[Ezekiel 8:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THE SIXTH YEAR,
IN THE SIXTH MONTH, IN THE FIFTH DAY OF THE MONTH, AS I SAT IN MINE HOUSE,
AND THE ELDERS OF JUDAH SAT BEFORE ME, THAT THE HAND OF THE LORD GOD FELL
THERE UPON ME.
[Ezekiel 8:2] THEN I BEHELD, AND LO A LIKENESS AS THE
APPEARANCE OF FIRE: FROM THE APPEARANCE OF HIS LOINS EVEN DOWNWARD, FIRE;
AND FROM HIS LOINS EVEN UPWARD, AS THE APPEARANCE OF BRIGHTNESS, AS THE COLOUR
[Ezekiel 8:3] AND HE PUT FORTH THE FORM OF AN HAND,
AND TOOK ME BY A LOCK OF MINE HEAD; AND THE SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP BETWEEN THE
EARTH AND THE HEAVEN, AND BROUGHT ME IN THE VISIONS OF GOD TO JERUSALEM,
TO THE DOOR OF THE INNER GATE THAT LOOKETH TOWARD THE NORTH; WHERE WAS THE
SEAT OF THE IMAGE OF JEALOUSY, WHICH PROVOKETH TO JEALOUSY.
[Ezekiel 8:4] AND, BEHOLD, THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WAS THERE, ACCORDING TO THE VISION THAT I SAW IN THE PLAIN.
[Ezekiel 8:5] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, LIFT
UP THINE EYES NOW THE WAY TOWARD THE NORTH. SO I LIFTED UP MINE EYES THE
WAY TOWARD THE NORTH, AND BEHOLD NORTHWARD AT THE GATE OF THE ALTAR THIS
IMAGE OF JEALOUSY IN THE ENTRY.
[Ezekiel 8:6] HE SAID FURTHERMORE UNTO
ME, SON OF MAN, SEEST THOU WHAT THEY DO? EVEN THE GREAT ABOMINATIONS THAT
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL COMMITTETH HERE, THAT I SHOULD GO FAR OFF FROM MY SANCTUARY?
BUT TURN THEE YET AGAIN, AND THOU SHALT SEE GREATER ABOMINATIONS.
[Ezekiel 8:7] AND HE BROUGHT ME TO THE DOOR OF THE COURT; AND WHEN I LOOKED, BEHOLD A HOLE IN THE WALL.
[Ezekiel 8:8] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, DIG NOW IN THE WALL: AND WHEN I HAD DIGGED IN THE WALL, BEHOLD A DOOR.
[Ezekiel 8:9] AND HE SAID UNTO ME, GO IN, AND BEHOLD THE WICKED ABOMINATIONS THAT THEY DO HERE.
[Ezekiel 8:10] SO I WENT IN AND SAW; AND BEHOLD EVERY FORM OF CREEPING THINGS,
AND ABOMINABLE BEASTS, AND ALL THE IDOLS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, PORTRAYED
UPON THE WALL ROUND ABOUT.
[Ezekiel 8:11] AND THERE STOOD BEFORE THEM SEVENTY MEN OF THE ANCIENTS OF
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND IN THE MIDST OF THEM STOOD JAAZANIAH THE SON OF
SHAPHAN, WITH EVERY MAN HIS CENSER IN HIS HAND; AND A THICK CLOUD OF INCENSE
[Ezekiel 8:12] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, HAST
THOU SEEN WHAT THE ANCIENTS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL DO IN THE DARK, EVERY
MAN IN THE CHAMBERS OF HIS IMAGERY? FOR THEY SAY, THE LORD SEETH US NOT;
THE LORD HATH FORSAKEN THE EARTH.
Ezekiel is describing a secret
ceremony conducted in the Temple by seventy leading members of the people.
Jeremiah and the other prophets who were in Jerusalem at the time, and better
acquainted with the upper echelons of society than Ezekiel was, knew nothing
of this. Ezekiel is speaking about "THE ANCIENTS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL".
The possibility arises that no such event really took place but it is all
a vision whose pertinence was applicable to the distant future.
[Ezekiel 8:13] HE SAID ALSO UNTO ME, TURN THEE YET AGAIN, AND THOU SHALT SEE GREATER ABOMINATIONS THAT THEY DO.
