the image of jealousy, which they provoked.  
4And behold, there was the glory of the God of Israel, like the appearance that I saw in the plain.   דוְהִ֨נֵּה־שָׁ֔ם כְּב֖וֹד אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כַּמַּרְאֶ֕ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר רָאִ֖יתִי בַּבִּקְעָֽה:
5Then He said to me, "Now lift your eyes northward," and I lifted my eyes northward, and behold from the north of the gate of the altar was this image of jealousy at the entrance.   הוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם שָׂא־נָ֥א עֵינֶ֖יךָ דֶּ֣רֶךְ צָפ֑וֹנָה וָֽאֶשָּׂ֚א עֵינַי֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ צָפ֔וֹנָה וְהִנֵּ֚ה מִצָּפוֹן֙ לְשַׁ֣עַר הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ סֵ֛מֶל הַקִּנְאָ֥ה הַזֶּ֖ה בַּבִּאָֽה:
“Now lift your eyes northward”: Toward the Temple Mount, outside the court. For he [already] was standing outside the northern entrance of the court, and north of the gate is [farther] outside the court.  
from the north of the gate of the altar: On the Temple Mount, from the north of that northern gate of the court, and I say that that gate was exactly in line with the gate of the altar.  
at the entrance: Heb. בַּבִאָה. When a person comes to enter the court, he finds it there; a l’entree in French, at the entrance.  
6And He said to me, "Do you see what they are doing? The great abominations that the house of Israel is doing here are to cause Me to distance Myself from upon My sanctuary; and you will yet return and see great abominations."   ווַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם הֲרֹאֶ֥ה אַתָּ֖ה מָ֣ה הֵ֣ם (כתיב מָ֣הֵ֣ם) עֹשִׂ֑ים תּֽוֹעֵב֨וֹת גְּדֹל֜וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל | עֹשִׂ֣ים פֹּ֗ה לְרָֽחֳקָה֙ מֵעַ֣ל מִקְדָּשִׁ֔י וְעוֹד֙ תָּשׁ֣וּב תִּרְאֶ֔ה תּֽוֹעֵב֖וֹת גְּדֹלֽוֹת:
to cause Me to distance Myself from My sanctuary: In order that I distance Myself from My sanctuary.  
7Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and I saw, and behold, a hole in the wall.   זוַיָּבֵ֥א אֹתִ֖י אֶל־פֶּ֣תַח הֶֽחָצֵ֑ר וָֽאֶרְאֶ֕ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה חֹר־אֶחָ֖ד בַּקִּֽיר:
to the entrance of the court: He brought me up until the entrance of that very gate.  
a hole in the wall: The wall of the court.  
8And He said to me, "Son of man, dig now in the wall," and I dug in the wall, and behold, an entrance.   חוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י בֶּן־אָדָ֖ם חֲתָר־נָ֣א בַקִּ֑יר וָֽאֶחְתֹּ֣ר בַּקִּ֔יר וְהִנֵּ֖ה פֶּ֥תַח אֶחָֽד:
dig now in the wall: and widen the hole.  
and behold an entrance: Through the hole, I saw the entrance of one chamber.  
9And He said to me, "Come and see the evil abominations that they are doing here."   טוַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלָ֑י בֹּ֚א וּרְאֵה֙ אֶת־הַתּֽוֹעֵב֣וֹת הָֽרָע֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֛ר הֵ֥ם עֹשִׂ֖ים פֹּֽה:
10And I came and saw, and behold, every form of creeping thing and animal of detestation and all the idols of the house of Israel, engraved on the wall around and around!   יוָֽאָבוֹא֘ וָֽאֶרְאֶה֒ וְהִנֵּ֨ה כָל־תַּבְנִ֜ית רֶ֚מֶשׂ וּבְהֵמָה֙ שֶׁ֔קֶץ וְכָל־גִּלּוּלֵ֖י בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל מְחֻקֶּ֥ה עַל־הַקִּ֖יר סָבִ֥יב | סָבִֽיב:
of detestation: Made for the detestation of idolatry.  
engraved: Heb. מְחֻקֶה, engraved on the wall.  
