The appearance and life style of the Zadok priests (Ezek 44:20-44:22)

“They shall not shave

Their heads.

They shall not

Let their locks

Grow long.

They shall only

Trim the hair

Of their heads.

No priest shall

Drink wine,

When he enters

The inner court.

They shall not marry

A widow,

Or a divorced woman.

They shall marry

Only a virgin

Of the stock

Of the house of Israel,

Or a widow

Who is the widow

Of a priest.”

These Zadok Levitical priests had a look and life style that set them apart. They were not to shave their heads, but they had to trim their hair. They were not allowed to drink wine when they were in the inner court. They could not marry a widow or a divorced woman. However, there was an exception for the widow of a priest. They could only marry a virgin in good standing from the house of Israel.

The correct linen holy vestments or garments (Ezek 44:17-44:19)

“When they enter

The gates

Of the inner court,

They shall wear

Linen vestments.

They shall have nothing

Of wool on them,

While they minister

At the gates

Of the inner court,

As well as within.

They shall have

Linen turbans

On their heads.

They shall have

Linen undergarments

On their loins.

They shall not

Bind themselves

With anything

That causes sweat.

When they go out

Into the outer court

To the people,

They shall remove

The vestments

In which

They have been ministering,

They shall lay them

In the holy chambers.

They shall put on

Other garments,

So that they may not

Communicate holiness

To the people

With their vestments.”

When these Zadok Levitical priests entered the gates of the inner court, they had to wear certain garments or vestments made of linen when they ministered to Yahweh. They could not have anything made of wool on them, when they were in the inner court. They would have to wear linen turbans on their heads. They also would have to wear linen underwear. They could not wear any binding clothes, anything that would make them sweat. When they went out to the outer court, they had to change clothes. They were not allowed to communicate holiness to the people in the outer court with their holy vestments. Thus, the holy linen garments were kept in the holy chambers or rooms.

The lure of the colorful Chaldeans (Ezek 23:14-23:15)

“But Oholibah
Carried her prostitution ways
Further.
She saw male figures
Carved on the wall.
These were
The images of the Chaldeans
Portrayed in vermilion.
They had belts
Around their waists.
They had flowing turbans
On their heads.
All of them looked
Like officers.
This was
A picture
Of the Babylonians
Whose native land
Was Chaldea.”
Oholibah carried her prostitution ways even further. She saw male figures of the Chaldeans carved on the wall. They were portrayed as dressed in vermilion with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads. They all looked like officers. This was the idealized picture of the Babylonians from Chaldea.

The wrath of Yahweh (Ezek 22:31-22:31)

“‘Therefore

I have poured out

My indignation

Upon them.

I have consumed them

With the fire

Of my wrath.

I have returned

Their conduct

Upon their heads.’

Says Yahweh God.”

The result was that Yahweh, their God, poured out his wrath and indignation on their heads.  He consumed them with a fire from his anger.  There was no appeasing Yahweh.

The explanation of Yahweh about this killing (Ezek 9:8-9:10)

“While they were killing,

I was left alone.

I fell prostrate

On my face.

I cried.

‘Ah Yahweh God!

Will you destroy

All who remain

Of Israel

As you pour out

Your wrath

Upon Jerusalem?’

Then he said to me.

‘The guilt

Of the house of Israel

As well as

The house of Judah

Is exceedingly great.

The land is full

Of bloodshed.

The city is full

Of perversity.’

They say.

‘Yahweh has forsaken

The land.

Yahweh does not see.’

As for me,

My eye will not spare.

I will not have pity.

But I will bring down

Their deeds

Upon their heads.’”

Ezekiel was all shook up with all this killing going on. He was alone, so he prostrated his face. He cried to God. He wanted to know if everyone of the remaining Israelites would be destroyed. Would anybody remain in Jerusalem? Then Yahweh explained to him that the guilt of the house of Israel as well as the guilt of the house of Judah was exceedingly great. The land was full of bloodshed. The city was full of perversity. Those remaining had said that Yahweh had forsaken the land. He would not see what they were doing. However, Yahweh was clear. He was not going to spare them or have pity on them. Their own deeds brought this on their heads. Thus the annihilation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem continued.

The sounds from above (Ezek 1:24-1:25)

“When they moved,

I heard the sound

Of their wings.

It was

Like the sound

Of mighty waters.

It was

Like the thunder

Of the Almighty.

It was

Like a sound of tumult.

It was

Like the sound of an army.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.

There came

A voice

From above the dome

Over their heads.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.”

What sounds did Ezekiel hear? He heard the sounds of the wings of these creatures as they moved. This sound was like the sound of mighty waters, like the thunder of the Almighty God, El Shaddai, not that of Yahweh. This sound was like the sound of a great commotion or an army on the move. However, when they stopped moving their wings, a voice came from above the dome over their heads. Then the same phrase was repeated again. When they stopped, they let down their wings.

Like a funeral (Bar 6:31-6:32)

“In these temples

Of false gods,

The priests sit

With their clothes

Torn.

Their heads

Are shaved.

Their beards

Are shaved.

Their heads

Are uncovered.

They howl.

They shout

Before their gods

As some do

At a funeral banquet.”

The priests of these false idol gods sit in the temples with their clothes torn, as if in mourning. They have their heads and beards shaven with nothing to cover their heads. The Israelite and Judean priests always covered their heads, and they normally did not shave their beards. These priests of the false gods, on the other hand, howled and shouted before the images of their gods. They acted like they were at a funeral meal for their dying gods.