The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
The sixth year of King Sedecias✻ came; and on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Juda for my company, the power of the Lord God came over me there.
I had a vision; a figure was there before me all aglow, fire beneath where his loins shewed, and from the loins upwards, brightness made visible, like amber to see.
It seemed as if an outstretched hand caught me by a lock of my hair; and with that, a force lifted me up between heaven and earth, and I was carried away in a divine transport to Jerusalem. There was the gateway of the inner court, looking northwards, and there was that image of rival deity God sees and hates.
There, too, was the bright presence of Israel’s God, as I had seen it earlier on the river plain;
Son of man, he told me, look northwards; so northwards I looked from the altar-gate, and saw the image of rival deity standing at the very entrance.
Foul deeds a-doing, son of man, said he; little wonder if I was fain to withdraw from my sanctuary, where the men of Israel do me such wrong. But thou art not finished with them; thou hast fouler yet to see.
And with that, he brought me close up to the door of the court, where I found a hole in the wall.
Then he would have me dig through the wall; so dig I did, and there was a door facing me.
Now go in, he told me, and see for thyself what foul deeds are done here.
And when I went in to look, what should I find painted on the walls but likenesses of reptile and of beast! A very foul sight it was; no idol Israel worships but it was there;
and in front of these pictures stood Jezonias, the son of Saphan, with seventy elders of Israel about him, censer in hand each of them, so that a thick cloud of incense went up.
Now, son of man, he told me, thou canst see for thyself what work they make in the darkness, these elders of Israel, each hidden where hide he may; Fear is none, they say, the Lord should see us; he has forsaken the land for good and all, the Lord has.
Thou hast not seen all yet, he told me; thou shalt see still fouler things done;
and he took me through the northern gate of the temple, and there what found I but women that sat weeping for Adonis?
Hast thou marked it well, son of man? he asked. Prepare thyself for a sight fouler yet.
Then he took me into the inner court of the temple, and there, at the door of the Lord’s own house, between porch and altar, some five and twenty men were standing with their backs to the temple, that worshipped the eastern sun.
Hast thou marked it well, son of man? he asked. And are they not content, the men of Juda, with such detestable doings as these, that they must provoke me further yet, filling the whole land with wrong? See how they hold branch to nostril!✻
For their busy wickedness, busy shall my vengeance be; unmelting this eye, this heart unpitying, deaf these ears to their cry of complaint.
The Holy Bible