The trip to the east gate (Ezek 11:1-11:1)

“The Spirit

Lifted me up.

He brought me

To the east gate

Of the house of Yahweh

That faces east.

There,

At the entrance

Of the gateway

There were twenty-five men.

I saw among them

Jaazaniah,

The son of Azzur,

With Pelatiah,

The son of Benaiah,

Officials of the people.”

Once again, the Spirit of Yahweh lifted Ezekiel up. This Holy Spirit brought him to the east gate of the Temple this time. There is a reference to Jaazaniah as in chapter 8 of this work. However, here Jaazaniah is the son of Azzur, not the son of Shaphan. He is among 25 men, not the 70 elders as in chapter 8. Ezekiel is not looking through a wall as in chapter 8, but standing at the east entrance of the Temple. There is no mention of the creeping things here. However, Jaazaniah was joined by another official named Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah. Thus there is a loose connection with chapter 8 of this work.

The idol worship service of the seventy Jerusalem elders (Ezek 8:10-8:11)

“So I went in.

I looked.

There portrayed

On the wall,

All around,

Were all kinds

Of creeping things,

Loathsome animals,

With all the idols

Of the house of Israel.

Before them

Stood seventy

Of the elders

Of the house

Of Israel,

With Jaazaniah,

The son of Shaphan,

Standing among them.

Each had his censer

In his hand.

The fragrant cloud

Of incense

Was ascending.”

Ezekiel went into the worship service room on the other side of the wall. He saw various inscriptions or pictures all around the walls that included creeping things, despicable animals, and all kinds of idols from the house of Israel. This must have indicated some kind of Egyptian or Babylonian idol gods, perhaps the god Osiris. However, this might be a mishmash of various idol gods. Even more shocking was to see the 70 Jerusalem elders of Israel, including Jaazaniah, the son of Shaphan, standing there with lit censers in their hands as the fragrant smell of incense ascended in the air. This was a shocking sight to see.

The gathering at Mizpah (Jer 40:8-40:8)

“All these field leaders

Went to Gedaliah

At Mizpah.

They included

Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah,

Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

Seraiah,

The son of Tanhumeth,

The sons of Ephai

The Netophathite,

Jezaniah,

The son of the Maacathite.

They came with their troops.”

Now this story picks up on what was in 2 Kings, chapter 25. All these field leaders went to see Gedaliah at Mizpah to see what was up. In fact, some of these same names appear in 2 Kings, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, and Seraiah son of Tanhumeth. However, here there is mention of the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, while Jezaniah is slightly different than Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite. All these open field leaders came with their fighting troops. They wanted to see how things were going.

Jeremiah brings the Rechabites to the Temple (Jer 35:3-35:4)

“So I took Jaazaniah

The son of Jeremiah,

The son of Habazziniah,

With his brothers,

As well as all his sons,

With the whole house

Of the Rechabites.

I brought them

To the house of Yahweh,

Into the chamber

Of the sons of Hanan,

The son of Igdaliah,

The man of God.

This was near

The chamber of the officials,

Above the chamber of Maaseiah,

The son of Shallum,

Keeper of the threshold.”

Jeremiah went out and got the whole house of the Rechabites. This included Jaazaniah, who apparently was the head of this clan, since Jeremiah lists his father and grandfather. He and his brothers with their sons also came with Jeremiah. This seems to be the whole house of the Rechabites, a small group. There was no mention of their wives or daughters. When they got to the Temple, Jeremiah brought them to a special room or chamber that belonged to the sons of Hanan, whose father was Igdaliah, a man of God or a prophet. Thus some of the prophets may have had a room at the Temple, but Jeremiah does not seem to have one for himself. They were near the chamber of the other Temple officials or scholars. They were above where Maaseiah, the son of Shallum, the same name as King Jehoahaz (609 BCE), lived. Maaseiah was the keeper of the threshold or keeper of the door, a high ranking priest. Thus this episode explains something about what was going on in the Temple.