And saw - every form of creeping things - It is very likely that these images pourtrayed on the wall were the objects of Egyptian adoration: the ox, the ape, the dog, the crocodile, the ibis, the scarabaeus or beetle, and various other things. It appears that these were privately worshipped by the sanhedrin or great Jewish council, consisting of seventy or seventy-two persons, six chosen out of every tribe, as representatives of the people. The images were pourtrayed upon the wall, as we find those ancient idols are on the walls of the tombs of the kings and nobles of Egypt. See the plates to Belzoni's Travels, the Isaic Tomb in the Bodleian Library, and the Egyptian hieroglyphics in general. Virgil speaks of these, Aen. lib. viii.: -
Omnigenumque Deum monstra, et latrator Anubis.
"All kinds of gods, monsters, and barking dogs."
There is clearly a reference to the idolatry of Egypt. Many subterranean chambers in rocks upon the shores of the Nile exhibit ornamentation and hieroglyphical characters, some of which are representative of the objects of idolatrous worship. Such chambers fitted them for the scene of the ideal picture by which Ezekiel represented Egyptian idolatry. The Egyptian worship of animals is well known.
While Jeremiah continued to bear his testimony in the land of Judah, the prophet Ezekiel was raised up from among the captives in Babylon, to warn and to comfort the exiles, and also to confirm the word of the Lord that was being spoken through Jeremiah. During the years that remained of Zedekiah's reign, Ezekiel made very plain the folly of trusting to the false predictions of those who were causing the captives to hope for an early return to Jerusalem. He was also instructed to foretell, by means of a variety of symbols and solemn messages, the siege and utter destruction of Jerusalem. PK 448.1
In the sixth year of the reign of Zedekiah, the Lord revealed to Ezekiel in vision some of the abominations that were being practiced in Jerusalem, and within the gate of the Lord's house, and even in the inner court. The chambers of images, and the pictured idols, “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel”—all these in rapid succession passed before the astonished gaze of the prophet. Ezekiel 8:10. PK 448.2
Those who should have been spiritual leaders among the people, “the ancients of the house of Israel,” to the number of seventy, were seen offering incense before the idolatrous representations that had been introduced into hidden chambers within the sacred precincts of the temple court. “The Lord seeth us not,” the men of Judah flattered themselves as they engaged in their heathenish practices; “the Lord hath forsaken the earth,” they blasphemously declared. Verses 11, 12. PK 448.3Read in context »