Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 8:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The image of jealousy - הקנאה סמל semel hakkinah . We do not know certainly of what form this image was, nor what god it represented. Some say it was the image of Baal, which was placed in the temple by Manasses; others, that it was the image of Mars; and others, that it was the image of Tammuz or Adonis. Calmet supports this opinion by the following reasons: -

  1. The name agrees perfectly with him. He was represented as a beautiful youth, beloved by Venus; at which Mars, her paramour, being incensed and filled with jealousy, sent a large boar against Adonis, which killed him with his tusks. Hence it was the image of him who fell a victim to jealousy.
  • The prophet being returned towards the northern gate, where he had seen the image of jealousy, Ezekiel 8:14, there saw the women lamenting for Tammuz. Now Tammuz, all agree, signifies Adonis; it was that therefore which was called the image of jealousy.
  • The Scripture often gives to the heathen idols names of degradation; as Baal-zebub, god of flies; Baal-zebul; god of dung.
  • It is likely that it was Adonis who is called The dead, Leviticus 19:27, Leviticus 19:28; Deuteronomy 14:9, because he was worshipped as one dead. And the women represented as worshipping him were probably adulteresses, and had suffered through the jealousy of their husbands. And this worship of the image of jealousy provoked God to jealousy, to destroy this bad people.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    In the visions of God - Ezekiel was not transported “in the body,” but rapt “in spirit,” while he still sat amidst the elders of Judah.

    The inner gate - Or, the gate of the inner court. This gate, leading from the outer to the inner court (the court of the priests), is called Ezekiel 8:5 “the gate of the altar,” because it was from this side that the priests approached the brass altar. The prophet is on the “outside” of this gate, so that the “image of jealousy” was set up in the outer or people‘s court over against the northern entrance to the priest‘s court. This image was the image of a false god provoking Yahweh to “jealousy” Deuteronomy 32:16, Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 14:22. It may be doubted whether the scenes described in this chapter are intended to represent what actually occurred. They may be ideal pictures to indicate the idolatrous corruption of priests and people. And this is in accordance with the symbolic character of the number “four;” the four idolatries representing the idolatries in all the four quarters of the world. The false gods of pagandom are brought into the temple in order that they may be detected and exposed by being brought face to face with the God of revelation. Still history proves that the ideal picture was supported by actual facts which had occurred and were occurring.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    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.