11And seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan was standing among them, standing before them, and each man with his censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense was ascending.   יאוְשִׁבְעִ֣ים אִ֣ישׁ מִזִּקְנֵ֣י בֵֽית־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵל וְיַֽאֲזַנְיָ֨הוּ בֶן־שָׁפָ֜ן עֹמֵ֚ד בְּתוֹכָם֙ עֹֽמְדִ֣ים לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וְאִ֥ישׁ מִקְטַרְתּ֖וֹ בְּיָד֑וֹ וַֽעֲתַ֥ר עֲנַֽן־הַקְּטֹ֖רֶת עֹלֶֽה:
and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan: He was of high esteem, and his generation was learning from him; therefore, He took particular offense at him.  
and a thick cloud of incense: Heb. עֲתַר, thick. The ascent of the smoke of the cloud of the incense [was thick]. The word עַתַר denotes immensity, and so (35:13): “and have magnified (הַעְתַּרְתֶּם) your words against Me,” and so (Prov. 27:6): “whereas kisses of an enemy are burdensome (נַעְתָּרוֹת).” Menachem (p. 140) grouped all three under one heading and they all denote an idea of thickness, but each one is an independent expression.  
12And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each one in his paved chambers? For they say, 'The Lord does not see us; the Lord has left the earth.' "   יבוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַי֘ הֲרָאִ֣יתָ בֶן־אָדָם֒ אֲשֶׁ֨ר זִקְנֵ֚י בֵֽית־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּחֹ֔שֶׁךְ אִ֖ישׁ בְּחַדְרֵ֣י מַשְׂכִּית֑וֹ כִּ֣י אֹֽמְרִ֗ים אֵ֚ין יְהֹוָה֙ רֹאֶ֣ה אֹתָ֔נוּ עָזַ֥ב יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ:
in his paved chambers: Heb. מַשְּׂכִּיתוֹ. Covered with a floor of marble. An expression related to (Exod. 32:22): “and I will cover (וְשֲּׂכֹּתִי) you with My hand.”  
13And He said to me, "You will yet see again greater abominations that they are doing."   יגוַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלָ֑י ע֣וֹד תָּשׁ֥וּב תִּרְאֶ֛ה תּֽוֹעֵב֥וֹת גְּדֹל֖וֹת אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֥מָּה עֹשִֽׂים:
14And He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the house of the Lord that is to the north, and behold there the women were sitting, making the Tammuz weep.   ידוַיָּבֵ֣א אֹתִ֗י אֶל־פֶּ֙תַח֙ שַׁ֣עַר בֵּית־יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֶל־הַצָּפ֑וֹנָה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם֙ הַנָּשִׁ֣ים יֹֽשְׁב֔וֹת מְבַכּ֖וֹת אֶת־הַתַּמּֽוּז:
to the entrance of the gate of the house of the Lord: Within the inner space of the courtyard [that led] to the entrance of the heichal that is in the north, for the master [R. Jose the son] taught: Two wickets were in the Temple chamber for the knives, one in the north and one in the south (see Zev. 55b, 56a).  
making the Tammuz weep: There was an image that they would heat up from the inside, and its eyes, which were of lead, would melt from the heat of the fire, and it would appear as though it was weeping, and they would say, “It is asking for an offering.” “Tammuz” is an expression of heating, like (Dan. 3: 19): “more than it was wont to be heated (לְמֵזְיֵהּ) ” ; (ibid. 22), “and the furnace exceedingly hot (אֵזֵהּ).” Making the Tammuz cry is fesant plorer la chalfez in Old French; making the heated [god] weep.  