[Ezekiel 8:14] THEN HE BROUGHT ME TO THE DOOR OF THE GATE OF THE LORD'S HOUSE
WHICH WAS TOWARD THE NORTH; AND, BEHOLD, THERE SAT WOMEN WEEPING FOR TAMMUZ.
[Ezekiel 8:15] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, HAST THOU SEEN THIS, O SON OF MAN? TURN
THEE YET AGAIN, AND THOU SHALT SEE GREATER ABOMINATIONS THAN THESE.
[Ezekiel 8:16] AND HE BROUGHT ME INTO THE INNER COURT
OF THE LORD'S HOUSE, AND, BEHOLD, AT THE DOOR OF THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD,
BETWEEN THE PORCH AND THE ALTAR, WERE ABOUT FIVE AND TWENTY MEN, WITH THEIR
BACKS TOWARD THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, AND THEIR FACES TOWARD THE EAST; AND
THEY WORSHIPPED THE SUN TOWARD THE EAST.
[Ezekiel 8:17] THEN HE SAID
UNTO ME, HAST THOU SEEN THIS, O SON OF MAN? IS IT A LIGHT 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 RETURNED TO PROVOKE ME TO ANGER:
AND, LO, THEY PUT THE BRANCH TO THEIR NOSE.
[Ezekiel 8:18] THEREFORE WILL I ALSO DEAL IN FURY: MINE EYE SHALL NOT SPARE,
NEITHER WILL I HAVE PITY: AND THOUGH THEY CRY IN MINE EARS WITH A LOUD VOICE,
YET WILL I NOT HEAR THEM.
Ezekiel saw the Israelites worshipping Tammuz in Jerusalem. Who was
Tammuz? The pagans of the Middle East (such as those of Assyria) had the
practice when things went wrong of killing their king to atone for their
sins. Later a substitute would be found, made king for a day and put to death.
I put 'Tammuz' in a search engine on the net and these are some of the answers
I came up with: Tammuz, Babylonian God Of Vegetation. TAMMUZ was an ancient
nature deity worshipped in Babylonia. A god of agriculture and flocks, he
personified the creative powers of spring. He was loved by the fertility
goddess Ishtar, who, according to one legend was so grief-stricken at his
death, that she contrived to enter the underworld to get him back. According
to another legend, she killed him and later restored him to life. These legends
and his festival, which took place in the early Spring, commemorating the
yearly death and rebirth of vegetation, corresponded to the festivals of
the Phoenician and Greek Adonis and of the Phrygian Attis. The Sumerian name
of Tammuz was Dumuzi. The fullest history extant of this saviour is probably
that of Ctesias (400 BC), author of Persika. The poet has perpetuated his
memory in rhyme. Trust, ye saints, your Lord restored, Trust ye in your risen
Lord; For the pains which Tammuz endured our salvation have procured. Tammuz
was crucified as an atonement offering: Trust ye in God, for out of his loins
salvation has come unto us . Julius Firmicus speaks of this God rising from
the dead for the salvation of the world. Tammuz (Ezek. 8:14) is equivalent
to Osiris (Hay-Tau) in Egypt and Adonis [Greek Adonis, from Phoenician adon,
lord]. Osiris is Dionysus in the Greek tongue, and the Roman Bacchus. Tammuz
was killed by a wild boar while shepherding his flocks. His wife rescued
him from the underworld. His death was taken to represent the onset of winter.
The Adonis Cult parallels Dumuzi, Tammuz, and Attis. When the Israelites
were about to conquer the land of Canaan God warned them not to copy the
ways of the nations they were about to drive out but the Israelites did so.
[Deuteronomy 12:29] WHEN THE LORD THY GOD SHALL
CUT OFF THE NATIONS FROM BEFORE THEE, WHITHER THOU GOEST TO POSSESS THEM,
AND THOU SUCCEEDEST THEM, AND DWELLEST IN THEIR LAND;
[Deuteronomy 12:30] TAKE HEED TO THYSELF THAT THOU BE NOT SNARED BY FOLLOWING
THEM, AFTER THAT THEY BE DESTROYED FROM BEFORE THEE; AND THAT THOU ENQUIRE
NOT AFTER THEIR GODS, SAYING, HOW DID THESE NATIONS SERVE THEIR GODS? EVEN
SO WILL I DO LIKEWISE.
