Ezekiel 8

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

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1 It happened 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, that the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell there on me.

2 Then 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.

3 He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between 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.

4 Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the appearance that I saw in the plain.

5 Then he said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and see, northward of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.

6 He said to me, Son of man, do you see what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel do commit here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But you shall again see yet other great abominations.

7 He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.

8 Then he said to me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold, a door.

9 He said to me, Go in, and see the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and see, every form of creeping things, and abominable animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed around on the wall.

11 There stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel; and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and the odor of the cloud of incense went up.

12 Then he said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his rooms of imagery? for they say, Yahweh doesn't see us; Yahweh has forsaken the land.

13 He said also to me, You shall again see yet other great abominations which they do.

14 Then 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.

15 Then he said to me, Have you seen [this], son of man? You shall again see yet greater abominations than these.

16 He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh's house; and see, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east.

17 Then he said to me, Have you seen [this], 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 turned again to provoke me to anger: and behold, they put the branch to their nose.

18 Therefore will I also deal in wrath; 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.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Conjugial Love 26

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 131


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 934, 994, 2851, 2921, 5145, 5694, 5922, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 53, 216, 567, 629, 919, 945

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 28, 39, 52

Heaven and Hell 122

True Christian Religion 93, 157


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 208, 401, 422, 494, 504, 650, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 60

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 52

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


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Word/Phrase Explanations

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Elders
Elders are mentioned in the Bible mainly in two ways: First the elders of Israel: and second the 24 elders seated about the throne of...

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

yahweh
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

sky
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

North
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

Way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

court
The court of the tabernacle (Exodus 27:9), etc., signifies the external of heaven, or the first, which is also called the ultimate heaven.

Hole
'A hole and cleft of a rock,' in scripture, signifies an obscurity and falsity of faith.

wall
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

Creeping things
Creeping things (Gen. 6:7) signifies pleasures as well cor­poreal as sensual. Creeping things, in a proper sense, are what were the vilest of all which...

Idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

Incense
'Incense' or 'odors' signify worship and confession of the Lord, from spiritual goods and truths.

seen
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

dark
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

imagery
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Women
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

the temple
'Solomon's temple' represents heaven and the church.

temple
'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

Twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything or fullness, because it is ten twice. 'Twenty,' as in Genesis 18:31, like all numbers occurring in...

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

faces
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Sun
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

filled
There are two ways something can be filled: It can be filled with something bad against the wishes of its owner, or it can be...

violence
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

nose
'A nose' signifies the life of good, because of the respiration which happens through it, which is life in the internal sense, and because of...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Loud
In Revelation 5:2, 'a loud' or 'great voice' signifies divine truth from the Lord, in its power or virtue.

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...


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