15And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man? You will yet see again greater abominations than these."   טווַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלַ֖י הֲרָאִ֣יתָ בֶן־אָדָ֑ם ע֣וֹד תָּשׁ֥וּב תִּרְאֶ֛ה תּֽוֹעֵב֥וֹת גְּדֹל֖וֹת מֵאֵֽלֶּה:
16And He brought me to the inner court of the house of the Lord, and behold, at the entrance of the Temple of the Lord between the porch and the altar, about twenty- five men, their backs to the Temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were prostrating themselves eastward to the sun.   טזוַיָּבֵ֣א אֹתִ֗י אֶל־חֲצַ֣ר בֵּֽית־יְהֹוָה֘ הַפְּנִימִית֒ וְהִנֵּה־פֶ֜תַח הֵיכַ֣ל יְהֹוָ֗ה בֵּ֚ין הָֽאוּלָם֙ וּבֵ֣ין הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ כְּעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וַֽחֲמִשָּׁ֖ה אִ֑ישׁ אֲחֹ֨רֵיהֶ֜ם אֶל־הֵיכַ֚ל יְהֹוָה֙ וּפְנֵיהֶ֣ם קֵ֔דְמָה וְהֵ֛מָּה מִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִיתֶ֥ם קֵ֖דְמָה לַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ:
And He brought me to the inner court of the house of the Lord: This is the Temple court, for the Temple Mount is called the outer court, and until now that is where he [already] had been standing, except that he had entered the northern gate when He showed him the image of the Tammuz in the chamber of the knives. Then He brought him to the east, [to stand] before the Temple and the altar.  
and their faces toward the east: From the implication of the statement, “and their faces toward the east,” I [already] know that “ their backs were toward the Temple,” but [Scripture] tells us that their posteriors were exposed, for they would uncover themselves and excrete downward.  
and they were prostrating themselves: Heb. מִשְּׁתַּחֲוִיתֶם. This serves as two words, an expression of destruction (הַשְּׁחָתָה) and an expression of prostrating oneself (הִשְּׁתַּחֲוָיָה). So it is in Yerushalmi (Suc. 5:5, see Korban Ha’edah): “They were destroying the Temple and bowing to the sun.” Jonathan, too, rendered in that manner: and they were destroying and bowing.“ Menachem (p. 171) classified it as an expression of bending down, like (Isa. 51:23): ” Bend down (שְּׁחִי) and let us cross."  
17And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man? Was it [too] trivial to the house of Judah to prevent them from performing the abominations that they have done here? For they have [already] filled the land with violence, and repeatedly provoked Me, and behold they send disgrace into their nose.   יזוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַי֘ הֲרָאִ֣יתָ בֶן־אָדָם֒ הֲנָקֵל֙ לְבֵ֣ית יְהוּדָ֔ה מֵֽעֲשׂ֕וֹת אֶת־הַתּֽוֹעֵב֖וֹת אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשׂוּ־פֹ֑ה כִּי־מָֽלְא֨וּ אֶת־הָאָ֜רֶץ חָמָ֗ס וַיָּשֻׁ֙בוּ֙ לְהַכְעִיסֵ֔נִי וְהִנָּ֛ם שֹֽׁלְחִ֥ים אֶת־הַזְּמוֹרָ֖ה אֶל־אַפָּֽם:
Was it [too] trivial to the house of Judah: Is it trivial and light in their eyes, the other sins that they have committed?  
to prevent them from performing the abominations: that they should refrain from doing all the abominations that they have done in My house here?  
for they have [already] filled the land with violence: and that that iniquity is trivial in their eyes, and they repeatedly provoke Me within My house with these abominations.  
and behold they send disgrace into their nose: Behold they send to their nose the foul odor of this “song,” which they “sing” with the wind emerging from their anus; i.e., this disgrace of theirs will come back to their faces. Menachem (p. 79) explained: “and behold they send the disgrace into their nose” is a matter of disgrace and shame; and according to his explanation, He compares the aroma of their censers and (Ezek. 20:28) “the anger of their sacrifices” and (ibid.) “their pleasant aroma” to the work of the disgrace of the orifices.“Their backs to the Temple of the Lord” implies this idea.  
18I too, shall act with fury; My eyes will not spare, neither will I have pity, and they will call into My ears with a loud voice, but I shall not listen to them."   יחוְגַם־אֲנִי֙ אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֣ה בְחֵמָ֔ה לֹֽא־תָח֥וֹס עֵינִ֖י וְלֹ֣א אֶחְמ֑וֹל וְקָֽרְא֚וּ בְאָזְנַי֙ ק֣וֹל גָּד֔וֹל וְלֹ֥א אֶשְׁמַ֖ע אוֹתָֽם:
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