[Deuteronomy 12:31] THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE LORD THY GOD: FOR EVERY
ABOMINATION TO THE LORD, WHICH HE HATETH, HAVE THEY DONE UNTO THEIR GODS;
FOR EVEN THEIR SONS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS THEY HAVE BURNT IN THE FIRE TO THEIR
Why were the Ten Tribes exiled? because they worshipped other gods,
practiced paganism and also applied pagan notions to the God of Israel.
[2-Kings 17:1] IN THE TWELFTH YEAR OF AHAZ KING
OF JUDAH BEGAN HOSHEA THE SON OF ELAH TO REIGN IN SAMARIA OVER ISRAEL NINE
[2-Kings 17:2] AND HE DID THAT WHICH WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, BUT NOT AS THE KINGS OF ISRAEL THAT WERE BEFORE HIM.
[2-Kings 17:3] AGAINST HIM CAME UP SHALMANESER KING OF ASSYRIA; AND HOSHEA BECAME HIS SERVANT, AND GAVE HIM PRESENTS.
[2-Kings 17:4] AND THE KING OF ASSYRIA FOUND CONSPIRACY IN HOSHEA: FOR HE
HAD SENT MESSENGERS TO SO KING OF EGYPT, AND BROUGHT NO PRESENT TO THE KING
OF ASSYRIA, ASHE HAD DONE YEAR BY YEAR: THEREFORE THE KING OF ASSYRIA SHUT
HIM UP, AND BOUND HIM IN PRISON.
[2-Kings 17:5] THEN THE KING OF ASSYRIA CAME UP THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND, AND WENT UP TO SAMARIA, AND BESIEGED IT THREE YEARS.
[2-Kings 17:6] IN THE NINTH YEAR OF HOSHEA THE KING OF ASSYRIA TOOK SAMARIA,
AND CARRIED ISRAEL AWAY INTO ASSYRIA, AND PLACED THEM IN HALAH AND IN HABOR
BY THE RIVER OF GOZAN, AND IN THE CITIES OF THE MEDES.
[2-Kings 17:7] FOR SO IT WAS, THAT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HAD SINNED AGAINST
THE LORD THEIR GOD, WHICH HAD BROUGHT THEM UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, FROM
UNDER THE HAND OF PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT, AND HAD FEARED OTHER GODS,
[2-Kings 17:8] AND WALKED IN THE STATUTES OF THE HEATHEN, WHOM THE LORD
CAST OUT FROM BEFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL,
WHICH THEY HAD MADE.
[2-Kings 17:9] AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID SECRETLY THOSE THINGS THAT
WERE NOT RIGHT AGAINST THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND THEY BUILT THEM HIGH PLACES
IN ALL THEIR CITIES, FROM THE TOWER OF THE WATCHMEN TO THE FENCED CITY.
[2-Kings 17:10] AND THEY SET THEM UP IMAGES AND GROVES IN EVERY HIGH HILL, AND UNDER EVERY GREEN TREE:
[2-Kings 17:11] AND THERE THEY BURNT INCENSE IN ALL THE HIGH PLACES, AS
DID THE HEATHEN WHOM THE LORD CARRIED AWAY BEFORE THEM; AND WROUGHT WICKED
THINGS TO PROVOKE THE LORD TO ANGER:
[2-Kings 17:12] FOR THEY SERVED IDOLS, WHEREOF THE LORD HAD SAID UNTO THEM, YE SHALL NOT DO THIS THING.
[2-Kings 17:13] YET THE LORD TESTIFIED AGAINST ISRAEL, AND AGAINST JUDAH,
BY ALL THE PROPHETS, AND BY ALL THE SEERS, SAYING, TURN YE FROM YOUR EVIL
WAYS, AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY STATUTES, ACCORDING TO ALL THE LAW
WHICH I COMMANDED YOUR FATHERS, AND WHICH I SENT TO YOU BY MY SERVANTS THE
[2-Kings 17:14] NOTWITHSTANDING THEY WOULD NOT HEAR, BUT HARDENED THEIR
NECKS, LIKE TO THE NECK OF THEIR FATHERS, THAT DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE LORD
[2-Kings 17:15] AND THEY REJECTED HIS STATUTES, AND HIS COVENANT THAT HE
MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS, AND HIS TESTIMONIES WHICH HE TESTIFIED AGAINST THEM;
AND THEY FOLLOWED VANITY, AND BECAME VAIN, AND WENT AFTER THE HEATHEN
THAT WERE ROUND ABOUT THEM, CONCERNING WHOM THE LORD HAD CHARGED THEM, THAT THEY SHOULD NOT DO LIKE THEM.
