“Then the high priest
Tore his clothes.
‘He has blasphemed!
Why do we still
You have now heard
τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ λέγων Ἐβλασφήμησεν· τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων; ἴδε νῦν ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν·
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:63. In Luke, chapter 22:71, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18. Matthew said that the high priest tore his clothes
(τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), a sign of mourning. Caiaphas said that Jesus had blasphemed (λέγων Ἐβλασφήμησεν) by calling himself the Messiah Christ. The high priest asked why did they still need any witnesses (τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων)? The had all heard his blasphemy (ἴδε νῦν ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν). Technically, it might not have been a blasphemy, since someone had to utter the divine name or profane sacred things, but it was close enough.
I make a decree.
Against the God
Shall be torn
Limb from limb.
Their houses will be
Laid in ruins.
There is no other god
Who is able
In this way.’”
Now in a complete reversal, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree to all the people, all the countries, and all the language groups. Anyone who blasphemed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be torn limb from limb. They would also lose their houses. Anyone speaking badly about the God of Israel would be punished. This king was able to accept a new better God in his polytheistic vision of the world, as his golden statute became less important.
Son of man!
The house of Israel!
Say to them!
‘Thus says Yahweh God!
In this again,
They dealt treacherously
Yahweh once again told Ezekiel to speak to the house of Israel. He wanted Ezekiel to tell them that their ancestors had blasphemed him. They had treated him treacherously. Their ancestors were not good people.
“After these events, Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests from the sanctuary and some of the elders of the people came out to greet him peaceably. They wanted to show him the burnt offering that was being offered for the king. But he mocked them. He derided them. He defiled them. He spoke arrogantly. In anger he swore this oath.
‘Unless Judas and his army are delivered
Into my hands this time,
Then if I return safely
I will burn up this house.’
He went out in great anger. At this, the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple. They wept and said.
‘You choose this house to be called by your name.
This house is to be for your people.
This house is a house of prayer and supplication.
Take vengeance on this man and on his army!
Let them fall by the sword!
Remember their blasphemies!
Let them live no longer!’”
Nicanor went to Jerusalem. Actually some of the priests and elders greeted him peacefully. Remember that Alcimus was the high priest and friend of King Demetrius I. They wanted to show him that they had made burnt offerings in his honor. However, Nicanor turned on them as he mocked them, derided them, and defiled them. Arrogantly and angrily, he said that unless they delivered Judas to him, he was going to burn down the Temple. Then he left in anger. The priests then wept praying that this was the house of God for his people. God should take vengeance on this man and his army since he had blasphemed this Temple. He should not let him live.