“the Spirit lifted me up.” Yahweh, who appeared to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 8:2 in the form of a human, now forcibly picks him up and takes him in a vision from Babylon, where he lived as an exile in the Babylonian Captivity, to Jerusalem, to show him the abominations going on there. God took Ezekiel to Jerusalem in this vision even though Ezekiel was right in the middle of meeting with the elders of Judah that had been taken captive to Babylon. Ezekiel’s vision lasted from Ezekiel 8:3 to 11:24, but even though it was complex it must not have taken very long in actual time because the elders of Judah sat there the entire time, and when the vision ended Ezekiel told them about it (Ezek. 11:25).
“statue of jealousy.” Here in Ezekiel 8:3, God calls the idol the “statue of jealousy” and it makes God jealous. We are not told what god or goddess is represented by the statue, and that would not have mattered much because God detests all idols. Israel made a covenant with God on Mount Sinai that He would be their only God, so rightfully God is jealous that He is sharing Israel’s worship with an idol god. The priests, Levites, and many of the people had abandoned the Law of God in order to have this kind of idol at one of the gates into the temple.
It is because of idolatry like this among the priests and Levites that God showed Ezekiel that in the Millennial Kingdom the priests who live near the Temple and serve with Christ will not have been idolaters like these priests and Levites were (Ezek. 48:11).