It came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell on me there. Bible see other translations

“It came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month.” This is Ezekiel’s third revelation recorded in the book of Ezekiel (Cp. Ezek. 1:1-2; 3:16). It starts in Ezekiel 8:1 and ends in Ezekiel 11:25. The sixth year refers to the sixth year of the Babylonia Captivity, which started when Jehoiachin was king of Judah (2 Kings 24:14-16). Many scholars accept that this date is September 18, 592 BC. That makes this vision a little over 13 months later than Ezekiel’s first vision (see commentary on Ezekiel 1:1, “in the fourth month”). Thus, after Ezekiel got his first revelations, it was over a year before he received this vision.

“the elders of Judah sat before me.” These elders, like Ezekiel himself, had been carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar’s army (2 Kings 24:2-16). These elders, like king Jehoiachin of Judah himself, apparently had no formal authority in Babylon, but they had been recognized as leaders and elders among the Jews before the captivity and they were still recognized by the Jews in that capacity, so they did have a genuine influence among the Jewish exiles.

The fact that they came to Ezekiel’s house indicates that they recognized Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry, even if they did not believe everything he said. This delegation is different from the one in Ezekiel 14:1, which is designated as “the elders of Israel,” instead of “the elders of Judah.” They could have been many of the same elders, but the occasions were different.

The reason for the elders of Judah coming to Ezekiel is not stated, but it is logical to conclude that they came to hear a word from Yahweh about the situation in Judah and Jerusalem as well as any word from Yahweh about their situation and fate. That they wanted to know about Jerusalem may in part explain why it was at that time that the spirit being took Ezekiel on a multi-chapter tour of Jerusalem and the Temple there, and showed him the abominations that were going on there, and with such egregious abominations Yahweh could hardly bless and protect Jerusalem, Judea, and the people there.

“fell on me.” The word “fell” indicates a sudden and powerful revelation to Ezekiel. This included speaking loudly into Ezekiel’s ears (Ezek. 9:1). Ezekiel 6:1 and 7:1 simply said the word of Yahweh “came” to Ezekiel. But this revelation “fell” on him.

Commentary for: Ezekiel 8:1