The idolatries committed by the Jewish rulers. (1-6) The
superstitions to which the Jews were then devoted, the Egyptian.
(7-12) The Phoenician. (13,14) The Persian. (15,16) The
heinousness of their sin. (17,18)
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.
A secret place was, as it were, opened, where the prophet
saw creatures painted on the walls, and a number of the elders
of Israel worshipped before them. No superiority in worldly
matters will preserve men from lust, or idolatries, when they
are left to their own deceitful hearts; and those who are soon
wearied in the service of God, often grudge no toil nor expense
when following their superstitions. When hypocrites screen
themselves behind the wall of an outward profession, there is
some hole or other left in the wall, something that betrays them
to those who look diligently. There is a great deal of secret
wickedness in the world. They think themselves out of God's
sight. But those are ripe indeed for ruin, who lay the blame of
their sins upon the Lord.
The yearly lamenting for Tammuz was attended with
infamous practices; and the worshippers of the sun here
described, are supposed to have been priests. The Lord appeals
to the prophet concerning the heinousness of the crime; "and lo,
they put the branch to their nose," denoting some custom used by
idolaters in honour of the idols they served. The more we
examine human nature and our own hearts, the more abominations
we shall discover; and the longer the believer searches himself,
the more he will humble himself before God, and the more will he
value the fountain open for sin, and seek to wash therein.