[2-Kings 17:16] AND THEY LEFT ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD THEIR GOD,
AND MADE THEM MOLTEN IMAGES, EVEN TWO CALVES, AND MADE A GROVE, AND WORSHIPPED
ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN, AND SERVED BAAL.
[2-Kings 17:17] AND THEY CAUSED THEIR SONS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS TO PASS THROUGH
THE FIRE, AND USED DIVINATION AND ENCHANTMENTS, AND SOLD THEMSELVES TO DO
EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, TO PROVOKE HIM TO ANGER.
[2-Kings 17:18] THEREFORE THE LORD WAS VERY ANGRY WITH ISRAEL, AND REMOVED
THEM OUT OF HIS SIGHT: THERE WAS NONE LEFT BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH ONLY.
[2-Kings 17:19] ALSO JUDAH KEPT NOT THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD THEIR GOD,
BUT WALKED IN THE STATUTES OF ISRAEL WHICH THEY MADE.
[2-Kings 17:20] AND THE LORD REJECTED ALL THE SEED OF ISRAEL, AND AFFLICTED
THEM, AND DELIVERED THEM INTO THE HAND OF SPOILERS, UNTIL HE HAD CAST THEM
OUT OF HIS SIGHT.
[2-Kings 17:21] FOR HE RENT ISRAEL FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID; AND THEY MADE
JEROBOAM THE SON OF NEBAT KING: AND JEROBOAM DRAVE ISRAEL FROM FOLLOWING
THE LORD, AND MADE THEM SIN A GREAT SIN.
[2-Kings 17:22] FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WALKED IN ALL THE SINS OF JEROBOAM WHICH HE DID; THEY DEPARTED NOT FROM THEM;
[2-Kings 17:23] UNTIL THE LORD REMOVED ISRAEL OUT OF HIS SIGHT, AS HE HAD
SAID BY ALL HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS. SO WAS ISRAEL CARRIED AWAY OUT OF
THEIR OWN LAND TO ASSYRIA UNTO THIS DAY.
The application of pagan notions applied to the God of Israel by the Israelites
has been confirmed by archaeological findings: A stele from Byblos, specifically
cites Yaveh-Melek, 'Yahweh the King', [who] worships the Queen of Heaven.
At Kuntillet Ajrud, in southern Israel, in the former territory of Simeon
are depiction's of "Yahweh" with a consort goddess along side an image of
the Egyptian god Bes. For Dever, the inscriptions prove that "in Israel Yahweh
could be closely identified with the cult of Asherah, and in some circles
the goddess was actually personified as his consort" (1984:31). David Noel
Freedman: "worship of a goddess, consort of Yahweh, was deeply rooted in
both Israel and Judah in pre-exilic times, in spite of vigorous prophetic
protests and strenuous efforts by reforming kings" (1987:249). Similarly,
Rainer Albertz remarks: "The popularity of the worship of a goddess alongside
Yahweh throughout the whole pre-exilic period can hardly be overestimated"
(1994:86; also see Gilula 1978- 1979: 135).
An inscription on the spot refers to:
`Yahweh of Samaria,' (depicted in the form of a calf) 'and his consort Asherah"
From this inscription we can deduce:
1. Simeon though in the south
was probably subservient to the northern kingdom ("Samaria") as hinted at
by the Bible and included in the Ten tribes who were exiled by Assyria.
2. The worship of the God of Israel was paganized and mixed up with pagan
notions. The prophets refer to this and frequently condemn it but do not
go into most of the details probably due to respect.
<<Baal was a son of god, the local god of the small states and
had a variety of local names besides his generic name, Baal. Baal is found
in Phoenicia, Galilee, Israel and Judaea, as well as further north in the
Levant. Yehouah is found in Israel, Judah, and Edom.
<<El was the authority behind Baal and Baal was the authority behind the local king.
<<Elements in personal names, including royal names, from the early
Bronze Age city of Ebla and the late Bronze Age city of Ugarit, suggest a
god with the name Yeho.
<<,altars apparently dedicated to Yehouah
or an equivalent god have been uncovered at Arad and Beersheba. Yehouah is
mentioned at Nebo and in Samaria and Teman.
<<Yehouah is declared the god of Samaria (Israel) and his consort is Asherah.